Friday, June 11, 2021

Ige to select appellate court nominee, graduation party, church services raise COVID-19 cases, lumber at a premium, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A slowdown in production compounded by high demand continues to raise building material prices through the roof in Hawaii. The Hawaii Lumber Products Association says prices are up 400% when compared to the same time in 2020. KHON2.

Ige To Select Nominee For Intermediate Court of Appeals. A prominent Maui attorney and the head of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission are among the names of six nominees looking to fill a vacancy on the state’s Intermediate Court of Appeals. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Governor defends push to reach 70% vaccination rate before ending restrictions. Gov. David Ige on Thursday defended his plan to end all COVID restrictions when Hawaii reaches a vaccination rate of 70%, saying the goal is doable. In fact, he thinks Hawaii can reach the benchmark by the end of summer ― optimism shared by a number of Hawaii experts. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Department is awarded $24.5 million in CDC funding to tackle COVID-19 health disparities. State health officials say a $24.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help boost efforts to address COVID-19 health disparities among underserved communities. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

‘Better Than Nothing’: Doctors Urge High-Risk Patients To Get Vaccines. Patients with weakened immune systems should still avoid large crowds and take pandemic precautions even as official restrictions on masks and social distancing are eased. Civil Beat.

Coronavirus cluster report shows spread at Oahu graduation party, places of worship. COVID-19 cases are spreading during social gatherings. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii sees 62 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 36,793. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 32 new cases on Oahu, 17 on Maui, 10 on Hawaii Island, two on Kauai, and one Hawaii resident diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Police union hails decision by Oahu grand jury on fatal shooting. Leaders of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers came to the defense of their members on Thursday following a grand jury’s rejection of charges against three officers who shot and killed a 16-year-old in April. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Department of Health issues $828K fine for unlicensed care home. The state Department of Health has fined Island Promise Homes LLC $828,000 for allegedly operating an adult residential care home without a license, part of a larger effort in recent years to reign in an industry that has skirted health and safety regulations. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Will Test Sewage At 11 Dorms This Fall To Help Prevent COVID-19 Outbreaks. Next semester the University of Hawaii Manoa will test sewage from 11 dorms to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus and track mutations of the virus. Civil Beat.

Oahu flood control projects get approval -- including one in the works for decades. The Wailele Stream project is slated to include improvements to the existing stream bed, along with construction of a new drainage feature and an overflow channel. The council approved $7.8 million as the city’s share of the project as a last-minute amendment to the city budget. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii real estate developer Peter Savio to offer condo-style ownership of solar farm. Entrepreneur Peter Savio announced today that he will build a solar farm on Oahu and sell off units of solar in a revolutionary manner – the same way he sells condominium units. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

This church is housing the homeless
― and cultivating hope ― on a Waianae farm. Headed up by Hawaii Cedar Church, it started as place folks could pitch a tent in exchange for working on the farm. But through donations the church’s vision evolved. Residents now sleep in 8-by-10-foot sheds. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

City and County of Honolulu still accepting applications for rental and utility relief program. The city began accepting up to 10,000 applications Monday evening, and as of Thursday there were still 4,000 applications available. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Taxi companies lose certificates: Pandemic thins taxi ranks even as demand grows.
Taxi companies were already reeling from increased competition from ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft when they were dealt the next blow: an almost total shutdown of the economy by the coronavirus. West Hawaii Today.

President of Southwest talks expansion during Hilo stop
. As the carrier expands service to and from Hawaii, company leaders spent the week in the islands and visited Hilo on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

$200 Surcharge Added to $35 Citation to Deter Illegal Parking on Hāna Highway. Citing safety concerns and illegal parking along scenic and popular stops along the Hāna Highway, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation today began installing “no parking” signs reflecting a $200 surcharge in addition to a $35 parking violation at several spots along the winging road into East Maui. Maui Now. KITV4.

A small Maui town flooded with tourists looks to state, county officials for traffic control. With thousands of people visiting the historic town of Paia and drive the famous road to Hana, it can get bumper to bumper all along Hana Highway. Residents say they are long overdue for a bypass road. Hawaii News Now.

Online tool aims to inform west Maui of threatening waves. University of Hawaii researchers have developed an online tool that will inform the public when waves are expected to threaten west Maui shorelines, an area particularly prone to coastal erosion as sea levels rise. Associated Press.

Kauai

County receives $500K in federal HUD money.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced the release of $503,868 to Kaua‘i for houseless initiatives. The money, part of over $14.2 million in federal funds given to the state, came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the American Rescue Plan. Garden Island.

Population of rose-ringed parakeets decreasing. Researchers have documented a decrease in one of the most invasive avian species worldwide on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Koloa Rum partners with the Las Vegas Raiders. Named the “Official Ultra-Premium Rum of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Koloa Rum will bring their award-winning rums to the global event’s destination, augmenting the stadium spectator experience. Garden Island.

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