Monday, July 19, 2021

Hawaii employers can mandate vaccinations, officials seek to expand categories of Pacific Islanders, Chinatown changes sought, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian kupuna in court pre-COVID ©2021 All Hawaii News

For racial designations, some seek more boxes to check for ‘other.’ Pacific Islanders Of Hawaii’s 1.5 million residents, 38% are Asian — mostly Japanese and Filipino — 26% are white, 2% are Black, and many people are multiple ethnicities, according to U.S. census figures. Native Hawaiians account for about 20% of the population. Associated Press.

Hawaii employers are allowed to mandate vaccinations but are hesitant to do so. A legal ruling in Texas is opening the door to mandatory vaccinations in Hawaii, according to Hawaii’s attorney general. A federal judge allowed a Houston hospital to fire workers who refused to be vaccinated. The attorney general said that means the state can also require employees to get the shots. Hawaii News Now.

State enforcement of years-old raw milk ban blindsides pet food businesses. Local pet food shops say they’ve felt blindsided by recent a state crackdown on raw, unpasteurized goat’s milk. They’re being told to either dispose of all of their stock, or send it back to the vendors — both costly options for small local businesses. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Consumers Can Now File Complaints Online. The Regulated Industries Complaints Office has an updated system that finally allows Hawaii residents to submit electronic complaints. Civil Beat.

Inmate Deaths In Hawaii Prisons And Jails Are On The Upswing This Year. The state is on track to have more fatalities in correctional facilities in 2021 than in any year in the past decade. Civil Beat.

July 4th parties blamed for virus spread in Hawaii. Hawaii officials are attributing the recent spike in coronavirus cases statewide to July Fourth celebrations and the still substantial number of residents who have not been vaccinated against the virus that so far has sickened over 39,000 people here and killed 523. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees 164 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 39,254. Sunday's new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 104 new cases on Oahu, 12 on Maui, 18 on Hawaii Island, six on Kauai and 24 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Hawaii Tourism Authority considers Oahu plan to address demand to limit tourism. The Oahu Destination Management Action Plan, an effort to figure out that and other tourism challenges, is expected to go before the HTA board for a vote July 29, with the plan slated for release to the public sometime in August. Star-Advertiser.

The Case Of 3 Honolulu Cops Charged With Killing Teen Is Ramping Up. Defense attorneys are working to get charges dropped as prosecutors prepare to present evidence against the officers on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Low inmate forecasts at OCCC could affect costs of future jail. The average daily inmate population at Oahu Community Correctional Center is forecast to fall from 1,316 in 2019 to 788 in 2032, which will have profound implications for the planning of a future OCCC, including its size and long-term operational costs. Star-Advertiser.

Chinatown hopes Weed & Seed and foot patrols will clean up neighborhood. Twenty-four hour police foot patrols of Chinatown — funded by $2 million in overtime — began slowly last week, as law enforcement and city officials revive a program to reduce crime, then rebuild a beleaguered community in the midst of a pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Historic Chinatown commercial building slated for residential use. A development firm led in part by state Rep. Mark Hashem is pursuing the $27 million project that would convert the three-story Hocking Building on a corner of North King Street and Nuuanu Avenue into 40 apartments with monthly rent as low as $634 reserved for households with low incomes. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Highways Chief Neil Azevedo put on leave. Neil Azevedo, the county Highways Division chief who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, has been suspended without pay for 30 days, sources told West Hawaii Today.

Brush Fire Burns On Saddle, Closes Highway. The Hawaiʻi Police Department reports the brush fire near Old Saddle Road is still active. Old Saddle Road, between Daniel K. Inouye Highway junction and Highway 190 junction, remains closed. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Hilo Orchid Society to hold orchid sale in lieu of cancelled show.
The Hilo Orchid Society has canceled its popular annual orchid show for 2021, as it did in 2020, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Pandemic caused delays to telescope. Final review scheduled; work expected to finish in November. The world’s largest solar telescope, located atop Haleakala, will undergo a final review by a scientific panel next week in preparation for its soft startup later this year, which had been delayed by the pandemic. Maui News.

Maui County Loses Again In Federal Court Over Pollution Discharges. For years, the county has violated the Clean Water Act by discharging treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean through injection wells at a Lahaina sewer plant. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

Testifiers Suggest Delayed Implementation of Plastic Disposable Foodware Ban. Maui restaurants and distributors continued to express supply chain concerns and economic challenges compounded by pandemic impacts when testifying on an ordinance amendment that outlines a ban on single-use plastic foodware in Maui County. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i has state’s highest jobless rate. The unemployment rate is decreasing statewide. However, Kaua‘i still has the highest unemployment rate among the counties, 11.2% in June. Garden Island.

A Kauai Family Gave Homeless People A Place To Live.
Now They All Face Eviction. Marcia and Buna Leialoha felt they had no choice but to offer homes to those evicted from a nearby temporary homeless camp, but their landlord thinks otherwise. Civil Beat.

Anaina Hou Community Park reopens on Kauai, welcomes events for community. Community members of Kauai’s North Shore are looking to bring life back to Anaina Hou Community Park by adding more events to its roster of summer entertainment. KHON2.

Ige talks legislation, Coco Palms.
The Garden Island met with Gov. David Ige last week through a Zoom call, and was told any question goes, but we had only 20 minutes with him. Garden Island.

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