Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ige shares budget-balancing plan, Hawaiian Airlines scales back mainland service proposal, teachers and state strike back-to-school distancing deal, Molokai vacation rental owners sue over limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii pandemic reopening navigator
How This Special Legislative Committee Has Worked To Keep Hawaii’s Economy Afloat. The House COVID committee has drawn on the expertise and clout of its members to work behind the scenes and help the Ige administration work through the state’s biggest challenges. Civil Beat.

Governor details how he plans to shore up $2.3B budget shortfall. With tourism at a standstill and other sectors of the state’s economy just hobbling along, Hawaii is facing a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall that the governor says he plans to shore up with a big loan from the US Treasury and budget cuts to state agencies. It’s the first time Gov. David Ige has offered specifics on how he plans to address the shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines to scale back plans to resume service. Reinstating several North America routes remain on hold but its current schedule stays on track. KITV4.

More military contracts could aid Hawaii economy. The federal government inked about $2.3 billion in defense contracts in Hawaii in 2019, with about $1.3 billion going to local businesses, an official with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Most Hawaii parents want kids in school at least part time, survey shows. About 70% of families report that their children learned “much less” or “somewhat less” when public school campuses were closed last quarter to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, new survey results show. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Education and teachers’ union agree on six feet of separation in classrooms. Hawaii’s public schools and the teachers’ union have agreed that students desks will be spaced six feet apart in classrooms in the new academic year, with anything less requiring a special exception. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOE, Teachers Union Agree To 6-Feet Spacing Rule. The teachers union and DOE came to an agreement that 6 feet of spacing in classrooms will be the norm, with anything less than that requiring a contract exception. Civil Beat.

Teachers union, DOE agree to keep students farther apart this fall. The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state Department of Education reached an agreement on physical distancing in classrooms as schools prepare to start the new academic year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Funding cut for pre-K program leaves families scrambling for care. State lawmakers cut the funding for seven positions at campuses involved in the Executive Office on Early Learning's Public Prekindergarten Program for at-risk and underserved families. Hawaii News Now.


June bankruptcies in Hawaii surged amid COVID crisis. The anticipated increase in Hawaii bankruptcies finally might be emerging as the state’s extended tourism lockdown and severe unemployment crisis take their toll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s massive unemployed population dependent on soon-expiring federal assistance. Nearly 250,000 Hawaii residents remain out of work, and will have their $600 weekly unemployment insurance payment from the federal government expire on July 31. KHON2.

Securitas is hiring, and they’re hosting a virtual job fair. While many in Hawaii face unemployment, few companies are looking to hire. One of those companies is Securitas. They’re hosting a virtual job fair Wednesday and Thursday for interested applicants. Available are more than hundred officer positions statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Number of Hawaii visitor arrivals sinks to lowest level since June. The tourists keep coming even though the state still hasn’t officially reopened Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Residents snub reopening for tourism, survey finds. A majority of Hawaii residents oppose reopening tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released this week. Star-Advertiser.


Lawmakers question whether more contact tracers are needed as more cases linked to clusters found. On Tuesday, 22 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) officials say many cases are tied to clusters. KHON2.

Hawaii inmate Tests Positive For COVID-19. The defendant and any exposed staff at the federal facility are in quarantine for 14 days. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 14: 22 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The quarantine remains in place for all incoming travelers, but schools are still on schedule to open next month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Updates: 22 New Cases Today. The Hawai’i Health Department reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 today. Nineteen cases are reported on Oahu, and three are on Hawaii Island. The number of deaths remains at 22. Hawaii Public Radio.

To date, Oahu has recorded 960 positive tests, followed by Maui County with 135 cases, Hawaii County with 105 and Kauai County with 43. West Hawaii Today.


Oahu bars, restaurants not allowed to serve liquor after midnight. Oahu bars and restaurants on Tuesday were ordered to stop serving liquor after midnight effective immediately in response to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

To slow spread of COVID-19, Oahu bars will now have to stop serving alcohol at midnight. Effective immediately, the sale and consumption of alcohol at Oahu bars after midnight is prohibited as part of new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

New mandate forces bars to stop serving alcohol at midnight in Honolulu. With cases increasing every day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is looking at ways to curb the spread of the virus. KHON2.


Clusters blamed as Hawaii sees 22 new coronavirus cases. A pau hana gathering among construction workers, workplace training at Hawaiian Airlines, exercise in indoor gyms, birthday parties, barbecues and other social gatherings are to blame for a surge in coronavirus cases, particularly on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns grow over schools reopening after infection at summer fun program. A 6-year-old attending a summer fun program in Aiea tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, raising concerns about Hawaii schools reopening in just a few weeks. Hawaii News Now.

Kym Marcos Pine says her top priority as mayor would be putting tourism in its place. Kym Marcos Pine has a vision for Oahu with far less tourism and far more homegrown jobs. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Traveling Physician at Ka‘ū Hospital Tests Positive for COVID-19. Lt. Governor Josh Green confirmed Tuesday to Big Island Now that a traveling doctor hired at Ka‘ū Hospital and Rural Health Clinic tested positive for the coronavirus last week. A town hall featuring Green and Mayor Harry Kim was held in Pahala Monday night to assuage the fears of the community there. Big Island Now.


Lee Loy amendment to fix ‘lame’ requirement of permits for window AC units. In the wake of a Department of Public Works press release that drew scorn when it was re-posted on Mayor Harry Kim’s official Facebook page, Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy has written an amendment to the construction code clarifying that building permits are not required to install a window air conditioning unit. West Hawaii Today.

County Considers Dropping Permit Requirement For Window-Mounted Air Conditioners. The Hawaiʻi County Council will consider amending the construction code at an upcoming meeting, following a social media stir over the permit requirement. Big Island Video News.

Portable, Window-Mounted Residential Air-Conditioning Units Exempt From Permit Requirements. An amendment is coming to legislation that will develop the framework for Hawai‘i County’s updated construction code. Big Island Now.


New physician assistant program could boost Big Isle health care. A physician assistant program from Washington will expand to West Hawaii this fall, but ultimately will improve access to medical care throughout Hawaii Island and the state. Tribune-Herald.

Free Financial Navigator Service Tackles COVID-19 Troubles. The County of Hawaiʻi has partnered with the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to help resident navigate COVID-related financial issues. Big Island Video News.


Old UHMC Dorms Repurposed for Emergency Housing Project. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. Maui Now.

Emergency Housing Project in Kahului blessed on Tuesday. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. KITV4.


Discounts bringing locals out. With the local economy hit hard by the nearly-100% drop in visitors since the spring, local businesses are offering discounts as a gesture to the community in a time of apprehension. Garden Island.

Free emergency water containers. There are two more days when people have the opportunity to get free emergency water containers from the county Department of Water — today at the Waimea High School grab-and-go meal site, and Thursday at the Kapa‘a High School grab-and-go meal site. Garden Island.


Molokai Vacation Rental Owners File Lawsuit To Lift Restrictions. A vacation rental association and four homeowners have filed a federal lawsuit against the county of Maui claiming their rights have been violated by restrictions placed on short-term vacation rentals on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Hawaii Public Radio.

Property owners sue over Molokai rental ban action. Permits set to expire at end of year; owners look to get them reinstated. Maui News.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hawaii delays reopening as COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, businesses concerned but poll shows majority of residents support cautious approach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook Live
Ige announces reopening delay, via Facebook Live
Hawaii Governor Delays Plan To Reopen To Tourists. All travelers — visitors as well as residents — will not be able to bypass quarantine with a negative test result until September. Civil Beat.

Ige delays plan to reopen tourism until Sept. 1 amid COVID-19 surge on the mainland. In a major blow to the tourism industry, the governor has announced plans to delay until Sept. 1 a program that would allow trans-Pacific travelers to skip quarantine in Hawaii if they test negative for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige extends start date of pre-travel testing of trans-Pacific arrivals until Sept. 1. Gov. David Ige said today that he is pushing back plans to use a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Ige To Extend Quarantine Another Month; 3 More Deaths, 23 New Cases Today. Gov. David Ige said today the state will extend the travel quarantine another month, delaying plans to ease restrictions on visitors if they test negative before taking their flights to the islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige delays implementation of plan for trans-Pacific travelers. A program that would allow out-of-state travelers to avoid a two-week quarantine upon arriving in Hawaii has been delayed until September, with officials saying the state requires more time to prepare for an influx of visitors. Tribune-Herald.

Gov postpones reopening tourism date to Sept. 1. Three more Hawaii residents have died from the coronavirus. This as the state announces it’s pushing back the reopening of tourism. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi Delays Start Of Transpacific Pre-Travel Testing Program. Governor Ige confirmed that the State will push back the program that will allow travelers from outside Hawaiʻi to bypass the 14-day quarantine with an approved pre-travel test. Big Island Video News.

Pre-Travel Testing Program Delayed to Sept. 1. For the past four months, a 14-day quarantine has been in place for travelers in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Traveler quarantine extended until Sept. 1. State officials will postpone a plan to permit tourists to travel to Hawai‘i if they obtain a negative test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure for at least 30 days, until Sept. 1. Garden Island.

State’s pretravel plan postponed to Sept. 1, Ige says. Governor points to surge in cases nationally and locally, break in test supply chain. Maui News.

Hawai‘i Trans-Pacific Travel Plans Delayed Amid COVID-19 Concerns, Spikes. Gov. David Ige this afternoon announced he is delaying the launch of the state’s pre-travel testing program by a month to Sept. 1, 2020. He also announced the extension of Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine on trans-Pacific travel to the end of August. Maui Now.

Hawaii to extend 14-day quarantine for arriving passengers through end of August. The state is postponing plans to reopen travel, Gov. David Ige announced in a press conference on Monday afternoon. Pacific Business News.


3 more Hawaii residents with coronavirus die, bringing statewide death toll to 22. Hawaii’s coronavirus death toll rose to 22, with three new fatalities reported Monday as the number of cases continue to surge locally and on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Has Three More COVID-19 Deaths. The state recorded 86 new COVID-19 cases since last Friday and says most are in previous clusters associated with community-spread. Maui Now.


Survey: 8 in 10 residents say they aren’t ready to welcome tourists back. The poll from the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center asked 600 residents for their thoughts on the state’s response to coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Survey: A Majority Of Hawaii Residents Support Coronavirus Restrictions. People in Hawaii think closing down vacation rentals and schools makes sense in the event of a serious surge, but don’t want restrictions on beach access and doctor visits. Civil Beat.


Over 150 visitors have been sent home, VASH reports. The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH) says it has sent home 156 visitors since the COVID-19 Flight Assistance Program started on April 6. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige’s decision to delay plans to reopen Hawaii tourism extends economic woes. Reaction was mixed Monday following Gov. David Ige’s decision to push back plans to use a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

‘We’re really struggling’: Tourism-dependent businesses wonder if they can make it to September. The rising coronavirus cases both in Hawaii and on the mainland have prompted Governor David Ige to delay reopening tourism until September 1st. The delay comes at a significant cost for tourism-dependent businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Governor David Ige to extend ban on housing evictions as growth in state slows. A ban on housing evictions across Hawaii will be extended through the end of August as a result of the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its on-going economic devastation across the islands. Star-Advertiser

Desperation grows as some have yet to see any unemployment benefits to make ends meet. As Hawaii's unemployment rate grows, so does the desperation of those who still have yet to receive any unemployment benefits to make ends meet. KITV4.


Local colleges to implement ‘bubble quarantine’ for out-of-state students to attend class. Major colleges and universities in Hawaii will be introducing what is called a “modified bubble quarantine” for students flying in. The Hawaii Department of Health worked with universities to create the program. KHON2.

College students coming to Hawaii may qualify for modified quarantine. Students traveling to Hawaii to attend college next month may qualify for a modified quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 and meet other health requirements, officials announced today. Star-Advertiser.

HSTA and DOE reach agreement that students will be spaced six feet apart when schools reopen. The Hawaii State Teachers Association and The Hawaii Department of Education announced the agreement on Monday after a dispute over three-foot distancing that was previously announced. KITV4.

State, teachers union come to agreement on what social distancing will mean at public schools. Under a deal announced Monday, public schools will need to get special approval if they want to configure meeting spaces or classrooms with less than 6 feet of social distancing ― and those requests must be submitted as contract exceptions no later than July 21. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Charter Schools Are Listening To Parents When It Comes To Reopening. The state’s 37 charter schools are relying heavily on parent feedback for reopening in the fall but are also worried about funding if the state cuts back its budget. Civil Beat.


Hawaii DOH cites masks, avoiding tight quarters to eliminate COVID-19 cluster spread. Recently the Centers for Disease Control added four new symptoms of COVID-19, making the list 11. KHON2.

China blasted by U.S. for unlawful bullying in South China Sea. The United States stepped up its rhetoric and maybe its game Monday in a condemnation of what it called China’s unlawful bullying in the South China Sea. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawai‘i's Pacific Island Ocean Observing System will receive $4,260,603 in federal funding to observe and monitor sea levels, tides, currents, waves, and temperatures.  $4.2 million in federal funding will help improve forecasting of severe weather events, like king tides and hurricanes, in the Central Pacific. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiian Electric submits request to expedite electric bus pilot program. Hawaiian Electric is asking the Public Utilities Commission to speed the adoption of electric buses in public, private and school bus fleets on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island, with the approval of what the utility calls an eBus Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot Project. Pacific Business News.


Coronavirus Cluster At Hawaiian Airlines Ignites Outbreak At Oahu Gyms. At least two dozen Hawaiian Airlines employees contracted COVID-19 at a training in late June. One infected employee who visited a pair of Oahu gyms set off a second disease cluster. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State Department of Health traces 44 COVID-19 cases to a single person. The Hawai'i State Department of Health has traced 44 cases of COVID-19 on O'ahu to a single person. KITV4.

Surfrider Foundation challenges Hawaii military sea wall. Marine Corps Base Hawaii conducted an environmental assessment that found the wall at its Puuloa Range Training Facility would have no significant impact on the human or natural environment at Ewa Beach. KITV4.

City posts warnings at Diamond Head oceanfront path. The saga of the public access to transit the shoreline on the walkway topping the Diamond Head sea wall seems to have reached closure, at least for now. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki’s Halekulani Hotel announces closure until mid-2021. Management at Waikiki’s famed Halekulani Hotel informed employees on Monday that the property was closing until July 2021 for a series of renovations it says it can no longer wait to complete. Hawaii News Now.

Rick Blangiardi says he can lead Oahu out of crisis, but he’s still crafting the specifics. Among the five front-runners vying to become Honolulu’s mayor, three have spent years serving in public office and two — Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi — are trying to convince voters why that’s not a prerequisite for the job. Hawaii News Now.

Money chest best for Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi in race for Honolulu mayor. First-time political candidates Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi reported the largest war chests for this year’s Honolulu mayor’s race, but former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and City Councilwoman Kym Pine also have raised significant amounts of funds for the hotly contested campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kona Community Hospital employee tests positive for COVID-19. A Kona Community Hospital employee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the hospital confirmed Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Community Hospital Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19. A Kona Community Hospital employee was positively diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday and is currently in quarantine at home. Big Island Now.

Public pools reopen amid pandemic. From dedicated swim team members getting in lap time to kupuna enjoying some water aerobics, the Kona Community Aquatic Center was bustling with action — that is as much action as permitted amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Charges dropped in bizarre Home Depot incident. Video evidence reportedly cleared a Pahoa man arrested July 7 after a 24-year-old Volcano woman reported finding a zip tie on her vehicle in the Hilo Home Depot parking lot, leading her and others to use vehicles to block the lot’s entrances and exits. Tribune-Herald.


Ritte outraises incumbent DeCoite. House District 13 candidate and prominent Native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte has amassed nearly $40,000 in donations since launching his campaign to unseat Rep. Lynn DeCoite, including contributions from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and controversial actress and comedian Roseanne Barr. Maui News.

Ballots to be mailed starting Tuesday. Ballot packages for the primary election are set to be mailed out beginning Tuesday, County Clerk Kathy Kaohu announced. Maui News.


Kaua‘i resident dies of COVID. The Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control Division reports an elderly Kaua‘i resident is the 22nd recorded COVID-19 death. Garden Island.

Virtual County Council candidate forum Thursday. County Council candidates will be discussing key issues on Thursday, July 16 in a virtual forum set to run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Garden Island.

Art Cafe Hemingway facing eviction. A once-bustling cafe and its owners are now on the brink of eviction facing a back rent of over $25,000 and less than 10 days to either pay that sum or turn in their keys. Garden Island.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Schools release pandemic reopening plans, candidates report campaign war chests, churches get millions in federal PPP grants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Wheeler Elementary School
Social distancing at a Hawaii school PC:Wheeler Elementary School
Most Hawaii public schools will blend in-person and distance learning when classes resume. Principals selected different learning models in consultation with their staff and communities, campus by campus, for the new academic year. Star-Advertiser.

‘Learning models’ selected: Big Island schools choose plans for handling instruction when classes resume. With less than a month before students return to class, Hawaii’s public schools have made decisions about how to deliver instruction amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii COVID-19 Forecast Tool Launched. A new online tool gives a 14-day prediction about how many cases, hospitalizations and fatalities Hawaii is facing. A new forecasting tool estimates Hawaii could see between 248 and 285 new COVID-19 cases confirmed within the next two weeks. Civil Beat.

Shuttered Churches, Temples Got Millions From Feds. A federal program designed to help small businesses also helped bail out hundreds of churches and other religious organizations that were largely shut down amidst stay-at-home orders. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Lawmakers Close Legislative Session Upended By Virus. Hawaii lawmakers on Friday wrapped up a legislative session upended by the coronavirus pandemic that forced weekslong breaks in proceedings, the state Capitol building to close and some meetings to be held via teleconference. Associated Press.

Hawaii Lawmakers Salvage Bills Despite Pandemic. Some priority measures to protect the environment and expand access to preschool advanced but others to regulate Uber and Lyft and reform gun laws died at the last minute. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Pass Bill That Phases Out Coal-Powered Energy in State. Lawmakers passed a bill that will phase out the use of coal in Hawai‘i by the end of 2022. Big Island Now.

Bill that would’ve expanded evidence against alleged domestic abusers is deferred. A measure aimed at protecting survivors of Domestic Violence was deferred at the Capitol Friday. House Bill 2610 would have allowed prosecutors to use some of the victim’s statements to first responders against alleged abusers. Hawaii News Now.

Incumbents Maintain Money Advantage In Hawaii Legislative Races. Several seats have opened up though as some lawmakers decide to seek other elected posts or leave public office. Civil Beat.


There’s good news for besieged ohia trees. Researchers for the first time have shown that ohia seedlings can survive for at least a year in forests afflicted by rapid ohia death — a glimmer of hope for a beleaguered species that has lost more than a million individuals since the disease was discovered in Hawaii a decade ago. Star-Advertiser.

Forest Restoration After Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death May Be Possible, Study Shows. Scientists have found that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. Big Island Video News.


Hawaii Updates: 21 New Cases After Record-Setting Day. Hawaii saw 21 new reported COVID-19 cases today after yesterday's record-setting 42 infections. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 12: 21 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Once again, most of the new cases were on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Amemiya, Alm Lead Campaign Money Races For Mayor, Prosecutor. Primary election voting by mail starts in just over a week. Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa: ‘You Don’t Need Someone Who Needs Training Wheels’. The former congresswoman has two decades of political experience and government service behind her. Now she wants to be Honolulu’s mayor. Civil Beat.

Voting machines tested for accuracy ahead of this year’s primary election.  In just over a week, the state will begin mailing out the ballots for this year’s primary election. Ahead of that, state election officials on Saturday tested the voting machines for accuracy. Hawaii News Now.


Many maskless people enjoy ‘Open Street Kalakaua’ in Waikiki while COVID-19 continues to spread. Hundreds of people — many without masks — flooded onto Waikiki’s shuttered Kalakaua Avenue on foot, bicycles, skateboards and roller skates to enjoy a traffic-free Sunday while worries of contracting COVID-19 lingered in the backdrop. Star-Advertiser.

Despite hesitance from some, city holds a ‘Dine in Chinatown’ event. An effort to boost business in Chinatown went took place this past weekend, despite criticism from some. Hawaii News Now.


6 COVID-19 cases tied to a cluster at the Pearl City Nursing Home. A total of six cases have now been reported at the Pearl City Nursing Home. Officials say the cluster began when a staff member found out they tested positive on Thursday and immediately notified the facility. Hawaii News Now.

Four residents, two workers test positive for COVID-19 at Pearl City Nursing Home. Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group Hawaii said his team was brought in to Pearl City Nursing Home to test about 100 residents and 200 workers on Friday and Saturday. Four residents and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. KITV4.


Proposed Ewa Beach sea wall raises concerns. An August 2019 environmental assessment by MCBH said the proposed 10-foot-high, 1,500-foot-wide steel wall would have no significant impact on the human or natural environment. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth leads the pack: Mayoral candidates report campaign contributions. Mayoral candidate Mitch Roth charged ahead of the pack raising money in the race for the county’s top spot, collecting more than $148,000, primarily from big-money donors. West Hawaii Today.

Pro-business donors step up for County Council challengers: Incumbents Villegas and Kanealii-Kleinfelder outspent. Two freshman County Council members face formidable opposition in the campaign fundraising department, with pro-business challengers to both Kona Councilwoman Rebecca Villegas and Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder raising twice as much as the incumbents. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Mayor’s Race Could Hinge On Winning The Leeward Vote. More than a dozen candidates are vying to unseat Mayor Harry Kim and lead the county through the economic crisis. Civil Beat.


Sewage Discharge Enters Kailua Bay, Closes Aliʻi Drive. 20,000 gallons of sewage entered Kailua Bay due to a broken sewer line, health officials reported on Saturday. Big Island Video News.

Sewage spill closes Kailua Bay. It was unknown how much sewage entered Kailua Bay, but swimmers were told to get out of the water and signs were immediately posted warning of contaminated water. West Hawaii Today.

County Pools Reopen Monday, With New Rules. The County of Hawaiʻi will be posting COVID-19 Modified Pool Rules at each facility, which will operate on modified schedules with interim rules in place. Big Island Video News.

Mayor: ‘We are looking at a later date’. Victorino addresses Aug. 1 easing of travel rulesDespite the state’s recent announcement that it will relax requirements to enter Hawaii come Aug. 1, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Friday that the reopening may be delayed due to rising COVID-19 cases on Oahu and the U.S. Mainland. Maui News.

Maui Trans-Pacific Flights Increase to Four on Saturday. On Saturday, 2,296 people arrived in Hawaiʻi, including 600 visitors and 635 returning residents, according to new data compiled by the state Department of Transportation and released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Stricter term limits, Agriculture Department pass its first test. Dividing up Department of Housing and Human Concerns fails. Maui News.

Maui County starts economic recovery task force. The Mayor's Economic Resiliency Task Force aims to provide help and hope to struggling County merchants. KITV4.

Wildberger, Couch in rematch for South Maui district seat. Incumbent state lawmaker defends seat against former council member. Maui News.


2020 Primary Election ballots to go out to Kauai voters on July 14. Ballots for the 2020 Primary Election will be mailed out on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, to Kauai voters. KHON2.

Path easement moving forward. For a portion of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal pedestrian and bicycle path, the county is seeking to use eminent domain on a piece of property an owner wants to sell for over 10 times the appraised value. Garden Island.

‘Innovative’ dusk. The drive-in format marked the reopening of the Coconut Marketplace’s free family movie night program following a period of closure due to COVID-19 guidelines and rules. Garden Island.

Volunteers net tons of nets. With a depleted group of volunteers because of COVID-19, the Surfrider Foundation continues to conduct giant Net Patrols every Wednesday. Garden Island.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Hawaii rethinking reopening to tourists, Health Department to shut down noncomplying restaurants, shipper Young Brothers seeks 47% rate increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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County Mayors To Ige: We’re Not Ready To Welcome Back Tourists. With new surges of COVID-19 cases in key states and a sudden disruption in Hawaii’s testing capacity, Hawaii’s county mayors want the state to rethink its planned Aug. 1 tourism reopening date. Civil Beat.

As COVID-19 infections surge on mainland, mayor casts doubt on plan to reopen tourism. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell cast doubt Thursday on the feasibility of the state’s plan to reopen tourism Aug. 1, saying he no longer thinks allowing visitors to avoid quarantine starting next month if they test negative for COVID-19 is safe for everyone. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the decision to reopen Hawaii tourism may be pushed back. Caldwell said it’s an agonizingly painful balancing act of public health and safety and economic viability and survival, and he is unsure of the best course. Star-Advertiser.

Kim says he cannot support Ige’s plan for trans-Pacific visitors. Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday that he will not support a plan by Gov. David Ige to loosen out-of-state travel restrictions on Aug. 1 without significant improvements. Tribune-Herald.

Reservations about reopening. Gov. David Ige and Hawai‘i’s four county mayors met Thursday for the third time this week to try to address the increasingly urgent question of whether the state can safely reopen to tourists on Aug. 1. Garden Island.

State and County Leaders Evaluate Timing of Hawai‘i’s August 1 Pre-Test Program Rollout. Two weeks ago, the state announced plans to start a pre-travel COVID-19 testing program on Aug. 1, 2020.  Maui Now.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says state should delay lifting mandatory quarantine. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made it clear on Thursday that she wants the state to delay lifting the 14-day quarantine for travelers. KITV4.

Shortage of COVID-19 tests nationally throws cold water on Hawaii’s tourism reopening plan. The program is still set to begin Aug. 1, and would allow incoming travelers to avoid the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for coronavirus no more than 72 hours before they land. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 test supply could affect reopening of trans-Pacific travel. Hawaii’s influx in COVID-19 cases has state and county lawmakers reconsidering plans to move forward with a pre-travel testing program set for August. KHON2.

Mainland supplier of coronavirus testing equipment says it reduced, but not cut off, supplies to Hawaii lab. The mainland supplier of one of Hawaii’s largest COVID-19 testing laboratories said today that it has not cut off the supplies of chemicals needed to continue to run tests locally, but has temporarily reduced the volume of test kits due to a surge in coronavirus cases across the country. Star-Advertiser.

"We need more testing immediately" Hawaii doctor cautions against testing complacency. The Hawaii Department of Health reports the state's capacity is 2,400 tests per day. KITV4.

How postponing lifting travel restrictions could affect workers in the tourism industry. The governor and the mayors met for the second day to discuss plans to lift the quarantine on August 1. KHON2.

Frustrated Hawaii businesses feel a further delay could result in “economic catastrophe”. Hawaii residents and businesses are worried they won’t survive a delay in the planned reopening of tourism on Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Health Department to shut down restaurants and bars flouting coronavirus precautions. The Department of Health Food Safety Branch will issue red placards temporarily suspending the operations of restaurants, bars and other eateries that do not comply with rules that include physical distancing and the wearing of masks. Under state law, health inspectors can temporarily close food establishments that pose a danger to public health. Star-Advertiser.

Health Dept Cracks Down On COVID Safety In Restaurants. The Health Department is handing out color-coded placards to help the public identify which restaurants are in compliance with guidelines. Civil Beat.

DOH, county work to enforce virus mitigation rules. The state Department of Health will take a tougher stance against restaurants not following COVID-19 mitigation policies as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise throughout the state. Tribune-Herald.

DOH Will Temporarily Close Restaurants, Bars Not Complying With Social Distancing. The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is taking new steps to ensure rood establishments implement appropriate social distancing guidance. Big Island Now.

DOH to issue color-coded placards. Restaurants could be shut down by the state if they don’t enforce social distancing or other pandemic guidelines, and the Hawaii Health Department issued a press release Thursday reminding food establishments of the “serious consequences” should they fail to follow the emergency rules. Garden Island.

Health Dept. to Issue Red Placards to Restaurants and Bars that Violate COVID-19 Mandates. The Hawai‘i Department of Health today announced it will begin issuing red placards to restaurants and bars that violate physical distancing and other mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maui Now.


Gun control bills hang in the balance as lawmakers wrap up the legislative session. Some key bills hang in the balance today as lawmakers try to wrap up this year’s unprecedented three-part legislative session where much of the work was done inside a locked state Capitol that was closed to the public because of the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Bills Relating to Firearm Registration and Ag Buildings Pass Final Reading. The Hawai‘i State Senate passed final reading SB3054 SD2 HD1 and SB2701 HD2 relating to firearm registration and agricultural buildings, respectively. Maui Now.


Lawmakers debate testing for nursing homes. State lawmakers held an informational briefing Thursday to discuss how COVID-19 outbreaks such as the ones that occurred at the state’s largest nursing home last month and at smaller care homes can be prevented. Star-Advertiser.

Plans For Increasing COVID-19 Testing At Care Homes On Hold. A shortage of testing supplies at private labs is forcing the state department of health to shift gears and be more strategic in its testing plan, health officials said. Civil Beat.

Legislative members, healthcare workers on preventing the spread of COVID in nursing homes. House committee members met Thursday, July 9, with health officials and health care workers to discuss how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in nursing homes. KHON2.


Bill would make Rep. Takayama eligible to run for Sen. Harimoto’s seat. Twelve days after the death of state Sen. Breene Harimoto, the House Judiciary Committee proposed a change in state election law that would make committee member Rep. Gregg Taka­yama eligible to run to serve out the last two years of Harimoto’s term. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige appoints Bennette Misalucha to the late Breene Harimoto’s Hawaii Senate seat. Gov. David Ige has appointed Bennette Misalucha to fill the late Sen. Breene Harimoto’s state Senate seat until the general election, according to a statement today from the governor’s office. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Appoints Bennette Misalucha To State Senate. The former lobbyist replaces Breene Harimoto, who died last month. Civil Beat.


Young Bros. seeks 47% emergency rate increase. Without a financial lifeline from the state, Young Brothers has requested regulators approve an emergency or temporary rate increase of nearly 47% — or $30.4 million — to sustain interisland cargo services through year’s end. West Hawaii Today.

Young Brothers seeks emergency increase in rates. Young Brothers LLC, which has been seeking a $25 million bailout from the state to avoid insolvency, has ratcheted up its plea for aid by filing a motion with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for an emergency rate increase that would boost the company’s revenue by about $30 million and keep its interisland cargo transport services afloat. Star-Advertiser.

Young Bros. Requests Rate Increase. Young Brothers, LLC made an emergency request of the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Tuesday asking for a temporary rate increase for the remainder of 2020. Big Island Now.

Young Brothers asks for temporary rate increase. The company made an emergency request to the Public Utilities Commission. KHON2.


Public schools identify which teaching models they’ll use come fall. The state Department of Education has released new details on what the upcoming school year will look like at individual campuses, but some concerns are being raised. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii schools select learning models, but teachers union raises concerns. The Board of Education heard from concerned teachers and parents on Thursday, July 9, about the state’s plans to reopen schools. KHON2.

Hawaii school board members hear thousands “speak with one voice”. More than 2,000 people flooded the Board of Education with written testimony Thursday, most pleading to keep students 6 feet apart and require they wear masks when they return to school next month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii debates how close kids can get after school reopening. Hawaii public schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto drew opposition when she said children’s desks could be as close as 3 feet (0.91 meters) if facing forward. KITV4.


Hawaii records 36 new coronavirus cases as statewide total rises to 1,130. Hawaii health officials added 36 new confirmed coronavirus cases today to the statewide total number of infections, which now stands at 1,130 since the start of the outbreak in February. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Updates: 36 New Cases; Survey: 40% Unable To Pay June Rent; Arrivals Exceed 700. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates For Thursday, July 9th: 36 New Cases. Big Island Video News.


Senate bill paving way for new Aloha Stadium dies in Hawaii Legislature. A bill crucial to the progress of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District suffered an 11th-hour death at the state Legislature, which is sure to delay the project for at least a year and drive up already-escalating costs, lawmakers said today. Star-Advertiser.

‘Monumental error’ could delay Aloha Stadium redevelopment another year. After years of debate and planning, the Aloha Stadium redevelopment might be delayed another year. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Prison Oversight Commission: ‘Maybe We’ve Been Forgotten’. Commissioners say the state is stalling the hiring process of a director, while pushing forward to pursue a public-private partnership for a new Oahu jail complex. Civil Beat.

Multiple COVID-19 cases connected to Hawaii State Hospital temporarily halt construction at site. Health officials say there are now nine COVID-19 cases related to the Hawaii State Hospital and some of those cases temporarily halted construction at the Kaneohe campus. Hawaii News Now.

Keith Amemiya: Political Outsider Or Establishment Insider?. Despite deep political ties to numerous state and local officials, Keith Amemiya says he has the fresh perspective that Honolulu needs in the mayor’s office. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor Candidate RJ Brown: 'Better Days Are Ahead For The Office'. Honolulu's prosecutor's office has been operating under a cloud since a federal probe targeted Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro as part of a corruption scandal that ensnared former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

PUC dismisses power purchase agreement between Honua Ola, Hawaiian Electric. The state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday dismissed an amended power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Electric Co. and Honua Ola, formerly known as Hu Honua. Tribune-Herald.

Hu Honua bioenergy project fails to get PUC approval. The state Public Utilities Commission has rejected a request from Hawaii Electric Light Co., the Big Island power company, to waive competitive bidding on the long-stalled and nearly completed $350 million Hu Honua Biomass Project. Star-Advertiser.

Hu Honua Bioenergy Project Fails To Get Needed Approvals. The Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission has dealt another regulatory blow to the planned bioenergy project on the Hāmākua coast. Big Island Video News.

Utilities commission rejects Hu Honua’s deal to provide energy for HECO. The state Public Utilities Commission rejected a proposal by Hu Honua Bioenergy on Thursday to provide electricity to Hawaiian Electric Co. in a move the company says will lead to the loss of more than 200 jobs. Hawaii News Now.

Home, sweet home: Prosecutors move into new digs in Kona. The West Hawaii Civic Center welcomed the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to its campus this week as the long-awaited building was finally ready for occupancy. West Hawaii Today.


Agreement reached on Pi‘ilani Promenade. LUC OKs plan that returns to original concept, nixes ‘megamall’. Maui News.

Community input is being sought for an upcoming solar project on Maui. Developers are holding a virtual open house Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on the proposed plan in Kihei. Hawaii News Now.

Input Sought on Creating Safer Maui Roads. The public is invited to attend Vision Zero Maui’s Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 4 p.m. to learn about Maui roadway safety concerns and priorities in developing an action plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries. Maui Now.

Person treated for COVID-19 visits DMVL office. Individual not a risk but Kihei site closed for cleaning. Maui News.


Anti-Styrofoam bill amended. A bill first introduced in February that would restrict the use and sale of styrofoam foodservice containers is being amended and pushed off due to economic uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Garden Island.

Council debriefed on climate change. Former Mayor Bernard Carvalho had a 10-year county-wide goal of reducing emissions from county government operations by 30% by 2023. Garden Island.

Trump signs disaster declaration for Kauai storm damage. President Donald Trump today signed a disaster declaration for Kauai in connection with the heavy rain and flooding that occurred on March 27 and 28, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hawaii short of COVID-19 testing materials as governor and mayors mull continuing quarantine past Aug. 1, Legislature kills bill giving health director power to declare emergencies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

via Zoom
Gov. David Ige and Hawaii mayors via Zoom
Gov. David Ige and the state’s mayors will meet again to decide whether to lift the 14-day travel quarantine. After a marathon meeting Wednesday, Gov. David Ige, the county mayors and health officials will reconvene today to make a final determination on lifting the 14-day self-quarantine restriction that has largely kept tourists from visiting the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Discussion continues between mayors, governor on whether to postpone lifting Hawaii’s travel quarantine. After a five-hour meeting on Wednesday, July 8, the governor and the mayors are still trying to figure out a path forward for the state regarding travel. KHON2.


Hawaii’s coronavirus testing capability to be reduced in half after mainland company cuts off supplies. One of Hawaii’s largest COVID-19 testing laboratories has been cut off from its mainland supplier of chemicals needed to continue to run tests locally due to a surge in coronavirus cases across the country. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 surge on the mainland leads to shortage of testing supplies in Hawaii. A surge in new COVID-19 cases on the mainland is impacting how many coronavirus tests can be conducted in Hawaii each day. Diagnostic Laboratory Services, the largest locally-own lab in the islands, said its capacity for COVID-19 testing in Hawaii has been reduced from about 800 tests a day to 250. Hawaii News Now.

Surge in mainland cases impacting Hawaii’s testing capabilities. Dr. Scott Miscovich, who has been involved with COVID-19 testings on Oahu, says that the high demand for testing supplies in other states means our testing capabilities are going to be cut in half. KHON2.

Primary Hawaii virus testing lab loses services of supplier. Dr. Scott Miscovich, who leads broad testing efforts across the islands, said the supply loss means means the state’s testing capacity has been cut in half to about 2,500 daily. KITV4.


Hawaii Lawmakers Won’t Give Health Director Broad COVID-19 Screening Powers. A controversial bill that outlined a state health department screening response during public health emergencies has died at the state Capitol. Civil Beat.

New ICE rule won’t effect international students in Hawaii as universities plan to resume in-person classes. The University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University says it plans to resume in-person classes this fall. The decision helps international students in Hawaii facing deportation under a new federal rule. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii debates how close is too close for kids in classrooms. As Hawaii’s public schools gear up to reopen next month, one question has proved to be a lightning rod of concern: How close is too close in the classroom? Star-Advertiser.

Delay in tourism reopening could spell economic disaster for Hawaii. As the state ponders pushing back the reopening of the tourism industry from August 1, Hawaii’s economic driver remains in limbo. KHON2.


United Airlines anticipates 386 Hawaii job furloughs. United Airlines expects to furlough 332 employees at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and an additional 54 at Kahului Airport for six months or longer beginning around Oct. 1, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hammer the airline industry and stifle Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Star-Advertiser.

United Airlines workers in Hawaii face layoffs as air travel industry struggles. United Airlines is preparing to make major layoffs beginning in October, and workers at two Hawaii airports appear to be in danger of losing their jobs. Hawaii News Now.


Coal-Burning Ban Among Measures On Track To Clear Hawaii Legislature. Bills to regulate Lyft and Uber, prohibit sea walls and reform gun laws also have agreement between the House and Senate ahead of a final vote Friday. Civil Beat.

The Māʻili Measure: How Hawaiʻi Determines Damages for Thousands of Native Hawaiians. Thousands of Native Hawaiians are set to receive financial compensation from the state in a historic breach-of-trust case recently decided by Hawaiʻiʻs Supreme Court. Hawaii Public Radio.

Court official to oversee damages for Hawaiian homesteads. A court-appointed special master will determine the damages distributed to each plaintiff in a 1999 class-action lawsuit. KITV4.

Coronavirus Is Disrupting Cadaver Dissection At UH. COVID-19 is prompting the University of Hawaii to reduce some of its teaching programs, including a foundational course in human dissection. Civil Beat.

General gets fourth star, takes over command of Pacific Air Forces. A command pilot with 71 combat missions and eight prior Pacific postings — including most recently as deputy commander of U.S. Forces Korea — took over as head of Pacific Air Forces Wednesday in command of approximately 46,000 airmen serving mainly in Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Alaska and Guam. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii adds 23 new coronavirus cases as statewide total rises to 1,094. Hawaii health officials counted 23 new coronavirus cases today, bringing the statewide total number of infections to 1,094 since the start of the outbreak in February. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Updates: 23 New Cases Today; No Rollback After Sharp Spike; Kauai: TVRs Not For Quarantines. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOH Reports 23 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports 23 new COVID-19 cases statewide bringing the cumulative total to 1,094. Big Island Now.


As US cases surge, council asks state to ‘consider’ delaying changes to travel restrictions. The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass a resolution that asks the governor to ‘consider’ pausing his plan ― which is currently scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1. Hawaii News Now.

Council holds off on $26M bond for rail. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday voted to hold off passing a measure to approve the sale of $26 million in general revenue bonds to help finance the city’s $9.2 billion, 20-mile rail project. Star-Advertiser.

Top contenders for Honolulu mayor make their case in ‘The Job Interview'. Hawaii’s primary election is just a month away, and the five leading candidates for Honolulu mayor are scrambling to make sure their messages are heard at a time when traditional campaigning is impossible and the scale of crisis facing the city is unprecedented. Hawaii News Now.

Rick Blangiardi: This Former TV Exec Wants To Be CEO Of Honolulu. Rick Blangiardi regularly used his platform on Hawaii News Now to criticize from the sidelines. Now he admits he doesn’t have all the answers either. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell reaffirms support for Doug Chin to Police Commission. Mayor Kirk Caldwell appeared before the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday to reaffirm his support for Honolulu Police Commission nominee Doug Chin, whose appointment has run into opposition headed by a group dedicated to progressive causes. Star-Advertiser.

Walk-on visits to USS Arizona Memorial to resume Friday. The National Park Service is resuming a “limited number” of USS Arizona Memorial programs on Friday with visits to the sunken battleship and grave. Star-Advertiser.

New Deal Reached To Fix Laniakea Parking, Traffic And Safety Problems. For years, the North Shore beach has been a notorious traffic choke point and an unsafe crossing for visitors. A new court agreement could change that. Civil Beat.

Bishop Museum now permanent home of 2 artifacts gifted to Captain Cook. Two cherished artifacts once gifted to Captain Cook in the 18th century can once again call Hawaii home. An ʻahu ʻula and mahiole, (feather cloak and traditional helmet) once owned by Hawaiian Chief Kalani’opu’u will be held in trust by Bishop Museum. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Yes, window AC units require building permits in Hawaii County: DPW said energy code requires it, but it may be amended. West Hawaii Today.

Council provides CARES input. Bolstered by nonbinding resolutions seeking financial bailouts for very small and women-owned businesses, the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday unanimously passed an $80 million relief package tapping into federal coronavirus funds. West Hawaii Today.

Council Votes To Help Small Businesses During Pandemic. The Hawaiʻi County Council passed a resolution urging the administration to use $5 million in CARES Act money to fund a micro-grant program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Video News.

Resolution urges gender equality in COVID-19 recovery programs. The Hawaii County Council was very supportive Wednesday of a resolution urging the county administration to consider gender differences when crafting COVID-19 recovery programs. Tribune-Herald.

Resolution urges action to find ways for Young Brothers to resume full cargo service to the Big Island. Hawaii County Council members joined a growing list of elected officials calling for government support for Young Brothers to resume regular intra-state shipping. Tribune-Herald.

Young Brothers Shipping Solutions Sought By Council.  Councilmembers are hoping that the inter-island shipping company can take advantage of federal resources under America's Marine Highway program. Big Island Video News.


Proposals to limit terms, create new departments on tap. 6 charter changes up for first reading Friday in council. Six proposals that would limit terms for the mayor and council members, create departments for housing and agriculture and make other changes to county government will be considered by the Maui County Council on Friday. Maui News.

3000 Acres Burned in Hāli‘imaile Brush Fire: Haleakalā Hwy OPEN, Hāli‘imaile Rd CLOSED. An ongoing brush fire that started early Wednesday morning, has now burned an estimated 3,000 acres of brush. Maui Now.

Paia residents urged to remain vigilant as crews continue to battle large brush fire in Hali’imaile. Overnight, Maui fire department crews cut a large firebreak to protect residents in the area of Skill Village. KHON2.


Kaua'i Mayor expresses alarm over recent rise in COVID-19 cases. The Garden Isle's 10-week streak of being COVID-19 free ended on June 18 when a person who did not show symptoms tested positive. KITV4.

Kaua‘i residents reflect, consider reopening to transpacific travel. Since Mayor Derek Kawakami signed the first emergency proclamation relating to COVID-19 on March 4, life has been different for business owners and residents on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Another round of amending the Housing Policy. The county’s Housing Policy that was first enacted over a decade ago is seeing a set of revisions after it had not produced the affordable housing results the county originally intended. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i United Way secures relief funds. Noon, July 22 to the Kaua‘i United Way is the deadline for organizations wishing to be considered for funding from the federal Emergency Food &Shelter program designed to provide food, rent, utility and other assistance to people in need. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Spike in COVID-19 cases, holes in testing protocol threaten Hawaii reopening plans, doctor calls for halt to quarantine lifting, governor to meet with mayors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Health
COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, Department of Health
Experts say Hawaii on track to see more spikes in COVID-19 cases. With COVID-19 cases spiking and mask wearing mixed, some experts are concerned that the new number of new infections will continue to swell. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s CVS trans-pacific testing partnership leaves holes for 72-hour window. To help with testing travelers, the state has partnered with CVS, but there may be some issues with the program, including a requirement that would make the partnership practically useless to Hawaii residents. KHON2.

Mayors to meet with governor on plans to lift travel quarantine amid COVID-19 spike. On Wednesday, Governor David Ige will meet with county mayors to discuss plans moving forward. KHON2.

Prominent Hawaii doctor says state should delay plan for trans-Pacific visitors. One of Hawaii’s most visible physicians on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic said Tuesday that Gov. David Ige should rethink the state’s plan to allow out-of-state visitors who arrive with a negative COVID-19 test in hand to bypass a 14-day quarantine starting Aug. 1. Tribune-Herald.

Ige says spike in new COVID-19 infections is manageable, but warns that could change. The governor sought Tuesday to reassure residents that an alarming spike in new COVID-19 infections is “manageable right now,” but warned that could change quickly and said more surges in infection might close some businesses or delay tourism’s reopening. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige says Hawaii is ‘well prepared’ to deal with coronavirus spike as the state marks its highest daily increase in new cases. Hawaii officials are urging residents to remain vigilant as the state marked its highest daily surge in new coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii officials react to highest case count in a single day since COVID-19 pandemic began. Governor David Ige claims the numbers are expected and manageable and that the state is prepared, while Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson calls the trends disturbing. KITV4.

State reports highest daily number of new COVID cases since March. Tuesday’s total was the largest reported daily number of cases since the state’s pandemic emergency was declared March 4, eclipsing the previous high of 34 cases on April 3. Tribune-Herald.

41 New COVID-19 Cases in Hawai‘i Marks Largest Single Day Increase. There are 41 new COVID-19 cases reported for Hawaiʻi today, marking the largest single day increase in cases since the pandemic began. Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 7: 41 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. A record number of COVID-19 cases were confirmed Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates For Tuesday, July 7th: 41 New Cases Reported. The majority of the newly reported COVID-19 cases are on Oʻahu, state health officials announced today at noon. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Updates: 41 New COVID Cases Set Record; Bar, Gym Clusters May Prompt Reopening Rollback. The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 41 new cases of COVID-19, a state record for daily cases since the pandemic began. Thirty-eight cases are on Oahu, 2 on Kauai and 1 on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

A colored placard system could soon identify businesses abiding by COVID precautions. The Health Department's Food Safety Branch said once the plan is approved by the Attorney General’s office, details will be released. But it could very well be similar to the health inspection placard system for restaurants and food safety. Hawaii News Now.


Kouchi business gets PPP funds. A company that Hawaii Senate President Ronald Kouchi owns shares in and is employed by received a small business coronavirus relief loan from the U.S. government, according to data released by the Small Business Administration. Associated Press.

Lawmaker honored at memorial service held at state Capitol. Precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19 might have kept crowds of mourners away from Tuesday’s memorial service for state Sen. Breene Harimoto at the state Capitol, but legislative colleagues and other officials were there to offer ample praise for a man they described as humble and courageous. Star-Advertiser.


U.S. steps up firepower as China consolidates gains in South China Sea. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike groups recently demonstrated what the Navy called “unmatched sea power” while conducting rare dual-carrier operations in the South China Sea, as military muscle flexing continues on both sides of growing discord in the region. Star-Advertiser.

Aggressive seaweed smothers one of world’s most remote reefs. Researchers say a recently discovered species of seaweed is killing large patches of coral on once-pristine reefs and is rapidly spreading across one of the most remote and protected ocean environments on earth. Associated Press.


Mayoral candidates offer ideas for tackling homelessness. A dozen candidates for Honolulu mayor presented a wide variety of approaches to the vexing issue of homelessness on the island during an early morning forum Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Mufi Hannemann: He Was Mayor Once Before. Will That Help Or Hurt With Voters? In the Honolulu mayor’s race, a seasoned politician like Hannemann can tout his successes but also has a long record ripe for scrutiny.  Civil Beat.


Mother and son among 4 city employees with positive coronavirus tests. Four city employees have now tested positive for COVID-19, including the latest: an employee who works out of a Halawa base yard clearing sewage wastewater drains and his mother, who works for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, city officials said today. Star-Advertiser.

4th Honolulu Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19. A mother and son tested positive as Hawaii hit its highest number of daily cases yet. Civil Beat.


New program hopes to keep fishing afloat. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday announced a new “fish to dish” program to help Hawaii’s ailing fishing industry. Star-Advertiser.

City throws a line to the longline fishing industry with a new program. Nearly 350,000 fish portions will be distributed to Oahu families over the next five months. Hawaii News Now.


Voters who miss registering online still have options. With the state this year switching to a “vote by mail” format, Oahu residents who don’t register online may register at voter service centers at Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale from July 27 through Aug. 8, primary election day. Star-Advertiser.

New stadium plan expected to pass Senate. State lawmakers are poised this week to pass the last major piece of stadium legislation before the state begins soliciting bids for a public-private partnership in the development of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. Star-Advertiser.

Iwilei ballrooms fall victim to pandemic. The Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery — dependent on large gatherings that are no longer allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic — closed for good Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 Positive Individuals Visited Big Island on Business Trip, State Says. Details on the cluster were sparse and did not include the name of the business that planned the trip, the location from which the group traveled to the Big Island, or how many people were part of the group. Park did say that the interisland travelers in question visited both sides of Hawai‘i Island and that a few have already tested positive for COVID-19. The rest are currently under self-quarantine. Big Island Now.

Factory-built housing raises concerns: Council committee advances 197-page construction code revamp. A County Council panel tried to balance affordable housing and jobs Tuesday before advancing the framework for a revamped construction code folding in building, plumbing, electrical and energy components. West Hawaii Today.

Resolution calls for halt to controversial 5G development. The Hawaii County Council will consider pursuing action to bar 5G cellular network development on the Big Island until the controversial technology is proven to be safe. Tribune-Herald.

Bill would incentivize conservation, reforestation of native trees. As part of an effort to stimulate reforestation efforts on the Big Island, the County Council will consider a bill that would lower property taxes for owners of certain forest lands. Tribune-Herald.


County not looking at furloughs, pay cuts. Governor said cuts may be inevitable as federal funds run out. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Monday that pay cuts and furloughs for county workers are not being considered at this time, but added that “nothing’s off the table” as Hawaii continues to feel the economic effects of COVID-19. Maui News.

Proposed Charter Amendments on Friday’s Council Agenda. Six proposals to reform the structure of Maui County’s government will be considered for passage on first reading on Friday at 9 a.m., Councilmember Michael J. Molina announced today. Maui Now.

Maui restaurants plead for rule changes to stay in business. The Maui Restaurant Hui estimates that there are 10,000 unemployed chefs, cooks, and staff members from the more than 150 eateries in the group. Hawaii News Now.

Maui home sales down 20% in June, but new listings increase. Home sales on Maui declined by more than 20% in June, compared to the same month last year, but new listings for both single-family homes and condominiums increased, and pending sales for single-family homes rose by 22%, according to statistics from the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.


KVB offers insights to reopening efforts. Part of Gov. David Ige’s announcement to reopen August 1 included a point that travelers may bypass the state-mandated 14-day quarantine by showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of landing. Garden Island.

Texas man, 36, arrested at Kauai hotel for violating quarantine rules after insisting on a taxi. Kauai police have arrested a Texas man for violating Hawaii’s mandatory, 14-day quarantine rule for out-of-state visitors after he insisted hotel staff call a taxi for him. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai Food Businesses Persist During Pandemic Thanks To Grant. With money from Common Ground, two companies are finding ways to scale up and pivot away from tourism despite COVID-19. Civil Beat.