Monday, February 3, 2020

House Health Committee calls briefing today on coronavirus as airport clamps down on travelers, Caldwell outpaces others in fundraising for 2022 gubernatorial race, Amemiya raises most for Honolulu mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Health Committee to Hold Briefing on Coronavirus. Rep. John M. Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, will hold an informational briefing on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak in China and the measures being taken by the State of Hawaiʻi at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3. Maui Now.

New entry restrictions begin at 11 US airports, including Honolulu, amid growing coronavirus fears. New entry restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly coronavirus begin Sunday across the US, including at Honolulu’s airport — which has been designated as one of just 11 facilities in the country that will accept travelers from China. Hawaii News Now.

Flights from China to Honolulu suspended. Direct flights from China to Hawaii have been suspended as federal and state officials ramp up their response to preventing an outbreak of the coronavirus in the isles. Star-Advertiser.

“We’re concerned about our own health,” Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant says that they can’t wear masks. The new quarantine procedures the airport concern not only have travelers but also its workers. We’re told that flight attendants have voiced concerns about not being able to wear masks on Asia flights. KHON2.

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Bill that would establish camera enforcement at traffic lights moves forward. A proposal to have camera-enforcement at traffic lights moved forward at the state Capitol on Friday. The cameras would record vehicles that run red lights in urban Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Red-light-camera bill advances in Legislature. Hawaii counties would be authorized to establish three-year programs to test out a new photo enforcement system for ticketing people who run red lights under a bill that won preliminary approval last week from the House Transportation Committee. Star-Advertiser.

New bill would limit ‘revolving door’ for lobbyists. A bill that would limit the ability of state lawmakers and top state officials to leave their government jobs and then quickly go to work lobbying the state Legislature is advancing in the state Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Gun rights advocates rally at the state Capitol. Opponents of new and more restrictive firearm laws for Hawaii rallied at the state Capitol last week to protest a wave of proposed gun-related legislation. Star-Advertiser.

Firearms incidents decline on Hawaii’s public school campuses. The number of students caught carrying any kind of “firearm,” including paintball guns, or even slingshots, has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years at Hawaii’s public school campuses. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation seeks to continue flying isle homeless back home. Since 2014, private and public Hawaii funds have paid for half of the airfare to send 744 homeless people back to their families on the mainland and to the Federates States of Micronesia — without any obligation from Hawaii of prearranged jobs or housing support. Star-Advertiser.

Raise Hawaii’s Smoking Age From 21 To 25. The proposed legislation would apply to electronic cigarettes as well as tobacco. Civil Beat.

State gets mixed grades on tobacco control. The American Lung Association recently released its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, giving Hawai‘i various grades for five categories and calling for proven tobacco-control policies in light of the worsening youth-vaping epidemic in 2019. Garden Island.

Caldwell Raises Nearly $300K For 2022 Governor’s Race. The Honolulu mayor has far outpaced others who have lined up this far in advance. Civil Beat.

Multiple jobs. Doubling up. Hawaii adults say they’re doing it all and still struggling. Seven in 10 Hawaii adults are struggling with their financial health and more than half say their spending equals or exceeds their income, according to a new survey that underscores just how broadly the state’s high cost of living is affecting families. Hawaii News Now.

State employee fined for pushing workers to buy cars from friend. The Occupational Health Branch manager for the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division has been ordered to pay a $1,000 penalty for driving two probationary employees on separate occasions to a used car dealership owned by a friend to buy vehicles they were not required to have as part of their jobs. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists Say Many Rat Lungworm Cases In Hawaii May Go Unreported. Costly and strict diagnostic protocols mean a long wait to find out if someone has the disease. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Amemiya Raises Most Campaign Cash In Honolulu Mayor’s Race. Hawaii’s business elites are lining up behind one of their own, giving him an edge on Councilwoman Pine and former Congresswoman Hanabusa. Civil Beat.

Defense Attorney Kau Leads Honolulu Prosecutor’s Race In Campaign Cash. Political newcomer Megan Kau brought in more money than a well-known former judge. Civil Beat.


State lawmaker wants to help HPD recruit and retain officers with surcharge bill. What to do about the on-going police shortage on Oahu. KITV4.

City: We want to expand appointment-only bulky item pickup islandwide. The city is extending appointment-only bulky item pickup for urban Honolulu “indefinitely," and said it’s working to expand the system islandwide. Hawaii News Now.

North Shore farmland being carved up for crop, housing use. Some North Shore community leaders complain that David Taogoshi is driving up the price of farmland by acquiring 30-acre to 300-acre tracts of former sugar cane and pineapple plantation fields for relatively little money and dividing them into mainly 2-acre and 5-acre pieces for sale as attractive home sites. Star-Advertiser.

Kobayashi Group to develop 400 affordable rentals in West Oahu. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration to enter into a development agreement with Kobayashi Group entity KG Kapolei Parkway LLC for the project. Pacific Business News.

Saint Francis School campus in Honolulu to go on the market for sale in Q1. The campus is sandwiched between the University of Hawaii Manoa campus and Manoa Hillside Estates, a gated community of 62 homes, in an affluent neighborhood where many homes sell for $1 million or more. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Vacation rental denials appealed. Appeals are pouring in from vacation rental owners who were denied permits, with the county Board of Appeals agenda including 25 contested cases for its Feb. 14 meeting in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

League of Women Voters seeks smooth transition to mailed ballots. Although Hawaii Island, along with the rest of the state, has been voluntarily transitioning from walk-in voting to mail-in ballots over the past 20 years, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters is concerned some voters may be left behind in an election offering only two locations for on-site voting. West Hawaii Today.

Clarification of herbicide policy sought. After a ban on the use of herbicides by county workers was definitively quashed last month, two Hawaii County Council members are introducing a resolution that will clarify the county’s position on herbicide use. Tribune-Herald.

Puna meeting to focus on broadband access, telehealth. Discussion will turn to health and technology later this month at a town hall meeting about telehealth and broadband service in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Council to discuss status of closed beach parks. Two North Hilo beach parks long closed to the public will be the subject of an hourlong presentation next week by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Jensen named West Hawaii Today editor. Chelsea Jensen has been promoted to editor of West Hawaii Today. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui visitors break 3 million mark for first time. Report also shows record spending. Maui News.

Oyster Pilot Project Launched on Maui to Improve Water Quality. An innovative pilot project that uses oysters to improve water quality at Maui’s Maʻalaea Harbor was launched on Friday by the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. Maui Now.

Whale researchers present factors to fewer sightings. Three humpback whale researchers will be presenting information on a collaborative study on factors contributing to the decline in observed sighting rates of humpback whales in Hawaii and Alaska from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Maui Ocean Center.  Maui News.

Kauai

Farmers Fight To Keep Irrigation System Running. The state has announced its intent to shut down key reservoirs if the Legislature and a water cooperative don’t find a solution. Garden Island.

The Garden Island newspaper lands new editor. he Garden Island has named reporter Jessica Else as the new editor-in-chief. Garden Island.

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