Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Six suspected coronavirus cases test negative, Japan suspends Thirty Meter Telescope funding, festivals canceled, tourism falters amid COVID-19 scare, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen capture from Facebook live
Hawaii coronavirus laboratory, screengrab from Ige press conference
All 6 suspected coronavirus cases in Hawaii test negative. Six people in Hawaii suspected of having the new coronavirus have all tested negative, though state officials are on high alert for the first signs of the deadly disease in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus tests for 6 people in islands come back negative. Officials stress that there have been no confirmed cases in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Officials Set Testing Procedures For Coronavirus. Tests so far are coming back negative. Civil Beat.

Hawaii DOH to see increased covid19 testing. Hawaii health officials tested six potential cases of Coronavirus, all of the results were negative, but they said to expect even more people to be under investigation for the virus as the state’s department of health is now able to test for the virus. KHON2.

First look at coronavirus testing lab in Pearl City. There is coronavirus in Hawaii but not to worry it is contained at the state lab and sent here by the Centers for Disease Control so experts can test samples against it. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Can Now Process Up To 240 COVID19 Tests a Week.  Hawaiʻi is now one of 40 states that has the ability to do testing for COVID-19. Maui Now.

DOH: Don’t be alarmed by tests. A patient in isolation at Hilo Medical Center, one of three in the state under investigation Tuesday for possible COVID-19, has tested negative for the disease. Tribune-Herald.

Amid coronavirus concerns, Hawaii steps up efforts to sanitize airports. With travelers from around the world visiting Hawaii, the state is boosting efforts to sanitize airports amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Hawaii News Now.

Coronavirus concerns prompt more event cancellations ... and economic concerns. The cancellation of the Honolulu Festival and the postponement of the Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture is prompting growing concerns about the potential economic impact of the coronavirus on Hawaii’s No. 1 industry. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s tourism industry wobbles amid mounting cancellations. Mariah Carey announced Tuesday that she won’t be in Hawaii for her March concert due to current global travel restrictions designed to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii saw a $23M drop in visitor spending last month. The House has formed a special committee to tackle the fallout to Hawaii’s economy of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Mariah Carey Reschedules Hawai‘i Concert Due To International Travel Restrictions. Maui Now.

UH law school postpones event due to coronavirus travel challenges. The University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law has postponed the 30th anniversary celebration for its environmental law program on campus this weekend out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

State House moves to create committee on COVID-19. The state House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday to create a committee on COVID-19, the coronavirus that in the midst of a global outbreak. Tribune-Herald.


Minimum wage increase and tax credits are approved. The state House approved bills Tuesday to increase tax credits to help renters and to offset the impact of the state excise tax on food, and another measure to dramatically expand the state’s earned income tax credit. Star-Advertiser.

Priority Bills On Housing, Education And Wages Advance At Hawaii Legislature. The measures propose slight increases to the minimum wage, more affordable housing, a streamlined school maintenance program and expansion of pre-school. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Senate Passes Cannabidiol Regulation Bill. A bill relating to industrial hemp derived products was passed on third reading by the Hawaiʻi State Senate Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

American Samoa gives Gabbard her first primary delegate. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has picked up her first delegate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination ― thanks to American Samoa. Hawaii News Now.


2 new bus routes planned to augment rail line. Among the new initiatives in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.9 billion operating budget are two new bus routes aimed at connecting riders of the city’s new rail system with their final destinations. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $2.98 Billion Budget: More Rail Funding and Police, No Tax Increase. Taxpayers will have to start paying for rail operations, the mayor said. Whether it will start running this year or not is unclear. Civil Beat.

Mayor outlines new budget, which allows for new HPD positions. Honolulu’s police chief is looking forward to expanding the force after the mayor offered more money in his proposed city budget. Hawaii News Now.

Rate Commission hearing public testimony for Rail and TheBus. The Honolulu Rate Commission is proposing changes to TheBus and Rail fees and is hearing public testimony. KITV4.


Honolulu Agrees To Post Financial Disclosures Online. The city decided to make the forms more easily available following a Civil Beat report earlier this week. Civil Beat.

Electric scooter company waits to operate until state laws change. Another company wants to start a ride share program on Oahu, this time using electric scooters. KHON2.

Ke Kilohana condo owners sue Kakaako tower’s developer over maintenance fees, alleged construction defects. Elation has become frustration for homeowners in a new Kakaako condominium tower now embroiled in litigation with the developer of their homes at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Largest Private College Is Fighting For Its Future. Hawaii Pacific University has experienced plunging enrollment, steep operating losses and large debt. Civil Beat.

Oahu Hiking trail closed after Rapid Ohia Death fungus found in another tree. The Department of Land and Natural Resources has temporarily closed the Poamoho Trail in Central Oahu after the discovery of another tree with Rapid Ohia Death. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Japan Suspends TMT Funding Citing Mauna Kea Stalemate. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, citing the stalemate over its construction on Mauna Kea. While this doesn’t mean the country is pulling out of the multi-nation project as opponents urged it to do, the country does supply key components for the telescope. Hawaii Public Radio.

Japan suspends annual funding for Thirty Meter Telescope project. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope project on the summit of Mauna Kea, citing an ongoing stalemate over its construction. Associated Press.


Merrie Monarch: The show will go on. The Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo’s biggest event of the year, will go on as scheduled next month, according to festival organizers. Tribune-Herald.

No plans to cancel Merrie Monarch competition president says. Merrie Monarch Festival organizers say the show will go on at least for now. Hawaii News Now.

Ethics Board weighs in on attorney compensation. Hawaii County is suing an attorney representing former Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi in a 2012 defamation lawsuit filed by Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto, saying the money Yagong and Kawauchi paid him rightfully belongs to the county. West Hawaii Today.


Coronavirus testing kits to remain on Oahu. Since the long-awaited arrival of coronavirus test kits in Hawaii, Maui Memorial Medical Center has not yet taken any samples to test for the virus, as no patient has exhibited the risk factors, a hospital spokesperson said Monday. Maui News.

New Signs to Show Original Place Names of Central Maui. Roadways throughout Central Maui will soon be decorated with new signs–each one telling a piece of the area’s history. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple suffered $10.4M loss in 2019. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. finances swung to a loss in the fourth-quarter and dragged full-year earnings into the red largely due to confusion over taxes. Star-Advertiser.

Business is booming for Maui booze producers. Vodka, whiskey, rum, beer and wine — for a small island, the Valley Isle produces an impressive variety of booze, with solid market success. Star-Advertiser.


Add Councilman Arthur Brun to list of public employees getting paid while not working. State lawmakers are looking to punish public officials who commit crimes by cutting their pensions. KHON2.

Kaua‘i officials said Monday there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, but some on-island resorts say they’re starting to see cancellations, some people who work with the public are donning masks and there have been reports of busy lines at local stores. Garden Island.


First movie theater in 12 years is being planned for Molokai. Owners of RWH Chen Building want to open cinema in Kaunakakai. Maui News.

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