Thursday, March 12, 2020

State budget latest COVID-19 victim, Public Access Room closed after traveler tests positive, University of Hawaii classes going online, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Virus may cut state spending by $225 million. The state Council on Revenues slashed its projection for the fiscal year that begins July 1 from 4% growth to zero growth, predicting that state tax collections will be flat next year. That means the state will have about $225 million less to spend next year than Gov. David Ige expected when he prepared the new state budget. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus Forecast To Take $300 Million Bite Out Of Hawaii Tax Revenues. The new projections by the state Council on Revenues mean the state has less money to spend in the years ahead. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Forecasters Drop Tax Revenue Estimates, But Coronavirus Uncertainty Dominates. Tax revenue coming into Hawaii state coffers is now expected to be $48 million to $80 million less than previous estimates for the rest of 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii economists lower state revenue forecast to zero growth next fiscal year. The Hawaii Council on Revenues lowered its forecast on Wednesday to zero growth for the state’s fiscal year that starts July 1 and lowered its projection for the last three months of the fiscal year because of the fallout from the coronavirus. Pacific Business News.

State braces for sharp decline in revenue due to coronavirus pandemic. The State is being told to brace itself for a sharp decline in revenue, meaning lawmakers will need to look for areas to cut spending. It’s largely due to coronavirus. KHON2.

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Hawaii Capitol’s Public Access Room closes due to connection to Canadian doctor with coronavirus. The Public Access Room on the fourth floor of the Hawaii State Capitol has been closed “out of an abundance of caution” until March 18 after a roommate of an employee in the office reportedly had contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Isle visitor from Canada tests positive for virus. A Canadian doctor who visited Hawaii last week has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but state health officials are not currently tracking those who may have been exposed through close contact with her in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Public Access Room Closes, Canada Visitor Tests Positive, Leahi Limits Visits. The news on the Hawaii front of the coronavirus battle is swiftly changing. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Honolulu, Maui councils encourage remote public interactions over coronavirus fears. The Honolulu City Council intends to hold scheduled meetings in the coming days as planned but Chairman Ikaika Anderson on Wednesday encouraged people to watch the proceedings remotely and to submit their testimony online. Star-Advertiser.

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UH prepares for switch to online classes. The closure of student housing on the Manoa and Hilo campuses of UH is not being considered at this time. Star-Advertiser.

UH announces classes to move online after spring break amid coronavirus concerns. The University of Hawaii on Thursday announced that it will move all classes online after spring break amid coronavirus concerns. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii classes to move ‘online’ due to Covid-19 concerns. University of Hawaii President David Lassner announced all classes will move online after spring break. KHON2.

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Hawaii DOE Cancels All School Travel Outside State. The order, which comes as spring break nears, does not impact inter-island travel. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i DOE Cancelling All US and International Travel Through End of School Year. The Hawaiʻi Department of Education is cancelling all school and department-related travel to the US mainland and international destinations until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Maui Now.

Hawaii students flew across the country for a convention that was suddenly canceled. Hawaii students eager to compete in a national media convention flew to Washington D.C. this week only to be met with a sudden cancellation. Hawaii News Now.

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State: Closing ports up to federal government. The state has no jurisdiction to determine whether or not to close ports in Hawaii amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay said. Tribune-Herald.

Are We Banning Cruise Ships? According to Gov. David Ige, Hawaii state government does not have the authority to ban cruise ships. That decision lies with the federal government and the U.S. Coast Guard. Civil Beat.

Hotel workers facing cuts to work hours as travel restriction on Europe is announced. Hotel workers in Hawaii already say they’re worried about the impacts this could bring, especially with work hours already being cut. KHON2.

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Trust run by her ‘arch-enemies,’ heiress says. Abigail Kawananakoa reaffirmed her commitment to the Hawaiian people Wednesday but said she would like to control the direction of her charitable foundation, in part because the people running it now are her “arch-enemies.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii agents arrest alleged cartel member in nationwide drug bust. A man in Hawaii was arrested and charged in an interagency operation targeting the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, also known as the JNGC. Star-Advertiser.

Sea turtles are mistaking plastic for food. A new study published in the Journal Current Biology says sea turtles eat ocean-soaked plastic because it smells like food. KHON2.

Oahu

3 urgent care facilities now offering drive-through coronavirus testing. Urgent Care Hawaii is the first private facility in the state to offer drive-through testing for the coronavirus. There are three locations on Oahu offering tests: Pearl City, Kapolei and Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

Councilwoman calls for more hygiene centers. Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine is urging the Caldwell administration to set up more mobile hygiene centers across the island to help the island’s homeless population in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

There are still many unanswered questions regarding the corona virus that has spread worldwide, and Hawaii’s top government officials met with people to ease their fears. One of those meetings was a town hall Wednesday night at Hahaione Elementary School in Hawaii Kai. Hawaii News Now.

Hapalua half-marathon postponed until September due to coronavirus concerns. The Honolulu Marathon Association announced today that it will postpone the 2020 Hapalua half-marathon due to coronavirus concerns. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Want Judge To Throw The Book At Kealohas. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard and the city’s top civil attorney have submitted letters to a federal judge that could be used to increase the sentences for Louis and Katherine Kealoha. Civil Beat.

Environmental assessment completed for controversial Ewa Beach seawall. A final environmental assessment for a seawall found there would be no significant impact to the environment, geology, cultural or biological resources. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Kim creates multi-agency COVID-19 task force. The mayor described a balancing act that weighs keeping the public informed while not alarming them and offsetting the island economy against community safety. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island COVID-19 Pandemic Response Detailed. Mayor Harry Kim introduced the Hawaiʻi County Council to the multi-agency COVID-19 task force, and delivered an unscheduled, hour-long briefing. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Kim Affirms County’s Continued Efforts Against COVID-19. Mayor Harry Kim came before Hawai‘i County Council to provide an update on where the county is on its efforts to handle the impacts of COVID-19. Big Island Now.

Mayor Issues Proclamation To Stop Price Gouging. Mayor Harry Kim issued a Supplementary Emergency Proclamation on Wednesday in order to prohibit increases in the selling price of any commodity in the area covered by Hawai‘i County’s Emergency Proclamation regarding Coronavirus. Big Island Video News.

Hoarding of cleaning and sanitation products frustrates customers, triggers purchase limits. While there has still been no confirmed case of COVID-19 infection on the Big Island, that hasn’t stopped shortages of vital hygiene and cleaning supplies from frustrating shoppers. Tribune-Herald.

Final EA released for Pahala wastewater plant. The plant, when completed, will replace two large-capacity cesspools that have served the community since the sugar plantation era. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Council Chair Encourages Civic Engagement Online. State Representative Angus McKelvey established a YouTube channel for this purpose and Council Chair Alice Lee said today she encourages the public to provide testimony and view meetings of the council and the council’s committees online. Maui Now.

Bill proposes Hawaii purchase, conserve Maui watershed land. Thousands of acres of watershed land in the West Maui Mountains are up for sale and state lawmakers are considering buying the property. Hawaii Public Radio.

Couple stopped at airport over COVID-19 suspicions. They test negative for the novel coronavirus. Maui News.

Kauai

County has $2M to battle COVID-19. Kaua‘i’s mayor and County Council released $2 million in emergency funds for Kaua‘i response to COVID-19 on Wednesday, the same day the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of the virus and the state Department of Health said the number of people self-monitoring in Hawai‘i crept up to 41. Garden Island.

HI5 recycle site in Kekaha moves. The Kekaha HI5 redemption site operated by Kaua‘i Community Recycling Services will be relocated to its former location across from the old Kekaha sugar mill site on Kekaha Road on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Molokai

Tours Temporarily Suspended at Kalaupapa. DOH has temporarily suspended tours to Kalaupapa National Historical Park until April 11, 2020 as a public health measure to protect the vulnerable population of patients. Maui Now.

Tours suspended to Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokai. The Health Department has temporarily suspended tours to Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokai until April 11. KHON2.

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