Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Radar, missile defense mulled for Hawaii; Ige allows flower deliveries, one more COVID-19 death, chipping away at unemployment backlog, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 Medium-range ballistic missile target is launched Aug. 29, 2017, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. PC: Department of Defense
U.S. military in the Pacific: Officials seek to ‘regain the advantage’ against China, Russia. Amid complaints of Pacific neglect, efforts are underway to restore funding for a powerful $1.9 billion defensive radar in Hawaii, potentially add two types of defensive missile capability in the Aloha State for North Korean threats and create an “Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative” modeled on a similar European effort. Star-Advertiser.

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Less than one-third of Hawaii’s unemployment claims have been paid since March 1. DLIR has processed 181,846, or 82%, of the unique filings but so far has paid claims for only 65,252 filings. Star-Advertiser.

State makes progress in processing jobless claims; $116.5M already paid out in April. The state is starting to make headway in processing and paying a staggering amount of jobless filings, according to statistics provided by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Tribune-Herald.

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A top state economist is optimistic that some businesses could reopen in a month. Carl Bonham, director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, told lawmakers Monday that a survey conducted with the Chamber of Commerce collected data from 623 businesses. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 has uneven impact on Hawaii businesses. A survey of Hawaii businesses showed about 220,000 full- and part-time jobs in the state have been lost since January with some industries down more than 80% while others have cut jobs by less than 1%. Star-Advertiser.

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Gov. Ige reverses his decision and allows flower shops to make deliveries for Mother’s Day. After taking some heat on his decision to block flower shops from opening for Mother’s Day deliveries, Gov. David Ige announced Monday that moms in Hawaii will be getting their flowers after all. Star-Advertiser.

Governor changes his mind on flower deliveries, giving florists OK to operate ‘safely’. In a case of political whiplash, the governor on Monday announced that flower deliveries would be allowed after all starting Friday, as long as social distancing was followed. Hawaii News Now.

Florists reopening opens door to Mother’s Day and graduation sales. Governor David Ige announced Monday that florists will be allowed to reopen businesses on May 1st, just in time for Mother’s Day. KHON2.

Governor Ige allows florists to open operations on May 1. This requires compliance with the social distancing requirements. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Florists to Re-Open in Time for Mother’s Day. One narrow corner of Hawai‘i economy will open on May 1, a full 30 days ahead of the current end to Gov. David Ige’s mandatory lockdown period. Big Island Now.

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Hawaii is expected to see $7 billion or more in federal support. Hawaii is in line to receive close to $7 billion in various kinds of federal assistance to help it survive the coronavirus pandemic and to help with what is expected to be a long slog to an economic recovery, according to U.S. Rep. Ed Case. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Nonprofits Want More Say In How State Spends Federal Virus Aid. More than 60 nonprofits want the state to expand its safety net to help immigrants and other marginalized groups. Civil Beat.

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16th patient with COVID-19 dies in Hawaii; number of new cases continues downward trend. A 16th person with COVID-19 has died in Hawaii, authorities confirmed, saying the woman had been hospitalized since early April. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s coronavirus death toll now at 16, as total COVID-19 cases rise by 1 to 607. The Health Department said this afternoon that the latest confirmed coronavirus case in Hawaii today is an employee of the Maui Memorial Medical Center, which has been the site of nearly 60 infections of both hospital workers and patients. Star-Advertiser.

One More COVID-19 Case And One Death. On Monday, another person on Oahu had died because of complications related to the coronavirus called COVID-19. Civil Beat.

One New Case, One New Death. An Oʻahu woman, over 65 years old with underlying health conditions, is the 16th death reported in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Video News.

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Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders Face Higher Rates of COVID-19 . Anyone can be infected with the coronavirus, but data coming out of several states – including Hawaiʻi – show Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have higher rates of contracting COVID-19. Hawaii Public Radio.

What Should Hawaii’s Schools Look Like After The Pandemic? Educators see the coronavirus as an opportunity to rewrite the education playbook. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Police Commission to hold second secret meeting. The Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday will hold its second secret meeting since the Sunshine Law was temporarily waived as part of Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku wind farm challenge fails; appeal is sought. The state Public Utilities Commission recently rejected a bid to upend a controversial wind farm project in Kahuku. Star-Advertiser.

City’s ambitious COVID-19 testing plan in limbo as state raises new concerns. The Caldwell administration’s plan to ramp up coronavirus testing on Oahu is in limbo. In a new letter, the state health director slams the company that the mayor chose to purchase $2 million worth of test kits from, saying it has a history of problems. Hawaii News Now.

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City’s plan to save Haiku Stairs is accepted. The tremendously popular but illegal staircase up a Windward Oahu mountainside nicknamed the “Stairway to Heaven” has a chance to live on under city ownership. Star-Advertiser.

‘Stairway to Heaven’ to be transferred to the City and County of Honolulu. The Board of Water Supply’s board members voted unanimously Monday to transfer the famous Haiku Stairs, also known as Stairway to Heaven, to the City and County of Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Water Supply votes to transfer Haiku Stairs to city. Haiku Stairs, or “Stairway to Heaven”, will not be torn down. KHON2.

Board of Water Supply votes to transfer management of Haiku Stairs to the city. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply has voted to transfer management of Haiku Stairs and surrounding land to the City and County of Honolulu. KITV4.

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City clears homeless on Dillingham Blvd. The city cleared out the homeless along a portion of Dillingham Boulevard Monday morning. The city had paused enforcement for several weeks following guidelines from the CDC. KHON2.

Christopher McLaren identified as target of Punahou alumna’s lawsuit over alleged sexual misconduct. A lawsuit filed confidentially against Punahou School last week was unsealed Monday, revealing that the former teacher and coach accused of sexual misconduct with a student in the late 1970s is Christopher McLaren. Star-Advertiser.

Salons and barbershops are anxious to reopen. Prior to the mandated emergency orders brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Cosmic Beauty, a full-service salon at the Kapolei Village Center, bustled with dozens of clients a day. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim pulls papers for Mayor to join a potential 19-person race. There are 19 possible candidates for Hawaii County Mayor–so far.   The latest to pull the candidate filing form is Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, as noted in the most recent candidate report from Friday, April 24. KWXX.

Mayor Harry Kim to Seek Reelection. Harry Kim will seek a fourth term as Hawai‘i County Mayor. Big Island Now.

Accessibility improvements proposed for Laaloa Beach Park. Hawaii County is proposing a host of accessibility improvements for Laaloa Beach Park, also known as Magic Sands Beach Park, in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Kohala distillery making hand sanitizer to help fight COVID-19. Kuleana Rum Works shifted its focus from making rum to producing hand sanitizer. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Medical provider tests positive. Provider has worked exclusively at Maui Memorial Medical Center since Dec. 31. Maui News.

Maui Health Confirms Positive Test Result for Maui Medical Group Provider. Maui Health today confirmed that a Maui Medical Group provider who provides care to patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center has tested positive for COVID-19. Maui Now.

Mandatory water cutbacks ordered for Central Maui. Four Department of Water Supply wells in Wailuku and Waihee — with the capacity to produce a quarter of Central Maui’s demand — are out of commission, prompting the water director to call for mandatory water cutbacks for users in the area beginning Sunday. Maui News.

Maui Stage 1 Water Shortage Declared, 10% Reduced Usage Ordered for Wailuku, Kahului & Pā‘ia. Because of a water pump failure over the weekend, the department is requiring residents of Wailuku, Kahului and Pāʻia to cut back water usage by at least 10 percent beginning May 3 and until further notice. Maui Now.

Kauai

KIFB gets help. Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank was excited about the free work being done by Teddy Arroyo and the Arroyo Plumbing crew, Monday. Garden Island.

Another dead monk seal. An adult female Hawaiian monk seal has been found dead on Ha‘ena Beach in Kaua‘i, reported to officials Saturday, April 25, the same day the well-known monk seal Honey Girl’s body was removed from a windward beach on O‘ahu. Garden Island.

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