Friday, May 29, 2020

Tax revenues expected to plummet, travel quarantine extended to June 30, Japan travel bubble considered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

via Zoom
Gov. David Ige and county mayors Zoom conference
Newest projection: State tax revenues will drop by a jaw-dropping $2.25B this fiscal year. The state Council on Revenues on Thursday lowered its estimates on state tax revenues by a jaw-dropping $2.25 billion for this fiscal year and next. But lawmakers said the lower estimates will not require across-the-board furloughs or pay cuts. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii budget shortfall now projected to be $2.3 billion. There was a lot of guesswork involved, but a panel of experts concluded Thursday that state tax collections will drop by 7% this fiscal year and another 12% next year, leaving Gov. David Ige’s administration with a whopping $2.3 billion budget hole to patch up. Star-Advertiser.

State Tax Revenue Projected To Drop By Over $2 Billion As A Result of Pandemic. The Council on Revenues, the 7 member body responsible for estimating future tax receipts, said on Thursday that collections for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years will drop by a combined $2.3 billion. Hawaii Public Radio.


$7 Billion From Feds To Hawaiʻi For Pandemic Relief, So Far. Total coronavirus federal relief funding for Hawai‘i is expected to top more than $7 billion, says U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi Coronavirus Federal Relief Funding Expected to Top $7B. US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the total coronavirus federal relief funding for Hawai‘i is expected to top more than $7 billion. The new total includes federal funding already received and expected to be received by Hawai‘i small businesses, families, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, state and county governments, and other organizations. Maui Now.


Report: Hawaii’s Lack Of A Plan To Reopen Tourism Is ‘Disturbing’. The latest UHERO scenario puts the state’s economic recovery years off, especially if political leaders wait much longer to re-energize the visitor industry. Civil Beat.

Ige Plans to Extend 14-Day Quarantine for Mainland, International Travelers. Gov. David Ige plans to extend the 14-day quarantine for transpacific and international travelers beyond June 30 as the state continues its efforts to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Ige to extend quarantine for mainland, international travelers beyond June 30. The governor says a mandatory, 14-day quarantine for mainland and international travelers will be extended beyond June 30. Hawaii News Now.

Trans-Pacific quarantine will go beyond June, Gov. David Ige says. Gov. David Ige said Thursday that while an announcement about ending the mandatory 14-day interisland quarantine will be made in the next few days, the same two-week restriction for incoming travelers to Hawaii will be extended beyond June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Ige confirms 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors will be extended beyond June 30. Gov. David Ige said Thursday the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers to Hawaii will be extended beyond June 30 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Ige Plans to Extend 14-Day Travel Quarantine for Out-of-State Arrivals to Hawai‘i Beyond June 30. Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige today said that the 14-day travel quarantine will be extended for domestic and international travelers past June 30, but an official announcement will be made at a later date. Maui Now.

New proposal plans from senators meant to help restart tourism in Hawaii. There's a new proposal to help residents get back to work and restart tourism in Hawaii. KITV4.

County mayors discuss reopening and answer resident questions. County mayors had a meeting with Governor David Ige on Thursday afternoon to discuss each county’s re-opening plans and process. KHON2.

Tensions Grow Over How — And When — To Reopen Tourism. Lawmakers scrambling for ways to restart tourism expressed concern on Thursday after the governor announced plans to extend a 14-day travel quarantine. Civil Beat.

Feasibility of a Japan travel bubble. Could a soft opening of the state to Japanese visitors be the first strategy in establishing the state’s economy and reinventing tourism? Garden Island.

Proposed pilot travel program between Japan, Hawaii could be quarantine-free. On Thursday, Governor David Ige says he will be extending the 14-day quarantine beyond June 30th. KHON2.


Restaurant inspections will include looking at COVID-19 procedures. Food safety inspectors are trained to prevent food borne illnesses, now they have to make sure restaurants are also following the guidelines when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi's Path to Economic Recovery Could be Green. Hawai’i has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country with nearly a quarter of a million island residents out of work. As state leaders consider solutions to this crisis, there’s one approach that would create jobs, address some local issues, and reach back to a bit of history that worked in the past. Hawaii Public Radio.

Special master defends early release of Hawaii inmates, says recidivism rate low. Special Master Daniel Foley addressed criticisms regarding the release of hundreds of state inmates to reduce the spread of COVID-19 but said continuing to get them out of jails and prisons will be difficult. Star-Advertiser.

New Study Reveals Hawaiʻi Doctors Struggling Under HMSA's Payment System. A new survey of Hawaii primary care providers reveals a majority are struggling to stay in business because of changes made to the way they’re compensated by the state’s largest insurer HMSA. Hawaii Public Radio.


New COVID-19 infection identified through state’s expanded surveillance program. One of Honolulu’s three new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday was the first identified through the state’s expanded surveillance program that 32 doctors statewide are participating in. Hawaii News Now.

Three new coronavirus cases on Oahu brings Hawaii’s statewide total to 647. Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 647, up three new cases from Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Reports 3 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports three new COVID-19 cases bringing the state total to 647. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Updates: 3 New Cases; Green Seeks Interisland Travel Easing Soon; Economist Warns Of 2nd Wave. Hawaii Public Radio.


Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Retired Judge Enjoys Double-Digit Lead In Prosecutor’s Race. Steve Alm is out front so far. But two-thirds of Honolulu voters have not made up their minds and many have no idea who is running. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s mayoral candidates throw out the old playbook to campaign during a pandemic. The primary election is just around the corner, but political analysts say the election is the farthest thing from many people’s minds. Hawaii News Now.

Earl Tsuneyoshi Announces Run For Menor’s Council Seat. The Army combat veteran is challenging former state Sen. Will Espero and comedian Augie T for the District 9 spot. Civil Beat.


Rail project expecting $100M shortfall, possibly $100M more. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit got grim financial news Thursday, with no easy answers ahead. Star-Advertiser.

HART’s ‘Out-Of-The-Box’ Plan To Keep Construction Moving Fizzles. Rail officials had proposed a major change order to keep work going, but they weren’t able to reach a deal in time. Civil Beat.


Army investigates reports that military members were involved in large beach parties. The Army said it is working with law enforcement agencies to investigate reports that members of the military were involved in two large beach parties over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Investigation continues into memorial day weekend beach parties. Lawmakers continue to condemn the large parties over Memorial Day weekend on Oahu beaches, the military said its working with local law enforcement to investigate who was behind the illegal gatherings and to find out if service members took part in it. KHON2.

Virtual town hall to discuss proposed Chinatown homeless center related to COVID-19. Plans for what’s being called a Homeless Triage and CARES Center in Chinatown will be the subject of a “virtual town hall” being held this afternoon by the Institute for Human Services, the project’s sponsor. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Cites 4 People For Running Unlicensed Adult Care Homes. The state Office of Health Care Assurance has continued random inspections and investigations of care homes for the elderly. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit: Oahu Hospital Allegedly Shielded 2 Sexual Harassers. The lawsuit claims the hospital knew its chief medical officer and another staffer were requesting private physical therapy services from a female employee. Star-Advertiser.

Will it be a flood or a trickle when Oahu restaurants reopen? Owners will soon find out whether diners will rush back or be cautious when the ban on dining inside restaurants is lifted a week from today. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet intends to hold soft reopening in June. Aloha Stadium intends to hold a soft reopening of the Swap Meet and Marketplace in June, stadium Manager Scott Chan told the Stadium Authority on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mayor’s New COVID-19 Rule Makes Some Changes To Planned Reopenings. Certain Big Island businesses, operations, or activities are permitted to re-open June 1, 2020, and places of worship are now allowed to re-open on May 30. Big Island Video News.

Big Island to Reopen to Most Businesses, Activities by June 1. Expanding on his initial announcement to allow businesses and activities like church services, salons and indoor dining at restaurants to reopen, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim on Thursday greenlit most other sectors business and social life to resume in June. Big Island Now.

Places of worship can reopen this weekend, but some will wait longer before bringing their congregants back. While places of worship will be allowed to reopen Saturday, some churches are choosing to remain closed for the time being to protect their congregations. Tribune-Herald.


Public-private partnership proposed: Environmental commission urges fast work on sewage discharges. Casting a wary eye toward a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said discharging wastewater indirectly into the sea by allowing it to flow through groundwater violates the Clean Water Act, the county Environmental Management Commission on Wednesday unanimously voted to ask the County Council and administration to solicit proposals for public-private partnerships to fix island projects falling into that category. West Hawaii Today.

$6.3M allocated to Konawaena High School for athletic site improvements. Among the $5.1 billion in capital improvements allocated by a bill in the Legislature now awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature, $6.3 million will be heading to Konawaena High School to improve their athletic sites. West Hawaii Today.


Former South Maui state Rep. Joseph Bertram III dies. Community holds tree planting in his honor. Maui News.

Most businesses, activities get green light to reopen Monday. Some may choose to wait, though. Maui News.

PSLU Committee to Hear Change in Zoning for Kilohana Makai Workforce Housing Project. On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 9 a.m., the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will meet via the online platform BlueJeans to hear the Change in Zoning Application for the Kilohana Makai Workforce Housing Project in Kīhei. Maui Now.

JoAnn Inamasu Named Maui Office of Economic Development Director. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today announced the appointment of JoAnn Inamasu as the new director of the County’s Office of Economic Development. Maui Now.


Kauai CIP budget surpasses $217 million. When the State Legislature passed its $5.1 billion Capital Improvement Project budget bill May 21 for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, more than $217 million was set aside for projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Russell would do it! There will be a food drive coordinated by the motorcycle riders, Sunday starting at 9 a.m. on the lawn of the historic County Building. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Lt. Gov. Green pushes for reopening, residents support Thirty Meter Telescope by 2:1 margin in poll, Honolulu mayoral race wide open, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

via Facebook live
Lt. Gov. Josh Green via Facebook live

Lt. Gov. Green says Hawaii slow to reopen parts of economy. With the flattest COVID-19 curve in the nation, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday that Hawaii should have reopened interisland travel and limited business activity 10 days ago. Star-Advertiser.

Lieutenant Governor believes Hawai'i should lift 14-day interisland quarantine. On Wednesday Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the state is being overly cautious about lifting the 14-day interisland travel quarantine. KITV4.

Report: Hawaii’s Lack Of A Plan To Reopen Tourism Is ‘Disturbing’. The latest UHERO scenario puts the state’s economic recovery years off, especially if political leaders wait much longer to re-energize the visitor industry. Civil Beat.

Testing May Not Be The Silver Bullet For Restarting Stalled Tourism Industry. As Hawaii continues to reopen the local economy, some leaders are calling for a plan to restart the state’s $18 billion tourism economy. One lawmaker wants COVID-19 testing to be at the center of such a plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hotel workers want protection before tourism resumes. Unite Here Local 5 union members, who supply the labor for many of Hawaii’s best known hotels, held a car caravan in Waikiki on Wednesday to demand that public safety and the needs of Hawaii’s workers come first in any plan to reopen tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hotel workers in car caravan demand safe return to work. More than 100 cars with hotel workers and supporters behind the wheel joined a caravan demonstration down Waikiki to voice safety demands and be a part of the state’s plans to reopen tourism. KHON2.

House Speaker Scott Saiki lays off 3 in House, cancels contracts. House Speaker Scott Saiki is laying off three permanent staff members in the state House of Representatives and canceling computer upgrades and some copier contracts to cut costs. Star-Advertiser.

Hooser resigns his post as as Democratic Party vice chairman to endorse Iwamoto. Former state Sen. Gary Hooser has resigned as vice chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, saying he is primarily stepping down so he can endorse the candidacy of former state Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto in her challenge to House Speaker Scott Saiki. Star-Advertiser.

One new Big Island coronavirus case brings Hawaii’s statewide total to 644. Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 644, up one new case from Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

One new Big Island case of COVID-19 reported, statewide total now 644 cases. After three days of no new COVID-19 reports in the state of Hawaii, one new case on the Big Island Wednesday brings the statewide case count to 644. West Hawaii Today.


Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Honolulu Mayor’s Race Is Up For Grabs. Blangiardi leads Hanabusa, Amemiya and Pine, but 42% say they are unsure or prefer none of the candidates. Civil Beat.

Glitches overshadow first 2020 mayoral forum. The 2020 election season’s first Honolulu mayoral candidates forum on Wednesday was marred by technical glitches that prevented most of the public from viewing the event live on their electronic devices. Star-Advertiser.


Gov. Ige approves Mayor Caldwell’s proposal to open more Oahu businesses Friday. Gov. David Ige today approved Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to safely reopen more businesses on Oahu on Friday that includes hair salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors. Star-Advertiser.

Salons, barber shops and other ‘personal service providers’ on Oahu get OK to reopen Friday. The governor has given the green light for hair and nail salons, barber shops and other “personal service providers” on Oahu to reopen Friday — more than two months after they were ordered to close. Hawaii News Now.

Salon and barbershops finalize changes before Friday reopening. Governor David Ige has approved Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to reopen salons and barbershops on Friday. KHON2.

Here’s a timeline of when salons, pools, campgrounds, and more can reopen. Hawaii Governor David Ige approved Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s request to allow the reopening of more businesses and operations on Oahu. KHON2.

Could Oahu gyms reopen June 19? F45 in Kahala is ready. F45 Training owner-operator Mimi Andjelic-Davies told KITV4 revenue has dipped well over 80 percent during the shutdown. KITV4.

Honolulu Zoo to reopen June 5, with modified hours and rules. Although it is allowed to reopen on Thursday, the Honolulu Zoo does not plan to open its doors to the public until June 5, with modified hours and rules in place. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Zoo to welcome families back on June 5. The zoo will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The entrance will close at 2:30 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Fearing COVID-19, patients are delaying urgent care and putting their health at risk, hospitals say. Pali Momi Medical Center treats more than 300 stroke patients a year. The most serious cases trigger an all-hospital alert. Hawaii News Now.

With more people working from home, demand for office spaces dip. After a decade long slump, Honolulu’s office market was showing signs of recovery. Then, the pandemic hit. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Majority of those polled support Thirty Meter Telescope. The results of a March survey of Hawaii residents purports to show that supporters of the Thirty Meter Telescope project outnumber opponents by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Tribune-Herald.

Support grows for TMT, statewide poll says. A new statewide poll commissioned for the developer of the Thirty Meter Telescope shows Hawaii residents support construction of the long-delayed $2.4 billion project by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Star-Advertiser.

Poll: Most Hawaii residents support TMT project on Mauna Kea. According to the poll, conducted in March by Ward Research, Inc., 61% of residents want construction to move ahead, while 32% are opposed. Hawaii News Now.


County takes nonpunitive approach toward enforcement of rules for ‘medium-risk’ businesses. With restaurants, personal services and places of worship allowed to begin reopening next week, the county is taking a nonpunitive approach in enforcing hygiene standards. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Launches Emergency Resilience Loan Program. The program will offer financial counseling and loans to "ALICE" residents (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) residents who reside on the Big Island and who have lost income due to COVID-19. Big Island Video News.


Mayor’s Request for “Broad Reopening” on June 1 Approved by Governor. Governor David Ige today approved Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s request to reopen most businesses and services with modifications starting Monday, June 1, 2020. Maui Now.

Mayor: ‘New normal is upon us’. Broad reopening set for Monday if Ige approves. On the third consecutive day of no new COVID-19 cases for the state, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced that he’s planning to reopen most county activities, businesses and industries Monday, pending Gov. David Ige’s approval. Garden Island.

Dog Parks, playgrounds, county and beach parks set to reopen June 1 on Maui. Governor David Ige has approved Mayor Michael Victorino’s request to reopen most businesses and services, with modifications, starting Monday, June 1. KITV4.

National Guard Troops on Maui Reduced, Hāna Hwy Checkpoint to Remain in Place. The amount of National Guard troops serving as part of the COVID-19 response in Maui County is being reduced as many locations across the state resume phased reopening of businesses and services. Maui Now.

County to spend federal funds on COVID-19 plans. $67M from CARES Act to cover aid, public safety, boost economy. Maui News.

Council 2020-21 budget passes first reading. $819M budget a product of pandemic, members say. The Maui County Council passed on first reading an $819.3 million budget that residents praised for keeping funding for social services intact despite the economic struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui News.


Council approves tax rates. The council approved Fiscal Year 2020-21 tax rates, which will remain flat for most residents. The county anticipates about $155,780,336 in real property tax revenue to go into the General Fund. Garden Island.

County faces prohibited practices complaint for 4-day workweek. The County of Kaua‘i is under fire for its implementation of a four-day 10-hour work schedule. Garden Island.

Rule 11 proposes outdoor team sports. Pending Gov. David Ige’s blessing, Kaua‘i County is hoping on June 1 to allow the reconvening of outdoor team sports, the reopening of gyms and fitness centers, the resumption of dine-in restaurant service, and the reopening of personal services, such as spas. Garden Island.

Youth sports could start soon on Kauai, with Maui following. Kids in Kauai County may soon be able to get out of the house and back on the field. Mayor Derek Kawakami has requested permission from Governor David Ige to allow for outdoor organized sports to be held starting Monday. KHON2.

Kaua'i mayor requesting approval of latest phase in the county's reopening plan. On Monday restaurants, gyms and more activities could be allowed to reopen on Kaua'i. KITV4.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Shipping firm seeks $25M bailout, 400 National Guard troops coming off COVID-19 duty, Honolulu poised to open salons, gyms, councilwoman's ex-cop husband arrested after alleged domestic abuse, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Young Brothers
Young Brothers ship nears Honolulu PC:Young Brothers
Young Brothers Seeks Financial Relief From Hawaiʻi. The inter-island shipping company says the COVID-19 slowdown has already forced the company to streamline operations and reduce operating costs. Big Island Video News.

‘Extremely dire’: Young Brothers seeks $25M in CARES funds to stay afloat. Interisland shipper Young Brothers is seeking $25 million in CARES Act funding from the state to keep the nearly 120-year-old company afloat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Interisland shipping lifeline at risk of shutdown, Young Brothers says. Hawaii’s only regulated interisland ocean cargo company, Young Brothers LLC, is appealing to the state for a bailout it claims is necessary to avoid ceasing operations. Star-Advertiser.

Young Brothers asks state for $25M in stimulus funds to overcome ‘dire’ financial situation. Inter-island shipping company Young Brothers says it’s facing an “extremely dire” financial situation because of significant drops in cargo volumes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is asking the state and the Public Utilities Commission for help to stay afloat. Hawaii News Now.

Young Brothers Asks For $25 Million in Aid. Young Brothers, LLC, a major shipping operation in Hawai‘i, announced Tuesday that it is seeking assistance from the state Legislature and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to alleviate an impending “cash crisis” brought on by a 30% drop in cargo volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Now.

Young Brothers Seeks $25M in Financial Relief from State Amid COVID-19 Slowdown. Young Brothers, LLC today announced it is seeking assistance from the Hawai‘i legislature and Public Utilities Commission to alleviate an impending cash crisis brought on by a 30% drop in cargo volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now.

Young Brothers asks legislature for $25 million from CARES Act funding. One the biggest inter-island shipping companies in the state is now considering some drastic cuts. Young Brothers claims it lost millions as cargo loads have dropped. KHON2.

Young Brothers seeks financial relief from the state due to COVID-19 Slowdown. “We hope to avoid any disruption in service. Support from the state legislature would put the company on solid ground while we seek solutions," President of Young Brothers, LLC said. KITV4.


Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Stop Virus Even If Economy Crumbles. A clear majority says it’s more important to stop COVID-19 from spreading than stop the economy from declining. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat-HNN poll: Amid state’s pandemic response, voters have negative view of Ige. A new Civil Beat-HNN poll found that 54% have a negative opinion of the governor. Just 1 in 5 have a positive view, while the rest said they weren’t sure. Hawaii News Now.


400 Hawaii National Guard troops coming off coronavirus duty. The number of Hawaii National Guard troops on federal active duty for the coronavirus pandemic will drop early next week to 800 from 1,200 as part of a Pentagon “right-sizing” ahead of a “hard stop” set for June 24 for the deployment of almost 46,000 citizen soldiers nationwide, officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Ige hopes to end interisland travel quarantine soon. Gov. David Ige hopes to end the 14-day quarantines for passengers on interisland flights “very soon” as a test for an eventual full reopening of out-of-state travel. Tribune-Herald.

Ige Says Interisland Quarantine to End ‘Soon’. Gov. David Ige implied Tuesday that the end to the state’s interisland travel quarantine will soon be rolled back and that reopening Hawai‘i to tourism won’t be far behind. Big Island Now.

Hawaii hits public health benchmarks, but reopening plan requires longer wait. Hawaii has hit all the public health benchmarks on a color-coded plan to reopen more parts of the economy with minimal disruption. Star-Advertiser.

State Issues Guidance For Hawaiʻi Restaurants In Time Of COVID-19. The State of Hawaiʻi is listing the various stipulations for dine-in service in order for restaurants to get back to business across the islands. Big Island Video News.


State tourism forecast predicts it will take 6 years for arrivals to recover. As Hawaii's economy slowly begins reopening in phases, government officials are mapping out just how long it will take to return Island tourism, and the state economy, to what it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. Pacific Business News.

DBEDT Report: “It Will Take Six Years for Visitor Arrivals to Recover to the 2019 Level”. “It will take six years for visitor arrivals to recover to the 2019 level,” based on the 2009 great recession pace.  This is one of the facts and assumptions outlined in a 2nd Quarter 2020 report issued by the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, which was used in detailing the outlook for Hawaiʻi’s economy going forward. Maui Now.

In 2019, Hawaii saw 10M visitors. This year, arrivals are projected to top out at 3.5M. As the governor seeks to reboot Hawaii’s economy, the question of how to reopen tourism safely remains unanswered. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s True Jobless Rate Is A Mystery. Neither the official figure nor the number of unemployment insurance claims offer a clear picture of how many here are out of work. Civil Beat.

Lack of Internet Access Creates Disparity Among Public School Students. Hawaii’s public school students have been learning remotely since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, some elementary schools are having an easier time than others because so much depends on a student’s access to the internet. Civil Beat.

State issues strict new child care facility requirements to cope with COVID-19 threat. State officials released strict new guidelines Tuesday for Hawaii child care facilities that are operating now or plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also announced $11.9 million grant funding to try to stabilize and support child care operators. Star-Advertiser.

New Guidance for Child Care Facilities Puts Limit on Child to Staff Ratio at 9:1. The Department of Human Services has released new guidelines for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 to children, staff and families when resuming or continuing child care operations. The guidelines are based on public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawai’i Department of Health. Maui Now.

As more parents head back to work, the need for childcare services in Hawaii grows. Hawaii’s Department of Services released new guidelines Tuesday for childcare providers that are resuming or continuing operations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Announces $11.9M For Child Care Providers. The deadline to apply the federal grant money is July 31. Civil Beat.

Governor Ige, Dept. of Human Services discuss guidelines for reopening childcare facilities. According to the state, these guidelines will set qualified childcare in place for the children of Hawai'i. KITV4.

The Other Coronavirus Crisis: Escalating Mental Health Problems. Calls to crisis hotlines and hospital admissions for psychiatric problems are up as the economy unravels and many feel isolated by public health restrictions. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 26: No New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii has gone three days without a new COVID-19 case. Civil Beat.


Caldwell announces timeline to reopen hair salons, gyms and museums. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday announced plans to seek the governor’s approval to allow personal services — such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors — to resume Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Hair Salons, Offices, Gyms Will Reopen In Waves Starting Friday. Small gatherings can resume soon as Mayor Kirk Caldwell called on businesses to protect their customers. Civil Beat.

Mayor proposes ambitious timeline for reopening salons, museums and other businesses. Honolulu’s mayor has proposed an ambitious new timeline for reopening a number of “medium-risk” businesses on Oahu, including salons, museums and theaters. Hawaii News Now.

Restaurants Prepare For Dining On June 5 Under Conflicting Rules. Oahu restaurants can reopen on June 5 for dine-in services, although under state and city regulations and guidelines that sometimes conflict with each other, an issue that may prove challenging for the establishments and their customers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Businesses prepare for reopening dates announced by City. City and County Mayor Kirk Caldwell has submitted a proposal to the governor’s desk to reopen barbershops and salons Friday, as well as the Honolulu Zoo on June 5th. He’s also proposing to reopen theaters and museums on June 19th. KHON2.


Promoter, alcohol vendor under investigation after large, illegal beach parties broken up on Oahu. The Honolulu Liquor Commission and law enforcement agencies are investigating two businesses that may have organized and profited from massive parties that violated COVID-19 emergency rules, liquor, and permitting laws, over Memorial Day weekend at Waimea Bay Beach Park and Kaena Point State Park. Star-Advertiser.

Giant batteries for electric grid are slated for Kapolei. Plus Power, announced Tuesday that it has been selected by Hawaiian Electric to develop what would be the largest battery system for storing electricity in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Battery Farm Could Replace Coal Plant. The proposed project would occupy eight acres near an industrial park. Civil Beat.

2 more candidates in mayoral, council race file nomination papers. Another mayoral contender has officially entered the race. Businessman Keith Amemiya filed nomination papers at Honolulu Hale on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Amemiya Calls For Rejecting ‘Same People, Same Ideas’ In Mayoral Bid. The Honolulu businessman hopes to succeed Kirk Caldwell, who is completing his final term this year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Retired detective arrested for allegedly abusing councilwoman. A retired Hawaii Police Department detective pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge for an alleged Memorial Day attack on his wife, Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy. Tribune-Herald.

Legislators talk CIP projects. East Hawaii will get its share of state capital improvement funds if the $5.1 billion capital improvement budget approved last week by lawmakers is signed by Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

Ironman triathlon in Kona delayed again due to coronavirus concerns. The 2020 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon, already postponed once because of the global coronavirus pandemic, has been pushed back a second time and is now scheduled to take place on November 21, the company said Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.


Maui mayor seeks approval for more businesses reopen come June 1. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has submitted a request to Gov. Ige to allow more businesses to reopen on the Valley Isle at the start of June. Hawaii News Now.

County eyes opening most businesses, facilities Monday. Mayor Michael Victorino said he’s planning the reopening of most county parks, fitness gyms, pools, recreation facilities, clubhouses, dog parks, playgrounds, along with restaurants and other food establishments, as of Monday, pending Gov. David Ige’s approval. Maui News.

Hairstylists, barbers, nail techs happy to be back. Hair and nail salons and barber shops are being “more cautious and careful” about how they operate amid COVID-19 as they adjust to the new Maui County health and safety rules required for reopening Monday. Maui News.

Increased Public Access in Haleakalā National Park to Begin Wednesday. The National Park Service today announced that it will begin increasing public access to Haleakalā National Park on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Maui Now.


Junior Lifeguard program canceled, safety tips are online. The Kaua‘i Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau would normally be hosting up to 600 keiki and junior lifeguard participants over the next few months. Garden Island.

Kauai mayor working on summer fun details. Kawakami says more information on the county’s summer fun program will be announced in the coming days. KHON2.

Bursting with regrowth. A Kaua‘i diver has reported a successful coral spawn on Kaua‘i, as well as new baby corals from about four inches wide to 12 inches wide in ‘Anini Bay. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Ige, Caldwell unpopular in poll; UH makes SAT, ACT optional; big beach party busted at Kaena Point State Park, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Voters Have Negative View Of Ige, Caldwell. Voters have cooled on U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, too. But Lt. Gov. Josh Green is very popular. Civil Beat.

In 2019, Hawaii saw 10M visitors. This year, the state projects visitor arrivals won’t top 3.5M. As the governor seeks to reboot Hawaii’s economy, the question of how to reopen tourism safely remains unanswered. The state is ramping up efforts to screen incoming arrivals and brainstorming other possible ways to keep coronavirus out as tourism picks up, including requiring that visitors be tested to avoid quarantine. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green hopes to reopen Hawaii’s tourism industry by July. The UNITE HERE Local 5 union is demanding personal protective equipment for workers, along with better training, and they want to ensure that everyone gets their jobs back. Hawaii News Now.

Head of Labor Department: 190,000 could remain unemployed through end of year. A staggering 242,000 people are unemployed in Hawaii. And economists are predicting that less than half of those residents will be back in the workforce this year. Hawaii News Now.


University of Hawaii makes SAT, ACT optional for Fall 2021 applicants. SAT and ACT scores will be optional for students applying to enter the University of Hawaii as freshmen in the fall 2021 semester, given the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

SAT and ACT scores now optional for first-time college students applying to UH. SAT and ACT scores are now optional for first-time college students applying to University of Hawaii at Manoa. KITV4.

UH Manoa makes SAT. ACT scores optional for new student applications. The university is allowing this one-time exemption to incoming undergraduate applicants, for the fall semester. KHON2.

New, flexible Hawaii scholarship fund aims to give these kids hope. Seniors graduating from Hawaii’s public schools this month can get a boost toward their careers through a $2 million scholarship fund to be announced today that will offer flexible aid tailored to each student’s needs. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii’s Hotels Are Bleeding Cash Amid Shutdown. Flushing toilets and cleaning pools costs money, plus there are looming taxes. Civil Beat.

Puhahonu tops Mauna Loa as the world’s largest shield volcano. Below the reef that surrounds Gardner Pinnacles is a shield volcano that University of Hawaii-Manoa scientists have proclaimed the largest in the world. Star-Advertiser.


VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 25: No New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii — Again. Hawaii health officials reported no new cases of the coronavirus on Memorial Day. Civil Beat.

DOH: No new COVID-19 cases on Monday. The state Department of Health reports no new cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii, with the statewide case count standing at 643. Tribune-Herald.

DOH Reports Zero New COVID-19 Cases Overnight. Hawai‘i Department of Health officials reported zero new cases of coronavirus for the second consecutive day on Monday, leaving the statewide total at 643. Big Island Now.


Weekend parties leave Oahu beaches trashed and raise concerns about spread of virus. On this Memorial Day, as the nation honors fallen service members, some soldiers could be in trouble for breaking all kinds of rules at the beach. Hawaii News Now.

Large beach gatherings leave trash and break emergency rules. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources reported more than 200 beachgoers late into the night at Kaena Point State Park, officers said it was a violation of emergency rules and it took hours to clean up the mess left behind. KHON2.

Environmental group noticed less trash at Oahu's beaches on Memorial Day. Non-profit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii had volunteers picking-up trash at four beaches on the island on Monday. KITV4.

Law enforcement breaks up party of 200 people at Kaena Point State Park overnight. Law enforcement broke up a large beach party of approximately 200 people accused of violating emergency rules at Kaena Point State Park on Oahu’s North Shore late Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

200 People At Kaena Beach Park Prompt Police Crackdown. Law enforcement broke up the gathering in the early hours Monday. Civil Beat.

Officers clear more than 200 from huge party at Kaena State Park. Officers broke up a huge party with more than 200 people at Kaena Point State Park on Sunday night, and said a number of other large gatherings were reported islandwide. Hawaii News Now.

Stay clear of Sacred Falls, the state warns hikers. Star-Advertiser.

Preliminary projections have Honolulu facing another sweltering summer. 2020 could be delivering another miserably hot summer to the state of Hawaii, with ocean surface temperatures projected to be normal or higher than usual by the National Weather Service. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

CIP funds slated for Hilo medical facilities. A capital improvement project budget passed Thursday by the state Legislature includes funding for Hilo Medical Center’s Cardiac Center and the Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Hospital Sees Big Drop In Patients — And Revenue — Amid Pandemic. Total admissions have shrunk by a third, causing a significant financial shortfall. Civil Beat.

Iconic Hawaiʻi Hotel Undergoes Enormous Tent Fumigation. Kamaʻaina Termite and Pest Control has completed one of the largest fumigations in the state of Hawaiʻi at the historic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Big Island Video News.


Maui hair, nail salons welcome back clients with new safety measures in place. Salon owners say while beauty appointments may seem superficial in a time like this, the industry is important because when people feel good on the outside, they feel good on the inside. Hawaii News Now.

A county government’s acquisition of a private water delivery system for Maui’s drinking water may be delayed because of budget cuts resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Maui County Water Director Jeff Pearson said his department had allocated $2.5 million to evaluate the Wailuku Water Co. water delivery system in a possible purchase. Associated Press.


How to participate in council public hearings. While public meetings are physically closed to the public per an emergency rule by Gov. David Ige, the Kaua‘i County Council is offering another way for constituents to join in. Garden Island.

Economic rebuild recommendations offered. The Kaua‘i County Council heard about 45 economic-recovery recommendations from Mayor Derek Kawakami’s Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Teams last week, including how to support local businesses, the importance of communications, the need for broadband and improved infrastructure and the long-term need to diversify the economy. Garden Island.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Military spending props up Hawaii's sagging economy, Biden wins state Democratic primary, aquarium collectors denied state approval, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
WWII vet Don Graves inspires trainees at Pohakuloa Training Area ©2020 All Hawaii News
As tourism stalls, military spending continues to boost Hawaii’s economy. One of the remaining pillars of Hawaii’s economy — federal spending, including military — continues to prop up the tourist-depleted Aloha State, with the Defense Department so far resistant to the devastating financial effects of the coronavirus, which have resulted in a jobless rate of 22%. Star-Advertiser.

Chinese American WWII vets and familes waiting on Congressional Gold Medal. The first regional ceremony was to be on Oahu on May 17 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. But the coronavirus outbreak led to a postponement of those plans, with the fall targeted for a Washington, D.C., recognition and a Hawaii ceremony weeks after that. Star-Advertiser.

At cemeteries across the state, a Memorial Day unlike any other. As the coronavirus pandemic persists across the globe, most of the big public Memorial Day ceremonies at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe will be noticeably absent. Hawaii News Now.


Economist outlines how long it could take for Hawaii to fully bounce back. In economic news, there’s a grim prediction from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.. They’re projecting that Hawaii’s economic growth will drop by 12.1 percent this year as a result of the pandemic and its lasting effects. Hawaii News Now.

59% Of Hawaii Households Lost Income Since March 13. Compared with other states, Hawaii had more households say they lost income and expect to lose more during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Survey shows Hawaii residents wary of visiting malls, eating out. The survey by Honolulu-­based SMS Research & Marketing Service Inc. found that 70% of Hawaii adults are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about themselves or someone in their family getting sick with COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Other destinations set reopenings, but Hawaii tourism remains in limbo. That’s in sharp contrast to destinations around the world such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, China, Italy, Iceland, Greece, Spain and Mexico — even Las Vegas and Florida — that have announced tourism reopening dates or are seriously moving toward them by setting public benchmarks and adopting standards for phased reopening. Star-Advertiser.

Contract delays sidelined investigators crucial to quarantine enforcement. Investigators with the Attorney General’s office have played a major role in the arrests of out-of-state visitors who violate the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement. But Hawaii News Now has learned that some of the AG’s investigators have been sidelined for more than a week due to bureaucratic delays. Hawaii News Now.

On Friday, state health officials reminded the public that social distancing guidelines were still in effect, and large group gatherings were not allowed. Some people followed those rules, others did not. KHON2.


Public libraries to launch Library Take-Out. The Hawaii State Public Library System announce Saturday the statewide launch of Library Take Out at 47 public libraries. West Hawaii Today.

‘Library Take Out’ System Launching Tuesday. The Hawai‘i State Public Library System has announced the statewide launch of “Library Take Out” at 47 of its 51 public libraries. Big Island Now.


West Hawaiʻi Aquarium Fishery EIS Rejected. In a rare move, the Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday voted to reject the Environmental Impact Statement for proposed aquarium fishing in West Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

BLNR votes 7-0 against environmental impact statement for aquarium fishing permits in West Hawaii. The fishers, part of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, asked the Department of Land and Natural Resources for 10 of such permits for Hawaii island’s West Hawaii Regional Fisher Management Area, which they said was the site of nearly $1.3 million of the state’s commercial aquarium fishery in 2017. Star-Advertiser.

BLNR unanimously rejects West Hawaii aquarium fishing EIS. A proposed environmental impact statement — produced by aquarium fishers to reopen West Hawaii’s coastal waters to 10 commercial aquarium fishermen — was rejected in a 7-0 decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday. West Hawaii Today.

BLNR Rejects West Hawai‘i Aquarium Fishing EIS. Aquarium fishing with fine mesh nets in West Hawai‘i waters will remain shut down, at least for the time being. Big Island Now.

DLNR proposes $100K in fines for 3 alleged aquarium fish poachers. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing more than $100,000 in fines for three Big Island residents accused of poaching aquarium fish. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Schools Under Pressure To Provide More Data About Remote Learning. Civil Beat.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in March, the Hawaii schools chief says 80% to 95% of students have consistent access to education material. Civil Beat.


Joe Biden wins Hawaii Democratic presidential primary with 63% of ranked-choice votes. Former Vice President Joe Biden has won the Democratic presidential primary in Hawaii, surpassing the second place candidate by more than 25 percentage points, the Democratic Party of Hawaii announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Biden Clobbers Sanders In Hawaii’s Presidential Primary. Favorite daughter Tulsi Gabbard finishes fourth and is awarded no delegates in Democratic Party-run election. Civil Beat.

Joe Biden Wins Hawaii Presidential Primary Delayed By Virus. Joe Biden won the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s party-run presidential primary on Saturday, which was delayed by more than a month because of the coronavirus. Associated Press.


Tracing California’s ‘Lost Tribe’ Of Hawaiians. A group of Native Hawaiians traveled to California 181 years ago. Their descendants are still connected to the islands in surprising ways. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 24: No New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. For the seventh time in May, no new cases of the coronavirus were reported. Civil Beat.

No new cases of COVID-19 reported Sunday.  Over the weekend, the state reported just one new case of COVID-19 on Saturday. There were no new cases on Sunday. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Council committee postpones action on measure to triple landfill distance. The Honolulu City Council’s Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee postponed action on a resolution that seeks to amend the county Land Use Ordinance to require the distance between a landfill and residential neighborhoods, resorts and schools be more than tripled, which could halt plans to expand Oahu’s only construction landfill. Pacific Business News.

Oahu home prices rise in May despite Covid pressure on sales, Locations says. Average single-family home prices on Oahu rose 6.5% during the first two weeks of May, compared to the same period last year, while sales declined by 13.6% during the same time, as Covd-19 restrictions — and the economic fallout and uncertainty — impacted the residential real estate market, according to research from Locations. Pacific Business News.


Honolulu Prosecutors raid another Century Center massage parlor. On Friday, prosecutors seized records from Integrative Modalities of Honolulu, citing five of its female employees for violating the governor’s emergency proclamation. Hawaii News Now.

6 cited for coronavirus violations in raid at suspected brothel near Waikiki. Six people were cited Friday during a raid at a massage parlor suspected of operating as a brothel while state emergency orders remain in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office said today. Star-Advertiser.

Suspected brothel busted at Century Center. Dozens of condoms were found at the massage parlor suspected of operating as a brothel. KITV4.


Alleged chicken shooter among latest arrested for quarantine violations. A man who was seen in a social media video allegedly shooting a chicken with a spear gun has been arrested. He was among the latest arrests of alleged travel quarantine breakers. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Zoo welcomes new ohana, two endangered giraffes named Neeliz and Sandi. The Honolulu Zoo said aloha to two new Reticulated Giraffes from the Albuquerque Biological Park on Thursday, May 21. KHON2.

Meet Neelix and Sandi, the Honolulu Zoo’s newest residents. This week, the zoo received a male and a female Reticulated Giraffe from the Albuquerque Biological Park. Hawaii News Now.

Archers disappointed that ranges still closed. For two months Clifford Smith and fellow archers have not been able to practice their sport, which is not one of the approved uses in newly reopened city parks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim announces June 1 reopening of churches, salons, restaurants. Mayor Harry Kim on Saturday issued an emergency rule that reopens places of worship, personal services such as hair salons, and restaurants effective June 1. West Hawaii Today.

Churches, Salons, Restaurants Can Reopen June 1st On Hawaii Island. Mayor Harry Kim's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 5 will allow places of worship, salons, one-on-one services, and restaurants - including food courts but not bars and nightclubs - to reopen. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County to Reopen Medium Risk Businesses on June 1. Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim on Saturday issued an order that will allow the reopening of personal services like hair salons, communal places of worship and indoor dining options at restaurants effective June 1. Big Island Now.


University of California system has given $68M to TMT project. The University of California system, one of the partners seeking to build the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea, has invested more than $68 million in the TMT project as of April 30, according to a UC financial report. Star-Advertiser.

$90M allocated for Daniel K. Inouye Highway project. A bill containing $90 million to extend Daniel K. Inouye Highway to Queen Kaahumanu Highway is awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature. West Hawaii Today.

'We will never forget': Virus makes for different Memorial Day, but meaning unchanged. The Memorial Day ceremony regularly held at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery every year has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Upgrades coming to Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. Max the Catalina macaw is on break from his usual job of calling out to folks entering and leaving the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. These days, he’s chatting with construction workers while the zoo undergoes a $9 million renovation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. West Hawaii Today.


Another employee tests positive for virus. A Maui Memorial Medical Center employee has tested positive for COVID-19, sparking concerns about a resurgence of cases at the hospital, though both Maui Health and state officials maintained that the cluster has been shut down. Maui News.

Veterans to be honored in spite of pandemic. Flowers will be placed at cemetery; Akaku to air prerecorded ceremony. Maui News.

$532.9M destined for state CIP projects in Maui County. Maui County’s state senators have announced that $532.9 million in capital improvement projects for Maui County have been funded for the current and 2020-21 fiscal years, and general obligation bonds have been set aside for various projects. Maui News.


Communication breakdown. Kaua‘i councilmembers have expressed their frustrations over the lack of transparency of the mayor’s administration in responding to COVID-19. Garden Island.

Economic rebuild recommendations offered. The Kaua‘i County Council heard about 45 economic-recovery recommendations from Mayor Derek Kawakami’s Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Teams last week, including how to support local businesses, the importance of communications, the need for broadband and improved infrastructure and the long-term need to diversify the economy. Garden Island.

‘Like Black Friday in the pandemic’. Mel Dias was sleeping in the Kukui Grove Center parking lot fronting the Ross Dress for Less store Saturday night in anticipation of the store’s reopening Sunday morning. Garden Island.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Senate gives itself subpoena powers as Legislature, governor squabble over CARES money; Honolulu and Kauai reopen churches and restaurants; 22% unemployment is historic high, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook live
Gov. David Ige press conference via Facebook live
Citing frustration with Ige administration, state Senate forms investigative committee. State senators have formed an investigative committee, saying they’re frustrated by a lack of transparency from Gov. David Ige’s administration during the pandemic crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers try to move COVID-19 relief money out of Ige’s reach. Simmering frustration between Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature approached the boiling point Thursday as lawmakers voted to move more than $1.3 billion into the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund — where lawmakers would control it — and the Senate authorized a committee to issue subpoenas to pry information loose from the administration. Star-Advertiser.

Ige’s Economic Chief Accuses Senators Of Harassment. Mike McCartney, director of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, refused to discuss the administration’s plan to revive the economy. Civil Beat.

Senate creates investigative committee with subpoena power. The Hawaii State Senate voted to give the Special Committee on COVID-19 subpoena powers today. KHON2.

Hawaii’s head of business and economic development declines to allow staff to testify before Senate committee. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, declined to have his staff testify today before a Hawaii Senate committee because of what he was said a “hostile” environment by lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Head of DBEDT claims Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting a 'hostile environment'. Mike McCartney, Head of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism refused to let his staff testify in front of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Thursday. KITV4.

Legislature Passes Budget Cuts But Will Be Back In June. The $1 billion spending reductions will now go to Gov. David Ige for his review. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers recess after addressing budget shortfall. Hawaii lawmakers on Thursday recessed after passing multiple funding bills designed to cope with the shock of the coronavirus pandemic that has hammered the state’s tourism-dependent economy. House and Senate leaders said they expected to reconvene around June 15 to continue their work. Hawaii News Now.

Without intervention, Hawaii government could run out of operating funds next year. Hawaii’s economic situation is so dire that state government could run out of operating funds by June 2021 if lawmakers and officials don’t find a way to slash expenses and increase tax collections. Star-Advertiser.


Ige mulls lifting quarantine for interisland travel. Gov. David Ige said Thursday he’s considering lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine currently in place for interisland air travelers, saying measures are pointing in the right direction to make this move. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Officials Consider Lifting Inter-island Travel Quarantine. During a Thursday news conference, top state officials talked about how "health measures are pointing in the right direction to make this move" to resume inter-island travel. Big Island Video News.

Plans to Lift Interisland Travel Quarantine Underway. Interisland travel is the next monumental item on the state’s coronavirus to-do list. Big Island Now.

Lifting Interisland Travel Quarantine is “Top-Of-Mind,” No Target Date Set. Currently both quarantines for out-of-state arrivals and interisland travel are in place through June 30th; however, Gov. Ige has noted that lifting the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel is top-of-mind. Maui Now.

Ige says state is taking ‘cautious’ approach as more businesses plan to reopen. The governor on Thursday urged residents to prepare for a moderate uptick in COVID-19 cases as the state continues to reopen in a “cautious” way. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s unemployment rate reaches historic high. According to the State Labor Department, April’s unemployment rate went up to 22 percent. This reflected the economic impact of COVID-19 in the state. KHON2.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate jumps to 22.3% amid pandemic. Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 22.3% in April, up from just 2.4% the previous month, as hotels, restaurants and retailers closed amid efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Desolate peak reached in Hawaii unemployment. Hawaii’s unemployment rate shot up to a really terrible level in April: a record 22.3%, or nearly 1 in 4 people in the state’s workforce. Star-Advertiser.


DOH Says Its COVID-19 Testing Capacity Has ‘Increased Dramatically’. Bruce Anderson, director of the Department of Health, said the state now has the ability to perform up to 3,600 tests daily. Civil Beat.

Current Board of Education Member May Not Be Renominated. Two new boards members were confirmed by the full Senate Thursday, but the renomination of Kili Namauu has been stalled by the Senate Education Committee. Civil Beat.

Hawaii School Superintendent Gets ‘Effective’ Rating From Board. But the Board of Education scored the school chief poorly in areas like operations, resource and personnel management. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Reopened Its Civil Rights Office. But Investigations Are Still Stalled. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the commission faced a growing backlog of cases. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s narrow eviction moratorium means not everyone is protected.  Evictions are on hold as part of Gov’s David Ige’s supplemental emergency proclamation — but only evictions for non-payment of rent. Hawaii News Now.

Anonymous donor surprises nearly 2K kupuna with free groceries at Hawaii Foodland stores. An anonymous donor surprised hundreds of Hawaii’s kupuna at all Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms stores statewide today by covering the full costs of their groceries. Star-Advertiser.

Two women defy Hawaii traveler quarantine, including one who got a job in Laie. Authorities have arrested a visitor to Hawaii who broke the state’s 14-day travel quarantine to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are working with another to get her back home. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 21: 4 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii and Maui counties collectively reported four new coronavirus cases. Civil Beat.

Virus cases identified in Hilo, South Kona. Four new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday — three on the Big Island, the other on Maui. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Fish Council Urges Trump To Open Marine Monuments To Fishing. This is the second time Wespac has asked the president to make it easier to fish in and around environmental sanctuaries. Civil Beat.


Oahu restaurants and churches prepare to open their doors with social distancing rules in place. Oahu restaurants will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining on June 5 and churches will be able to resume in-person services with restrictions on Saturday under a new emergency order signed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

City allows in-person spiritual services to resume on Oahu this weekend.  In-person spiritual services will once again be allowed starting Saturday, as long as worshippers follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. Hawaii News Now.

In-Person Religious Services May Resume Saturday. You can pray together again, but keep a safe distance, the city says. Civil Beat.

Mayor Caldwell allows in-person spiritual services to resume this weekend. Come this weekend, churches on Oahu will be allowed to reopen. KITV4.


Authorities Struggle To Enforce Quarantine On Vacation Rental Occupants. The City and County of Honolulu is not able to effectively enforce the mandatory 14-day quarantine on visitors staying in vacation rentals, according to one senior official. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Council Gets Another Open Meetings Violation. Adding items to meeting agendas after the deadline should be done “rarely, if ever,” the state said. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Is Testing Sewage To Watch For The Spread Of COVID-19. Oahu has begun testing sewage for COVID-19, hoping to get an early warning of outbreaks and increase consumer confidence as the island reopens. Civil Beat.

NOAA reminds holiday beachgoers to stay away from monk seal pup at Kaiwi coastline. A newly weaned Hawaiian monk seal might make an appearance around the Kaiwi coastline on Oahu over the Memorial Day weekend — a worrisome thought for those looking out for her. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council finds money for golf, contingency funds in tight budget. Fees for sewers and rubbish disposal will continue to increase, taxes could rise for luxury second homes and services will be cut countywide, but County Council members still found room in the budget Thursday to add another $565,000 for their contingency accounts and golf subsidies. West Hawaii Today.

How to spend $80M: Kim outlines uses for COVID-19 response funds. Mayor Harry Kim had less than two days to submit a plan to the state Legislature, and now that SB 75 passed and is on its way to the governor, a plan is taking shape. West Hawaii Today.

San Buenaventura to seek Ruderman’s state Senate seat. State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura of Puna will seek the 2nd District Senate seat currently held by Russell Ruderman, who on Wednesday announced he would not run for re-election. Tribune-Herald.

Regents delay action on new Maunakea proposal. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents voted Thursday to postpone discussion of a new internal management structure for Maunakea governance until June. Tribune-Herald.

Public access to Waipio Valley will be closed. The Hawaii County Dept. of Public Works announced that public access to Waipio Valley will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25. KHON2.


County officials detail reopening considerations. Some high-risk businesses get green light ahead of medium-risk ones. Maui News.

Colorado Woman Wanted for Quarantine Violation on Maui Agrees to Return Home. A Colorado woman wanted for allegedly violating the 14-day travel quarantine on Maui has voluntarily elected to return home to the mainland, according to Maui police. Maui Now.

Maui Unemployment Rate Highest in State at 36% in April. The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations today announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 22.3 percent. Maui Now.

Work Begins on 20 Temporary Emergency Shelters at Waiale Park in Wailuku. The County of Maui begins construction tomorrow, May 22 on an estimated 20 temporary emergency shelters at Waiale Park in Wailuku for displaced families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Maui Now.


Green light to reopen. Churches, salons, barber shops and outdoor-based tour companies on Kaua‘i can reopen today. Garden Island.

Kauai gets governor’s approval to reopen some ‘medium-risk’ businesses by Friday. Kauai has secured the governor’s approval to reopen a number of “medium-risk” businesses and public spaces Friday, including hair and nail salons, pools and fitness training. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai businesses get ready to reopen Friday. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has gotten the go ahead from the governor to reopen medium risk businesses as soon as Friday. Many Kauai businesses say their phones have been ringing off the hook with customers since the announcement was made. KHON2.

Aloha overflowed out of the front entrance of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Regency & Spa Thursday afternoon when the resort’s General Manager Dan King and a band of volunteers welcomed back colleagues for a family-style meal pickup conducted within the parameters of social distancing and health safety guidelines created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.