Thursday, June 4, 2020

Boating restrictions eased, Maui unemployment rate highest in nation at 35%, George Floyd protests continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Sailboat off Keaukaha ©2020 All Hawaii News
Boating and water sports restrictions relaxed statewide. Boating and other water sports got the green light to expand activities with some restrictions Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii eases restrictions on number of people allowed on commercial, recreational boats. State officials said that up to 10 people may now be on a commercial or recreational boat at a time, effective immediately, due to the easing of emergency restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Boating Rules Relaxed and Commercial Water Sports Allowed To Reopen. Effective immediately, emergency restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic for commercial and recreational boating and ocean recreation are being relaxed statewide. Maui Now.


Hawaii considering randomly testing passengers for COVID-19. One in every 20 passengers to Hawaii might be asked to take a random COVID-19 test if state leaders accept a plan being pushed by Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Star-Advertiser.

Governor declines to set a date for reopening Hawaii tourism. Gov. David Ige declined to offer any specific timeline Wednesday for when tourism would be rebooted in Hawaii but said he has a plan to do it safely. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige talks rebuilding Hawaii. Governor David Ige says he is working with industry leaders to reboot our local economy. KHON2.

Governor Ige answers questions relating to the state's mandatory quarantine order for arrivals to Hawaii. Governor David Ige addressed a number of issues on Wednesday including removing restrictions. KITV4.


Hawaii Tourism Authority searches for new chief amid tourism collapse. HTA President and CEO Chris Tatum has given the agency notice that he will retire on Aug. 31 after 40 years in the hospitality industry. Star-Advertiser.

HTA President And CEO Chris Tatum Stepping Down. The development comes as Hawaii is in the middle of a tourism catastrophe. Civil Beat.


Hawaii’s Jobless Grow Desperate As Unemployment Approvals Lag. The state’s labor department is still trying to determine how many claims are left — and how long it will take to process them all. Civil Beat.

Statewide reopening strategy outlined online. Anyone interested in getting more detail on the State’s Beyond Recovery: Reopening Strategy, can now view the entire detailed strategy online. Garden Island.

Schools Chief Hopes To See Hawaii Elementary Schools Open By August. DOE also offered guidance on classroom safety protocols, including keeping students with the same staff all day and requiring masks outside the classroom. Civil Beat.

New sponsors sought as free meals for Hawaii kids drop for summer. Only 51 public schools statewide will offer free Grab-and-Go meals over the summer to children, far fewer than during the spring semester that was cut short by the COVID-19 crisis or even last summer. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii consumers, retailers favor cashless transactions to avoid infection. As more Hawaii businesses reopen, there is less cash being exchanged as consumers and retailers find ways to remain “contactless” amid the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

An airline merger will result in a new direct inter-island flight. Among the hardest hit industries in light of the pandemic here in Hawaii is the travel are aviation businesses. As a result, two small local airlines are joining forces. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii protest organizers: Racism ‘isn’t just a mainland problem’. Dozens of people rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with other Black Lives Matter demonstrations happening around the world. Hawaii News Now.

Protests in Hawaii over the killing of George Floyd continue. Hundreds in Honolulu protested again Wednesday in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Star-Advertiser.


VIRUS TRACKER — JUNE 3: 1 New COVID-19 Case On Oahu. The latest coronavirus case confirmed Wednesday was on Oahu. Civil Beat.

DOH Reports 1 New COVID-19 Case Statewide. Big Island Now.


Police panel gives chief high marks, chides her on budget. The Honolulu Police Commission gave some high marks to Police Chief Susan Ballard in its 2019 performance evaluation released Wednesday in the areas of leadership, management, and communication and community relations. Star-Advertiser.

Federal Funds Cushion Blow Of Honolulu Budget Cuts. Honolulu City Council members approved a city operating budget on Wednesday that cut millions of dollars from the proposal Mayor Kirk Caldwell submitted before COVID-19 devastated the island’s economy. The City and County of Honolulu is in a solid financial position for now, according to the council budget chair. Civil Beat.

Plan for affordable housing in Kailua draws controversy. A plan to build a largely 4-story low-income rental apartment complex on the edge of a single-family neighborhood in Kailua is drawing community opposition. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Is On The Brink Of A New Political Era. “The whole nature of city politics will be transformed after November,” says political analyst Colin Moore. Civil Beat.

Study to test COVID-19 presence in city’s sewage system likely to be discontinued. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the program last month as an added measure to detect an increase of infection. KHON2.

University of Hawaii ditching restrictions on Kalaeloa hangar to seek profit. The University of Hawaii, facing pressure to monetize some of its properties to offset its budget, plans to pay the U.S Department of Education $11.2 million to escape a requirement that it use the 105,000-square-foot Hangar 111 at Kalaeloa Airport for educational and research purposes only. Star-Advertiser.

Care Home Operators Deny DOH Allegations. Four people were issued an order by the health department to cease operations of two care homes in Kaneohe and fined $379,000. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Larger gatherings could be allowed by July. Managing Director Roy Takemoto appeared at Wednesday’s meeting of the County Council Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development to discuss upcoming plans and projects from the mayor’s office. Tribune-Herald.

$9.5M for new buses, operations heading to county. The federal government is giving Hawaii County money for 10 new buses, plus an extra $4.5 million for operations. West Hawaii Today.

Kilauea Ave to get face-lift. Hawaii County opened contractor bidding for a project to improve a nearly 3-mile stretch of Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Return to normalcy: Lifting of interisland quarantine brings optimism for Hawaii businesses. For months, Hawaii residents have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the kamaaina economy; with the mandatory 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers scheduled to be lifted on June 16, local businesses are preparing for a boost. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo customer says he was surprised by service charge added to his dine-in restaurant bill. As restaurants reopen this week on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, one in Hilo caught one of its first customers off guard when they saw their bill.  KITV4.


Hāna Highway Checkpoint Extension OK’d, East Maui Traffic Management Plan Discussed. Traffic management plans into and out of East Maui were discussed during an evening Zoom meeting hosted by state Senator J. Kalani English on Tuesday night. Maui Now.

Mayor: E. Maui isolation to remain until people feel safe. Roadblock down temporarily but will go up again. Maui News.


Unemployment rate in Maui metro area highest in the nation at 35%. The unemployment rate in the population centers that include Kahului, Wailuku and Lahaina was 35% in April, the highest for any metropolitan area in the nation, according to a newly-released analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hawaii News Now.

More muted candidate filing deadline passes. High-profile rematches in council, state Legislature set. Maui News.

Pared height urged for Hotel Wailuku. Members of the Maui County Urban Design Review Board on Tuesday made recommendations on the proposed Hotel Wailuku, including scaling back the hotel from six to four stories and revisiting traffic flow and the parking location. Maui News.

Maui Crime Over 10 Years: Violent Crime Up 52%; Property Crime Down 20%. The state’s Uniform Crime Report for 2019 has been released, showing a double digit decrease in index crimes in Maui County over the past decade. Maui Now.


Council passes upcoming year’s budget. About a month after Mayor Derek Kawakami submitted a supplemental fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, the Kaua‘i County Council accepted a $250,745,757 Operating Budget and a Capital Improvement Project Budget of $33,642,237 on Wednesday. But it wasn’t without a lengthy discussion regarding feral cat control. Garden Island.

Peaceful in Lihu‘e. More than a hundred people gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Lihu‘e Civic Center to advocate for Black Lives Matter. Garden Island.

Broken cable causes internet outages. Many Kaua‘i residents were without internet Wednesday as Spectrum responded to a broken land-based fiber-optic cable, according to a company spokesman. Garden Island.


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