Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Honolulu grocers hit by COVID-19, Young Brothers threatens to stop interisland shipping without 47% rate hike, Kauai park shut down after bad behavior, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Coconut climber at Polynesian Cultural Center ©2020 All Hawaii News
COVID-19 leads to layoffs at The Polynesian Cultural Center. Approximately 30% of the 260 full-time employee workforce may be reduced by September 26, 2020. KITV4.

Shipper asks for ruling on rates by Aug. 17. Young Brothers says it may be forced to discontinue interisland services and furlough employees if the state Public Utilities Commission does not approve its emergency request for a 47 percent rate hike by Aug. 17. Maui News.

Gov. Ige weighs in on Hawaii CARES Act spending. Governor Ige is still deciding whether to sign or veto a bill that outlines how lawmakers want the state’s $635 million in CARES Act money to be spent. KHON2.

Economy: The First ‘Cliff’ Is Almost Here And A Second One Is Looming. Billions in federal relief dollars run out this week while community and political leaders work to soften a second possibly worse blow at the end of the year. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Has Huge Stake In Negotiations Over Federal COVID-19 Aid. Uncertainty surrounds the $600-per-week unemployment payments, virus testing and even public worker furloughs. Civil Beat.

Green talks tourism as virus cases continue uptick. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Tuesday there’s “good news, bad news” about the possibility of reopening Hawaii to tourism. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii residents urged to take precautions as clusters of coronavirus cases proliferate. Dozens of COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized following numerous coronavirus outbreaks, including one in Kalihi among Pacific islanders living in large multigenerational households. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric points to financial assistance options as disconnections to resume Sept. 1. Hawaiian Electric is pointing customers to several financial assistance options for those having trouble paying bills during the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Workplace Drug Tests Show Less Use of Some Types of Drugs. Workplace drug tests taken in Hawai‘i during the pandemic show a decrease in the use of amphetamines, cocaine and opiates, while marijuana use has been on the rise. Hawaii Business magazine.

Coalition to consider legal action if state does not increase number of polling places. Three voting rights groups have given the state and counties a Friday deadline to commit to increasing the number of voter service centers or face legal action. West Hawaii Today.

Super PAC Spends $188K To Get Kahele To Congress. The nonpartisan With Honor Fund has ties to Jeff Bezos of Amazon and other billionaires. Civil Beat.

Education Spending Drives Races For Hawaii Legislature. The pandemic is spurring candidates to focus on how the Legislature and DOE will use limited funding for safety measures and access to distance learning. Civil Beat.


Hawaiian Airlines plans to shrink 15% to 25%. Hawaiian Airlines is moving to raise cash and reduce staffing after reporting a significant second-quarter loss that continued the financial harm that emerged earlier this year from COVID-19 fears and containment policies. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines to cut workforce. During the company’s second quarter earnings call, CEO Peter Ingram said the recently completed quarter was incredibly challenging citing the 14-day quarantine as well as the recent cluster within the company. KHON2.

After dismal earnings report, Hawaiian Airlines expected to move ahead with layoffs. The company says it must move forward with layoffs after losing more than $100 million in its 2nd quarter earnings report. Hawaii News Now.

Mysterious unsolicited seed packets from China received by Hawaii residents. If you get an unsolicited packet of seeds from China, don’t open it. That’s the message from agriculture officials after multiple people received the mysterious packages. Hawaii News Now.


Eight Thai Soldiers Test Positive For COVID-19 After Training In Hawaii. They were participating in the Army’s first large-scale exercise in Hawaii since the pandemic began. Civil Beat.

8 Thai soldiers have virus following training in Hawaii. Asian media reported that eight out of 150 Thai army soldiers tested positive for the new coronavirus days after returning to Thailand from participation in a big Schofield Barracks field training exercise on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii sees 47 new coronavirus-related cases as statewide total grows to 1,757. The new cases included 46 on Oahu and one in Maui County, according to the state Department of Health’s daily tally. Star-Advertiser.

DOH reports 28 new COVID-19 cases, pushing statewide total to 1,711. All of the cases were on Oahu, according to the COVID-19 Joint Information Center. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor proposes 3-week shutdown of bars, mandatory mask wearing outside. In a bid to tamp down a worsening surge in new COVID-19 cases on Oahu, Honolulu’s mayor is proposing to shut down all bars on Oahu for three weeks, require mask wearing outdoors at all times, and limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Wants Bar, Mask Crackdown. A recent rash of COVID-19 cases on Oahu has Mayor Kirk Caldwell asking the governor’s permission to close bars and impose more strict mask requirements. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell seeks 3-week closure of Oahu bars. Oahu bars would be forced to shut down for three weeks to allow the city time to “recalibrate” and come up with tighter regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19 under a revised guideline that Mayor Kirk Caldwell is seeking from Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell asks DOH to be upfront with COVID-19 cases linked to businesses. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a press conference Tuesday morning that he wants the Hawaii Department of Health to be more upfront with COVID-19 cases. KHON2.

Some call mayor’s proposed expansion of mask mandate government overreach. Hawaii News Now.

City employee in Dept. of Design and Construction tests positive for COVID-19.  City officials confirmed Tuesday that an employee who works in the Frank Fasi Municipal Building has tested positive for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.


3 Hawaii Costco employees contract coronavirus. Three Costco workers have tested positive for the coronavirus — two in Hawaii Kai and one in Iwilei. Star-Advertiser.

3 Costco employees at 2 Oahu locations test positive for COVID-19. Internal memos confirmed that at least three employees tested positive — one in Iwilei and two others in Hawaii Kai. Hawaii News Now.

Another Foodland employee tests positive for coronavirus. Another Foodland employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, this time at Foodland Farms Pearl City. Star-Advertiser.


Father, son with COVID-19 forced into facility after breaking quarantine. A father and son who have tested positive for COVID-19 were ordered into quarantine at a facility on Tuesday after being detained at a strip mall in McCully. The state Health Department relied on a rarely-used authority to detain the two. Hawaii News Now.

McCully Shopping Center shuts down after father and son with COVID-19 were arrested in the parking lot. A busy shopping center put on lockdown on Tuesday after a father and son with COVID-19 were arrested for violating quarantine. KITV4.

Oahu businesses want $100M in city grants to pay for rent. A Hawaii business coalition is seeking $100 million in federal coronavirus aid from the city to benefit commercial property landlords and tenants. Star-Advertiser.

New Super PACs Pour Money Into Honolulu Races. The independent expenditure committees are taking out ads for mayoral and council candidates as voters cast their mail-in ballots. Civil Beat.


City buys McCully walk-up for low-income rentals. The city recently purchased a McCully Street apartment building that it will rent out to lower-income families, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Buys 10-Unit Building For Affordable Housing. As of 2019, Oahu needed over 22,000 new housing units by 2025, according to the state. Civil Beat.

City offers affordable housing with McCully Street property. The city unveiled a new affordable housing project on Tuesday. KHON2.

State Legislature sides with Nanakuli landfill opponents. State lawmakers recently passed a highly contested bill that would stop a planned expansion of a landfill in Nanakuli operated by PVT Land Co. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hundreds who lost homes in 2018 eruption could be eligible for up to $230K. Former Puna residents whose homes were destroyed by the 2018 Kilauea eruption can choose to sell their properties to the county through a nearly $80 million recovery program. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Physician Assistant Program Campus Approved. The new Kona campus of the MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program at the University of Washington "will be a game changer" for Hawaiʻi, says Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Big Island Video News.

A whale of a summer: research project continues in Hawaiian waters despite COVID. A unique partnership between marine biologist Dr. Robin Baird at Cascadia Research Collective and Colin Cornforth – the owner of Kona tour company Captain Zodiac – has ensured their summer field project has had a fruitful 21st year. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor is asking residents to limit interisland travel. As COVID-19 cases set daily records on Oahu along with an uptick on Maui, Mayor Michael Victorino is advising Maui County residents to postpone interisland leisure travel at this time and only fly between islands for essential business. Maui News.

Man Dies After Taser Struggle with Maui Police, Cause of Death is Undetermined. A 30 year-old Massachusetts man is dead following a taser struggle with Maui police in which he allegedly disarmed an officer of a Taser and proceeded to use the device on three different officers. Maui Now.

Stolen Oysters on Maui are Unfit for Human Consumption. Oysters that were destined for a research project on Maui were stolen last week and may have subsequently been sold at below-market prices on island. Maui Now.


HLRB hears temporary workweek trial. County of Kaua‘i Managing Director Michael Dahilig testified that the temporary four-day, 10-hour work schedule was an operational decision necessary to reduce movement and the spread of coronavirus yesterday in a Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board hearing on merits via Zoom. Garden Island.


Large gatherings, trucks driving over Hawaiian burial sites, widespread defecation force closure of Polihale State Park on Kauai. The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced it will close Kauai’s Polihale State Park indefinitely, citing bad behavior of residents, with abuse, illegal gatherings and camping. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai State Park Closed Indefinitely. State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell said more state parks could face closure as the agency struggles to enforce park rules during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

State closes Kauai’s Polihate State Park, blaming ‘bad behavior’ of locals. The state is closing Kauai’s famous Polihale State Park indefinitely. Hawaii News Now.

Polihale State Park on Kauai closed due to people’s bad behavior. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it’s impossible to enforce park rules because of its size and isolated location. KHON2.


Getting the vote out. The Voter Service Center was scheduled to open Monday, but that opening was delayed by the passage of Hurricane Douglas close to Kaua‘i late Sunday night, and into the early hours of Monday morning. Tuesday, the VSC opened to the public starting at 8 a.m. Garden Island.


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