Monday, July 20, 2020

Ige and mayors disagree over COVID-19 quarantine laws, $400M biomass plant in jeopardy, ballots hit mailboxes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii, like other destinations, struggling to reopen tourism. Destinations across most of the U.S. and in many foreign countries have reopened tourism, but so far none have figured out how to get large numbers of tourists to return to the skies. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige faces public and personal challenges caused by coronavirus pandemic. Ige, who is nearly halfway through his second term, talks with the mayors of Hawaii’s four counties three times a week, and even they’re not always in agreement on issues including when to lift Hawaii’s 14-day self-quarantine for incoming travelers, which he extended to Sept. 1 in his 10th emergency proclamation Friday. Star-Advertiser.

State won’t be ready to reopen Sept. 1, Kim says. The state isn’t ready to reopen to tourists Sept. 1 and it’s not ready to bring out-of-state college students back to campus Aug. 24, Mayor Harry Kim said in an hour-long interview Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

State releases new details on modified quarantine rules for out-of-state college students. As many as 8,000 out-of-state students are expected to attend university classes in Hawaii this fall and will be eligible for modified quarantine rules if they test negative for COVID-19 just before arriving in the islands or shortly afterward. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Signs 10th Emergency COVID-19 Proclamation. The latest proclamation keeps the mandatory 14-day quarantine in effect for travelers entering the State of Hawai‘i, and extends the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. Big Island Video News.

New lawsuit takes aim at governor’s emergency powers. A new lawsuit seeks to overturn the governor’s emergency powers during much of the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-restricted campaigning, mail-in votes make for historic election. Hawaii’s Aug. 8 statewide primary election will be unlike any other, with the first mail-in voting being conducted across the islands as COVID-19 prevents candidates from traditional door-to-door, face-to-face campaigning. Star-Advertiser.

80 HawaiĘ»i Inmates in Quarantine at Saguaro As Precautionary Measure. Saguaro’s parent company, CoreCivic, confirms that 69 offenders from Nevada, housed in a separate part of the facility, tested positive for COVID-19. Maui Now.

People are saving money in pandemic, survey finds. People in Hawaii appear to be saving more even as higher unemployment and income loss grips the islands during the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Rise in Hawaii coronavirus cases not as bad as feared. Hawaii’s COVID-19 new case count hit its highest level in four days Sunday, but officials found some relief in that the number was still well below what they feared it would be in the wake of the Fourth of July holiday. Star-Advertiser.

A new COVID-19 testing method shows promise as the state prepares to implement it. About 106,000 people in Hawaii have been tested for coronavirus, so far. With that, Hawaii has a positive result rate of 1.3 percent. But with limited testing capacity, state officials hope a new, FDA approved method will increase the number of test available, and who gets one. Hawaii News Now.

28 new cases of COVID-19 reported as number of people hospitalized jumps by 10. The state reported 28 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, pushing the total number of cases statewide to 1,381. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Updates: 28 New Cases; State Sued Again For Quarantine Order. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii health officials report 28 new coronavirus cases as statewide total rises to 1,381. Today’s new cases include 26 on Oahu, and two on Hawaii island, according to the state Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 tally. Star-Advertiser.


Veteran politicos and newcomers vie for Honolulu mayor. The 15 candidates vying to become Honolulu’s next mayor can be divided into two camps: those trying to persuade voters that these unprecedented times require a leader with political experience and those who argue the COVID-19 crisis demands fresh and creative thinking from someone outside government. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s How Honolulu’s Mayoral Candidates Want To Help The Economy. Mayoral candidates differ on taxes and growing the economy, but agree that tourism had grown too big before the COVID-19 crisis. Civil Beat.

Karaoke Bar Penalized For Violating Emergency Order. Bars in Honolulu have to stop serving liquor at midnight, according to emergency rules aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19. Civil Beat.

State’s routine maintenance of a major irrigation ditch raises environmental concerns. Environmental watchdogs are raising alarms about the state’s use of the herbicide Roundup in one of Oahu’s largest irrigation systems. Hawaii News Now.

Dorms planned for former YMCA. While the University of Hawaii is cutting a third of student housing beds offered on its Manoa campus this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a project continues to move forward to redevelop the former Atherton YMCA property to include a sizable dormitory space on the edge of a residential neighborhood. Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku nickname stirs emotions in rival petitions. The tomahawk chop and the accompanying chant by thousands of Kahuku football fans has the desired effect. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Isle biomass plant is down but not out. Honua Ola Bioenergy spent more than six years and over $400 million building a biomass plant on the Big Island that is now 99% completed. Star-Advertiser.

Honua Ola seeks a way forward following crippling PUC ruling. The president of Honua Ola Bioenergy — an almost completely built 21.5-megawatt biomass power plant — said he’ll likely ask the state Public Utilities Commission to reconsider a July 10 order that nixed a waiver of the competitive bidding process for a power purchase agreement between the project and Hawaiian Electric Co. Tribune-Herald.


545 Kona Community Hospital employees test negative for COVID-19. Kona Community Hospital said Saturday that all but three of the 548 COVID-19 tests administered to staff on Thursday have come back negative for the virus. West Hawaii Today.

548 Tested At Kona Hospital, 545 Negative For COVID-19. Kona Community Hospital has confirmed that most of the results from the hospital’s facility-wide COVID-19 testing have been received. Big Island Video News.


Police arrest and charge Glendon, others, in Home Depot parking lot incident. A 38-year-old Big Island mayoral candidate who admitted on Facebook to arranging a July 7 blockade of the parking lot at the Hilo Home Depot store has been arrested and charged with four offenses in connection with that incident. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Mayoral Candidate Arrested For Assault. A Big Island mayoral candidate with a checkered legal past was arrested on Friday following an assault earlier in the month in the parking lot of Home Depot in Hilo. Civil Beat.

Mayoral Candidate Arrested in Reported Assault at Home Depot. A mayoral candidate was among three Puna residents arrested and charged in connection to a reported zip-tie hoax in Hilo’s Home Depot parking lot earlier this month. Big Island Now.


Bids in for Kilauea Ave project. Bids received for a road rehabilitation project to improve a 1.5-mile stretch of Kilauea Avenue in Hilo came in higher than anticipated. Tribune-Herald.

Impacts Of Kona Sewage Spill Discussed. Rick Bennett talks about the possible health and environmental impacts of the recent spill that dumped 20,000 gallons of sewage into Kailua Bay. Big Island Video News.


Victorino announces COVID-19 economic recovery task force. Mayor Michael Victorino announced a new task force Friday that will help to create an economic recovery plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Maui News.

Hana Highway reopens, traffic management plan in the works. The Road to Hana reopened to the public on Thursday, July 16. KHON2.

Maui DMV Update: Safety Check and Road Test Information. The State announced that all safety check certificates and stickers that expired prior to June 1, 2020, will remain valid until Aug. 31, 2020. Maui Now.

Paid benefit for hospital employees is extended. Maui Health is extending through Sept. 30 a paid benefit for employees who must stay home while awaiting COVID-19 test results or have been feeling ill, hospital officials said this week. Maui News.


Kauai County Council Candidates Differ On How To Reopen For Tourism. Only one candidate said the state should welcome tourists immediately without requiring some kind of testing or quarantine. Civil Beat.

Report: Plastic most common beach pollutant. The first annual Beach Cleanup Report has been issued by the Surfrider Foundation, analyzing results from all of the coastal cleanups done nationwide by the organization in 2019. Garden Island.


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