Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ige shares budget-balancing plan, Hawaiian Airlines scales back mainland service proposal, teachers and state strike back-to-school distancing deal, Molokai vacation rental owners sue over limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii pandemic reopening navigator
How This Special Legislative Committee Has Worked To Keep Hawaii’s Economy Afloat. The House COVID committee has drawn on the expertise and clout of its members to work behind the scenes and help the Ige administration work through the state’s biggest challenges. Civil Beat.

Governor details how he plans to shore up $2.3B budget shortfall. With tourism at a standstill and other sectors of the state’s economy just hobbling along, Hawaii is facing a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall that the governor says he plans to shore up with a big loan from the US Treasury and budget cuts to state agencies. It’s the first time Gov. David Ige has offered specifics on how he plans to address the shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines to scale back plans to resume service. Reinstating several North America routes remain on hold but its current schedule stays on track. KITV4.

More military contracts could aid Hawaii economy. The federal government inked about $2.3 billion in defense contracts in Hawaii in 2019, with about $1.3 billion going to local businesses, an official with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.


Most Hawaii parents want kids in school at least part time, survey shows. About 70% of families report that their children learned “much less” or “somewhat less” when public school campuses were closed last quarter to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, new survey results show. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Education and teachers’ union agree on six feet of separation in classrooms. Hawaii’s public schools and the teachers’ union have agreed that students desks will be spaced six feet apart in classrooms in the new academic year, with anything less requiring a special exception. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOE, Teachers Union Agree To 6-Feet Spacing Rule. The teachers union and DOE came to an agreement that 6 feet of spacing in classrooms will be the norm, with anything less than that requiring a contract exception. Civil Beat.

Teachers union, DOE agree to keep students farther apart this fall. The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state Department of Education reached an agreement on physical distancing in classrooms as schools prepare to start the new academic year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Funding cut for pre-K program leaves families scrambling for care. State lawmakers cut the funding for seven positions at campuses involved in the Executive Office on Early Learning's Public Prekindergarten Program for at-risk and underserved families. Hawaii News Now.


June bankruptcies in Hawaii surged amid COVID crisis. The anticipated increase in Hawaii bankruptcies finally might be emerging as the state’s extended tourism lockdown and severe unemployment crisis take their toll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s massive unemployed population dependent on soon-expiring federal assistance. Nearly 250,000 Hawaii residents remain out of work, and will have their $600 weekly unemployment insurance payment from the federal government expire on July 31. KHON2.

Securitas is hiring, and they’re hosting a virtual job fair. While many in Hawaii face unemployment, few companies are looking to hire. One of those companies is Securitas. They’re hosting a virtual job fair Wednesday and Thursday for interested applicants. Available are more than hundred officer positions statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Number of Hawaii visitor arrivals sinks to lowest level since June. The tourists keep coming even though the state still hasn’t officially reopened Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Residents snub reopening for tourism, survey finds. A majority of Hawaii residents oppose reopening tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released this week. Star-Advertiser.


Lawmakers question whether more contact tracers are needed as more cases linked to clusters found. On Tuesday, 22 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) officials say many cases are tied to clusters. KHON2.

Hawaii inmate Tests Positive For COVID-19. The defendant and any exposed staff at the federal facility are in quarantine for 14 days. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 14: 22 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The quarantine remains in place for all incoming travelers, but schools are still on schedule to open next month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Updates: 22 New Cases Today. The Hawai’i Health Department reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 today. Nineteen cases are reported on Oahu, and three are on Hawaii Island. The number of deaths remains at 22. Hawaii Public Radio.

To date, Oahu has recorded 960 positive tests, followed by Maui County with 135 cases, Hawaii County with 105 and Kauai County with 43. West Hawaii Today.


Oahu bars, restaurants not allowed to serve liquor after midnight. Oahu bars and restaurants on Tuesday were ordered to stop serving liquor after midnight effective immediately in response to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

To slow spread of COVID-19, Oahu bars will now have to stop serving alcohol at midnight. Effective immediately, the sale and consumption of alcohol at Oahu bars after midnight is prohibited as part of new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

New mandate forces bars to stop serving alcohol at midnight in Honolulu. With cases increasing every day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is looking at ways to curb the spread of the virus. KHON2.


Clusters blamed as Hawaii sees 22 new coronavirus cases. A pau hana gathering among construction workers, workplace training at Hawaiian Airlines, exercise in indoor gyms, birthday parties, barbecues and other social gatherings are to blame for a surge in coronavirus cases, particularly on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns grow over schools reopening after infection at summer fun program. A 6-year-old attending a summer fun program in Aiea tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, raising concerns about Hawaii schools reopening in just a few weeks. Hawaii News Now.

Kym Marcos Pine says her top priority as mayor would be putting tourism in its place. Kym Marcos Pine has a vision for Oahu with far less tourism and far more homegrown jobs. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Traveling Physician at Ka‘ū Hospital Tests Positive for COVID-19. Lt. Governor Josh Green confirmed Tuesday to Big Island Now that a traveling doctor hired at Ka‘ū Hospital and Rural Health Clinic tested positive for the coronavirus last week. A town hall featuring Green and Mayor Harry Kim was held in Pahala Monday night to assuage the fears of the community there. Big Island Now.


Lee Loy amendment to fix ‘lame’ requirement of permits for window AC units. In the wake of a Department of Public Works press release that drew scorn when it was re-posted on Mayor Harry Kim’s official Facebook page, Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy has written an amendment to the construction code clarifying that building permits are not required to install a window air conditioning unit. West Hawaii Today.

County Considers Dropping Permit Requirement For Window-Mounted Air Conditioners. The Hawaiʻi County Council will consider amending the construction code at an upcoming meeting, following a social media stir over the permit requirement. Big Island Video News.

Portable, Window-Mounted Residential Air-Conditioning Units Exempt From Permit Requirements. An amendment is coming to legislation that will develop the framework for Hawai‘i County’s updated construction code. Big Island Now.


New physician assistant program could boost Big Isle health care. A physician assistant program from Washington will expand to West Hawaii this fall, but ultimately will improve access to medical care throughout Hawaii Island and the state. Tribune-Herald.

Free Financial Navigator Service Tackles COVID-19 Troubles. The County of Hawaiʻi has partnered with the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to help resident navigate COVID-related financial issues. Big Island Video News.


Old UHMC Dorms Repurposed for Emergency Housing Project. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. Maui Now.

Emergency Housing Project in Kahului blessed on Tuesday. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. KITV4.


Discounts bringing locals out. With the local economy hit hard by the nearly-100% drop in visitors since the spring, local businesses are offering discounts as a gesture to the community in a time of apprehension. Garden Island.

Free emergency water containers. There are two more days when people have the opportunity to get free emergency water containers from the county Department of Water — today at the Waimea High School grab-and-go meal site, and Thursday at the Kapa‘a High School grab-and-go meal site. Garden Island.


Molokai Vacation Rental Owners File Lawsuit To Lift Restrictions. A vacation rental association and four homeowners have filed a federal lawsuit against the county of Maui claiming their rights have been violated by restrictions placed on short-term vacation rentals on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Hawaii Public Radio.

Property owners sue over Molokai rental ban action. Permits set to expire at end of year; owners look to get them reinstated. Maui News.


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