Friday, July 31, 2020

Ige vetoes unemployment payments from CARES bill, COVID-19 cases hit another record 124, BOE delays schools opening to Aug. 17, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Ige removes mask at July 28 press conference. Facebook video.
Gov. David Ige vetoes additional unemployment insurance, hoping Congress acts. Gov. David Ige vetoed a spending plan that would have added $100 in state weekly unemployment benefits in the era of COVID-19, hoping that an embattled Congress will continue supplementing state benefits at something close to the current, weekly level of $600 in additional federal aid. Star-Advertiser.

Ige uses line-item veto on virus relief bill. Gov. David Ige said Thursday he would exercise his line-item veto on a bill appropriating federal coronavirus relief funds. The governor’s move eliminates $230 million set aside for a $100 additional weekly payment to unemployed individuals. Associated Press.

Governor Ige Modifies Budget, COVID-19 Relief Bill. Governor Ige repeated that Hawaiʻi is facing enormous budget challenges as a result of COVID-19, and that difficult decisions will have to be made. Big Island Video News.

Ige Shelves $230 Million in State Unemployment Aid, Vetoes Other Items in State Budget Bill. Governor David Ige will sign the state’s budget bill into law, with some notable omissions. Big Island Now.

Ige vetoes portions of CARES funding bill. Governor David Ige has signed Senate Bill 126, expending CARES Act funding before it expires at the end of the year, with eight line-item vetoes. Garden Island.

Governor Ige making modifications to budget, coronavirus relief bill with line-item vetoes. The state's budget is a big concern for Governor David Ige and there's even more concern about another record day of new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii with 124. KITV4.


States, Including Hawaii, Slow To Spend COVID-19 Relief Aid. State and local governments received $150 billion through a federal coronavirus relief program, but a new report shows they have yet to spend much of the money. Civil Beat.


Tourism free fall: June arrivals down 98%. Hawaii tourism plummeted again in June — the third month in a row that visitor arrivals fell more than 98% from the same month last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Visitor Arrivals Dropped 98% In June. The Hawaii Tourism Authority says COVID-19 “severely impacted” the state’s tourism industry. Civil Beat.

Visitor numbers on upward trend despite pandemic. Nearly twice as many visitors arrived in the state in June than in May, despite the ongoing ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Experts Predict ‘Shocking’ Income Drop For Hawaii Residents As Tourism Shutdown Continues. More businesses will close in the weeks ahead unless tourism resumes soon, financial forecasters say. Total personal income for Hawaii residents will decline by 7% this calendar year and will remain flat in 2021 because of more anticipated fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the tourism shutdown, according to a panel of experts that projects overall income data and tax collections for the state. Civil Beat.


State looking at solutions to speed up Pandemic Unemployment Assistance identification process. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said it will be making an announcement soon on a solution that will speed up the process for many. However, for now, it remains slow. KHON2.

Amid rampant unemployment, some employers on hiring binge. Unemployment in Hawaii is through the roof due to the new coronavirus, yet some companies are in major hiring mode. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Board of Education Approves Delay To New School Year. The modified start follows a strong union-led push to provide more time for more teacher training and preparation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii public schools set to start Aug. 17. The state Board of Education voted to push back the start of the academic year to Aug. 17 for public school students as cases of COVID-19 surged to a new high in Hawaii on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai'i public schools to start August 17, Board of Education rules. The meeting was scheduled to go from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. but more than two and a half hours of public testimony resulted in the Board of Education ruling that public schools will start on August 17. KITV4.

BOE approves delay to start date; students now will return Aug. 17. Hawaii’s students will return to school nearly two weeks later than initially planned after the state Board of Education approved a recommendation to delay their start to Aug. 17. Tribune-Herald.

Board of Education Approves Postponement of 2020-21 School Year to Aug. 17. The Hawai‘i Board of Education voted Thursday to delay the start of school until Aug. 17 days before classes were scheduled to begin this Tuesday. Big Island Now.

BOE votes to delay reopening of public schools until Aug. 17. The extra time is designed to give teachers, principals, and other staff members time to prepare for the return of students to campuses and train on distance learning tools. Hawaii News Now.

Schools to open Aug. 17. The state Board of Education has approved the delay of welcoming students back to public-school campuses to Monday, Aug. 17. Garden Island.

Hawaiʻi School Board Votes to Approve Delayed Start of School by Two Weeks. The Hawaiʻi Board of Education today voted to postpone the start of the school year by two weeks to Aug. 17, 2020. Maui Now.


Labor Unions Spend Heavily Trying To Sway Hawaii Elections. Political action committees are giving money to a suite of candidates running in state and local races. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Has Avoided Large Outbreaks At Care Homes. Can We Keep It That Way? Owners of small care homes say existing guidance is confusing, resources are scarce and they are not trained to deal with outbreaks of this nature. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 124 new coronavirus cases in a single day, another record high. It’s the second consecutive day that Hawaii has reported a triple-digit increase in new COVID-19 infections ― and the fifth record high in seven days. Hawaii News Now.

The Latest: 124 New Cases; Rollbacks Possible As New Cases Surge. Hawaii had another record-setting day today with 124 new cases of COVID-19, the state Department of Health reported. That overtakes yesterday's record of 109 new COVID-19 cases. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces three-week closure of Oahu bars amid record-high coronavirus-related cases in Hawaii. Several bars have been cited for violating social distancing and mask-wearing rules. Two Honolulu bars were found to be associated with as many as 12 cases of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Bars To Close For Three Weeks Starting Friday. After closing down two Chinatown bars for violations, the city is ordering the shutdown of all bars. Civil Beat.

City closes bars for 3 weeks amid growing spread of COVID-19. Under a city order approved by the governor, bars on Oahu will be closed for “at least” three weeks as authorities try to rein in a surge in COVID-19 infections. The shutdown goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Business owners unsure if bar closure applies to them. The Honolulu mayor said the spike in COVID-19 cases is behind his decision to close down bars starting Friday, but for owners of taprooms that also serve food, it could become confusing to know how exactly the mandate applies to them. KHON2.


Two Honolulu Firefighters Test Positive For COVID-19. Everyone who works at the Hawaii Kai fire station has been ordered to quarantine for two weeks. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa, Esser Surge In Campaign Cash In Race For Mayor, Prosecutor. Keith Amemiya and Steve Alm have raised and spent the most overall but their challengers gained momentum in the month leading up to the primary. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor Candidate Dwight Nadamoto: 'Mr. Kaneshiro Isn't Running For Office, I'm Running'. Dwight Nadamoto is the acting prosecutnig attorney for Honolulu. He was appointed to the position after current prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro took paid leave shortly after receiving a target letter from a federal grand jury. Hawaii Public Radio.

Isle voter turnout surging in first-ever all-mail election. The number of primary election ballots collected by the Honolulu Elections Division to date is eclipsing the number of absentee votes cast in the 2016 primary election — with 10 days to spare before the official Aug. 8 Election Day. Star-Advertiser.

As Kalihi coronavirus clusters form, so do longer lines at testing centers. As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increase on Oahu, Kalihi has been identified as one of the areas where clusters are popping up ― and on Thursday at the Kalihi Kai Urgent Care, there was a crowd of people outside waiting to get tested. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

TMT Proposes NSF Process To Move Forward. University of California Regents on Thursday discussed UC involvement with the Thirty Meter Telescope, and were given an update on the TMT request to the National Science Foundation to help bolster the project. Big Island Video News.

California university might review support for TMT project. The planned Thirty Meter Telescope landed on the meeting agenda of the University of California Board of Regents on Thursday as invited Native Hawaiian speakers on both sides of the hot topic argued their cases before a key TMT partner institution. Star-Advertiser.


Kona Community Hospital names new CEO. James “Jim” Lee will assume the position on Aug. 10, filling a role that interim CEO Jay Kreuzer has held since April after coming out of retirement after his replacement, Anna Chiotti, went on leave just two months into the job. West Hawaii Today.


Over 12 Acres In Kona Purchased For Preservation. The purchased lands will preserve numerous pre-historic and historic cultural sites and structures on the property, including a burial complex and the Kauakaiakaola Heiau. Big Island Video News.

County purchases Puapuaa acreage in Kona. The Puapuaa properties located makai of Alii Drive will now officially belong to the people of Hawaii County following the purchase of more than 12 acres in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

New vendor taking over animal control contract. Starting Saturday, Hawaii Rainbow Rangers — a branch of Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary — will be taking over the animal control responsibilities previously conducted by the Hawaii Island Humane Society. West Hawaii Today.


New Maui Rules Limit Social Gatherings to 10 People Max, Starting Friday July 31. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced today updated Public Health Emergency Rules that limit indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people. Maui Now.

Mayor Michael Victorino to limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to 10 for Maui County. Victorino has sent his update to the county’s Public Health Emergency Rules, which applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings, to Gov. David Ige for approval. Star-Advertiser.

Commission, CPAC chairs face conflict allegations. Developer ties, Pulelehua pact payments questioned. The Maui Planning Commission began its review of the draft West Maui Community Plan on Tuesday night amid questions about possible separate conflict of interest claims involving the heads of the commission and the West Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee. Maui News.


Workweek hearing continues. The case wades into whether the county willfully and intentionally violated collective-bargaining laws in Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, Chapter 89, by modifying employee work conditions and failing to work toward a mutual-consent agreement before switching to a four-day, 10-hour workweek. Garden Island.

Community asks to clean up Polihale. Some community members on Kaua‘i are hoping they’ll be allowed to help clean up Polihale State Park, but the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking people to hold off on entering the park so that the place can rest. Garden Island.


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