Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Hawaii COVID-19 cases drop, Caldwell announces 4-phase reopening plan for Honolulu, affordable housing plan dropped after community pushback, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Coffee beans drying in Hawaii
Coffee beans on a drying floor ©2020 All Hawaii News

 Coffee Producers Eligible For Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The Hawaiʻi Coffee Association lauded the USDA for including coffee in CFAP funding eligibility. Big Island Video News.

Candy maker Hawaiian Host feels squeeze to pay off vendors’ invoices. Hawaiian Host Inc., a 60-year-old kamaaina producer of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts largely enjoyed by tourists, has been one of Hawaii’s businesses hardest-hit by COVID-19 fallout. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Failed In Its Pandemic Response. It Has Another Chance To Get It Right. The pandemic has revealed deep cracks in Hawaii’s government and social system, but also created an opportunity for real change. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i’s Return to Tourism: Just How Realistic is the Plan? The Big Island’s tourism industry expected to hear news from Gov. David Ige last week that the state had a plan to reopen to tourism by mid-October. Expectations as to how effective that plan may prove to be are harder to define. Big Island Now.

‘Likely’ human service furloughs would ripple among those in need. “Likely” furloughs beginning Dec. 1 at the state Department of Human Resources — which helps administer a wide range of social service programs including food stamps and Medicaid — could have “devastating” effects across the islands at a time of increasing hardship triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Which Students Went to Summer School This Year? Maybe Not The Ones Who Needed It Most. About 18,000 Hawaii students attended this year’s public summer school. The programs were to especially help students who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 22: 63 New COVID-19 Cases.
All new diagnoses were verified by state health officials on Oahu except for eight in Hawaii County. Civil Beat.

63 New COVID-19 Cases (55 O‘ahu, 8 Hawai‘i Island). There were 63 new COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i today including 55 on O‘ahu and eight on Hawai‘i Island. Maui Now.


Mayor Caldwell announces 4-tier framework for reopening Oahu starting Thursday. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday announced he intends to lift the current “stay-at-home/work-from-home” order Thursday, and presented a “COVID-19 recovery framework” that will guide the easing and tightening of future restrictions on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

New Honolulu Plan Opens Beaches, Parks, Social Gatherings To Groups Of 5. Pools, hair salons can reopen. Retail can open at 50% capacity. Civil Beat.

Oahu retailers, eateries and salons allowed to reopen with restrictions under new order. Retailers, eateries, salons, and other businesses will be allowed to reopen on Oahu with limited capacity, gatherings of up to five people will be permitted, and even attractions will be able to welcome back customers under a new emergency order set to go into effect Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Announces Limited Reopening on O‘ahu Starting Thursday.
Governor Ige is expected to sign off on the latest COVID-19 emergency order for Honolulu, which government leaders say is aimed at reducing virus spread and seeks to put O‘ahu on the path to economic recovery. Maui Now.

Honolulu mayor makes exception for restaurant dine-in against health department recommendation. Under Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new COVID-19 framework set to take effect on Thursday, Sept. 24, restaurants would be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. KHON2.

Honolulu is taking steps to keep the COVID-19 case count low. Oahu’s second attempt at reopening the kamaaina economy will come with greater vigilance on community health, with additional testing and an increased number of COVID-19 contact tracers and isolation hotels established by the city. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu business owners have mixed reactions over new tiered reopening plan. Some Honolulu business owners say the mayor’s new order is a welcome chance to reopen, even with limits. Others say it’s a big confusing hassle. Hawaii News Now.

Gyms and fitness centers hit hard by Honolulu’s reopening strategy. Under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new reopening strategy gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to open, but only for outdoor exercise and at limited numbers. KHON2.

HART: Canceling public-private partnership could cause 18 months of rail delays.
The Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation said delays of up to 18 months should be expected if its current plans to use a private-public partnership are scrapped. Hawaii News Now.

Developer withdraws Kailua affordable-housing plan. The developer of a planned four-story low-income apartment building on the edge of a single-family Kailua neighborhood withdrew its application for the controversial project Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Developer Withdraws Application For Embattled Affordable Housing Project In Kailua.
The project couldn’t generate the support it needed from city council members. Civil Beat.

Developer withdraws application to build affordable housing complex in Kailua.
An affordable housing project planned for Kailua won’t be happening any time soon. Ahe Group has officially withdrawn their application to build the development in Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Employee Used City Truck To Drive To Football Games, Ethics Commission Finds. The case took nearly three years to resolve. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Water Board sets public hearing for 13% rate hike. The public will be able to weigh in Oct. 21 on an average 13% increase in island water rates, following action Tuesday by the county Water Board. West Hawaii Today.

Isle hospitals scraping by. Hospital admissions and visits to Big Island emergency rooms are starting to rebound after drastically declining in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

EA of plans for former Hilo Scrap Metal Yard finds no significant impact. A final environmental assessment of the county’s planned permanent closure and remediation of the site of the former Hilo Scrap Metal Yard has resulted in a finding of no significant impact. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Water Use and Development Plan Public Hearing Requested for Oct. 9. State and county law requires each county to prepare and periodically update water use and development plans as components of the State of Hawai‘i Water Plan. Maui Now.

Four new COVID-19 cases were reported at the Roselani Place assisted living community on Maui since last week, bringing the total number of infections reported at the facility to 56 since mid-August. The positive cases include 28 staff and 28 residents. Maui Now.

A Maui restaurant may be laying off 129 employees. A Maui restaurant may be laying off 129 workers permanently sometime between November 18 and the start of next year. In a "WARN" letter to the state, Fleetwood on Front Street, says the employees were placed on temporary furlough on March 18. KITV4.


Office of Economic Development to share CARES funds update Thursday.
The Lihu‘e Business Association is hosting a presentation of the county Office of Economic Development initiatives program Thursday from 8 to 9 a.m. Garden Island.

County’s Kupa‘a food distribution through end of year. Funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money, the Kupa‘a Kaua‘i food-distribution program started Tuesday and continues through Friday, offering eligible recipients food at neighborhood centers in Lihu‘e, Kapa‘a and Kilauea in the east, and Koloa, Hanapepe and Waimea on the west. Garden Island.


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