Thursday, September 10, 2020

State pushes for Oct. 1 trans-Pacific travel amid gloomy economic forecast, Honolulu City Council chairman resigns, Kauai bans polystyrene, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC:Hawaii Department of Transportation
Hawaii airport screening from Department of Transportation video
State's pre-travel testing program for transpacific travel scheduled to start October 1. Governor David Ige spoke to the four county mayors on Wednesday about using interisland travel as a pilot for the state's pre-travel testing program. KITV4.

Green says state should be ready to reopen to travelers on Oct. 1. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Wednesday that he does not see any reason the state could not reopen to trans-Pacific travelers on Oct. 1. Tribune-Herald.

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State Tax Collections Forecast To Drop $200 Million Next Year. The Council on Revenues predicts Hawaii tourism will be doing a very modest business by November, but will recover slowly. Civil Beat.

Forecast calls for Hawaii tax revenue to drop 11%. Hawaii tax revenue — severely depleted because of the coronavirus pandemic — will likely decline 11% this fiscal year if tourists begin to return to the islands by mid-November, an advisory panel for the governor and lawmakers said Wednesday. Associated Press.

With latest gloomy economic outlook, lawmakers prepare for a long road to recovery. The Hawaii Council on Revenues said tax revenues for the 2021 fiscal year will be down 11% — or about $770 million. The board also revised its outlook for the 2022 fiscal year, saying the economy will grow by 8%. Hawaii News Now.

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Hawaii’s Health Department Has Gotten Millions In COVID-19 Grants. Where Is It Going?. Competition for equipment and bureaucratic hurdles have slowed down spending meant to boost the state’s pandemic response. Civil Beat.

New COVID-19 cases are declining, but hospitals continue to grapple with nursing shortage. Despite a recent decline in the number of new coronavirus cases, hospitals continue to struggle to meet current needs because of a shortage of local nurses. Healthcare experts say Hawaii’s hospitals remain at 100% staffed bed capacity. Hawaii News Now.

Why Hawaiʻi's Marshallese Are Taking COVID-19 Matters Into Their Own Hands. Pacific Islanders in Hawaii are being disproportionately hit by the pandemic. The state has struggled to bring that number down, prompting at least one Pacific Islander community to take matters into their own hands. Hawaii Public Radio.

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COVID Pau project launches with goal of ‘fulfilling unmet need for public health data’. A group of local businesses and nonprofit organizations are providing Hawaii residents with real-time data to stop the spread of COVID-19 so that the economy reopens sooner and if it must close that only parts of it must shut down. Star-Advertiser.

Initiative aimed at providing tools to stop spread of coronavirus. COVID Pau is an effort of the Hawaii COVID Collaborative — itself a hui of private health care systems, businesses and nonprofit organizations organized by a subcommittee of the House Select Committee on COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

‘COVID Pau’ initiative aims to improve access to information to stop spread of virus. A new initiative has been launched Wednesday, aiming to increase transparency and improve access to information to ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19 in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

State posts antigen data showing dozens of probable COVID cases. Recently the state has made strides to make more of the data on COVID-19 in the islands more accessible. KHON2.

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Union shares hotel safety inspection results. Unite Here Local 5, which started conducting hotel inspections in June, had sought state legislation to require hotels to publish and enforce their health and safety procedures prior to reopening to outside tourism. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii Tourism Authority hires leader John De Fries amid budget cuts, tourism collapse. Tourism industry veteran John De Fries is slated to start Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

John De Fries Is New Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority President, CEO. The former head of the Hawaiʻi County Department of Research and Development, and president and CEO of Hokulia, now leads the HTA. Big Island Video News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 9: 100 New Cases And 3 Deaths In Hawaii. Three fatalities took the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 91. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 3 coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 100 new cases statewide. State Department of Health officials said the latest three coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu were all men with underlying medical conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Ikaika Anderson resigning from Honolulu City Council. Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, who has represented the windward side of Oahu since 2009, unexpectedly announced his resignation Wednesday, effective following the Sept. 23 council meeting. Star-Advertiser.

Ikaika Anderson Resigns From Honolulu City Council. The council chair cited family reasons for his decision to step down, effective Sept. 23, just a few months before his final term ends. Civil Beat.

City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson resigns, citing family reasons. City Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson surprised observers Wednesday by announcing he will resign from the council effective Sept. 23. Hawaii News Now.

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Two dozen mainland nurses to assist front-line workers at Queen’s Medical Center.  The federal government is deploying about two dozen mainland nurses to Oahu this week to help front-line workers with the surge of COVID-19 patients at the Queen’s Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green asks for loosening of latest Oahu stay-at-home order. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is asking city and state officials to change Oahu’s latest stay-at-home order to allow residents living in the same household to engage in outdoor activities together. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green To Caldwell: Let Families Go To The Beach. The lieutenant governor is voicing the same concerns many families on Oahu have expressed. Civil Beat.

With beaches, parks open for solo activity, some say that could mean more problems. Oahu parks, beaches and hiking trails reopen Thursday, but for individual activities only. Many who are eager to do outdoor activities again say the new rules don’t make sense. Hawaii News Now.

Public safety concerns over Honolulu’s one-person emergency order. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said members from one household should be able to go to the beach, trails and parks, and that the latest Honolulu emergency order should be amended to allow two people to go to outdoor public spaces. KHON2.

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City Council passes a resolution that would give businesses rent relief. The Honolulu City Council is urging the Mayor to set aside $100 million in federal funding to help cover the rents for local businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Resolution that could provide rental assistance for businesses passes Honolulu City Council. Businesses are one step closer to getting aid with rental payments. KHON2.

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Kokua Council to host online debate between Honolulu mayoral candidates Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi. The Kokua Council will livestream a debate on Monday between Honolulu mayoral candidates Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi. Star-Advertiser.

Commission: Amemiya’s Midweek Ad Didn’t Break The Law. The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission also levied over $4,400 worth of fines against other candidates. Civil Beat.

Keith Amemiya seeks action on alleged ‘felonies’ by super PAC. Mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya hopes the state Campaign Spending Commission resolves a complaint his campaign filed about a political action committee before ballots go out next month and another round of anti-Amemiya allegations can be made. Star-Advertiser.

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Honolulu City Council approves resolution to name Manana park after late Sen. Breene Harimoto. onolulu City Council today approved a resolution that would rename Manana Community Park the Breene Harimoto Manana Community Park. Star-Advertiser.


Manana Park to be renamed in honor of a beloved state senator. Honolulu’s City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to rename the Manana Community Park in Aiea. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Shakedown search for contraband led to riot at Hawaii Community Correctional Center. The riot at Hawaii Community Correctional Center on Tuesday afternoon occurred after a shakedown search for contraband was conducted in a housing unit, the Department of Public Safety announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Jail Disturbance Was Triggered By Search For Contraband. Inmates at Hawaii Community Correctional Center set fire to mattresses, plastic chairs and books. Civil Beat.

DPS: HCCC inmate disturbance in response to contraband sweep. The Department of Public Safety said Wednesday that the preliminary results of its investigation into a Tuesday disturbance in a housing unit at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo indicate inmates were rebelling against a shakedown search for contraband. Tribune-Herald.

HCCC Riot Was Triggered By Shakedown For Contraband, State Says. There is no indication that overcrowding contributed to the cause, the Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety claims. Big Island Video News.

PSD reveals more details about fire that broke out at HCCC. The State Public Safety Department said on Wednesday that the riot and fire that broke out at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center on the Big Island on Tuesday happened during a shakedown search for contraband. KITV4.

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PUC won’t exempt Honua Ola from competitive bidding. The president of Honua Ola Bioenergy said Wednesday that he was “not feeling so good” after the state Public Utilities Commission denied his company’s motion to reconsider a waiver of the competitive bidding process for the company’s nearly completed 21.5-megawatt biomass power plant. Tribune-Herald.

State inspection taking place at Hilo veterans home with COVID cluster. On the Big Island, a 10th death has been reported at a Veterans Home in Hilo. While federal aid has not come, we learned the State is stepping in. KHON2.

Whose jurisdiction? County Ethics Board continues Maunakea debate. Who should enforce the law when protesters block the access road to Maunakea and continue to have unpermitted structures there remained in question Wednesday as the county Board of Ethics struggled with a board resolution and a citizen petition that’s been pending since January. West Hawaii Today.

County Seeks Partner To Develop Multi-Family Rentals In Waikoloa. The County is seeking a partner to develop an independent workforce housing rental project on County-owned land in the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing subdivision in Waikoloa. Big Island Video News.

County Seeks Partner to Build Multi-Family Increment at Kamakoa Nui. The County of Hawai‘i is seeking proposals from qualified firms or partnerships to enter into a real estate development agreement for the design, financing, construction, and management of an independent workforce housing rental project on county-owned land in the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing subdivision in Waikoloa. Big Island Now.

Maui

Vacation rental bills up for first reading Friday. Measures would place hold on new permits on Lanai and prevent vacation rentals in some districts. Maui News.

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3,433 Acres at Kamehamenui on Maui Acquired for Conservation. A recent land acquisition protects the Kula water aquifer, habitat for endangered species, and community-based forest restoration opportunities. Maui Now.

More than 3,400 acres of a Maui forest to be preserved. Through federal and state funding, the Trust for Public Land purchased the forest for $9.8 million to protect the land and convey it to the community. Hawaii News Now.

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Non-Resident User Fees at ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve Start Oct. 1. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve will charge non-Hawai‘i residents a user-fee of $5 per vehicle. Maui Now.

Baldwin Beach Park Pavillion is slip sliding away. The annual loss of sand at the beach has been gradually eating away at the amenities year after year, with each year seeming to claw farther inland. Maui News.

Kauai

Styrofoam food container ban effective January 2022. Kaua‘i County, the last county in the state to pass a bill that would prohibit the sale and use of styrofoam foodservice containers, will join the others with it’s own ban in 2022. Garden Island.

Kauai is last Hawaii county to pass ban on foam containers. The Kauai County Council today passed a bill banning the use and sale of polystyrene food and drink containers starting in January 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua'i County Council passes ban on styrofoam food containers. The Kaua'i County Council on Wednesday passed a ban on styrofoam food containers. KITV4.

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Kawakami’s Rule 17 clarifies quarantine locations. Yesterday, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced a new Emergency Rule 17 that clarifies quarantine periods for those traveling under critical infrastructure allowances. Garden Island.

Mayor Kawakami announces Emergency Rule 17 confirming critical infrastructure workers must quarantine in hotel or motel. The County of Kaua‘i announced on Wednesday Mayor’s Emergency Rule 17 which clarifies that all persons performing critical infrastructure functions must designate a hotel or motel as a quarantine location. KITV4.

County opens Rise to Work program for residents. Workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic can look for opportunities through the Rise to Work program that was established by the County of Kaua‘i’s Kupa‘a Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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