Friday, October 30, 2020

Inmates to get $1200 stimulus, Honolulu maintains existing COVID-19 restrictions, coffee leaf rust hits two islands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii jail dorm ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii Inmates Can Now File For $1200 Federal Stimulus Checks.
A federal court in California has ruled that prison and jail inmates are eligible to receive federal stimulus payments under the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act, and Hawaii corrections officials are now distributing forms for prisoners to use to file for the payments. Civil Beat.

CARES Act Funding Lifted Hawaii Residents’ Incomes. The state Council on Revenues projects total personal income will actually increase by 5% this year but decline by 4% next year. Civil Beat.

Supreme Court Rejects Suit Seeking Prompt Payments For Hawaii’s Jobless. The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected a class-action lawsuit that tried to spur faster action from the state’s labor department on thousands of outstanding unemployment claims. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Lawmaker Spent Years Obstructing Vaping Regulation While Receiving Thousands From Big Tobacco. As youth vaping rates surged, powerful state lawmaker Sylvia Luke repeatedly held up anti-vaping laws while accepting nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from tobacco companies and lobbyists. Hawaii Public Radio.

Public access: Legislation in the works to allow more online participation in government. If a global pandemic can even have a silver lining, it’s this: Public access to state and local government meetings has never been easier, especially for neighbor island residents. West Hawaii Today.


7 out of 10 patients in Hawaii hospitalized with COVID-19 are being treated with a drug called Remdesivir. Remdesivir is the same drug that was used help fight the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2016. KITV4.

Hawaii tourism struggles to gain momentum.
In the second week of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, visitor arrivals fell 25% compared with the first week.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii resorts plan for more visitors, fewer jobs. Hawaii hotels are slowly reopening, but they are also converting some temporary furloughs into permanent layoffs. Hawaii News Now.

Lessons learned from first two weeks of the state's Safe Travels platform. Since Hawaii's pre-travel testing program started two weeks ago, data from the state's Office of Enterprise Technology Services shows more than 110,000 people have come to the islands. KITV4.

More than 83,000 flew to Hawaii since Oct. 15. Since the state reopened to tourism on Oct. 15, the number of trans-Pacific air arrivals has more than quadrupled the total for all of September. Tribune-Herald.

Post-arrival surveillance testing finds a handful of Hawaii travelers with COVID-19. A handful of trans-Pacific travelers have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the islands, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 data analyst projects spike from Halloween could come around Nov. 15. Experts say coronavirus case averages have been consistent over the past few weeks, but all it takes is one event without masks or social distancing for cases to spike. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 29: 77 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases include 60 on Oahu, eight on Hawaii island, one on Kauai and two on Lanai. Civil Beat.


Despite encouraging trend, Oahu won’t see any loosening of COVID-19 restrictions for weeks. In recent weeks Honolulu’s coronavirus numbers have been slowly declining even as the pandemic has started to rage on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor announces requirements for O'ahu to possibly move into Tier Three in third week of November. Oahu's recovery plan could potentially move into Tier Three in the third week of November if the average number of COVID-19 cases per day remain low. KITV4.

Decision on Malaekahana housing plan again postponed. The community has for years been heatedly divided on language in the proposed revised plan that would allow for up to 200 residential units on 50 acres of undeveloped land that straddles Laie and Malaekahana. Star-Advertiser.

State says Kaaawa homeowner who chopped down trees fronting shoreline had no permit; neighbors are outraged. Conflict is brewing on Oahu’s North Shore after a homeowner illegally chopped down multiple trees along the coastline in Kaaawa, creating concerns among residents about erosion. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Coffee leaf rust hits Hawaii Island. A sample of a rust fungus collected at a residence in Hilo has been tentatively identified by the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Hilo as coffee leaf rust. West Hawaii Today.

Data-Collecting Vehicle Sensors Installed On East Hawaii Highways. The connected vehicle sensors anonymously collect data from Bluetooth-enabled devices in passing vehicles, and calculate travel times between units in order to optimize traffic signal timing, HDOT says. Big Island Video News.

Fairmont Orchid to Reopen in Mid-November. The reopening includes guest services as well as food and beverage venues, including Brown’s Beach House, Hale Kai, Brown’s Deli, and Spa Without Walls. Big Island Now.


Single Positive COVID-19 Result Out of 700 Participants in Maui Post-Arrival Voluntary Test. More than 700 participants have taken COVID-19 tests as part of the County of Maui’s free voluntary post-arrival testing program, which started Oct. 17. Maui Now.

Coffee leaf rust threatens Hawaii’s coffee industry. A notorious new pest has landed on Maui, and coffee growers across the islands fear the plant disease could devastate — and maybe even transform — the $54 million industry in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

State alleges company violated stream-flow levels. Wailuku Water Co., which owns a water delivery system used for Maui County drinking water, was given notice recently for failing to meet state standards for in-stream flows on three Na Wai ‘Eha waterways in the West Maui Mountains. Maui News.

Ka‘ahumanu Avenue Community Corridor Project Announced. Maui County residents are invited to participate in a study to create a new vision for the roadway corridor along Ka‘ahumanu Avenue and Main Street in Wailuku. Maui Now.


Kollar: All must obey virus rules. Eight of the 14 people arrested on Kaua’i for allegedly violating the 14-day mandatory quarantine since the state’s reopening were out-of-state visitors. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Hawaii mulls medical marijuana for anxiety, insomnia; gun sales surge; Caldwell holds gubernatorial fundraiser, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Medical marijuana sign in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News

Petitions would add 3 conditions to medical pot list. Petitions seeking to add anxiety, depression and insomnia to the list of “debilitating medical conditions” that qualify Hawaii patients for medical cannabis use will undergo a public hearing Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Gun sales surge, creating a backlog to process permits. Gun sales have taken off like a shot, leaving some counties struggling to keep up with the surge in permits and registrations. KITV4.

A week out from Election Day, more than half of all registered voters in Hawaii have cast their ballots, following a trend seen across the U.S. Statewide voter turnout on Tuesday was about 51.9%, according to data provided by the county clerks’ offices. Civil Beat.

Virtual fundraiser supporting Caldwell’s bid for governor raises eyebrows. A fundraiser hosted by Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday afternoon is raising eyebrows. That’s because proceeds from the virtual event go to his run for governor in 2022. Hawaii News Now.

Some worry state will botch rollout of program that extends unemployment benefits.  For those who have used up their 26 weeks of unemployment and the 13 weeks of federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, there is another option. Hawaii News Now.

HTA consultant: Canadians eager to fly back to Hawaii ahead of harsh winter.
With tourists from the mainland flooding into Hawaii, and a pre-travel testing plan starting for Japan, residents in other countries are eagerly awaiting their turn to be allowed to travel to the islands with a negative COVID test. Hawaii News Now.

Dark Days: Hawaiian Airlines’ Struggles Reflect The Pain Of The Tourism Industry. The state’s largest private employer before COVID-19 struck, Hawaiian Airlines business took a nosedive in the third quarter of 2020. Civil Beat.

Retired state official to pay $5,000 fine for accepting $650 in meals at Honolulu restaurants. The former chief examiner of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Insurance Division will pay a $5,000 fine after accepting over $650 worth of meals from a vendor he oversaw, including dinner for himself and his wife at upscale Nobu Honolulu restaurant, the state Ethics Commission said today. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 28: 62 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases include 41 on Oahu, five on Hawaii island, two on Maui, one on Kauai and seven on Lanai. Civil Beat.


Oahu vote tally topples record.
The Honolulu Elections Division had tallied 313,320 ballots as of the end of day today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayoral candidate Rick Blangiardi now outraising, outspending Keith Amemiya. For the first time this election season, Honolulu mayoral candidate Rick Blangiardi’s campaign is outpacing opponent Keith Amemiya’s team in both collections and expenditures. Star-Advertiser.

Latest spending figures released in Honolulu mayoral race.
They show former television executive Rick Blangiardi outspending attorney Keith Amemiya in the final leg of the campaign trail. Blangiardi spent about $170,000 more than Amemiya during the last month. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Opens Section 8 Waitlist For Oahu Renters. Current Oahu renters can sign up online between Thursday and Monday to try to get on the waitlist. Civil Beat.

Hawaii opens Section 8 housing waitlist.
The federal housing money is being directed at needy Oahu families who are struggling to keep their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in four years, state is opening Section 8 housing voucher applications. When the state starts accepting applications for its Housing Choice Voucher program or Section 8 on Thursday, the executive director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority expects about 20,000 people on Oahu to sign-up. KITV4.


City reports another Honolulu city bus driver has tested positive for COVID-19. Another TheBus driver has tested positive for COVID-19, city officials confirmed today, the second one to be reported, so far, this week. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police officers will be out on Halloween to enforce COVID-19 rules. Mayor Kirk Caldwell once again urged Oahu visitors and residents not to let down their guard, hold large gatherings or cluster in Waikiki on Halloween this Saturday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

How SHOPO Keeps Trying To Hide Police Misconduct Despite New Disclosure Law. The statewide police union doesn’t want the public to have access to the arbitration decision that gave alleged abuser Darren Cachola his badge back. Civil Beat.


NTSB: Pilot in deadly 2019 skydiving plane crash often did risky maneuvers. More than 16 months after a deadly skydiving plane crash at Dillingham Airfield, the final NTSB report highlights mechanical problems with the aircraft, as well as concerns about the pilot. Hawaii News Now.

NTSB releases details from skydiving plane crash that killed 11 at Dillingham Airfield. Federal officials released documents today that provide details about one of the deadliest U.S. civil aviation accidents of the past decade, including testimony from people who had varying accounts of the crash pilot’s flight habits. Star-Advertiser.

NTSB releases final report on deadly Mokuleia skydiving crash. Sixteen months after a horrific skydiving crash in Mokuleia that killed 11 people, the National Transportation Safety Board released its final report. KHON2.


Gambling machines, cash and drugs seized from illegal game room in McCullyTwenty gambling machines, cash, and drugs were seized from an illegal game room in the McCully area on Tuesday night. KITV4.

Olive Garden to open Thursday at Ala Moana Center. Hawaii’s first Olive Garden is scheduled to open Thursday, just as plans for a second location in Kapolei have been announced. Star-Advertiser.

Olive Garden set to open first location at Ala Moana Center Thursday. In a year filled with devastating news about the restaurant industry, here’s a bright spot: Olive Garden’s first Hawaii location will open on Thursday, Oct. 29, at Ala Moana Center. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Compost facility on hold: Green waste, food scrap shortage could spell doom to $10.5M plant.
A $10.5 million facility intended to take green waste and mix it with other materials to make compost is on hold after officials discovered they’re missing a critical ingredient — food waste to make the material cook to the high temperature needed in the composting process. West Hawaii Today.

PUC, others respond to Honua Ola’s high court request. The state Public Utilities Commission has asked that a petition filed last month by Honua Ola Bioenergy — which seeks to vacate the commission’s July 9 decision that nullified an amended power purchase agreement between the nearly completed Pepeekeo power plant and Hawaiian Electric Co. — be denied in its entirety. Tribune-Herald.

New light snarls traffic: DOT says timing will undergo adjustments. A new traffic light located at the intersection of Highway 11 and Kipimana Street — the entrance to Shipman Business Park — began normal operation on Monday morning, but traffic was snarled along the highway that afternoon. Tribune-Herald.


Free COVID-19 testing available across island. Maui County is offering free COVID-19 testing in West, South and Central Maui. Maui News.


Kauai visitor tests positive for COVID-19 after twice testing negative. Kauai health officials today reported a new positive case of COVID-19 from an adult, female visitor who has been placed in isolation. Star-Advertiser.

DOH: New active case has negative pre and post-travel tests. The Kaua‘i District Health Office reported a new positive case of COVID-19 among an adult female visitor yesterday. Garden Island.

Over 600 cats and dogs make their way to Mainland. Wednesday afternoon, 302 furry friends jetted off Kaua‘i toward their new furry futures on the Mainland. Garden Island.

Target to open at Kukui Grove Center
. The planned store will cover approximately 122,000 square feet following a renovation to the existing space at the Kukui Marketplace. Garden Island.


Mayor Victorino announces free COVID-19 community testing will be offered Thursday. Maui County Michael Victorino announced on Wednesday that free, COVID-19 community testing will be offered on Thursday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center on Moloka'i. KITV4.


Lāna‘i COVID-19 Cases Now 94: Mayor Expects Leveling Off and Steady Decline in Next Week. So far, an estimated 87% of the island population on Lānaʻi has been tested with 2,747 tests administered since an outbreak was first reported early last week.  That brings the island’s positivity rate to 3.13 percent. Maui Now.

Victorino upbeat about Lanai’s COVID-19 status. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is confident that the COVID-19 outbreak on Lanai is under control after the issuing of a stay-at-home order Tuesday and encouraging results from recent surge testing. Maui News.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hawaii opening to travelers from Japan, 20k apply for rent relief, HART board fails to kill rail partnership, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House Speaker Scott Saiki and Gov. David Ige at Honolulu airport (Governor's Office video grab)

Hawaii to welcome Japanese travelers next month through the state’s pre-arrival testing program. The number of Japanese visitors willing to come to Hawaii during the pandemic will be limited in part because of a requirement from the Japanese government that Japanese nationals traveling abroad complete a 14-day quarantine upon returning to Japan. Also, the Japanese government still has the U.S. listed under a “level three” travel restriction, which advises Japanese citizens to “reconsider travel” to the U.S. Star-Advertiser.

Pre-Travel Flights From Japan To Start Nov. 6. Starting Nov. 6, travelers from Japan who can produce a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before arrival in Hawaii will be allowed to skip the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to welcome Japanese visitors back in November with pre-travel testing. Japanese visitors will be able to take advantage of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program starting next month, the governor announced Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Japanese visitors could start arriving as early as Nov. 6 under state’s pre-travel testing plan. When visitors from Japan are allowed to travel to Hawaii without being quarantined — which could happen as soon as Nov. 6 — officials aren’t expecting the demand seen when the state reopened for mainland U.S. tourist arrivals on Oct. 15. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Pre-travel Testing Program Expands To Japan. During a news conference that was livestreamed on Tuesday, state officials announced 21 trusted testing partners in Japan.  Big Island Video News.

Quarantine-Exempt Travel Opens to Japan in November. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that beginning Nov. 6, travelers from Japan may bypass Hawaiʻi’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they pass a trusted coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure and receive a negative result. Big Island Now.

Hawaiʻi expands Safe Travels program to Japan. The state is expanding its pre-travel testing program with the addition of Japan, marking the first state-county tourism partnership program. Garden Island.

Travel from Japan to Hawai‘i Begins Nov. 6 with Pre-Travel Testing Program. Starting Friday, Nov. 6, travelers from Japan may bypass the State of Hawaiʻi’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from a trusted testing partner in Japan. Maui Now.

Japan added to state’s pre-travel testing program, but Japan still has its own restrictions. The governor says All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Japan Airlines will have planes from Japan touching down as early as Nov. 6, and we can expect to see a total of 10 fights to Hawaii next month. KHON2.

Hawai‘i expands pre-travel testing program to Japan. On Tuesday Governor David Ige said the largest group of inbound international travelers to our state are returning to the islands as soon as November 6th. KITV4.


Overdue-rent cases are expected to clog Hawaii’s courts. Hawaii’s courts are expected to be filled with “thousands and thousands” of legal disputes between landlords and their tenants who are delinquent on rent once the current ban on evictions expires at the end of the year, the head of the state Office of Consumer Protection said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Relief program keeping Hawaii’s rental market together. The struggle continues for thousands of local families trying to make rent. KHON2.

More Rental Subsidies In 2021?
House Lawmakers Say It’s An Open Question. There’s still overwhelming demand for rental assistance in the last quarter of 2020. Civil Beat.

State's COVID-19 rent relief program ramps up to pay out $78 million by end of year. Of the $87.5 million in CARES Act money meant for struggling renters and homeowners -- only about $10 million has been paid out. KITV4.

Manpower added to process applications for rental assistance programs.
More than 20,000 people applied for aid up to $2,000 a month on Oahu, and $1,500 a month on the neighbor islands. Hawaii News Now.


Candidate Fined $100 For Filming Campaign Spot At State Capitol. State House candidate Diamond Garcia has been fined $100 by the state Ethics Commission after he made a campaign video of himself for Facebook that used an upper-level lanai at the State Capitol as the backdrop. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 27: 66 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases documented Tuesday include 50 on Oahu, three on Hawaii island, two on Maui and nine on Lana. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Rail’s Pricey P3 Procurement Continues After Board Fails To End It. City leaders and most HART board members want to cancel the public-private partnership process and start over. Civil Beat.

HART board’s 7-2 vote fails to halt P3 process. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation voted 7-2 Tuesday to direct CEO and Executive Director Andrew Robbins to halt a two-year effort to secure a private partner to complete the $10 billion-plus rail project and to instead proceed with a Plan B. Star-Advertiser.

After HART vote, talks for rail public-private partnership will continue (for now). Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s full-court press to stop a proposed public-private partnership for Oahu’s troubled rail project has fallen short ― for now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Construction Union Spent Nearly $1 Million On Oahu Races. The state’s largest super PAC and business executives invested heavily in helping Rick Blangiardi beat Keith Amemiya to be Honolulu mayor. Civil Beat.


State and EPA reject key Navy plans for Red Hill fuel storage tank fix. State and federal regulators have rejected key provisions of the Navy’s plan to improve the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility following a 27,000-gallon leak in 2014 — saying the proposal for the World War II-built tank farm “lacks detail, clarity, rationale and justification.” Star-Advertiser.

Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Tank Plan Rejected By EPA, Health Department. State and federal officials said the military didn’t clearly identify how it would “minimize risk and impact to the drinking water resource.” Civil Beat.

Navy’s plan for Red Hill fuel tanks rejected by EPA, DOH. The state health department and the Environmental Protection Agency have rejected the Navy’s plan for the Red Hill fuel tanks. They say the plan isn’t enough to protect the aquifer. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Navy’s fuel tank proposal rejected over concerns regarding Oahu’s drinking water. Officials rejected the U.S. Navy’s plan to safeguard Oahu’s drinking water near Red Hill from possible contamination from underground fuel tanks used in World War II. KHON2.


Trans-Pacific passenger learns of positive COVID-19 test after landing in Honolulu. The CDC and state health officials were alerted Tuesday after a passenger learned of a positive COVID-19 test result shortly after landing in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

DOH confirms traveler tested positive for COVID-19 coming into Honolulu. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Oct. 27 that a traveler received a positive COVID-19 test result upon arrival in Honolulu. KHON2.


Chinatown Rising: Businesses Are Finding Cool New Homes Amidst The Pandemic. Despite restrictions that have hindered business and a growing homeless population, businesses are moving into Honolulu’s arts and entertainment district. Civil Beat.

Helicopter makes emergency landing in Nuuanu; no injuries reported. A Hughes 369D helicopter doing utility work for Hawaiian Electric made an emergency landing in the mountains above Nuuanu after its engine failed late this morning, but no one was seriously hurt. Star-Advertiser.

Chopper makes hard landing in Nuuanu after reporting engine failure. A helicopter made a hard landing in Nuuanu on Tuesday, prompting an emergency response. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Water Board approves rate hike. Big Island households will see a water rate increase beginning Jan. 1, but the approximately 8% hike in the basic rate is expected to be tempered by a decrease in the power cost charge in the near future. West Hawaii Today.

Mobile COVID-19 testing vans to roll out soon. A mobile COVID-19 testing system is expected to be operational within the next two weeks, Mayor Harry Kim confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County Actively Hunts COVID to Prevent Clusters. Targeted community testing continues to be Hawai‘i County’s approach in identifying clusters of the virus, with the assistance of Premier Medical Group. Big Island Now.


Layne Silva Named Director of Maui Department of Liquor Control.
The Liquor Control Commission selected Layne Silva today as director of the Department of Liquor Control. He succeeds Glenn Mukai, who has retired. Maui Now.

Liquor director selection reportedly down to two. The search for a new Maui County Liquor Control director appears to have been narrowed to two candidates, including a current liquor control officer who is the son of a former liquor control director. Maui News.

Some East Maui residents want the road to Hana closed to visitors – again. Some residents say they have seen an influx in traffic and trash along the road to Hana since the relaunch of Hawaii’s tourism industry on October 15th and they’re asking the mayor to close the road to non-residents again. Hawaii News Now.

County: Follow Best Practices When Handling Solid Waste During COVID-19 Pandemic. These best practices include: double-bagging waste that was used to care for sick people at home; and maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from solid waste personnel. Maui Now.


Residents take advantage of in-person balloting. With less than a week to the general election, Office of the County Clerk Elections Division Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka said voting has been “really, really good.” Garden Island.

DOH: ‘Ele‘ele School’s case likely community transmission. The employee was on campus from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23, before testing positive. Garden Island.

Confusion around Safe Travels leads to arrest.
While it may have been the correct test and within the time frame, the state is requiring tests be through the state’s Safe Travels program, which gives officials access to validate tests. Garden Island.


How Kalawao County on Molokai managed to stay COVID-19 free.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has steadily risen across the Hawaiian Islands since the start of the pandemic, but one county has the distinction of zero cases — Kalawao County, on the island of Molokai. KHON2.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Masks are mandatory in Hawaii, but state sends mixed signals, Lanai under shutdown as COVID-19 cases surge, parents sue Honolulu Police Department over arrest of 15-year-old schoolmate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
Masks are worn at a Hawaii farmers market ©2020 All Hawaii News

 Confusion about rules on mask wearing is widespread across counties for residents and tourists. Better communication is needed to inform tourists and residents that wearing masks is “mandatory,” said Gov. David Ige, who on Monday encouraged “everyone (to) continually remind people that masks are required in Hawaii.” Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige admits state needs to do a better job on mask wearing rules. Governor David Ige admits that the state needs to send a stronger message about wearing masks. This, after some expressed frustration that there’s no clear communication sent out to the public. KHON2.

Japanese travel plan nearly set. Gov. David Ige said Monday his administration is “very close” to being able to announce plans for the return of Japanese visitors to the state. Tribune-Herald.


The state is sitting on $90M for housing aid and time is running out to distribute it. A program to help struggling families stay in their homes is sitting on more than 90% of the $100 million it’s supposed to distribute. The Ige administration announced the program in early September. Eligible applicants can get up to $2,000 a month through the end of the year ― paid directly to their landlord. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii unemployment benefits get a new 13-week extension. As Hawaii’s unemployment plight nears the nine-month mark, state officials are activating a second extension of jobless benefits for out-of-work residents. Star-Advertiser.

Rent Falls Sharply in Large Cities, Hold Steady In Hawaii. The trend on the Mainland U.S. appears to be driven by an exodus of workers fleeing high-density neighborhoods in large cities, for suburbs and smaller towns; where they're now working remotely. University of Hawaii economist Carl Bonham says that while there is not great data on Hawaii's rental market, there so far does not appear to be a major change in local rents. Hawaii Public Radio.


Molokai, Lanai air service gets reprieve from ‘Ohana by Hawaiian. Hawaiian Airlines said today it will continue ‘Ohana by Hawaiian passenger service between Honolulu and both Molokai and Lanai through at least mid-January. Star-Advertiser.

'Ohana by Hawaiian service to stick around through mid-Jan. 2021.
In a statement, Hawaiian said they were alerted by the U.S. Department of Transportation that they are contractually obligated to provide service to Molokai and Lanai because it is essential. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines to maintain 'Ohana by Hawaiian service to Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. A lifeline between Moloka'i and Lana'i will not be disrupted. KITV4.


Mass Testing To Begin In Arizona Prison After 7 Hawaii Inmates Are Hospitalized. The COVID-19 outbreak at a privately run prison is the second largest cluster among Hawaii inmates. Civil Beat.

Number of Hawaii inmates at Arizona prison with active COVID-19 cases swells to 52. There are 1,082 Hawaii inmates at Saguaro in Eloy, Ariz. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 26: 38 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 statewide Monday, including 26 on Oahu, nine on Hawaii island and one on Kauai. Civil Beat.


Caldwell again calls for HART to nix P3 process. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday again called on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to nix its two-year quest to find a private partner to help build the final leg of the $10 billion East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana line and focus on other ways of ensuring that $250 million in promised federal funding won’t lapse by the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.


Lawsuit accuses isle police of abusing power. A federal lawsuit was filed Monday against the City and County of Honolulu and its police department alleging abuse of power stemming from an incident two years ago in which an officer arrested a 15-year-old boy who had been fighting with the officer’s son. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit: Honolulu officer arrested teen as vengeance for son. The officer had the boy arrested in violation of his civil rights because the teen and the officer’s son were at odds and had fought after school, said the lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Lawsuit alleges HPD officer abused power by arresting son’s school-aged ‘enemy’. The parents of a 15-year-old boy who was arrested by a Honolulu police officer after getting into a fight with the officer’s son filed a lawsuit Monday, alleging that the officer acted in a retaliatory fashion and abused his police powers for personal gain. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu family files civil liberties lawsuit against City and HPD. An abuse of power complaint filed by Jennifer and Jorge Rivera claims that their son, J.R., was bullied by an HPD officer’s son. KHON2.


Hawaii Law Enforcement Rescues 5 Kids From Sex Trafficking. A task force made up of the FBI, AG’s office, the Honolulu Police Department and other federal, state and county agencies found the minors during an operation that started Friday that centered around Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Mayor urges residents to celebrate Halloween safely to prevent COVID-19′s spread. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging residents to celebrate Halloween safely, avoiding gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Four Seasons Oahu sold to Hong Kong company. Ko Olina master developer Jeff Stone’s company, The Resort Group, announced Monday that it has sold its interest in the Four Seasons Resort Oahu to its partner, Hong Kong-based Henderson Land Group. Star-Advertiser.

State master plan for E. Kapolei would add retail, industrial space, 1,000 new rentals. The board voted at its Friday meeting to approve a draft plan by R.M. Towill Corp. for the project, and to procure an environmental impact statement for the East Kapolei project, which is envisioned to be developed in phases over the next 20 or more years. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

County coffers contain an extra $40M. Hawaii County ended the last fiscal year with $40 million left over to be applied to the current budget, according to an Oct. 15 report to the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island’s aggressive testing leading to high case count. The governor says Mayor Harry Kim has developed an aggressive testing schedule and identified the communities where they had anticipated there would be clusters of cases. KHON2.

13 traveling nurses assigned to Life Care Center of Hilo. As part of a $17 million allocation of federal coronavirus relief funding, about 50 out-of-state health care workers recently arrived to help Hawaii respond to the pandemic, including 13 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who will be headed to Life Care Center. Tribune-Herald.

Bids for Bayfront Trails come in too high. The second phase of the Hilo Bayfront Trails will be rebid after initial bids for the project came in over budget. Tribune-Herald.

It’s only October, but the snow is already falling atop Mauna Kea. A light dusting was captured by cameras at the Mauna Kea Weather Center on Monday around 4 p.m.  Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Victorino announces launch of free COVID-19 community testing program for residents. Mayor Michael Victorino announced the launch of a free COVID-19 community testing program sponsored by Maui County. KITV4.

Vehicle demonstration at airport for enhanced COVID-19 measures. About 10 vehicles circled through Kahului Airport on Saturday in a call for the implementation of a four-point COVID-19 prevention plan — including the forming of a pandemic task force and distribution of a voluntary smartphone contact tracing app — to safely reopen to tourism and prevent a future shutdown. Maui News.

Kapalua Homeowners Distribute Food Boxes to 1000 Families in Need. Homeowners of the Kapalua residential communities held a Community Giveback on Oct. 17 and raised more than $100,000 to help more than 1,000 families in need. Maui Now.

Volunteers sought to deliver essential items to kupuna. A nonprofit that helps kupuna stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering food and other essential items directly to their doors needs more volunteers. Maui News.

Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy Reopening Thanks to Successful Adopt a Goat Fundraiser. The Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula will reopen thanks to a successful “GOat Fund Me” campaign in which 50 of its 100 goats, including Chili Chicken, Maybelline and Edelweiss, were adopted. Maui Now.


‘A‘o release goes virtual. The COVID-19 pandemic put restrictions on the annual E Ho‘opoomaika‘i ‘ia Manu ‘A‘o, or A Cultural Release of the Native Newell’s Shearwater, when the annual event attended by school children was relegated to the digital virtual platform, states a release from the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

Virus impacting Halloween events island-wide
. Halloween is Saturday, but several groups kicked off their Halloween festivals ahead of time in order to be compliant with COVID-19 safety measures. Garden Island.


Anatomy Of An Outbreak: Once Unleashed, The Coronavirus Moved Swiftly On Lanai. The virus-free community had relaxed after months of no cases. Now, health officials worry the island could prove to be the ultimate petri dish. Civil Beat.

Lanai stay-at-home order begins today as officials try to contain outbreak.
Gov. David Ige on Monday morning approved a stay-at-home order for the island of Lanai, effective today, in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the tight-knit, but vulnerable community. Star-Advertiser.

Stay-at-home order goes into effect for Lanai amid large COVID-19 outbreak. A stay-at-home order is now in effect for Lanai as the island scrambles to bring a large COVID-19 outbreak under control. Gov. David Ige signed the order on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Lanai set for mandatory Stay-At-Home order, starting 12:01 a.m. Governor Ige signed an emergency order approving Lanai’s “Stay at Home” order, which is set to go in effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. KHON2.

Lāna‘i to Lockdown Amid COVID Outbreak. Lāna‘i is headed for a lockdown that will last at least two weeks. Big Island Now.

Lana'i approaching three-digit COVID-19 cases. Lanai Community Health Center and Straub Clinic conducted a mass testing for residents. KITV4.

Monday, October 26, 2020

41% of Hawaii voters already voted, Lanai voter center closed amid COVID-19 surge, Eddins appointed to state Supreme Court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii Voter Turnout Already At 41%. Officials ask that voters mail ballots by Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii elections office begins processing ballots. The state has already received nearly 365,000 ballots by mail. KHON2.

Ballots pouring in: 41% of Hawaii County voters have already voted. Some 41% of Hawaii County’s more than 127,000 registered voters had already voted by Friday, with 11 days to go before the Nov. 3 general election. West Hawaii Today.


Wrong Tests, Weird Exemptions – What The Data Tells Us About Hawaii’s Reopening. In the first full week of Hawaii’s pre-arrival testing program, 86% of the nearly 67,000 people traveling from out of state bypassed quarantine one way or another, but only 63% of arriving travelers had a negative COVID-19 test. Civil Beat.


To reclaim ancestral land, all Native Hawaiians need is a $300,000 mortgage and to wait in line for decades. A 100-year-old program created to provide Native Hawaiians — especially poor ones — land to live on after the U.S. annexed the islands is failing. Thousands have died waiting in line and even more can’t afford the mortgages they’d need. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Home Lands Announces $1 Million in Grant Availability.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has announced the availability of $1 million in grants as part of the Native Hawaiian Development Program Plan. Big Island Now.


Another Federal Grand Jury In Hawaii? This Time It’s About United Public Workers Union. The U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service have subpoenaed stacks of records from one of the state’s largest unions. Civil Beat.

Judge Todd Eddins Appointed To Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. Governor David Ige on Friday announced the appointment of First Circuit Judge Todd W. Eddins to the Hawai‘i Supreme Court. Big Island Video News.

Why Some Hawaii Parents Now Want Their Kids In Private School. One Catholic school principal said the calls have been nonstop, mostly from families who are tired of doing remote learning as part of the state public school system. Civil Beat.

Big Island coronavirus cases hit 1-day peak and surpass Oahu. The number of COVID-19 cases reported Sunday on the Big Island reached 51, the isle’s largest one-day tally since the start of the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 25: 121 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 statewide Sunday with 49 on Oahu, 51 on Hawaii island and 18 in Maui County, where there is an outbreak on Lanai. Civil Beat.


Deadline looming for HART’s rail plan. It’s been a rocky couple of months for the folks at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency tasked with building the city’s embattled $10 billion-plus East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail line. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki residents fear Halloween night could turn into COVID-19 super spreader event. Honolulu police and other officials are pleading with residents and visitors to follow COVID-19 restrictions, especially those pertaining to social gatherings and face coverings, as Oahu enters the holiday season, starting with Halloween on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

State plans $1.8 billion housing and commercial development for East Kapolei. A thousand affordable rental homes could rise on state land in East Kapolei as part of a new long-range development plan also featuring a hotel, retail, offices and warehouses.  Star-Advertiser.

Haseko plans 1,850 new homes at Royal Kunia in Central Oahu.
A third attempt is underway in as many decades to produce roughly 2,000 homes in Central Oahu at the long-stalled second phase of Royal Kunia. Star-Advertiser.

City agrees to a tentative $320,000 settlement over HPD domestic violence case. The suit alleged that officer Darren Cachola choked his wife in 2017 then pushed her against a wall and terrorized two years later after she filed for divorce. The city is on the hook because the suit alleges that HPD officers did not investigate her injuries and tried to talk her out of filing charges. Hawaii News Now.

Tony Roma's Waikiki closing
. After 45 years sitting on Kalakaua Avenue, the Tony Roma's Waikiki restaurant is closing up shop. The restaurant, known for it finger-licking baby back ribs, will serve the final customers until Wednesday, October 28. KITV4.

Vintage aircraft face chopping block. A Kalaeloa Airport naval air museum whose vintage aircraft could be auctioned off or chopped up is scrambling to remove some of its collection ahead of the Saturday deadline to vacate the premises. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lt. Gov. Josh Green called for a stronger, uniform statewide mask mandate on Sunday as Hawaii Island reported its highest single-day jump in new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Lt. Gov. Josh Green called for a stronger, uniform statewide mask mandate on Sunday as Hawaii Island reported its highest single-day jump in new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Spike in Big Island cases described as an ‘islandwide problem’. The spread of COVID-19 on Hawaii Island is no longer limited to one cluster or one part of the county, and it’s mostly blamed on social or family gatherings. Hawaii News Now.

TMT opponents oppose small teaching telescope at Halepohaku. The public comment period for the proposed relocation of the University of Hawaii’s teaching telescope to a site on Maunakea will end Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Date set for management transition at veterans home. The East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. is preparing to take over the management of Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home Jan. 1, 2021. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor seeks Guzman’s removal as prosecutor.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is seeking the removal of Don Guzman as prosecuting attorney in a resolution submitted to the Maui County Council. Maui News.

County Officials Defend Use of Kamaʻāina Program as Incentive to Visitors who Take Post-Arrival Test. But the extension of offers to visitors via the program’s new Mahalo Card, has prompted criticism from some who say the program was established and intended for residents. Maui Now.

Astronomers Say Cluster of Mysterious Lights in Maui Sky was an Old Rocket Booster. The mysterious lights in the night sky over Maui on Saturday still has many perplexed as to their origin, but astronomers say the believe the lights “in all likelihood” were associated with the reentry of a used up rocket booster from a launch in 2008. Maui Now.


14 arrested on Kauai for allegedly breaking quarantine requirements since state’s reopening. Kauai police have arrested 14 people for allegedly violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine since the state’s pre-arrivals testing program began on Oct. 15. Star-Advertiser.

Resident tests positive. A Kaua‘i resident has tested positive for COVID-19 following a voluntary post-travel test from the County of Kaua‘i, the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office announced Sunday. Garden Island.

County receives $15.5M for water systems, capital improvements. The state allocated the county $15.5 million for a breadth of projects across the island, including capital improvements and water systems. Garden Island.


Lanai voter service center closed due to outbreak. With the outbreak of COVID-19 on Lanai now reaching 95 cases and counting, it isn't just impacting public health on the small island, it's also impacting the election. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Green worries COVID-19 infections could hit triple digits on Lanai. As of last night, the governor had not signed Maui Mayor Mike Victorino’s request for a Stay At Home Order that would start on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Lanai COVID-19 total tops 60 cases.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is expecting to implement a stay-at-home order and travel restrictions for Lanai beginning Tuesday as the island’s COVID-19 case count ballooned to 65 Friday. Maui News.

As Cases Spike On Lanai, School Moves To Distance Learning. Lanai High and Elementary School has switched to distance learning as the COVID-19 outbreak on the island grows and Maui County officials await approval to impose a stay-at-home order on the island starting Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Hawaii unveils coronavirus vaccine plans, test backlog sends tourists to quarantine, Honolulu marathon canceled, Lanai COVID-19 outbreak balloons, students infected, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Department of Health Immunization Branch Chief Ron Balajadia

How Hawaii Is Planning For A Future COVID-19 Vaccine. It could cost Hawaii a minimum of $25 million to get people vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 — once a vaccine is approved by the federal government — state officials said Thursday. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announces draft COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for Hawaii. Gov. David Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green and state Department of Health Immunization Branch Chief Ron Balajadia today announced the state’s tentative plan to distribute the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. Star-Advertiser.

Officials outline how Hawaii would distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The governor and state health officials offered a preview Thursday into how a COVID-19 vaccine would be distributed in Hawaii ― once one is approved. Hawaii News Now.

State unveils vaccine plan. Gov. David Ige announced on Thursday a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan that will go into effect whenever a safe vaccine is made available to the public. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Preparing For Statewide COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
High-risk healthcare employees, first responders, and residents with underlying health conditions, including those 65 and older, will be the first to get the vaccine. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i Releases Preliminary COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan. No COVID-19 vaccine is yet available in the United States and may not be for months, but Hawai‘i has developed a preliminary distribution plan to be implemented as soon as one is. Big Island Now.

State sharing COVID-19 vaccine plans. Every state was required to submit a draft COVID-19 vaccination-distribution plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. Garden Island.


Backlog in the state’s manual COVID-19 test verification process sends thousands of Hawaii travelers to quarantine. Some 3,700 travelers to Hawaii whose test results uploaded after they arrived have received status updates on the Safe Travels Hawaii platform saying that their results had to be reviewed manually. Star-Advertiser.


Ballistic missile submarine practices drone, Osprey and helicopter resupply off Hawaii. A 560-foot Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine has been operating off Hawaii for several days practicing “expeditionary” resupply from a drone, Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey and Navy Sea Hawk helicopter. Star-Advertiser.

Saguaro Correctional Center logs 12 more Hawaii inmate infections. This brings the facility’s Hawaii inmate case total to 43. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 22: 102 New COVID-19 Cases. The newest COVID-19 cases recorded included 52 on Oahu, 18 in Maui County, 29 on the Big Island and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Can’t — Or Won’t — Say What They’ll Do About Rail. Facing a more than $1 billion deficit, Amemiya and Blangiardi say they don’t have enough information to map out the next steps to finish the project. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Marathon canceled due to coronavirus pandemic. After months of going back and forth, the Honolulu Marathon Association announced today that the 48th Honolulu Marathon scheduled for Dec. 13 would not be held. Star-Advertiser.

In another blow to Hawaii’s economy, the 2020 Honolulu Marathon is canceled. The 48th Honolulu Marathon had been scheduled for Dec. 13. Hawaii News Now.


Vacation rentals once again allowed to operate on O'ahu. Owners of the rentals were left desperate for income after a loss in demand. KITV4.

Honolulu to offer free COVID-19 testing at Waikiki Shell. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Thursday that the city would offer free community testing at the Waikiki Shell through the end of November, using a surplus of 28,000 test kits. Star-Advertiser.

Hotels help police enforce quarantine for travelers who land without a negative test. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said hotels are assisting police with enforcing the quarantine mandate for visitors who didn’t land with a negative COVID-19 test. Hawaii News Now.

Bars are closed and people are driving less, but Oahu’s roads aren’t any safer.
According to Honolulu police, 42 lives were lost in crashes from Jan. 1 and Oct. 20. That’s up by one compared to the same time. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Almost 4,000 tested after arriving on the Big Island. Between Oct. 15 and Wednesday, Kim said, 3,891 travelers took the second test at Big Island airports, 407 of whom did so in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Most new Big Island cases are people younger than 40. Most of the 29 new COVID-19 infections reported Thursday on the Big Island were in younger individuals, according to Mayor Harry Kim. Tribune-Herald.

Bill creating airport zone moves forward: Bill 199 allows hotel at Kona, Hilo airports. A bill that would allow hotels at Kona’s Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport and Hilo International Airport moved a step forward Tuesday with a positive vote from the County Council Planning Committee. West Hawaii Today.

Former Hawaii governors support Big Isle energy project. Four former Hawaii governors have thrown their support behind the controversial Honua Ola Bioenergy project, whose fate is under appeal before the state Supreme Court. Star-Advertiser.


Early Voting Underway in Maui County with 27,350 Votes Already Cast for Nov. 3 Election. In Maui County, County Clerk Kathy Kaohu said voting is going “smoothly” so far with 27,350 of the 96,882 active registered voters (28.23 percent) already casting their ballots. Maui Now.

Census efforts wrap up in Maui County. 53.3 percent response rate recorded with officials awaiting door-to-door results. Maui News.

Maui Voluntary Post-Arrival Travel Testing Program includes Mobile Unit. Travelers must have taken a pre-departure test to be eligible for the free post-arrival test. Travelers should take the second test 72 hours or later after they arrive into Maui County. Maui Now.


Destination Management Plan Committee meet virtually with residents.
Kaua‘i’s Destination Management Action Plan Committee members held an engaging virtual meeting Wednesday evening with residents of the South Shore and Westside of Kaua‘i and the island of Ni‘ihau. Garden Island.

Voter Service Center opens in Lihu‘e
. Open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Nov. 2, the VSC allows voters an opportunity to register and vote on the same day. Garden Island.


Lanai residents told to shelter in place as coronavirus cases grow on rural island. State officials are urging Lanai residents to shelter in place as the coronavirus rapidly spreads through the rural island, which started with a handful of infections earlier this week that spiraled into at least 38 cases. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 outbreak on Lanai continues to grow, with at least 38 cases now confirmed. State Health Department officials say the number of COVID-19 cases on Lanai has now ballooned to 38, just days after the first cases were confirmed. Hawaii News Now.

Lāna‘i Update: Residents Encouraged to Shelter-in-Place, 800 PCR Tests Provided. Maui Now.

Three students at Lana'i High and Elementary School test positive for COVID-19, according to school letter. According to the school, it has taken the necessary precautions by notifying potential close contacts, sanitizing impacted areas, and relaying information to the State Department of Health. KITV4.

Maui County providing Lanai with 800 PCR tests, 11,300 masks. Residents on Lanai are strongly encouraged to attend the virtual community meeting scheduled for Oct. 23, where information on signs and symptoms, chain of infection, PPE, mitigation steps and other guidance will be provided. KHON2.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Surgeon general faces arraignment on charges of Honolulu COVID-19 violation, coronavirus cases surge on Lanai, 5k soldiers face quarantine, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to be arraigned for beach park closure violation. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and an aide are scheduled to be arraigned in an Oahu court next month after police cited the two men in late August for being in a Kaneohe park during a COVID-19 emergency order-­mandated closure of the island’s beach parks. Star-Advertiser.

US Surgeon General To Plead Not Guilty In Hawaii Virus Case. A lawyer for U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday that his client, who is charged with illegally entering a Hawaii public park that was closed because of the coronavirus, will plead not guilty. Associated Press.

Surgeon General to plead not guilty for emergency order violation. Vice Admiral Jerome Adams’ first court appearance was held on Oct. 21 via Zoom. KHON2.


Lt. Gov. Green: State’s secondary surveillance testing hasn’t yet caught any positives. Ten percent of all travelers who tested negative in their pre-travel test are being asked to take a voluntary second coronavirus test four days after arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s tourism reopening off to choppy start. The daily number of transpacific arrivals jumped when Hawaii started a pre-arrivals testing program to welcome travelers back. Now, one week into the state’s tourism reopening, visitor arrivals already have started leveling off. Star-Advertiser.

HTA releases latest number of passenger arrivals by air. On Tuesday a total of 5,105 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. KITV4.

Hotels seek more communication with counties as they work to increase information flow to visitors. The American Hotel and Lodging Association, which represents about 160 hotels, said they have been working to improve the way visitors get information. KHON2.

New Video Informs Hawaiʻi Visitors Of Kuleana In Time Of Pandemic
. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority says the Kuleana video was launched last week in coordination with Hawaii’s new pre-travel testing program, which started on October 15. Big Island Video News.


Syphilis Cases in Women, Newborns Increasing Annually, DOH Reports. In Hawai‘i, the number of babies born with syphilis — known as congenital syphilis — ranged from zero to two cases per year from 2000 to 2016, three to four cases per year from 2017 to 2019, and 11 probable cases so far in 2020. Big Island Now.

Hawaii has another subpar response to the census, but officials claim 99.9% counted. The U.S. Census wrapped up its field operations last week with Hawaii coming in 37th when it comes to the percent of people who responded on their own. Star-Advertiser.

Democrats Rally To Defend Leeward House Seat In Eli-Garcia Race. The state House race between Democratic freshman Rep. Stacelynn Keahaulani Eli and Republican Diamond Garcia has become one of the hardest fought legislative contests this election as the GOP tries to gain ground in the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines to resume East Coast service in December. Hawaiian Airlines said today it will reinstate its East Coast routes in December with twice-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport and thrice-weekly service between Honolulu and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 21: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The COVID-19 cases recorded Wednesday included 65 on Oahu, four on Maui and nine on the Big Island. Civil Beat.


Governor Approves Next Stage In Oahu Reopening Plan. Gov. David Ige on Wednesday signed the City and County of Honolulu’s new emergency order that will ease some business restrictions starting at midnight. Civil Beat.

Oahu enters Tier 2 of reopening plan, easing more COVID-19 restrictions. Oahu is moving into Tier 2 of its reopening plan Thursday, easing some COVID-19 restrictions but keeping others in place. The governor signed off on the city’s new emergency order Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu’s Emergency Order implementing Tier 2 approved by Governor Ige. Based on Emergency Order No. 2020-29, starting on Thursday, October 22, the City will operate under Tier 2 of Honolulu’s Reopening Strategy. KITV4.

Mayor Caldwell looks to boost COVID enforcement,
which state auditor finds insufficient. The enforcement of quarantine rules for visitors that don’t have a negative COVID-19 test, or haven’t taken a test, will be difficult. KHON2.


HART chief says plans to reduce the rail project’s scope are being discussed. Honolulu transit chief Andrew Robbins acknowledged to a City Council committee Wednesday that his staff is now looking seriously at building the financially strapped rail project in phases, a move that may lead to construction halting short of Ala Moana or without 21 stations as has been envisioned for more than a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Councilman calls for release of fire chief’s performance evaluations. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves' annual evaluations have not been submitted to the City Council in five years, according to Councilman Tommy Waters. Hawaii News Now.

Soldiers Will Be Tested Before Returning To Hawaii But Will Still Quarantine. Five thousand soldiers from the Schofield Barracks-based 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade are currently working to renew their certification to deploy at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Civil Beat.

No Rest For The Homeless: Bill Would Ban Sitting Almost Anywhere On Oahu. City and state officials say housing is the answer to homelessness. But criminalization can be more politically expedient. Civil Beat.


Election, coronavirus pandemic may have led to growing interest in firearms on Oahu. Oahu has experienced a spike in firearm permits issued and firearms registered this year, the Honolulu Police Department has reported. Star-Advertiser.

Federal Bailout Money Is Speeding Up Gun Permits But Help With Rent Still Lags. New data released by Honolulu shows police continue to rack up overtime but a hardship relief fund to help people pay their bills is about to be maxed out. Civil Beat.


More Oahu motorists can renew licenses via mail. More Oahu motorists will be able to renew their driver licenses by mail under policy changes announced by the city today. Star-Advertiser.

O'ahu residents now have the ability to renew drivers licenses, IDs by mail. Residents on O'ahu can now replace their state identification card and renew certain driver licenses by mail if they meet certain requirements. KITV4.

Mail-in services expanded, reducing need for in-person trips to the DMV. The city is trying to catch up after more than 78,000 DMV appointments were canceled because of the COVID lockdowns. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Closed-door meeting decides development: Council members work with developers to amend controversial bill. Two County Council members are meeting behind closed doors with developers of a controversial Kailua-Kona development, trying to work out a deal after proposed changes to the project received negative recommendations from the county Planning Department and Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Council members support Mill Beach trail resolution. The Hawaii County Council voted Wednesday in support of a resolution to seize through eminent domain portions of a Papaikou property containing a trail to Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

Committee supports plan to reduce fatalities. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are three times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident on the Big Island than white drivers, according to a county task force attempting to reduce traffic fatalities. Tribune-Herald.


State lacks testing options for Canadians. While Maui tends to see more Canadian visitors than any other island, the state’s pre-travel testing program lacks options for Canadian visitors to be tested in their country before flying to Hawaii. Maui News.

Pūlehu Solar Unveils Updated Project Design. The proposed 40 MW Pūlehu Solar and Energy Storage project to be located near Pūlehu Road on Maui could provide enough clean energy to power approximately 15,000 Maui island homes. Maui Now.


Kouchi calls for more visitor info. State Senate President and Lihu‘e resident Ronald D. Kouchi sent a letter Tuesday to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association requesting information about measures and programs to proactively ensure that visitors are informed of state and Kaua‘i County orders and rules. Garden Island.

County has spent 66% of CARES Act funds. As of the end of September, the County of Kaua‘i has spent about 66% of its state-allocated federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council passes housing bill. The Kaua‘i County Council, almost 10 months and five drafts later, passed Bill No. 2774 on Wednesday, amending the county’s housing policy in an attempt to better address a staggering housing crisis faced by the county. Garden Island.


Cluster of COVID-19 cases growing on Lanai with at least 20 known infections. Just a day after Lanai reported its first COVID-19 cases, the island’s medical facilities said they have recorded 20 positive cases so far. Hawaii News Now.

State Senator says there are at least 23 COVID-19 cases on Lana'i. There are at least 23 COVID-19 cases on Lana'i, according to State Senator Kalani English. KITV4.

Lāna‘i Shutdown Sought as COVID-19 Count Tops 20, Described as “Tip of the Iceberg”. Medical and government leaders are calling for a shutdown of the island of Lāna‘i and mass testing as COVID-19 positive cases on the island had surged to upwards of 20 by Wednesday night. Maui Now.