Monday, October 19, 2020

Hawaii COVID-19 vaccination plan kept secret, every island's rules different as tourists return, Tulsi Gabbard relocates to California, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Cruise ship along Kona coast ©2020 All Hawaii News

 No cruise bookings in islands for remainder of 2020; cloudy waters ahead for industry. Although the state welcomed back trans-Pacific travelers without quarantines to island airports on Thursday, provided arriving passengers have tested negative for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours, the future of the cruise ship industry remains murky. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Is Ready But The State Is Keeping It Under Wraps. Even in the absence of an approved vaccine, Hawaii officials are drafting plans to distribute the first vaccines when they become available. Civil Beat.

State meets deadline to submit COVID-19 vaccination plan to federal government. Health officials confirmed they submitted Hawaii’s COVID vaccination rollout plan which met the Friday deadline. Details on the plan itself however weren’t immediately made available. Hawaii News Now.

Secrecy Shrouds Ige’s New High-Level Coronavirus Panel. A committee set up to help guide Hawaii’s economic recovery holds private meetings with no public agendas or minutes. Civil Beat.


Some travelers are allowed to enter without tests from approved labs. Some travelers who arrived in Hawaii during the first four days of the reopening of tourism were allowed to skip the 14-day mandatory quarantine even though they did not have COVID-19 tests from the state’s “trusted testing partners.” Star-Advertiser.

Interisland ‘Trusted Partner’ Traveler Test Program Now In Place For Maui, Kauai.
Gov. David Ige announced the new program on Saturday allowing interisland travelers to bypass the 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Maui, Big Island explain how different rules are shared with travelers. For the past three days, Hawaii has seen thousand of travelers fly in after quarantine restrictions relaxed. KHON2.


The state set aside $100 million in federal CARES Act funds to help struggling families with rent or mortgage payments. And so far, just 2% has been distributed. That’s even though tens of thousands of Hawaii residents are in desperate need of help. Hawaii News Now.

Rental assistance program temporarily halts applications. A state program providing rental assistance to tenants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily no longer accepting applicants after reaching its processing capacity. Tribune-Herald.

Survey shows over 80% of Hawaii businesses expect lower revenue this and next year due to COVID-19. Organizers hope the stark data will paint a clearer, data-driven picture so government officials will allocate more federal funding to help businesses. KITV4.


Officials tweak mail-in voting process. Election officials mailed ballots early, added drop boxes on most islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's 2020 Elections: Haven't Gotten Your Ballot? Where To Call. There's a lot about 2020 that makes it a year to leave behind. But at least one important task remains: choosing the next president and filling a host of local offices, all with the power to impact our lives. Hawaii Public Radio.


Tulsi Gabbard leaves Hawaii Army National Guard after 17 years for California duty. Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has left the Hawaii Army National Guard after 17 years and has a new part-time military assignment: civil affairs officer with a California-based Army Reserve unit. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s approval rating lowest at 44% in Hawaii Poll. Oahu voters give Hawaii’s congressional delegation enviable high approval ratings, with the clear exception of U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — a onetime long-shot candidate to become president who received a dismal 44% approval rating. Star-Advertiser.


Forecasters predict wetter-than-average rainy season. Most Hawaii locations can expect above average rainfall during the wet season, which officially began Oct. 1 and runs through April. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i’s COVID Total Tops 14,000 Since Pandemic Began. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 83 new cases of coronavirus Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 14,031 since the pandemic began. Two new COVID-related fatalities were also reported. Big Island Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 18: 83 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death In Hawaii. Health officials reported one death on Oahu and 83 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including 68 cases on Oahu, 14 on Hawaii island and one on Kauai. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Poll shows commanding lead for Rick Blangiardi in mayor’s race. Rick Blangiardi holds a solid double-­digit lead over fellow first-time candidate Keith Amemiya in the race for Honolulu mayor, according to the latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll has Steve Alm ahead of Megan Kau in Honolulu prosecutor race. Former Judge, U.S. attorney and Deputy Prosecutor Steve Alm appears to have a solid lead in the race for Honolulu prosecuting attorney two weeks before the general election. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll: Oahu voters disapprove of Kirk Caldwell’s coronavirus response. Hawaii Poll participants were solidly critical of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s overall handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic — although some of the details in the mayor’s COVID-19 plan for controlling the spread of the virus on Oahu earned higher marks. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Caldwell calls for special meeting over future of an already costly rail project. The mayor wants to end the so-called P-3 negotiations for a private operator to build the final segment and run the system because the bids came in way over budget. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown senior affordable-housing plan causes dispute between organization, developer.
A local Chinese cultural organization is squaring off against an affordable-housing developer over a long-planned apartment tower for seniors on city land in Chinatown. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa couple fined $40K for allegedly altering stream. The state Health Department said contractors working for John and Linda Hayama filled in parts of the Manoa Stream near the Kahaloa Drive Bridge with nearly 20 dump trucks full of rocks and sand. Hawaii News Now.

Some visitors in Waikiki say they came prepared to follow Hawai'i's COVID-19 restrictions.
Many got to enjoy the islands right away, after following the state's COVID 19 pre-travel testing program. KITV4.

Ewa Beach man recovering from COVID has a warning to others: ‘This thing is for real’. 42-year-old Eddie Bisquera spent 48 days in the hospital. He said he didn’t have any underlying health conditions, but during his battle with COVID, he went through a few complications and almost gave up. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County almost halfway through coronavirus relief money. Hawaii County spent almost half of its $80 million federal coronavirus relief money in the first seven months of the program, and with three months to go before the money has to be spent or returned, Mayor Harry Kim is confident returning it won’t be an option. In fact, Kim said Friday, he told Gov. David Ige he may need more. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s first N-95 mask factory opens in Kona. The first automated mask factory in the state is expected to start production this week with a staff of 10. Nicholas Garcia will be manufacturing N95 and flat masks, plus “super” versions of both types of mask. West Hawaii Today.

Expansion at NELHA: Big Island Abalone, Blue Ocean Mariculture announce plans for growth. Two of NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park success stories, Blue Ocean Mariculture and Big Island Abalone are poised for additional growth and expansion that’ll result in the creation of dozens of jobs over the next several years at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s Hawaii Ocean Science Technology Park. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Council Race: Strong Political Factions Are Fighting Each Other. The so-called Ohana candidates are in a political battle with the candidates on the Hui O Maui slate, a classic battle of progressives vs. conservatives. Civil Beat.

Different styles, passions for South Maui candidates. Incumbent Kelly Takaya King and political newcomer Tom Cook have the backing of very different groups and are each passionate about their distinct platforms in the race for the South Maui residency seat on the County Council. Maui News.


Kauai launches post-arrival testing Monday. Under the optional program, Kauai residents who return from out of state travel and receive a negative  pre-travel test through the State's Safe Travels program are eligible for a free COVID-19 test 4-10 days after their return.  KITV4.

Virtual meetings planned to discuss future of island tourism. The Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan Community is hosting a virtual meeting for residents living in the south and west portions of Kaua‘i at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, and residents residing in north and east Kaua‘i at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22. Garden Island.

DOH fines two Kaua‘i companies
. Garden Island Mortuary Ltd., in Lawa‘i, was cited for late submittals of their semiannual reports and annual fee on their crematory units. ShredCo LLC in Lihu‘e was cited for late submittals of their semiannual and annual emission reports on their portable grinding and screening plant. Garden Island.

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