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.

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