Monday, November 30, 2020

Furloughs, layoffs loom for Hawaii government workers, Kauai reinstates 14-day quarantine, Supreme Court blocks police union attempt to keep discipline records secret, Kealohas to be sentenced today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Merrie Monarch event pre-COVID ©2020 All Hawaii News

Next Year's Merrie Monarch Festival Is On But With No Live Audience. Organizers of the Merrie Monarch Festival announced there will be no live audience for the annual hula competition next year. Tickets to the spring event usually go on sale around Dec. 1, but the sales have been canceled. Instead, organizers and sponsors are exploring other options given the ongoing pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Merrie Monarch 2021 Will Have No Live Audience. The organizers of the world-renowned hula festival say they are considering options for holding the event in 2021, but it is clear that there will be no live audience. Big Island Video News.

Merrie Monarch Festival organizers plan for crowd-less 2021 event. The stands of Edith Kanakaole Stadium in Hilo will once again be silent this April, as Merrie Monarch organizers announced Saturday that a 2021 event would need to be held without fans in attendance. Hawaii News Now.


Saving The State Budget: Furloughs And Layoffs Are Looking More Likely. Even public employee union leaders are warning their workers that the Legislature will have to make the best of a dire budget situation this coming year. Lawmakers and Gov. David Ige are planning initiatives to “restructure” government to cut costs to cope with the state budget crisis. The Ige administration is setting a goal of cutting a whopping $600 million from next year’s operating budget. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Judge Blocks Police Union Attempt To Keep Cop Misconduct Secret. Hawaii’s police union has lost its first legal battle in an ongoing fight to keep officer misconduct records hidden from public view. On Friday, First Circuit Judge Dean Ochiai ruled that when a police officer is suspended or fired for misconduct such information is a matter of public record under state law. Civil Beat.

Hawaii seeks to be seen as a remote workplace with a view. The pandemic is giving many workers the freedom to do their jobs from anywhere. Now that Hawaii’s economy is reeling from dramatically fewer tourists, a group of state officials and community leaders wants more people like Berger to help provide an alternative to relying on short-term visitors. Associated Press.

New rule requiring travelers to present COVID-19 test results prior to flight already causing headaches. Starting Tuesday, travelers flying to the islands must upload their negative COVID-19 test before departure in order to avoid the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Green Suggests Changes To Traveler Testing Program. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green suggested that the way to “perfect" the state's coronavirus testing system for incoming travelers is to extend the mandatory pre-flight testing window from three days prior to arrival to four and requiring a second test when the person touches down. Associated Press.

Billions in private construction projects stall during pandemic. Construction activity has been one of the economic bright spots during the pandemic. But in recent months, a number of high-profile projects have run into delays. Hawaii News Now.

Supreme Court dismisses election challenge suit. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit contesting the state’s presidential election filed by a woman who said she ran for president as an independent yet she wasn’t on the ballot. Two other lawsuits challenging the Nov. 3 general election results are pending before the state Supreme Court, which is where election challenges must be submitted under state law. Associated Press.

Humpback whale season opens early in Hawaii and researchers hope numbers continue to rebound. November is the traditional start of hoi kohola, the return of humpback whales to Hawaii, when an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 of the protected marine mammals migrate from their Alaska summer feeding grounds to the islands, where they sing, mate and birth and nurse calves in warm, shallow waters until April, when they start back north. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 29: 57 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases included 46 on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai and three on Maui. Three Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Kealoha corruption case nears conclusion with Monday’s sentencings. The fate of Honolulu’s once most powerful law enforcement couple — former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kea­loha — is scheduled to be announced in federal court on Monday, writing a final chapter to one of Hawaii’s most stunning public corruption cases that embarrassed island law enforcement and shocked the community for the depths of its betrayal. Star-Advertiser.

After lengthy delay, Kealohas to be sentenced in one of Hawaii’s biggest public corruption cases. One of the biggest public corruption cases in Hawaii history is finally coming to an end. Ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his estranged wife Katherine, a former high-ranking former deputy city prosecutor, will face a federal judge Monday to be sentenced. Hawaii News Now.

After several delays, Kealohas to be sentenced Monday.  Disgraced retired police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, are scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Monday, Nov. 30. KHON2.

Oahu surge testing wraps up on Monday, Nov. 30. The last day to receive a free surge test from the City and County of Honolulu will be Monday, Nov. 30. KHON2.

Ala Moana condo to go before City Council. Expect lively debate Wednesday when the owners of Ala Moana Center present to a Honolulu City Council committee their plan for a 40-story, 583-unit condominium tower on the makai, Diamond Head corner of Piikoi and Kona streets. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council, public speak out on Roth’s Cabinet picks. Mayor-elect Mitch Roth drew from both government and private sectors in his choices for Cabinet officials, but some people think his appointees to head two key departments — Planning and Public Works — sway too far pro-development. West Hawaii Today.

Broken corals found in Makako Bay are reattached. More than 80 living coral fragments that were broken off the reef at Makako Bay have been replanted on the reef by biologists and staff with the Division of Aquatic Resources of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Broken Corals Restored To Coral Reef At Makakō Bay. In November, numerous live coral fragments were found scattered below the base of a popular manta dive site mooring at Makakō Bay, or Garden Eel Cove, in North Kona.  Big Island Video News.

Humane society looks to the future. In June, the humane society ended its contract with Hawaii County to provide animal control services, which were funded by the county. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County could see more restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise. Maui County Mayor Mike Victorio says he plans to decide on Friday if he'll move the county from it's "Act with Care" phase to a "Safer At Home" order which would come with more restrictions. KITV4.

Restaurant closes for cleaning after COVID-19 cases found. The Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea closed temporarily “out of an abundance of caution” after three employees tested positive for COVID-19. Maui News.

Uechi named Maui News managing editor. Longtime editor Lee Imada leaves after nearly 40 years. Assistant City Editor Colleen Uechi has been promoted to managing editor of The Maui News following the departure of longtime editor Lee Imada, the company announced Friday. Maui News.


Kauaʻi Halts Participation In Pre-Travel Testing Program. The decision, approved by Goveror David Ige, means that all transpacific and inter-county travelers to Kaua‘i are again subject to a 14-day quarantine. Big Island Video News.

Kauai opts out of pre-travel testing program in bid to stem community spread. Gov. David Ige has approved a request by the mayor of Kauai to temporarily opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, a decision that will force all travelers to the Garden Isle — including those on neighbor island flights — to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai 'resort bubble' prepares for new travel restrictions. On December 2nd, Kauai County is opting out of Hawaii's pre-travel testing program. That means that anyone coming from either the mainland or another island will be required to do the mandatory 14-day quarantine regardless of COVID-19 test result. KITV4.

Virtual inauguration Tuesday. The Kaua‘i County Council and prosecuting attorney will be inaugurated virtually Tuesday, Dec. 1. Garden Island.

Kauai County Council Joins Fight Against Proposed Glamping Resort. The plan to develop luxury camping at a Princeville golf course may eventually run afoul of a newly reenergized county ordinance covering open spaces. Civil Beat.

Ground broken for huge ‘Ele‘ele housing project. The County Housing Agency held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lima Ola affordable housing project in ‘Ele‘ele last week. Garden Island.


Moloka’i Forests To Be Protected From Wildfires and Erosion. Forests on the southern slopes of Moloka‘i are about to receive additional protection from threats like wildfires, erosion and flooding thanks to a new award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The foundation has awarded over $1.8 million to the DLNR to address threats using proven tools such as fencing and removing hooved animals, as well as creating firebreaks. Maui Now.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Hawaii travel procedures still up in the air, Honolulu residents brave COVID-19 to go Black Friday shopping, Maui's Iao Valley reopens with new tourist fees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Gov. David Ige and Hawaii's mayors

 Mayors seek travel rule changes amid surging coronavirus cases. The county mayors are proposing travel-related rule changes amid surging COVID-19 cases on the mainland and Hawaii, but so far their requests are just piling up on Gov. David Ige’s desk. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees one of its busiest travel days of the pandemic, despite CDC guidance. Despite the CDC warning people to stay home for Thanksgiving, Hawaii saw one its busiest travel days since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday. The state says about 100,000 people have arrived at Hawaii’s airports in the past week. Hawaii News Now.

Debate Continues Over Balancing Economic Recovery And Public Health. Business leaders are worried a change to the state’s Safe Travel program could disrupt an economic recovery that appears to be gaining momentum. Hawaii Public Radio.

Statistics suggest returning residents, not visitors, more likely to bring COVID-19 into Hawaii. While more passengers overall are landing in the islands since the launch of the pre-travel testing program, it’s returning residents who have the higher infection rate. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic gave locals taste of a tourist-free Hawaii. Locals, many of whom depend on tourism jobs, have long felt ambivalence about living in an island paradise that relies heavily on visitor spending, but many saw an upshot to a health crisis that threatened their livelihoods: reclaiming favorite areas long overrun by crowds. Associated Press.

Hawaii Has A New State Sheriff. Billy Oku, who has 30 years of experience in law enforcement and security, will head the Sheriff Division in the Department of Public Safety. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii graduation rates rise even during coronavirus pandemic. Graduation rates rose at most of the University of Hawaii’s 10 campuses this year, with UH-Manoa reaching a record high, despite the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden switch to online learning. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 26: 120 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 120 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday and the deaths of two people on Oahu. The new cases including 92 on Oahu, 11 on Hawaii Island, three on Kauai and 14 on Maui. Civil Beat.


Some shoppers line up for deals at Hawaii malls, but an overall quiet start to Black Friday. Some shoppers lined up early at Hawaii malls for deals on what promises to be a different Black Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly a dozen people were seen waiting outside Pearlridge Center, including Kenny Rodriguez, who arrived around 2 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell says Oahu will remain in Tier 2 for now. The latest seven-day average of COVID-19 cases on Oahu stands at 84 cases with a test positivity rate of 2.5 percent, said Mayor Caldwell on Thursday. KHON2.

Hawaii COVID-19 survivor hospitalized for 88 days: ‘Every minute of every day, I was in pain’. Jack Denis didn’t think he’d live to see his 73rd birthday. The retired Honolulu fire captain and former marine marked the milestone while he was hospitalized for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu couple’s generosity blossoms into mask-making business. Vicky Do is an accomplished seamstress who spends hours at her sewing machine making colorful cloth masks. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Kim urges evaluation of testing programs, fewer exemptions for travelers. Outgoing Mayor Harry Kim wants the state to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe Travels Hawaii program as the mayor of Kauai pushes to remove that island from the program entirely. Tribune-Herald.

Pre-testing program’s preliminary picture: HTA releases visitor statistics for October. On Hawaii Island, arrivals by air more than tripled to 10,640 during October, up from the September total of 3,335; this total still represents a decrease of 91.8% from the same month in 2019. Overall, the state saw 76,613 air arrivals — up from 18,868 in September — which is a 90.1% decrease from 2019. West Hawaii Today.

For First Time, Hilo Will Be Home To Congressional District Office. Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional district office will be located outside of the island of Oʻahu, Congressman-elect Kai Kahele says. Big Island Video News.

Study Shows Twice As Much Kona Submarine Freshwater As Previously Thought. New findings are being hailed as a paradigm shift from the conventional hydrologic conceptual models for Hawai‘i. Big Island Video News.


Maui won’t opt out of pre-travel testing program. Despite an uptick in travel-related COVID-19 cases in Maui County this month, Mayor Michael Victorino confirmed that he isn’t yet considering any moves to opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program. Maui News.

Maui’s ‘Iao Valley reopens with new fees for tourists. The valley officially reopened this past Saturday with new fees for tourists. It’s still free for kamaaina, but non-residents will have to pay $10 per vehicle, and $5 dollars per individual walk-in. Hawaii News Now.

Mandatory Water Shortage Restrictions to End for Upcountry, West Maui. The County of Maui Department of Water Supply will end Stage 1 water restrictions for Upcountry and West Maui customers, effective Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. Maui Now.

Six million pounds of food given in pandemic. Maui Food Bank doubles yearly totals in just nine months. Maui News.


DOW: commercial, resort properties flush plumbing. The Department of Water reminds resort properties and large commercial facilities to conduct a flushing of their plumbing fixtures on property at least once a week and prior to reopening for business. The flushing protocol is also recommended to schools and businesses that have significantly reduced their water demand within their systems during COVID-19 related closures or extended property vacancies. Garden Island.

Aaron Hoff walking across island for the Keala Foundation. In 1996, Aaron Hoff, the founder of the Kelea Foundation, experienced an epiphany that altered the course of his life and allowed him to focus on his purpose. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Travel-related coronavirus cases increase, Kauai seeks to opt out of Safe Travels program, Honolulu limits Thanksgiving parties to 5 people, unemployment tax expected to triple, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: state of Hawaii
Travelers get screened at Honolulu airport PC:state of Hawaii

CORRECTION: The headline and first article in this compilation have been changed to reflect corrections of an error in the original article. All Hawaii News strives to promptly correct errors discovered in its source articles.

Percentage of Hawaii travel-related COVID-19 cases up fourfold in November. State health officials said Tuesday that 13% of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases were travel-related in November, up from 3% in October. Star-Advertiser. Star-Advertiser.

Local Emergency Room Doctor Says Not Tightening Travel Guidelines Could Be Dangerous. Dr. Darragh O'Carroll released a peer-reviewed paper concluding that Hawaii's current pre-travel testing program is allowing more COVID-19-infected travelers into the state than expected. KITV.

Constantly changing travel testing rules is stressing out some Hawaii air travelers. Many travelers including residents say the pre-travel testing rules are changing far too often to keep up with. Some travelers say the reality of trying to get a test and their results back within the 72-hour time frame is just not enough time and adds even more stress to travel plans. Hawaii News Now.

Only 76,613 visitors came to Hawaii in October, widening year-to-date arrivals losses to more than 73%. October was the highest month for visitors since March; however, the start of the state’s pre-arrivals testing program only helped return about 10% of Hawaii’s pre-coronavirus arrivals. Star-Advertiser.

People Are Moving To Hawaii To Escape Virus Hotspots. Will They Stay?. Some see the recent uptick in people moving to Hawaii as an opportunity for the state. Others view the wave of newcomers as a threat. Civil Beat.


Attorney: Officer who cited US surgeon general under investigation for overtime abuse. An over-zealous police officer could be a major factor in the case against U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. That’s according to the attorney for Adams, who says he was shocked to hear the officer who cited him for being in a closed park back in August is now among those who are being investigated for overtime abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment Drops Slightly Amid Concerns Over Changes To Travel Testing Program. At more than 14%, Hawaii’s unemployment rate still leads the nation, but there are encouraging signs of a recovery. Since the resumption of tourism in October, unemployment has declined from a high of more than 15%. Hawaii Public Radio.

Businesses will have to pay three times more in unemployment tax in 2021. The unemployment trust fund, which is used to pay unemployment benefits, is empty. In fact, Hawaii’s unemployment fund is hundreds of millions in the red. Unless legislators act quickly, employers will be forced to pay the maximum in unemployment taxes, which is roughly three times what they paid in 2020. KHON2.

Here’s how big your Thanksgiving gathering can be in each county. The rules are strictest on Oahu, which is seeing an average of nearly 90 new COVID-19 infections daily. Gathering rules are the most lenient on Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

Complaints delay isle vote certification. The certification of Hawaii’s election results is being delayed by three complaints: one from a woman who said she was running for president of the United States, another from a candidate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and from a slate of candidates under the banner Klean House Hawaii that included a long-shot candidate for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 24: 61 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials recorded 61 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 45 on Oahu, seven on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai, four on Maui, and four more Hawaii residents were diagnosed outside of the state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu’s mayor proposes additional testing changes for trans-Pacific travelers. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will ask the governor for a workaround to allow trans-Pacific travelers still awaiting travelers to avoid quarantine. Under Caldwelll’s plan, a traveler without a negative COVID-19 test result would take one immediately after landing at Honolulu’s airport. Hawaii News Now.


Airbnb and Expedia agree to help Honolulu crack down on illegal vacation rentals. Airbnb and Expedia Group will help the city crack down on illegal short-term vacation rentals under an agreement Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the two online platform giants announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Short-Term Rental Listings On Airbnb, Expedia Face New Requirements. It’s about to get tougher to advertise illegal transient vacation rentals in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

City teams up with Airbnb, Vrbo to crack down on illegal vacation rentals. The city is teaming up with Airbnb and Expedia, the parent company of Vrbo, to crack down on illegal vacation rentals on Oahu. A new memorandum of agreement is aimed at tracking and regulating Oahu vacation rentals, including by ensuring legal rentals are properly taxed and illegal rentals are shut down. Hawaii News Now.

Illegal short term rentals will be revealed under new agreement. Oahu's vacation rentals will soon be closely tracked and regulated, which may put an end to the island's illegal rentals. KITV4.


City officials eye delay in start of rail service. Bus revenue has dropped significantly since the onset of the corona­virus pandemic, a situation that’s contributed to what the Caldwell administration estimates will be a $400 million shortfall in next year’s overall city operating budget. Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku Community Association files appeal over Na Pua Makani wind turbines. Keep the North Shore Country and Kahuku Community Association have filed an appeal over the City’s approval of the location of Na Pua Makani wind turbines. KHON2.


Ex-prosecutor Katherine Kealoha writes of drug addiction in sentencing letter. Katherine Kealoha, the former Honolulu prosecutor convicted of conspiracy in Hawaii’s biggest corruption case that also took down her police chief husband, apologized for her actions in a handwritten letter to the judge today and blamed a prescription drug addiction for clouding her judgment. Associated Press.

Read Katherine Kealoha’s handwritten letter to a judge ahead of her sentencing. In a handwritten letter to a federal judge ahead of her sentencing Monday, Katherine Kealoha asked for “mercy” for her husband ― ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha ― and two officers also convicted following a massive public corruption trial. Hawaii News Now.


Magic Island parking lot reopens after $2.5M restoration project. Just in time for beach-goers and park users over the long holiday weekend, the ‘Aina Moana (Magic Island) parking lot at Ala Moana Regional Park has reopened to the public, after having been closed since April 13 for restoration work that is now almost completed, city Department of Parks & Recreation officials announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Work On Magic Island Parking Lot Completed, Finally. Access to the popular park had been limited for months due to reconstruction. Civil Beat.

After 8 months, the Magic Island parking lot is back open. The Magic Island parking lot reopened Tuesday after an 8-month-long closure for renovations. The city says 470-stall parking lot was repaved and re-striped. New gates and benches were also installed, along with a drop off zone. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Going vertical: Construction begins on homes in Laʻi ʻOpua. Vertical construction has commenced for 60 homes within the Villages of La‘i ‘Opua in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Construction Begins On 60 Homes In Laʻi ʻŌpua. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has announced that the construction of 60 homes within the Villages of Laʻi ʻŌpua in Kealakehe is underway. Big Island Video News.

Jury trial set for one of five arrested for virus violations at Kahaluu. Jury trial has been set for one of the five people arrested in August for gathering at Kahaluu Beach Park in violation of Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation. West Hawaii Today.


Officials say golf tourney followed COVID rules. Some questioned Shane Victorino’s charity event in Wailea. Retired Major League Baseball player and Maui boy Shane Victorino said that a golf tournament and dinner benefit he hosted over the weekend followed COVID-19 protocols, as some on social media questioned why the mayor’s son was holding a large event during the pandemic. Maui News.

Maui Police Issue 236 Citations, Make 3 Arrests in Ongoing Click It Or Ticket Campaign. Maui police have already issued 236 traffic citations and made three arrests during the first few days of a seatbelt enforcement campaign that runs through Nov. 29. Maui Now.


After string of new COVID-19 cases, Kauai seeks to opt out of pre-travel testing program. In what could prove a major blow to Hawaii’s Safe Travels program, Kauai’s mayor has asked to temporarily opt out of the pre-travel testing program that allows trans-Pacific and inter-island passengers to forgo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Hawaii News Now.

Kawakami requests Safe Travels pause. Mayor Derek Kawakami is asking Gov. David Ige to temporarily opt-out of the state’s Safe Travel program beginning Dec. 1. Garden Island.

Kauai seeks to exit pre-travel testing program. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami sent a request Tuesday to Gov. David Ige to temporarily pause Kauai’s participation in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program. If Ige approves, as of Tuesday all incoming Kauai travelers — trans-Pacific and interisland — would be required to quarantine for the full 14 days regardless of testing. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai requests to temporarily opt-out of pre-travel testing program as cases continue to rise. KHON2.

Kauai Seeks To Opt Out Of Pre-Travel Testing Program Amid COVID-19 Fears. If approved, all travelers to the island, including those from other counties, would have to quarantine though some exemptions would remain in place, including for health care workers. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i Mayor Proposes Rule to Temporarily Opt Out of State’s Pre-Travel Testing Program. Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami has submitted a proposal to Gov. David Ige requesting a temporary pause to the Garden Island’s participation in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program and require incoming travelers to Kaua‘i to quarantine for the full 14 days regardless of testing. Big Island Now.

Federal funds help low-income renters on Kaua‘i. Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced the Kaua‘i County Housing Agency will receive $352,924 in federal funding to support the Housing Choice Voucher program. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ige signs 16th proclamation limiting quarantine-free travel to negative coronavirus tests, Honolulu throws out most COVID-19 citations, Kauai records first COVID-19 death, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii hotel beach scene ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021. A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even. Star-Advertiser.


Concerns raised over state’s new quarantine plan. A new 14-day quarantine that starts today for inbound travelers awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests received pushback Monday from the state House Select Committee COVID- 19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, with several members saying the quarantine could hurt Hawaii’s economy just as it’s showing encouraging signs. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker: Changing Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program ‘Doesn’t Serve The Public’. Business and political leaders criticized the governor for changing a program that seems to be working. Gov. David Ige’s change to Hawaii’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program has caused an outcry among business and political leaders who say Ige made the change abruptly without talking to tourism industry executives, based on a small number of infected travelers who slipped through the cracks. Civil Beat.

Officials worried new virus restrictions will slow tourism. Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week imposing new restrictions for trans-Pacific travelers seeking to avoid quarantine needs to be amended, said several figures in the tourism industry Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Some lawmakers want the governor to rethink the new travel rules. Members of the House Committee on COVID-19 are calling for Gov. David Ige to amend new pre-travel testing rule. Beginning Tuesday, travelers who don’t have their test results before boarding a plane to Hawaii, will need to quarantine for 14 days even if a negative result comes in later. Hawaii News Now.


Trans-Pacific Travel Changes in Effect Tuesday. Gov. David Ige signed a 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation Monday, Nov. 23, requiring all transpacific travelers to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for Hawai‘i in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine. Big Island Now.

Governor Ige issues 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation, tightening restrictions for trans-pacific travelers heading to Hawai‘i. Governor David Ige signed a 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation requiring all transpacific travelers to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for the State of Hawai‘i, in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine. The new policy takes effect on Tuesday, Nov. 24. KITV4.

Full text of Gov. David Ige's 16th Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Emergency can be found here.

Dept. of Health Discouraging Air Travel, Gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving. Dr. Libby Char, Department of Health Director, told KITV4 she is "very concerned" about holiday gatherings leading to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Economics and Economists in the Spotlight. Local public debates often include economic information and analysis, but the pandemic and resulting economic crisis have intensified the demand for real-time data and understanding. Hawaii Business magazine.

Unspent funds won’t need to be returned, Case assures. U.S. Rep. Ed Case expressed confidence that unspent federal funds for COVID-19 relief in Hawaii will not have to be returned at the end of the year, and said he remains hopeful that another round of federal support could come from Congress. Star-Advertiser.


Keoni Souza Asks Hawaii Supreme Court For Recount In OHA Race. The race fell just outside of the threshold for an automatic recount. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Is Changing ‘The Face Of Hunger’ In Hawaii. The Hawaii Foodbank has distributed nearly 19 million pounds of food since March. The statewide food insecurity rate for 2020 was projected to be 16.8%, but the figure was far greater for children at 29.4%, or 89,050. Civil Beat.

Inspection data sought on state nursing homes. A senior advocacy group wants more data about inspections of Hawaii nursing homes as long-term care facilities across the nation continue to see record cases of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 23: 114 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials recorded 114 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Monday, including 80 on Oahu, 10 on Hawaii Island, 11 on Maui and three on Kauai. Ten more Hawaii residents were diagnosed outside of the state, according to the Department of Health. Civil Beat.


More than 58,000 citations issued for violating emergency orders have been thrown out. Less than one in 50 citations issued on Oahu since March for violating COVID-19 emergency orders resulted in a conviction, newly-released statistics show. Of the more than 60,000 criminal charges issued by Honolulu police since March that have already gone through the court system, the city Prosecutor’s Office declined to prosecute more than 43,000. Another 15,700 charges were dismissed by a judge or prosecutor, leaving just 962 convictions. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell says HPD COVID Enforcement Team might not return. The department had put it on hold after possible violations of overtime rules. With the investigation ongoing, the mayor says time is running out. KHON2.

City Council leader calls on police chief to bring back COVID-19 enforcement team. Some are calling on Honolulu’s police chief to bring back its COVID-19 enforcement unit, which was suspended following allegations of overtime abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki residents angered by pool party of 30+ people flouting COVID-19 restrictions. Hugs and kisses... loud music and champagne... even a crowded group picture... it looked like a party pre-pandemic. But this happened this past Saturday -- more than 30 revelers celebrated a friend's 26th birthday at The Hawaiian Monarch Hotel and Condos -- with no social distancing. KITV4.


Mayor-elect Blangiardi favors more aggressive reopening of Oahu. Honolulu mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi indicated today he is willing to be more aggressive in re-opening Oahu to allow for such things as bars, other small businesses and team sports to be open more quickly than under current Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s existing tiered system of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayor-elect Blangiardi prepares to take on mounting budget woes.
Conditions have gone from bad to worse for Honolulu’s projected budget shortfall, rail project, and COVID outlook. KHON2.


Mayor Caldwell announces $24M addition to Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund. Oahu bars and nightclubs, gyms and fitness facilities, and arcades will be eligible to tap from $24 million in additional money that’s being infused into the city’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Adds $24 Million To Business Relief Fund. Grants up to $20,000 will be available to arcades, bars and nightclubs, gyms and fitness centers and commercial boating operations under an expansion of Honolulu’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced on Monday. Civil Beat.


More than 100 inmates at Waiawa Correctional Facility are now COVID positive. On Monday, the state reported 103 infected inmates and seven infected employees. One prisoners’ rights advocate calls it an “infection factory". Hawaii News Now.

Oahu businesses ordered to close for violating Emergency Order. Several businesses on Oahu violated the Mayor’s emergency order so the Honolulu Liquor Commission required them to close for 24-hours. KHON2.

Online queues, sanitizer & distancing: Hawaii malls prep for a unique Black Friday. Black Friday 2020 is already poised to be unlike any other before. In recent years, retailers have been hungry to get people in their doors earlier and earlier with deals often starting Thanksgiving night. Hawaii News Now.

A Pearl City park is renamed in honor of a respected community leader. The Manana Community Park in Pearl City has officially been renamed. It is now the Breene Harimoto Manana Community Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

David to lead County Council. Maile David will lead the County Council for the two-year term beginning next month, following an organizational meeting held shortly after the election. The council is also slated to create a new committee to deal with climate change, according to resolutions that will be voted on Dec. 7. West Hawaii Today.

New Nature Trail Opens Off Saddle Road On Hawaii Island. A new nature trail in the shadow of Maunakea on Hawaiʻi Island is the latest addition to the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. Big Island Video News.

The spirit of giving: Ironman Foundation provides Thanksgiving bundles to 600 families. Volunteers worked hard Monday loading 600 Thanksgiving bundles into a seemingly never-ending line of vehicles containing families needing a turkey dinner with all the fixings ahead of the Thursday’s holiday. West Hawaii Today.


Large gathering of more than 200 on Maui beach broken up. Conservation enforcement officers on Maui broke up a large gathering of more than 200 people who allegedly flouted COVID-19 rules at Makena’s Little Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Law Enforcement Operation at “Little Beach” in Mākena, Maui. A team of eight officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement conducted a law enforcement operation on Sunday night at Puʻu Ōlaʻi “Little Beach” in Mākena State Park on Maui. Maui Now.

October Tourism Authority Report: Maui County Vacation Rentals at 21% and Hotels at 14.2% Occupancy. Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties with 138,500 available unit nights, which was a decrease of 53.5 percent compared to a year ago. Maui Now.

Maui Hub Approved as a Nonprofit Organization. The IRS has approved the online marketplace as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Effective June 29, 2020, all donations made to Maui Hub after that date are tax-deductible. Maui Now.

More mobile help coming for Maui people in need. More help is on the horizon for Maui’s needy population as police spearhead an effort to roll out a Mobile Medical Educational Unit possibly by the end of the year. Maui News.


Kaua‘i records first on-island COVID-19 death. The first on-island COVID-19 fatality was reported Monday morning, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced. The elderly male resident had no travel history. Garden Island.

Kauai reports first COVID-19 fatality since pandemic began. For months, Kauai County has appeared to have had the upper hand on coronavirus, going weeks at a time without any new infections. This death comes as cases are once again ticking up. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai reports first on-island coronavirus related fatality. The Kauai District Health Office reported the first on-island coronavirus-related death on Monday, Nov. 23. KHON2.

Community transmission on the rise on Kaua‘i. The county is seeing a rise in community transmission, and officials are concerned with the holidays coming up. Garden Island.

Congressman-elect Kahele makes first Kaua‘i trip since election.
U.S. Congressman-elect Kai Kahele wants to bring more aloha to a divided country. Garden Island.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Ige wants to reroute CARES money to pay loans as economic recovery falters, audit slams Honolulu Police Department's OT excesses, Kauai seeks tighter travel restrictions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


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Downtown Honolulu business district ©2020 All Hawaii News

‘Treading Water’: Working From Home Hasn’t Hurt Hawaii’s Office Rental Market — Yet. A wholesale shift to employees working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has softened the office market but there’s been no mass exodus from office space. Civil Beat.

Rising COVID-19 cases on the mainland, new travel advisories likely to delay Hawaii’s tourism recovery. The robust holiday season that Hawaii’s visitor industry anticipated is evaporating, pushing the start of a meaningful tourism recovery into the third quarter of next year.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Governor makes case for using CARES Act money to pay back unemployment insurance loan. Critics say relief funds are meant to go directly to residents. Governor David Ige says paying down the federal loan helps businesses and benefits the economy as a whole. KITV4.

Hawaii engineers semi-finalists in worldwide mask challenge. A group of local engineers have made it to the semi-finals in a worldwide challenge that is focused on finding the best mask design of the future. Team Merlin! is one of ten semi-finalists in the Million Dollar XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge and is looking for all the support they can get to make it to the finals. Hawaii News Now.

SHOPO sues all four counties over disclosure law. The statewide police union is now suing all four counties in an effort to keep the names of officers fired or suspended for disciplinary reasons secret until all grievance avenues for the officers are exhausted. Tribune-Herald.

Kahele Plans To Go ‘Old School’ And Move Family To Washington To Build Ties. Hawaii’s congressman-elect has a young family that he wants with him as he tries to build a career in Congress. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii reports promising graduation, retention rates. Graduation rates are up at most University of Hawaii campuses this semester. That’s according to new data out from the UH system. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii offers scholarship to furloughed Hawaii residents. The University of Hawaii (UH) is offering a scholarship to residents who are currently furloughed or have been laid off from a Hawaii-based job due to the coronavirus pandemic. KHON2.

Dept. of Agriculture clamps down on movement of coffee plants in Hawaii. The State Department of Agriculture and Plant Quarantine Branch has banned the movement of coffee from Maui and the Big Island due to an infestation of a devastating coffee pathogen known as the coffee leaf rust. Hawaii News Now.

Here’s Why Hawaiian Homesteaders May Never Fully Profit From Their Own Land. Those fortunate enough to secure a DHHL lot — often after waiting years or decades — find themselves unable to access the property’s market value. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders hardest-hit. No ethnic group has been hit harder by the corona­virus pandemic than Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 22: 123 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 Deaths. Health officials recorded 123 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 97 on Oahu, 14 on Hawaii island, four on Maui and six on Kauai. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Police Department suspends use of COVID enforcement team after overtime violations. The Honolulu Police Department has suspended the use of special COVID-19 enforcement teams after an internal audit revealed “multiple violations” of the department’s overtime policies. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Suspends COVID-19 Patrols After Audit Finds Overtime Violations.
Records show that two officers recorded more than 300 hours of overtime from Sept. 27 to Oct. 31. That translates to 65 hours of overtime each week. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers seek transparency from HPD following alleged overtime violations involving COVID-19 enforcement team. Some lawmakers are calling for changes at the Honolulu Police Department as it investigates allegations of overtime pay violations involving COVID relief funds. KITV4.

Virus hits family of HPD officer hospitalized with COVID-19. A Honolulu Police Officer is fighting for his life after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were discovered at the Wahiawa Police Station. His family also contracted the disease. KHON2.


Blangiardi Names Transition Team, Seeks Job Applicants. The mayor-elect of Honolulu has launched a jobs portal to find viable candidates. Civil Beat.

Honolulu expects to spend all $387.1M in CARES Act funds. Honolulu has already spent $214.1 million, or 55%, of its $387.1 million in federal CARES Act funding and expects to use the entire amount before it expires at the end of the year, according to a news release from Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.


2 Hawaii Department of Transportation employees to pay fines for personal use of highway equipment. Two state Department of Transportation employees have agreed to pay fines and face potential DOT discipline after a supervisor allowed an employee to take a Bobcat skid-steer home for personal use this month and used a DOT truck and trailer on state time to transport the Bobcat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOT Employees Fined For Taking State Equipment Off The Job. The incident violated Hawaii’s Fair Treatment law. Civil Beat.


The Miske Case: An Insider Pleads Guilty And Is Cooperating With The Feds. Jacob Smith’s plea agreement details violence and criminal operations he says were carried out under orders from longtime Honolulu businessman Michael Miske. Civil Beat.

Man’s Death In Honolulu Police Custody Caused By Drugs, Shackles And A Struggle. A medical examiner’s report shows the 28-year-old Kaneohe man died in June from a combination of drug and alcohol use and a physical struggle with police. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roth announces more cabinet appointees. Leading the Planning Department will be former Puna Councilman Zendo Kern of Kurtistown. Civil Engineer S. Ikaika Rodenhurst of Hawaiian Acres will lead the Department of Public Works and Ramzi I. Mansour of Honolulu, also a professional engineer, will be the new director of the Department of Environmental Management. West Hawaii Today.

Three More Roth Cabinet Names Announced. Zendo Kern, Ikaika Rodenhurst, and Ramzi Mansour have been appointed to head three critical Hawaiʻi County departments. Big Island Video News.

Kim seeks expansion of post-arrival COVID screening at Kona airport. Mayor Harry Kim wants to expand post-arrival testing at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole after scaling back testing efforts there earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.

Forest forum: Input sought on proposed Natural Area Reserve in South Kona. Community input on a proposal to add a 1,260-acre South Kona parcel to the Hawaii Natural Area Reserve system is being sought by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife. West Hawaii Today.

CIP Funding Released for Land Acquisition by Waimea Schools. Gov. David Ige has released $1.6 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for the Hawai’i Department of Education’s land acquisition of Parcel 54 from Parker Ranch Land Trust. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Island group distributes $7.5M in housing aid, with more on the way. A hui of Hawaii Island organizations already has distributed all of its $7.5 million in federal funds to pay rent and mortgages for 1,322 households during the COVID-19 economic and health crisis, but the need is even greater. Star-Advertiser.

Three from Big Island file lawsuits against Monsanto Co. A Honolulu law firm has filed a trio of product liability civil lawsuits this month on behalf of three Big Island men against the chemical giant Monsanto Co. in Hilo Circuit Court. Tribune-Herald.

‘Extremely intoxicated’ Brennan arrested again. For the second time in less than four months, a former star quarterback at the University of Hawaii was taken into police custody after allegedly causing a drunken disturbance. Tribune-Herald.


Officials: Strict COVID measures in place for conference. Organizer says no attendees have tested positive for virus. A multiday conference of more than 100 people at Fairmont Kea Lani that spurred criticism in attendees’ home states took strict precautions to prevent COVID-19, the organizer emphasized Thursday. Maui News.

HBO miniseries filming in Wailea. Officials forecast busy end to year for industry on Maui. County officials pulled back the curtain Friday on a busy end to the year for Maui’s film and TV industry, including a $20 million-budget HBO miniseries that’s halfway through filming in Wailea. Maui News.

New HBO series filming on Maui, 'Temptation Island' injects $2M into local economy.
A new miniseries is halfway through filming on Maui after a controversial television series wrapped up production a couple of weeks ago. KITV4.

We Are South Maui Website Launches Public Engagement Activity Through End of Year. The Maui County Planning Department launched a public engagement workshop on its We Are Maui website, which will remain open through the end of the year. Maui Now.


Kauai wants stricter travel entry rules. Kauai health officials have reported 22 more COVID-19 cases, at least 19 of them travel-related, since Nov. 16 when Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami sought additional requirements for travelers coming to the Garden Island. Star-Advertiser.

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. Between August and September, the county had spent $919,915.56, including $500,000 for small-business grants and $100,000 for the Rise to Work program that has hired displaced workers into paid employment. Garden Island.

Virus testing offered in Hanapepe. Nearly 500 appointments — the largest amount since the County of Kaua‘i and state Department of Health started surge testing — greeted the surge-testing crew Sunday at Hanapepe Stadium when testing started in strong trade winds and cloudy skies. Garden Island.

Former HPD captain with COVID left to sleep on a bench after quarantine mix up
. When the coronavirus outbreak hit the island of Lanai, Nyle Dolera got so sick from the virus that he had to be medivacked to the Queen’s Medical Center earlier this month. But the retired Honolulu Police Department captain said the way he was treated by Department of Health officials during his 14-day quarantine on Oahu was much worse than the disease itself. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Hawaii tightens travel testing requirements, will soon welcome visitors from Canada; Caldwell strives to avoid layoffs and furloughs, activists block Waipio Valley, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii travel sunset ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii-bound travelers with pending coronavirus test results will no longer have the chance to bypass quarantine. Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that trans-Pacific travelers to Hawaii who can’t present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in the islands won’t be able to bypass the 14-day quarantine once their test results are received. Star-Advertiser.

Ige tightens pre-traveler testing rules amid concerns about those arriving without results. Starting Tuesday, incoming trans-Pacific travelers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test result in hand before departure for Hawaii if they want to bypass quarantine. If they don’t have the results, they’ll have to self-isolate for up to 14 days. Hawaii News Now.

State tightens pre-arrival COVID-19 testing program for trans-Pacific travelers. Starting Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, trans-Pacific arrivals in Hawaii must have a negative COVID-19 test result from a trusted testing partner prior to departure to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Tightens Pre-Travel Testing Requirements. Governor David Ige on Thursday announced that people traveling to the state now must be in possession of the results of their COVID-19 tests before departing on the last leg of their trips. Big Island Now.

Pre-Travel Test Results Delayed? Get Ready To Quarantine For 2 Weeks. Gov. David Ige tightened restrictions as Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell cast doubt on the state’s surveillance program. Civil Beat.

Travelers to Hawaii will need to have a negative test upon departure to bypass quarantine. KHON2.

A major change to the state's pre-travel testing program coming Tuesday. The policy change does not apply to inter-island travel. KITV4.

Pre-Travel COVID-19 Test Results Must Be In Hand Prior to Departure for Hawai‘i. Starting next Tuesday, Nov. 24, travelers wishing to bypass the 14-day mandatory quarantine must have their COVID-19 test results – from a trusted testing partner – prior to departure for the State of Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell questions the validity of the state’s traveler surveillance testing program; Lt. Gov. Green defends it. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the state’s surveillance testing program is leaning too heavily on Hawaii island data and falling short of its goal to randomly test 10% of arriving visitors four days after arrival. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell: State’s surveillance testing of trans-Pacific travelers is inadequate.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday questioned the state’s efforts to conduct surveillance testing of incoming travelers. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell wants travelers to be tested four days after arriving to O'ahu. The mayor wants travelers who land on O'ahu to be tested four days after arriving to further ensure they're not spreading COVID-19. The state's program promised to do that to 10% of arrivals at random. KITV4.

Mayor Kawakami weighs in on new Safe Travels policy. At least 44 travelers using the state’s Safe Travels received positive COVID-19 test results upon arrival or in the following days, Gov. David Ige reported Thursday. Garden Island.

Kaua'i County Mayor says if there is a spike in cases he will ask for more travel restrictions. Kaua'i County Mayor Derek Kawakami tells KITV4 he is quote "very happy" with the Governor's decision to require travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test result in-hand prior to departure. KITV4.


Canadian Pre-Travel Testing to Hawai‘i Begins Mid-December. Governor Ige today announced that beginning in mid-December, travelers flying from Canada to Hawaiʻi may bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from labs identified by Air Canada and WestJet. Maui Now.

Pre-travel testing set up for Canadians wanting to bypass state's 14-day quarantine. The test must be taken within 72-hours of travel, and a negative test result must be received prior to departure. KITV4.


Major COVID-19 Outbreak Hits Pearl Harbor Warship. Most of the sailors who tested positive were expected to leave isolation this weekend and return to duty. Civil Beat.

Navy announces COVID outbreak on destroyer docked at Pearl Harbor. Personnel assigned to the destroyer USS Michael Murphy tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 4 and have been placed in isolation, according to announcement from a Navy spokesperson on Nov. 19. KHON2.

Nearly 25% of sailors from Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Michael Murphy contract coronavirus. About half of a large number of sailors found to be COVID-19 positive on the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Michael Murphy recently are now almost out of isolation, an official said. Star-Advertiser.

Navy confirms reports of COVID-19 cases aboard Honolulu-based guided missile destroyer.  U.S. Navy said Thursday that an unspecified number of sailors assigned to a guided missile destroyer based out of Pearl Harbor have tested positive for the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.


Analysis: Asians in Hawaii more likely to die of COVID-19 than other ethnic groups. New research shows those of Japanese and Chinese descent die of COVID-19 more than any other ethnic group in Hawaii ― despite much lower infection rates. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific Islanders Are Twice As Likely To Be Hospitalized For COVID-19. Chuukese, Marshallese and Samoan residents have been getting the deadly virus at the highest rates. Pacific Islanders, excluding Native Hawaiians, are more than twice as likely to be killed or hospitalized by the coronavirus in Hawaii than other racial and ethnic groups after adjusting for age and gender, according to newly released data from the state Health Department. Civil Beat.

The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention Campaign is fighting the virus that it says is disproportionately impacting its community. A coalition serving Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, a community that is proportionately impacted by COVID-19, is taking a cultural approach to stopping the spread of the virus. Big Island Video News.


Todd Eddins unanimously confirmed to Hawaii Supreme Court. The newest member of the Hawaii Supreme Court started and ended his education in Hawaii public schools — first at Enchanted Lake Elementary in Kailua and finally at the University of Hawaii law school, where Todd W. Eddins later returned to teach as an adjunct professor. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Confirms Todd Eddins To Hawaii Supreme Court. The lawmaker in charge of vetting judicial candidates noted Eddins’ vast legal experience. Civil Beat.

State Senate confirms Circuit Court judge to Hawaii Supreme Court. The Hawaii State Senare voted Thursday to approve Gov. David Ige’s appointment to fill an opening for an associate justice on the Hawaii Supreme Court. Hawaii News Now.


Congressman-elect Kai Kahele announces Christy Wagner as his chief of staff selection. Congressman-elect Kai Kahele has announced his selection for chief of staff, who has 10 years of policy experience at Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C., and, like Kahele, has ties to Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Report: Hawaii Is Still Heavily Dependent On Fossil Fuels. While Hawaii has made some progress in diversifying its energy sector, it’s still the most oil-reliant state in the U.S., according to new statistics from the Hawaii State Energy Office. Civil Beat.

DOE Chief: $100M Budget Reduction Could Be ‘Decimating’. School leaders are preparing contingency plans due to huge funding shortfalls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

Has Saguaro Prison Failed To Protect Hawaii Inmates From COVID-19? More than half of the state’s inmates serving time at the Arizona facility were infected, and one inmate was confirmed to have died Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Isolated for months in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, crew sees pandemic for 1st time. Just as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold, in February, four people set sail for one of the most remote places on Earth — a small camp on Kure Atoll, at the edge of the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Associated Press.

Here’s Why The Health Department Says It Takes 36 Hours To Post COVID-19 Case Numbers. Weekly trends are more important to pay attention to than daily numbers, health officials say. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 19: 107 New COVID-19 Cases. Health officials reported 107 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, including 75 on Oahu, 12 on Hawaii Island, four on Kauai, nine on Maui and seven residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


City Is ‘Looking At Everything’ To Avoid Layoffs Or Pay Cuts. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration will make final decisions by the end of the year in an attempt to close a $400 million budget shortfall. Civil Beat.

11 Honolulu police officers tested positive for COVID-19 after station outbreak. Eleven Honolulu police officers tested positive for COVID-19 following an outbreak at the Wahiawa police station earlier this month. Hawaii News Now.

TheBus and TheHandi-Van begin testing air purification systems. The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) began testing new eco-friendly air and surface purification systems in several city busses and TheHandi-Van on Nov. 19. KHON2.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell urges travelers to use airport lab. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging more people to take advantage of COVID-19 testing for interisland travel at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser.

Health officials say mask mandates must be followed in common spaces at apartments, condominiums. The Department of Health is reminding people to follow the rules when it comes to wearing a face covering and social distancing if they live in an apartment building or condominium. KHON2.

Malaekahana housing removed from Koolauloa plan after years of debate. A divisive 14-year fight at the Honolulu City Council over proposed development in Malaekahana appears to be nearing a conclusion, with advocates for preserving agricultural lands and containing growth winning over those who consider housing a higher priority for the community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council honors Kim. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday surprised Mayor Harry Kim before he leaves office next month, honoring the longtime public servant for his decades of work. Tribune-Herald.

Citing COVID-19 concerns, activists try to block visitors from Big Island’s Waipio Valley. Activists on Hawaii Island who say they’re concerned about traffic jams and the spread of COVID-19 tried to block tourists from going into Waipio Valley this week. Hawaii News Now.

Accused aquarium poacher pleads not guilty after lengthy reading of charges
. A Kailua-Kona man accused of illegal aquarium fish collection in West Hawaii Waters pleaded not guilty Thursday in Circuit Court. West Hawaii Today.

Public comment sought for cleanup action at former quarry firing range site. The National Park Service is seeking public comment on an engineering evaluation/cost analysis for the selection of a non-time critical cleanup action at the former quarry firing range site in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

Libraries welcome back patrons with Wiki Visits. The Hawaii State Public Library System has begun allowing patrons inside its buildings for the first time in eight months. Tribune-Herald.

‘No end in sight:’ The Food Basket holds biggest Ohana Food Drop yet. At the Old Kona Airport Pavilion on Thursday, the need was plain to see as the Food Basket held their eighth Ohana Food Drop in Kona – and 91st on the Orchid Isle overall – since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of cars lined up to fill the former airstrip, waiting for their turn to receive food. West Hawaii Today.

Food Basket Distributes 100K Pounds of Support in the Face of Staggering Need. Big Island Now.


Stay distanced to avoid a mask at beach, county says. Maui sunbathers may get a more even face tan, thanks to Gov. David Ige’s recent statewide proclamation that allows for certain mask exemptions. Maui News.

Hale Makua Kahului Confirms Positive COVID-19 Staff Member.
Hale Makua Health Services has received confirmation that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Kahului facility. The staff person last worked on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and is currently in isolation at home. Maui Now.

Goodfellow Bros. in Kihei Receives World’s First Electric Drive Dozer by Caterpillar. Goodfellow Bros. in Kihei received of one of three commemorative Cat ® D6 XE Dozers – a special edition high-drive electric drive dozer built specifically to celebrate Caterpillar’s production of 175,000 medium high-drive dozers. Maui News.


KPD Dispatch’s communications system undergoes complete renovation. County dispatchers moved into a newly renovated communications center at the Lihu‘e Kaua‘i Police Department headquarters Wednesday. Garden Island.

County withdraws from Kaua‘i Made Holiday Fair. Officials have announced that the County of Kaua‘i will no longer participate in co-hosting the Kaua‘i Made Holiday Fair on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Puhi Park Produce. Garden Island.


Decades-Old Ho‘olehua Water System on Moloka‘i to Undergo Major Repairs. A groundbreaking ceremony was held today to mark the beginning of a $37 million capital improvement project to upgrade the 80-year-old Hoʻolehua Water System on Molokaʻi. Maui News.