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.

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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.

Oahu

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Maui

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.

Kauai

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.


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