Thursday, December 24, 2020

Furloughs delayed as Hawaii awaits federal bailout, Honolulu grocery cards malfunction, Kauai seeks 3-day bubble quarantine, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Government Employees Association
Hawaii Government Employees Association member signup Dec. 10, 2020 PC:HGEA

 Hawaii to delay state furloughs after virus relief bill passes. Gov. David Ige today said the passage of a new coronavirus relief bill by the U.S. Congress this week has prompted him to delay the implementation of state worker furloughs previously due to begin on Jan. 1. Associated Press.

Governor delays January start of furloughs for state workers
, but doesn’t set new date. Gov. David Ige said the federal government’s $900 billion pandemic relief package allows Hawaii to put off implementation of the furloughs ― or two unpaid days a month for most state workers. Hawaii News Now.

Ige Announces Delay For Furloughs. Governor David Ige announced Wednesday afternoon that there will be a delay in state furloughs, that were set to begin on January 1, 2021. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Delays State Employee Furloughs.
Based on the promise of federal aid, the governor made the decision to delay the implementation of planned state furloughs, which was set for Jan. 1, 2021.  Big Island Video News.

Governor announces delay of furloughs. In a letter sent to state employees this afternoon, the governor said the state had been waiting months to see if Congress would provide additional federal funds to help address the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts here in Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

University of Hawaii faculty union sues to stop furloughs. The union representing University of Hawaii faculty filed a lawsuit today, asking the court to stop Gov. David Ige from enacting furloughs and a 9.23% pay cut. Star-Advertiser.

State worker union files lawsuit against Gov. Ige on furloughs as delay is announced. The unions say they will take action against the governor if a furlough is imposed before their contract expires in June of 2021. KHON2.

HSTA President calls delay of furloughs a holiday gift for teachers. More than 13,000 public school teachers and staff would have been affected. KITV4.

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Hawaii Joins Legal Battle Over Telework Tax. Hawaii wants the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit states from levying income tax on people who work from home in another state. Civil Beat.

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Lagging tourism could result in more than half of Hawaii’s eateries closing for good by April, a survey says. More than half of Hawaii restaurants may be forced to close for good by April without a significant boost in tourism, according to a survey by the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center. Star-Advertiser.

Without a tourism rebound, half of Hawaii restaurants say they’ll be permanently closed by April. If tourism doesn’t make a rebound early on in 2021, more than half of Hawaii restaurants say they will be forced to close permanently by April, a new survey finds. Hawaii News Now.

Survey: 50% of Hawaii restaurants will close by April. More than half of Hawai'i’s restaurants will be forced to permanently close by April 2021, if tourism does not significantly increase, according to a survey by the Public Policy Center located at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. KITV4.

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PUC OKs regulatory changes for Hawaiian Electric. The state Public Utilities Commission approved Wednesday regulatory changes for Hawaiian Electric aimed at incentivizing the quick adoption of clean energy goals and could lower customers’ energy bills. Tribune-Herald.

Casino plan underscores worsening problems with homesteading program. This fall, as the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands faced mounting criticism over its handling of a century-old program to return Native Hawaiians to their ancestral lands, top officials asked their staff to come up with bold solutions. Star-Advertiser.

The Pandemic Is Hitting Hawaii’s Filipino Community Hard. The virus has sickened Filipinos disproportionately and led to widespread job losses. A grassroots Filipino COVID-19 task force has partnered with various nonprofit organizations and the Filipino Community Center to use federal CARES Act funding to educate thousands of Filipino residents about the virus and how to prevent it. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccines Are Arriving At Slower Pace, Health Officials Say. Hawaii health regulators anticipate the arrival of thousands more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across all counties next week. Civil Beat.

TRACKER — Dec. 23: 107 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 Deaths. Health officials reported 107 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 69 on Oahu, 15 on Maui, 13 on the Big Island and 10 Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Vendor trying to rectify City Card activation issues. As of Tuesday night, 751 out of 3,700-plus cards distributed had activated their cards, said Amy Asselbaye, the city’s director of economic revitalization. Star-Advertiser.

If you’re still trying to activate your city grocery card,
here’s what to do. On Wednesday afternoon, the city said the cards can now be activated online. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces new H-POWER contract to recycle ash, prevent it from going into Oahu landfills. Instead of going into the landfill, the ash byproduct of H-POWER would be treated and cleaned and could then potentially be used as construction material. Metals that are recovered from the ash would be recycled as well. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU pushes city to stop homeless sweeps, at least during the holidays. Honolulu city officials are under pressure to stop the homeless sweeps. Hawaii News Now.

Rail line on verge of opening. The first segment of the city’s over budget and long-delayed rail line will begin carrying passengers between East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium sometime in the second half of 2021, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Andrew Robbins told reporters Wednesday in what likely was his last public availability while on the job. Star-Advertiser.

Draft environmental impact statement for new Aloha Stadium entertainment district released. The march to replace aging Aloha Stadium reached a major milestone today with the release of the draft environmental impact statement for the new Aloha Stadium entertainment district. Star-Advertiser.

State seeks feedback about its vision for Aloha Stadium redevelopment. The state released its draft environmental impact statement for the “Aloha Stadium Entertainment District” ― and wants your input on next steps. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

HVO: Kilauea lava lake rises to more than 500 feet. Areas around the summit of Kilauea on Wednesday were blanketed in high levels of sulfur dioxide and particulates that reached levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous, according to a statement from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

HVNP Sees Surge in Visitors Coming to See New Kīlauea Eruption. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has temporarily closed the backcountry to overnight use due to a surge in visitors coming to see the new eruption at Kīlauea volcano. Big Island Now.

HMC begins vaccinations. The first round of Pfizer vaccines was given to health care workers Wednesday at Hilo Medical Center, 273 days after the first stay-at-home order was implemented in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

‘The beginning of the end’: Frontline workers, first responders receive COVID-19 vaccine. The first 25 frontline workers at Kona Community Hospital received their initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday afternoon in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.

Healthcare Workers at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital Receive Vaccine.
Thirty staff members at Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital received their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday, with the remaining staff expected to receive the vaccine in the next two weeks. Big Island Now.

Maui


Maui County tops state in revenue per hotel room for month of November. County saw rise in occupancy, rates, revenue last month. Maui News.

Hospital workers first in Maui County to receive vaccine. A respiratory therapist, an emergency room physician and other Maui Memorial Medical Center staff became the first people in Maui County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early Wednesday morning. Maui News.

Maui First Responders Begin Vaccinations at UHMC Drive Up Clinic. A drive up COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held for first responders at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in Kahului today for fire personnel, police officers, paramedics and front line medical workers. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i proposes rule independent of state’s Safe Travels. The county is seeking approval to create a post-travel resort bubble program that would allow incoming travelers to test out of the quarantine after three days. Garden Island.

Mayor Kawakami requests ‘resort bubble’ alternative to Safe Travels Program. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami sent a proposal to Gov. David Ige during the week of Monday, Dec. 21, that would allow incoming Kauai passengers who received a pre-travel test to quarantine at an approved resort bubble. KHON2.

Kaua'i County proposing mandatory post-travel COVID-19 test. Kaua'i County is proposing a mandatory post-travel COVID-19 test, three days after arriving on the island. KITV4.

Aea appointed new KLA president. Newly appointed president to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association Laola Aea is looking forward to new challenges she and her team will face in a world significantly altered by COVID-19. Garden Island.


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