Thursday, December 3, 2020

Hanauma Bay reopens, schools face deep budget cuts, Health Department to scale back contact tracing, Maui dogs sniff out COVID-19, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay snorkeling spot ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hanauma Bay Is Reopening — But Capacity Will Be Limited. The county nature park is one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist attractions, but fewer visitors will be allowed in, face masks will be mandatory and nonresidents will pay more in fees. Civil Beat.

Hanauma Bay Reopening Today Under City Guidelines. Prior to the shutdown, as many as 3,000 residents and tourists entered the marine sanctuary daily. Hawaii Public Radio.

City reopens Hanauma Bay with new restrictions and higher fees. The city reopened Hanauma Bay on Wednesday, but announced new restrictions aimed at ensuring the environmental gains the preserve made while it was shut down aren’t lost when residents and visitors return. Hawaii News Now.

Hanauma Bay reopens to the public, new measures aim to protect nature preserve. Hanauma Bay, which has been closed since March, reopened to the public on Wednesday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. KHON2.

Visitors welcomed back to Hanauma Bay with new fees and restrictions.  A new limit of 720 daily visitors has been set for the reopening in a pilot program seeking to balance conservation with recreation, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the preserve. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii plans to shrink contact-tracing team next year. While health experts are predicting a third wave of infections fueled by the holidays, Hawaii’s contact tracers that track COVID-19-positive residents are set to be reduced after the new year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOH Plans Cuts In Contact Tracing Team
Despite Continued COVID-19 Worries. Even as more cases are anticipated, Hawaii is “doing pretty well” a state health official said. Civil Beat.

State's contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of individuals who may have come in contact with an infected person. The state's COVID-19 contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of all people who may have come in contact with an infected person. KITV4.

Lack of interest in quarantine may be a barrier in contact tracing efforts. The State Department of Health (DOH) has released more results of its contact tracing efforts, including the percentage of cases being reached. KHON2.


State Education Board Holding Two Virtual Meetings Dec. 3 on Proposed Budget Cuts. The Hawaii State Board of Education will hold two meetings Thursday, Dec. 3, to vote on the proposed Department of Education budget for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium. Due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the proposed budget includes a 10-percent cut for public school operations and positions and consideration of a 9-percent cut to special education. Maui Now.

School Funds, Special Education Programs Face Cuts In DOE Budget Proposal. Hawaii State Teachers Association warns that proposed cuts could mean a loss of 1,000 teacher positions. Civil Beat.

HSTA says DOE budget cuts could result in loss of 1,000 teachers. The Hawaii State Teachers Association this morning expressed grave concerns about proposed budget cuts that would result in the loss of 1,000 teachers, including special education teachers. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed state education budget cuts concern HSTA. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is taking aim at budget reductions proposed by the state Department of Education the union says will undoubtedly affect Hawaii’s students. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi DOE Proposes Budget Cuts, HSTA Responds. The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association says the proposed, deep budget cuts will have "damaging impacts" on schools. Big Island Video News.

HIDOE Proposed Budget Cuts Could Impact Student Programs, Special Education, HSTA Says. The Hawai‘i Student Teacher Association fears the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s proposed cuts could result in lost jobs and student programs. Big Island Now. Big Island Now.

Budget crisis won’t spare schools and that has educators worried about the future
. With the pandemic squeezing state budgets, public schools are facing as much as $264 million in budget cuts over the next two years. And that’s got the teachers union asking which programs could be slashed. Hawaii News Now.

Teachers union says budget cuts could eliminate jobs and school programs. The Department of Education (DOE) is faced with making more than 200 million in budget cuts thanks to COVID-19. The teacher’s union knows cuts are needed but said they come at the expense of students and teachers. KHON2.

Teachers Union President: Education Budget Cuts Could Cost 1,000 Jobs. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee said Wednesday that 1,000 teaching positions could be lost if the Department of Education's budget cuts are not reworked. KITV4.


Subsea connectivity in Pacific, Hawaii expanded. Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Hawaiian Telcom to secure significant international capacity on the Southeast Asia-United States trans-Pacific fiber cable system from Guam to Los Angeles. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 2: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 78 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 63 on Oahu, one on the Big Island, one on Kauai, four on Maui. Nine residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Police Commissioner: People Want Answers On HPD’s Low Crime-Solving Rate. Chief Susan Ballard says the FBI data on HPD’s clearance rates is wrong, but her department shared data with a city councilman that reveals similarly troubling numbers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department switching to new data-reporting system. The Honolulu Police Department will switch to a new, data-rich system for reporting crimes at the start of the new year. Star-Advertiser.

HPD investigation into COVID-19 overtime violations will take months, chief says. It will be months before the Honolulu Police Department can publicly report on the apparent overtime violations within the department’s COVID enforcement teams, according to HPD Chief Susan Ballard. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents have problems with a proposed 30-story tower at Ala Moana Center. The 400-foot Ala Moana Plaza would feature 583 rental units with 20% set aside as affordable. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Monsanto: Roundup did not cause cancer in Big Island men. The men, who range in age from 60 to 77, claim exposure to glyphosate — a herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup — and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, manufactured and marketed by Monsanto in the U.S. until banned in 1979, caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tribune-Herald.

Virtual Meeting On Helicopter Noise Set For Dec. 3. The Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force will hold a virtual meeting about the Hilo and Kona regions on Thursday morning. Big Island Video News.

Funding For Airport COVID Testing in Jeopardy; Mayor-Elect Details Possible Changes. A new mayor will take the helm in Hawai‘i County on Monday. Likely accompanying his arrival will be substantial changes to COVID testing policies at Big Island airports, though those adjustments will be more a result of timing than political philosophy. Big Island Now.

You haven’t heard the last of Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. While Kim’s time in office is coming to an end, the 81-year-old says he’s not preparing to retire. Instead, he’s preparing for his next act. Hawaii News Now.

Group seeks transparency from DOH after virus outbreak at Hilo veterans home. A Hawaii seniors advocacy group has called on the state Department of Health to release more information about nursing home inspections after a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans home caused at least 27 deaths earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Life Care Center of Kona employee tests positive for COVID-19. A Life Care Center of Kona employee remains in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. The staff member last worked at the Keauhou care facility on Nov. 11 and remained in isolation, according to the early Tuesday update posted to the center’s website. West Hawaii Today.


How Maui Dogs Are Learning How To Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections. Perspiration samples from Hawaii residents recently diagnosed with COVID-19 are key to a study of whether dogs can sniff out the virus. Civil Beat.

Meetings Seek Feedback on Maui’s 5,000-Unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui nonprofits, Hawaiian Community Assets hosts a series of community meetings from December 2020 through February 2021 to gather feedback from local residents on the development the County’s 5,000-unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui Now.

DLNR: Kahakapao Recreation Area on Maui is a “Hot-Spot” for Illegal Trails. A series of legal, planned, and engineered trails at Kahakapao Recreational Area on Maui provide thrills and fun for mountain bikers, as well as for hiking and horseback riding. But illegal trails have become a concern with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources identifying 21 such paths crossing the popular Pineapple Express mountain bike trail alone. Maui Now.

Citizens’ Patrol back on road after COVID delays. Program credited with deterring car break-ins at popular beach parks. Maui News.

Maui home prices reach new highs. Median for single-family units hits $867,500 in October. Maui News.


CDC tipped Kauai police about COVID-positive fliers arrested after landing. A tip from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led to the arrest of a Kauai couple on Nov. 29 when they landed on the Garden Isle after boarding a plane in San Francisco knowing they were COVID positive. They had been told by airport quarantine station officials to stay in San Francisco. KHON2.

Protesting COVID restrictions.
About 25 people protested the state’s mask mandate and the county’s temporary Safe Travels shutdown yesterday afternoon. Garden Island.

Businesses struggle to stay open. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort &Spa will be closing temporarily on Dec. 7 in a move to further protect its staff. Garden Island.

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