Friday, December 4, 2020

Hawaii National Guard COVID-19 response funding extended, Board of Education approves deep budget cuts, Honolulu theBus driver dies from coronavirus, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii National Guard
Hawaii National Guard moves PPE in April file photo

Feds Extend Funding For Hawaii National Guard’s COVID-19 Response. The federal government will continue to compensate the Hawaii National Guard’s COVID-19 response in the islands through March 31, the White House announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

Trump extends funding for National Guard coronavirus duty in Hawaii and most other states. President Donald Trump today approved funding requests from Hawaii and most other states to continue National Guard assistance with COVID-19 through March 31. Star-Advertiser.

Trump approves funding extension for COVID-19 assistance from Hawaii National Guard. The Trump administration has approved a funding extension that will allow the Hawaii National Guard to continue assisting the state with COVID-19 response efforts, including contact tracing, testing and, eventually, vaccine distribution. Hawaii News Now.

President approves Gov. Ige’s request to extend federal funding for Hawai‘i National Guard COVID-19 assistance. The federal government has approved Gov. David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawai‘i National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. KITV4.

Trump approves Ige’s request to extend federal funding for Hawaii National Guard COVID-19 assistance. The federal government has approved Gov. David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawaii National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. West Hawaii Today.

Ige’s Request to Extend Federal Funding for Hawai‘i National Guard COVID-19 Assistance Approved. The federal government has approved Governor David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawai‘i National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. Maui Now.

Hawai‘i National Guard to Remain Active Through March Via Federal Funding. The Hawai‘i National Guard’s citizen-soldiers and airmen are performing critical missions such as contact tracing, working on mobile swab teams, health education for at-risk populations, screening, food and medical supply distribution, and several others. Big Island Now.


Worker layoffs, furloughs still on the table, Gov. David Ige says. Gov. David Ige is continuing to give strong indications this week that layoffs and/or furloughs may be in the future for state workers. Star-Advertiser.

With ‘A Very Reluctant Aye,’ Board Of Education Approves DOE Budget Despite Deep Cuts. Many board members expressed consternation at proposed cuts that will largely be absorbed by schools in order to plug a minimum $165 million pandemic-related shortfall. Civil Beat.

BOE approves state’s hefty budget cut proposal. The latest operating budget proposal is layered on top of an existing $100 million reduction, so the total amount comes out to $264 million for each of the next two years. The details of how the individual schools will be affected are not outlined yet. KHON2.

BOE approves proposed $1.5B budget. The state Board of Education on Thursday approved a proposed $1.5 billion operating budget that will drastically reduce the state Department of Education’s spending in the upcoming fiscal biennium as Hawaii faces significant revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Special Education among the possible cuts labeled high impact by the DOE in proposal. The Department of Education's proposal of more than $264 million in budget cuts was approved on Thursday by the Board of Education. KITV4.


As deadline approaches, worries grow about programs funded by CARES Act. As the deadline approaches for use of federal CARES Act money, concerns grow over what happens when the state loses access to funds. According to the Hawaii Data Collaborative, a group tracking the money, 48% of the $1.25 billion in aid to the state has been expended. Hawaii News Now.

Without Money, Hawaii’s Police Standards Board Is ‘Dead In The Water’. A state board has finally started work developing basic training and decertification standards for law enforcement in Hawaii — more than a year after that panel of police chiefs and state agency heads were required to do so. Civil Beat.

Workers rally for in-person unemployment assistance
. Still frustrated by the lack of accessibility to the unemployment office and unresolved claims, roughly a dozen workers rallied Thursday in front of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations headquarters downtown. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation will improve emergency alert system; Schatz says goal is to avoid mishaps such as false missile scare. Federal legislation moving through Congress will ensure more people receive relevant emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions and radios. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Coast Guard warns Hawaii boaters about ‘hundreds’ of overboard shipping containers. Hawaii mariners as a precautionary measure after hundreds of shipping containers reportedly fell into the ocean from a vessel hundreds of miles away from the islands after the ship encountered severe weather conditions while enroute to California from China. Star-Advertiser.

State: 23 COVID-19 clusters linked to food production and distribution industry. The state has identified nearly two dozen COVID-19 clusters linked to the food production and distribution industry in the last four months. In its weekly report issued Thursday, the state Department of Health said the size of the clusters varied, but at least one of them involved 26 cases. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 3: 144 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths In Hawaii. Health officials reported 144 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday, including 118 on Oahu, 14 on Maui, seven on the Big Island, two on Kauai and three residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Driver For TheBus Dies Due To COVID-19. That driver, MacArthur (Art) Nieto, a 20-year veteran of TheBus, died Nov. 23, which was about a month after he had tested positive for the virus, according to OTS President and General Manager Roger Morton. Nieto is the only reported transit driver death in Hawaii due to COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Some businesses on rail line suspect passing trains linked to recent power outages. Some shop owners say they’ve had their power knocked out completely. Others describe brownout conditions, saying their lights will dim or flicker. Many of those impacted believe power fluctuations are caused by the passing trains, and both rail officials and engineers from Hawaiian Electric are investigating that claim. Hawaii News Now.

Wife of prominent Honolulu attorney returns home after 90-day battle with COVID. Honolulu attorney Michael Green was able to celebrate Thursday night, but it wasn’t for a victory in court. Instead, the high-profile lawyer was grateful that his wife, Estelita, was finally able to return home after being hospitalized for three months due to COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.


City moves to get $250K back from Louis Kealoha. More bad news for disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha: The city wants its $250,000 retirement settlement package back. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill For HPD Overtime Abuse. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city will pay for inappropriate OT costs and federal relief money will be used for other programs. Civil Beat.

Audit finds Honolulu Police Department not preventing police misconduct. The Honolulu Police Department does a good job of tracking and investigating police misconduct and complaints, but it does little to prevent them, according to a report by the city auditor. Star-Advertiser.

Audit: HPD Could Do More To Prevent Officer Misconduct. In the wake of the criminal conspiracy that landed Honolulu’s former police chief and his estranged wife behind bars, the Honolulu Police Department needs to do more to prevent misconduct in its ranks, the city auditor said in a report released on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Audit praises HPD for cracking down on officer misconduct but criticizes ability to prevent it. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu plans to keep 130 COVID-19 contact tracers through June. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city plans to keep 130 coronavirus contact tracers in place at least through the end of the fiscal year in June, despite the state’s plan to reduce the program. Star-Advertiser.

Median price for single-family home on Oahu increased 11% in November. Locations, a real estate firm, said that the median price for a single-family home on Oahu in November was $877,500. That’s up 11% from a year ago. The median condo price was up 2% to $425,000. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of pounds of fireworks seized from Makiki home. Two people have been arrested after police seized hundreds of pounds of fireworks at a Makiki home. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth announces more cabinet selections. Doug Adams​, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and current Vice-chairman and Director of W.H. Shipman, Ltd., has been tapped to head the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development. Tribune-Herald.

Third Round Of Roth Cabinet Positions Announced. Doug Adams will serve as the head of the Hawaiʻi County Department of Research and Development, a Thursday news release reported. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island’s three-term Mayor Harry Kim says aloha. Two photos of Harry Kim represent the bookends of his career as Mayor of Hawaii County; his first day on the job after winning the election in 2000 and this week as he prepares to say goodbye to a job that he says he never truly aspired to have. KHON2.

Before he took the mayor’s seat, Harry Kim was well-known as the voice of calm in disasters. Anyone who grew up on the Big Island remembers Harry Kim’s deep voice on the radio, informing residents of natural disasters. While he’s leaving his seat as Hawaii County Mayor on Monday, it was his time as civil defense chief that made him a local legend. Hawaii News Now.

Rhonda Loh To Be Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent. Loh, already serving as the acting park superintendent since April 2019, will be in the position on a permanent basis starting December 20th. Big Island Video News.

Movie madness: New Ocean View drive-in theater reveals giant demand. Tonight, the drive-in will host its first showing, projecting the “Nightmare Before Christmas” on the 12- by 16-foot screen as audio is transmitted via FM radio into the viewers’ vehicles. West Hawaii Today.


First jury trial in state since COVID completed. Process took months of planning so jurors could gather safely. Before 12 jurors and an alternate were seated last week for the first jury trial in the state since the COVID-19 pandemic, 2nd Circuit Court judges, staff and attorneys spent months of planning, reconfigured a courtroom and precisely measured spaces so jurors were positioned at least 6 feet apart. Maui News.

Nominees Announced for 2020 Annual Mayor’s Small Business Awards.
The Maui Chamber of Commerce announced the nominees for the 2020 Mayor’s Small Business Awards. Nominees and winners will be honored during a virtual event on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 6:30-8:30 pm. Maui Now.


HoKua Place stalled again
. Wednesday, the state’s Land Use Commission granted a petition to intervene in the proceeding of rezoning lands for a 96-acre residential subdivision next to Kapa‘a Middle School that has been in the planning stages for nearly a decade. Garden Island.

This Kauai Nonprofit Is Trying To Change How People Buy Their Food. Food hubs provide a way for farmers to sell their crops outside of grocery stores. Civil Beat.

KIUC Anahola Service Center boosts economy. The benefit of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic adds to the list of benefits that will come with the construction of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Anahola Service Center adjacent to the KIUC solar farm in Anahola. Garden Island.

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