Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hawaii residents not staying home much, COVID-19 vaccinations not delivered equally, Maui promises vaccines for everybody by Labor Day, Blangiardi picks Cabinet, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy UHERO
Hawaii mobility map PC:UHERO

People in Hawaii have stopped staying home as much following the surge in COVID-19 cases this summer, and have started going back to restaurants and shops, new mobility data shows. Civil Beat.

UHERO mobility dashboard details can be found here.

The number of residents leaving Hawai'i doubles in 2020. 2020 has taken a toll on many across the globe, including those in the Aloha State. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii says the state say the highest rates of population decline in the country. KITV4.

Some healthcare workers not associated with hospitals are still waiting for vaccine. Medical professionals are in group 1-A, the first group designated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But many are still waiting for their first dose. That’s even though the state Department of Health has already started vaccinating people in group 1-B. Hawaii News Now.

This New Ad Campaign Aims To Win Over Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccine Skeptics.
Persuading enough residents to roll up a sleeve for the vaccine for the state to achieve herd immunity is expected to be a challenge. Civil Beat.

Hawaii heiress Abigail Kawananankoa got $142,000 federal bailout loan. Her attorney Bruce Voss said the 94-year-old Kawananakoa needed the Paycheck Protection Program loan because the three-year legal battle over her $215 million fortune had drained her bank accounts. Hawaii News Now.

Plenty of ahi available for New Year’s Eve celebrations during a challenging year. There should be plenty of ahi available for New Year’s Eve at a reasonable price, according to purveyors, as a year besieged by pandemic-related challenges winds down to a close. Star-Advertiser.

King's Hawaiian Rolls not made in Hawaii, class action lawsuit filed. The company has been hit with a class action lawsuit after a New York resident claimed fraudulent marketing misleads shoppers by hiding where the products is really made. KITV4.

Saving Hawaii’s Koa Industry — And The Environment. The private sector and state are coming together to ensure an abundance of koa far into the future. Civil Beat.

Ige delays furloughs until ‘at least July 1’. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he is delaying the implementation of furloughs for state employees through at least July 1, 2021. West Hawaii Today.

The start of state worker furloughs has been postponed, but remains on the minds of many. Federal funding has pushed back the start date of the furloughs, but they still could happen in 2021. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 29: 76 New COVID-19 Cases. Health officials reported 76 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 55 on Oahu, 10 in Maui County, seven on the Big Island and four residents who were diagnosed out of the state. There were no new fatalities reported. Civil Beat.


Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s transition team announces Cabinet selections. The longtime leader of the company that runs TheBus, a former state senator and the one-time head of the pro-development think-tank Land Use Research Foundation are among a slate of nominees to Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s Cabinet that his transition team announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor-Elect Blangiardi Announces Key Appointments. They include Laura Thielen for Parks and Recreation and Dean Uchida for Planning and Permitting. Civil Beat.

Blangiardi announces key cabinet appointments ahead of January inauguration. Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi has released his list of cabinet members ahead of his inauguration next month. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says coronavirus response was too slow. In a reflection of the city’s handling of its COVID-19 outbreak, outgoing Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he would have responded to the virus earlier and done more to properly inform the public if he had the chance. Star-Advertiser.

Essential workers traveling to Oahu now subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing. Essential workers traveling to Oahu who get exemptions to the state’s quarantine rules will now be subject to new testing requirements. The new rules were included in an emergency proclamation, approved by the governor Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Card usage is extended through Jan. 31. Those several thousand people receiving or scheduled to receive $500 debit cards from the city now have until Jan. 31 to spend the money to pay for food and other necessities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, city officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

New HART CEO taking on rail at high-stakes stage for lower pay.
Honolulu Rapid Rail Authority (HART) has a new CEO, Lori Kahikina, taking the helm at a crossroads for the final leg of the project. She has just one year to prove whether she can turn the troubled agency around. KHON2.

Brigham Young University to Require Free Weekly COVID Tests for On-Campus Students and Faculty. Hawaii universities have been largely distance learning due to COVID-19. However, Brigham Young University-Hawaii hopes expanded testing will put the institution on the path to reopening. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 exposure notification app now available to residents of Hawaii County. AlohaSafe Alert, the state of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 exposure notification app, is now available to Hawaii County residents and is expected to launch statewide next week. Tribune-Herald.

Todd, 2 political newcomers to vie for Kahele’s seat. A state representative and two political newcomers made the cut Wednesday night from a list of seven Democrats vying for Gov. David Ige’s nomination to fill the remaining two years of the state Senate seat vacated by Congressman-elect Kai Kahele. West Hawaii Today.

Waipio Valley pedestrian ban booted.
It’s back to the drawing board for a bill prohibiting pedestrian access to Waipio Valley, after County Council members Wednesday raised constitutionality issues and the effect closing hiking there would have on other valleys, such as Pololu Valley in North Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Council approves Kailua-Kona development. An agreement worked out by two council members negotiating with developers of a Kailua-Kona project was approved by the County Council last week and then sent to the mayor, despite three council members’ assurances that the public would have one more opportunity to comment at a council forum. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor to seek scaled back gatherings, other restrictions. Maui County is seeking to tighten up rules such as scaling back the number of people in gatherings and imposing other restrictions as Maui continues to see double digit positive cases daily. Maui News.

Operation Face Mask Results in 24-Hour Closure of Two Lahaina Bars. ask Force Officers from the Maui Police Department and the Department of Liquor Control conducted Operation Face Mask on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. Maui Now.

Maui District Health Office on Vaccine Rollout: Everybody Should Get a Dose if they want it by Labor Day. Health officials on Maui are asking the public to be patient by waiting their turn in the distribution timeline, and continue health care precautions as the state carries out its vaccination plan. Maui Now.

Push to get independent doctors, staff vaccinated. Dentists and staff included in Phase 1; more doses on the way. Maui News.


County leaving single-use plastics in 2020. Starting Friday, a policy prohibiting county funds from being used for single-use, disposable plastics will go into effect. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e post office safe from closure. On Sunday night, the U.S. Congress passed the COVID Relief Bill, which among other things approved the transition of a $10 billion loan to the U.S. Postal Service in March and into a grant with conditions. Garden Island.


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