Friday, July 23, 2021

COVID cases spike, lead in 93 school drinking fixtures, missile tests planned off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved

Spike in COVID infections driven by delta variant, social gatherings and the unvaccinated, officials say. An alarming spike in the daily coronavirus case count in Hawaii to 243 on Thursday was driven by the highly transmissible delta variant as well community spread mostly by unvaccinated individuals, health officials said. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Spike in COVID-19 cases raises concerns about in-person schooling. School is less than a week and a half away, and many parents still aren’t sure exactly what to expect. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is causing some to reevaluate whether they want their child to return to in-person classes. KHON2.

Tests find lead in 93 drinking water fixtures at Hawaii public schools.
Elevated concentrations of lead were found in 93 public school faucets and drinking fountains in testing across Hawaii over the past several months. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Mayors discuss potential strategy moving forward amid spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii. With the rise in cases comes the ongoing challenge of getting more people vaccinated. KHON2.

July 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 243 Cases, 3 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 135 on O‘ahu (+11 probable); 52 on Hawai‘i Island (-2 probable); 10 on Maui (+4 probable); eight on Kaua‘i; and 25 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Jill Biden To Visit Vaccine Clinic In Waipahu Sunday. The first lady will travel to Honolulu on her return from the Tokyo Olympics. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Despite COVID surge, Blangiardi says he has no plans to bring back tougher restrictions. Despite the recent surge in COVID cases, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said there are no plans to tighten restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Calls for more COVID vaccinations are failing to get through.
On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi warned unvaccinated Oahu residents they are likely to become infected and get “very sick,” especially from the more virulent delta variant. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency Calls Are Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels On Oahu. Here’s How EMS Is Coping. The return of tourists has brought an increase in medical emergencies and ocean and hiking rescues. Civil Beat.

HART’s Expecting Fewer Riders — Even Absent The Pandemic. The most recent rail ridership estimates are down almost 18%, largely based on a pre-pandemic drop in bus ridership. Civil Beat.

The Problem With Honolulu’s Single-Use Plastic Ban At Restaurants. Restaurants across Oahu are more than three months into a phaseout of single-use plastics, but there’s still nowhere on the island that can compost most of the single-use compostable utensils, cups, and takeout containers that businesses are supposed to offer in place of plastic. Civil Beat.

State inspectors trap skunk at Honolulu Harbor 1st spotted aboard ship from San Diego. A live skunk was captured at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday after being spotted in the area the day before. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Court to hear arguments over use of police during TMT protests. The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear arguments next month over whether the county overstepped its bounds by requesting neighbor islands’ police forces to assist in responding to the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

Council Planning Committee delays subdivision vote. Owners of a 4-acre North Kona parcel will have to wait a little longer before they’ll know whether the County Council will give them permission to rezone it from agriculture to urban and subdivide it into six residential lots. West Hawaii Today.

Pālamanui Campus Reserve Proposed In Kona. The State DLNR and the University of Hawaiʻi want to collaboratively steward and manage the 706 acres of lowland dry forest. Big Island Video News.


Bill would regulate pesticide use on Maui County property. A bill that would reduce and manage pesticides and fertilizers used on county property passed out of a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday. Maui News.

Council mulls tax tiers for hotels and resorts. A Maui County Council committee is considering a bill that would create property tax rate tiers for hotels and resorts, potentially setting the groundwork for higher taxes for pricier properties. Maui News.

Study Finds Lead in Water from 37 Fixtures at 12 Maui County Public Schools. In Maui County, 37 fixtures at 12 public schools, and two fixtures at a single childcare facility, were identified as having levels above the 15 parts per billion threshold for lead concentration in water. Maui Now.

Maui County Hotels Occupancy Climbs to 79% for June, Near Pre-Pandemic Level. The strong recovery for Maui County hotels continues with occupancy for June 2021 climbing to 79.2 percent, which is only 1.4 percentage points less than it was in June 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the abrupt closure of most of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry. Maui Now.


Pacific Missile Range Facility 2 tests to be held on Kauai. The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai is expected to soon see two big missile defense tests as the United States seeks to counter a rapidly arming China. Star-Advertiser.

KIUC renewables, reliability rose in 2020 despite revenue hit. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative chalked up a string of accomplishments in 2020 despite a pandemic-related drop in revenue, according to President and CEO David Bissell, who spoke at the 19th annual KIUC membership meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

First Lady Jill Biden to arrive Saturday, distance learning to remain an option at some public schools, unemployment office sets September in-person opening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

official White House photo
Jill Biden

First Lady Jill Biden to arrive in Honolulu Saturday, will visit vaccination clinic. First Lady Jill Biden will lead the U.S. delegation at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday and on Saturday dedicate a room in the Chief of Mission Residence to the late Irene Hirano Inouye and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye before traveling to Honolulu Saturday and Sunday to visit a vaccination clinic at an unidentified high school, the White House said today. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education reveals distance-learning options amid pandemic. The state Department of Education on Wednesday unveiled a list of about 100 schools offering a distance-learning option for parents uneasy about sending their child to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii unemployment issues to be addressed in-person starting Sept. 7. People with unemployment benefit problems will be able to meet in person with state labor officials on all islands beginning Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Senate to Convene Special Session to Confirm Two Judges. The Hawaiʻi State Senate will convene a special session Tuesday for the purpose of reviewing the judicial appointments of Dan Gluck to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and Lesley Maloian to the District Family Court of the First Circuit.   Maui Now.

Hawaii’s hotels continued improving last month. Travel demand from North American markets is bolstering Hawaii’s travel industry so much that June hotel occupancy was closing in on pre-pandemic levels, even with the absence of international visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Ige warns of action after posts surface of visitor ‘intentionally cheating’ Safe Travels program.
The state is investigating social media posts of someone claiming to travel to Hawaii while sick with COVID-19 and “intentionally cheating” the state’s pre-travel testing program, Gov. David Ige said. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii races to get more vaccinated against COVID-19 as delta variant continues to multiply.
For the seventh day in a row Wednesday, Hawaii’s new daily coronavirus case numbers hit triple digits, repeating last year’s post-Fourth of July surge. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

July 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 163 Cases, 1 Death. The confirmed cases included: 95 on O‘ahu (+4 probable); seven on Hawai‘i Island (+2 probable); 10 on Maui (+8 probable); four on Kaua‘i; and 33 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


City Council advances bill that would create progressive property tax for second homes. A bill that would expand the tiers for property taxes on second and investment homes to allow for three different property tax rates as the home value increases, advanced at the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Financial audit of City reveals that TheBus lost $10M in 2020. The report was presented to the Honolulu City Council today. KITV4.

In worrisome trend, overwhelmed hospitals are diverting ambulances to other facilities more often. A combination of rising COVID cases and other emergency health issues are forcing many Oahu hospitals to turn ambulances away, diverting them to other facilities. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi’s Latest Nominee Is A Step Closer To Filling Police Commission Seat. Ann Botticelli would join six other members of the Honolulu Police Commission, providing oversight of the Honolulu Police Department. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

In its first week the Chinatown police enforcement plan yields arrests, social service connections and COVID vaccinations. The first five days of police patrolling Chinatown by foot yielded a mix of social service contacts, vaccinations, warnings and arrests — part of a strategy to reduce crime and connect people in need with health and shelter programs. Star-Advertiser.

First-of-its-kind Micronesian youth center opens in Liliha. We Are Oceania unveiled its new Youth Empowerment Center Wednesday, the first of its kind to serve Micronesian kids and young adults in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Building code lives to fight another day: Skeptical County Council wants lots of changes. After almost six hours of extremely detailed and sometimes tense debate, the County Council on Wednesday first killed, then resurrected, a new residential building code. West Hawaii Today.

Council supports resolution to protect spinner dolphins. The Hawaii County Council is urging the federal government to implement rules to prohibit close contact between humans and Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 Delays Drug Trial For Katherine Kealoha’s Brother. The criminal trial for Katherine Kealoha’s brother, Rudolph Puana, a Big Island anesthesiologist accused of running a prescription drug ring to help feed his cocaine habit, has once again been delayed due to COVID-19. Civil Beat. Associated Press. KITV4.

Help is on the way: Funding to assist ranchers in battling two-lined spittlebug. Help is on the way for Big Island ranchers fighting an invasive bug decimating pasture land in North and South Kona. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Commission Announces 5 Finalists For Police Chief. Two assistant police chiefs, a retired assistant chief, a police captain and a Las Vegas narcotics officer are among the finalists to be Maui’s next police chief. Civil Beat.

Public Works Completes Kīhei Sub-Area Transportation Plan. The County of Maui Department of Public Works has completed work on the Kīhei Sub-Area Transportation Plan, a document that lays the foundation for the Kīhei area of South Maui as the area grows. Maui Now.

Time-Zone Snafu Led to Early Release of In-Demand Haleakalā Cabin Reservations. A problem with time-zone calculations was identified as the reason for the faulty early release of in-demand wilderness cabin reservations at Haleakalā National Park earlier this month. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i readies for in-person school opening.
Back to school shifted into high gear, Wednesday, when about a hundred volunteers gathered to pack 3,000 backpacks with school supplies for Saturday’s Back to School Bash at the Kukui Grove Center. Garden Island.

10 new cases, educational cluster reported Wednesday.
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health identified 10 new cases Wednesday, as well as a new cluster in an education setting, Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer said. Garden  Island.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Case not dismissed against 3 police officers charged with killing teen, Feds: prosecutor Kealoha spread cocaine on husband Honolulu police chief's desk, COVID cases continue climb, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Police Officer Zackary Ah Nee, front, followed by Officers Christopher Fredeluces and Geoffrey Thom enter Judge Domingo's courtroom after a short recess, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Honolulu. Pool photo by Cory Lum/Honolulu Civil Beat.

Judge denies motion to dismiss charges against 3 Honolulu Police Department officers in fatal shooting of teen. An Oahu District Court judge Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss murder and attempted murder charges against three Honolulu police officers in connection with the April 5 fatal shooting of unarmed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap, who had methamphetamine in his system and was at the wheel of a stolen car that had allegedly been involved in a violent, two-day crime spree. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Officials Are Making A Cybersecurity Push To Keep Federal Contracts Flowing. Federal agencies are moving toward stricter enforcement of cybersecurity requirements for companies seeking government contracts. Civil Beat.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Votes To Increase US Engagement In The Pacific. A measure that would expand U.S. influence in Pacific Island nations has cleared a key committee in the House of Representatives as lawmakers move to boost America’s competitiveness with China. Civil Beat.

Shrinking military, students could affect reapportionment.
The number of nonresident military families and students to be extracted from population counts before state House and Senate seats are allocated to islands is down significantly from the 2010 census, a factor that could affect the distribution of legislative seats for the coming decade. West Hawaii Today.

Ige: Indoor masking, social distancing to continue. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday it’s not yet time to roll back government-imposed coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants and other businesses. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Health Department revising school guidance with the virus on the rise in Hawaii. The state Department of Health is revising its public school guidance for on-campus learning as COVID-19 is surging again and schools are set to open in less than two weeks. Star-Advertiser.

3% of Hawaii’s COVID cases are among vaccinated people, Lt. Gov. Green says.  Health officials insist this is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” after most cases reported were in unvaccinated individuals. However, a small number of vaccinated individuals are still contracting COVID-19. According to Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Josh Green, about 3% of the recent cases have been in those who got the shot. Hawaii News Now.

Infection rate among Hawaii’s unvaccinated now as high as it was for entire state during pandemic’s peak. From hospitals to pop-up clinics and pharmacies across the state, it’s easier than ever to get a COVID vaccine. But despite extraordinary access, 40% of Hawaii residents remain unvaccinated ― and the virus is spreading quickly among them. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii marks 6th consecutive day of triple-digit cases with 100 new coronavirus infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 75 new cases on Oahu, six on Maui, 15 on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai and three Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Anthony Aalto Moves Closer To Replacing Joe Uno On HART Board.
If the full City Council approves it at a later meeting, Aalto, an Oahu-based investigative journalist, documentarian and former Sierra Club Oahu Group chair will replace Joe Uno, a construction-cost estimator who’s called for a pause to rail construction at Middle Street. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

The Kealohas, Cocaine Parties And Oxycodone. In an upcoming criminal trial, Katherine Kealoha’s brother, Rudolph Puana, is accused of running a prescription drug ring out of his Big Island pain clinic. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Haiku Stairs’ removal advances at City Council. The stairs have been hotly debated for years, with nearby residents upset by traffic and other disturbances, and hikers hoping for legal access to the Stairway to Heaven. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Kaimuki Wants To Return The Queen Theater To Its Former Glory. Years of neglect prompted the Honolulu City Council, at the neighborhood’s request, to propose buying the historical building from a reclusive property owner. Civil Beat.

Disabled Kailua Tenants Say New Parking Rule ‘Makes Things Tough’ For Them. A new law passed by the Legislature two years ago forbids the use of disability placards to park in metered stalls. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County reinstates testing program. Amid a recent increase in positive cases throughout the state, Hawaii County has reinstated its free community COVID-19 testing program. West Hawaii Today.

Shuttle service for Maunakea on hold, ‘not dead’. Although the Maunakea Visitor Information Station reopened last week after a year of COVID-related closure, a proposed shuttle service to the popular destination will not happen anytime soon. Tribune-Herald.

HIHS Shelters to Reopen to Public in August. The Hawai‘i Island Humane Society is slated to reopen its two animal shelters to the public in August. Big Island Now.


Maui measure that would’ve put a moratorium on new hotel construction vetoed. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino vetoed a bill that would have temporarily halted construction of new hotels and resorts in Maui County. Victorino said Bill 60, which would set up a 2-year moratorium, did not address short-term rentals or bed-and-breakfast establishments. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now. KITV4.

Dozens of Maui Residents Rally for Affordable Housing. Dozens of Maui residents held a rally for affordable housing as the county's median home price tops $1 million and the county council considers a new affordable housing plan. Associated Press. KITV4.

OHA Board Chair: Water Use Permit Application on Molokaʻi Would Enable 171 New Homestead Service Connections. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey of Maui released a statement today discussing the upcoming Department of Hawaiian Home Lands water use permit application on Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


Kawakami talks tourism, tax, traffic at Chamber luncheon. Mayor Derek Kawakami tackled the island’s ongoing tourism boom and a slew of other topics Tuesday during the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce’s Seventh annual Mayor’s Luncheon. Garden Island.

Amidst car shortage, county launches transportation resource website. The county Office of Economic Development announced the launch of a new website aimed at informing both visitors and residents of various transportation options available on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Triple-digit COVID increase won't bring back restrictions, children now 20% of infected, Kauai sewer problems contaminate beach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Grocery COVID precautions ©2021 All Hawaii News

Return of restrictions not planned as coronavirus infections surge in Hawaii. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii is surging, and remained in the triple-digit range for the fifth day in a row Monday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Restaurant association head calls for end to state restrictions. The chairman of the Hawaii Restaurant Association said it’s time for Gov. David Ige and the counties’ mayors to lift restrictions on the state’s eateries and retail outlets. Tribune-Herald.

Vaccinated state employees who traveled to the mainland are learning about a new policy that’s keeping some out of the office ― and forced to use personal time. The mandate for all 55,000 state workers ― even those are fully vaccinated ― requires approval from their department directors prior to return to the workplace. Hawaii News Now.

As new school year approaches, plans to bring students back remains unclear. The Hawaii Department of Health is currently revising school guidance, but with two weeks until school starts, there’s still a lot of uncertainty. KHON2.

How Hawaii Schools Are Helping Kids Who Struggled During The Pandemic. Schools are implementing programs to foster “social and emotional well-being” in students as well as academic progress. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports uptick in number of kids testing positive for COVID.
Officials said Monday that those under 18 now make up about 20% of all Hawaii cases. Hawaii News Now.

July 19, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 132 Cases. The confirmed cases included: 81 on O‘ahu (+7 probable); 22 on Hawai‘i Island (-1 probable); eight on Maui (+1 probable); four on Kaua‘i; and nine in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state (+1 probable). Maui Now.


Oahu restaurants and bars have the option to do away with social distancing if customers provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. But many restaurant operators aren’t doing so because diners don’t want to show their vaccination cards or present test results. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu electricity customers to pay for rooftop solar battery program. Hawaiian Electric customers on Oahu can help ensure sufficiency of the island’s power supply — and get paid for it — by adding battery storage to existing or new rooftop solar systems. Star-Advertiser.

As council determines whether to replace him
, HART board member say he’s being ‘punished’ for his views. The Honolulu City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to replace a controversial voice on the rail authority’s board: Member Joseph Uno. Hawaii News Now.

Study tries to revive Ala Wai flood project, which has lost more than $200 million in federal support. Hawaii has lost hundreds of millions in federal funding for the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project, but the city has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a study aimed at getting the 2-decade-old project moving again. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Navy Says Pearl Harbor Friday Fuel Leak Contained, Sheds Light on March 2020 Leak. A weekend fuel line leak of an estimated 100 gallons at Pearl Harbor has been contained, the Navy said. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Would Join A National Trend With A Commission On Social Justice And Equity. But details would have to be worked out, such as whether such a commission would have real power. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County reinstates free COVID-19 testing amid uptick in cases. The County of Hawaii will reinstate its free community COVID-19 testing program to address the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and help better prepare for the transition to the upcoming school year. KITV4.

Zoo debut: Panaewa reopens after 16-month closure. On Monday morning, Hawaii County Parks and Recreation hosted a blessing ceremony to signify the reopening of the zoo after nearly 16 months of closure. Tribune-Herald.

Pololū Valley Trail Steward Program Hopes to Manage Visitor Impact. A new program funded by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority hopes to ease some popular trails — and some tension between residents and visitors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kona subdivision seeks council permission. Owners of a 4-acre North Kona parcel are seeking a rezoning from agriculture to urban and permission to subdivide it into six residential lots. West Hawaii Today.

$3.4M in capitol improvements for Honokaa, Honomu. The state has released nearly $3.4 million for capital improvement projects in Honokaa and Honomu. Tribune-Herald.


Council Chair Lee Seeks Unity as Injection Well Case Proceeds Through Courts. Hawai‘i Federal Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway last week issued an order requiring Maui County to get discharge permits for Lahaina injection wells under the Clean Water Act. Maui Now.

Public Comment Period Underway on DHHL’s Honokōwai Master Plan. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands engaged its beneficiaries in a master planning process to determine appropriate land uses for DHHL’s approximately 850 acres of lands at Honokōwai including new agricultural homesteads, multi-family homes, and individual or community farming. Maui Now.

Despite The Pandemic, A Molokaʻi Charter School Improves Curriculum. Like all schools, Kualapuʻu Charter went to remote learning in the spring of 2020, with its challenges ranging from internet and technology issues to support at home. Hawaii Public Radio.


Wailua beach-goers warned of wastewater issues. The county Department of Public Works Wastewater Division is currently out of compliance with state Department of Health standards at its Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant. Garden Island.

Vegas, churches cause of Kaua‘i COVID uptick. Kaua‘i officials are pointing to Las Vegas travel and places of worship for a recent spike in COVID-19 infections. Garden Island.

County receives $40K toward reducing systemic racial disparities. The county’s seeking to reduce systemic racial disparities by at least 20%, and now has some of the means to do so. Garden Island.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Hawaii employers can mandate vaccinations, officials seek to expand categories of Pacific Islanders, Chinatown changes sought, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian kupuna in court pre-COVID ©2021 All Hawaii News

For racial designations, some seek more boxes to check for ‘other.’ Pacific Islanders Of Hawaii’s 1.5 million residents, 38% are Asian — mostly Japanese and Filipino — 26% are white, 2% are Black, and many people are multiple ethnicities, according to U.S. census figures. Native Hawaiians account for about 20% of the population. Associated Press.

Hawaii employers are allowed to mandate vaccinations but are hesitant to do so. A legal ruling in Texas is opening the door to mandatory vaccinations in Hawaii, according to Hawaii’s attorney general. A federal judge allowed a Houston hospital to fire workers who refused to be vaccinated. The attorney general said that means the state can also require employees to get the shots. Hawaii News Now.

State enforcement of years-old raw milk ban blindsides pet food businesses. Local pet food shops say they’ve felt blindsided by recent a state crackdown on raw, unpasteurized goat’s milk. They’re being told to either dispose of all of their stock, or send it back to the vendors — both costly options for small local businesses. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Consumers Can Now File Complaints Online. The Regulated Industries Complaints Office has an updated system that finally allows Hawaii residents to submit electronic complaints. Civil Beat.

Inmate Deaths In Hawaii Prisons And Jails Are On The Upswing This Year. The state is on track to have more fatalities in correctional facilities in 2021 than in any year in the past decade. Civil Beat.

July 4th parties blamed for virus spread in Hawaii. Hawaii officials are attributing the recent spike in coronavirus cases statewide to July Fourth celebrations and the still substantial number of residents who have not been vaccinated against the virus that so far has sickened over 39,000 people here and killed 523. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees 164 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 39,254. Sunday's new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 104 new cases on Oahu, 12 on Maui, 18 on Hawaii Island, six on Kauai and 24 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Tourism Authority considers Oahu plan to address demand to limit tourism. The Oahu Destination Management Action Plan, an effort to figure out that and other tourism challenges, is expected to go before the HTA board for a vote July 29, with the plan slated for release to the public sometime in August. Star-Advertiser.

The Case Of 3 Honolulu Cops Charged With Killing Teen Is Ramping Up. Defense attorneys are working to get charges dropped as prosecutors prepare to present evidence against the officers on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Low inmate forecasts at OCCC could affect costs of future jail. The average daily inmate population at Oahu Community Correctional Center is forecast to fall from 1,316 in 2019 to 788 in 2032, which will have profound implications for the planning of a future OCCC, including its size and long-term operational costs. Star-Advertiser.

Chinatown hopes Weed & Seed and foot patrols will clean up neighborhood. Twenty-four hour police foot patrols of Chinatown — funded by $2 million in overtime — began slowly last week, as law enforcement and city officials revive a program to reduce crime, then rebuild a beleaguered community in the midst of a pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Historic Chinatown commercial building slated for residential use. A development firm led in part by state Rep. Mark Hashem is pursuing the $27 million project that would convert the three-story Hocking Building on a corner of North King Street and Nuuanu Avenue into 40 apartments with monthly rent as low as $634 reserved for households with low incomes. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Highways Chief Neil Azevedo put on leave. Neil Azevedo, the county Highways Division chief who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, has been suspended without pay for 30 days, sources told West Hawaii Today.

Brush Fire Burns On Saddle, Closes Highway. The Hawaiʻi Police Department reports the brush fire near Old Saddle Road is still active. Old Saddle Road, between Daniel K. Inouye Highway junction and Highway 190 junction, remains closed. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Hilo Orchid Society to hold orchid sale in lieu of cancelled show.
The Hilo Orchid Society has canceled its popular annual orchid show for 2021, as it did in 2020, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.


Pandemic caused delays to telescope. Final review scheduled; work expected to finish in November. The world’s largest solar telescope, located atop Haleakala, will undergo a final review by a scientific panel next week in preparation for its soft startup later this year, which had been delayed by the pandemic. Maui News.

Maui County Loses Again In Federal Court Over Pollution Discharges. For years, the county has violated the Clean Water Act by discharging treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean through injection wells at a Lahaina sewer plant. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

Testifiers Suggest Delayed Implementation of Plastic Disposable Foodware Ban. Maui restaurants and distributors continued to express supply chain concerns and economic challenges compounded by pandemic impacts when testifying on an ordinance amendment that outlines a ban on single-use plastic foodware in Maui County. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i has state’s highest jobless rate. The unemployment rate is decreasing statewide. However, Kaua‘i still has the highest unemployment rate among the counties, 11.2% in June. Garden Island.

A Kauai Family Gave Homeless People A Place To Live.
Now They All Face Eviction. Marcia and Buna Leialoha felt they had no choice but to offer homes to those evicted from a nearby temporary homeless camp, but their landlord thinks otherwise. Civil Beat.

Anaina Hou Community Park reopens on Kauai, welcomes events for community. Community members of Kauai’s North Shore are looking to bring life back to Anaina Hou Community Park by adding more events to its roster of summer entertainment. KHON2.

Ige talks legislation, Coco Palms.
The Garden Island met with Gov. David Ige last week through a Zoom call, and was told any question goes, but we had only 20 minutes with him. Garden Island.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Eviction moratorium to expire, free meals for all public school students, military reviewing exercises after whale deaths, highest COVID case count since January, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Apartment buildings seen from the Ala Wai ©2021 All Hawaii News

Eviction moratorium in Hawaii to end Aug. 6. A moratorium on evictions that Gov. David Ige imposed in April 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began strangling Hawaii’s tourism-based economy will be lifted Aug. 6, paving the way for renters and landlords to tap into federal rental assistance and free mediation serv­ices on all islands intended to make landlords whole and keep families in their homes. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Indoor mask requirement to continue amid COVID-19 surge. Gov. David Ige said Thursday he will maintain a requirement that people wear masks indoors as the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant fuels a spike in cases. Associated Press.

Social media posts with tourists behaving badly prompt new calls for visitor education. Following a string of social media posts documenting tourists behaving badly, there’s a push to revive an old visitor education campaign called the Pono Pledge. The pledge informs visitors of general safety precautions and cultural awareness. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii reverses course, will allow unvaccinated to attend classes in fall.
The University of Hawaii announced today that it will not require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in-person classes on its campuses this fall, as originally anticipated. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii’s public schools preparing distance-learning options.
The state Board of Education approved a resolution Thursday asking the state superintendent to develop a plan to offer remote learning to students at the state and complex-area levels rather than on a school-by-school basis. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Weeks before new school year starts, leaders have yet to answer a long list of questions. Two and a half weeks before the new school year starts, there are still a host of unanswered questions ― from masking rules to capacity guidelines. Hawaii News Now.

All Hawaii public school students to receive free meals during 2021-22 academic year. The Hawaii Department of Education announced Thursday that every student enrolled in the state’s 257 public schools will receive free breakfast and lunch meals during the entire 2021-22 academic year. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Navy To Review Impact Of Pacific Training After 2 Whales Die During Exercise. Under threat of a lawsuit, the U.S. Navy confirmed this week that it will review how its exercises in the Pacific might hurt, kill or otherwise change the behavior of marine wildlife. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s jobless rate sinks for fifth straight month. Hawaii’s unemployment rate declined in June to a 15-month low of 7.7%, and nonfarm payrolls rose by 3,000 jobs, amid further signs that the state’s economy is on the mend. Star-Advertiser.

Tax credit could lift Hawaii families out of poverty.
The great majority of Hawaii families with children under age 18 should receive monthly payments of up to $300 for each child starting this week as part of a pandemic stimulus package that is expected to provide help to struggling families and potentially propel thousands of children out of poverty. Star-Advertiser.

Rural hospitals receive funding boost for COVID. More than $2.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funding will be divvied among 10 Hawaii hospitals to support COVID-19 response efforts in rural areas. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Sees Largest Daily Virus Spike in Months. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 166 new cases of coronavirus statewide Thursday, bringing the overall total to 38,819. One new COVID-related death was also reported. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 166 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 91 new cases on Oahu, 22 on Maui, 17 on Hawaii Island, 14 on Kauai and 22 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


First Lady Jill Biden to visit Honolulu next weekend. The White House said today that First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Honolulu July 24 and 25, with a stop in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor: Sykap Case Is ‘No Perry Mason Moment’. The Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office properly brought murder and attempted murder charges against three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Iremamber Sykap even without securing indictments from a grand jury, the office argued in court documents Thursday. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

City Council Leaders Look To Remove Rail Critic From HART Board. The local board overseeing Honolulu’s troubled rail project is poised to lose one of its most outspoken members — and someone who’s called for a halt to construction — as city leaders aim to replace him. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Board of Water Supply to resume water shutoffs due to nonpayment.
BWS deferred water shutoffs during the COVID-19 outbreak, but said in a news release today that customers are responsible for all outstanding water and sewer balances on their account. Star-Advertiser.

A New Oahu Jail May Need To Be A Lot Bigger In The Near Future.
Consultant projections show hundreds more people will need to be incarcerated if no significant policy changes such as bail reform reduce the number of inmates. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Vows To ‘Play Tough’ On Crime In Chinatown. Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm headlined a fundraiser to bolster the Weed and Seed program. Civil Beat.

City Seeks to Acquire Historic Queen Theater in Kaimuki. A measure at the Honolulu City Council calls for the city to acquire the neglected Queen Theater in Kaimuki by eminent domain. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Island: The Wrong End of the Real Estate Boom.  Hawaiʻi Island housing inventory is being squeezed up and down the market, and that includes rentals to everyday people. Hawaii Public Radio.

Final Round of Virtual Public Meetings Scheduled for Comments on Transportation Improvement Program. Virtual meetings for the Big Island will take place Thursday, July 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 4. Both meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. Big Island Now.

Planning Commission pushes for Parker School sidewalk.
The Leeward Planning Commission wasn’t ready Thursday to give Parker School a pass on a sidewalk it promised in a lawsuit settlement and instead voted 5-0 to defer the issue for a month to give the applicant a chance to pursue a less costly option. West Hawaii Today.


DOT suggests buying the Road to Hana in order to control overcrowding. As heavy traffic continues to clog the popular Road to Hana on Maui, transportation leaders suggested the state should buy the highway in order to control congestion. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable housing project gets key permit extension. An hourslong debate with more than 20 testifiers came down to affordable housing benefits versus location flooding risks for a proposed 100-percent workforce development on a roughly 12-acre parcel off Hoonani Street in Kihei. Maui News.

Kula lands meant for housing revert to ag. Lands intended for a Kula housing project that made headlines years ago but never moved forward were reverted to agricultural use on Wednesday, signaling the end of a development that would have generated 70 affordable and 46 market-rate homes. Maui News.


Kaua‘i moving forward with county TAT discussions. The county administration is pushing forward two bills targeting the visitor industry: one establishing its own transient accommodations tax and another creating a new tax class for vehicle rental operations to be reviewed at first reading next Wednesday, July 21, by the County Council. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Vicky Cayetano weighs gubernatorial bid, Hawaii prices climb, Ige speaks out against harassing monk seals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii News Now
Vicky Cayetano PC:Hawaii News Now from video

Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano weighs bid for governor. Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano is considering a run for governor next year to bring a “fresh perspective” to the position.
 Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. Civil Beat.

Hawaii residents feel the burden of rising prices as pent-up demand drives up costs. The latest local data from May showed inflation in Honolulu at a rate of 3.8%. Hawaii News Now.

Other States Have Tough Police Standards Boards. Hawaii’s Is Still Struggling. Almost every other state has professional staff and funding dedicated to overseeing law enforcement. Hawaii has neither. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige warns that visitors who touch Hawaiian monk seals ‘will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law’. The widely circulated videos of the two visitors touching monk seals have angered many Hawaii residents. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the recent incidents. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Several state bills protecting resources signed into law. The 2021 legislative session has ended with nearly a dozen new laws protecting natural and cultural resources in the state. Tribune-Herald.

The Rev. Bob Nakata, a former Hawaii legislator, was advocate for the needy.
The Rev. Bob Nakata, who served single terms in both the state House and Senate and helped lead the fight for affordable housing on Oahu, died Monday at the age of 80 after suffering a stroke two years ago.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii astronomers ‘frustrated’ by wild speculation about ‘Oumuamua. There is still much that scientists do not know about ‘Oumuamua, the interstellar object that was discovered passing through our solar system in 2017. But most agree that it probably isn’t the work of aliens. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii sees 48 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 38,653. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 25 new cases on Oahu, seven on Maui, six on Hawaii Island, two on Kauai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu's pedestrian plan will be finalized soon.
Have an idea of how to make your walk safer? Let the City and County of Honolulu know, because it will soon finalize its "pedestrian plan". KITV4.

Navy request for 5-year permit to operate underground Red Hill fuel tanks raises red flags. State environmental regulators said this week that the Navy has not proved it can safely operate its underground Red Hill fuel tanks, which in recent years have been the subject of mounting concerns over leaks and groundwater contamination. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Fire truck goes up in flames. A fire truck from Pohakuloa Training Area caught fire Wednesday morning on Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Brush Fire Burns In North Hawaiʻi, Closes Kawaihae Road. A brush fire lit up the sky in North Hawaiʻi late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, and forced the closure of Kawaihae Road. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Removal of Invasive Vegetation to Temporarily Close Historic Park. The park is slated to be closed on Monday, July 26. Big Island Now.


Proposal looks to change council districts, election of members. Commission to begin vetting changes to County Charter. Proposals that would redraw Maui County Council districts and alter the way members are elected are among dozens of potential changes to local government that the Maui Charter Commission will vet over the next six months. Maui News.

New Long-Term Rental Exemption and Classification in Effect Jan. 1. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, real property occupied as a long-term rental, with a signed contract to lease for 12 consecutive months or longer to the same tenant, may qualify an owner for an exemption of up to $200,000. Maui Now.

Councilmember Says Upcountry Maui Water Restrictions Not Related to Resorts. Drought conditions on Maui have led county officials to declare a water conservation alert for Upcountry residents, sparking some controversy among those who thought nearby hotels should be asked to conserve water as well. Hawaii Public Radio.

FONSI Filed for Proposed Hale Pilina Family Affordable Rental Housing Project in Kahului. A Final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact determination was made for the Hale Pilina Family Affordable Rental Housing Project proposed for development in Kahului, Maui. Maui Now.

Lanai May Finally Get An Affordable Housing Project. It Might Even Get 2. Two affordable housing projects proposed by Maui County and Pulama Lanai could boost the island’s low-income housing stock for the first time in nearly three decades. Civil Beat.


Wailua wastewater effluent exceedance in effect. The county Department of Public Works Wastewater Management Division advised that a wastewater effluent exceedance occurred Tuesday at the Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant. The measured enterococci level has exceeded the permitted limit. Garden Island.

Vehicle-disposal-fee waiver in effect until Aug. 2
. Residents may continue to waive junk-car-disposal fees if proper paperwork is presented to the Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration division. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Federal judge requires pandemic protocols in Hawaii prisons and jails, Jill Biden to visit the state, conservation and Hawaiian groups sue over aquarium collecting rule, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo jail  ©2021 All Hawaii News

Federal Judge Rules Prison System Has Failed To Protect Inmates From COVID-19. Prison officials must immediately provide sanitary living conditions and take appropriate measures to protect inmates. Civil Beat.

Jill Biden to hold events in Hawaii, bookending trip to Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony. Biden is expected to hold official events in Alaska and Hawaii on the way to and from Japan. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Federal legislation seeks to lower blood quantum for Hawaiian homestead successors. New federal legislation introduced by Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele would pave the way for more Hawaiians to succeed family members’ homestead leases. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

Centennial Commemorations Reflect on Origins, Urgency in Fulfilling the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. DHHL plans to develop 1,500 homestead lots in the next five years. At that pace, it will take another 95 years to address the Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist—which currently includes nearly 29,000 Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers to begin investigation on Agribusiness Development Corporation. State lawmakers investigating the Agribusiness Development Corporation will have their first meeting Wednesday to establish the rules of its probe. Hawaii News Now.

Trial date set for Hawaii lawmaker arrested for drunk driving. Following a Zoom court appearance Tuesday, state Rep. Sharon Har received her trial date in connection with a drunk driving arrest in February. The judge said Har’s trial will begin on August 10. Hawaii News Now.
Hawaii Restaurants Got $414 Million In Pandemic Aid. More than 1,100 of Hawaii’s restaurants, bars and bakeries received $414 million through a federal grant program aimed at offsetting revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to newly released data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Civil Beat.

Hawaii missile defense system gets $75M from House Appropriations Committee in FY 2022. The Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii — which the Pentagon zeroed out two years in a row in its funding requests — is back with $75 million approved by the House Appropriations Committee today in the fiscal year 2022 defense funding bill. Star-Advertiser.

Distance learning still up in the air
leaving public school teachers worried about additional challenges this school year. On Thursday, the Hawaii Board of Education will vote on whether or not distance learning will be offered this school year. KHON2.

Can Hawaiʻi's Public Schools and Universities Reach Their Green Energy Goals by 2035? In 2015 the state passed legislation requiring the two organizations to produce as much energy as they consume. As of 2020, the DOE was able to produce 18.5% of its energy through solar power. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Outgoing Hawaii DOE Superintendent To Launch Equity-Focused Company. Christina Kishimoto, who has led the Hawaii Department of Education for the past four years, will be starting a company called Voice for Equity and its focus will be on “preparing women as policy leaders,” she said. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

COVID-19 delta variant spreading across Hawaii, Health Department says. The delta variant of COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across Hawaii, according to a recent Department of Health report, with 53 additional cases detected since June. Star-Advertiser.

Delta variant now accounts for 40% of all new COVID infections in Hawaii. Health officials are monitoring a worrisome increase in new COVID infections and hospitalizations in Hawaii, saying almost all the cases are unvaccinated people. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 61 new coronavirus cases,
bringing statewide total to 38,605. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 41 new cases on Oahu, one on Maui, seven on Hawaii Island, four on Kauai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Judge to hear motion to dismiss case against 3 officers charged in teen’s fatal shooting.
The motion to dismiss will be argued on July 20 ― ahead of the preliminary hearing for Officers Geoffrey Thom, Zachary Ah Nee, and Christopher Fredeluces. Hawaii News Now.

Federal appeals court allows third trial for federal agent Christopher Deedy. There could be a third trial for federal agent Christopher Deedy after a federal appeals court gave the ok on Tuesday, July 13. KHON2.

Psychological evaluation of Honolulu police chief candidates deters consultant applicants. Only two consulting firms bid to help the Honolulu Police Commission sift through 24 applicants to find finalists for commissioners and the public to consider because they have to determine candidates’ psychological makeup after having no role in the recruitment process. Star-Advertiser.

Church group cited for building tiny homes for Waianae homeless. A citation by the city's Department of Planning and Permitting has put the project on hold. City planning and permitting department cited the farm, owned by Hawaii Cedar Church in Kalihi, after receiving several complaints about the group not obtaining a building permit. KITV4.

Maunawili Falls Trail closes for two years on July 15. Wednesday, July 14 is the last day to hike Maunawili Falls Trail before it closes for at least two years on Thursday, July 15.  KHON2.

Family of Marco Polo fire victims launching pet safety project. The project will provide free pet fire safety information and free stickers that pet owners can place on their windows or doors to alert first responders that there are pets inside the home. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii’s Board of Land and Natural Resources hit with aquarium fishing lawsuit. A hui of cultural practitioners and conservation groups has filed a lawsuit against the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources to invalidate an environmental review asking to reopen the aquarium fishing industry in West Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now.

Maunakea VIS reopens Thursday. The Maunakea Visitor Information Station will reopen Thursday after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

‘A great tribute’: NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft after NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka
. Kona’s own homegrown hero, the late astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is being honored by having a spacecraft named after him. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County seeks to build affordable homes as median prices soar over $1M. The median sales price for a single-family home in Maui County reached an all-time high of $1,117,500 last month. Because of this, Hawaiian Community Assets has come up with a plan to build 5,000 affordable homes for Maui County residents in the next five years. Hawaii News Now.

Community Groups Flag Concerns on Further Corrections Needed at Nā Wai ‘Ehā. Maui community groups Hui o Nā Wai ‘Ehā and Maui Tomorrow Foundation, who started legal action 17 years ago to restore Nā Wai ‘Ehā stream flows diverted by plantations for 150 years, are expressing concerns about key parts of a commission decision they are hoping can be clarified or improved. Maui Now.

North Carolina Visitor Arrested on Maui for Alleged Travel Quarantine Violation. Police say Kenneth Smith, 57, was arrested on Monday, July 12, 2021 upon arrival from Seattle, Washington. According to police reports, Smith did not have a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test from an approved facility and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Commission defers glamping bill. Starwood Capital Group, which in part owns the Makai Golf Course in Princeville and the forthcoming 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, proposed a luxury glamping development in Princeville on the course last summer, and has faced harsh community resistance. Garden Island.

Group prepares for county pavilion reopenings.
Residents are celebrating the recent reopening of some county park pavilions, describing the development as a much-needed step toward normalcy in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Garden Island.