Monday, January 4, 2021

COVID cases rise; weekend ceremonies bring in new congressman, Honolulu mayor, council members; Mauna Kea management plan critiqued, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele displays Hilo painting in his congressional office PC:Kahele Facebook page

Kai Kahele sworn in as U.S. representative, becomes the 2nd Native Hawaiian to serve in Congress. Kahele said that for his swearing-in ceremony, he used the Bible of the first Native Hawaiian congressman, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka. Star-Advertiser.

Kahele becomes second Native Hawaiian sworn into U.S. Congress.  U.S. Congressman Kaiali'i Kahele (HI-02) was sworn in Sunday as a Member of the 117th Congress to become Hawai'i’s newest elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kahele is Hawai'i’s first member of Congress from the Island of Hawai'i. KITV4.

Hawaii delegates sworn in for 117th Congress.
U.S. Congressman Kaialii Kahele was sworn in on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 as a member of the 117th Congress. KHON2.

Hawai‘i’s Ed Case and Kai Kahele Sworn in to 117th Congress. US Congressman Ed Case (D-HI/First District) and Kai Kahele on Sunday joined colleagues in the United States House of Representatives in taking their oath of office to serve in the 117th Congress (2021-2023).  Maui Now.


COVID infection rate on the rise. Hawaii’s rising infection rate now has it listed as the fourth-worst state for spread after Maine, Iowa and New York. Star-Advertiser.

Report shows coronavirus pandemic increases the need for doctors in Hawaii. The Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project Report for 2020 shows that out of 989 doctors offices interviewed about 44% said that the coronavirus pandemic altered the way they do things including more telehealth, early retirement and seeing fewer patients. KHON2.

Hawaii’s ‘Complicated’ COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Will Be Slow To Start. The state received a total of 65,250 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in 2020, down from the 81,825 doses it expected to get. The rest of the vaccine doses will arrive on a delayed schedule sometime after Jan. 1. Civil Beat.

While COVID cases are on the rise, the flu isn’t surging in Hawaii. Cold and flu season normally runs from November to May. And the state Department of Health reports that so far, there have been only five confirmed cases of influenza-A in Hawaii and no flu-related deaths. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 3: 149 New COVID-19 Cases.
Health officials reported 149 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 88 on Oahu, 30 in Maui County, two on the Big Island, two on Kauai and 27 residents who were diagnosed out of the state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and five newly elected City Council members are sworn in. The page was turned to a new chapter at Honolulu Hale on Saturday when veteran businessman Rick Blangiardi was sworn in as mayor and five Honolulu City Council members took their seats for the first time. Star-Advertiser.

New Honolulu Mayor Warns Road Ahead ‘Is Not Going To Be Easy’. Rick Blangiardi was sworn in Saturday as the chief executive officer of the City and County of Honolulu. Civil Beat.

After taking oath of office as mayor, Blangiardi warns road ahead won’t be easy. Hawaii News Now.

New year, new mayor: Blangiardi inducted into Honolulu's highest office. During his induction ceremony on Saturday, former television executive and first-time politician Rick Blangiardi said he is committed to leading with integrity. KITV4.

5 new Honolulu Council members take office; Tommy Waters elected chairman. Five new members of the Honolulu City Council took their oaths of office today, signaling a new era at Honolulu Hale where new Mayor Rick Blangiardi was also scheduled to take his office a short time later. Star-Advertiser.


Steve Alm looks to restore trust as Honolulu’s top prosecutor. Retired U.S. Attorney and Circuit Court Judge Steve Alm was sworn in as Honolulu prosecuting attorney on Saturday, along with dozens of deputy prosecutors who were already working in the city’s Department of the Prosecuting Attorney. Star-Advertiser.

Steve Alm sworn in as Honolulu prosecutor. Steve Alm began his tenure as Honolulu’s new prosecuting attorney after being sworn in at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. KHON2.

Steve Alm sworn in as Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney. Honolulu's new prosecutor Steve Alm was sworn in on Saturday in a scaled down ceremony at the Blaisdell Center. KITV4.


Former radio, TV reporter Garett H. Kamemoto was a leader in the community. Kamemoto, 54, died Dec. 6 at Pali Momi Medical Center after a brief illness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

9 Roth appointees face council confirmation. Nine appointees to Mayor Mitch Roth’s Cabinet are scheduled to appear Tuesday before County Council committees, the first step in the approval process before council confirmation. West Hawaii Today.

Council panel in search of an auditor. The county has been without its legislative auditor for two months following Bonnie Nims’ resignation, and the County Council has launched a search for a new one. West Hawaii Today.


DLNR Completes Review Of UH Maunakea CMP Implementation. The State DLNR says while the university has made progress, it has failed to implement the CMP in major process areas. Big Island Video News.

DLNR review of Maunakea management cites successes, failures. An independent assessment of the University of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan found success in some areas and failure in others. Tribune-Herald.


Public works: Fissure 8 road doesn’t need permit. A newly graded road up the side of Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates is not in violation of any permit requirements, a county agency has determined. Tribune-Herald.

Pohoiki boat ramp unlikely to reopen until fall. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will attempt to expedite the reopening of Pohoiki boat ramp later this month, but the landlocked structure likely will remain unusable until at least the fall. Tribune-Herald.


Alice Lee elected chair of Maui County Council. Also back as vice chairwoman is Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and member Tasha Kama remains as presiding officer pro tempore. Both members were in the same positions last term. Maui News.

Maui Council Approves Leadership and Committees for New 2021-2023 Term. Maui Council leadership remains unchanged as members voted on Saturday to keep the council chair, vice chair and presiding officer pro tempore in place for the new 2021-2023 term. Maui Now.

Harbor Lights Professional Sanitation Takes Place Tonight; County Says they Believe the Cluster Began with Holiday Choir Practice. The Harbor Lights condominium complex in Kahului will undergo professional sanitation this evening (on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021) in response to a COVID-19 cluster that was first reported on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Maui Now.


Property-tax deadline extended. The county has extended the deadline to pay the second installment of property taxes from Feb. 20 to April 23, to lessen the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Garden Island.

Economic recovery for Kauai likely to be slow going. A monthlong shutdown of Kauai tourism ends Tuesday, but it’s still too early to tell whether the changes are enough to make a difference for the Garden Island or the rest of the state, which is grappling with additional tourism challenges. Star-Advertiser.

‘Green’ light at Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School. With the school currently on winter break, the green level means all of the school’s learners report to campus Tuesday, Jan. 5. Garden Island.


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