Friday, February 26, 2021

New management structure for Mauna Kea, in-person graduation ceremonies allowed, Kaui to vaccinate hotel workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiian ceremony prior to 2019 protests over Mauna Kea ©2021 All Hawaii News

House advances measure for new Mauna Kea management. A measure that aims to form a working group to develop a new management structure for Mauna Kea was advanced Thursday in the state House of Representatives. According to the resolution, the failure of the university to properly consult with Native Hawaiians has led to mistrust and polarization within the community, a situation that must be reconciled. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii public schools allowed to hold graduations in 2021 with strict protocols. Graduation ceremonies may be held at Hawaii public schools this year under strict safety guidelines that include limits on the number of guests and no physical contact during the celebration. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Standardized Pandemic Travel Rules. Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill that would standardize the state's pandemic travel restrictions across the islands, a departure from the current system that allows individual counties to opt out of a state pre-flight testing program or add their own modified safety measures. Associated Press.

Proposal Would Streamline Involuntary Treatment Of Those With Severe Mental Illness. Public defenders are obliged to fight involuntary treatment for their clients. Lawmakers are considering cutting them out of the process. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Mull Mediation To Prevent Mass Evictions After Moratorium Lifted. A bill would require landlords to enter mediation upon a tenant’s request, but some advocates say the measure doesn’t do enough to protect renters at risk of eviction. Civil Beat.

New commander named for Pacific Fleet sub force in Hawaii. The acting secretary of the Navy and chief of naval operations announced today that Rear Adm. Jeffrey T. Jablon will be assigned as commander of the sub force in the Pacific, replacing Rear Adm. Blake Converse. Star-Advertiser.

Feb. 25, 2021 COVID-19 Update: There were 45 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Thursday, including 24 on O‘ahu, 18 on Maui, one on Hawai‘i Island, and two in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out-of-state. Maui Now.


Honolulu City Council seeks audit of HPD overtime policies, procedures. The Honolulu City Council wants an audit conducted of the Honolulu Police Department to examine the department’s overtime policies, protocols and procedures following overtime abuse that was detected months ago. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Changes to Honolulu EMS could mean higher ambulance fees.  Lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal to let the City control its own funding for Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. KHON2.

Retail stores allowed back at full capacity as O'ahu officially enters Tier 3. Again retail shops at 100% but they do still have to have social distancing and other protections in place. KITV4.

Some Honolulu businesses already see an increase in customers under the new reopening phase. Businesses were able to serve more people as Honolulu moved into Tier 3 of its reopening plan. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii wants greater say in new stadium project. As companion bills to bolster the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District advanced through the Legislature this week, the University of Hawaii has stepped up its campaign to gain a larger voice in the facility’s future. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kīlauea Recovery Housing Survey Launched. The County of Hawai‘i is surveying residents affected by the 2018 eruption to help guide recovery investments and projects, including an upcoming Voluntary Housing Buyout Program. Big Island Video News.

“Bark Ranger” Program Unleashed At Hawaiʻi Volcanoes. The new, self-guided "Bark Ranger" program will help dogs and their humans to have a "pawsitive" experience in the park, the park service says. Big Island Video News.


Lt. Gov.: 10,000-12,000 Administered Doses Unaccounted for in Maui’s Vaccine Rates. There are 10,000 to 12,000 vaccine doses that were administered and are unaccounted for in Maui’s vaccine rates being reported by the Department of Health, according to Lieutenant Governor Josh Green who was a guest during a talk story webinar hosted by Councilmember Kelly King on Tuesday evening. Maui Now.

Green: Vaccine counts lagging. Lt. Gov. Josh Green estimated that there are about 10,000 to 12,000 undercounted doses in Maui County, which ranks last in the state in the percentage of the population vaccinated. Maui News.

Maui Health plans to ramp up vaccine appointments. Hospital nearly finished with rescheduled first-dose patients. Maui News. Maui Now.

Tents offer an innovative solution to schools seeking socially-distanced classroom space. The “Temptation Island” TV show that filmed on Maui recently donated six event tents to Kihei schools: Kamalii Elementary, Lokelani Intermediate, Kihei Elementary and Kihei Public Charter School. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai hotel workers could be next in line for COVID vaccines. Hotel workers in Kauai could soon be receiving their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said. Hawaii News Now.

$22M rental-assistance program coming.
The County Housing Agency has been given the OK by the County Council to start up what hopes to be a $22-million, federally funded rental assistance program. Garden Island.

4 lanes for Wailua. Starting Monday, the DOT’s Highway Division will begin construction between Kuamo‘o Road and the Kapa‘a bypass road for a second southbound lane on Kuhio Highway. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Restrictions eased for Honolulu gyms and restaurants, about half of inmates opt for vaccinations, businesses to get unemployment cost break, 1 in 3 Hawaii residents on Medicaid, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii jail dorm ©2021 All Hawaii News

State says about half of Oahu, Maui inmates who qualify under 1B opted to get vaccinated. Inmates who qualify under 1B are those 75 and up and those who are at the highest risk of complications if they catch the virus. KHON2.

Hawaii businesses poised to receive unemployment insurance relief.
With businesses throughout Hawaii poised to see big hikes in the amount they have to pay into the state fund for unemployment insurance, state lawmakers have sent a relief bill to Gov. David Ige that’s expected to significantly ease the burden. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Frustration over Hawaii’s jammed-up unemployment system prompts rally. About 200 people vented frustration and demanded help with Hawaii’s overwhelmed jobless benefits system Wednesday outside a closed unemployment office and the state Capitol. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Scammers likely made off with millions in fraudulent unemployment payments. Thousands of out-of-work people in Hawaii are still struggling to get unemployment benefits sorted out nearly a year into the COVID-19 economic crisis. This while scammers walk away with tens of millions — including in the names of people who never even filed a claim. KHON2.

1 in 3 Hawaii residents now on Medicaid after record-setting job losses. The number of Hawaii residents on Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for low-income adults and children, has soared by 24% amid the pandemic as the state saw record-setting job losses. Hawaii News Now.

Broadband debate continues: Bills aimed at improving connectivity are running out of time in Legislature. Although a spate of broadband-related bills have been introduced in the state Legislature, only a few have gained traction. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Farmers Need Land.
State Efforts To Help Aren’t Working. Providing small farmers land is key to producing more local food, but the state’s go-to model isn’t moving the needle. Civil Beat.

Senate confirms Max Otani to lead the Public Safety Department.
The Hawaii Senate confirmed today Max Otani as the director of the Department of Public Safety for a term that expires Dec. 5, 2022. The department oversees the state’s prison and jails, as well as the state’s Narcotics Enforcement and Sheriff divisions. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians Have A Front Row Seat At The US Senate. Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz gaveled in his first hearing as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee to address Native issues in Hawaii and the rest of the country. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Lawmakers to Bolster Native Hawaiian Burial Traditions With Modern Technology.
Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering legislation to help the state’s funeral services industry accommodate traditional Hawaiian burial practices by using a technology known as water cremation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Feb. 24, 2021 COVID-19 Update: There were 50 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including 16 on O‘ahu, 24 on Maui, two on Hawai‘i Island, one on Kaua‘i, and seven in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 deaths increased to 435 with four new deaths reported today–two on O‘ahu and two on Maui.  Maui Now.


Honolulu gyms and restaurants navigate Tier 3 reopening at different paces. Restaurants and gyms can accommodate more people today, following Oahu’s move to Tier 3 of its reopening plan. However, establishments are handling the loosening of restrictions in different ways. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Here's the list of changes in tier three of O'ahu's reopening strategy. KITV4.

Honolulu police to shut down COVID-19 enforcement hotline this weekend. On the eve of Oahu moving into Tier 3, the Honolulu Police Department announces the closure of its COVID-19 hotline at the end of this month. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Health care company partners with nonprofit to vaccinate Native Hawaiian communities. Roughly 60% of adults over 75 have gotten at least one dose of protection, but access to vaccination sites are especially sparse on the west side of Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

CDC study examines best practices for fitness facilities following COVID-19 cluster as Hawaii gyms ease restrictions. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published Wednesday offers lessons learned from an Oahu cluster last summer traced to three fitness centers. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi looks at reviving Topgolf partnership at Ala Wai driving range. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he is looking at “picking up the baton” on a potential public-private partnership with Topgolf at the Ala Wai Golf Course and what it could mean for the city. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Union opposition keeps public works public: Public-private wastewater partnerships likely dead in Legislature. Faced with new federal regulations and crumbling infrastructure, Hawaii County pinned its hopes on the private sector to help bail it out of a growing wastewater problem. West Hawaii Today.

Aquarium trade reveals revised EIS for West Hawaii fishing.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council has released a revised draft environmental impact statement with a new proposal to reopen West Hawaii’s coastal waters to commercial aquarium fishing. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Finfish Farm Hopes To Lead The Way In Sustainable Aquaculture. Blue Ocean Mariculture recently became the first U.S. operation certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. Civil Beat.


Maui County is Hawaii’s new COVID-19 infection hot spot. Maui County has become the new COVID-19 hot spot in Hawaii, sporting the state’s largest seven-day positivity rate Thursday and posting the largest number of daily cases for the second time in a week. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Health Aims to Administer 3,000 First Dose Vaccinations Next Week. Maui Health issued a vaccine update this afternoon saying they are nearly finished with rescheduling first dose appointments for the 5,000 individuals whose appointments were canceled because of lack of vaccine supply in January. Maui Now.

New cell tower approved near Waiehu Kou. The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a new 40-foot-tall cellular tower along Kahekili Highway that spurred objections from some residents living in the Waiehu Kou subdivisions across from the project site. Maui News.

Airline ordered to pay $3 million to Maui family in wrongful death suit.
A jury in Washington state has ordered Alaska Airlines to pay $3.2 million to the family of Bernice Kekona, a Kahakuloa woman who died just months after falling down an escalator in her wheelchair at the Portland International Airport in 2017. Maui News.


County hoping for late spring reopening. The county doesn’t want to miss out on summer tourism because it’s not participating in the state’s Safe Travels program, County of Kaua‘i Managing Director Michael Dahilig explained Wednesday. Garden Island.

75-plus now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
. The County of Kaua’i started distributing COVID-19 vaccines to community members aged 75 and up starting Feb. 23, and three hospitals on the island have added extra vaccination dose days to their calendar. Garden Island.

Kauai County looking for nonprofit partner in coronavirus assistance program. The County of Kauai is looking for a nonprofit partner to administer a $22 million COVID-19 assistance program to help eligible households in the county with rental and utility costs. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua'i County will allow camping beginning in March. Mayor Derek Kawakami announced on Wednesday that the county will start allowing camping next month. KITV4.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Tax hikes still on the table, automatic voter registration clears committee, legislator charged with DUI, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii’s Fiscal Picture Is Looking Up. So Why Do Lawmakers Still Want To Raise Taxes? House leaders say they will consider increasing capital gains and state income taxes on high earners in an effort to restore targeted cuts. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Senate Committee Passes Automatic Voter Registration. A bill advanced Tuesday by the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee would automatically register to vote eligible U.S. citizens who apply for a driver's license or state identification card, unless the individual declines to be registered. Associated Press.

Push to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’ dies. A bill that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and require state health officials to develop treatment centers where people can consume their active ingredients in a controlled environment was shelved by state lawmakers Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Last call for booze tax bill: Legislation on beverages nearly dead for the session. One tax on beverages in the state Legislature is dead, while another is on death’s door. Tribune-Herald.

Legislator charged with operating vehicle under the influence. A 52-year-old state legislator, who was allegedly driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street, attributes her impaired driving Monday night to a combination of prescription cough medication and a beer. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

China cargo service catapults Matson’s earnings. Hawaii-based ocean cargo carrier Matson Inc. more than doubled its profit last year, largely on expanded China service that included transporting supplies to combat COVID-19 on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Health providers allowed to interpret DOH COVID-19 vaccine priority plan. Essential business owners are asked to submit a survey to help the state allocate doses and determine priority. But health providers are given latitude with how they distribute the vaccine. KITV4.

Feb. 23, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 47 New Cases (27 O‘ahu, 17 Maui, 3 Out-of-State). Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 deaths remained unchanged at 431 with no new deaths reported today. Maui Now.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announces Oahu’s move to Tier 3
of reopening metrics. Oahu residents will be able to have larger gatherings starting Thursday after Honolulu Mayor Rick Blan­giardi announced Tuesday the island will move to Tier 3 of its reopening strategy, and Gov. David Ige approved the step. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HPD rolling out final body-worn cameras which have already been misused. After about 2-1/2 years the Honolulu Police Department is finishing rolling out the last of its body-worn cameras to police officers — and officers already have been misusing them. Star-Advertiser.

TheBus, TheHandi-Van welcome new leadership. Jenny Lemaota was appointed to the position of acting president and General Manager, Michael Randolf was appointed as the Vice President of Paratransit and Gloria Li was appointed as controller in the Finance and Administration Department. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Water Department plans 1% budget decrease: Rate hike, lower water use figure into $54.9M plan. The county water department plans to trim $459,400 to create its $54.9 million operating budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. West Hawaii Today.

Sites ID’d for Pahoa library. A draft environmental assessment published Tuesday has identified three possible sites for a new, and long-discussed, library in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.


150 MCCC inmates receive vaccinations. A total of 150 inmates at Maui Community Correctional Center were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday as officials work to contain an outbreak at the facility, according to the state Department of Health. Maui News.

Maui Health Expected to Re-Open Registry for First Dose Priority Group Appointments Soon. Maui Health reports it is nearing completion of rescheduled first-dose vaccinations for nearly 5,000 individuals whose appointments were canceled in January due to a vaccine shortage. Maui Now.

Kōkua Pool to Reopen for Lap Swimming on March 1. The Department of Parks and Recreation made the announcement saying reservations for lap swimming at the facility will be available Friday, Feb. 26, by calling the pool reservations line at (808) 270-6116.  Maui Now.

Businesses navigate mask exemptions.
As county officials push for more mask compliance, some businesses are having to make tough calls about who should be exempt from the universal mask rules. Maui News.


Marijuana bills could bring money to Kaua‘i. Two marijuana-decriminalization bills are advancing through the state Legislature that could have economic ramifications for Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Input sought on Black Pot Master Plan. The county Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking public input on the draft master plan for Black Pot Beach Park, one of three county-owned beach parks on Hanalei, with roughly 13 acres in size. Garden Island.

Work to begin on next phase of the Eastside coastal path. The county Department of Public Works and Cushnie Construction Co. announced the start of construction on the next phase of the Eastside coastal path. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Gov. Ige and Cabinet get vaccinated, Maui tops Oahu in daily COVID-19 increase, $12 minimum wage clears Senate committees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Office of the Governor
Hawaii Gov. David Ige gets vaccinated PC:Governor's Office

Governor, cabinet members get first dose of COVID vaccine. Gov. David Ige, Hawaii’s first lady and 65 of their cabinet and staff members got their first COVID vaccine doses Monday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Director Says 3 More Weeks For Next Vaccination Phase. Dr. Libby Char told lawmakers mid March is the soonest people age 70 and older will be able to get in line for COVID-19 vaccinations. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

More coronavirus vaccines on the way to Hawaii.
As of Monday the state had administered 306,432 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, based on preliminary data, up more than 19,000 from the previous day. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.


$12 minimum wage hike clears key Senate committees. Hawaii’s low-wage workers are closer to seeing a hike in the minium wage to $12 after two key Senate committees approved the increase, but the measure’s prospects in the House of Representatives are less certain. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige expressed reservations about a bill that would unify travel rules across Hawaii, while stopping short of saying he would veto it if it comes across his desk. Star-Advertiser.

Ige against ‘arbitrary’ reopening of schools. Gov. David Ige pushed back Monday against proposals to universally reopen Hawaii schools after spring break next month. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Home Land beneficiaries asked to weigh in on potential transfer of land. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is seeking input from beneficiaries on a potential transfer of land that would use millions of dollars in land credit. Hawaii News Now.

Prison Oversight Commission Requests Analysis of Inmate Deaths.
So far eight Hawaiʻi inmates have died of COVID-19 while in state custody, and their relatives are looking for answers. Hawaii Public Radio.

As many military personnel receive the coronavirus vaccine, 1 in 3 decide to opt out. The Defense Department has initiated larger-scale COVID-19 vaccinations on Oahu as it struggles with an overall 1-in-3 refusal rate in the ranks to take the vaccine. Star-Advertiser.

Zippy’s Plans To Pay Employees To Get Vaccinated. Zippy’s Restaurants is poised to join a growing list of businesses offering employees an incentive to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Grapples With How To Use Stockpile Of Rapid COVID-19 Tests
. Some 720,000 rapid COVID-19 tests nearing their official expiration date in March sit in a state warehouse. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotel occupancy remained flat in January. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a Monday report that 23.3% of hotel rooms statewide were occupied last month, based on a survey by Tennessee-based hospitality industry research firm STR Inc. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Feb. 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 52 New Cases 21 O‘ahu, 28 Maui, 2 Hawai‘i Island, 1 Kaua‘i. Maui Now.


Honolulu is slated to slide into Tier 3 come Thursday. Distancing rules will still apply in Tier 3. However, there are no capacity limits for retailers and spiritual services. Social gatherings sizes will increase to 10 people. Restaurants can also allow 10 people per party. Gyms will be allowed to increase capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent. Hawaii News Now.

This Private School Will Soon Begin Doing COVID-19 Tests On Campus. Iolani School’s high teacher vaccination rate and plans to soon offer free coronavirus testing to students set it apart from public schools. Civil Beat.

Former HART Interim Director Krishniah Murthy Dies. The longtime transit official was hired in 2016 to help guide Oahu’s rail project through an especially rocky period. Civil Beat.

Retailers seek rent relief as coronavirus pandemic wears on.
Many of Hawaii’s retail shops and businesses are still clinging to hope of surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected them for nearly a year now. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hamakua-Kohala Health Purchases the Kohala Club Hotel. The former Kohala Club Hotel will become the new permanent home for the Kohala Health and Wellness Center. Big Island Video News.

Nearly 2,000 vaccinated at Hilo POD. The mass vaccination POD, or point of dispensing, was organized by Hilo Medical Center and focused largely on essential workers. Tribune-Herald.

County delays trailer usage ban at transfer stations. The County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management is delaying the implementation of trailer usage at solid waste transfer stations until at least April 16. West Hawaii Today.


Scenes of unmasked tourists in large groups stir frustration, anger among locals. In the daily COVID numbers reported Monday, Maui had more new COVID infections than Oahu. It’s a worrying situation that has some Maui residents upset as visitors continue to flood the island. Hawaii News Now.

Maui’s daily COVID case count surpasses Oahu for the first time. Maui County is close to surpassing the number of COVID-19 cases from last year in just the first two months of 2021. KHON2.

Landing Fees Temporarily Waived for Commercial Passenger Flights to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Airports Division is waiving landing fees for scheduled commercial passenger service to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi in response to decreased service due to the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.  Maui Now.

South Dakota Visitor Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Rules Relating to Quarantine. Police say Corey Mathieu, 34, was arrested on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, after arriving from Texas without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.

Lanai deer, sheep hunting applications open today. Online applications for the 2021 Lanai Axis Deer and Mouflon Sheep Season will be available to the public beginning today, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife announced. Maui News.


Flood Insurance Rate Map changes effective Feb. 26. The new maps include changes to the FIRM for Moloa‘a Stream near Moloa‘a Bay and reclassified areas behind the Waimea and Hanapepe Levees to Special Flood Hazard Areas. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council and schools reopening.
The Kaua‘i County Council is voting on a resolution that encourages a return to full-time in-person education as soon as possible for elementary and secondary school children. Garden Island.

Ku Makani crisis resource line opens.
Ku Makani, The Hawai‘i Resiliency Project, has opened up a free crisis line (1-800-753-6879), connecting callers not just to resources, but to somebody who will listen. Garden Island.

Monday, February 22, 2021

State edges toward vaccinating 70+, charging for hikers' rescue, $1M Honolulu homes may be classified affordable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Daring view of Waimea Canyon, Kauai ©2021 All Hawaii News

Charging illegal hikers for rescue costs considered again by Hawaii lawmakers. Renewed efforts are underway in the state Senate to allow county first-responders to charge outlaw hikers for the cost of rescuing them — and issue criminal fines as well — at a time when government spending is under stress from the fallout of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Is The End In Sight? And How Will We Know It?
Vaccinations are key to how soon state and local officials will feel comfortable easing back restrictions on travel as well as business and social activities. Civil Beat.

DOH: Seniors 70 And Older To Get COVID-19 Vaccine ‘Soon’. As of January, Hawaii’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan had aimed to start vaccinating people 65 and older in March. Instead, officials with the Department of Health said Friday they plan to expand the pool of vaccine recipients to include people 70 and older sometime soon. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

State extends testing window for domestic travelers. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Sunday confirms it is extending the testing window for inbound domestic travelers through Wednesday, February 24.  This in response to the severe weather across the mainland that has canceled or delayed flights. KITV4.

Hawaii Always Had A Hard Time Recruiting Teachers. The Pandemic Made It Harder. Hawaii is rethinking its teacher recruitment strategies, including virtual job fairs, but it’s a hard sell when even preexisting successful initiatives face a shaky future. Civil Beat.

Prison reform advocates worry key bills won’t survive legislative session. Prison reform measures, which gained momentum during the COVID pandemic, are now faltering in the state Legislature, advocates said. Hawaii News Now.

Gender Wage Gap Narrower In Hawaii, But Pandemic Greatly Impacting Women In The Workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Hawaii eighth in the country when it came to the overall amount women earned compared to men. Based on 2019 data, for every dollar men were paid -- women earned roughly 85 cents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Suicides In Hawaii Have Declined During The Pandemic.
Calls to crisis hotlines and hospital admissions for psychiatric problems increased in 2020, but preliminary data shows no evidence of a spike in suicides. Civil Beat.

Critics say Agriculture Development Corporation should be shut down. State Rep. Richard Onishi said Friday scathing reports from the state auditor and the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization led to legislation that would abolish the Agriculture Development Corporation. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Farmers Need Better Data To Make Decisions. Federal and state budget cuts, combined with challenges in gathering data, have led to a shrinkage of up-to-date, accessible and comprehensive agricultural data in Hawaii in recent years. Civil Beat.

Hawaii first to get new warships that can pull up onto beaches. The Marine Corps later this year plans to activate in Hawaii its first-ever Marine Littoral Regiment — the centerpiece of a sweeping force redesign enabling troops to operate in small units with ship-killing missiles from the islands that dot the Western Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Feb. 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 68 New Cases (33 O‘ahu, 28 Maui, 4 Hawai‘i Island, 3 Out-of-State). Maui Now.


‘Bold’ plan to develop leasehold condos on state land renewed. Such homes are intended to be built within a mile of city rail stations, and initially were described as feasibly costing $300,000 for three-bedroom units in buildings with pools and other amenities. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu affordable housing could include $1 million homes under state guidelines, which some have criticized as being ‘out of whack’. A two-bedroom home that costs $1 million technically can be defined as “affordable” for some households eligible for government-subsidized housing. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi asks state to lift some team sports restrictions with COVID cases declining. As COVID case counts continue to drop, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has hinted Oahu is on the verge of loosening restrictions for the first time since October. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s move to Tier 3 is only a step toward recovery
. Oahu is on track to move to Tier 3 of its COVID-19 reopening strategy this week after being stuck in Tier 2 since October, but some businesses are unsure what Tier 3 will mean to them and how much of a change it will bring. Star-Advertiser.

City says new e-scooter company in Waikiki is operating illegally. A new electric scooter company in Waikiki is challenging city laws. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium parking lot events prove popular with more being booked. Aloha Stadium was more or less condemned in December for future events with spectators, but the parking lot around the rusted 50,000-seat complex is being booked for a growing array of attractions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

House introduces resolutions to form working group on Maunakea. A pair of resolutions was introduced Friday on the floor of the House of Representatives to form on working group on the management of Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.

Long waits loom for licenses: Renewals could take months as division faces backlog. Residents hoping to renew their driver’s licenses can still expect months-long delays thanks to a backlog at the County Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 vaccine ‘mega clinics’ to open in Kona.
The rate at which the COVID-19 vaccine is being administered in West Hawaii should pick up pace thanks to a partnership that will bring “mega clinics” to Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Amphitheater, affordable housing highlight Palamanui deal.
Developer Palamanui Global Holdings sweetened the pot on a rezoning deal Tuesday by promising an outdoor performing arts amphitheater and affordable housing that’s more affordable, winning the massive development preliminary approval from a County Council panel. West Hawaii Today.

Bill introduced to address management of Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. A bill that would give a Honokohau Small Boat Harbor working group management authority over the facility with the state’s oversight and assistance is making its way through the state Senate. West Hawaii Today.


Fast-track affordable housing bill passes on first reading. A bill that would tighten affordable housing requirements for projects seeking fast-track approval under state law squeaked by with enough votes early Friday evening to pass on first reading before the Maui County Council. Maui News.

‘Maui Wowee’: County Council Sees Potential Financial Boost From Pot Industry.
Council members are hoping other Hawaii counties express support for marijuana legalization too. Legislative leaders and Gov. David Ige have long opposed the idea. Civil Beat.


Council resolution urging reopening of schools. County Councilmembers Mason Chock and Luke Evslin have introduced a new resolution, urging the state to reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning and allowing interscholastic sports competitions, as well as organized youth sports to resume for grades kindergarten to 12. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i resorts hope to bounce back from COVID-19 pandemic. Hokuala Resort at Timbers Managing Director Gary Moore is reporting an increase in the occupancy of the luxury resort since the start of January. Garden Island.

Sex-assault services in peril.
In January, the state proposed a $714,000-a-year cut to its contract with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, which subcontracts for treatment services with the YWCA of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hawaii is the second safest state, officials mull who should get vaccinated next, nurses could perform abortions, gambling bill dies in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Whale watching in Hawaii ©2021 All Hawaii News

Survey: Hawai‘i is the 2nd Safest State During COVID-19. Hawaiʻi was ranked number two on a list of the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic, second only to Alaska. Maui Now.

State leaders mull who should be prioritized in next phase of vaccine distribution.
As COVID vaccination hubs continue to immunize front line workers and kupuna 75 and over, state leaders are trying to decide who should be next. Hawaii News Now.

Some want a unified Hawaii travel program, critics argue it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. While business owners and travel industry experts express the dire need to have a consistent program throughout the state, critics argue it’s not the safest solution. Hawaii News Now.


Gambling proposal dies in Legislature; question remains on Hawaiian Home Lands funding of homes for more than 28,000 beneficiaries. State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, chairwoman of the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee, shelved Senate Bill 1321, which had divided the committee, Native Hawaiians, the community at large and the Hawaiian Homes Commission, which voted 5-4 to refer the casino concept to the Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Should Hawaii Nurses Be Allowed To Perform Abortions?
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand access to abortions by expanding the pool of providers beyond physicians. Civil Beat.

Three minimum wage bills fail to pass committee.
All but one of the bills in the state Legislature that would raise the minimum hourly wage appear to be dead. Tribune-Herald.

University of Hawaii to restore executive salaries due to furloughs delay.
The University of Hawaii announced today that the salaries of all executive-managerial employees — which were reduced for two months to reduce costs — will be restored. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii school board votes to keep pay hikes for special-education teachers, other shortage areas.
The Board of Education voted Thursday to assure that teachers in special education and other shortage areas continue receiving up to $10,000 in extra pay annually despite the fiscal crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Contrary to board vote, superintendent says department can’t afford extra pay for hard-to-recruit teachers. Currently, about 4,000 teachers are receiving higher pay, which costs the state about $33 million. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Mazie Hirono To Chair Senate Subcommittee On Military Seapower. Hawaii is a central hub for Navy and Marine Corps operations as tensions rise between the U.S. and China. Civil Beat.


Honolulu, Maui lawsuits against oil companies will proceed in state court. Both Honolulu and Maui counties are among dozens of jurisdictions that have filed suit against a long list of fossil fuel companies, seeking damages for the mounting costs of dealing with climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed Luxury Tax on Expensive Gas Cars Would Pay for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The proposed measure, HB 1142, would apply a 1 percent general excise tax surcharge on cars with a manufacturer's suggested retail price, or MSRP, of more than $60,000. Hawaii Public Radio.

Could Hawaii’s Fossil Fuel-Powered Cars Soon Be A Relic Of The Past?
The electric vehicle market is growing and state leaders want to help phase out gas-powered cars. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmaker Pushes Expanded Role for Hydrogen Fuel. Both Governor Ige and state lawmakers are pushing policies to increase the use of electric vehicles and produce more green energy. Hawaii Public Radio.


State says 3rd case of highly contagious UK COVID variant detected in Hawaii. The third B.1.1.7 variant case was found in an individual on Oahu. Officials say the patient was a close contact with another individual in Hawaii who contracted the UK variant. Both individuals had no recent history of travel. Hawaii News Now.

Lieutenant Governor believes COVID-19 variants can be controlled in Hawaii. Despite the variant of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom and recently recorded here in Hawaii, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green believes it can be controlled here. KITV4.

Civil Beat Is Ending Its Daily Virus Tracker.
Here’s Why. Experts agree that tracking trends is more useful than focusing on daily infection counts. Civil Beat.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 18: 67 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death. Hawaii health officials reported 67 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Thursday, including 45 on Oahu, eight on Maui, seven on the Big Island, one on Kauai, one on Molokai and five residents diagnosed outside of Hawaii. Civil Beat.


Mayor Blangiardi hopes to reward Oahu residents for good COVID-19 behavior. With COVID-19 case numbers on the decline and vaccinations rising among Oahu’s most vulnerable populations, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said today he is ready to “reward” residents for their actions in curtailing the spread of coronavirus on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu could move to Tier 3 as soon as Feb. 25. Mayor Rick Blangiardi said, the numbers look good and Oahu could shift to Tier 3 as soon as Thursday, Feb. 25, if they continue to remain low. KHON2.

City says if O'ahu meets Tier Three criteria next Wednesday more restrictions will lift next week. The city says if the island of O'ahu meets the Tier Three criteria again next Wednesday more restrictions will lift starting next Thursday. KITV4.

Police seize more than a dozen gambling machines, cash in Sand Island raid. Honolulu police seized more than a dozen gambling machines and cash in a raid at an illegal game room in the Sand Island area Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council supports broadband plan: Unanimous vote comes despite inclusion of 5G. A resolution passed unanimously Wednesday by the County Council refers to 5G technology as an option in bridging the digital divide, but council members, most of whom had previously approved two resolutions attempting to limit 5G on the island, don’t see it as a conflict. West Hawaii Today.

Thousands could be vaccinated Saturday during large-scale clinic for UH, DOE employees. According to Hilo Medical Center spokeswoman Elena Cabatu, the POD is ready to administer 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to employees of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hawaii Community College, the state Department of Education and other educational entities. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island’s Coronavirus Decline Not Linked to Less Testing. COVID-19 cases are way down on the Big Island while the number of vaccinations continues to grow, but the County says those two developments are not entirely linked. Big Island Now.

More Travelers, Fewer COVID-19 Cases on Hawai'i Island.
The Big Island is seeing nearly half of its pre-COVID arrival numbers, while cases and hospitalizations are falling. KITV4.


COVID-19 vaccines to be administered at jail. Maui Community Correctional Center inmates will be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting next week amid efforts to tamp down an outbreak at the jail, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. Maui News.

Mainland Couple Grants $400,000 to Help Grand Wailea Workers on Maui. A mainland couple, who frequently visits the Valley Isle, donated $400,000 toward the Maui Mālama Project to assist workers at the Grand Wailea Maui with rent/mortgage, utility, child care and other expenses. Maui Now.

Report: One officer fired, two others demoted last year.
Police release names of disciplined officers under new state law. Maui News.

Council mulling purchase of Maui News buildings in Wailuku.
Testifiers and financial advisers used the county’s decision not to purchase One Main Plaza in arguing Wednesday that Maui County could save rent money by acquiring a 6.3-acre, $9.8 million parcel in Wailuku that includes The Maui News offices. Maui News.


An end to houseless beach park camping. Beginning next month, the county will be suspending its “Shelter in Place” program that had issued permits to houseless individuals and families to live at county-owned beach parks. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i’s Shelter in Place program unique in state. The Kauai “Shelter in Place” program was the first in the state when it started six months ago to help provide a place for houseless individuals during COVID-19. Garden Island.

Hawaii Plans For Post-Pandemic Tourism, Starting With Kauai.  Hawaii has released a new blueprint for redefining tourism in the post-COVID-19 era by mitigating community concerns over traffic and overcrowding on Kauai while maintaining the benefits from the state’s dominant industry. Civil Beat.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Schatz describes next round of federal bailouts, mainland storms force Hawaii vaccination cancellations, COVID-19 case count unknown due to lab failure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sen. Brian Schatz
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz PC:Star-Advertiser video grab

Sen. Brian Schatz hopes stimulus will prevent layoffs and furloughs, among other benefits. The next round of COVID-19 related federal stimulus could be enough to prevent layoffs and furloughs of Hawaii public workers, keep island businesses afloat and prevent renters and homeowners from losing their homes while extending unemployment benefits, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii online video program Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Storms interrupt vaccine deliveries to Hawaii as the state sees a drop in cases. Bitter winter storms across much of the mainland this week so far have delayed shipment of 37,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Hawaii, with only 10,250 doses successfully delivered, the Department of Health reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


DOE Superintendent Says Better Spacing Guidance Is Needed For School Reopenings. Christina Kishimoto said she’ll meet with state health officials and lawmakers Friday to discuss how best to proceed in light of new federal guidance. Civil Beat.

House Education Committee Recommends Using CARES Act Funding to Pay Hawaii Teachers. A bill at the state legislature would use the money to pay teachers to avoid furloughs and layoffs, and it has the support of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Tax ‘Imbalance’: Would A New State Property Tax Fix It?
Some House lawmakers have hatched a complex plan to export more of Hawaii’s weighty tax burden to non-residents, but it would require an amendment to the Hawaii state Constitution and a huge leap of faith on the part of the voters. Civil Beat.

State to slash general assistance benefits as number of program recipients swells.
A key state benefits program that helps adults who are temporarily disabled and do not qualify for Social Security is being slashed. The state Department of Human Services confirmed Wednesday that the monthly check for the general assistance program will be slashed from $388 to $260 starting in March. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment benefits start flowing again for many but not all. Those waiting on the second Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation were finally able to file their claims on Monday after more than a month-long delay as the state scrambled to re-implement the federal extension program on its outdated computer system. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal Would Make Information on Inmate Deaths Public. When a Hawaii inmate dies at any of the state's jails or prisons, the state Public Safety Department is required to provide a report to the governor withing 48 hours. A legislative proposal would require that same report be made available to the public and a copy given to the inmates' family. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate Panel Kills Beef Bill. A Senate committee on Wednesday effectively killed a bill intended to impose operating restrictions on an Idaho rancher who has acquired about 70% of Hawaii’s beef processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Salina Kanai to serve as federal public defender in Hawaii.
Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have appointed Salina M. Kanai as the next federal public defender in the District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ appears bound for the isles. A Hawaii spinoff of the popular series based on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is in the works, but hasn’t been officially greenlit, reported. Star-Advertiser.

Proposal To Protect Pacific Corals Exempts Military Training Areas. A National Marine Fisheries Service proposal to designate 230 square miles of critical habitat for seven threatened coral species in the Pacific Ocean is getting mixed reviews from environmental advocates due to an exemption for military training areas. Civil Beat.

For a second day, Hawaii is unable to report the actual number of new COVID cases.
The state said for a second day lab reporting issues meant it was not clear how many new infections were actually reported. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 17: 29 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death. Low case counts this week are being attributed to a laboratory reporting error. The cases reported Wednesday included one on Hawaii Island, nine on Maui, 16 on Oahu and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Former state Senator Laura Thielen is confirmed as city parks director. The Honolulu City Council has confirmed former Hawaii State Senator Laura H. Thielen as director for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, which announced her confirmation in a press release this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu airport businesses seek added protections from state. Airport concessionaires are asking state lawmakers to write into state law the types of relief available to them during the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies that cause significant economic hardship. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu To Pay $1.9 Million After Bus Shelter Collapsed On Woman’s Legs. The lawsuit said the city should’ve known its bus shelter wasn’t safe. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department ramps up recruitment efforts amid ongoing officer shortage. The Honolulu Police Department is 15% below its full staffing level and has sped up the application process to reduce officer vacancies. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium district redevelopment plan gets divided in 2. A state plan to redevelop the 98-acre site of Aloha Stadium in Halawa with a private partner is now a two-part endeavor. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Measure aims to boost to Banyan Drive. Big Island legislators are backing a proposal to create a redevelopment district to revitalize the Waiakea peninsula and Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

The $160M question: Is upgrading Kealakehe sewer plant to R-1 worth it? Mayor Mitch Roth’s top environmental official is taking a hard look at the advisability of upgrading Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce R-1, the highest grade of recycled water, after the cost of the 20-year-old plan ballooned to $160 million. West Hawaii Today.


Maui water use plan likely pushed back again. The Maui County Council is mulling whether to again push back the adoption deadline for the Maui Island Water Use Development Plan, a blueprint for protection, management and water use over a 20-year period. Maui News.

With Maui County paying $100,000 per month in rent for office space, the administration of Mayor Michael Victorino is proposing to buy the 6.3-acre Maui News building complex and turn it into county office space. Star-Advertiser.

Talks over hospital wages continue. Maui Health System and the hospital workers’ union have scheduled more negotiating dates as the two sides remain deadlocked over raises for employees, among other issues. Maui News.

Four Visitors Arrested on Maui for Alleged Quarantine Violation. Police say all four arrived on Maui on an Oʻahu flight without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.  KHON2.


SB1286 would make travel program uniform statewide. This bill would restrict the County of Kaua‘i from enacting additional rules to the state’s already established set, like its on-going post-arrival test option to be released from quarantine. Garden Island.

Business rally at Vidinha. More than 200 business owners across the island assembled at Vidinha Stadium’s parking lot on Wednesday to organize their concerns and find a way to send them to the county and state officials in hopes of opening tourism on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Legislature mulls sunscreen ban, magic mushrooms, recreational marijuana, gambling, bestiality and more, Big Pharma fine could boost state budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Rinsing off baby at Kona beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

 Bill adds new ingredients to state’s sunscreen ban. HB 102, HD 1, which seeks to amend Section 342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding avobenzone and octocrylene to the list of banned ingredients, has been making its way through the state House of Representatives and is scheduled to be heard today by the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Court’s Massive $834 Million Fine Against Drug Makers Could Boost State Budget.
The penalty would go directly to the state’s general fund, but not until all legal appeals are exhausted, which could drag on for two years or even longer, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said at a press conference Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Bill could help Hawaii’s tenant-landlord dispute backlog. Hawaii’s court systems have been slowly returning to service since December, but a tsunami of cases are on the horizon once the state’s moratorium on evictions eventually ends. KHON2.

Beefing Over Control Of Hawaii’s Meat Processing Industry. A bill scheduled to be heard Wednesday targets an investor who has gained control of 70% of Hawaii’s meat processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Advances Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana. Another bill approved by the committee would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Permitted In Hawaii?
A bill before the Legislature would remove psilocybin from the federal register of Schedule I drugs. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Bill outlawing animal sexual abuse gains traction in Legislature. A bill that would make sexually assaulting an animal a felony is moving through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Home Lands gambling bill debate pushed to Thursday. A key Senate committee postponed decision-making until Thursday on whether to allow a controversial gambling bill that would allow the possibility for generating revenue for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands through some form of legalized gaming — and break Hawaii’s prohibition on any form of legal gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Clamping Down On Gov’s Emergency Powers. Hawaii isn’t the only state worried that a governor’s emergency orders are in need of better oversight. Civil Beat.

Youth vaping rates keep rising in Hawaii.
More Hawaii high school students are trying vaping and getting hooked, with the rate of daily vaping more than doubling over two years, while use of alcohol and cigarettes is dropping. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Deadly winter weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Hawaii.
Efforts to further curtail the spread of the virus in Hawaii hit a snag this week, as state health officials reported that a record-breaking winter storm on the mainland that left millions without power and resulted in at least 20 deaths had delayed some shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to the islands. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccination Hesitation: How the Lack of Access Affects Trust from the Pacific Islander Community. Hawaii’s Pacific Islander communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not clear if they are actually receiving the vaccine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lab reporting issue leads to Tuesday's low COVID-19 case count. Hawaii health officials reported 17 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Tuesday, an undercount due to a laboratory reporting error. The 17 cases recorded Tuesday included 13 on Oahu, three on Maui, and one resident diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Low case numbers move Honolulu closer to Tier 3. Honolulu, for the first time, is expected to hit its metrics today for moving into the less restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s COVID-19 Reopening Framework from the current Tier 2. Star-Advertiser.

2 Louisiana residents accused of bribing Honolulu airport screener with $3,000 to bypass quarantine. The state Department of the Attorney General charged two Louisiana residents with bribing airport screeners in an attempt to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory Safe Travels rules after arriving Friday at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State officials begin to clear ‘literal potpourri of useless junk’ from Waimainalo site. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the site, formerly home to Dragon Garden—Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center, may take several weeks to clear out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bill to let OHA build Kakaako Makai condos advances. The on-and-off battle over development of Kakaako Makai has flared up again as state lawmakers consider the latest measures aimed at allowing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to put residential housing in the oceanfront region of urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island At 43.4 Percent Renewable Energy.
Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up nearly 10 percent this year, as the company says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years. Big Island Video News.

Puna roads update given: Administration provides tentative estimates for restoration of Pohoiki Road, Highway 137. Parts of Pohoiki Road which have been buried in lava for nearly three years finally might be excavated later this year, county officials estimate. Tribune-Herald.


Hospital workers call for fair raises. Maui Health System workers are calling for fairer raises in the face of a proposed 0 percent increase in pay over the first year of their new contract. Maui News.

O‘ahu Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Travel Quarantine. Daniel Gildenbrand, 24, was arrested on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, after arriving on Maui without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and no approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Housekeeping measure triggers closer look at county code. The Kaua‘i County Council recently received a two-decade-old bill affecting public access. Garden Island.

Small businesses band together. Last week, more than 50 frustrated business owners gathered at the Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a to discuss ways to keep their businesses open. Garden Island.