Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Ige extends eviction moratorium, discusses furloughs, budget cuts as economy slumps, Green urges vaccinations for 65+ starting March 1, fireworks bills advance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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One In Five Hawaii Workers Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Quit Looking. Using the  broad assessment of the labor market called the U6 unemployment rate, almost 20% of Hawaii workers are not fully employed. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Saying ‘Labor Savings’ Are Still Needed, Ige Proposes Cuts To Pay, Benefits. The governor’s latest financial plan calls for $285 million in cuts to public employee costs over 2 years. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige says state worker furloughs still possible this year. The governor says Hawaii’s economy is showing signs of improvement. But, he’s once again bringing up the possibility of state worker furloughs as early as July. KHON2.

More optimistic budget revealed, furloughs still possible. Hawaii's financial future looks a little brighter. But the state still faces massive budget shortfalls, which may take until the end of 2024 for the island's economy to fully recover. KITV4.

Ige reduces budget cut for public schools. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday that coronavirus relief aid from the U.S. government and better-than-expected tax revenues have prompted him to reduce the size of budget cuts he has proposed for public schools. Associated Press.

Projected Budget Shortfall Reduced: Furloughs, Pay cuts Remain on Horizon. More money is flowing into Hawai‘i from federal coffers and a moderately buoyed tourism industry, which Governor David Ige said will lessen both the extent and sting of budget cuts his administration proposed in December. Big Island Now.

Governor Ige Updates Hawaii Financial Future. Governor David Ige on Tuesday held a news conference to talk about the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19 in the state. Big Island Video News.

Stabilizing Or Stalling? State Officials Explain Why Hawaii’s Recovery Plan Will Take 2 Years.
The governor’s economic development leaders say they want to carefully craft a plan that will hold up for the long term. But legislative leaders aren’t convinced. Civil Beat.

Governor announces $200M program for housing, utility assistance
. Gov. David Ige said the state will expand its rental assistance program for families hard hit by the pandemic by another $200 million. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige to extend eviction moratorium 2 more months. The statewide moratorium on residential evictions would be extended for another two months in a COVID-19 emergency proclamation that Gov. David Ige plans to issue this week. Star-Advertiser.

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Bill Would Ban Side Gigs For Hawaii Lieutenant Governors. Last year, lawmakers passed a similar ban on outside employment for county mayors and the governor. Civil Beat.

Bill seeks to lower blood-alcohol content to 0.05. A senate bill introduced by the Committee of Transportation seeks to lower the threshold for drunken driving from the legal limit for a blood-alcohol level of .08 to .05. This would put Hawaii as the second state to do so--after Utah did in 2018. KITV4.

Three fireworks bills clear committee. The state House Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday unanimously passed three of four fireworks-related bills. Tribune-Herald. KHON2. KITV4.

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Vaccinate 65 and older, Lt. Gov. Josh Green urges. Green is recommending Gov. David Ige make the policy change to speed up immunizations for the lower-priority group as the federal government considers approving a single-dose vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, which could ease vaccine shortages across the nation. Star-Advertiser.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 9: 37 New COVID-19 Infections. Hawaii health officials reported 37 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 24 on Oahu, seven on Maui, three on the Big Island and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu Police Commission Is At A Crossroads. Almost a year after national protests demanded increased accountability for police, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has an important decision to make: his first appointment to the Honolulu Police Commission. Civil Beat.

How About A Casino In Waikiki? There’s A Bill For That. A proposal similar to ones introduced in past legislative sessions — but which always perish — again has life at the Hawaii Legislature: a casino in Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Bill would place historical markers at 9 sites to honor Barack Obama. State Sen. Stanley Chang is seeking once again to honor significant sites in the life of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama with historical markers. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige casts doubt on new Aloha Stadium with comments. Governor David Ige declared Tuesday at his press conference that he’d prefer the state put money into the upkeep of the current stadium. KHON2.

Makaha Valley resort developer is headed for liquidation. A company that has been trying to turn Makaha Valley into a resort with help from golf legend Tiger Woods has filed for bankruptcy. Star-Advertiser.

New clinic ensures Pacific Islander community has access to COVID vaccine. The organization “We Are Oceania” teamed up with Kalihi-Palama Health Center to launch a COVID vaccination clinic at St. Elizabeth’s Church. Interest among the community surpassed anticipated demand. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Keck Observatory astronomers win prestigious science prize. A historic feat — successfully zeroing in on the precise location of a non-repeating fast radio burst — has earned the highest recognition from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui’s vaccination clinics to begin first doses again. Maui’s main COVID-19 vaccination sites will once again administer first doses, with Maui Memorial Medical Center set to begin this week and the state Department of Health site at the University of Hawaii Maui College starting next week. Maui News.

Maui County Council urging Legislature to legalize, regulate, tax cannabis. The Maui County Council announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9, it is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for responsible adult-use due to the economic and social benefits that the process would bring. KHON2.

Ho‘olehua Post Office Reopens Today. The facility had been temporarily closed since last Wednesday due to structural concerns. It was cleared for operational use after a thorough assessment by a structural engineer. Maui Now.

REALTORS® Association of Maui’s January 2021 Report Shows Strong Housing Market.
Median Sales Price increased 26 percent to $980,000 for Single Family homes but decreased 0.4 percent to $560,000 for Condominium homes. Maui Now.

Kauai

Proposal To Scrap Kauai’s Two-Test Protocol For Arriving Travelers Advances. Measure introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki would prevent Kauai from requiring the extra test. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hanapepe bridge closed until further notice. According to consultants, the closure is required pending repair to the bridge’s structural support system. Garden Island.

Destruction of Kauai state park raises concerns from state, Native Hawaiians. Sand dunes at Kauai’s Polihale State Park have been destroyed by vehicles, raising concern for safety, state officials said. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Curbside recycling topic of Zoom presentation today. The 2021 Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum presents “The Case for Curbside Recycling on Kaua‘i” via Zoom, today at 6 p.m. Garden Island.

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