Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Only 11% of Hawaii residents have gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, in-person schools, youth sports restarting, humpback whales giving birth and training calves, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback whale with calf in Hawaii PC:NOAA

NOAA warns boaters about humpbacks in Hawaii waters. Wildlife officials are warning boaters to watch out for an abundance of mother and calf humpback whale pairs in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

More public school students in Hawaii head back to campus. Slightly more than half of all public school teachers in Hawaii have received a coronavirus vaccination so far, according to a survey last week by the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Star-Advertiser.

DOH releases guidelines to resume youth sports. The guidance lists wearing masks as a requirement and say if a sport cannot be played while wearing them, the sport should not be played until mask mandates are lifted in respective counties. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says large gatherings may be possible by summertime. Hawaii is on track to resume graduations, weddings and other major milestones by the summer with schools being able to reopen in May. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

State working on system to allow vaccinated travelers to skip quarantine. Seeking to jump-start Hawaii’s travel industry and ease some restrictions, the state is reportedly nearing a system for vaccinated individuals to travel to and within Hawaii, quarantine-free. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. hopes to start vaccinating folks in phase 1C in about two weeks. The Health Department tells us as of last week, about 47% of those who are 75 and older have been given at least one shot. Looking at the bigger picture, about 11% of the total population has gotten at least one dose. KHON2.

Life after the Vaccine -- When Will Things Return to Normal? "2021 will still be a COVID year," said Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group Hawaii. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Green vows to remain doctor despite House bill banning second jobs. Currently Lt. Gov. Josh Green works two 48-hour shifts a month as an emergency room doctor on the Big Island. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers eye stiffer penalties for illegal fireworks. Hawaii lawmakers are considering ramping up fines for illegal fireworks and making it easier for law enforcement to adjudicate violations in an attempt to clamp down on the illegal activity. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would require report on impacts when gender identity care is denied. A bill requiring an assessment by the state auditor of the social and financial impacts that occur when health insurance companies deny coverage for certain types of health care to individuals based on gender identity is advancing in the state House. Tribune-Herald.

Judge rules Bristol-Myers, Sanofi must pay Hawaii $834M over Plavix. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi were ordered to pay the state of Hawaii more than $834 million for illegally marketing their blockbuster blood-thinning drug Plavix in a manner that put some users’ lives at risk, especially those of Asian or Pacific-Island decent. Bloomberg News. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

US Spike In Deaths Surpassed Official COVID-19 Counts, But Not In Hawaii. Hawaii’s COVID deaths appear to have been offset by reductions in tourist deaths, traffic and flu fatalities and even suicides. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Receives $87M To Open Coronavirus Vaccination Sites. The grants will help expedite a vaccination process that has been slower than anticipated in states across the country, including Hawaii. Associated Press.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 15: 35 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii health officials reported 35 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Monday, including 25 on Oahu, seven on Maui, one on Molokai and two residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Land Board approves Ala Moana beach nourishment plan. The City of Honolulu’s application to add sand to the beach at Ala Moana Regional Park was approved Friday by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources after a public hearing. Star-Advertiser.

Court Orders Sale Of Miske-Owned Tuna Longliner. The alleged crime boss had owned the fishing vessel for years but transferred it to a company controlled by the widow of his dead son as federal investigators closed in. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Soldiers spruce up Makaeo. Active duty soldiers with the Oahu-based U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division preparing for training at Pohakuloa Training Area descended upon the path at Old Kona Airport Park on Friday and Saturday to give back to the Big Island community by providing some much-needed muscle and care to the site’s main anchialine pond. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaiian Electric in Maui County Reached 50% Renewable Energy for 2020.
Hawaiian Electric announced Maui County for the first time hit the 50 percent mark in its renewable portfolio standard, at 50.8 percent, with a mix of solar, wind and biofuels. Maui Now.

Wai‘anapanapa State Park access requires a pass starting March 1. Reservations launching online today are now required for visitor and commercial operator access starting March 1. Maui News.

New hotel has April opening set in Wailea. The AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea was scheduled to open this month, but was delayed to allow more time to adjust to COVID-19 protocols, said General Manager Kaleo Kenui. Maui News.


Court’s second attempt at jury trial starts today.
The Kaua’i County Fifth Circuit Court’s first jury trial in almost a year is scheduled to commence today. Garden Island.

Comments wanted for $50K economic diversification grants. A vertical high-density environment controlled farming facility, mental health training and a land-based coral nursery are all projects currently up for public discourse in the hopes of landing $50,000 in funding. Garden Island.

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