Monday, March 15, 2021

Crowds expected for Coronavirus vaccination plan Phase 1C, Blangiardi's first state of the city address today, beleaguered Maui police chief Faaumu to retire, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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UH scientist makes a case for why Hawaii is the rainbow capital of the world. Rainbows are a common phenomenon in Hawaii, but have you ever wondered why? In a new publication by an University of Hawaii scientist and professor, Steven Businger laid out all the reasons why Hawaii is the best place on Earth to experience the wonder of rainbows. Hawaii News Now.

State to enter Phase 1C of vaccination plan, expanding eligibility to those 65 and over. Starting Monday, the state will enter Phase 1C of its COVID vaccination plan, expanding eligibility those those 65 and over, residents who have some high-risk medical conditions and remaining essential workers. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccines could lead to lifting of travel restrictions. The state might loosen interisland travel restrictions as early as next month, with similar adjustments under consideration for trans-­Pacific travel, if vaccine distribution supports the plan. Star-Advertiser.

The Hike In State Income Taxes On Top Earners Is As Good As Dead. The federal COVID-19 bailout and strong objections from constituents are helping to sink the bill. Civil Beat.

Funding Fight Slows Action On Police, Prison Reform.
The fate of two state boards tasked with standardizing police practices and reforming the jail system depends on agreement between the Legislature and Gov. David Ige. Civil Beat.

State BOE to begin search for new superintendent. The state’s Board of Education is scheduled to hold a special meeting on Thursday, marking the start of a search for the Hawaii’s new superintendent. KHON2.

Hawaii women earn 85 cents to a man’s dollar. Women in Hawaii earned 85.1% of what a man made in 2019; however, they fared better than the national average. Star-Advertiser.

‘Fake Farms’ Are Squeezing Out Serious Agriculture Potential In Hawaii. Some developers have turned acreage earmarked for farming into high-end luxury homes with high prices and restrictions on what the land can be used for. Civil Beat.

Survey: Nearly Half of Hawaii Businesses Did Not Pay Full Rent Last Year. Despite federal aid and grant programs, the number of local businesses that have missed rent continues to climb, according to the Third Hawaii Commercial Rent Survey from Island Business Management. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tens of thousands of Hawaii residents live in areas vulnerable to dam failure. With climate change threatening to bring more extreme rainfall events, such evacuations could become more common in the coming years, especially con­sidering the state’s aging network of dams, which are in need of hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades. Star-Advertiser.

Public-private partnerships have a troubled history in Hawaii. Many state leaders view so-called P3 arrangements as attractive for having the private sector bear the risk and expense of major real estate projects with public purposes in return for rights to develop public land for an expected profit. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation Proposed to Protect Hawaiʻi's Cultural Icons From Being Exploited After Passing. What the bill does is recognize this thing called post-mortem rights to publicity and there’s technological language that has to be used to make it clear that it is the legislature’s intent that the bill apply to people who died prior to the Act. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would repeal state tobacco prevention fund. A measure that would repeal the Hawaii tobacco prevention and control trust fund has passed through the state House and is now before the state Senate for consideration. Tribune-Herald.

Three Hawaii Residents Contract COVID-19 Despite Getting Vaccinations. Health officials stressed that a few “breakthrough” cases are expected because the vaccines, though potent, are not 100% effective. Civil Beat. KITV4.

March 14, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: The state Department of Health reports that there were 51 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Sunday, including 28 on O‘ahu, 18 on Maui, four on Hawai‘i Island, and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed out of state. Maui Now.


Here’s how to watch Mayor Blangiardi’s first State of the City address. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi will present his first State of the City address on Monday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

HART to seek another bailout for financially troubled rail system. Despite the financial toll of the pandemic on Hawaii taxpayers and the state budget, the rail authority said it will likely seek another bail out from the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now.

Bars busy in first reopening since 2020. Hundreds of people hit the bars this weekend for the first time since 2020. KHON2.

Illegal campsites creating problems at Diamond Head Beach Park. City Council Chairman Tommy Waters has sponsored a resolution shortening the parks’ opening hours — currently 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The measure will be considered for adoption by the full Council on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

To Get Leftover Vaccines In Hawaii, It Helps To Be Related To A Hospital Employee. In the absence of official guidance on how to distribute extra COVID-19 vaccines, two Hawaii hospitals are prioritizing employees’ families. Civil Beat.

‘It’s definitely a relief’: Around 4,000 inoculated at mass vaccination event. With help from more than 200 volunteers, Hilo Medical Center hosted its second mass vaccination clinic — a closed POD, or point of dispensing — which serviced 4,000 people from Hawaii County who qualified for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Tribune-Herald.

Approval isn’t automatic when department misses deadline: Board of Appeals rejects argument in short term vacation rental case. County code that allows automatic approval of certain permits if the Planning Department misses its deadline garnered a lot of opposition at the County Council earlier this month. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island auto sales suppressed by pandemic. Sales of new automobiles were down nearly 18% on the Big Island in 2020 compared to the year prior. Tribune-Herald.

Road to the Sea talk story sessions set for Saturday. Ocean View residents are being asked to weigh in on the future of the Road to the Sea at a series of community meetings later this week. Tribune-Herald.


Maui police chief set to retire in May.
Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu said he will retire May 1, ending a police career of more than 35 years in a decision he said was unrelated to a minor motor vehicle collision in November. Maui News.

Tourism plan focuses on quality, not quantity. A recently released plan says that it’s not possible to control the number of visitors, focusing instead on how to manage tourism before and after the visitors arrive.  Maui News.

Washed-out roads trap residents. Residents living off Awalau Road have been stuck for four days on the other side of a streambed that washed out a portion of the street during flash flooding in Haiku on Monday. Maui News.


Kauai tourism set to reopen despite vast flooding. Before last week’s flooding, Kauai was preparing to reopen to tourism on April 5 — a step that would aid the continued recovery of the state’s economy. Star-Advertiser.

Medical flights land on North Shore. Hawai‘i Life Flight and American Medical Response have placed into service a medical helicopter, now stationed at Lihu‘e Airport. Garden Island.

North Shore residents band together for ferry system. As of Saturday, the state Department of Transportation reported new findings of a large mass of unstable material on Kuhio Highway, and a newly-discovered fissure. Garden Island.

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