Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Single-dose vaccine raises Hawaii's hopes, COVID-19 cluster at UH-Manoa, Love's Bakery closing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 

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Diamond Head lookout in pre-COVID days ©2021 All Hawaii News

Diamond Head State Monument to increase access next week. The Diamond Head State Monument will be open six days a week instead of four, starting next week, according to parks officials. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

New Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Raises Hopes For Overall Effort. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine could put Hawaii on the path to vaccinating most residents by early summer if delivery is ramped up. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Next up for vaccinations in Hawaii is 70-and-older group. Hawaii health officials are preparing to open up COVID-19 vaccinations to those 70 and older around March 15 and start immunizing the 65-plus age group a couple of weeks later. Star-Advertiser.

School's back. After a year of pandemic distancing and nearly 180 lost in-person school days, tens of thousands of public school students could return to daily in-person classes soon. The state Department of Education’s target date is March 22 — just after spring break. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s economic damage assessment improves. Hawaii’s battered economy last year may not have been as bad as previously estimated, and recovery this year should be a bit stronger, a new state report says. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

When Love’s Bakery shuts down at month’s end, 231 employees will be laid off.
Love’s Bakery, a staple of Hawaii’s food industry for nearly 170 years, announced Monday that it will end operations at the end of this month and lay off all 231 employees. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

The fight over the future of Hawaii's aerospace industry. Hawaii has a lot going for it, when it comes to aerospace development, including its location in the middle of the pacific. But research on rockets and innovation of high tech equipment can be costly and some state leaders feel that money should go elsewhere during this pandemic. KITV4.

Challenges Getting Small Farmers on State Ag Land. Small farmers on state-owned land agricultural lands, or the lack thereof, was a point of criticism by lawmakers at a recent public hearing on Hawaii's embattled Agribusiness Development Corporation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Remote Work Shows Only Modest Potential For Economic Impact So Far. Nearly one-quarter of U.S. workers did at least some part of their job remotely in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some remote workers are taking their newfound flexibility and relocating to Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Marijuana-related bills progressing in Legislature. Five bills related to marijuana remain alive in the state Legislature and will be heard in committee this week. West Hawaii Today.

March 1, 2021 COVID-19 Update: There were 29 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 17 on O‘ahu, eight on Maui, one on Hawai‘i Island, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out-of-state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Seven students at UH-Manoa test positive for COVID-19 in apparent cluster. Seven students who live at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have tested positive for the coronavirus since Thursday and been moved off campus for care and isolation, along with three close contacts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Catch-and-release policies create revolving door of crime as pending cases pile up
. Crime victims and witnesses fear suspects are growing more brazen, under a catch-and-release policy that many say has turned parts of Honolulu into lost and lawless zones. KHON2.

HPD sets quota for speed program, requiring officers to make more stops. Honolulu police officers who are participating in a speed enforcement grant program this month will have to pull over at least four drivers every hour. Hawaii News Now.

263 officers found to have claimed overtime, prompting HPD to develop program to track it. In a video statement published to YouTube, Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard commented on the latest findings from an investigation into possible overtime usage of HPD’s COVID-enforcement team. KHON2. KITV4.

Here’s What Happens When Social Workers, Not Police, Respond To Mental Health Crises. Honolulu lacks a crisis response team that can be dispatched immediately to address mental health crises and behavioral health issues. Civil Beat.

$70M in federal COVID-19 funds aimed at rail project. The city’s troubled rail project is expected to receive a badly needed infusion of $70 million in federal aid from the next round of COVID-19 federal stimulus that’s expected to be approved this weekend. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Downtown Honolulu eatery fined $4,000 for removal of red placard following mask violation.
The state Health Department said it has fined Doner Shack in downtown Honolulu a total of $4,000 for removing a red “closed” placard posted at the eatery and for operating without a permit on three occasions. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Internships jump-start construction careers for Oahu students. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown off job prospects for many teenagers, but Hawaii’s construction industry is still buzzing along and seeking students for paid summer internships at job sites. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth releases ‘bare bones’ budget
: Mayor’s first budget plan reflects cutbacks, uncertainty at Legislature. Faced with uncertainty and cutbacks at the state level, Mayor Mitch Roth on Monday released the first proposed budget of his term, described by staff as a “bare bones” plan as the county grapples with the fiscal aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Wants To Give Away COVID-19 Tests, But Not For Big Island Airport Screening. The state Department of Health in January provided tests from its large stockpile for the Big Island program, credited by county officials as keeping case numbers low, but now says it’s not a suitable use. Civil Beat.

Fastest – and quickest – option preferred for Pohoiki ramp. Although the board of the Department of Land and Natural Resources discussed three options last week for restoring commercial ocean access in Puna, locals and lawmakers agree that there is only one option that makes sense. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Gusty winds topple under-construction Waikoloa Plaza building. High winds with gusts upward of 50 mph lashed portions of the Big Island over the weekend, toppling at least one under-construction building in South Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

East Hawaii Cultural Center to put up fence to combat crime. The East Hawaii Cultural Center plans to fence its property after items were stolen from the nonprofit during a Feb. 14 burglary. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Kahului project would include housing and civic center. A state agency is looking to transform the lot across from the Maui Beach Hotel into a civic center with affordable housing units, a community center, government offices and the potential new home of the Kahului Public Library. Maui News.

Maui Health Vaccine Clinic Appointments Now Available on VAMS for Phase 1A and 1B. The VAMS portal can be accessed by all current VAMS registered Phase 1A and 1B qualified residents to make their first dose vaccination appointment. Maui Now.

Kauai

Ground broken for new $21 million gym at Kaua‘i High School. Plans for the new facility started back in the Gov. Linda Lingle administration when Rep. James Tokioka identified a Capital Priority Project and secured $14 million for the facility. Garden Island. KHON2.

Proposed DOTAX Kaua‘i reorganization. The state’s Department of Taxation plans to reduce staff and reorganize the Kaua‘i District Tax Office, eliminating some on-island services by the end of the year. Garden Island.


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