Friday, April 30, 2021

Governor not lifting mask mandate yet, state Legislature adjourns with federal funds propping up budget, Hawaii first state to declare climate emergency, Zuckerberg buys more of Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Gov. David Ige (from video)

Governor Says No Changes To Hawaii’s Mask Mandate Anytime Soon
. Gov. David Ige said it would create an “enforcement nightmare” to allow fully vaccinated people to forgo masks in accordance with new CDC guidance. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii legislators adjourn 2021 session, citing progress.
State legislators Thursday wrapped up an economically challenging session that they say changed the way government operates by restructuring the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s funding, diverting $100 million from special funds into the general fund and paving the way for tourists to pay more fees rather than raising taxes on residents. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Lawmakers Credit Federal Relief Funds For Saving Session. But Gov. David Ige questions the need to reduce funding for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and moving around some state agencies. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislators Dole Out COVID-19 Relief Funds To Improve Public Schools. The infusion of roughly $557 million in federal relief funds helped the state avert furloughs and try to offset the impacts of the pandemic on students’ academic progress. Civil Beat.

Ritte, DeCoite Seek To Succeed English In State Senate. The two faced off in a close primary election for DeCoite’s House seat in 2020. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Hawaii Tourism Authority continues to battle for survival as tourism challenges continue. Visitor arrivals to Hawaii in March increased for the first time in a year, but the state’s tourism rebound still has far to go. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. KITV4.

Live entertainment organizers demand state develop clear plan to bring back concerts,
other large events. Live event organizers are demanding the state develop a clear plan to bring back concerts and other large gatherings. The people who put on big shows in Hawaii say we’re at risk of losing access to host big names like Bruno Mars, Janet Jackson and Cardi B for a long time if we don’t take action now. Hawaii News Now.

Under SCR44, Hawai‘i Becomes First State to Declare “Climate Emergency”. There are 1,933 jurisdictions worldwide that have declared a climate emergency. Previously Hawaiʻi and Maui County Councils declared a climate emergency in 2019. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Efforts increase in Hawaii to get more COVID-19 shots in arms. The community responded well Thursday to the state Department of Health’s resumption of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a nationwide pause by federal agencies. Star-Advertiser.

DOH to go door-to-door to expand Hawaii's vaccination efforts. Workers will go door-to-door with vaccines  to reach those who are in under-served communities and those whose first language might not be English. KITV4.

April 29, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 122 Cases (79 O‘ahu, 26 Maui, 4 Hawai‘i Island, 6 Kaua‘i, 7 Out-of-State); 1 Death on Kaua‘i. Maui Now.


Prosecutor Steven S. Alm focuses on restoring public trust. Restoring the public’s trust in the office, investigating police shootings and clearing the cases of a former employee convicted of federal crimes are just a few of the many priorities being addressed during the first 100 days of city Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm’s first term. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Commission has concerns over farmland. A state and city effort to preserve privately owned important agricultural land on Oahu appears in jeopardy of derailment after 16 years of work. Star-Advertiser.

City to again start accepting applications for rental and utility relief.
The City and County of Honolulu is reopening applications for its Rental and Utility Relief Program on Monday at 2 p.m. It comes after the city exceeded the maximum amount of applications it was willing to accept in the first round just four hours after the portal opened. Star-Advertiser.

Hauula senior-living residents get last-minute reprieve. On April 12 the state Department of Health Office of Health Care Assurance sent a notice of license revocation letter to Dignity Senior Living because Adult Protective Services issued a finding of neglect against the facility. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Attempted murder of police officer trial winding down. Closing arguments are scheduled for today in the trial of a Kailua-Kona man accused of attempted murder of a police officer fronting a Kailua Village restaurant in 2019. West Hawaii Today.

Three Big Island virus clusters investigated. One cluster in an educational setting resulted in 37 cases. Another cluster related to a social gathering resulted in 12 cases, and a cluster related to a place of worship resulted in eight cases. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo veterans home ends visitation after employee receives false positive. Visitation has been canceled at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home on Hawaii Island after an employee received a false positive COVID result. Hawaii News Now.


Maui County sets start date for post-arrival COVID tests for trans-Pacific travelers. Maui County will start post-arrival COVID tests for trans-Pacific passengers on May 4, Mayor Mike Victorino said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

As mask rules differ, Maui businesses call for clarity. In light of new federal guidelines that relax mask guidance for vaccinated people, Maui small business leaders with outdoor spaces said consistency is what they want most. Maui News.

Maui Post-Arrival Testing and Inter-County Travel FAQs. The County of Maui released the following guidelines and advise travelers to read these FAQs before making plans to travel to islands within Maui County. Maui Now.

Maui COVID-19 Cluster Report Shows Cases in Food, Travel and Social Gathering Sectors.
This includes: nine in the travel/lodging/tourism sector, two at food suppliers, and two from social gatherings. Maui Now.


Zuckerberg/Chan purchase more Pila‘a land. Nearly 600 acres of land on Kaua‘i’s North Shore has been added to Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s portfolio. Garden Island.

Kauai to remain in Tier 4 for now as island deals with upward COVID case trend. Kauai County officials are growing increasingly worried over signs of coronavirus spread within the island’s community. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

13 New COVID-19 Cases on Kaua‘i, First Uptick in Months. The 13 new cases are all among island residents--five children and eight adults. Three of them are linked to inter-island travel and the remaining 10 are being considered community-acquired, the department said. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

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