Wednesday, April 7, 2021

University of Hawaii football team quarantined, contact tracing chief resigns, state 50th in work from home rankings, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy UH Manoa
University of Hawaii football, courtesy photo

Entire UH Football Team Heads to Quarantine Following Eight Positive Tests. The football team directed 81 players to quarantine in their homes "out of an abundance of caution after UH medical officials consulted with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health," the school said in a statement. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

CDC finds spread among youth sports, Hawaii pediatrician says play on. While the Rainbow Warriors are regularly tested for COVID-19, youth sports in Hawaii are generally not. This as the Centers for Disease Control says that they’re finding spread of the virus from youth sports. KHON2.

Official In Charge Of Hawaii’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Resigns. Emily Roberson, an epidemiologist hired last year to revamp Hawaii’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, has resigned, she told Civil Beat Tuesday. Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said that Roberson left her position April 1.  Civil Beat.

Report: Hawaiʻi Ranks 50th in Work from Home Rankings. With 71 percent of people — whose jobs can be done remotely — working from home all or most of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on the Best States for Working from Home. Hawai’i was ranked 50th, with only Alaska ranking lower. Maui Now.

Here’s How Hawaii’s New State Budget Is Shaping Up. With just a few weeks left in session, both the House and Senate plan to bail out Hawaii employers and pass some tax increases. Civil Beat.

Hawaii closer to declaring a ‘climate emergency’. A series of symbolic — but widely supported — climate resolutions, including one declaring a climate emergency, continued to move through the Legislature on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Dark Clouds Are Looming Over Hawaii Even As The Economy Appears To Be Improving. Economic experts say many people are worse off than they were before the pandemic and a lower unemployment rate is simply masking deeper problems. Civil Beat.

Transition to 10-Digit Dialing (Area Code + Number) to Begin on April 24. Beginning April 24, 2021, callers in Hawai‘i will be encouraged to dial the area code (808) plus the telephone number when making local calls, six months before this will be required for local calls to complete. Maui Now.

Hawaii Expects To Meet Biden’s New Goal Of Offering Vaccines To All Adults By April 19. Hawaii health officials say they can meet a new deadline set by President Biden Tuesday of offering COVID-19 shots to all adults by April 19, supplanting an earlier goal of May 1. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

April 6, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 61 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 30 on O‘ahu, 21 on Maui, three on Hawai‘i Island, and seven in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Mayor Rick Blangiardi makes request to change Oahu’s tier criteria. Blangiardi on Tuesday said he sent a request to Gov. David Ige asking that the criteria for Tier 3 be increased to a seven-day average case count of 50 to 100, which is what it currently is for Tier 2. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Business owners say they are disappointed in the lack of clarity surrounding COVID guidelines. Business owners are seeking clarity on tier system as Oahu’s averaging 57 daily COVID cases clearly meeting the criteria to move back to Tier 2 Thursday at 12:01 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Public reviews proposed rules for short-term rentals. A public hearing Tuesday on the city’s plan to give permits to about 1,700 Oahu homeowners to operate bed-and-breakfast units raised the question of whether the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting can be trusted to distribute the permits fairly. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Home prices on Oahu surge closer to $1 million median. Oahu’s housing market had another breakout month in March with a record $950,000 single-family home median sale price and an eye-popping number of condominium sales. Star-Advertiser.

City starts fixing Kakaako streets owned by state. Two oversize city pothole patching crews descended on perhaps the worst streets in Kakaako on Tuesday to smooth over a problem that has vexed area residents and business owners for several years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

State crews clear out more than 30 homeless camps at Diamond Head. More than 30 homeless camps on both sides of Diamond Head are being cleared out this week by state Department of Land and Natural Resources crews. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State again proposes removing seawall that forms Doris Duke swimming hole. A state Department of Land and Natural Resources proposal to remove the 83-year-old Diamond Head Breakwater, which parallels the seawall beneath Doris Duke’s Shangri La to form a popular ocean swimming hole, will be discussed Thursday at a public hearing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A reprieve for Van Pernis:
Council Planning Committee postpones action on ouster of commissioner. Mark Van Pernis was called rude, crusty, insulting, confrontational and condescending, among other adjectives, during a grueling three-hour Tuesday evening session of a County Council panel that ended with a recommendation to not immediately remove him from the powerful Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Plan calls for 6 low-income housing projects to begin this year. The county will spend nearly $6 million in federal funds on six low-income housing projects this year, according to an action plan presented to a County Council committee. Tribune-Herald.

USA Women’s Water Polo Team donates lane course, valued at $5,500, to county. A gift from the USA Women’s Water Polo Team could result in the County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation implementing a youth water polo program on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Resolution for lava zone insurance study gets lukewarm support. Hawaii County Council members were lukewarm Tuesday about a proposal to investigate ways to manage home insurance rates in Lava Zones 1 and 2. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery slated for expansion. The West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery is slated to receive funds for expansion in the Hawaii State Legislature’s Capital Improvement Project proposed budget. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County population could decline with job losses.
With Maui suffering some of the worst pandemic-induced job losses in the state, one of Hawaii’s top economists is predicting the Valley Isle will also be hardest hit in 2020 population decline as people move away for better work opportunities. Maui News.

Maui County Economic Development Office Hosts Virtual Grant Training Workshop April 21. Businesses and nonprofit organizations that administer viable projects that positively impact the economy of Maui County are urged to participate in a virtual grant training workshop Wednesday, April 21, at 1 pm. Maui Now.

Kauai

Cowden fined $500 for ethics violations.
A 2019 county Board of Ethics complaint alleged that Councilwoman Felicia Cowden had used her role and position as a councilmember to secure the benefit of an expense-paid trip to attend a conference in Vologda, Russia, in 2019, and for having county staff use council letterhead to urge others to attend the conference, “which gave the impression attendance at the conference was being promoted by the Kaua‘i County Council,” according to the complaint. Garden Island.

Kauai coronavirus rental, utility assistance program applications open in May. The Kaua’i Government Employees Federal Credit Union (KGEFCU) will be administering the program. KHON2.

Koke‘e Nature Trail trampled Easter weekend. Easter celebrations in Koke‘e State Park over the weekend left native plants destroyed along a trail that runs behind the Koke‘e Museum. Garden Island.

Timbers embraces community throughout pandemic. Timbers Kaua‘i at Hokuala is one of the many resort properties on Kaua‘i now accepting trans-Pacific visitors through the Hawai‘i Safe Travels program. Garden Island.

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