Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Hawaii inter-island vaccine passport program begins today, Mauna Kea working group named, $2,200 teacher bonus outside Legislature's authority, Ige says, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tourists on Mauna Kea ©2021 All Hawaii News

State’s inter-island vaccine passport program begins as broader plan still in the works. The state’s vaccine passport program starts Tuesday for inter-island travelers. It applies only to people who got their shots in Hawaii. The passport program allows fully vaccinated individuals to skip a COVID-19 test or travel-related quarantine. Hawaii News Now. Big Island Now.

Bill to increase lodging tax could stifle visitor industry,
some say. Hawaii’s hotel tax will likely go up by nearly 30% if legislation goes through giving the four counties the option of raising the fee. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii businesses say too many loopholes keep employees from coming back to work. Some employers say there are too many loopholes and unemployment benefits are too generous. It’s a combination that makes it impossible to find enough workers. KHON2.

Governor says lawmakers had ‘no authority’ to approve $2,200 bonuses for teachers. Gov. David Ige said the bonus needs to be negotiated between the administration and the union ― not the Legislature. HGEA, the union representing principals and other school staff, called the disregard of collective bargaining unconscionable. Hawaii News Now.

Report ranks Hawaii 5th in nation in solar jobs per capita. The recently released National Solar Jobs Census 2020 found that one out of every 617 jobs in the state is a solar job, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, The Solar Foundation and Interstate Renewable Energy Council, which earned it the No. 5 spot for solar jobs per capita. Star-Advertiser.

Paul Morgan To Officially Announce His Candidacy for Hawaiʻi Governor May 16. Paul Morgan, a self-employed business consultant and former Hawaiʻi Army National Guard member, officially will announce his candidacy for Governor of the State of Hawai’i 2022 on May 16 at noon at the Hawai’i Republican Party Headquarters in Honolulu. Maui Now.

Hawaii coronavirus cases are expected to plunge, Lt. Gov. Josh Green says. Hawaii ranks third in the nation for the number of adults who have received at least shot, according to The New York Times, which, based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been tracking vaccination rates in all states. About 41% of Hawaii residents are fully vaccinated. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

May 10, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 61 Cases (36 O‘ahu, 11 Maui, 0 Hawai‘i Island, 6 Kaua‘i, 8 Out-of-State). Maui Now.


Ex-Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha to visit family before heading to prison.
A judge is allowing former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha, convicted in a corruption case, to meet with family and friends in Washington state before he begins serving a seven-year prison sentence in Oregon. Associated Press.

More Marines Are Coming To Hawaii. Hawaii is scheduled to get about 2,700 more Marines along with their spouses and children in coming years but the military lacks a plan for accommodating the restructured force. Civil Beat.

HART Rail Document Reveals 27 Alternative Plans to Complete Project. A public records request from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii uncovered a rail report that the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit tried to keep confidential. In it is an analysis of 27 alternatives to the original plan including an underground tunnel and shifting the line to Nimitz Highway. Hawaii Public Radio.

City Council resolution urges rail to stop at Middle Street. Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi introduced a resolution to urge the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board to pause rail construction at Middle Street. Star-Advertiser.

L&L co-founder Eddie Flores, critical of Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s Chinatown efforts. Eddie Flores, chairman of the ubiquitous L&L Hawaiian Barbecue chain, is willing to pay out of his own pocket to help beautify Chinatown but worries about the bigger problem of Chinatown’s homeless, which he sees getting worse. Star-Advertiser.

Niu Valley construction raises alarm over heiau. Construction of a $1.2 million duplex home in Niu Valley is stirring community concern that the work may be disturbing remnants of a documented Hawaiian heiau. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii crime-fighting community program to shut down due to lack of funding. The Honolulu City Council introduced a budget that would help Weed and Seed’s operations. Those funds will not be available until July, if approved. KHON2.

Federal COVID aid is helping to get nearly 1,000 homeless people on Oahu into housing.
New funds from the federal CARES Act are being used to get 300 homeless families out of shelters or off the streets and into places of their own. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Rep. Scott Saiki names membership of Mauna Kea Working Group. State House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday announced the membership of a panel that will meet over the next year to come up with recommendations for a new management and governance structure to oversee the telescope community on Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  

Kona Community Hospital expects to begin vaccinating youth as young as 12 on Friday. The announcement follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Monday expansion of the use of Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine for youth ages 12 to 15. West Hawaii Today.


The Tourists Are Back. In Rural Hana, The Residents Aren’t Happy. Visitors are bringing an infusion of cash but they’re underscoring concerns about overtaxed roads, beaches and infrastructure, environmental degradation and cultural exploitation.  Civil Beat.

Maui County Now Accepting Applications for Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance. The program is for low-income households that have been hit hardest financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. It pays for rent, utilities or both, for up to 12 months of total support. Maui Now.


More than 500 apply for rent help. On the opening day of acceptance of applications for the 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program, approximately 500 Kaua‘i households applied. Garden Island. KITV4.

Workers wanted: Kaua‘i business owners say it’s hard to hire good workers
. Businesses have seen an uptick in sales as tourism picked up since Kaua‘i rejoined the Safe Travels program on April 5, but they are still having a hard time hiring new employees to fill their business needs. It’s a trend that is continuing nationwide. Garden Island.

Study: pandemic led to planting. The amount of planted acreage on Kaua‘i increased over the past year, according to an updated study on land use in the state released by the state Department of Agriculture. Garden Island.

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