Monday, May 10, 2021

Hawaii worries, but gets a grip on coronavirus, Honolulu can't find workers, Maui loosens COVID-19 rules, Big Island construction through the roof, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


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Tourists view Diamond Head from Waikiki ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii tops nation in worrying about COVID-19. Roughly 80% of Hawaii residents worry about COVID-19 daily, giving the state the No. 1 worry rank in a new nationwide report from SafeWise. The survey showed that on average only 62% of Americans worried about the pandemic each day, said Andrea Harvey, SafeWise’s outreach director. Star-Advertiser.

Daily case counts remain steady as Hawaii leads way for adult vaccinations.
Although Hawaii is leading the way in vaccinations for adults, daily case counts continue to hover in the high double digits. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the truth is there are still hundreds of thousands of people who have no immunity and can still catch the virus, but he does foresee cases dropping by the end of the month as more people get vaccinated. Hawaii News Now.

Tourists Are Returning To Hawaii, So Why Aren’t Tourism Jobs? Hawaii hosted 8% more tourists in March 2021 than in March 2020 but 35% fewer hotel and restaurant jobs. Civil Beat.

Signs of economic relief abound as vaccination rates, visitor counts steadily rise.
With mass vaccinations and a rebounding tourism market, some feel Hawaii’s economy is finally turning the corner. Hawaii News Now.


Teacher bonuses, classroom ACs may not be best use of federal coronavirus relief funds for Hawaii, officials say. Hawaii’s Department of Education has reached out to the U.S. Department of Education for feedback on the many spending provisos in HB 613, as it faces a June 7 deadline for submitting its own plan to the federal government that incorporates feedback from more than 20 stakeholders groups and the public. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii landlords bear the brunt of housing crisis. Hawaii landlords say a proposal by lawmakers to essentially create a payment plan for past-due renters shifts the burden onto private owners who are also suffering financially. KITV4.

China’s ‘game plan’ has Pacific islands in its sights
, U.S. Rep. Ed Case says. For evidence of China’s game plan for influencing the Pacific islands, look to the South China Sea and what the rising Asian power has been doing in spades, said Congressman Ed Case. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Police Shootings Review Board Has At Least A Dozen Cases. But that’s fewer than half the number of police killings or in-custody deaths in the state since the board was created in 2017. Civil Beat.

Light vehicles in state’s fleet to transition to electric by 2035. All state-owned light vehicles must be fully electric by 2035 under a bill that successfully passed through the state Legislature this year. Tribune-Herald.

Despite dangers of COVID-19 in jails and prisons, many Hawaii inmates not getting vaccine. Jails and prisons have been among the most dangerous places to be during the coronavirus pandemic, with the virus sweeping through overcrowded and poorly ventilated facilities, and in Hawaii infecting hundreds of prisoners and killing at least nine. Star-Advertiser.

Study by Hawaii researchers suggests expansion of taro farming could help save endangered Hawaiian stilts. A  new study by a team of Hawaii researchers offers hope for the future of the long-legged, black-and-white waterbirds while suggesting greater food security in the islands with the expansion of traditional taro farming. Star-Advertiser.

May 9, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 84 Cases (52 O‘ahu, 16 Maui, 8 Hawai‘i Island, 0 Kaua‘i, 8 Out-of-State); One Death on Maui. Maui Now.


City & County of Honolulu facing potential job losses across departments. The city could be looking at a 24% loss in its current workforce by mid-2022 as more and more employees become eligible for retirement and vacancies go unfilled. Star-Advertiser.

Search for new HPD chief will be expanded to more states than in previous years. Commissioners said they wanted the job posting to appear on more social media sites and in more advertisements nationwide than in 2017 when Susan Ballard was chosen as HPD chief. Hawaii News Now.

The Miske Case: Another Co-Defendant Turns Against Alleged Honolulu Crime Boss. The building blocks of the government’s criminal case against Honolulu businessman Michael J. Miske Jr. continued to emerge into public view last week when a co-defendant appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson by video link and admitted to being part of the racketeering enterprise Miske is alleged to have controlled and directed. Civil Beat.

700 Gallons Of Fuel Recovered After Leak At Navy's Red Hill Storage Facility. About 700 gallons of fuel were recovered Friday after 1,000 gallons leaked from a fuel line at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, according to the Hawaii Department of Health and the Navy Region Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio. Civil Beat.

Homeowners want protection from flooding. Flood victims in Haleiwa say dredging at Paukauila and Kiikii streams is necessary to remove sediment buildup and improve water flow, but their pleas to government for assistance have gone unheard for some 25 years. Star-Advertiser.

City to close deteriorating pathway near Honolulu Zoo for construction. The city will be closing the pathway along the mauka side of the Honolulu Zoo beginning next week as crews work to replace a deteriorating asphalt sidewalk. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Construction through the roof: Hawaii Island leading the state in new homes. The Big Island is booming and home builders throughout the island are struggling to keep up with the demand. West Hawaii Today.

Low-income housing voucher program closes. After closing in 2019, the program reopened for Hawaii County applicants on March 15, and closed again as scheduled on April 30, having received 2,587 pre-applications. Of those applications, 647 were randomly selected by electronic lottery to be placed on the program’s new waitlist. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In 2 Years. Hawaii island could be the first area in the state to exceed goals set by the Legislature and regulators for renewable energy. Civil Beat.


Less Restrictive COVID-19 Rules Take Effect for Maui. Maui County Deputy Managing Director Josiah Nishita said Gov. David Ige approved the request by Mayor Michael Victorinio’s to revise the county’s emergency rules. These new rules went into effect 12:01 am on Sunday, May 9. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to raise affordable housing requirements dies. A much-debated bill to require fast-track housing projects to offer more affordable housing died on Friday as the Maui County Council failed to garner enough votes to override Mayor Michael Victorino’s veto. Maui News.


Sweetener found in streams linked to leaking cesspools. Traces of the artificial sweetener sucralose have been found in 20 streams and four rivers on Kaua‘i, and some scientists say it could mean cesspools and septic systems on the island are leaking into those streams and rivers. Garden Island.

OHA trustees hear concerns.
Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees toured Kaua‘i last week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Garden Island.

‘Aliomanu Road erosion continues. Erosion along ‘Aliomanu Road has been a longstanding issue as the street that runs along the bay loses more and more of its beach. Garden Island.


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