Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Hawaii travel restrictions still up in the air, Delta variant spreads, special session mulled to consider vetoes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki sunset with airplane © 2021 All Hawaii News

Ige: Hawaii Unlikely To Ease Travel Restrictions Ahead Of July 4 As Vaccinations Slow. Lt. Gov. Josh Green had publicly urged the governor to end the pre-travel testing requirement on July 1. Civil Beat.

$144 million in new federal funding from the American Rescue Plan is coming to the state for various airports. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) said the new funding, signed into law in March, will help support airports that have experienced severe economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Delta variant of coronavirus spreading in Hawaii. The delta variant of the coronavirus, which has quickly become the dominant strain in other countries and can cause more severe illness, is now spreading in Hawaii, prompting state heath officials Tuesday to once again urge Hawaii residents to get vaccinated not just to protect themselves, but the broader community, including young children who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Special legislative session still up in air over veto list. It is still not clear whether there will be a special session for the state Legislature to address the 28 measures Gov. David Ige intends to veto, the most he has ever considered since taking office in 2014. Star-Advertiser.

Russia details exercise near Hawaii to destroy a carrier strike group. The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a recap of its naval and air exercise off Hawaii that it practiced “destroying the aircraft carrier strike group of the mock enemy” and delivering a simulated strike with cruise missiles against “critically important” military infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

Fishing council votes to ban wire leaders. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council is recommending the prohibition of wire leaders for Hawaii’s deep-set longline fishery to protect the oceanic whitetip shark, and now that the U.S. has made the move to protect the species, advocates hope that it will persuade international agencies to do the same. Star-Advertiser.

Many UH Students Struggled With Hunger And Homelessness Last Year. The university is developing a master plan to help address economic challenges undergraduates are facing. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

June 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 20 Cases. The confirmed cases included: four on Hawai‘i Island (+1 probable); 10 on O‘ahu (-1 probable); one on Kaua‘i; and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed while out of state (+1 probable).  Maui Now.


State senator Kurt Fevella seeks federal and state investigations into rail project. State Senate Minority Leader Kurt Fevella has asked the FBI, Federal Transit Administration and state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on a variety of alleged violations and “possible criminal acts” committed by HART board Chairman Toby Martyn based on media reports. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Ethics Commission fines former principal for improper cash advances, including to his wife. The state Ethics Commission has fined the former principal of the Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao Public Charter School $4,000 for improper cash payments, including to his wife. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown medical outreach to expand on Oahu with new van. A team of health care professionals and volunteers that treats the medical needs of Chinatown’s homeless twice a week has now been augmented with a colorfully painted new Nissan van that will deploy next month to Oahu’s North Shore, Leeward Coast and Central Oahu to expand medical aid to even more of the island’s homeless and medically needy. Star-Advertiser.

Halawa Correctional Facility has 9 new cases of COVID-19, all recently transferred inmates from Hilo jail. The Halawa Correctional Facility had nine positive COVID-19 test results out of 20 inmates tested, the Department of Public Safety said in a news release this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Residents say it’s impossible to book a spot with City’s new online reservation system for Hanauma Bay. There is growing frustration over the City’s new online reservation system for Hanauma Bay.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

DOH: 49% of Big Island population vaccinated for COVID-19. More than 216,150 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered on the Big Island, with nearly 6,000 of those shots going into arms since June 16. West Hawaii Today.

Delta virus variant found on the Big Island. A strain of COVID-19 first detected in India and identified in Hawaii earlier this month has been found on the Big Island, the state Department of Health said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Keauhou Aquifer plan heads to County Council. Despite population growth, West Hawaii has actually been using less water than was projected in a 2017 plan designed to protect the Keauhou Aquifer. West Hawaii Today.

Road outrage: Councilwomen decries delayed construction ‘nightmare’ on Kalanianaole. Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy wrote a letter to the news media on behalf of Keaukaha residents urging that the county administration finally complete a “wearisome” and “nightmare” construction on Kalanianaole Avenue that has been ongoing for more than three years. Tribune-Herald.

‘Inhumane’ conditions at HCCC trigger lawsuit as outbreak continues. A former pretrial detainee at Hawaii Community Correctional Center disputes Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s statement that an outbreak of COVID-19 at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo is because of the reluctance of inmates to be vaccinated. Tribune-Herald.


State Supreme Court upholds ruling invalidating Kahoma Village permit.
The Hawaii State Supreme Court has upheld a decision by a lower court invalidating a permit for Kahoma Village, a workforce housing project already built in Lahaina. Maui News. KITV4.

Maui Social Host Ordinance Aims to Reduce Underage Drinking, Set to Take Effect Sept. 1. The ordinance, which was passed through the Maui County Council in February, holds adults liable for illegal underage drinking on their property. Maui Now.

Amid a tourism boom, Maui considers feasibility of ‘visitor impact fee’. Keanae, an old Hawaiian village in east Maui off the Road to Hana, was once considered a hidden gem. But now it is a must-see stop for countless visitors. Hawaii News Now.

Residents: No parking signs, lack of enforcement amplify Hana Hwy. problems. Sightseers often park illegally along Hana Highway in East Maui, which residents say is causing hazards and headaches for many drivers. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Airports to Receive $31.8 Million to Support Pandemic Recovery. Maui Now.

Maui County’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 10.4% for May 2021, State’s at 7.5%. Maui County’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for May 2021 fell to 10.4%, a decrease of 0.8% from last month, according to data just released today by the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations. Maui Now.


Despite drop, Kaua‘i’s jobless rate still highest in the state. As the state Department of Labor &Industrial Relations Tuesday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 8.1% compared to 8.5% in April, Kaua‘i’s unemployment rate has continued to drop also, and was down to 11.3% in May of 2021. Garden Island.

Lawsuit Challenges Kauai’s Termination Of Youth Drug Treatment Contract. Hope Treatment Services says Kauai County prevented it from meeting a deadline to open the inpatient drug treatment center. Civil Beat.

FAA: $14M to Lihu‘e Airport. A cut of federal funding will deliver $14.5 million to the Lihu‘e Airport. Garden Island.


Lanai’s Newspaper Is Now Owned By The Company That Owns Lanai.
The sale of Lanai Today to billionaire Larry Ellison is raising concerns about journalistic integrity. But it may have saved Lanai from becoming a news desert. Civil Beat.

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