Friday, July 30, 2021

Hawaii's 20k federal civilian workers face Biden's vaccination mandate, COVID delays barge shipment, creates food shortages on Kauai, Jill Biden cuts foot on Oahu beach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News
Federal building in Honolulu ©2021 All Hawaii News

President’s tough new vaccination rules impact 20K federal civilian workers in Hawaii. Some 20,000 federal civilian workers in Hawaii along with on-site contractors are impacted by President Biden’s sweeping new vaccine order. Under the new rules, they’ll be required to verify they’re vaccinated or face regular testing. Unvaccinated workers will also face travel restrictions and be required to mask up. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii hits 60% vaccination milestone, but is still behind schedule. Honolulu has about 62% of its population fully vaccinated, followed by Kauai County at 60%, Hawaii County at 56% and Maui County at 54%. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Senate Formally Rejects Gov. David Ige's Court of Appeals Nominee. The state Senate formally rejected Gov. David Ige's appointment of Daniel Gluck to the Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals after Gluck expressed his desire to withdraw from the process. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press.

Jill Biden treated for puncture on foot after Hawaii visit. First lady Jill Biden underwent a medical procedure Thursday to flush out debris from a puncture wound on her left foot, her spokesperson said. Associated Press.

HTA: Visitor Arrivals, Spending Up in June, But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic Levels. Nearly 800,000 visitors from the continental U.S. arrived in the islands last month, according to the latest report from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority highlighting monthly visitor arrivals and spending. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH COVID-19 forecast model predicts Delta variant could push Oahu to 600 daily infections. The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling Workgroup has come up with forecasts for several COVID-19 scenarios since the pandemic began last year, but the most alarming forecast is where the state could be heading in the next few months. KHON2.

July 29, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 234 Cases, 2 Deaths. The state Department of Health reports that there were 234** additional COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i on Thursday. **An interruption in electronic lab reporting earlier this week resulted in incomplete case counts reported yesterday and today. The confirmed cases included: 137 on O‘ahu (+1 probable); 54 on Hawai‘i Island; 18 on Maui (+13 probable); nine on Kaua‘i; and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed while out of state (+1 probable). Maui Now.


Honolulu City Council weighs how to spend federal COVID funds. The Honolulu City Council is deciding how to spend the first $193 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that the city received in June to combat the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Handi-Van Driver Dies Of COVID-19. A Honolulu paratransit driver is one of the latest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services. The city did not release the person’s name or age, nor their date of death. Civil Beat.

Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center to require all employees to get vaccinated. Of the nearly 700 staff members at the center, 80 percent are already fully vaccinated. KITV4.

City cracks down on peer-to-peer car rentals clogging residential neighborhoods. With the shortage in rental cars, residents have been turning to renting out their cars using peer-to-peer sharing on apps like Turo. But some neighborhoods are seeing a proliferation of vehicles taking up parking on side streets — and the city is cracking down. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority approves plan to reduce Oahu tourists.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Thursday approved a tourism management plan for Oahu that says the agency will work to “decrease the total number of visitors on the island.” That’s the top anchor action in the Oahu Destination Management Action Plan, which HTA developed in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu and the community over the past five months. Star-Advertiser.

Former managing director Roy Amemiya says he had nothing to do with former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha $250,000 settlement.
Honolulu’s former managing director says he had nothing to do with the $250,000 settlement with former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and is still seeking information about the U.S. Department of Justice’s allegations that prompted investigators to subpoena him to testify before a federal grand jury, then make him a formal target of their investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Vice Principal Fired For Affair On Campus Accuses Her Union Of Failing To Defend Her. The vice principal, while accepting responsibility, says that dismissal for the affair with a principal was too harsh. Civil Beat.

How A ‘Perfect Storm’ Led To A Spike In COVID Cases On The Westside. Waianae and Ewa have had the highest number of new COVID-19 cases on Oahu in the past two weeks. Civil Beat.

Blaisdell Center Receives $3M Federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The Neal S. Blaisdell Center has received just over $3 million from the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program to recoup lost revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

6 residents test positive for COVID at Hilo nursing facility.
A long-term care home facility on the Big Island reported Wednesday that six of its residents tested positive for COVID. The Life Care Center of Hilo had conducted facility-wide testing after one of their employees became infected with the virus on July 21. Hawaii News Now.

Homesteaders eye dispute between Fevella, Aila: Senate minority leader seeks probe of DHHL. Keaukaha Community President Patrick Kahawaiolaa said it’s difficult for homesteaders to get loans from commercial lenders because the land is on 99-year leases for $1 a year and title belongs to the DHHL. Tribune-Herald.

24th annual Sayre awards fundraiser canceled due to COVID. The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation announced the 24th annual Awards and Fund-Raising Dinner honoring the Hawaii Fire Department Meritorious Service Award recipients will not be held on Sept. 4 this year at the Fairmont Orchid due to the continued spread of the coronavirus. West Hawaii Today.


Environmental study for water leases complete. A&B, EMI are seeking 30-year lease to divert water from East Maui. Alexander & Baldwin and its subsidiary East Maui Irrigation Co. have wrapped up a long-awaited environmental study that the companies need in order to seek a long-term lease to divert water from East Maui streams. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric Collecting Feedback on Shared Solar Program for Moloka‘i.
Hawaiian Electric is hosting a virtual stakeholder meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to collect feedback from Moloka‘i residents and business owners, renewable energy developers, and interested parties regarding Moloka‘i shared solar projects, also known as the Community-Based Renewable Energy program. Maui Now.

$1 Million in New Grants & Matching Funds for Lānaʻi Watershed Conservation Program.
The Kuahiwi a Kai: Lānaʻi Watershed Conservation Program has received four new grants worth $471,000 and matching contributions of $547,000, for a total conservation impact of more than $1 million. Maui Now.

Fewer Visitors to Maui in June 2021 than June 2019, But They Spent More. The 260,618 visitors to Maui in June 2021 contributed $503 million to the local economy, which is 5.4% more than the $477 million spent by the 295,926 tourists who came to the island pre-pandemic in June 2019. Maui Now.


Barge shipment delay results in no burgers, pet food. Burger King ran out of burgers, and Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of mashed potatoes. These were just some of the effects of a barge shipment delayed due to crew members contracting COVID-19, setting off a small chain reaction on the island. Garden Island.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ singer selling North Shore home. Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis is selling his Kaua‘i house for nearly $10 million. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Senate panel rejects Gluck for appellate judge, 370-acre Maui solar project advances, Kauai prosecutor stepping down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Daniel Gluck at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

Senate Committee Rejects Dan Gluck’s Nomination To Appeals Court. For members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the vote on Gluck wasn’t just a vote for a single judicial candidate. Fair or not, his nomination has become a symbol of deeply rooted issues in Hawaii, specifically race and gender diversity. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii businesses in ‘wait-and-see’ mode on vaccine mandates. While a few have recently implemented mandates, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about how to go about it, as well as potential liabilities, and many are watching what larger companies do first as they begin bringing workers back to offices. Star-Advertiser.

HTA head: In wake of funding cut, other agencies will need to assist with tourism management. Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries said during a livestream Wednesday that HTA, which had its budget reduced by about 24% as a result of a bill passed this summer, will have to rely on other state and county agencies to help control a growing number of visitors. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s public school teachers return to the classroom. More than 11,000 public school teachers reported to campus Wednesday to begin preparing for the first day of school on Tuesday. State Department of Education officials reported that the day came and went with few, if any, major problems at the system’s 256 schools. Star-Advertiser.

Applications for Summer Pandemic Food Assistance Program Close Aug. 2. The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services will be offering a summer pandemic electronic benefit transfer, a food assistance program that helps feed children who no longer have access to school lunches and breakfast. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Notification App Reaches 1M Activations. Hawaiʻi’s official COVID-19 notification app, AlohaSafe Alert, has reached 1 million activations since its launch in January. Hawaii Public Radio.

July 28, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 85 Cases* Incomplete Case Count, 3 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 46 on O‘ahu (+4 probable); 14 on Hawai‘i Island (+4 probable); 12 on Maui (+5 probable); three on Kaua‘i; and three confirmed cases in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state were removed from the count. Maui Now.


City considering changes to better enforce illegal Oahu vacation rentals. The Honolulu Department of Permitting and Planning is working on changing the short-term rental ordinance to crack down on illegal vacation rentals. Star-Advertiser.

Video of Sykap shooting shows officer firing repeatedly at car. Police body-worn camera footage played in court Wednesday shows Officer Geoffrey Thom standing upright, firing shot after shot at the back of a white Honda Civic, striking the 16-year-old driver eight times and killing him. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Case Tries Again To Get The Army To Fix Tripler’s Parking Problem. Congress plans to direct the military to address the parking shortage at the medical center. It’s not the first time. Civil Beat.

Runway repairs scheduled at Honolulu airport. Airfield repairs will happen at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) beginning Monday, Aug. 2, to Friday, Aug. 6, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division. KHON2.

Buyer pays $24 million for 14-year-old Lanikai oceanfront estate. A 14-year-old oceanfront estate in Lanikai featuring a four-bedroom main residence, a four-bedroom guest house, a caretaker’s cottage and a boat ramp sold for $24.4 million on July 20. Star-Advertiser.

DOCARE beefs up officer presence in North Shore to deter tourists from touching marine life. With videos circulating on social media of tourists touching endangered Hawaiian animals, the state is beefing up patrol officers in the North Shore to deter illegal encounters. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Commission mulls garbage user fees: Environmental Management Commission looks for waste solutions. Would you be willing to pay a few extra cents — or a few extra dollars — toward disposing of the products you purchase and the packaging they come in? West Hawaii Today.

PGV opponents appeal dismissal of lawsuits seeking environmental review. Appeals were filed late last month in a trio of lawsuits that requested an updated environmental review be completed for Puna Geothermal Venture, which was damaged by lava in 2018. Tribune-Herald.

‘This is not a joke’: Puna man recounts long battle against COVID-19. After 49 days in the hospital, Frederick Tibayan was released from Hilo Medical Center on Wednesday after a nearly fatal bout with COVID-19. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Pulehu Solar project moves forward. A 370-acre solar and battery project in Kula that could power 15,000 homes is closer to fruition after the Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday granted a county special use permit for the project. Maui News.

Maui County accepting applications for program to assist 1st-time home buyers.  The assistance can equal up to 5% of the home’s purchase price, but not exceed $30,000. Star-Advertiser.

If drought wasn’t enough, Maui ranchers face added challenge: Axis deer. The latest drought monitor shows some areas on the Valley Isle are now in “extreme drought.” Add to that, ranchers who have limited food for cattle are now struggling to control axis deer, which are eating the little grass they have left. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai Prosecutor Stepping Down For Nonprofit Gig. Kauai County Prosecutor Justin Kollar announced Wednesday that he will be leaving his county job at the end of the summer for a position at a nonprofit focused on setting criminal justice policy. Civil Beat.

Ways and Means Committee visits Kaua‘i. Senate’s Ways and Means Committee visited several sites on Kaua‘i, identifying issues, resource needs and potential solutions to address regional and statewide economic development, develop curriculum and career technical education pathways for a local workforce, analyze efficient space utilization of State facilities, and leverage critical private partnerships to decrease State resource dependence and liability. Garden Island.

Visitors fined $500 for viral monk seal harassment TikTok. The beachgoer filmed touching a Hawaiian monk seal will pay a $500 fine for her actions. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Teen suspect killed by Honolulu police had guns, Gluck faces Senate grilling as appellate judge nominee, tensions between vaccinated and unvaccinated as cases rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


copyright 2021 All Hawaii news all rights reserved
Hanauma Bay ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii residents won’t need reservations to enter Hanauma Bay during new pilot program. The pilot program will start Wednesday and run through Aug. 8, the Honolulu Department of Parks announced today, as the city tries to accommodate residents while maintaining the preserve’s environment, which recovered during the COVID-19 outbreak while closed to the public. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Ige says he’s not ready to institute vaccine mandate for state workers. Gov. David Ige told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday that the state can legally require COVID-19 shots for state workers. But he wants to wait until the FDA gives its full approval to the vaccinations. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Nominee Daniel Gluck, for appeals court faces criticism, praise, questions of inequity. Daniel Gluck’s nomination to the state Intermediate Court of Appeals is scheduled to be voted on today before the Senate Judiciary Committee following more than four hours of disparate testimony Tuesday on Gluck’s relative lack of court experience, his status as a mainland-born transplant and the lack of diversity on Hawaii’s high courts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Micronesian President Discusses Military Issues During Hawaii Visit. The trip to Oahu came as the U.S. seeks to solidify relations with Pacific Island nations amid tensions with China. Civil Beat.

State's plan to enforce evictions unclear. There's an estimated 10,000 people who may be significantly behind in rent when the moratorium ends on Aug. 6. KITV4.

Vacation rentals bounce back to higher occupancy numbers than pre-pandemic levels. Vacation rental occupancy statewide was even better in June than it was during the same month in 2019, a record-setting year before the pandemic shut down the industry in 2020. Star-Advertiser.

A Hawaii Concert Promoter Got More COVID Aid Than Carnegie Hall.
Jonny Mack and his companies received more money through a federal grant program for shuttered venues than anyone else in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Group calls for distance learning option for all public school students.
As COVID-19 cases surge across the state, a group of parents wants the state to offer distance learning options to all public school students. KITV4.

Tally of COVID patients in Hawaii hospitals surpasses 100. The state Department of Health reported 103 COVID- 19 patients in Hawaii hospitals Tuesday, up from 90 on Monday. Of the 103 patients, 20 were in intensive care units, and 11 were on ventilators. Star-Advertiser.

As cases rise, new tensions surface between vaccinated and those who won’t get shot. With the recent surge in COVID infections, frustration is mounting over vaccine holdouts. And some say it’s time to get tough with them. Hawaii News Now.

July 27, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 162 Cases. he confirmed cases included: 106 on O‘ahu; 25 on Hawai‘i Island (+2 probable); 10 on Maui (+1 probable); four on Kaua‘i; and 15 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state (-1 probable). Maui Now.


Honolulu Police Department officers describe threat prior to fatal shooting of teen.
In the days before his fatal confrontation with police, 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap and the people with him in a stolen white Honda Civic allegedly snatched a purse in Waikiki and committed an armed robbery before brandishing guns during a home invasion minutes before police fired at the youth, according to testimony Tuesday in District Court in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

CDC team coming to Oahu to investigate coronavirus surge in Leeward Oahu. According to the Hawaii Department of Health, within the last two weeks, Waianae saw 129 COVID-19 cases, the highest of any area on Oahu. Now, the only health care facility that directly serves the Leeward Coast is feeling the impact. KHON2.

Train door malfunction idles Honolulu rail fleet. The 20-mile, 21-station rail project is scheduled to run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s largest transit hub, but faces a $3 billion shortfall. The project is currently budgeted at $12.499 billion and is not scheduled for completion until March 2031. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

40 Big Island inmates flown to Oahu on Hawaii Army Guard helicopters. Overcrowding at Hawaii Community Correctional Center — and the need to transport 40 felons from the Hilo jail and Kulani Correctional Facility to the Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu — prompted the state Department of Public Safety to seek Hawaii Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter transport Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Water well contract delays continue to plague department. Big Island water well installation and repair projects are moving forward more slowly, as everything from cement shortages to site access to permit issues snarls progress. West Hawaii Today.

Vaccine demand rises: Providers see uptick amid Delta variant, approach of school year. As COVID-19 cases climb, so has interest in vaccinations. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Hotel to close after 95-year history. After almost a century of business, the Inaba family on Monday announced the sale of the historic Kona Hotel. The sale closed Monday, July 26. West Hawaii Today.


Fitch Global Ratings for Maui County Improved from Negative to Stable. Fitch Global Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings assigned ratings of AA+ (stable outlook), Aa1 (stable outlook) and AA+ (stable outlook), respectively, to Maui County’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2021, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced today.  Maui Now.

Bill could change zoning authority for Wailuku town. Controversy centers on plans for six-story hotel; some say bill needs more vetting. Pushback over plans for a six-story hotel in downtown Wailuku is sparking council consideration over who will have authority to decide height variances, zoning and other rules for about 68 acres at the city’s core. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center might deny all visitors if COVID-cases, hospitalizations continue to rise. This comes a day after the hospital imposed a new policy requiring visitors to be fully vaccinated. KITV4.

Department of Public Safety confirms three workers at Maui Community Correctional Center tested positive for coronavirus. The Department of Public Safety reports that three workers tested positive for COVID-19 at Maui Community Correctional Center. KHON2.


Farmers tackle new threat to island coffee trees. The most-destructive disease known to the coffee plant has arrived on Kaua‘i, putting local growers on high alert. Garden Island.

Mobile testing, vaccination vans deployed.
The County of Kaua‘i and state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office are sending out mobile-testing and vaccination vans this week, starting today. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ige mulls mandatory vaccinations for state workers, back-to-school guidelines recommend masks indoors, UH to require weekly COVID tests of unvaccinated students, hospitals filling up as cases surge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Fresh ahi poke on the lanai ©2021 All Hawaii News

No ahi? Low supply, high demand impacting local poke, seafood shops. Local poke and seafood shops are finding themselves in short supply of ahi, leading to a spike in prices for consumers. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige looks at requiring vaccines for some Hawaii workers. Ige said Monday requiring state employees to be vaccinated for the novel coronavirus or be subject to weekly COVID 19 testing “is a consideration.” Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

University of Hawaii says unvaccinated students must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing
to be on campus. The University of Hawaii will require all unvaccinated students to undergo a mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing to be on any of its 10 campuses this fall, according to UH president David Lassner. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department’s guidance for reopening schools recommends wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The state Department of Health’s COVID-19 updated guidance for reopening schools recommends that all teachers and students wear masks to school this year regardless of their vaccination status. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

State senator asks for federal investigation of Hawaiian Home Lands agency. State Senate Minority Leader Kurt Fevella is asking the U.S. Justice and Interior departments to investigate the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on claims that it has mismanaged its funds and misled the public and legislators. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s COVID hospitalizations soar to their highest levels since January.
Amid an ongoing surge in new infections, overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated, COVID hospitalizations in Hawaii have risen to their highest levels since January. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii hospital capacity leading factor in reimposing restrictions. Over the weekend the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increased to 90 from 74, and the number of people on ventilators nearly doubled. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Health offers vaccinations at home by appointment. One thing that’s been keeping some people from getting vaccinated is the ability to get to a vaccination site. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 163 new COVID cases; vaccination rate ticks to 59.8%. Of the new cases Monday, 105 were on Oahu, 34 on Hawaii Island, 16 on Maui, and one on Kauai. There were also seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu police are called to testify against fellow officers. Honolulu police officers today will be called to testify against three fellow officers charged with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap to help determine whether the officers charged should stand trial for second-degree murder and attempted murder. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Honolulu Police Commission Fails To Detail Its Public Agendas
, Complaint Says. Police commissioners have been discussing topics without proper public notice and meeting privately without justifying it, a government transparency advocate argues. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Need More Interpreters For Pacific Islanders, Advocates Say. Acting Police Chief Rade Vanic acknowledged the need and said the department is searching for grants to help pay interpreters. Civil Beat.

The defense agency backs off a “notional” plan to disinter 85 USS Arizona “unknowns” from the sunken battleship. A Defense Department agency appears to be walking back a “notional plan” to disinter 85 USS Arizona crew members buried as “unknowns” at Punchbowl cemetery and then reinter them, unidentified, onto the sunken battleship, which is a revered memorial in Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Spread among unvaccinated families blamed for high case counts on Hawai'i Island. Hawaii Island continues to see a surge in COVID cases. The county has the highest positivity rate in the state at seven percent. KITV4.

EPIC start: County begins paperless permit system. EPIC — short for Electronic Processing &Information Center — is the name of the Energov program that was five years and more than $2.5 million in the making. West Hawaii Today.

Brown Water Advisory For Hilo Bay, Hāmākua Coast. The DOH Clean Water Branch has also maintained the Brown Water Advisory for Hōlualoa Bay in Kona, which has been in place since June 29. Big Island Video News.

Kailua Pier Closure Begins Wednesday, July 28. The State of Hawaiʻi says the closure follows a large number of community complaints about illegal conduct on the pier. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Outrigger buying spree signals strengthening of local hotel market. Outrigger Hospitality Group is slated to close in late August on its purchase of the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay, which expands the company’s investment in Hawaii where its property count is now 26. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.


Maui Memorial Medical Center Vaccine Requirement for Visitors, Effective Today. The updated hospital visitor policy requires visitors to be fully vaccinated before entering the facility. Maui Now.

Maui Invasive Species Committee continues to battle little fire ants in Waihee. The battle against little fire ants continues on Maui after more of the biting pests were believed to be found in Waihee, a remote area on the island’s northwest side, on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Daneford Wright Named New MEO Assistant Transportation Director. He replaces Patty Copperfield, who was promoted to Director of Transportation in May. Maui Now.

Maui County EMS chief bids farewell. After 45 years of working in emergency medical services, Curt Morimoto is calling it a career. Maui News.


Kauai’s decaying Coco Palms draws 1 bid for $22M at foreclosure auction. The long-shuttered Coco Palms Resort on Kauai — largely made famous by an Elvis Presley movie 60 years ago — failed to attract competitive bids Monday at a foreclosure auction. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Developer: Proposed wave pool in Waimea not what it seems
. Reports of plans for a wave pool in Waimea were blown out of proportion, says a Hawai‘i real estate developer. Garden Island.

Monday, July 26, 2021

First Lady Jill Biden promotes vaccinations in Hawaii as COVID cases surge, Safe Travels restrictions to remain through 2021, Honolulu rail whistle blower denied legal victory, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii News Now
First Lady Jill Biden with Hawaii officials PC: Hawaii News Now video

First lady Jill Biden urges all to get shots, shows support for military families in short Hawaii visit. First lady Jill Biden implored Hawaii residents to get vaccinated for COVID during a whirlwind stopover on Oahu, which was part of the administration’s efforts to improve vaccination rates among Americans as well as honor the work and serv­ice of military families. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii’s Safe Travels program will likely stay in place through 2021. Gov. David Ige has taken flak for insisting that Safe Travels, the nation’s strictest traveler entry program, which is costing the state about $3 million a month, needs to run until at least 70% of Hawaii’s entire population is vaccinated against COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Governor urges residents to help stop COVID-19 spread to avoid return of restrictions. Governor David Ige advises people to put off attending large social gatherings and in-person church services until case counts are under control. KITV4.

Hawaii Governor wants students to wear masks in school, regardless of vaccination status. Governor David Ige said the Department of Health and Department of Education are finalizing COVID-19 guidance for this coming school year. KITV4.

House Panel Subpoenas Land Fund, Agriculture Agency. Both agencies were the targets of recent critical examinations by State Auditor Les Kondo. Civil Beat.

Does Hawaiʻi Need More Diversity, Experience in the Court System? Gov. David Ige’s recent judicial appointment to the Hawaiʻi Intermediate Court of Appeals is prompting questions about the role of experience and diversity in decision making. Ige chose Daniel Gluck, former head of the Hawaiʻi State Ethics Commission, from a pool of six candidates to fill a vacancy on the Intermediate Court of Appeals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Vaccination sites mostly empty as COVID infections surge in Hawaii. Statewide, clinicians only administered an average of 2,153 shots a day this week. That’s down from last week, when the average was 2,419 shots a day. Hawaii News Now.

July 25, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 276 Cases, 2 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 163 on O‘ahu (+3 probable); 65 on Hawai‘i Island; 19 on Maui (+3 probable); six on Kaua‘i; and 17 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Paid To Stand By: How A Botched Rail Contract Multiplied Costs. Rail contractors were paid to ramp up and be ready to perform utility relocation work that didn’t materialize. Civil Beat.

Nan Inc. Prevails In Rail-Related Whistleblower Lawsuit. The firm’s former in-house counsel had alleged illegal activity related to rail work in 2019. A major rail contractor has prevailed in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by its former in-house counsel, who had alleged he was fired after warning the company not to conduct “illegal activity” related to the multibillion-dollar transit project. Civil Beat.

The Choice For Workers At A Honolulu Care Facility — Get Vaccinated Or Get Fired.
The health care industry is grappling with how to handle employees who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases rise. Civil Beat.

Army Seeks Public Input for Continued Use of 6,000 acres of State Lands on Oʻahu. The Army is preparing an environmental impact statement for continued use of Kahuku Training Area, Poamoho Training Area and Makua Military Reservation. The Army, Marine Corps and Hawaii Army National Guard all use it for exercises. Hawaii Public Radio.

Major Honolulu private schools commit to in-person learning. As COVID case numbers surged and the state Education and Health departments said they were updating pandemic guidelines for schools, seven Honolulu private K-12 schools queried last week by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said they were sticking to their plans for the new academic year.  Star-Advertiser.

Local theaters tackle Tier 5 restrictions in different ways. When Oahu moved to the less restrictive Tier 5 in its reopening strategy on July 8, the process of doing business was made easier for some local businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Recent changes to Leahi Avenue pose a hazard for children, neighbors say. When classes begin Aug. 3, students and teachers returning to Waikiki Elementary School on Leahi Avenue will face changes made over the summer that many residents complain have made traffic conditions more dangerous, especially for the children who walk to school along the narrow, privately owned street, which lacks a continuous sidewalk on either side. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Study: Hawaii County has third worst primary care provider shortage in US., a website that provides information and resources for nursing students, analyzed 2021 data from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Professional Shortage Area tool to rank counties with the largest shortages of health care workers. Tribune-Herald.

Project to assess health care in Hawaii County. Lisa Rantz, president of the Hawaii State Rural Health Association and executive director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, said the goal is to evaluate what is working in Hawaii’s health care, what issues still need to be addressed, and to come up with an action plan to meet community needs. Tribune-Herald.

Charter school receives $48,000 grant for farm-to-school program. With the grant, Connections, whose main campus is in downtown Hilo, will develop learning and food production experiences for kindergarten through 12th-grade students on leased property located off Edita Street in Hilo’s Kaumana community. Tribune-Herald.

Honomū Fishing Access Via Seacliff Ladder Will Be Preserved, EA Says. An applicant proposing to build on the Hāmākua Coast says the cultural practice of descending the tall seacliff via ladders and ropes to fish will be preserved through access easements. Big Island Video News.


Ige Appoints Linda Clark To Fill Maui House Seat. Clark is a state process server and head of a Maui nonprofit. Clark is the president of the Kaupo Community Association and has served on the Hana Advisory Committee. She is the fourth generation of a ranching family and also has experience with various local nonprofits. Civil Beat.

Council closer to lowering short-term rental caps. Bill passes on first reading along with measures on foam products, ziplines. In a step to reduce short-term rentals on Maui and open up more housing for residents, the Maui County Council passed a bill on first reading Friday to cut the number of short-term rental home permits on the Valley Isle. Maui News.

County could consider higher rates for top water users.
Officials want to incentivize conservation at hotels, other facilities. About 16 of the top 20 potable water consumers during fiscal year 2020 were hotels, timeshares and condominiums used for short-term visitor accommodations — all in South and West Maui. Maui News.


KPD reduces officer vacancy to 8. The Kaua‘i Police Department employs up to 162 sworn officers, and now it’s closer to that number than it has ever been in recent history. Garden Island.

KIUC works to keep birds off power lines. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is resuming the installation of bird diverters on power lines to reduce collisions with endangered nocturnal seabirds. Garden Island.

Waimea 400 plan virtual meeting is July 28. The third community meeting for the Waimea 400 Master Plan is online Wednesday, July 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Garden Island.

Friday, July 23, 2021

COVID cases spike, lead in 93 school drinking fixtures, missile tests planned off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Spike in COVID infections driven by delta variant, social gatherings and the unvaccinated, officials say. An alarming spike in the daily coronavirus case count in Hawaii to 243 on Thursday was driven by the highly transmissible delta variant as well community spread mostly by unvaccinated individuals, health officials said. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Spike in COVID-19 cases raises concerns about in-person schooling. School is less than a week and a half away, and many parents still aren’t sure exactly what to expect. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is causing some to reevaluate whether they want their child to return to in-person classes. KHON2.

Tests find lead in 93 drinking water fixtures at Hawaii public schools.
Elevated concentrations of lead were found in 93 public school faucets and drinking fountains in testing across Hawaii over the past several months. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Mayors discuss potential strategy moving forward amid spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii. With the rise in cases comes the ongoing challenge of getting more people vaccinated. KHON2.

July 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 243 Cases, 3 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 135 on O‘ahu (+11 probable); 52 on Hawai‘i Island (-2 probable); 10 on Maui (+4 probable); eight on Kaua‘i; and 25 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Jill Biden To Visit Vaccine Clinic In Waipahu Sunday. The first lady will travel to Honolulu on her return from the Tokyo Olympics. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Despite COVID surge, Blangiardi says he has no plans to bring back tougher restrictions. Despite the recent surge in COVID cases, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said there are no plans to tighten restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Calls for more COVID vaccinations are failing to get through.
On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi warned unvaccinated Oahu residents they are likely to become infected and get “very sick,” especially from the more virulent delta variant. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency Calls Are Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels On Oahu. Here’s How EMS Is Coping. The return of tourists has brought an increase in medical emergencies and ocean and hiking rescues. Civil Beat.

HART’s Expecting Fewer Riders — Even Absent The Pandemic. The most recent rail ridership estimates are down almost 18%, largely based on a pre-pandemic drop in bus ridership. Civil Beat.

The Problem With Honolulu’s Single-Use Plastic Ban At Restaurants. Restaurants across Oahu are more than three months into a phaseout of single-use plastics, but there’s still nowhere on the island that can compost most of the single-use compostable utensils, cups, and takeout containers that businesses are supposed to offer in place of plastic. Civil Beat.

State inspectors trap skunk at Honolulu Harbor 1st spotted aboard ship from San Diego. A live skunk was captured at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday after being spotted in the area the day before. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Court to hear arguments over use of police during TMT protests. The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear arguments next month over whether the county overstepped its bounds by requesting neighbor islands’ police forces to assist in responding to the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

Council Planning Committee delays subdivision vote. Owners of a 4-acre North Kona parcel will have to wait a little longer before they’ll know whether the County Council will give them permission to rezone it from agriculture to urban and subdivide it into six residential lots. West Hawaii Today.

Pālamanui Campus Reserve Proposed In Kona. The State DLNR and the University of Hawaiʻi want to collaboratively steward and manage the 706 acres of lowland dry forest. Big Island Video News.


Bill would regulate pesticide use on Maui County property. A bill that would reduce and manage pesticides and fertilizers used on county property passed out of a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday. Maui News.

Council mulls tax tiers for hotels and resorts. A Maui County Council committee is considering a bill that would create property tax rate tiers for hotels and resorts, potentially setting the groundwork for higher taxes for pricier properties. Maui News.

Study Finds Lead in Water from 37 Fixtures at 12 Maui County Public Schools. In Maui County, 37 fixtures at 12 public schools, and two fixtures at a single childcare facility, were identified as having levels above the 15 parts per billion threshold for lead concentration in water. Maui Now.

Maui County Hotels Occupancy Climbs to 79% for June, Near Pre-Pandemic Level. The strong recovery for Maui County hotels continues with occupancy for June 2021 climbing to 79.2 percent, which is only 1.4 percentage points less than it was in June 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the abrupt closure of most of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry. Maui Now.


Pacific Missile Range Facility 2 tests to be held on Kauai. The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai is expected to soon see two big missile defense tests as the United States seeks to counter a rapidly arming China. Star-Advertiser.

KIUC renewables, reliability rose in 2020 despite revenue hit. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative chalked up a string of accomplishments in 2020 despite a pandemic-related drop in revenue, according to President and CEO David Bissell, who spoke at the 19th annual KIUC membership meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

First Lady Jill Biden to arrive Saturday, distance learning to remain an option at some public schools, unemployment office sets September in-person opening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

official White House photo
Jill Biden

First Lady Jill Biden to arrive in Honolulu Saturday, will visit vaccination clinic. First Lady Jill Biden will lead the U.S. delegation at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday and on Saturday dedicate a room in the Chief of Mission Residence to the late Irene Hirano Inouye and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye before traveling to Honolulu Saturday and Sunday to visit a vaccination clinic at an unidentified high school, the White House said today. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education reveals distance-learning options amid pandemic. The state Department of Education on Wednesday unveiled a list of about 100 schools offering a distance-learning option for parents uneasy about sending their child to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii unemployment issues to be addressed in-person starting Sept. 7. People with unemployment benefit problems will be able to meet in person with state labor officials on all islands beginning Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Senate to Convene Special Session to Confirm Two Judges. The Hawaiʻi State Senate will convene a special session Tuesday for the purpose of reviewing the judicial appointments of Dan Gluck to the Intermediate Court of Appeals and Lesley Maloian to the District Family Court of the First Circuit.   Maui Now.

Hawaii’s hotels continued improving last month. Travel demand from North American markets is bolstering Hawaii’s travel industry so much that June hotel occupancy was closing in on pre-pandemic levels, even with the absence of international visitors. Star-Advertiser.

Ige warns of action after posts surface of visitor ‘intentionally cheating’ Safe Travels program.
The state is investigating social media posts of someone claiming to travel to Hawaii while sick with COVID-19 and “intentionally cheating” the state’s pre-travel testing program, Gov. David Ige said. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii races to get more vaccinated against COVID-19 as delta variant continues to multiply.
For the seventh day in a row Wednesday, Hawaii’s new daily coronavirus case numbers hit triple digits, repeating last year’s post-Fourth of July surge. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

July 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 163 Cases, 1 Death. The confirmed cases included: 95 on O‘ahu (+4 probable); seven on Hawai‘i Island (+2 probable); 10 on Maui (+8 probable); four on Kaua‘i; and 33 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


City Council advances bill that would create progressive property tax for second homes. A bill that would expand the tiers for property taxes on second and investment homes to allow for three different property tax rates as the home value increases, advanced at the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Financial audit of City reveals that TheBus lost $10M in 2020. The report was presented to the Honolulu City Council today. KITV4.

In worrisome trend, overwhelmed hospitals are diverting ambulances to other facilities more often. A combination of rising COVID cases and other emergency health issues are forcing many Oahu hospitals to turn ambulances away, diverting them to other facilities. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi’s Latest Nominee Is A Step Closer To Filling Police Commission Seat. Ann Botticelli would join six other members of the Honolulu Police Commission, providing oversight of the Honolulu Police Department. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

In its first week the Chinatown police enforcement plan yields arrests, social service connections and COVID vaccinations. The first five days of police patrolling Chinatown by foot yielded a mix of social service contacts, vaccinations, warnings and arrests — part of a strategy to reduce crime and connect people in need with health and shelter programs. Star-Advertiser.

First-of-its-kind Micronesian youth center opens in Liliha. We Are Oceania unveiled its new Youth Empowerment Center Wednesday, the first of its kind to serve Micronesian kids and young adults in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Building code lives to fight another day: Skeptical County Council wants lots of changes. After almost six hours of extremely detailed and sometimes tense debate, the County Council on Wednesday first killed, then resurrected, a new residential building code. West Hawaii Today.

Council supports resolution to protect spinner dolphins. The Hawaii County Council is urging the federal government to implement rules to prohibit close contact between humans and Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 Delays Drug Trial For Katherine Kealoha’s Brother. The criminal trial for Katherine Kealoha’s brother, Rudolph Puana, a Big Island anesthesiologist accused of running a prescription drug ring to help feed his cocaine habit, has once again been delayed due to COVID-19. Civil Beat. Associated Press. KITV4.

Help is on the way: Funding to assist ranchers in battling two-lined spittlebug. Help is on the way for Big Island ranchers fighting an invasive bug decimating pasture land in North and South Kona. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Commission Announces 5 Finalists For Police Chief. Two assistant police chiefs, a retired assistant chief, a police captain and a Las Vegas narcotics officer are among the finalists to be Maui’s next police chief. Civil Beat.

Public Works Completes Kīhei Sub-Area Transportation Plan. The County of Maui Department of Public Works has completed work on the Kīhei Sub-Area Transportation Plan, a document that lays the foundation for the Kīhei area of South Maui as the area grows. Maui Now.

Time-Zone Snafu Led to Early Release of In-Demand Haleakalā Cabin Reservations. A problem with time-zone calculations was identified as the reason for the faulty early release of in-demand wilderness cabin reservations at Haleakalā National Park earlier this month. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i readies for in-person school opening.
Back to school shifted into high gear, Wednesday, when about a hundred volunteers gathered to pack 3,000 backpacks with school supplies for Saturday’s Back to School Bash at the Kukui Grove Center. Garden Island.

10 new cases, educational cluster reported Wednesday.
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health identified 10 new cases Wednesday, as well as a new cluster in an education setting, Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i District Health Officer said. Garden  Island.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Case not dismissed against 3 police officers charged with killing teen, Feds: prosecutor Kealoha spread cocaine on husband Honolulu police chief's desk, COVID cases continue climb, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Police Officer Zackary Ah Nee, front, followed by Officers Christopher Fredeluces and Geoffrey Thom enter Judge Domingo's courtroom after a short recess, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Honolulu. Pool photo by Cory Lum/Honolulu Civil Beat.

Judge denies motion to dismiss charges against 3 Honolulu Police Department officers in fatal shooting of teen. An Oahu District Court judge Tuesday denied a motion to dismiss murder and attempted murder charges against three Honolulu police officers in connection with the April 5 fatal shooting of unarmed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap, who had methamphetamine in his system and was at the wheel of a stolen car that had allegedly been involved in a violent, two-day crime spree. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Officials Are Making A Cybersecurity Push To Keep Federal Contracts Flowing. Federal agencies are moving toward stricter enforcement of cybersecurity requirements for companies seeking government contracts. Civil Beat.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Votes To Increase US Engagement In The Pacific. A measure that would expand U.S. influence in Pacific Island nations has cleared a key committee in the House of Representatives as lawmakers move to boost America’s competitiveness with China. Civil Beat.

Shrinking military, students could affect reapportionment.
The number of nonresident military families and students to be extracted from population counts before state House and Senate seats are allocated to islands is down significantly from the 2010 census, a factor that could affect the distribution of legislative seats for the coming decade. West Hawaii Today.

Ige: Indoor masking, social distancing to continue. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday it’s not yet time to roll back government-imposed coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants and other businesses. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Health Department revising school guidance with the virus on the rise in Hawaii. The state Department of Health is revising its public school guidance for on-campus learning as COVID-19 is surging again and schools are set to open in less than two weeks. Star-Advertiser.

3% of Hawaii’s COVID cases are among vaccinated people, Lt. Gov. Green says.  Health officials insist this is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” after most cases reported were in unvaccinated individuals. However, a small number of vaccinated individuals are still contracting COVID-19. According to Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Josh Green, about 3% of the recent cases have been in those who got the shot. Hawaii News Now.

Infection rate among Hawaii’s unvaccinated now as high as it was for entire state during pandemic’s peak. From hospitals to pop-up clinics and pharmacies across the state, it’s easier than ever to get a COVID vaccine. But despite extraordinary access, 40% of Hawaii residents remain unvaccinated ― and the virus is spreading quickly among them. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii marks 6th consecutive day of triple-digit cases with 100 new coronavirus infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 75 new cases on Oahu, six on Maui, 15 on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai and three Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Anthony Aalto Moves Closer To Replacing Joe Uno On HART Board.
If the full City Council approves it at a later meeting, Aalto, an Oahu-based investigative journalist, documentarian and former Sierra Club Oahu Group chair will replace Joe Uno, a construction-cost estimator who’s called for a pause to rail construction at Middle Street. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

The Kealohas, Cocaine Parties And Oxycodone. In an upcoming criminal trial, Katherine Kealoha’s brother, Rudolph Puana, is accused of running a prescription drug ring out of his Big Island pain clinic. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Haiku Stairs’ removal advances at City Council. The stairs have been hotly debated for years, with nearby residents upset by traffic and other disturbances, and hikers hoping for legal access to the Stairway to Heaven. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Kaimuki Wants To Return The Queen Theater To Its Former Glory. Years of neglect prompted the Honolulu City Council, at the neighborhood’s request, to propose buying the historical building from a reclusive property owner. Civil Beat.

Disabled Kailua Tenants Say New Parking Rule ‘Makes Things Tough’ For Them. A new law passed by the Legislature two years ago forbids the use of disability placards to park in metered stalls. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County reinstates testing program. Amid a recent increase in positive cases throughout the state, Hawaii County has reinstated its free community COVID-19 testing program. West Hawaii Today.

Shuttle service for Maunakea on hold, ‘not dead’. Although the Maunakea Visitor Information Station reopened last week after a year of COVID-related closure, a proposed shuttle service to the popular destination will not happen anytime soon. Tribune-Herald.

HIHS Shelters to Reopen to Public in August. The Hawai‘i Island Humane Society is slated to reopen its two animal shelters to the public in August. Big Island Now.


Maui measure that would’ve put a moratorium on new hotel construction vetoed. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino vetoed a bill that would have temporarily halted construction of new hotels and resorts in Maui County. Victorino said Bill 60, which would set up a 2-year moratorium, did not address short-term rentals or bed-and-breakfast establishments. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now. KITV4.

Dozens of Maui Residents Rally for Affordable Housing. Dozens of Maui residents held a rally for affordable housing as the county's median home price tops $1 million and the county council considers a new affordable housing plan. Associated Press. KITV4.

OHA Board Chair: Water Use Permit Application on Molokaʻi Would Enable 171 New Homestead Service Connections. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey of Maui released a statement today discussing the upcoming Department of Hawaiian Home Lands water use permit application on Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


Kawakami talks tourism, tax, traffic at Chamber luncheon. Mayor Derek Kawakami tackled the island’s ongoing tourism boom and a slew of other topics Tuesday during the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce’s Seventh annual Mayor’s Luncheon. Garden Island.

Amidst car shortage, county launches transportation resource website. The county Office of Economic Development announced the launch of a new website aimed at informing both visitors and residents of various transportation options available on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.