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.


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