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

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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.

Oahu

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.

Maui

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.

Kauai

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.

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