Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Ige to extend COVID precautions through summer, real estate booms, tax collections soar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige

Gov. David Ige to maintain COVID guidelines as isle businesses grow frustrated. Gov. David Ige is holding strong to his target of fully vaccinating 70% of Hawaii residents before dropping the majority of the state’s COVID-related safety restrictions, including indoor mask mandates. Ige plans to extend his emergency proclamation suspending various laws and mandating safety protocols, which is set to expire Aug. 6. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

State Tax Collections Soared Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels In The Past Year. The stunning rebound in general treasury tax revenue was driven by increased state income tax collections. The unexpected bump in tax collections last year means the Ige administration is suddenly holding about $740 million in un-budgeted cash, and lawmakers said Monday they will be watching closely to see what the administration has in mind for that money. Civil Beat.

DOE to identify schools with COVID-19 cases, but lack of testing could skew data. A new law requires the DOE release details of COVID-19 cases reported on its campuses, including the name of the school, the date the positive test result was reported, and the date the COVID-positive individual was last on campus. KITV4.

TSA prepares for unruly travelers as complaints of disruptive passengers increase. As rising COVID-19 vaccinations bring more visitors to Hawaii, the Transportation Security Administration restarted flight crew self-defense training this month after a 62% increase in unruly and aggressive passenger complaints during the first six months of 2021, including physical attacks and verbal confrontations over enhanced safety measures brought on by the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitalizations, ICU beds, case numbers, and positivity rate increase statewide as Delta variant spreads. The state health department has detected 53 new Delta cases statewide in two weeks. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 63 new COVID cases; no additional fatalities. Of the new infections, 28 were on Oahu, 15 on Hawaii Island, seven on Kauai, and six on Maui. There were also seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Real estate bidding wars driving up home prices. The median price of a single family home on Oahu is just shy of a $1 million, but realtors said the bidding war is going strong. It is not expected to ease any time soon. KHON2.

Miske Case Rocks Stagehand Union After Executive Board Member’s Guilty Plea. The ripple effects from the federal criminal prosecution of former Honolulu business owner Michael Miske Jr. are now rocking Local 665 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees after a member of its executive board admitted he took part in drug trafficking, armed robberies and at least one murder-for-hire scheme as a member of a racketeering organization that Miske controlled and directed. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police chief candidates’ names not released. The names of the 24 individuals who applied to serve as Honolulu’s 12th police chief will remain confidential after the Honolulu Police Commission denied a Honolulu Star-Advertiser public-records request for the applicants’ names, calling the disclosure a violation of privacy that would prejudice the selection process. Star-Advertiser.

Slowing pace of vaccinations prompts state, UH to consider capacity limits for UH football games. While the University of Hawaii is planning for a packed house in the stands for its first football game at the newly renovated Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex, a slowing pace of vaccinations and a rise in Delta variant cases could mean the season opens to a smaller group. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Home sales soar on isle. Big Island homes are selling almost as soon as they hit the market as the real estate industry rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Mahukona preservation advances. A plan to preserve 644 acres of Mahukona land of historical and cultural significance has taken a big step forward with the County Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution authorizing sale negotiations. West Hawaii Today.

ʻAlalā Exhibit In Hilo Is Only One In The World. The endangered Hawaiian crow now has a home at the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo. The exhibit opens to the public next week. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui Median Home Price in June Was More Than $1.1M. The highest median price for a single-family home in Hawai‘i last month was in Maui County at more than $1.1 million. Kaua‘i's median was $1.1 million, O‘ahu's was $978,000 and the Big Island's was $465,000, according to data from Hawai‘i Information Service and Honolulu Board of Realtors. Associated Press. Maui News.

Maui High Performance Computing Center Names New Executive Director
. The center is part of the Applied Research Laboratory at UH and supports the US Air Force’s Maui High Performance Computing Center, one of five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers nationwide. Maui Now.

Kauai

Protesters call for reopening of county offices, meetings.
Around 11 a.m. Monday, about three dozen people arrived just outside the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building rotunda, unable to get in due to a closed gate. Garden Island.

North Shore shuttle service seeks to curb congestion, crowding.
The end of the road is just the beginning for nonprofit organizations Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana and The Hanalei Initiative, which took over management and operation of the North Shore Shuttle from Waipa to Ha‘ena State Park last Sunday. Garden Island.

Visiting couple regret touching monk seal after video goes viral on social media. A Louisiana couple has apologized and will pay a fine after a TikTok video shows a woman touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal at a Kauai beach. Star-Advertiser.


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