Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Honolulu mayor requires vaccine passes, governor mulls Labor Day crowd restrictions, hospitals run low on oxygen, morgue overflows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki trolley ©2021 All Hawaii News

Coronavirus-free proof to be required for Oahu establishments. People on Oahu will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 48 hours to enter restaurants, bars, indoor gym facilities, entertainment and recreational settings beginning Sept. 13. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Daily visitor spending may be up, but economists say overall revenue is still down. Hawaii visitors are spending more per day now than in days before the pandemic, according to new data from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Matson releases statement regarding service rumors. Matson issued a statement on Sunday in response to persistent unfounded rumors circulating in Hawaii about service disruption All Matson operations continue uninterrupted. KITV4.

Quarantine largely unchecked, COVID surge rages, as 1 in 10 local resident travelers opt not to show vax card or do pre-test. Almost 83,000 people just since June 1 had to quarantine when arriving in Hawaii, not providing a vaccine card nor getting a valid pre-travel negative COVID test. KHON2.

Vicky Cayetano launches Democratic gubernatorial campaign. Former first lady Vicky Cayetano, a business executive, entrepreneur and first-time candidate for any office, kicked off her campaign for governor Monday while launching her campaign website, vickyfor governor.com. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Public defender seeks release of certain inmates to curb COVID-19.
The outbreak of COVID-19 infections in Hawaii prompted the Public Defender’s Office to again call for the release of certain classifications of inmates to alleviate overcrowded correctional facilities where short-staffed teams of workers are doing what they can to stop outbreaks inside the facility from spreading to the community. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 delays drunken driving trial of state Rep. Sharon Har. Six months after her arrest on a drunken driving charge, state Rep. Sharon Har’s trial that had been scheduled to start Monday has been rescheduled for October because of COVID- 19 court restrictions — two days before Har likely will challenge a separate preliminary ruling to suspend her driver’s license for two years. Star-Advertiser.

State mulls Labor Day weekend mandates.
The state will decide whether to prohibit large gatherings over Labor Day weekend by Wednesday, said Lt. Gov. Josh Green Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii app that warns of COVID exposure experiences spike in activations.
The app uses bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been exposed to the coronavirus to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hospitals face possible oxygen shortage amid rise in COVID-19 patients. Top health care officials are scrambling to bring in oxygen from the mainland after realizing that Hawaii’s hospitals could run short amid a surge in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi Health Care System 'Really Being Stretched' as COVID-19 Cases Increase. With a record number of COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend, health officials are trying to manage the growing number of hospitalized patients while preparing to scale up facilities to address an overflow situation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii sees 720 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 62,949. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 468 new cases on Oahu, 73 on Maui, 139 on Hawaii island, 34 on Kauai and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu morgue is over capacity, using an emergency trailer parked outdoors for overflow. Honolulu’s morgue is over capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic, and is now using one of three trailers reserved for emergencies. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Airbnbs Shut Down When The Pandemic Began. The Mayor Wants To Keep It That Way. The mayor sees the crackdown on vacation rentals as a tourism control measure. Civil Beat.

Oahu school requires COVID-19 vaccine or testing for parents entering campus. Jarrett Middle School Principal Reid Kuba is trying to keep COVID-19 out of his small school in Palolo at all costs. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County test positivity highest in state. As of Monday, Hawaii County boasted the highest test positivity rate in the state at 9.4%, compared to an 8% positivity rate statewide. Tribune-Herald.

‘We cannot divert patients’: Hilo Medical Center operating over capacity.
Hilo Medical Center is operating well beyond capacity as the number of COVID-19 patients there continues a steady climb upward. Tribune-Herald.

DHHL Breaks Ground On New Panaʻewa Subsistence Ag Lots. The $2.49 million capital improvement project will subdivide an existing 10-acre lot into 16 half-acre Subsistence Agricultural lots. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Pahoa man accused of trying to steal airplane
. A 24-year-old Pahoa man is accused of a brazen daylight attempt to steal an air ambulance from the Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. KHON2.


Kaiser Permanente Postponing Elective Procedures and Surgeries on Maui. Kaiser Permanente is making changes at Moanalua Medical Center and on Maui to ensure there are enough resources needed to take care of COVID-19 patients. Maui Now.

Some Maui schools report worsening teacher shortage due to COVID19 testing mandate
. Staff claim a lack of testing is exacerbating a substitute teacher shortage and leaving some classrooms of students unsupervised. KITV4.

Visitor Arrested for Alleged Quarantine Violation, Assault Against a Maui Police Officer. A 22-year-old California man was arrested on Maui on Thursday for alleged violation of rules and orders relating to the state’s travel quarantine. Maui Now.

‘That Is Not Aloha’: Dr. Lorrin Pang Is Pushing Back Against His Critics. The Maui state health officer explains why he believes it’s important for doctors to explore all possible treatments for the rapidly spreading Covid-19. Civil Beat.

Maui Ordnance to Prevent Underage Drinking Goes Into Effect Sept. 1.  The Social Host Liability Ordinance holds adults on the island of Maui accountable for illegal underage drinking on their property. Maui Now.


KDHO: 19 new infections Monday.
In the last week, the county has confirmed 263 new COVID-19 infections, Lauren Guest of the Kaua‘i District Health Office reported Monday. Garden Island.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Pandemic rules flouted as COVID cases spike, experts advise but Ige holds fast against lockdown, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kaiwi party broken up by DLNR PC:DLNR

Hawaii officials consider stay-at-home order over Labor Day weekend as COVID-19 cases soar. Hawaii had its highest COVID- 19 count ever reported in one day on Sunday, and if the trajectory continues, officials warn that it could lead to a 72-hour stay-at-home order over the Labor Day holiday. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

How close is a lockdown? At least one doctor says it’s time. Medical experts say despite major event cancellations and new gathering limits, Hawaii’s COVID crisis is about to get much worse. Hawaii News Now.

Ige takes to social media to refute lockdown rumors: ‘No plans to shut down’. Gov. David Ige on Sunday night dismissed “rumors circulating” about a shutdown in Hawaii amid an ongoing surge in COVID infections. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Visitor industry discounts abound, even as Gov. David Ige asks travelers to stay away. You wouldn’t know that Hawaii tourism is supposed to be shut down by all the specials in the market, including great kamaaina deals, which have been absent for most of the summer travel surge. Star-Advertiser.

Senate Confirms Sonja McCullen To Intermediate Court Of Appeals. A Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney will be the first Native Hawaiian appointed to a Hawaii appellate court in decades. Civil Beat.

Hawaii distance-learning students might get their instruction from teachers out of state. The state Department of Education may be moving to loosen the requirement that teachers reside in Hawaii after members of the state Board of Education last week urged administrators to look at changing the residence qualification to help meet the growing demand for remote learning. Star-Advertiser.

Latest testing backlog a result of systems being ‘pushed to their limits,’ DOH says. The health department says as always, trends are more important than single day counts and right now Hawaii continues to trend in the wrong direction. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,678 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,239 new cases on Oahu, 147 on Maui, 214 on Hawaii island, 55 on Kauai, one on Molokai, two on Lanai, and 20 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Enforcement Officers say Large Party at Kaiwi was “Outrageous and Irresponsible”. Four people were cited and as many as 300-400 others were cleared from Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline by officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and Honolulu Police Department officers late Saturday afternoon. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Homeless Sweeps Or Sanitation Activities? Advocates Say There’s No Difference. Honolulu’s mayor promised to end sweeps of homeless encampments, but his administration says it still needs to clear the “sidewalks, streets and parks.” Civil Beat.

Two Honolulu Police Officers Are Under Investigation For Assault Of Prisoner. Two Honolulu police officers could face criminal charges for allegedly injuring a prisoner in January. Civil Beat.

COVID ‘crisis’ in Leeward Oahu as area leads island with case counts. The Leeward coast of Oahu is in crisis mode, with some of the highest coronavirus case counts on the island, which continue rising and spreading like wildfire among household members. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi Seeks To Avoid ‘Lockdown’ As Hawaii Logs Record Number Of Covid Cases. Honolulu mayor also says city is considering a “vaccine passport” program for restaurants. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County COVID rules approved; parks to remain open with restrictions. The new rule also limits social gathering sizes to 10 people, both indoors and out. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Big changes likely for council districts: Population growth not equal for West, East Hawaii. Population shifts across the island could mean big changes to County Council districts next year, with West Hawaii population increases likely to outweigh population changes in most of East Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

County: NAS pool upgrades to begin soon.
Hawaii County officials are hoping construction can begin soon on court-ordered Americans With Disabilities improvements at the NAS Swimming Pool near the Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Work on senior housing facility to begin in 2022. Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc. has secured funding to build a 92-unit housing facility — located on Kawili Street across from the lower end of the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus — in early 2022. Tribune-Herald.


Board files complaints against Maui health officer, physician. The Hawaii Medical Board has filed complaints against Maui’s top health official and a Valley Isle physician following reports that they backed COVID-19 treatments that state and federal health agencies advise against. Maui News.

Maui’s 21 Day Lockdown is Voluntary, Stricter Rules Still on the Table
. While a health pass or vaccine passport for certain restaurants and gyms surfaced for discussion as a potential mitigation measure during the Mayor’s last press briefing, the program concept is still under review. Maui Now.

Affordable housing on Lanai aimed at mid-income households. A planned affordable rental housing project on Lanai won’t be quite as affordable as previously envisioned by the island’s management company owned by billionaire Larry Ellison. Star-Advertiser.


Face mask litter on rise, Surfrider says. A growing number of face masks are littering Kaua‘i, leading to pollution of island waters, according to a local nonprofit. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Humane Society flies nearly 200 animals to Seattle. An EvoJets private charter departed from Lihu‘e Airport early Sunday morning with a very special passenger manifest. Garden Island.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Native Hawaiians wary of pandemic surge, feds OK CARES money for Honolulu robotic dogs, shift of legislative seats unlikely as Reapportionment Commission beings work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiians kayaking ©2021 All Hawaii News

Native Hawaiian leaders urge the lahui to help stop COVID-19 surge. Dr. Gerard Akaka joined more than 20 Native Hawaiian leaders — kumu hula, educators, health care professionals, public officials and politicians — at a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol to urge their lahui (nation) to help stop the surge of COVID-19 cases by wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and getting vaccinated. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Afghanistan bombings weigh on Vice President Kamala Harris’ stop in Hawaii. Air Force Two touched down at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 2:40 p.m. Thursday and taxied up to the historic operations building at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before 3 p.m. after Harris visited Singapore and Vietnam. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

More Hawaii residents are leaving the islands for the mainland, and experts predict the situation will only worsen as a result of COVID-19′s economic fallout. The U.S. Census Bureau says more than 8,600 people left the islands last year alone. Hawaii News Now.

State set to roll out vaccine passport for gyms, bars, and other businesses. The state is poised to roll out a COVID vaccine passport to get into gyms, bars, and restaurants. The governor says he hopes to have it up and running by Labor Day. KHON2.

Governor says ‘extreme measures’ possible if COVID surge worsens. As hospitalizations mount, mayors and the governor are eyeing the possibility of more restrictions. Hawaii News Now.

Green warns ‘life-preserving restrictions’ looming. With no signs of Hawaii’s COVID surge slowing, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Thursday he plans to call for “life-preserving restrictions” if the number of people hospitalized with COVID reaches 500. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees spike in pediatric COVID cases, increase in infant hospitalizations. Doctors said they are seeing an increase of young children testing positive for COVID and some of those cases are ending up in the hospital. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 831 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 58,578. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 511 new cases on Oahu, 102 on Maui, 176 on Hawaii Island, 32 on Kauai, two on Molokai, one on Lanai and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


City narrows down new landfill sites to 4 locations. The city has narrowed down the list to four locations from 12. Two of the remaining sites are near the North Shore, one is between Makakilo and Waipahu and one is near Wheeler Army Airfield. Star-Advertiser.

HPD’s Use Of CARES Act Money On Robot Dog, ATVs And Overtime Was Legit, Feds Say. The city submitted documentation stating every purchase was necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Empty-home tax gains momentum on Oahu amid affordable housing shortage. Empty homes and condos blanket the island while locals struggle to keep up with Honolulu’s cost of living; nearly 40,000 units are vacant at any given time, according to a UCLA study the City commissioned in 2020. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council Nixes Plan To Build Affordable Housing On Kahuku Farmland. The unanimous decision came after the Department of Planning and Permitting recommended against the project amid community opposition. Civil Beat.

Waianae Coast public schools get state office support.
With the Waianae Coast surging with COVID-19 infections, some of its public schools are experiencing staff shortages so great that Department of Education staffers from state offices were brought in to help. Star-Advertiser.

Navy detonates unexploded ordnance at Kaneohe Bay. U.S. Navy experts detonated one unexploded ordnance underwater at Kaneohe Bay this morning, and disposed of the other one, which is unarmed, at another site. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

The Miske Case: Death Penalty Is Off The Table. Mike Miske, the former Honolulu business owner who is awaiting trial on federal charges stemming from his alleged control of a violent racketeering organization in Honolulu over two decades, will not face a possible death sentence if convicted. Civil Beat.

Mayor offers condolences to family of city employee who died of COVID. The city has confirmed one of its employees has died of COVID-19. Information on the person’s age, gender and job title was not released. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

8th House seat unlikely. Recently released census data does not support an eighth seat in the state House for Hawaii Island, the state Reapportionment Commission was told Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Supreme Court to decide whether police chiefs broke law during TMT protests. The ability of county police departments to rapidly deploy resources to other counties in the state is in the hands of the Hawaii Supreme Court, which on Thursday heard oral arguments in a case challenging the presence of Honolulu and Maui police officers on Mauna Kea during telescope protests in 2019. Tribune-Herald. Civil Beat.

Eruption watch canceled for Kilauea Volcano.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced Thursday morning that earthquake activity and ground deformation beneath the southern part of Kilauea’s summit have subsided over 24 hours, which led HVO to lower an alert level that it raised Tuesday following a swarm of earthquakes. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Keauhou Resort Now Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa
. The Outrigger Hospitality Group takes over the former Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Big Island Video News.


Sen. Roz Baker calls on state to fire Maui district health officer for promoting dangerous COVID-19 treatments. A growing number of leaders in the Legislature are calling on the state to fire Dr. Lorrin Pang, the Maui district health officer for the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. KITV4.

New police chief expected to be picked in October. The Maui Police Commission expects to deliberate on and select a new police chief in October, following a written examination and interviews of five finalists for the job. Maui News.

EPA Appoints Maui County Councilmember King to Local Government Advisory Committee. US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan has appointed Councilmember Kelly Takaya King to the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee. She is the only person chosen from Hawaiʻi for the 39-member committee. Maui Now.

Think Tank Report: Kahului Airport Could Generate $935 Million with Private Lease. A new report by Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to free markets, found Hawaiʻi’s two largest airports could be worth up to $3.6 billion combined via a long-term lease to private airport companies and investors. Maui Now.


No new COVID rules yet. In a public-service announcement Thursday, Mayor Derek Kawakami, alongside health-care providers and community leaders, called on residents to reduce travel and gatherings in the face of the most-recent spike in COVID cases, to avoid a more-severe shutdown. Garden Island.

Proposed KPD facility draws mixed response. A handful of residents voiced opposition to the Kaua‘i Police Department’s proposed Kawaihau substation during an informational meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hawaii reaches 76% vaccinated against COVID, Green targeted by anti-Semitic hate group, Maui council passes pesticide bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

87.6% of Hawaii state workers fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of last week, 87.6% of state workers were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 92.4% had received at least one shot. The vaccination rates are significantly higher than Hawaii’s overall population, in which 76% of adults are fully vaccinated. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green target of hate campaign. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green was the target of an anti-Semitic campaign by an unknown group aligned with protesters demonstrating outside of his condominium in opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii governor considering more restrictions, says COVID surge was ‘preventable’. Gov. David Ige said he is frustrated because he believes Hawaii’s surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations could have been avoided. KHON2. KITV4.

Governor says Hawaii’s digital ‘vaccine pass’ could be ready by Labor Day. Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that he hopes to have a “vaccine pass” system up and running for entrance to restaurants, bars, gyms and other venues by Labor Day. But he added that he has no immediate plans to mandate vaccinations for entry to businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Senate Committee Considers A New Nominee For Appeals Court. Sonja McCullen, a Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney, sailed smoothly through a Senate hearing on her appointment to the Intermediate Court of Appeals on Wednesday. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Final EIS published for dolphin swimming ban. Approaching and swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins is one step closer to being prohibited in Hawaii’s coastal waters. West Hawaii Today.

Lowen to continue pushing producer responsibility. State Rep. Nicole Lowen said she’ll continue pursuing increased producer responsibility for the waste their products produce, despite the failure to get her colleagues’ support of a bill she sponsored this year. West Hawaii Today.

Health officials look to field hospitals as potential relief amid surging COVID hospitalizations. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit another record high in Hawaii on Wednesday, Aug. 25, with 413 patients admitted to facilities statewide. KHON2.

Ventilators from Hawaii’s emergency stockpile now in use as more relief nurses are on their way. COVID hospitalizations in Hawaii hit another all-time high Wednesday with 413 patients admitted to facilities across the state. Records shows 87% are unvaccinated. Hawaii News Now.

COVID deaths are rising in Hawaii, and history shows it’s likely to get worse. Health officials said that the current death toll is the highest it has been since vaccines have become widely available, with more than 19 deaths over the past seven days. Hawaii News Now.

Char: COVID surge hasn’t peaked. Hawaii’s COVID-19 case numbers have not yet reached their peak, Hawaii Health Director Libby Char said Wednesday. Despite 625 new COVID cases being reported statewide Wednesday, with 100 on the Big Island, Char said during a livestreamed interview that case numbers are continuing to rise while hospitals’ resources are being strained to the breaking point. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii records 8 new coronavirus-related deaths, 625 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 376 new cases on Oahu, 96 on Maui, 100 on Hawaii Island, 39 on Kauai, two on Molokai, two on Lanai and 10 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Fire Commission Still Stalled On Hiring New Chief.
The two finalists were scheduled to address the panel but instead commissioners went into executive session. Civil Beat. KITV4.

$270 million Honolulu airport concourse set to open. The opening of the new $270 million Mauka Concourse at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Friday marks the first gate expansion in nearly three decades. Star-Advertiser.

Newly reopened Waialua bridge needs replacement within 10 years, city says
. Bridge 605 that crosses over Kiikii Stream at Waialua Beach Road must be replaced in the next five to seven years due to extensive damage in its 69 years of use, the Honolulu Department of Design and Construction said in a recent news release. Star-Advertiser.

Covid-19 Is Surging Again At Hawaii Prisons. The Oahu Jail Is Especially Hard Hit. The Oahu Community Correctional Center is once again the epicenter of Covid-19 cases within state correctional facilities, and some staff at the jail complain the Department of Public Safety has done little since the last major outbreak there to modify its procedures to prevent the new surge now underway. Civil Beat.

Punahou school and former students settle sex abuse lawsuit. Punahou School and former students who filed lawsuits against the school and a former coach alleging sexual assault and abuse jointly announced Wednesday that all the cases have been settled. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Parents sue Hawaii County after police kill their son in shooting. The parents of a 31-year-old man, shot multiple times and killed by police inside a vacant Hilo house, sued the County of Hawaii Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Mandate for HMC: Vaccinations or testing for Hawaii Health Systems Corp. facility employees. Employees at Hilo Medical Center and other Hawaii Health Systems Corp. facilities in East Hawaii have until early September to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face weekly testing. Tribune-Herald.

Record number of COVID patients in HMC. Three dozen COVID-positive patients were hospitalized as of Wednesday at Hilo Medical Center, an all-time high. Tribune-Herald.


Pesticides and fertilizers to be reduced and managed. A bill that would reduce and manage pesticides and fertilizers used on county property, including parks used for youth sports, was approved on second and final reading Tuesday by the Maui County Council. Maui News.

Maui Senator: The County’s State Health Director Should Be Fired. Dr. Lorrin Pang is being widely criticized for acknowledging that he has promoted controversial alternative drugs to treat Covid-19. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino condemns off-label use of drugs to treat COVID-19. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino strongly condemned the off-label use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and the veterinary dewormer ivermectin as treatments for COVID-19 on Wednesday, following a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that reported a local doctor and health official had been promoting their use. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Forecast models predict COVID-19 case surge will hit Maui County next. Based on the latest forecast model issued Sunday, the number of daily new infections on Maui County is expected to grow by more than 30% in the next seven days, and peak at 175 cases on Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.


County to draw $475K for rare special election. The county is moving to allocate $475,000 for a special election prompted by the retirement of Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar. Garden Island.

Councilmembers hear concerns from For Our Rights members. It’s been nearly a year and a half since the Kaua‘i County Council held meetings open to the physical public, but following Wednesday’s special council meeting, around 60 residents met representatives outside. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Vice President Harris to visit Honolulu, Maui mayor calls for voluntary pause in non-essential activity, Kilauea volcano threat level raised, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kamala Harris PC: Twitter

Vice President Kamala Harris to join husband in Honolulu after official trips in Asia. Vice President Kamala Harris will reunite in Hawaii with second gentleman Doug Emhoff on Thursday following separate trips overseas for official White House functions. The couple will stop in Honolulu en route to Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Guard troops to stay on state COVID-19 duty through December. A federal extension has been granted through December for Hawaii National Guard COVID-19 assistance around the state with the explosion of delta variant cases. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Has A Shortage Of School Bus Drivers, Leaving Some Students Stranded. The shortage follows a warning by a DOE official shortly before the school year began that there was an “alarming influx in driver resignations.” Civil Beat.

Medical experts say COVID’s spread among Hawaii’s kids likely ‘understated’. As of last week, the state Department of Education reported 430 cases over two weeks in schools across the state but said there was no spread within the schools. Dr. Scott Miscovich, who has helped lead Hawaii’s testing effort, doubts that. Hawaii News Now.

State broadband program can accept more households. The Hawai‘i Broadband & Digital Equity Office is encouraging all qualified families and individuals to apply for the program, which provides monthly discounts of up to $50 towards broadband service, or up to $75 for households on state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands parcels. Garden Island.

UH pandemic modelers: Oahu, Big Island in ‘eye’ of COVID hurricane and Maui isn’t far behind. The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group says there are no signs that the alarming increases in COVID cases and hospitalizations on Oahu and Hawaii County are slowing down. Hawaii News Now.

Physician recommends flu shot as COVID-19 stresses hospitals.
Flu season starts on Oct. 9 this year, but doctors say you should get your flu shot as early as possible. That’s around the time many may be getting COVID-19 booster shots. KHON2.

Aug. 24, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 565 New Cases in Hawai‘i. The confirmed cases included: 308 on O‘ahu (+62 probable); 97 on Hawai‘i Island (+3 probable); 65 on Maui (+5 probable); 17 on Kaua‘i; and eight in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


City considering a plan to better manage short-term vacation rentals. The Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting is proposing a measure to cut down the number of short-term vacation rentals on Oahu and boost the number of housing units available to residents. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu pilot program to cite red light runners set to start
. By the end of the year, 10 Honolulu Intersections could have a camera installed to track and ticket drivers for running red lights. KITV4.

Officials: Plans in place to deploy COVID field hospitals on Oahu if they’re needed. As Hawaii’s COVID crisis worsens, emergency rooms are crowded with a mix of coronavirus patients alongside people with other ailments and injuries. Hawaii News Now.

Cockfights And Corruption: How Police Arbitration Kept This Cop On The Job. In Hawaii, arbitrators look to previous decisions in order to be fair, no matter how serious the misconduct or whether it’s even similar. Civil Beat.

KCC Farmers’ Market closes temporarily. The Kapiolani Community College has temporarily closed its popular farmers market out of an abundance of caution. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Investigation Uncovers Numerous ADA Violations In Hawaii Island’s Transit Service. The county agrees to fix “chronically inoperable” wheelchair lifts and make other changes to avoid getting sued. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

Police survey: High marks, but room for improvement. The results of a Hawaii Police Department community survey conducted in April were released to the public Tuesday, with the majority of respondents finding Hawaii Island is a safe place to live and work. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea volcano alert raised following earthquake swarms.
Scientists are on alert for a possible eruption of Kilauea within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park following a flurry of earthquakes around the volcano’s summit. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Maui Mayor Asks for Voluntary 21 Day Rest from Non-Essential Activity. It’s part of a list of recommendations and requests made by the mayor as he seeks approval of amendments to the County’s Health Emergency Rules. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

A top state health official and a doctor on Maui are promoting controversial COVID-19 treatments. Dr. Lorrin Pang, who has served for more than two decades as the Maui district health officer for the state Department of Health, is co-founder of the Pono Coalition for Informed Consent. Star-Advertiser.

Georgia man cited for holding sea turtle by shell at Maui beach. A 60-year-old Georgia man visiting Maui may be facing federal charges for picking up a sea turtle by its shell and lifting it out of the water at a beach in Kaanapali. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


WKEP finds no long-term damage in draft environmental assessment. A draft environmental assessment for the West Kaua‘i Energy Project expects no long-term adverse impacts would result from the proposed construction. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i fastest-growing county in state.
In a download of U.S. Census Bureau new data released earlier this month, it was revealed Kaua‘i is the fastest-growing county in Hawai‘i at about 9.2%, which is slightly below what county planners had predicted. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Hawaii governor tells tourists to stay away as coronavirus surges, Honolulu mayor limits crowds, unvaccinated lead hospital overcrowding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige tells visitors to stay away from Hawaii. Tourists should stay away from Hawaii, and residents should restrict travel to essential business only at least through the end of October, Gov. David Ige said Monday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now, KHON2. KITV4.

FDA’s approval of Pfizer shot is expected to boost Hawaii COVID vaccinations. Hawaii health officials said the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval Monday of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine will likely help boost vaccination rates in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Limit gatherings but don’t curb tourists, Hawaii visitor industry execs say.
The summer surge in visitors that revved up Hawaii’s tourism industry rebound was already slowing due to fall seasonality and growing uncertainty about the safety of travel as COVID-19 cases surge across the country. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer mainland nurses arrive than were expected as Hawaii’s hospital crisis worsens. The number of people sick with the coronavirus who are showing up at Hawaii emergency rooms is climbing at an alarming rate. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 571 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 56,670. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 359 new cases on Oahu, 79 on Maui, 107 on Hawaii island, 23 on Kauai, two on Lanai, and one Hawaii resident diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu to suspend large gatherings. As Oahu hospitals reach capacity, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced that large gatherings will be canceled for four weeks beginning Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

More than 600 Honolulu County workers remain unvaccinated as deadline passes.
The deadline for city employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, apply for an exemption or face possible termination passed Monday with police, firefighters and emergency medical services workers among the more than 640 county employees who have not been inoculated. Star-Advertiser.

UH Mānoa: About 97% of Students Living in Residence Halls Are Vaccinated. According to the school's health and wellness team, around 97% of students living in residence halls are vaccinated, and the remaining students who have exemptions are required to undergo weekly testing. Hawaii Public Radio.

City Council Leaders Urge Honolulu’s Mayor To Find More Quarantine Rooms.
Despite high demand, the city hasn’t expanded isolation rooms for Covid patients, citing tourists filling up hotels and transmissibility of the delta variant. Civil Beat.

EMS stretched thin amid coronavirus surge. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services says they’re extremely busy across the board, but especially paramedics. KHON2.

Queen’s Health welcomes nurses from out-of-state to help with COVID-19. Queen’s Health welcomes nurses from out-of-state to help with COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

City explores new rules for future vacation rental properties. The city’s pitching a new plan to stop illegal vacation rentals in neighborhoods all across Oahu  Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steven Alm stands by failed attempts to prosecute 3 officers. Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm hasn’t decided whether to campaign for a second term, but he doesn’t believe two failed attempts to put three Honolulu police officers on trial for murder and attempted murder for the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old crime spree suspect will impact his political fortunes. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

TMT backup site in Canary Islands in jeopardy; court voids agreement to use public lands. The Thirty Meter Telescope lost a potential backup location after a court in the Canary Islands, Spain, revoked an agreement to use public lands as a site for the contentious observatory. Tribune-Herald.

Plaque stolen from North Kohala heiau.
A plaque denoting Mo‘okini Heiau as a registered national historic landmark was recently cut or pried loose from a boulder and stolen from the centuries-old North Kohala temple. Tribune-Herald.


California Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Quarantine Violation. Police say 64-year-old Hugo Monterroso did not have a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test from an approved facility and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.

Occupancy at 81.7% for Maui County Hotels in July 2021. Maui County hotels occupancy was 81.7% for July, with revenue per available room (RevPAR) at $505, up 41.1% from pre-pandemic July 2019, according to the July 2021 Hawaiʻi Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.


Kauai Bus riders may have been exposed to COVID-19.
The district health officer reported people who rode The Kaua'i Bus -- route 100 or 200 -- from Kekaha to Lihu'e between August 10 and 12 may have been exposed to COVID-19. KITV4.

Kaua‘i Community College campus opens amidst COVID-19. The population census that normally accompanies the opening of the semester was absent due to late registrations taking place. Garden Island.

Upgrades to state-run nurseries growing plants facing extinction. Plant nurseries dedicated to the propagation of native species are set to receive upgrades, using $150,000 acquired from the state. Garden Island.

Monday, August 23, 2021

COVID crisis could bring new travel restrictions, cases hit record high, vaccine mandates spread to Capitol, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Tougher Hawaii travel restrictions possible as COVID-19 surge continues. State and county officials are considering bringing back COVID-19 testing for vaccinated domestic travelers, as well as implementing other requirements aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Vaccine Mandate For State Lawmakers Is Unusual.
The Hawaii Legislature will be one of the few in the country to require all of its members and staff to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly Covid-19 tests. Civil Beat.

With COVID cases at an all-time high, leaders worry about Hawaii’s rural communities. State leaders are showing their concern for rural and suburban areas where COVID cases are on the upswing, and the vaccination rate has plateaued. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kaiser Resumes Paying All Covid Costs In Hawaii As Hospitalizations Rise. Kaiser Permanente is bringing back its cost waivers for Hawaii members who need medical care for Covid-19 as the state scrambles to deal with rising coronavirus-related hospitalizations. Civil Beat.

A New Hoteliers’ Group Hopes To Overcome Hawaii’s Backlash Against Tourism. The Hawaii Hotel Alliance is joining the isle landscape of tourism industry associations. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines gets call to assist with Afghanistan evacuation mission.
Two Hawaiian Airlines aircraft are among 18 activated by the Defense Department as part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to help with evacuations from the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Could Soon Have Its Own Domestic Garlic Industry. Researchers say Hawaiʻi has the potential to support a domestic garlic production industry despite climate challenges and import competition from the U.S. mainland. Hawaii Public Radio.

COMMENTARY: Gov. David Ige’s handling of COVID-19 hobbled by indecision, inadequate staffers. Moving into our second year of the COVID-19 crisis, you can question whether the rising number of cases, especially those requiring hospitalizations, warns of the end of Gov. David Ige’s ability to run the state or is just a brief bump in the road. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hits record at 893 new COVID-19 cases.
Sunday’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island included 596 new cases on Oahu, 83 on Maui, 158 on Hawaii Island, 37 on Kauai, 11 on Molokai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu mayor Rick Blangiardi outlines plan for spending $386M in federal aid. Mayor Rick Blangiardi published a draft of his plans for the $386 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that he must submit to the Honolulu City Council for approval. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's daily COVID cases are forecast to peak at 3,700 in October. Monique Chyba, a mathematics professor generating regular forecast models of COVID-19 cases, forecasts daily coronavirus cases in Honolulu continuing to grow past 1,000 in September and peaking to about 3,700 cases Oct. 8 if the state remains on course with its current level of mitigations and vaccination rates. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy Is Betting On Wave Energy Research.
The military and civilian researchers in Hawaii have stepped up efforts to harness the powerful waves and ocean currents off Oahu as a source of renewable energy. Civil Beat.

Affordable senior housing complex set to rise in Moiliili. A cluster of nearly century-old homes in Moiliili is slated for demolition next month to make way for high-density affordable housing serving seniors with low incomes. Star-Advertiser.

Why Police Are Supposed To Tell Prosecutors About Dishonest Cops. The U.S. Supreme Court says the accused has a right to know about officers who have credibility issues. But Honolulu defense attorneys say they’re often left in the dark. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police whistleblower alleges retaliation, discrimination in suit
. A Honolulu police detective alleges investigators delayed the pursuit of a missing baby by more than 48 hours and then retaliated against the detective when she tried to bring the negligence to light, according to a civil complaint. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lee Loy hit with ethics complaint
: Kailua-Kona business owner alleges conflict of interest in building code bill. A Kailua-Kona business owner has filed an ethics complaint against Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, alleging she has a conflict of interest in voting on recent construction code measures because her daughter works for HPM Building Supply, which could benefit from provisions streamlining inspections of factory built housing. West Hawaii Today.

Rental assistance program awards more than $4 million. A countywide rental assistance program has issued more than $4 million to county residents and will be extended until the middle of next year. Tribune-Herald.

Crews back to work on Kalanianaole Ave., but frustration lingers. Hawaii County Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst told the Tribune-Herald that the contractor, Goodfellow Bros. has been back on site since July 12 and is working on drainage for the project. Tribune-Herald.

Council postpones North Kona subdivision votes. An Omaha, Nebraska, couple seeking to rezone and subdivide their North Kona property will have more time to meet the neighbors after the County Council on Wednesday postponed a decision so the owners could address community concerns. West Hawaii Today.


Museum aims to expand property, programs.
The Maui County Council’s Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee on Thursday recommended a proposed bill by a 7-0 vote that would ultimately extend the expiration of a conditional use permit another 26 years and expand the A&B Sugar Museum property about 2 acres for additional uses and activities in the master plan. Maui News.

Surfrider Cleans 1,200 Pounds of Trash from West Maui Beach. An estimated 1,200 pounds of trash was cleaned up from West Maui’s Awalua Beach on Saturday, in an effort organized by Surfrider Foundation Maui Chapter. Maui Now.


Jobless rate drops to 9.6%.
The county’s unemployment rate continues to move toward pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Garden Island.

KPD makes gambling arrests. The Kaua‘i Police Department, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, executed search warrants and arrest warrants on an industrial complex in the Kawaihau District that contained an illegal game room. Garden Island.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Ige asked to close beaches, lock down travel as COVID rages, parents say Department of Education isn't doing enough for keiki safety, Ironman postponed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii mayors weigh more restrictions amid COVID-19 surge. COVID-19 cases are surging across all islands while Gov. David Ige and county mayors discuss the possibility of bringing back tougher restrictions in order to reduce virus transmission. KHON2.

Growing number of COVID cases overwhelms Hawaii’s contact tracing efforts. A DOH spokesman said they recently expanded their team from 269 last week to 313, but the team still struggles to keep up with the hundreds of newly infected people every day. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate plunges to 7.3%. Hawaii’s labor market proved to be resilient in the face of the surging COVID-19 virus as the unemployment rate in July plunged to a 16-month low of 7.3% and nonfarm payroll jobs jumped by 10,200 over the previous month. Star-Advertiser.

Can Hawaii Employers Force Workers To Be Vaccinated? It’s A Hot Topic Right Now. More and more agencies and business are announcing vaccine mandates for employees if they want to keep their jobs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii auto sales more than doubled in second quarter. Hawaii auto sales were off to the races in the second quarter with new-vehicle registrations reaching the highest number in 14 years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Turns To Mainland Teachers To End Distance Learning Backlog. The state DOE reported 383 new COVID-19 cases among students and staff last week but cited no evidence of school-based transmission. Civil Beat.

Parents and teachers criticize Hawaii’s Department of Education as pandemic grows
. Parents and teachers worried about the impact of the growing pandemic on Hawaii’s public schools roundly criticized the state Department of Education on Thursday, saying its efforts to safeguard students are either not working or inadequate. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Problems Persist As Corrections Officials Struggle To Comply With Federal Order.
Settlement talks are underway including the creation of a panel to oversee reforms needed to cope with the pandemic in Hawaii’s prisons and jails. Civil Beat.

Legislators ask why HHSC has delayed mandatory vaccinations
. Three state lawmakers sent a letter Thursday to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation requesting information about its decision to delay implementation of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations until the vaccines have been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Covid Hospitalizations Climb As Delta Variant Rages.
Hawaii’s sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in July was largely fueled by cases in correctional facilities, restaurants, an indoor wedding reception and an indoor concert where the band wasn’t vaccinated, according to the state’s latest report on clusters. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 752 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 426 new cases on Oahu, 125 on Maui, 163 on Hawaii Island, 25 on Kauai, four on Molokai, one on Lanai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


3 mortuary trailers on standby in event Honolulu morgue runs out of space.
Although COVID deaths haven’t spiked as much as cases, the City and County of Honolulu is preparing for the worst. Last year, the Honolulu Fire Department spent about $330,000 dollars of its CARES funding to buy three mortuary trailers. Hawaii News Now.

Advocates told abandoned residents of Hauula care home could be left at ER. The facility notified the state that the state and families it was voluntarily shutting down due to “economic hardship.” The residents must scramble to find homes before the Sept. 11 shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police pledge openness about shootings. The fatal shooting of a machete-wielding man who allegedly attacked Honolulu police officers in a North School Street parking lot Aug. 11 was the fifth shooting by an officer this year, surpassing the entire number of incidents from 2020 as the public pushes police to be more transparent any time an officer fires a weapon at a suspect. Star-Advertiser.

Former councilwoman Kym Pine in financial dispute with former employee. Former District 1 City Councilwoman Kym Pine went to small claims court in Pearl City on Thursday to face her former employee who alleges she was not paid for agreed services for Pine’s unsuccessful 2020 mayoral campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Rail Canopy Defects Cost Another $15 Million. Are Taxpayers Liable? The canopy arms have caused numerous problems. It’s not yet clear who’s responsible and who ultimately should pay to fix them. Civil Beat.

HART board still looking for applicants to fill its final vacant seat. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors is still attempting to fill its final vacant seat. Star-Advertiser.

Patrols increase at Oahu’s Laniakea Beach to protect sea turtles as visitors increase. Oahu’s surge in tourism has generated larger waves of visitors to the North Shore’s Laniakea Beach Park, popularly dubbed Turtle Beach, and people continue to break the law by harassing the endangered green sea turtles there, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the turtle conservation group Malama na Honu report. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth asks Ige to OK new restrictions. County parks and recreational facilities would close again under a new emergency rule proposed by Mayor Mitch Roth that has been sent to Gov. David Ige for consideration. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Ironman World Championship rescheduled to February 2022 amid spike in coronavirus cases on Hawaii Island. Organizers announced today the event that was originally scheduled for Oct. 9 has been rescheduled to Feb. 5, 2022. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.
COVID temporarily shuts down Hilo library. The Hilo Public Library closed Wednesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The library will be undergoing a thorough cleaning and will reopen on Saturday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui County Mayor Hopes Vaccinations, Distancing Can Prevent Another Lockdown. Maui County's mayor said the possibility of another lockdown is still on the table, but he hopes more vaccinations and social distancing will slow the spread of cases before that might be necessary. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Destination Manager at Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau announced the appointment of Meagan DeGaia as destination manager. In this newly created position being funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, DeGaia will be responsible for supervising, managing, implementing and reporting on the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan, its Community Enrichment Program, as well as signature events within Maui County. Maui Now.

Hotel’s new pool and improvements approved.  The Maui Planning Commission last week voted 9-0 to allow the Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott, Maui to conduct improvements on its property, including installing a new pool and constructing outdoor living spaces for 14 ground floor guestrooms. Maui News.

Scientists Anxiously Await Opening of Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakalā.
COVID-19 travel restrictions set back construction on the telescope's critical systems. Hawaii Public Radio.


Rental car companies oppose county’s new proposed tax class. Major rental-car companies are opposing a bill before the Kaua‘i County Council that seeks to create and define a real-property-tax class for rental-car fleets. Garden Island.