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.

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