Monday, August 16, 2021

Curfews could be next step against COVID spread as cases surge, hospitals reach capacity, Army and Native Hawaiians mull Oahu’s Makua Valley compromise, vaccine/testing mandates kick in for state workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Dr. Green at Queen's hospital Aug. 14, 2021 PC: courtesy

Green: Unvaccinated are to blame if new, strict rules, including curfews, needed to curb hospitalizations. Lt. Gov. Josh Green has made his position clear on widespread vaccine mandates. He believes people have the right to choose and no one should force them to get the shot. But he thinks weekly testing and mask wearing is the bare minimum that people can do. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccine deadline looms for Hawaii’s state workers despite lack of guidance. The details of how the program will work don’t seem to be finalized and the state agency that oversees human resources refused to provide the Honolulu Star-Advertiser with a copy of the guidance that does exist. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOE Announces Start Date For Weekly COVID-19 Testing. The new requirement applies to all unvaccinated school personnel, including salaried employees, substitutes and volunteers. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii offering free vaccinations for students, employees at 3 campuses. UH said in a news release today that surveys in June showed more than 92% of students and 95% of UH employees of the entire 10-campus system have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or plan to be, after the university added COVID-19 vaccination to its student health clearance requirements on May 17. Star-Advertiser.

More Hawaii private schools act to establish vaccine mandate.
Gov. David Ige announced Aug. 5 that all state and county workers would need to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing at their own expense. While that includes teachers and staff members at Hawaii’s 257 public schools, the state’s 163,000 or so students are not currently required to be inoculated unless they are involved in high school athletics. Star-Advertiser.

Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano will file her papers to run for governor. Her campaign manager Lynne Waters confirms Cayetano will do it this week. KITV4.

DLIR Launches Appointments for Complex Unemployment Claims
. The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced it will start accepting telephone appointments for complex, disputed unemployment insurance claims beginning on Aug. 16, 2021 to allow claimants to schedule slots beginning on Aug. 23, 2021. Maui Now.

Another 800 join first responders' class action lawsuit against vaccine requirements.
The proposed class consists of all current and future first responders on Oahu and Maui subjected to the current COVID-19 vaccine mandate. KITV4.

COVID-19 cases tax neighbor island hospitals. The neighbor islands, with 30% of Hawaii’s population, have accounted for less than 25% of the state’s COVID-19 cases, yet the strain on hospital staff and resources from surging infections is no less acute there than at Honolulu’s much larger medical facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Covid-19 Treatment In Hawaii Is Getting More Expensive For Some Patients. Kaiser stopped covering costs for Covid-19 patients this month, affecting about 260,000 Hawaii residents. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 845 additional infections. State Department of Health officials Sunday reported four new corona­virus-related deaths and 845 new confirmed and probable infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 552 fatalities and 51,200 cases. Sunday’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 543 new cases on Oahu, 85 on Maui, 147 on Hawaii Island, 46 on Kauai, six on Molokai, two on Lanai and 16 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oahu

Plan for low-income housing towers over Waipahu. A developer is seeking to build more than 500 low-income rental homes in Waipahu, though tentative designs for two towers exceeding a city height limit by more than three times has triggered some community opposition. Star-Advertiser.

Four Years After Deadly Fire, Many Honolulu High-Rises Still Lack Sprinklers. Property owners say the cost of retrofitting older buildings with sprinklers and other fire safety improvements could bankrupt them. Civil Beat.

A Shaky Truce: The Army And Native Hawaiians Both Want Oahu’s Makua Valley. As the Army looks to renew leases on Hawaii state lands, a debate rages about both its past and its future. Civil Beat.

‘Innovative’ fish farm off Ewa Beach is proposed. An innovative offshore fish farm designed to “swing” with ocean currents while sustainably scaling up food production could be placed in the water off Ewa Beach, but concerns about its possible environmental impacts persist. Star-Advertiser.

Fish fewer at Hanauma Bay since reopening with new visitor limitations system. A new study has found that population density and biomass of more than half the bay’s most common fish species increased during the closure but decreased after reopening at only 25% of the former visitor load. Star-Advertiser.
 
New App Finds Open Parking Spaces in Honolulu. PARKLINQ, pronounced park link, is a website and app that helps motorists find parking by the hour, day or month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

County honors homeowner association restrictions: Board of Appeals upholds planning director on vacation-rental issue. Hawaii County government won’t approve short-term vacation rentals where homeowner’s associations prohibit them, the Board of Appeals ruled unanimously Friday in denying an appeal from a Keauhou View Estates property owner. West Hawaii Today.

Mounting frustration: Pretrial defendants freed on lowered bail later arrested for other offenses. The Hawaii County prosecutor said he’s concerned about pretrial felony defendants being freed without cash bail or having their bail reduced because of COVID-19 concerns at Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Tribune-Herald.

Hefty fine levied for damage to archaeological features.
A Kailua-Kona woman and an environmental consulting firm were fined $180,000 Friday for unpermitted grading resulting in the damage or destruction of 40 archaeological features on a North Kona property. West Hawaii Today.

Biologist finds TV show Love Island not to blame for distressed ‘a‘o.
Earlier this month, biologists from the Department of Land and Natural Resources found an ‘a‘o — a threatened species of puffin also called a Newell’s shearwater — in Umaumau that had been grounded and was unable to return to flight. Tribune-Herald.

Daniel K. Inouye Highway reopens as Big Isle crews clean up after brush fire. Hawaii County police have reopened this afternoon Daniel K. Inouye Highway in both directions from the Old Saddle Road junction to the Highway 190 junction. Star-Advertiser.

Markers would honor birthplace of the bodyboard. Nonprofit Malama Wai‘aha has donated a pair of historical markers to the county with the intention of erecting them at Wai‘aha Beach Park, where the Boogie Board was invented in 1971. Tribune-Herald.


Maui

Maui Charter Commission Vets Record Number Of Reforms On Elections, Police. The Maui Charter Commission will review more than 100 proposed amendments to the county charter that governs daily life on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Civil Beat.

Maui Police Commission Wants In-Person Interviews, Exams with Five Chief Finalists.
The Maui Police Commission on Wednesday agreed to ask the mayor for approval of in-person interviews with the five individuals it has identified as finalists for the job of Maui Police Chief. Maui Now.

Public asked to help capture new invasive parakeets on Maui.
A new invasive pest has been captured on the Valley Isle. A rose-ringed parakeet was captured in Kihei in July. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

County mulls tax on Turo providers. State tax officials are interested in the ramifications of car-rental apps like Turo, but agencies aren’t commenting on suspected levels of tax delinquency among the platform’s users. Garden Island.

KIUC named ‘Electric Cooperative of the Year’ by national nonprofit.
The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative was one of eight electric utilities recognized as “Power Players of the Year” by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Garden Island.

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