Thursday, August 5, 2021

Gov. Ige to announce sweeping vaccination mandate, Saiki mulls Lt. Gov. bid, hospitals implement COVID surge plan, Honolulu mayor restricts social gatherings,more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House Speaker Scott Saiki

House Speaker Scott Saiki Mulls A Run For LG. The lieutenant governor’s job involves few official responsibilities but is a proven stepping stone to higher office. Civil Beat.

Governor expected to announce sweeping vaccine mandate for state, county workers. All state and county workers may soon be required to get a vaccine or face paying for weekly testing. Gov. David Ige is expected to announce the dramatic new plan Thursday. Multiple sources say the mandatory program could begin as early as next week. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council Member Andria Tupola, 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate, not vaccinated, and not planning a run for governor next year. She said that because she had already contracted the virus, she did not need a vaccination. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Feds allocate $137 million more in pandemic aid for Hawaii’s public schools. Hawaii’s public schools will receive an additional $137 million to help with making schools safe and assisting students with learning loss connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education is expected to announced today. Star-Advertiser.

New Federal Order May Buy More Time For Tenants Facing Eviction In Hawaii. Hawaii’s eviction ban is due to expire on Friday, although a new law requires renters and landlords to seek mediation first. Civil Beat.

Hospitals Are Implementing Surge Planning as COVID-19 Cases Spike, Gov. David Ige Says. The governor said a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team is in Hawaiʻi to help analyze the data and develop strategies to stop the increasing case count. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi Department of Education Delays Fall Sports Season, Requires COVID-19 Vaccines for All Involved. All public school student-athletes must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to play sports in the upcoming school year, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education announced Wednesday. Due to the steep increase of COVID-19 cases, the fall season will be delayed until all student-athletes and adults working in athletics are vaccinated, the department said. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. KHON2.

Hawai‘i Virus Cases Smashing Old Records Amid Unprecedented Surge.
The 346 confirmed cases included: 217 on O‘ahu (+6 probable); 53 on Hawai‘i Island (+10 probable); 18 on Maui (+11 probable); five on Kaua‘i; and 25 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state (+1 probable). Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Announces New Restrictions On Social Gatherings. Mayor Rick Blangiardi said at a City Council meeting that Oahu will limit social gatherings to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council receives input on how to use American Rescue Plan Act funds, focusing on helping people impacted by the pandemic. Councilmembers say the money will be used to provide aid to people impacted by the pandemic -- with a focus on investing in critical island infrastructure, economic impact, community support and modernizing city systems. KITV4.

TheBus Reports Ridership 60% of Pre-Pandemic Levels, Increases Service for Schools. Overall ridership on city buses has increased since the earlier days of the pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some Councilmembers call for Joe Uno’s reappointment to HART Board. Honolulu Council members Augie Tulba and Heidi Tsuneyoshi want Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board member Joe Uno to serve another term. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

Pressure grows for transparency as Honolulu’s fire commission secretly votes for next chief. Pressure is growing for less secrecy by the Honolulu Fire Commission as it searches for a new chief. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu lifeguard claims failed city safety protocol spread COVID. An Oahu lifeguard claims he turned into a "COVID spreader" because the city didn't follow safety protocol, after a coronavirus exposure five weeks ago. KITV4.

Former ‘Waikiki Walk’ retail complex to be redeveloped. One of the most prime retail corners in Waikiki — a site once filled with mock-up scenes of old Hawaii including a Matson passenger ship — is to be redeveloped for the third time in three decades. Star-Advertiser.

Employers, job seekers meet in person at Career Expo. More than 70 companies and organizations gathered at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall Wednesday to recruit job candidates. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Construction code bill advances, faces one more County Council vote. After months of delay, the Hawaii County Council moved Wednesday to adopt changes to the county construction code. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. David Ige declares state of emergency for Hawaii County after wildfire scorches at least 40,000 acres. The declaration allows the governor to activate the major disaster fund and spend state funds as appropriated to protect the health, safety and welfare of Hawaii County residents and visitors, according to a news release from his office. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

Rising coronavirus cases in Hawaii raises concerns for care homes. The Life Care Center of Hilo is seeing another COVID-19 cluster within the facility, with 10 residents sick. KHON2.

Queen’s North Hawai´i Community Hospital Reinstates Visitor Ban. The decision was made in light of the recent coronavirus surge, which is shattering previous infection records from the first year and a half of the pandemic.  Big Island Now.

‘Fisherman’ statue relocated in Hilo park. Local artists Henry Bianchini and Shan Moy attached Ho‘omalule ‘Upena Kiloi, or Metamorphosis of a Net Fisherman, to a plinth in the art piece’s new spot near Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo on Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

‘Crowded’ Lanaians back Hokuao rental project. Pulama Lana‘i project of 150 homes seeking fast-track approval process. Pointing to the lack of housing inventory that forces multigenerational families to pack inside one- or two-bedroom units, more than 30 Lanai residents came out to testify Monday on a rental project proposed by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison’s company Pulama Lana’i. Maui News.

Court Cuts A&B’s Watertake from East Maui While Contested Case Hearing is Underway
. The Environmental Court has temporarily limited the amount of water that Alexander & Baldwin and East Maui Irrigation can take from East Maui to an average of about 25 million gallons of water per day, according to stream advocates. Maui Now.

10 New Maui County Paratransit Buses Blessed. Maui County paratransit bus riders will benefit from 10 new paratransit buses, which were blessed Wednesday and should be on the road within the next two weeks. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Kauai

Council approves traffic calming bill. A bill clarifying and outlining the county’s Department of Public Works and Kaua‘i County Council’s roles in determining measures to slow down traffic has passed through the legislative body. Garden Island.

KHS to start ‘safe haven’ program for pets and victims of abuse. With the help of a $20,000 RedRover Safe Housing grant, the Kaua‘i Humane Society has been able to purchase a dedicated space to house pets belonging to victims in unsafe conditions. Garden Island.

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