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.

Oahu

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

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.

Kauai

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.

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