Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Libraries, courts limit services as pandemic hits home, ICU beds fill statewide, Honolulu city employees get vaccination reprieve, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawai‘i’s Public Libraries to Close Wednesdays Beginning August 18. Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, all Hawai‘i State Public Library branches will be closed to the public on Wednesdays beginning August 18. Garden Island. KHON2.

Hawaii courts to postpone jury trials until October. Responding to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today ordered jury trials postponed across Hawaii through Oct. 4. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to travel to Hawaii. Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will travel to Hawaii on his return trip from Tokyo after he represents the United States at the Paralympic Games. Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, will visit Honolulu on Aug. 25.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii State Parks Expect To Triple Their Revenue. Despite a year of fluctuating restrictions in parks across the islands, a change in fees gives the parks division an unanticipated increase in cash. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian homestead leader, Robin Danner, to reopen Washington, D.C., office full time. Robin Danner, chairwoman of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, will move from Kauai to the nation’s capital next month to reopen the advocacy group’s office. This marks the first time in the organization’s 34-year history that it will have full-time representation on the Hill. Star-Advertiser.

Blue Planet Foundation’s executive director Jeff Mikulina to depart after 13 years. The Blue Planet Foundation today announced that Jeff Mikulina will step down from his role as executive director on Oct. 15, 13 years after taking the helm of the locally based nonprofit that advocates for 100% clean energy in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Businesses Are Considering Vaccine Requirements For Customers. As the the Covid-19 delta variant drives new cases, business groups are discussing whether to support policies requiring customers to be vaccinated. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric to require employees to show vaccination or submit to weekly testing. Hawaiian Electric said today it will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing starting Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

More visitors to Hawaii arrested for having fake COVID vaccination cards. Two more people have been arrested and charged for falsifying vaccination cards in order to travel to Hawaii. KHON2.

No ICU beds available at Queen’s medical facilities as COVID cases surge in Hawaii. The Queen’s Health Systems has no available intensive care beds, has started canceling elective surgeries and procedures and has had to divert patients with emergency health needs to other hospitals as Hawaii’s surge in COVID-19 cases strains resources and threatens to grow worse. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 539 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 51,739. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 376 new cases on Oahu, 49 on Maui, 80 on Hawaii island, 14 on Kauai, three on Molokai, and 17 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Deadline extended for Honolulu employees to comply with vaccine mandate. Facing the prospect of a sudden shortage of police, firefighters, paramedics and other county workers who have not been inoculated against COVID-19, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi extended by one week the deadline for employees to comply with Honolulu’s vaccine mandate to Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu DPP Revising Vacation Rental Regulations, Operators Face Uncertain Future. Two years afterpassing regulations, city’s department of planning and permitting is reevaluating the law, and how to regulate short-term vacation rentals going forward. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tough competition, soaring prices: No relief in sight for tough housing market.
According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, more than 80% of the homes in Leeward and Central Oahu were sold above the asking price in July. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Fire Commission To Hear From Chief Finalists.
The two candidates will discuss their application for the job in a public session Aug. 25. Civil Beat.

Nearly 3,000 students expected to move in to UHM dorms this week. Classes at the University of Hawaii start on August 23.Students will need to show proof they've received the full COVID-19 vaccination -- or undergo weekly testing for the virus. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Schools try to ‘stay the course’: COVID-19 cases creep up at DOE campuses statewide. More than 50 COVID-19 cases were reported in Big Island schools and administrative offices Aug. 7-13, the first full week that most students returned to campuses. Tribune-Herald.

Ethics Board finds Van Pernis wasn’t courteous. The Board of Ethics last week ruled Leeward Planning Commissioner Mark Van Pernis violated the county ethics code requiring officials treat everyone respectfully, even as he faces one final County Council vote Wednesday to oust him as a commissioner. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi Reps Welcome Chair Of House Indigenous Peoples Subcommittee. The Chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States was on Hawaiʻi island on Friday, visiting homestead communities in Panaʻewa and Keaukaha. Big Island Video News.

Hundreds of goats removed from National Park. More than 400 goats were removed from Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park last week. West Hawaii Today.


Residents call wind-blown litter around Central Maui Landfill ‘upsetting’. Maui county officials are struggling to control wind-whipped trash near a landfill. The county is promising improvements to the Central Maui landfill on Pulehu Road in Puunene. Hawaii News Now.

39 COVID-19 Patients at Maui Hospital, Most COVID Admissions Since Pandemic Started. According to the hospital, initiatives are in place to support employees, including extra clinical help MMMC is to receive next week with the arrival of several rapid response nurses and respiratory therapists. Maui Now.

Maui Memorial ‘extremely busy’ but patients may still seek care. Maui Health in collaboration with the Healthcare Association of Hawaii “will be welcoming several rapid response nurses and respiratory therapists” to assist with the COVID patients. Maui News.

MEO’s Imada named to HPR advisory board. Maui Economic Opportunity Executive Assistant Lee Imada has been named to the new class of Hawaii Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. Maui News.


County investigates education and KCCC clusters. The county is continuing to investigate two clusters on island, one at an educational setting which has resulted in 37 primary or secondary cases and one at the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center which the Department of Public Safety reported 15 new positive cases among inmates and one from a staff member. Garden Island.

Rent and utility assistance goes on the road. Expenses eligible for the rental and utility relief include rental arrears, future rent, and utilities in arrears for March 2020 through December 2021. Garden Island.

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