Friday, August 27, 2021

Native Hawaiians wary of pandemic surge, feds OK CARES money for Honolulu robotic dogs, shift of legislative seats unlikely as Reapportionment Commission beings work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Native Hawaiian leaders urge the lahui to help stop COVID-19 surge. Dr. Gerard Akaka joined more than 20 Native Hawaiian leaders — kumu hula, educators, health care professionals, public officials and politicians — at a news conference Thursday at the state Capitol to urge their lahui (nation) to help stop the surge of COVID-19 cases by wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and getting vaccinated. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Afghanistan bombings weigh on Vice President Kamala Harris’ stop in Hawaii. Air Force Two touched down at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 2:40 p.m. Thursday and taxied up to the historic operations building at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before 3 p.m. after Harris visited Singapore and Vietnam. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

More Hawaii residents are leaving the islands for the mainland, and experts predict the situation will only worsen as a result of COVID-19′s economic fallout. The U.S. Census Bureau says more than 8,600 people left the islands last year alone. Hawaii News Now.

State set to roll out vaccine passport for gyms, bars, and other businesses. The state is poised to roll out a COVID vaccine passport to get into gyms, bars, and restaurants. The governor says he hopes to have it up and running by Labor Day. KHON2.

Governor says ‘extreme measures’ possible if COVID surge worsens. As hospitalizations mount, mayors and the governor are eyeing the possibility of more restrictions. Hawaii News Now.

Green warns ‘life-preserving restrictions’ looming. With no signs of Hawaii’s COVID surge slowing, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Thursday he plans to call for “life-preserving restrictions” if the number of people hospitalized with COVID reaches 500. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees spike in pediatric COVID cases, increase in infant hospitalizations. Doctors said they are seeing an increase of young children testing positive for COVID and some of those cases are ending up in the hospital. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 831 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 58,578. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 511 new cases on Oahu, 102 on Maui, 176 on Hawaii Island, 32 on Kauai, two on Molokai, one on Lanai and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

City narrows down new landfill sites to 4 locations. The city has narrowed down the list to four locations from 12. Two of the remaining sites are near the North Shore, one is between Makakilo and Waipahu and one is near Wheeler Army Airfield. Star-Advertiser.

HPD’s Use Of CARES Act Money On Robot Dog, ATVs And Overtime Was Legit, Feds Say. The city submitted documentation stating every purchase was necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Empty-home tax gains momentum on Oahu amid affordable housing shortage. Empty homes and condos blanket the island while locals struggle to keep up with Honolulu’s cost of living; nearly 40,000 units are vacant at any given time, according to a UCLA study the City commissioned in 2020. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council Nixes Plan To Build Affordable Housing On Kahuku Farmland. The unanimous decision came after the Department of Planning and Permitting recommended against the project amid community opposition. Civil Beat.

Waianae Coast public schools get state office support.
With the Waianae Coast surging with COVID-19 infections, some of its public schools are experiencing staff shortages so great that Department of Education staffers from state offices were brought in to help. Star-Advertiser.

Navy detonates unexploded ordnance at Kaneohe Bay. U.S. Navy experts detonated one unexploded ordnance underwater at Kaneohe Bay this morning, and disposed of the other one, which is unarmed, at another site. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

The Miske Case: Death Penalty Is Off The Table. Mike Miske, the former Honolulu business owner who is awaiting trial on federal charges stemming from his alleged control of a violent racketeering organization in Honolulu over two decades, will not face a possible death sentence if convicted. Civil Beat.

Mayor offers condolences to family of city employee who died of COVID. The city has confirmed one of its employees has died of COVID-19. Information on the person’s age, gender and job title was not released. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


8th House seat unlikely. Recently released census data does not support an eighth seat in the state House for Hawaii Island, the state Reapportionment Commission was told Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Supreme Court to decide whether police chiefs broke law during TMT protests. The ability of county police departments to rapidly deploy resources to other counties in the state is in the hands of the Hawaii Supreme Court, which on Thursday heard oral arguments in a case challenging the presence of Honolulu and Maui police officers on Mauna Kea during telescope protests in 2019. Tribune-Herald. Civil Beat.

Eruption watch canceled for Kilauea Volcano.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced Thursday morning that earthquake activity and ground deformation beneath the southern part of Kilauea’s summit have subsided over 24 hours, which led HVO to lower an alert level that it raised Tuesday following a swarm of earthquakes. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Keauhou Resort Now Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa
. The Outrigger Hospitality Group takes over the former Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Sen. Roz Baker calls on state to fire Maui district health officer for promoting dangerous COVID-19 treatments. A growing number of leaders in the Legislature are calling on the state to fire Dr. Lorrin Pang, the Maui district health officer for the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. KITV4.

New police chief expected to be picked in October. The Maui Police Commission expects to deliberate on and select a new police chief in October, following a written examination and interviews of five finalists for the job. Maui News.

EPA Appoints Maui County Councilmember King to Local Government Advisory Committee. US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan has appointed Councilmember Kelly Takaya King to the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee. She is the only person chosen from Hawaiʻi for the 39-member committee. Maui Now.

Think Tank Report: Kahului Airport Could Generate $935 Million with Private Lease. A new report by Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to free markets, found Hawaiʻi’s two largest airports could be worth up to $3.6 billion combined via a long-term lease to private airport companies and investors. Maui Now.

Kauai

No new COVID rules yet. In a public-service announcement Thursday, Mayor Derek Kawakami, alongside health-care providers and community leaders, called on residents to reduce travel and gatherings in the face of the most-recent spike in COVID cases, to avoid a more-severe shutdown. Garden Island.

Proposed KPD facility draws mixed response. A handful of residents voiced opposition to the Kaua‘i Police Department’s proposed Kawaihau substation during an informational meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

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