Thursday, September 30, 2021

Kilauea erupts again, Oahu commission approves residential vacation rental restrictions, Maui mayor seeks to relax pandemic rules, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

USGS photo taken by M. Patrick on September 29, 2021
Kilauea eruption USGS photo taken by M. Patrick on September 29, 2021

Lava returns to Kilauea Volcano’s Halemaumau Crater. Kilauea Volcano has started erupting again — just four months after the last eruption ended. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii public schools gear up for COVID-19 testing program. At least 165 schools across the state have registered for training to join Operation Expanded Testing, and 67 of those schools are already actively testing with more schools signing up every day, officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Spending Less On Public Infrastructure Than In Recent Years.
The latest round of state spending for capital improvement projects is about half what it’s been the last few years. Civil Beat.

State auditor-House panel battle continues. Auditor Les Kondo wrote a blistering, six-page letter to the eight members of the special House Investigative Committee on Tuesday, calling its investigation of him and his office illegitimate, inappropriate, outside of the committee’s scope and a continuation of “the Speaker’s (Scott Saiki’s) attack against me and my office.” Star-Advertiser.

U.S. says 8 Hawaii birds among nearly two dozen extinct species. Death’s come knocking a last time for the Kauai ‘o‘o and 22 more birds, fish and other species: The U.S. government on Wednesday declared them extinct. Associated Press. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Coffee, Macadamia Protections Sought By Hawaii’s DC Reps. The federal legislation would enable research funding to be used to address current and emerging threats to the crops. Civil Beat.

Senators Reintroduce Bill to Adjust Medicare Payments for Hawai’i, Alaska Nursing Homes. The bipartisan Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act will authorize a cost-of-living adjustment at skilled nursing facilities in those states to take into account the higher costs of delivering care. Maui Now.

In a worrisome measure of need, half of Hawaii’s keiki are now on Medicaid. Since March 2020, when the pandemic began, more than 100,000 people have signed up for coverage. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records highest COVID death toll in September since start of pandemic. The Hawaii State Department of Health recorded 181 COVID-related deaths in September — it’s the highest death toll connected to the virus since the onset of the pandemic. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 13 new coronavirus-related deaths, 230 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 144 new cases on Oahu, 37 on Hawaii island, 18 on Maui, 13 on Kauai, two on Molokai, and 16 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Planning commission proposes new short-term rental rules for residential areas only. The Honolulu Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend the new short-term rental rules proposed by the city Department of Planning and Permitting to the Honolulu City Council, but only for residential areas. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 100 city bus drivers remain unvaccinated, union working on deal to grant exemptions. The union says the unvaccinated drivers are standing firm on their stance to not get vaccinated. KITV4.

West Oahu Residents Are Wary Of Possible Marine Corps Expansion. As the Marine Corps moves forward with an ambitious restructuring of its entire force and repositioning of forces around the Pacific, military leaders are scouting locations in the Ewa Plains and other areas in West Oahu for new training grounds and potential housing for troops and their families. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island


New University of Hawaii Astronomy Director Seeks Balance On Mauna Kea.
Doug Simons is taking over the Institute for Astronomy at a critical time for the agency and for astronomy in the state. Civil Beat.

Department mourns loss of two Big Island firefighters. The Hawaii Fire Department is mourning the loss of two firefighters who died within two months of each other. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor Proposes Changes to Relax Maui’s “Safer Outside” Rules. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has sent a request to Governor David Ige to relax Maui’s Safer Outside Emergency Health Rules, which went into effect on Sept. 15, 2021. Maui Now.

Panel at odds over proposed visitor lodging moratorium. Members vote to recommend denial and back different version. After many hours of public testimony, panel discussion and a split vote, the Maui Planning Commission moved Tuesday on a highly debated proposal to pause new visitor transient accommodations in an effort to curb overtourism. Maui News.

Here’s How Maui Police Chief Candidates Answered Exam Questions. The Maui Police Commission is expected to select the Maui Police Department’s next police chief Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Maui police detective breaks code of silence, claiming corruption and abuses of power at MPD. A Maui police detective is breaking the code of silence to expose what he says is corruption and abuse of power in the Maui Police Department. The allegations include the kidnapping of a patrolman for interrogation by other officers. Hawaii News Now.

Managing deer, sustainable food is mission of business. Maui Nui Venison to receive funding to help move processing on-island. Maui News. Maui Now.

Kauai

Board of Water Supply appoints Tait as new chief engineer. The Kaua’i Board of Water Supply has appointed Joseph Tait to the position of Manager and Chief Engineer at the Department of Water. Garden Island.

2 Los Angeles travelers arrested on Kauai for falsified travel documents.
Two travelers from Los Angeles were arrested around noon Tuesday for uploading falsified documents into the Hawaii Safe Travels portal in an attempt to avoid the state’s travel quarantine requirements. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Critically Endangered Fern Rediscovered On Kauai.
Scientists had not seen the imperiled native fern in the wild for years, leading some to believe it could be extinct. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

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