Monday, September 13, 2021

Public input sought on new Mauna Kea master plan, judge approves prison lawsuit settlement, hospital rationing could lessen care for those over 65, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tourist view Mauna Kea ©2021 All Hawaii News

University of Hawaii welcomes public comments on new Maunakea Master Pla
n. There is a draft of the new Maunakea Master Plan that the University of Hawaii would like public input on. KHON2. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

TMT project manager makes presentation.
While construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea has yet to begin, work on the project continues around the world. Tribune-Herald.

A U.S. judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a lawsuit by Hawaiʻi inmates who allege state officials mishandled the pandemic and failed to protect them from COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails. Both sides agreed last week to the settlement, which establishes a five-person panel to oversee public health in correctional facilities and other measures to improve sanitation, hygiene and medical monitoring. Associated Press.

Older patients could be denied treatment under Hawaii’s ‘crisis standards of care’ plan if COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Hawaii is not yet rationing health care, but patients 65 and older could be denied medical assistance under certain provisions of the state’s “crisis standards of care” plan if the current COVID-19 surge escalates. Star-Advertiser.

Over Decades, Hawaii Cut Acute Care Hospital Beds. Then Came The Pandemic. Health and government officials argued that advances in medicine and patient preference reduced the need for the beds, but now, there aren’t enough. Civil Beat.

Same as it ever was: Reapportionment Commission holds fast to 2011 allocation of state legislative seats. There will be no canoe districts and all basic island units will keep the same number of state senators and state representatives they have now, the Reapportionment Commission agreed in unanimous votes Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Kindergarten Enrollment Has Dropped Sharply Since The Pandemic Began. While the latest DOE enrollment report shows a slight increase, the enrollment count for kindergarten is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. Civil Beat.

Proof of vaccine, negative test now required to enter public libraries. Effective today, Monday, Sept. 13, all public libraries and offices for the Hawai‘i State Public Library System will implement and enforce proof-of-vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours to enter. Garden Island.

Hawaii records 7 new coronavirus-related deaths, 735 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 484 new cases on Oahu, 111 on Hawaii island, 57 on Maui, 56 on Kauai, five on Molokai, and 22 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Marines eye land for ‘future force’ at former Barbers Point base.
A space-crunched Marine Corps is looking for additional locations to house and train its “future force” in Hawaii, and one consideration may be hundreds of acres of undeveloped land on the east side of the former Naval Air Station Barbers Point. Star-Advertiser.

HART Sheds More Staff, Including Its Latest Chief Financial Officer. The changes come amid the HART board’s private discussions on future leadership at the agency. Civil Beat.

Honolulu first responders account for half of city workers seeking COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions. In Honolulu as of Tuesday, 255 police officers, 101 firefighters, 80 water safety workers and 23 emergency medical technicians and mobile emergency care specialists claimed that religion or a medical issue prevent them from accepting a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the city Department of Human Resources. Star-Advertiser.

With new COVID mandates on the way, more line up to get vaccinated. Some residents said they weren’t planning on getting the vaccine at all but chose to get the shot to keep their jobs. Hawaii News Now.

City to open new mass testing site at Blaisdell Arena.
It is a drive-thru testing site only, which means the participant will need to register in advance online. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

COVID testing sites on Oahu see uptick as new rules set to kick in. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s plan requires most Honolulu-area entertainment, recreational and food service establishments to require that workers and patrons provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu businesses face challenges as new COVID mandate begins
. New uncertainty begins today for a long list of Oahu businesses when new COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandates kick in for 60 days with the goal of reducing the spread of the virus. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Stands likely to remain empty as University of Hawaii spectators still not allowed. The University of Hawaii football team is the only one of more than 100 major college programs across the nation that has not been allowed to have spectators at its home games this season. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Former Na Leo TV exec charged with embezzlement and bribery.
Former Na Leo TV CEO Stacy Higa is pleading guilty to federal charges of federal programs embezzlement and bribery. Higa, a former Hawaii County councilman and 2020 mayoral candidate, entered into a plea agreement Aug. 19 with the federal government, although no documents have yet been filed, according to his lawyer, William Harrison. Star-Advertiser.

Low-income apartments approved for Kealakehe. A 111-unit subsidized rental apartment project is slated to be constructed on 5.4 acres near the intersection of Kealakaa and Uluaoa streets in Kealakehe, following unanimous approval last week by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor, police and fire chiefs talk employee vaccinations. A decision by the City and County of Honolulu to fire a 24-year police officer for refusing to be vaccinated could have implications on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Antibody clinic on way: HMC hopes to have COVID-19 treatment center running this month. The clinic, which will be located on the ground floor of the hospital, will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and staffed by FEMA-funded personnel. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Arrivals are Near Pre-Pandemic Levels, but Concerns Rise Over Cancellations. While arrivals on Maui are close to pre-pandemic levels for now, room cancellations for current and upcoming trips are starting to add up. Maui Now.

Maui businesses brace for ‘Safer Outside’ program. As the delta variant continues to spread in Hawaii and the summer travel boom begins to slow, many Maui businesses are on edge. KHON2.


Mask rules vary at private schools. In a survey by The Garden Island, most private schools on Kaua‘i met the state’s requirements, while others required stricter masking or went the other direction, not enforcing the mandate at all. Garden Island.

29 new COVID-19 cases in Kaua‘i schools last week. The state Department of Education reported 426 COVID-19 cases between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9. Twenty-nine of those cases were on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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