Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Vaccination passport requirements kick in, state auditor grilled under subpoena, BYU defies gathering laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Auditor Les Kondo

State auditor Les Kondo and office are subjects of House investigation. For the first time in his five-year tenure, state Auditor Les Kondo was subpoenaed to appear before a special state House Investigative Committee on Monday and testified under oath about separate audits that found two state entities bungled economic opportunities to better manage state lands. Star-Advertiser.

Former Hawaii Legislator Joins Board of Education on Interim Basis.
Lyla Berg, who owns a leadership consulting company, will serve at least through June. Civil Beat.

No shutdown planned for Hawaii, Gov. David Ige says. Gov. David Ige said Monday that there won’t be another full-scale shutdown in Hawaii, despite the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the islands that have strained the resources of hospitals and prompted the governor earlier this month to sign an executive order shielding health care facilities from liability if they have to ration critical care. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.

Monday marks day one of the new vaccination mandate for all state contractors and visitors at many state facilities. Under the new rules, private employees working on state property need to be vaccinated or provided weekly negative COVID tests. Hawaii News Now.

State Appears Lax In Reviewing The Cases Of People Sitting In Jail Awaiting Trial. But prison officials say they already comply with a 2019 law that requires reviews of all pretrial detainees every three months. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 461 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 72,352. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 311 new cases on Oahu, 32 on Maui, 82 on Hawaii island, 27 on Kauai, two on Molokai and seven Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s homelessness strategy for Honolulu falls flat. The foundation of Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s homelessness strategy was built on two promises: He assured the public that he would end sweeps of encampments and replace police with social workers to address nonviolent 911 calls. Now nine months into his term, neither promise has been fully realized. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu over halfway to reaching housing goal.
The city is a little over halfway to its goal of establishing 300 households by the end of the year through the Oahu Housing Now program. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu restaurants adapt to new COVID-19 rules.
Restaurants are adjusting to new dine-in requirements for patrons who must now present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to be seated. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Fitness members take new COVID-19 rules in stride. Monday was the first day of the Safe Access O‘ahu program where all patrons must show proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result to enter bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and recreational settings such as bowling alleys, arcades and archery ranges. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Anonymous tip leads police to illegal ‘block party’ on BYU campus. An anonymous tip led Honolulu police to a party with hundreds of people in Laie over the weekend. It happened Friday night on the campus of BYU Hawaii, violating the city’s gathering restrictions. And it appears school officials gave the event the go-ahead. Hawaii News Now.

OCCC is fighting outbreak of more than 100 infections. More than 100 inmates and an employee at the Oahu Community Correctional Center have tested positive for COVID-19, a cluster of infections that the state Department of Public Safety is working quickly to contain before it spreads into the community. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Tours to USS Arizona Memorial on hold as repairs to shoreside dock continue
. Boat rides to the memorial are still suspended. Operations were stopped at the beginning of the month when crews noticed a safety issue with one of the shoreside docks at the visitor center. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

State ponders Roth’s request to publicize list of those in quarantine
; Ige says ‘it’s a balancing act’. The state is evaluating a proposal from Mayor Mitch Roth to publicly identify individuals who opt to quarantine after arriving on the island, Gov. David Ige said. Tribune-Herald.

Ethics board clears council members.
The Board of Ethics unanimously cleared five County Council members of wrongdoing Monday following two complaints on unrelated issues. West Hawaii Today.

A family with ties to the Big Island hopes to support sustainable agriculture with a new dairy operation in Ookala. Chad and Stephanie Buck of Oahu recently purchased the assets of the former Big Island Dairy, which had been owned by Steve and Derek Whitesides since 2011 and was located on land leased from the state. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Visitor Industry Prepares for Proof of Vaccination Requirements
. On Wednesday, Maui launches the similar "Safer Outside" program, though there will not be a COVID-19 testing option for patrons as there is on Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio.


County’s Solid Waste Division audited, morale in question. Ineffective leadership and unfair practices were noted as two causes of low morale in the county’s Department of Public Work’s Solid Waste Division, a new audit confirmed. Garden Island.

DMV to close early on Sept. 16. The Motor Vehicle Registration division of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be closing at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, to accommodate a staff training. Garden Island.


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