Thursday, October 21, 2021

Coronavirus vaccinations for children, union complaints from teachers, health-care and hotel workers, Honolulu, Kauai advance hotel tax, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash
PC:Kristine Wook on Unsplash

Elementary age kids in Hawaii weeks away from being eligible for vaccine. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are just weeks away from being eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. In Hawaii, 119,000 keiki fall into that age group. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Teachers union files complaint to force Hawaii officials to bargain over COVID-19 safety protocols.
The union representing Hawaii’s public school teachers has filed a complaint with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board in an effort to force state officials to engage in bargaining over COVID-19 safety protocols. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

‘Extremely Alarming’ Test Scores Show Challenges Ahead For Hawaii Schools. Hawaii’s public school students suffered dramatic drops in proficiency in core subjects in the nearly two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began, reflecting severe setbacks in academic progress ahead of the resumption of full in-person learning in August. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian language immersion students get distance learning option 2 months into the school year. The Department of Education is recruiting Hawaiian language speakers to help stand up the state’s first-ever Hawaiian Immersion Distance Learning Program. Hawaii Public Radio.

Proposal seeks to modify University of Hawaii tenure system
. The recommendations, crafted by a special committee of the board over seven months this year, gives deans and other administrators a say in the five-year review of tenured faculty members. It also reserves tenure for faculty who actively engage with students in the classroom and eliminates tenure tracks for support faculty and extension agents. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser healthcare workers vote in favor of strike after failed contract negotiations. Following stalled contract negotiations, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii workers represented by Unite Here Local 5 voted in favor of striking. The union said 93% of healthcare workers, which included nearly 2,000 employees, voted to authorize a strike. Hawaii News Now.

As Hawaii welcomes visitors back, a battle brews between union and hotels. The union is accusing the hotels of violating their contract by not bringing back enough workers. KHON2.

Biden’s Spending Bill Could Be A ‘Game Changer’ For Housing in Hawaii.
The infrastructure bill that the U.S. Senate is debating has the potential to make a huge dent in Hawaii’s housing needs, according to affordable housing advocates who have analyzed the version of the measure that passed the U.S. House. Civil Beat.

Investigation of Hawaii Auditor Les Kondo focuses on forged document. A special state House committee’s investigation of state Auditor Les Kondo and his handling of two critical audits of state land management on Wednesday focused on why Kondo did not pursue a document forged by a Kauai land agent or further research whether a land lessee who lost nonprofit status was being charged rates below market value. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

More than 1M Hawaii residents have completed COVID-19 vaccinations. This milestone has been reached as the number of daily coronavirus cases in Hawaii continues on a downward trend. The 7-day average of new cases is at 119, and the average positivity rate is at 1.7%. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KITV4.

Green favors no restrictions on outdoor gatherings for vaccinated. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said with current vaccination rates, there should be no restrictions on outdoor gatherings if events can confirm COVID-19 inoculations. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii sees 139 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 82,730. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 71 new cases on Oahu, 20 on Maui, 32 on Hawaii Island, 10 on Kauai, one on Molokai and five Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Legislative proposal carrying a city hotel tax advances.
A measure that would implement a city hotel tax, with a portion of revenue slated to flow to rail transit, advanced during a City Council committee meeting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

More restrictions loosen up on Oahu. Managed indoor events can resume on Oct. 20 at 50% capacity or a maximum of 500 attendees, or whichever is smaller. KITV4.

Legal Opinion Affecting 1,800 Oahu Landowners Is Secret For Now. The Land Use Commission on Thursday will discuss in private a Hawaii Attorney General’s analysis on Important Agricultural Lands. Civil Beat.

Key City Council committee advances funding for expanded lifeguard hours. A key City Council committee approved a plan Wednesday to provide more than $500,000 for the city’s dawn to dusk lifeguard hours. The city needs Council approval to transfer money it saved from vacant positions to hire 15 Ocean Safety contract workers. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Red Hill Decision Delayed For Probe Of Navy’s Alleged Lack of Disclosure. The Hawaii Department of Health is delaying a decision on the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility permit application as health officials investigate allegations that the Navy failed to disclose the full extent of its fuel pipeline network and the facility’s “corrosion history.”  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Council eyes state support for wastewater issues. A resolution discussed at Wednesday’s council meeting would urge the state legislature to set funding for wastewater management projects around the state as one of its legislative goals next year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Final Community Budget Meeting for FY 2023 Set for Thursday, Oct. 21. The final Community Budget Meeting for Fiscal Year 2023, hosted by Mayor Michael Victorino and his administration, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, starting at 5:30 p.m. Maui Now.

Hawai‘i Senators Visit Mahi Pono on Maui, Explore Strategies to Stabilize Economy. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means conducted a site visit today of Mahi Pono’s farming operations in Central Maui. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Planning and Possibly Police the Focus of Next Maui Charter Commission Meeting. The Maui Charter Commission will hear testimony and discuss Theme G – Planning and, if time allows, Theme H – Police, at its next meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 9 am. Maui Now.

Maui Police Plan New ‘Citizen’s Academy’
. The department’s community relations section has plans to set up a Citizen’s Academy starting in January that gives people ages 18-years and older a window into the life of a police cadet. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Kaua‘i setting aside TAT funds for vehicles, wages.
A bill that would appropriate $9 million in county Transient Accommodation Tax revenues passed first reading at the meeting of the Kaua‘i County Council yesterday. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Target opens early in Lihu‘e. The newest Target, its eighth in Hawai‘i since 2009, will be open seven days a week. Garden Island.

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