Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Hawaii welcomes all vaccinated domestic travelers back to the state, Oahu tackles general plan, Hawaii council favors hotel tax hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige

Gov. David Ige ready to welcome fully vaccinated domestic travelers back to Hawaii Nov. 1. Ige's announcement comes nearly two months after he asked travelers to avoid Hawaiʻi because case counts were surging with the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 80 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 82,591. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 42 new cases on Oahu, 14 on Maui, six on Hawaii island, two on Kauai and 16 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Nearly 90% of Honolulu city workers are partially vaccinated. Almost 90% of city workers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to an update on compliance with Honolulu Hale’s mandate requiring all employees to be vaccinated, unless granted a medical or religious exemption. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Honolulu City Council seeks public input for the Oʻahu General Plan. The Honolulu City Council is encouraging residents to provide input for what the city should focus on in the coming years. Resolution 21-23 outlines the Oʻahu General Plan, a document providing an updated focus on the quality of life of residents and supporting strong communities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Police commission pledges plenty of sunshine in process for picking new HPD chief.
It has been six months since Susan Ballard announced that she was retiring as Honolulu’s police chief. And the Honolulu Police Commission is still struggling to name her replacement. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers seek answers about Navy’s handling of Pearl Harbor fuel leak. A dozen state lawmakers are asking a top U.S. Navy official to support an independent investigation into whether people under his command sought to hide details about a fuel leak into the waters of Pearl Harbor from state health officials and the public out of concern it could jeopardize the Navy’s permit to continue operating its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

TMT foes march to University of Hawaii president’s home.
Dozens of opponents to the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea walked by the University of Hawaii president’s Palolo residence in a display against the telescope project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu shifting to victim-focused domestic violence prosecutions.
A 30-year-old policy that prevented Honolulu prosecutors from dropping domestic violence prosecutions no matter what a victim said is over, and law enforcement will partner with a local nonprofit to help ensure survivor safety. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Favorable reception for new TAT tax. Most — if not all — County Council members support tacking an extra 3% tax on hotel, timeshare and transient vacation rental charges, but a bill to do that was postponed two weeks by the Finance Committee on Tuesday to work out more of the details. West Hawaii Today.

County: ‘Love Island’ got a free pass. Doug Adams, the county’s research and development director, said the Big Island Film Office, which is managed by Research and Development, did not do proper diligence in connecting the “Love Island” production with various county agencies that would have required permits. Tribune-Herald.

Council roasts bad-faith coffee producers. A resolution presented to the County Council Committee on Governmental Operations, Relations and Economic Development on Tuesday urges the state legislature to pursue new laws that would require coffee blends to be at least 51% Hawaii-grown in order to use Hawaii geographic names on their labels. Tribune-Herald.

Council chair criticizes speakers for promoting ‘dangerous views’ about COVID. Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters blasted several speakers Tuesday for promoting what he called “dangerous views” about COVID treatments. The speakers were invited to Honolulu Hale by Councilmember Andria Tupola, who opposes the city’s vaccine mandate. Hawaii News Now.


New Rules Announced for Maui Parks Concessions. New rules for parks concessions have been finalized and certified, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced today. Maui Now.

In a first, president of Maui water company says he’s willing to work with kalo farmers. After a decades-long battle over water on Maui, the president of Wailuku Water Company says he is willing to work with kalo (taro) farmers for better solutions moving forward. Avery Chumbley admitted to avoiding collaboration in the past because he said the farmers were too confrontational. Hawaii News Now.


Council to vote today on fast-track housing.
Members of the Kaua‘i County Council will consider a resolution today that would implement a fast-track permitting process for workforce-housing development, a step that is hoped will help to address the housing crisis on the island. Garden Island.

Rare birds breeding in restored wetlands. Endangered waterbirds are flocking to the island’s South Shore, following ongoing wetlands-restoration efforts at Makauwahi Cave Reserve. Garden Island.

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