Monday, October 4, 2021

Ige extends pandemic restrictions to Nov. 30, Maui mayor defies Ige's order and allows spectators at sporting events, Kaiser health workers to vote on strike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii’s tourism industry anticipates a gradual return of visitors from Japan. As Japan officials ease COVID restrictions across the nation, Hawaii’s tourism industry can expect a rebound. But industry leaders anticipate the return of Japanese travelers will be a gradual one, and it will be some time before Hawaii’s economy sees the positive impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Governor extends mask rules, travel regulations for another 60 days, through Nov. 30. Gov. David Ige said Friday he would extend emergency orders requiring masks and regulating travel amid ongoing concerns about high numbers of COVID-19 infections. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Full text of Gov. David Ige's latest emergency proclamation can be found here.

State health department to end daily breakdown of Hawaii’s COVID-related deaths.
Sunday’s email with the breakdown of deaths was the final one from the DOH for the foreseeable future, according to DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiser health care workers to vote on strike following failed contract negotiations. After months of failed contract negotiations, nearly 2,000 health care workers at Kaiser Permanente are set to vote on whether to authorize a strike. Hawaii News Now.

Saving Hawaii’s Banana Industry ‘One Good Banana’ At A Time Gabriel Sachter-Smith is on a mission to find the perfect banana for Hawaii. He’s already got 200 varieties in the works. Civil Beat.

State bankruptcies plummet 31% to 15-year low.
Around the state, bankruptcies were mixed in the four major counties last month. Honolulu County filings dropped to 65 from 91, Maui County filings declined to nine from 23, Hawaii County filings remained at seven and Kauai County filings ticked up to five from four. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii businesses concerned, affected by COVID restrictions, survey finds. An anonymous Chamber of Commerce Hawaii survey of 217 members — conducted Sept. 10 of mostly Oahu businesses before Safe Access O‘ahu rules went into affect — found that 53% of respondents were still experiencing a workforce shortage, compared with 86% from a similar survey conducted in May. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 7 new coronavirus-related deaths, 277 additional infections. The  new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 161 new cases on Oahu, 21 on Maui, 65 on Hawaii island, 29 on Kauai and one Hawaii resident diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


As COVID crisis eases, mayor to propose that Oahu bars be allowed to serve alcohol until midnight. Honolulu’s mayor says he soon hopes to make changes to the city’s rules for bars, allowing them to serve alcohol until midnight rather than halting service at 10 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

City says at-home rapid tests can be used for entry to restaurants, gyms. At-home rapid COVID tests ― like the ones the city is giving away ― can be used for patrons or workers at restaurants, gyms and other businesses. But they’re not allowed for other government mandates. Hawaii News Now.

Embattled HPD commander reassigned after another officer files complaint against him. HPD Major Stephen Gerona has been the subject of multiple Hawaii News Now reports after four veteran officers came forward, accusing him of bullying, retaliation, harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Hawaii News Now.

Health officials join in chorus calling for Gov. Ige to allow fans at UH football.
UH remains the lone FBS college football team without in-person fans. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Convention Center rooftop terrace needs repair. The Hawaii Tourism Authority plans to ask Gov. David Ige to add $64 million to the state’s capital improvements budget so that it can finally fix a leaky rooftop deck at the Hawai’i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Virtual public forum on new Maunakea Master Plan set. The University of Hawaii will host a virtual forum Wednesday evening during which the public can ask questions via email about the draft of a new Maunakea Master Plan. West Hawaii Today.

Lava from Kilauea volcano remains contained.
Lava continues to erupt from multiple vents along the floor and western wall of Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Bay Clinic, West Hawaii Community Health Center announce merger. Bay Clinic and West Hawaii Community Health Center will consolidate operations next year to form a new health care organization serving patients islandwide. Tribune-Herald.

New Deputy Director Of Department of Research and Development Named.
Robert “Bob” Agres, who recently served as the Manager for Disaster Recovery Community Engagement and Collaboration under the Planning Department and was familiar to the residents of Puna who were impacted by the 2018 eruption of KÄ«lauea, will fill the position. Agres succeeds Sulma Gandhi. Big Island Video News.


County visitor lodging tax set to roll out next month. Maui leaders will charge full 3% in wake of state call to pull county TATs. With more time needed to prepare, especially for smaller accommodations, the Maui County Council on Friday passed a new visitor lodging tax but put off enacting it until Nov. 1. Maui News.

Fans allowed to go back to some games, Victorino says
. Mayor Michael Victorino bucked the governor’s denial of his proposed rule changes, moving ahead Friday with looser restrictions that will allow spectators to attend certain youth sporting events. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Six aging structures along the historic Hana Highway on Maui are chosen for major improvements.
Many of the one-lane bridges were built more than a century ago and are obsolete by modern traffic safety and load standards.  Star-Advertiser.

Maui officials are seeking proposals on how to manage the county's overwhelming deer population. A county survey estimated there are currently 50,000 deer on the Valley Isle, and predicts the population could reach 210,000 in the next decade. KITV4.


Future of Eastside water system uncertain. Nearly two years after management of the East Kaua‘i Irrigation System passed to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, no solution has been successfully implemented to prevent the system’s decommissioning. Garden Island.

HTA touts plans to cultivate ‘mindful visitors’. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is promising a transition to a new direction, one aimed toward greater environmental sustainability and appreciation of local culture. Garden Island.


Lanai Council Considers Resident-Only Beach Park Access. Crowds at the popular beach park fronting Lanai’s crescent-shaped Hulopoe Bay have sparked tensions between local residents and tourists. Civil Beat.

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