Thursday, October 28, 2021

Oahu loosens COVID restrictions, HMSA to eliminate hundreds of jobs, state fines Navy $325k for Red Hill fuel leak, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

Oahu to loosen COVID-19 restrictions for large events. Mayor Rick Blangiardi is loosening COVID-19 restrictions in Honolulu, starting with allowing more vaccinated people to gather at indoor and outdoor events, effective Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HMSA to eliminate hundreds of positions as it outsources some functions. HMSA President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Mugiishi said the rising cost of health care, new regulatory requirements and consumer mandates have “forced the need for massive technology upgrades to maximize efficiency in the workplace.” The company said 285 employees will be impacted. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Federal funds to offset $80 monthly hike in A+ program.
A new $80 monthly fee increase for the state Department of Education’s After School-Plus, or A+, program to take effect Monday will not affect families thanks to federal monies that will be used to offset the increase. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 184 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 99 new cases on Oahu, 31 on Hawaii Island, 10 on Maui, 32 on Kauai, one on Molokai, two on Lanai, and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii health inspectors fine U.S. Navy more than $325K for safety violations at Red Hill. The Navy failed to maintain adequate leak detection at two underground fuel recovery storage tanks and hadn’t performed needed testing of repaired piping, among other safety violations, according to state health officials. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City plan would combine affordable housing projects with retail, restaurants. The plan is to encourage developments that combine homes with retail and restaurants by relaxing height and density limits in neighborhoods that can handle the growth. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-governors Abercrombie, Cayetano and Waihee push housing, no stadium in Halawa. The three expect the effort to find private developers to carry out the NASED plan, which would largely be paid for by public funds offset by income from private use of leased land around a new stadium, will result in a “sinkhole” for taxpayers and a “walk-away disaster” for a private partner.  Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Marathon is a go, with planning already underway. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Wednesday announced that effective Wednesday, road races — currently limited to 500 participants — may be staged with an unlimited count of vaccinated participants. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Tax a ‘necessary evil,’ mayor says, to make ends meet for county. During a livestreamed interview, Roth discussed a bill introduced during last week’s meeting of the Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee that proposed levying a 3% transient accommodations tax across all all gross rental proceeds in the county. Tribune-Herald.


Charter Commission Adopts 6 Proposals, Including Abolition of Maui Planning Commission. After hearing nearly two hours of public testimony at a virtual meeting Oct. 21, the Maui Charter Commission adopted six charter amendment proposals, which if approved by voters in 2022, will significantly alter how the County Planning Department functions.  Maui Now.

Developers reduce project size to avoid cultural sites
. Makena Golf & Beach Club will scale back from 134 to 103 units. The Maui Planning Commission voted 6-1 on Tuesday to allow developers to downsize the mixed-used development on the land above Makena Landing from 134 units to 103, as well as reduce the 47.2-acre project area by 5 acres. Maui News.


DLNR analyzes outdoor rec concerns on Kauaʻi. Pickleball courts continue to be popular recreation spots on Kaua‘i, according to the plan. Garden Island.

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