Monday, October 18, 2021

UH enrollment up, 70% of state fully vaccinated, Honolulu Zoo lion dies of COVID, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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University of Hawaii bucks trend with first enrollment boost in 10 years. Enrollment at the 10-campus University of Hawaii system increased this fall for the first time in a decade, defying a national trend that was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

US Rep. Ed Case Raked In Campaign Cash While Threatening Biden’s Agenda. The Hawaii congressman, a self-described fiscal conservative, was one of a handful of Democrats threatening the president’s $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” plan. Civil Beat.

Drug-related deaths in Hawaii up 13% this year. Drug-related deaths in Hawaii rose a projected 13% for the year that ended in March, and local law enforcement and health officials caution that counterfeit opioids and fentanyl-laced products could quickly contend with methamphetamine as the state’s deadliest drug. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii employers looking for help as coronavirus pandemic’s impact lingers. Hawaii employers who are desperate to fill jobs have posted a record-high number of job openings. Star-Advertiser.

How The Hunt For The Perfect Sweet Potato May Help Hawaii Farmers. Six researchers published a study that found two new and promising Hawaiian heritage sweet potatoes that could bring millions back to native people. Civil Beat.

Prized Red Ginger Is Being Laid Low In Hawaii By Viruses. Researchers have found the viruses are the primary cause of the decline in flower production, and some are choosing to no longer grow them. Civil Beat.

Saving Hawai‘i’s Endemic Plants, One Seed at a Time. A look inside the U.S. Army’s seed conservation lab, home to nearly 22.5 million specimens. Hawaii Business magazine.

In milestone, 70% of the state is now fully vaccinated against COVID. Seventy percent of Hawaii residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state Health Department reported Friday. It’s a milestone that the governor and health officials had hoped to hit months ago. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii hospitals report significant decline in COVID-19 patients. As COVID-19 cases continue on a downward trend, hospitals are less stressed than they were during the peak earlier this summer. KITV4.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 144 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 76 new cases on Oahu, eight on Maui, 39 on Hawaii Island, 11 on Kauai, one on Lanai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Public weighs in on potential City Council districts. The updated numbers that the commission is working with show that Oahu has 1,016,508 residents. That means each of the nine districts should have 112,945 residents. Star-Advertiser.

Which County Pays Its Council Members The Most? (Hint: It’s Not Honolulu). While the mayor and other top officials usually earn more on Hawaii’s most populous island, there’s a big exception. Civil Beat.

355 additional city workers file lawsuits seeking exemptions to vaccine mandate. Although the first hearing for city workers challenging Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s vaccine mandate ran into trouble in court, an additional 355 workers have signed on to lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Zoo’s only male lion dies after contracting coronavirus
. Ekundu, 13, came to Honolulu in 2010. He and 12-year-old female lion Moxy both showed signs of an upper respiratory illness, including some coughing, on Oct. 4. Star-Advertiser.

Police arrest arson suspect in connection with Waikiki surfboard rack fire. Police arrested a 43-year-old man at around 11:48 a.m. for first-degree arson. KHON2. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Island loosens COVID-19 restrictions, increases outdoor gathering capacity. The general public can now have outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, and organized outdoor events can hold up to 50 people. Indoor gatherings are still limited to 10. Hawaii Public Radio.

New maps could pit incumbents against each other: Shifting legislative district lines draw scrutiny. Too often lost in the maps and the dry data is how intensely personal the process of redrawing political boundaries is for elected officials. And it literally hits voters where they live. West Hawaii Today.

County submits Puna road restoration designs to FEMA. Earlier this week, the county submitted to FEMA designs for the realignment of a lower section of Pohoiki Road and the restoration of Highway 137, which was inundated by lava during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.


Senate Ways and Means Committee to Conduct Site Visits on Maui, Oct. 18-20. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means will be traveling to Maui on Oct. 18-20, 2021 to conduct site visits at various state and private facilities.  Maui Now.

Long-term solutions for homeless encampments hard to come by. County says more cleanups like the one at Amala Place may follow. Maui News.

Could making it harder to rent a car help control tourism? Maui lawmakers hope so. Maui County Councilwoman Tamara Paltin says establishing a cap can help relieve stress on the island’s infrastructure, communities and resources. Hawaii News Now.


Council to talk housing, terrorism Wednesday.
The County Council is set to meet Wednesday morning, and their agenda is packed to the brim with headline-worthy subjects. Garden Island.

A potential county ordinance to increase the island’s number of public charging stations is in its early stages. Garden Island.


Molokai Residents Riled By Possible Gate To Block Vehicles From Beach.
Molokai Ranch has been at odds with residents over land access before. This time, however, the ranch says it’s considering the step to protect a prized natural resource. Civil Beat.

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