Monday, December 27, 2021

Kahele contracts COVID as Hawaii cases hit new record, Big Island council redistricting completed, Zuckerberg buys Kauai land, reservoir, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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U.S. Rep Kai Kahele ©2021 All Hawaii News

Kahele tests positive for COVID, says he’s experiencing mild symptoms.  Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele has tested positive for COVID-19. Kahele, D-Hawaii, tweeted the diagnosis Sunday morning. Kahele’s infection is considered a breakthrough case as he is fully vaccinated and also received a booster. Hawaii News Now.

White House staffers who visited Hawaii test positive for COVID-19. A group of White House staffers who visited Hawaii last week have tested positive for COVID-19. The staffers were part of Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks’s entourage, who was on Oahu to visit the Red Hill Fuel storage facility last Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Amid skyrocketing COVID case counts, new debate on restrictions emerges. The record number of new COVID cases has prompted some medical experts to call for new restrictions. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lawmakers Plan To Revive Old Bills For Future Of Food And Farming. As the focus on local food production continues, lawmakers and lobbyists want to make farming and ranching easier in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A Community Is Trying To Save Hawaiian Burials From Eroding Into The Sea. Climate change is threatening iwi kupuna from mauka to makai. Experts say the tools exist to come up with a solution but it will require political will. Civil Beat.

Seismic hazard study gauges Hawaii’s earthquake vulnerability. The updated Seismic Hazard Model for the State of Hawaii, published Wednesday in the science journal Earthquake Spectra, indicates the entire island chain remains vulnerable to damage from an earthquake. Star-Advertiser.

Research Institute Faces Challenges Bridging Criminal Justice Data Gaps. The Hawaii Criminal Justice Research Institute is still working to combine data from police, jails, courts and other agencies to determine if improvements should be made to the system. Civil Beat.

Some face coverings might not be enough against omicron. COVID infections continue to rise across the state, and new daily case records continue to be reported. KHON2.

Hawaii sets new COVID infection record with Sunday’s count of 2,205 cases. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,841 new cases on Oahu, 118 on Hawaii Island, 132 on Maui, 68 on Kauai, 17 on Molokai, one on Lanai and 28 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


COVID clusters reported at 2 Honolulu nightclubs and a Hilton Hawaiian Village event. State health officials are investigating three clusters of COVID cases stemming from large gatherings in Honolulu over the past two weeks. Health officials are looking into events at The District Nightclub and The Republik on both Dec. 10 and 11, and one on Dec. 11 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village involving the Adult Foster Homecare Association of Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Queen’s Medical Center Punchbowl, West Oahu implements No Visitor Policy as COVID cases rise. To prevent in-person contact, officials said those who wish to visit a patient can consider other options like calling or video chatting. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii company could play role in removal of Red Hill fuel amid water contamination. State officials have been discussing the possibility of using facilities maintained by fuel refinery and distribution company Par Hawaii to store some of it. Star-Advertiser.

Navy apologizes after official says Red Hill contamination isn’t a crisis. The Navy is apologizing for downplaying the seriousness of Oahu’s tainted water crisis. Deputy Assistant Navy Secretary James Balocki drew heat for saying the tainted water issue at Red Hill was not a crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Extending lifeguards’ hours needs faster rollout, chief says.
Ocean Safety personnel currently working extended hours are still working a 40-hour week, Titchen said, with an alternate work schedule of four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Map is pau: New County Council boundaries completed by Redistricting Commission. After seemingly endless meetings where tiny population clusters were moved block by tedious block, spirited public input and a dozen drafts later, a final map of County Council districts has been approved that will stand for the next 10 years. West Hawaii Today.

‘A Vision for Punaluʻu’: Black Sand Beach Developer Vows Community-Led Project for Neglected Area. Norman Quon, project director for the Punalu’u, said that the property owner, Eva Liu, is committed to working with the community in shaping the plans to reinvigorate 434 acres around the area known as Black Sand Beach on the southern end of the island. Big Island Now.

HPD updates community on animal control program, services offered. Jan. 1 will mark six months of the Hawaii Police Department’s hands-on management of animal control services on the Big Island — the same date a new law goes into effect requiring dog and cat owners to microchip their animals. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County closes on $10.5M purchase of 500 Acres in Central Maui. Maui County has closed on a $10.5 million purchase with A&B Properties of approximately 500 acres known as Waiʻale South and Waiʻale North, according to an announcement by Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now.

New workforce homes in Kīhei now taking applications starting at $390,000. Hale Kaiola is Maui’s first neighborhood processed under the 2.97 incentive program and is currently finalizing the permitting process and is set to break ground in January of 2022.  Maui Now.

Facebook founder buys more Kauai land, including Ka Loko Reservoir. A more than century-old former sugar plantation reservoir on Kauai that unleashed a deadly flood 15 years ago is now part of an enlarged domain of billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Star-Advertiser.

Ho‘oponopono Plastic Program collects to upcycle plastics.
A Kaua‘i-based ocean-conservation group is ready to expand its commercial-plastic-collection initiative, but needs help getting to the next level. Garden Island.

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