Monday, January 3, 2022

Hawaii hits 16.7% COVID positivity rate, Ige postpones public meeting requirement, Maui requires booster for indoor dining, bars, gyms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Fewer hospitalizations expected during Omicron surge, but experts remain concerned. Hospitalizations are rising again and are expected to peak in late January but not at levels seen during the Delta surge. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 3,178 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 118,820. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 16.7% The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,495 new cases on Oahu, 238 on Hawaii Island, 225 on Maui, 129 on Kauai, 16 on Molokai, 14 on Lanai, and 61 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Not ready yet: Public participation in meetings to continue remotely. A new law setting stricter rules for governmental bodies holding remote meetings, including a requirement to provide a physical location for the public to testify, is supposed to go into effect Saturday, but Gov. David Ige has delayed that part of the new law in an emergency proclamation effective through Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now.

Decision by Hawaii Supreme Court leads to dismissal of dozens of cases
. A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling asserting that criminal complaints may be dismissed if they do not follow a procedural law requiring a signed affidavit or official declaration from the complaining party is resulting in the dismissal of dozens of misdemeanor cases. Star-Advertiser.

Minimum wage increase in Hawaii gaining momentum. State House Speaker Scott Saiki said he plans to introduce a bill to boost Hawaii’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to eventually $18 an hour. Star-Advertiser.

It Is Now Illegal To Kill Or Capture Sharks In Hawaiʻi. As of January 1, it is illegal to knowingly capture, entangle, or kill any species of shark in State marine waters. Big Island Video News.

Climate change plays factor in fewer humpback whale sightings in Hawaii, scientists find. As Hawaii’s 2021-2022 humpback whale season gets underway, scientists say they hope to see population numbers continue to recover after an estimated 50% plunge in 2015-2016. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s role in TV commercial raises questions for elected officials participating in advertisements. Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s starring role in a commercial for a rental car company is raising questions about the rules for elected officials in advertisements. Star-Advertiser.

Planning Costs Climb For New Oahu Jail As Debate Drags On Over Its Scope. If lawmakers agree, the total sum committed to planning may be $35 million for a lockup the governor believes might eventually cost $1 billion. Civil Beat.

Wages For Many On Oahu Fail To Keep Pace With Soaring Prices. Costs for volatile items like food and gas are expected to level off or decrease, but not for a while, leaving many to struggle. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Marines, law enforcement to drill on raids.
Marines and local law enforcement personnel begin training today at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for raiding operations on both land and sea. The exercise is scheduled to last until Jan. 13. Star-Advertiser.

The first class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of residents affected by Navy’s tainted water crisis. Attorneys Terry Revere and Michael Green filed the suit on behalf of all residents of military housing affected by the petroleum contamination — that affected 93,000 people on the Pearl Harbor water system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor’s Stance On Navy Water Crisis: No Comment. The mayor praised the head of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply but wouldn’t echo his calls to drain the Red Hill fuel tanks. Civil Beat.

Contractors play key role in Red Hill fuel storage operations. As the Navy continues to wrestle with the consequences of the contamination of its water system from its underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, the complexity of its fueling operations comes under increasing scrutiny — particularly when it comes to maintenance work at the aging fuel farm. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

‘Just hop on the bus’: Council bill would make bus rides free thanks to grants. Bus rides may be free for the next two years if a bill being discussed by the Hawaii County Council passes. Tribune-Herald.

Another blow for Honua Ola. The state’s Consumer Advocate has filed a document with the Public Utilities Commission saying “due to remaining questions and concerns, it is unable to recommend approval” of Honua Ola Bioenergy, the nearly completed biomass power plant in Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.

Taking to the skies: Homeless camps mapped for outreach, Point In Time Count. Flying in a helicopter in the skies over North Kona, Linda Thomas-Vandervoort was able to assess West Hawaii’s homeless population from a different angle. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County: Covid Booster Will Be Required For Indoor Dining, Bars And Gy
ms. As omicron spreads, Maui County will require people eligible for booster shots to get them to be considered fully vaccinated. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Boil water advisory remains in effect for residents on Maui. Due to the possible trace of E-coli bacteria in the tap water waterline maintenance continues to flush waterlines in the affected areas. KITV4.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council look at infrastructure, housing as policy goals for next year.
The next Kaua‘i County Council meeting isn’t until Jan. 12, but councilmembers are continuing to work toward county issues behind the scenes. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Mayor Kawakami sets 2022 goals. Mayor Derek Kawakami is optimistic going into 2022. Garden Island.


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