Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New data could move Oahu House seat to Big Island, Health Department affirms Red Hill shutdown order, Capt. Cook monument defaced with indigenous slogan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Capt. Cook monument. See Hawaii Island section for stories

New Data From U.S. Military Could Restart Reapportionment Process. At stake is a House seat that could move from Oahu to the Big Island. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

The state is looking again for a contractor to market the islands to US tourists.
The state will once again look for a contractor to market the islands as a destination for American tourists after its initial award was rescinded. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii eliminates Safe Travels health questionnaire, reduces COVID quarantine for visitors to align with CDC guidelines. Hawaii’s Safe Travels quarantine guidelines for visitors change today to align with the state Department of Health’s new requirements. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

The counties are now solely in charge of COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities
. Throughout the pandemic, the state Department of Health has partnered with the counties to operate COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities for residents. These buildings provide rooms to those who cannot safely isolate from others. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Clare Connors sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Hawaii.
Connors left her position as state Attorney General after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 7. Biden nominated Connors on Sept. 28. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Schools Will Reopen After Break Despite Covid Worries
. The interim superintendent stressed the importance of maintaining in-person instruction for students’ academic and emotional growth. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Report: Limited Funding, Staff Could Delay DOE Effort To Meet Food Sustainability Goal. A new legislative report offers sparse detail on the planned overhaul of student meals served in Hawaii’s public schools. Civil Beat.

Hawai'i's high housing costs could have literally become a health hazard, study finds. A study from the Hawai'i Budget and Policy Center found Hawai'i's lack of affordable housing could be costing residents their mental and physical health. KITV4.

Former Solar Executive Will Head Ethics Commission. Robert Harris, a former solar energy company executive, Sierra Club director and corporate lawyer, has been selected executive director and general counsel of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, the organization announced Monday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

DOH New Year’s vaccine video draws fire before it’s pulled. Admitting it was not the state Department of Health’s “best work,” a spokesman today addressed a now-removed DOH promotional video that advocated vaccination over New Year’s resolutions such as eating healthy, exercising and saving money. Maui Now.

Hawaii sees 3,044 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 121,864. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,166 new cases on Oahu, 359 on Hawaii Island, 273 on Maui, 124 on Kauai, two on Molokai, six on Lanai and 114 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Hawaii Health Department Affirms Order To Shut Down Red Hill Fuel Tanks. The DOH rejected arguments by the Navy that the state lacks the power to shut down Red Hill. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Board of Water Supply says 3 Oahu wells may never reopen after latest Navy contamination. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says isn’t sure if it will ever be able to reopen three of its drinking water wells that it shut down last month to avoid the chance that jet fuel spilled by the Navy might contaminate its drinking water system. Star-Advertiser.

The CDC, DOH will survey civilians affected by water system contamination
. Beginning on Tuesday, January 4 the Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will survey civilian residents affected by the Navy's water distribution system. KITV4.

DOH: 1 in 5 COVID tests administered on Oahu are coming back positive. Oahu’s average test positivity rate has soared in recent days and now stands at nearly 20%, new figures from the state Health Department show. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Investigation underway: State probing vandalism of Captain Cook Monument. The white obelisk tower that marks the spot where explorer Captain James Cook was killed in 1779 at Kealakekua Bay was defaced sometime around Jan. 1. It was smeared with red paint with the words, “You are on Native Land” written on it. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Update on Kalanianaole Avenue closed to public. Although a Hawaii County Council committee will discuss the long-delayed reconstruction of Kalanianaole Avenue today, the public will not be privy to that discussion. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Water treatment disinfection to change for Upper Kula in attempt to clear E. coli. The Maui County Department of Water Supply will switch its water distribution disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine beginning Jan. 10 in an attempt to clear away trace amounts of E. coli from the Upper Kula water system. Maui Now.

Kalakupua Playground repairs, Jan. 17-22.
The Haʻikū Community Association and the Construction Industry of Maui will be providing materials and volunteers to repair some of the existing fencing and playground equipment. Maui Now.

Kauai

DLNR seeking CIP monies for Lehua, Mana Plains conservation projects. Kaua‘i habitat and endangered species were reviewed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources during an informational briefing before the state Senate Committee on Water and Land last week. Garden Island.

Out-of-state buyers drove up Kauaʻi housing prices in 2021, officials say . An influx of out-of-state homebuyers and renters pushed up housing prices on Kauaʻi last year, officials said. The median sale price of a single-family Kauaʻi home jumped 57% in November from the same month in 2020 to $1.2 million, according to real estate firm Locations. Statewide, the median climbed 16%. Associated Press.

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