Monday, January 17, 2022

State can't accurately count COVID cases, closes quarantine facilities amid omicron surge, Hawaii legislative session to start Wednesday, Kauai seeks to outlaw feral cat feeding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Feeding feral cats in Hawaii ©2022 All Hawaii News
Legislative session opening with hopes for Hawaii’s working families. The Legislature begins its third consecutive session on Wednesday with the state Capitol closed to the public because of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, while members of the state House and Senate feel pressure to do more to help working families and low-income residents as the economy rebounds. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Chart of members of the state Senate and House for the 2022 session. pdf.

Hawaiʻi State Senate announces priorities for 2022 Legislative Session. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present new challenges for the state, the Hawaiʻi State Senate is focused on addressing these concerns and more in the upcoming legislative session. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige seeks to create new law enforcement agency. Gov. David Ige is proposing the creation of a statewide law enforcement agency to streamline and help coordinate multicounty investigations, public-safety activities and training. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education strives to provide more local food. A strategy is developing to use centralized kitchens to replace processed food imports currently served in student meals with fresh, local ingredients. Civil Beat.

Another call for investigation on UH athletics by Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The university continued to deal with the controversy that involved now-former head football coach Todd Graham, who resigned Friday, Jan. 14, amid player accusations of verbal abuse and a lack of cultural awareness, among other things. KHON2.

Federal funds to help ‘rebuild bridges across Hawaii’: State to receive $339M for repairs, improvements. Hawaii will receive $339 million in new federal funding over five years to repair and improve the state’s bridges, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced in a Friday statement. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Clean-up efforts underway following tsunami surge triggered by Tonga eruption. While a tsunami advisory has been canceled for Hawaii, people across the islands are now cleaning up the mess left behind by wave surges triggered by a large eruption in Tonga. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Availability of Hawaii COVID-19 quarantine facilities dwindling.
The availability of COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facilities has been drastically reduced since the state handed over the responsibility for providing them to the counties of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

DOH: Overwhelming surge in COVID tests delays reporting of both positive and negative counts. The state’s electronic data collection system for COVID-19 cases has become overwhelmed by the number of test results that it is trying to process. As a result, state health officials say they will stop processing negative test results beginning Saturday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,878 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,285 new cases on Oahu, 585 on Hawaii Island, 700 on Maui, 230 on Kauai, 28 on Molokai, 28 on Lanai and 22 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Navy Gives New Dates For Families Displaced By Water Crisis To Return Home. The Navy continues to flush petroleum-tainted water from homes and neighborhoods, with most residents expected to be able to return starting later this month. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian organizations, community groups seek to restore, preserve historic lands in Luluku. The plan calls for restoring the agricultural terraces and loi systems in Luluku, creating community partnerships and educational opportunities, and starting programs that steward the land for future generations. Star-Advertiser.

Security under fire at Honolulu’s airport following rash of car thefts. State lawmakers grilled airport officials over a recent rash of car thefts at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and urged them to invest in more consumer-friendly upgrades at the airport. Hawaii News Now.

Public can attend virtual meeting discussing Ala Wai Flood Risk study. The community will be able to attend a virtual meeting to learn about and discuss the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management General Reevaluation study on Thursday, Jan. 20. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

East vs. West: Who should get the eighth House seat? The addition of a new Big Island seat in the state House has set up a battle about whether it should go to East Hawaii or West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Shortage of volcanic black cinder in Hawaii triggers emergency search.
The situation has prompted the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, at the direction of the Legislature, to pay a research team to find big deposits of black cinder on public or private land that is well suited for commercial excavation on Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

Tsunami triggered by volcanic eruption in Tonga causes minor damage in West Hawaii.
A Keauhou Bay business sustained heavy damage Saturday morning as an approximately 3-foot tsunami surge tore through the Sea Quest retail store. West Hawaii Today.

First cruise ship since March ‘20 arrives in Kailua Bay.
The first cruise ship to make call since March 12, 2020, in Kailua-Kona arrived in Kailua Bay Sunday morning. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Victorino announces bid for re-election, aims to revitalize Maui County. Victorino, a former Maui County Council member, was sworn into office as mayor Jan. 3, 2019, after defeating Elle Cochran, also a former council member. He is slated to finish his first mayoral term at the end of this year. Maui Now. KITV4.

Discovery of mysterious substance oozing from ground in West Maui draws concern. The tar-like material was found on the site of a long-shuttered sugar mill in Lahaina. Hawaii News Now.

Two people survive Hāna plane crash. The incident was reported at 9:57 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, approximately 100 yards west of the Hāna Airport runway in heavy foliage. Maui Now.


Feral-cat bill moves at county council; prohibits feeding, abandonment. A cat-centric county bill that would tighten up compliance with seabird-protection mandates passed first reading before the County Council Wednesday. Garden Island.

HSTA requests collective bargaining again. Kaua‘i teachers and administrators are struggling to keep schools open for in-person learning. Garden Island.

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