Thursday, March 31, 2022

Capitol no longer requires vax cards for entry, federal transit officials visit Honolulu, complaints dismissed against Maui doctors pushing unproven COVID remedies, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Capitol ©2022 All Hawaii News

Proof of vaccination or negative test no longer required at Hawaiʻi State Capitol. Visitors to the Hawaiʻi State Capitol will no longer have to show their vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID test, state officials announced Tuesday. Mask rules differ in the state House and Senate. Masks are optional but requested in House chambers and rooms, but are mandatory in Senate chambers and rooms. Hawaii Public Radio.

Omicron Subvariant Now Responsible For 40% Of New Hawaii Infections. Cases of the highly contagious BA.2 Covid strain have been confirmed in every county, prompting fears of a new surge. Hawaii’s daily Covid count has risen slightly in recent weeks, with the state logging a seven-day average of 129 cases Wednesday after hitting a post-omicron surge low of 89 cases March 18, according to the state’s newest numbers. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Local COVID forecasters say eased restrictions will result in small case increase
. The Hawaiʻi Pandemic Modeling Working Group says it expects the lifting of COVID restrictions in all counties to result in a small increase in cases, but nothing like the past omicron and delta variant surges. Hawaii Public Radio.

Two Years Into The Pandemic, Hawaii Is Finally Poised To Test Its Sewage For Covid. After a series of short-lived efforts by state and county agencies, Hawaii is finally primed to launch its own program to test sewage for coronavirus this summer – nearly two and a half years into the pandemic. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Producer responsibility bill hanging on in the Legislature: Bill seeks to reduce packaging waste in landfills. A bill paving the way to make producers of certain goods take greater responsibility for their packaging waste has cleared the state House and is making progress in the Senate. West Hawaii Today.

UH Faculty Leadership Votes To Condemn Donna Mercado Kim. The University of Hawaii faculty are considering asking Senate leadership to remove Sen. Donna Mercado Kim from the Higher Education Committee. In a rare move, seven of the 10 campus faculty leadership groups issued a public rebuke of Kim condemning her “inappropriate legislative actions,” which they say includes introducing several measures taking aim at the university’s decision-making authority as well as faculty tenure. The votes have been going on all month. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige Makes New Board of Ed Appointments. The appointees include N. Makana McClellan, the director of business development and community relations at Shriners Children’s Hawaii; Lauren Moriarty, former dean of academics at Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies; and Ken Kuraya, a retired DOE administrator. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.

Ige Names Two To UH Board Of Regents. American Savings Bank Vice President Gabriel Lee and EPIC Ohana Executive Director Laurie Tochiki will assume the Board of Regents seats, pending Senate approval. Civil Beat.

Late kumu hula Edith Kanakaʻole to appear on US quarter
. The late Native Hawaiian hula teacher Edith Kanakaʻole is among five women who will be individually featured on a U.S. quarter next year as part of a program that depicts notable women on the flip side of the coin. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Federal transit officials are in Honolulu for rail project risk analysis amid invasion of Ukraine. Officials from the Federal Transit Administration are in Honolulu this week to do some risk analysis for the latest version of the city’s rail project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Judge Awards $1.375M In An Inmate Suicide At Halawa Correctional Facility. The state admitted liability in the case of a 28-year-old prisoner who was on ‘observation status’ in the medical unit, but hanged himself anyway. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal For Waiawa Correctional Facility Aims To Keep Families Together.
A new family resource center comes with a price tag of about $420,000. Civil Beat.

$10 million gift for Mid-Pacific Institute to expand educational opportunities within and beyond campus. An anonymous donor has given $10 million to Mid- Pacific Institute, the largest gift in the Manoa private school’s history. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Waiaka Bridge replacement project picks up steam. A long-stalled project to replace the 90-year-old Waiaka Bridge on Highway 19 in Waimea is moving again. West Hawaii Today.

Two mumps cases detected in South Kona area. The state Department of Health confirmed that two people had been identified, and they are both members of the same household. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

State dismisses complaints against Maui doctors over controversial COVID-19 treatments. Two doctors who stirred controversy last year for promoting the anti-­parasitic drug ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for COVID-19 have escaped disciplinary action after the enforcement arm of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs declined to pursue complaints against them. Star-Advertiser.

‘Give us access’: Hunters want to help with Maui County deer overpopulation
. House Bill 1872 requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources to recognize that game mammals provide a food source. Hawaii News Now.

Sonic Drive-In latest big-name chain headed for Hookele. Fast food eatery holds groundbreaking, could open by end of year. Maui News. Maui Now.

$18.5M home becomes Maui’s most expensive sale this year. Originally listed at $19.9 million, the six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home on about an acre in Wailea-Mākena saw high interest and sold in about three weeks. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kawakami files for reelection. Wednesday, Mayor Derek Kawakami officially filed for reelection. Garden Island.

Kamokila Hawaiian Village forced to close on Kauai. For generations William Kihei Fernandes' 'ohana cultivated native plants, built thatched-roof hale and educated thousands of keiki at the Kamokila Hawaiian Village. The Department of Land and Natural Resources said it allowed the lease to expire in December as the agency reevaluates the use of the four-acre property. KITV4.

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