Thursday, May 19, 2022

Below average hurricane season predicted, masks urged as COVID soars, Korean firm bids on Makaha Valley, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Below-average hurricane season predicted for Central Pacific region. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Wednesday predicted that the region will see two to four tropical cyclones during the hurricane season that starts June 1. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Health officials urge masking, boosters as COVID-19 cases surge in Hawaii. On Wednesday the DOH reported the state’s seven-day average for new cases had climbed to 925 — up from 722 on May 11, and marking the eighth consecutive weekly increase. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 16.9%, up from 14.3% last week. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaii mental health clinicians strike. Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaii mental health clinicians launched a three-day strike Wednesday amid stalled contract negotiations. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today.

Governor: Japan’s tough COVID restrictions hindering Hawaii tourism rebound. Gov. David Ige recently traveled to Japan and he says many Japanese want to come to Hawaii, but returning to Japan is a huge hassle due to COVID. Hawaii News Now.

New partnership uses technology to prove origins of Hawaiʻi coffee — and stop counterfeits. The Hawaiʻi Coffee Association has signed an agreement with product traceability company Oritain to build a statewide coffee origin database. Hawaii Public Radio.


A Look At The 4 Finalists For Honolulu’s Police Chief. The four finalists — Scott Ebner, Mike Lambert, Joe Logan and Ben Moszkowicz — are set to answer questions from the public during a televised forum Thursday on PBS Hawaii, marking the first time the community will hear from the men still in the running to lead the city’s police force of nearly 2,000 officers. Civil Beat. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Korean firm bids to buy Makaha Valley resort site. A South Korean conglomerate branching into the resort business has made a bid to buy much of Makaha Valley where development plans linked with golf superstar Tiger Woods fizzled in recent years. Star-Advertiser.

This Honolulu Architect Admitted To Bribery. But He Still Has His License. Despite pleading guilty to a job-related felony, William Wong was able to renew his license for another two years. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Says A New Mask Mandate Is A ‘Possibility’. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blackgirdi said Wednesday that he might consider implementing a mask mandate after the Covid-19 case count rose for the eighth week in a row. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Man, 28, who refused to wear mask, convicted of felony for punching Waikiki security guard, 71. An Oahu Circuit Court jury on Tuesday found a 28-year-old man, who refused to wear a mask at a COVID-19 testing site, guilty of second-degree assault in the beating of a 71-year-old security guard. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death. The internal affairs report claimed staff had been trained in suicide prevention policies, and a guard made the required cell checks. Neither was true, and an inmate died. Civil Beat.

City worker who may have been exposed to radiation hired attorney days before his death. A city maintenance worker who may have been exposed to radiation while fixing a tire on a garbage truck hired a high-profile attorney just 10 days before his death. The development comes as investigations into Charles Kuailani’s cause of death continue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Affordable housing measures pass, fail: Council approves new programs, but not charter amendment to pay for them. A bill adding eligible programs for county housing funds was passed on final reading Wednesday by the County Council, but a companion measure proposing a charter amendment to lock in funding was shot down by a council majority. West Hawaii Today.

DHHL breaks ground on Kaʻu water system improvements. Improvements by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to an existing Hawaii County Department of Water Supply system in Kaʻu will soon connect pastoral homestead lessees in the Kamaʻoa Homestead to water service. Tribune-Herald.

Sniffing out COVID: Schools take part in pilot program starring Cobra the canine. Three Hawaii Island public charter schools have a new tool for detecting COVID-19 on campus — an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois named Cobra. Tribune-Herald.

As COVID cases climb, HMC sees increase in keiki infections. As COVID-19 cases rise throughout Hawaii for the eighth consecutive week, Hilo Medical Center reported a significant increase in pediatric cases. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Charter Commission to review final report and voter guide. The Maui Charter Commission will meet this Thursday,  May 19, to review and approve its Draft Final Report detailing eleven proposed amendments to the County Charter.  Maui Now.

With funds running dry, temporary Maui homeless shelter to shut down. A temporary homeless shelter on Maui is out of money and may soon be out of time as it prepares close down its services. Wahi Hoomalu O Wailuku off Waiale Road is Maui’s temporary homeless shelter. Hawaii News Now.


‘Save Koloa’ sues county, condo developer. Local nonprofits are suing Kaua‘i County and a mainland property developer, escalating controversy surrounding a planned condominium complex on the island’s South Shore. Garden Island.

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