Thursday, May 12, 2022

Hawaii reports COVID surge, indoor masking to continue through summer at public schools, Blue Angels returning to Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash
COVID testing PC: JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Department of Health urges caution as COVID-19 infections increase.
The seven-day average of new cases rose to 722, an eightfold increase compared to the 87 reported March 23. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 14.3%, up from 11.5% last week. It is the eighth week in a row that DOH has recorded an increase in the positivity rate, which is considerably higher than it was during the delta variant surge. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Indoor masking to continue in public school summer programs. The indoor masking rule for Hawaii’s regular public schools will continue through at least the summer term, state officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaii’s ongoing economic recovery in precarious spot.
The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization expects a rising number of foreign tourists over the remainder of this year will boost the local economy enough to offset expected negative impacts from inflation, Russia’s war in Ukraine, COVID-19 shutdowns in China and U.S. interest rate increases planned by the Federal Reserve. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

How Fast Can Government Agencies Turn The Legislature’s $1 Billion Into New Housing?. Lawmakers just appropriated approximately $1 billion to help build homes for residents. Now it’s up to the executive branch to make things happen. Civil Beat.

Tougher penalties eyed to protect ‘aquatic resources’. Among the bills passed this legislative session and sent to Gov. David Ige for his consideration is one that would stiffen penalties for violating the state’s aquatic resources law. Tribune-Herald.

Electric Vehicles Are On The Rise In Hawaii. Can Charging Infrastructure Keep Up? Many Hawaii residents living in apartment buildings and other multi-family dwellings lack direct access to electric vehicle charging stations. Civil Beat.

BOE Will Choose A New Superintendent Next Week After Finalist Interviews. The interviews and the vote will be open to the public in-person and online in a process aimed at promoting transparency. Civil Beat.

DOE outlines future plans for distance learning as school year wraps. The Department of Education said it’ll offer distance learning next school year, but is encouraging in-person learning. KHON2.

Hawaii parents hunt for baby formula amid shortage. Parents across the U.S. are scrambling to find baby formula as supply disruptions, compounded by a massive safety recall by major manufacturer Abbott, have left many store shelves empty of leading brands. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Pilot flew too fast in bad weather before crashing in Kailua. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation into a 2019 tour helicopter crash in a Kailua neighborhood concluded that the pilot flew into stormy weather at a higher-than-recommended speed, an action that led to the aircraft’s failure and fatal plunge from the sky. Star-Advertiser.

Navy Inspectors Found Problems With Hawaii Fuel Operations Before Contamination Crisis. U.S. Navy fuel operations in and around Pearl Harbor were found out of compliance with environmental protection rules in 2019. Civil Beat.

Feds link man accused of threatening Hawaii leaders to paramilitary, sovereignty group. Federal authorities are taking a close look at a paramilitary, Hawaiian protest group after a man linked to the group allegedly issued social media threats to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Lt. Gov. Josh Green and the Waianae harbor master, sources said. Hawaii News Now.

Blue Angels set to take flight across Hawaii skies. The Blue Angels are making a comeback as they prepare to zoom across Oahu skies at this year’s Kaneohe Bay Air Show. The event will be held on August 13 and 14 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

EPA visits wastewater facilities: Regional administrator offers guidance on money for upgrades at Kealakehe, Hilo facilities. Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the nonprofit environmental law organization that successfully sued Maui County are watching how Hawaii County plans to handle similar wastewater discharge issues. West Hawaii Today.

Community opposition is growing in Kohala over a $25 million land listing. Community opposition is growing in Kohala over plans to sell land near the Pololū Valley lookout and along the valley coastline. A private landowner has listed nearly 45 acres in the area for $25 million. Hawaii Public Radio.

Federal firefighters at Hawaii Island training area battle Army over safety, retaliation complaints. Besides fires, they’re also fighting their boss ― the U.S. Army ― which wants to conduct a prescribed burn at Pohakuloa. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Public hearing to be held on fuel, vehicle, property tax rates. The Maui County Council will hold three separate public hearings on Friday on fuel, motor vehicle and property tax rates for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1.  Maui News.

Maui County considers measure to limit visitor accommodations amid tourism resurgence. The resurgence of tourism on Maui to pre-pandemic levels has the county considering a measure to limit the number of visitor accommodations including hotel rooms and vacation rentals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

KIUC Retires $1.7 Million in Patronage Capital. Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative will begin issuing $1.7 million in 2021 patronage capital retirement bill credits to cooperative members this month due to action taken by the board of directors at its April 28 meeting. Garden Island.

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