Showing posts with label Puna Geothermal Venture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puna Geothermal Venture. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Hawaii Supreme Court blocks early inmate release, data shows COVID much more deadly than flu, Hawaii County to consider lodging tax, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Corrections officer at Hawaii jail ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii Supreme Court blocks the early release of certain prisoners. The state Supreme Court denied a third request by the office of the Public Defender to release certain classes of prisoners early to help alleviate the crowded conditions that help COVID-19 spread, noting rising inmate vaccination rates and a declining number of infections in Hawaii’s jails and prisons. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Race expanding for Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor. The 2022 race for the open seat of Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor is heating up for a job that has no clear day-to-day responsibilities but has served as a recent platform to the governor’s mansion and the U.S. Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Ikaika Anderson Launches Campaign For Hawaii Lt. Governor. The former Honolulu City Council chair is the second Democrat so far to seek the office in 2022. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House Panel Warns It May Hold The State Auditor In Contempt. Rep. Della Au Belatti tells Les Kondo she wants audit documents by the end of business Wednesday, or else. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Home Lands Residents May Be Out Of Luck When It Comes To Help With Broadband Bills. A federal pandemic subsidy program offers discounts to homesteaders. But the company that provides the service says it won’t participate. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaiʻi economist says state economy on the upswing. A University of Hawaiʻi economist told state lawmakers he’s cautiously optimistic about the future outlook for the state’s economy even though he’s expecting statistics to show thousands of jobs were lost during the recent COVID-19 Delta variant surge. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health officials debunk false report, saying COVID is far deadlier than the flu.
The statistic that is causing issue is 859, which the state Health Department said is how many people in Hawaii have died in the last year from pneumonia and influenza. The state said only one of those deaths was actually due to influenza — the rest were related to pneumonia and the vast majority were COVID-related. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

Hawaii doctors urging pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19 due to high risks. Women who are pregnant and recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, pregnant women who contract the virus are at increased risk for preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirth. Star-Advertiser.

‘Zip code matters’: Experts say pandemic highlighted troubling health inequalities statewide. Hawaii’s healthcare and business leaders say the pandemic exposed troubling inequalities among ethnic and economic groups across the state. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 49 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 81,663. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 36 new cases on Oahu, two on Maui, six on Hawaii Island, four on Kauai and one on Molokai. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Some outdoor events now allowed on Oahu as part of mayor’s larger plan of easing restrictions. Some outdoor events are allowed on Oahu starting Wednesday as part of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s larger plan of easing restrictions over the next two weeks. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

New body cam video shows bizarre encounter before fatal police shooting in Nuuanu. On April 14, an hour before a fight with police officers in Nuuanu, Lindani Myeni had a strange encounter with police in the parking lot of Kewalo Basin. Hawaii News Now.

New community around stadium could start to rise in about a year. Residential and commercial construction on state land around Aloha Stadium could begin in late 2022 or early 2023 without a projected timetable for replacing the largely condemned 50,000-seat facility. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

Former workers of Love’s Bakery are now suing the company. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are suing Love’s Bakery, alleging the company shorted health trust fund contributions after they say an audit uncovered about several hundred thousand dollars in discrepancies. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Lodging tax hike looms: Council to discuss adding 3% to TAT. On the heels of the governor and Legislature scooping up the counties’ share of a tax on hotels and short-term rentals, County Council members next week will discuss imposing their own. West Hawaii Today.

Police Recover 600 Pounds in Stolen Bananas. The two suspects were identified and the bananas were recovered, however, the owners of the produce remain unknown. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Puna Geothermal Venture to discuss operations with public. Officials with PGV, Hawaiian Electric Co. and the County of Hawaii will give updates on the geothermal plant's operations in the first such meeting since July. Pacific Business News.

Maui


Mayor Anticipates Approval for Loosened Restrictions on Maui.
While the mayor said he has obtained a verbal okay from Governor David Ige, he’s holding back on calling loosened restrictions official until the Governor puts his signature on paper. Maui Now. KITV4.

Charter Commission Adopts Proposal To Establish Independent Nomination Board.
At last Thursday’s Maui County Charter Commission meeting, proposals were adopted that would significantly change the selection process and requirements for people serving on County boards and commissions. Maui Now.

US Rep. Kai Kahele Tours Maui Economic Opportunity. US Representative Kai Kahele toured Maui Economic Opportunity’s Wailuku offices Monday, Oct. 11, meeting staff, learning about programs offered by the nonprofit agency whose mission is to alleviate poverty, discussing the need for affordable child care for young families, hearing aids for kupuna and the spending bills being hammered out in Congress. Maui Now.

‘E ho’i ka wai. Return the water’: In ongoing battle, Kalo farmer finds water source locked up. The battle over water continues on Maui as some famers say their access to water has been abruptly shut off. Wailuku farmer Robert Street says water to his taro patch stopped on Monday without any explanation. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Photographer complies with DLNR. A commercial wedding photography company previously called out for its practice of allegedly taking photos without necessary permits has removed photos from its website taken within closed areas without proper permitting at the behest of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

KPD primed and ready for explosive threats. The next time something that could go “boom” needs to be dealt with on Kaua‘i, police won’t be stuck waiting for help to be flown in from Honolulu or the mainland. Garden Island.


Friday, November 13, 2020

Legislature won't take up mask mandate in special session, Hawaii's only volcano-powered electric plant resumes operations, Hawaiian Airlines allows frequent flyer miles for COVID-19 tests, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines at HNL ©2020 All Hawaii News

HawaiianMiles now redeemable for a pre-travel COVID-19 test.
Hawaiian Airlines now allows members to redeem HawaiianMiles for a pre-travel COVID test as part of the company's loyalty rewards program. KITV4.

Senate Judiciary Committee to convene, but no plans for legislative mask mandate. The state Senate’s Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet in special session Monday to review two judicial appointments but has no plans to discuss whether to clarify that masks are mandatory across the state to curb the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

No Hawaii hospitals have what’s needed to properly store the leading COVID-19 vaccine. There are currently no Hawaii hospitals with the proper equipment to store one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, according to Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel. Hawaii News Now.

Millions in housing aid promised to Hawaii families either diverted or expected to go unspent. Tens of thousands of residents in the islands are behind on rent and unsure how they’ll catch up. But a new analysis finds a key state program that set aside $100 million in federal funds for those struggling families is falling well short of what was promised. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii auto sales skid 15.9% in quarter.
Tight inventories and COVID-19 restrictions left Hawaii auto dealers spinning their wheels in the third quarter as sales plunged 15.9% amid a struggling economy. Star-Advertiser.

DOH releases its first COVID-19 'cluster report' on Thursday. Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble on Thursday says over the last two weeks there have been three clusters centered around schools, and if we're not careful she's says we could see more as the holidays approach. KITV4.

Longs Drugs to launch 9 new curbside COVID-19 testing sites statewide. CVS, the parent company of Longs Drugs, will launch nine new curbside COVID-19 testing sites Friday. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 12: 97 New COVID-19 Cases. The new cases recorded Thursday included 72 on Oahu, 15 in Hawaii County, six on Maui and one on Kauai. Three were residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

HART Still Pursuing Long-Shot Deal To Finish Rail Despite City Resistance. The rail authority’s executive director refuses to give up on the potential public-private partnership as the agency’s board looks to replace him. Civil Beat.

Final stretch of Honolulu rail line in disarray as board searches for new CEO. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board is searching for a new CEO. The current CEO, Andrew Robbins, is urging his critics not to change the plan for the final four miles and eight stations. Hawaii News Now.

HART board again voices frustration at Robbins. Rail Chief Executive Officer Andrew Robbins said Thursday that he and his staff will submit to Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu City Council in the coming days a report detailing why the city should continue pursuing a third-party partner to complete the troubled $10 billion-plus project. Star-Advertiser.

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O'ahu has two weeks to reduce number of COVID-19 cases in order to move into Tier 3. People on O'ahu have two weeks to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases or the city's recovery plan will not move into a less restrictive Tier Three. KITV4.

Oahu Turns To Community Health Centers To Boost COVID-19 Efforts. Clinic directors say coronavirus relief funds will help cover testing and contact tracing costs as well as provide families with direct financial relief. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell hopes CARES Act extended. The city is spending up to $10 million to ramp up COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and support services at Oahu’s community health centers ahead of a looming deadline to expend millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell says he is hopeful that federal CARES Act spending deadline can be extended. There's concern the city might run out of federal CARES Act funding by the end of year. KITV4.

City launches new partnership to help Oahu’s COVID-19 patients and their families. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a new partnership with the Hawaii Primary Care Association and Oahu’s seven community health centers that will work to help Oahu’s COVID-19 patients and their families during the recovery process. KHON2.

Health department cites COVID-19 cases in Hawaii schools, university dorms. A student at a private middle school on Oahu contracted COVID-19, prompting a Health Department investigation and contact tracing of more than 100 people — but only one other student ultimately tested positive. Star-Advertiser.

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Bank of Hawaii adds brand to Stan Sheriff Center with $5 million deal. More than 35 years after University of Hawaii athletic director Stan Sheriff first rolled out plans for an on-campus arena, a final element of his vision will be realized with the addition of a naming sponsor. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii is donating millions of dollars to UH's athletic program. As the University of Hawaii battles with budget cuts amid the pandemic the Bank of Hawaii is donating millions of dollars to the school's athletic program. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Puna Geothermal back in action more than 2 years after Kilauea eruption. A volcano on Hawaii Island that partially destroyed a power plant more than two years ago is back to producing electricity at the facility. Star-Advertiser.

PGV back online. Puna Geothermal Venture has resumed operations, more than two years after the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano forced the power plant to stop producing electricity. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Geothermal Venture Goes Back Online. Two and a half years after the eruption of the Kīlauea volcano on the Lower East Rift Zone, the geothermal power plant is back in operation. Big Island Video News.

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State Department of Health begins releasing weekly ‘cluster reports’. Two clusters of COVID-19, stemming from social gatherings on the Big Island, have resulted in 63 cases, according to a new “cluster report” released Thursday by the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.

Potential flood of eviction cases could be too much for county mediation program
. The Rapid Response Landlord Tenant Mediation Program began in May to solve disputes between tenants and landlords struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

County wins coveted award for financial reporting. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Finance Department for its comprehensive annual financial report. Tribune-Herald.

Hilton Waikoloa Village To Reopen Nov. 13. The largest outdoor resort area on Hawaiʻi island reopens on Friday, November 13. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Council urges mayor to create COVID-19 task force.
The Maui County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution urging the mayor to establish a rapid-response COVID-19 task force. Maui News.

Call for Guided Astronomy and Hiking Tour Applicants in Haleakalā National Park. Up to four astronomy tour permits and up to six guided hiking tour permits will be issued. Maui Now.

Hyatt Regency Maui, Andaz, Hāna-Maui Resort, Wailea Beach Villas Resume Operations. Several Hyatt properties on Maui and across the state announced today they are resuming operations as  Hawaiʻi begins its next steps toward the return of tourism. Maui Now.

Kauai

County sees flaws in state’s Safe Travels program. The county is attempting to fill gaps in and improve the state’s Safe Travels program that allows travelers to bypass a mandatory, two-week quarantine. Garden Island.

Kauai sees highest COVID-19 case count since June.  Five new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Kauai County on Nov. 12, the largest daily increase for the Garden Isle since June. KHON2.

5 new cases highest in five months. Three of the cases are Kaua‘i residents, and two are visitors. Garden Island.

Cost of COVID-19-related county labor. County officials are estimating it’ll cost about $300,000 a month to continue emergency operations, support and other COVID-19-related procedures come the start of the new year. Garden Island.

 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Hawaii braces for COVID-19 spike from mainland, state hits record voter turnout, Honolulu mulls public transit fare hikes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook photo courtesy Royelen Lee Boykie
Socially distanced witches celebrate Hawaii Halloween PC: Royelen Lee Boykie from Facebook

 Officials say Halloween parties could lead to small spike in cases. Many people had a relaxing Halloween and followed local health guidance by staying at home, but there were several large parties that officials said could lead to a small spike in cases in the next few weeks. KHON2.

'It's a threat to us': Hawai'i experts urge public to follow restrictions amid mainland Coronavirus crisis. Coronavirus cases are soaring across the country--putting some states in crisis mode--and some fear the surge could spread to Hawai'i. KITV4.

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Perfect storm results in record voting in Hawaii. A convergence of forces has turned chronic voter apathy in recent years in Hawaii into record ballots cast — even before Tuesday’s general election. Star-Advertiser.

Fee hikes at state parks are no help without tourists. Tourism is back — somewhat — but it’s going take months before the state parks system is able to enjoy any windfall from an increase in fees that went into effect Oct. 9. Star-Advertiser.

Snail mail no longer only way to alert state of wrongdoing. The Regulated Industries Complaints Office of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has introduced an online portal dubbed “U-Tip” that eliminates the need for the public to mail written complaints or tips about suspected improper regulated work to the agency. Star-Advertiser.

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State looks to bridge digital divide with mobile learning hubs. In order to bridge that digital divide, the Department of Education has set up mobile learning hubs in communities on the Big Island and Oahu to ensure all needs are met. Hawaii News Now.

Failing A Class Could Get Your Student Back To School Sooner. Failing marks can now fast-track some kids to in-person instruction so they don’t suffer trying to learn from home. Civil Beat.

‘Stressed And Overwhelmed’: Hawaii’s College Students Confront The Pandemic. Stress, anxiety and trauma have been compounded during an academic year unlike any other. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 1: 83 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 83 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, including one on Kauai, 53 on Oahu, 26 on Hawaii island and three Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Increased fares for Oahu public transit introduced in City Council. The Honolulu City Council will consider increased fares for public transportation after two bills were recently introduced. Star-Advertiser.

Easy Targets? Some Oahu Homeless Have Been Ticketed Dozens Of Times During The Pandemic. A Civil Beat analysis of court data on HPD’s pandemic enforcement shows homeless people account for nearly 25% of pandemic violations despite making up less than 1% of the population. Civil Beat.

Leadership qualities, rail and COVID-19 dominated mayor’s race. Tuesday’s general election will determine who takes over the third-floor corner office at Honolulu Hale when Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s second term ends Jan. 2. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s visitor industry slowly reopening. Waikiki wasn’t exactly raining visitors Sunday, but there were some signs that the launch of the state’s pre-arrival testing plan has brought some green shoots. Star-Advertiser.

Bars frustrated at paying liquor license when they've been closed much of the year. They can't use it now, but some bars say it's harder to renew a lapsed liquor license, so they keep paying for a license they can't currently use. KITV4.

With construction tying up coveted spaces, weekend parking at popular park is a bear. Weekend parking has always been a scarce commodity at Ala Moana Regional Paark. But ongoing construction has made it’s even more of a headache. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Three lawsuits filed against PGV. A trio of lawsuits have been filed in Hilo Circuit Court, requesting an environmental review be completed before Puna Geothermal Venture, which was partially destroyed by lava two years ago, is allowed to produce electricity. Tribune-Herald.

Building code won’t meet deadline. Hawaii County is not going to meet a state-imposed deadline to revamp its building code and two county council members are prevailing upon Gov. David Ige to allow an extension. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County Asks Governor To Suspend New Building Code Deadline. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County Council Requests Extension to Update Building Code. Big Island Now.

Election deadline nears: Host of federal, state and local races to be decided Tuesday. It’s not even Election Day and Hawaii County voters have already surpassed the voter turnout of the last presidential election. West Hawaii Today.

Puna roundabouts could face delays due to pandemic. State legislators had allocated $30 million in capital improvement funding earlier this year to widen Keaau-Pahoa Road, or Highway 130, from two lanes to four lanes. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Guzman cites ongoing friction with Victorino. Mayor seeking to remove prosecutor; council to decideMaui County Mayor Michael Victorino is seeking to remove Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman because he allegedly raised his voice during a meeting to reprimand a deputy prosecutor, amid a backdrop of disagreements between Guzman and Victorino in recent months, Guzman said Friday. Maui News.

State retirement fund abandons plan for Maui golf course redevelopment. The owner of the Royal Kaanapali and Kaanapali Kai golf courses, an investment fund for Hawaii public-­sector worker entitlements, recently notified another state entity that it is no longer pursuing a conceptual plan to add a hotel, about 150 to 250 condominiums and other amenities around reconfigured golf operations. Star-Advertiser.

Retail, restaurants see a sales bump with visitors back. But crowds add to business challenges with pandemic-era rules, safety concerns. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai sees low percentage of mainland visitors participating in post-arrival testing. Post-arrival COVID-19 testing has been taking place at state and county levels for the past two weeks. KHON2.

Kauai Bets Big With CARES Money To Boost Local Beef Industry. Kauai County has committed nearly $4 million of its allocation of $28.7 million in state money under the CARES Act to try to rejuvenate Kauai’s agriculture industry by helping some of the largest operations on the island and some of the smallest. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i Rise Initiative gets federal funds. The Trump administration recently announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $966,540 in three projects in the state, including the county Office of Economic Development’s Kaua‘i Rise Initiative. Garden Island.

Still time to register, vote. It requires a trip to the Voter Service Center in Lihu‘e, proper photo identification and a few other requirements, but there is still time to register and vote in Tuesday’s general election. Garden Island.

Lanai

Nearly 400 COVID-19 Tests Administered on Lāna‘i During Mass Testing on Saturday. Well over 3,000 tests have been administered on Lānaʻi since the beginning of the outbreak. There were no positive cases reported today on the island. Maui Now.

Hundreds turn out for Lana'i mass testing event. Nearly 400 COVID-19 tests were administered to Lanai residents on Saturday during a six-hour mass testing event aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. KITV4.



Friday, September 11, 2020

Coronavirus infections trending downward in Hawaii, Oahu opens hotels to COVID-19 quarantiners, Health Department whistleblower speaks out, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Health
Coronavirus epi curve as of Sept 10, 2020 Hawaii Department of Health
DOH Reports Overall Decline in COVID-19 Cases Statewide. Hawai‘i is beginning to regain control of the spread of COVID-19 after nearly six weeks of elevated case numbers throughout the state. Big Island Now.

DOH: COVID-19 case numbers appear to be declining. After weeks of increased COVID-19 cases, the state Department of Health said Thursday that Hawaii is beginning to turn the corner and regain control of the spread of the disease on all islands. Tribune-Herald.


Relief for nurses through federal support and lower COVID-19 cases. The Hawaii State Department of Health said COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline after a six-week surge in new cases, and 169 new cases were reported on Thursday and the decline in numbers is also being reflected at hospitals. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Health Department Received Millions In COVID-19 Grants. Where Is It Going? Competition for equipment and bureaucratic hurdles have slowed down spending meant to boost the state’s pandemic response. Civil Beat.

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Whistleblower says Hawaii Department of Health’s ‘toxic’ culture of fear impeded investigators’ work. State Department of Health whistleblower Jennifer Smith, the epidemiologist who was suspended with pay Friday after speaking out about the understaffing of COVID-19 contact tracers, says the DOH fostered a “toxic” culture of fear that impeded the work of investigators trying to stop the spread of disease. Star-Advertiser.

Health Dept Whistleblower Speaks Out About ‘Toxic Management Culture’. Jennifer Smith was placed on paid leave weeks after her revelations about the Department of Health led to the director and the state epidemiologist being replaced. Civil Beat.

'I’m not a threat’: DOH whistleblower responds to alleged smear campaign against her. The Health Department whistleblower who exposed the state’s woefully inadequate COVID-19 contact tracing efforts vigorously denied allegations she made violent threats against her colleagues and says she has endured “character attacks” after speaking out. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Department whistleblower speaks out. In her first on-camera interview since being suspended with pay Health Department whistleblower Dr. Jennifer Smith claims management facilitated a culture of bullying, shame, and blame within the department. KITV4.

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Money for $300 unemployment boost to run out after 6 weeks. The temporary $300-a-week unemployment insurance boost implemented by President Donald Trump is about to end, with no extension in sight. Associated Press.

Thousands of Local Jobs Available, Chamber Says. The overall Hawai‘i economy may be stalled, but some organizations are hiring – and not just in health care and home deliveries. Hawaii Business magazine.

$3 Billion in Unemployment Benefits Issued Since March 1. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $3,081,193,375 and 3,155,245 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1. Big Island Now.

Hawaii has nation’s highest ‘insured unemployment rate’. Unlike the more frequently reported seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, the insured unemployment rate represents the number of people receiving unemployment insurance as a percentage of the labor force. Star-Advertiser.

47 Hawaii restaurants have permanently closed since pandemic began. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on Hawaii’s restaurant industry hits home most strongly when reading through the names of establishments that have closed. Star-Advertiser.


Those eligible for additional jobless benefits will be allowed to enroll starting Saturday. The state will launch a new online feature Saturday to allow those eligible for $300 in additional weekly jobless benefits to enroll. Hawaii News Now.

$10M Federal COVID-19 Grant Focuses On Teacher Training. An initial report lays out how Hawaii education leaders plan to use the CARES Act money. Civil Beat.

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Gov. David Ige signs bill to protect Hawaii musicians. With live musical performances effectively silenced by the pandemic, the state of Hawaii gave a boost to local musicians Thursday with the signing of a bill designed to protect them from having someone else fraudulently use their identity to promote a performance. Star-Advertiser.

Governor signs measure aimed at preserving ‘integrity’ of musicians' original works. The governor signed a measure into law Thursday that protects musicians against cover bands and imposters making money off their name. Hawaii News Now.

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VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 10: 169 New Cases And 3 Deaths In Hawaii. The average number of daily cases has dropped from a peak of 250 in August to 156 last week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 3 coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 169 new cases statewide. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 169 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, along with three COVID-related deaths. The statewide total of cases is now 10,292. Big Island Now.

Oahu

Federal Medical Team Deployed to Honolulu to Help with COVID-19 Surge Support. A federal medical team from the US Department of Health and Human Services began providing temporary medical surge support Thursday at the Queen’s Medical Center at Hale Pulama Mau and the Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu. Maui Now.

HPD Is Getting Millions To Enforce The Shutdown While Aid For Struggling Residents Lags. Honolulu City Councilman Tommy Waters says the city’s priorities are backwards, pointing to money for police overtime and training, new ATVs and “paddy wagons,” among other items. Civil Beat.

Frustration builds for businesses that complied with CDC guidelines but still forced to close . Calls to reopen more businesses on Oahu continue. Business owners said they are frustrated because they have done everything required by the CDC but are forced to remain closed. KHON2.

City Council adopts resolution offering grants to commercial property owners. Honolulu City Council members have approved a resolution aiming to provide rent relief to businesses through a grant program for landlords. Star-Advertiser.

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Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green asks for loosening of latest Oahu stay-at-home order. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is asking city and state officials to change Oahu’s latest stay-at-home order to allow residents living in the same household to engage in outdoor activities together. Star-Advertiser.

How Oahu’s COVID-19 Park And Beach Restrictions Are Hurting Families. Parents say they are struggling to keep their children — and themselves — sane and healthy without regular access to outdoor spaces. Civil Beat.

Local COVID-19 survivor says she didn't take restrictions seriously. Sarah Bolles says she was going to social gatherings, putting herself at risk, and eventually ended up with a fever of over 104 degrees in the hospital. KITV4.

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Nearly 300 hotel rooms islandwide available for those who can’t quarantine at home. The Hawaii Department of Health is working with the city to isolate COVID-19 patients at a number of hotels. Hawaii News Now.

These Hotels Are Stepping Up To Help Hawaii’s Virus Control Effort. Some Hawaii hotels have repurposed rooms for people who need to be isolated or quarantined while they recover from COVID-19 or wait for a test result. Civil Beat.

Pearl Hotel Waikiki among four lodges assisting those in need of COVID-19 isolation. The Department of Health says it now has the capacity to offer enough bed space on Oahu to accommodate anyone who has nowhere else to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Four hotels on Oahu are stepping up to help people with COVID-19. If you tested positive for COVID-19 or are waiting for test results but can't safely quarantine at home, you may qualify to stay at an isolation location. KITV4.

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Dole School in Kalihi mourns death of staff member in home quarantine. A Dole Middle School employee who worked in the school’s office died Wednesday after being quarantined at home because of COVID-19 cases among staff members. Star-Advertiser.

A staff member at Dole Middle School has died after quarantining at home for COVID-19 following an outbreak at the school, according to the Hawaii State Teachers Association. KITV4.

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Rail Board Confronts Project’s Deepening Financial, Contract Concerns. HART members raised more questions about whether a public-private partnership is still in play and what a “plan B” might look like. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Nearly All Residents at Hilo Veterans Home Test Positive for COVID-19. Nearly all the residents at the veterans home in Hilo have tested positive for COVID-19.  Additionally, no deaths were reported on the Big Island Thursday. Big Island Now.

Review of veterans home COVID outbreak underway. A review is still underway into the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home COVID-19 outbreak response. Tribune-Herald.

A representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs is expected on site at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. According to the Department of Health it's a two-day unannounced review that started on Friday on whether the facility is following state regulations. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Health Department Addresses Discrepancy in Hilo COVID-19 Deaths. The state Department of Health reports that it is aware of six additional deaths associated with COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo; however, it is awaiting medical records from the facility as part of its official confirmation and documentation process. Maui Now.

Puna Geothermal Officials Take Questions Online. During a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, Sierra Club member Cory Harden had a lot of questions for PGV reps Mike Kaleikini and plant manager Jordan Hara. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Budget committee seeks public input. The Maui County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee will be discussing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, rules, the CARES Act and other related issues. Maui News.

Kula land to become recreation site. Public hiking trails, picnic spots and forest excursions are in the works for more than 3,000 acres of Upcountry forestland recently acquired by the state. Maui News.

Kauai

First coffee berry borer beetle detected on Kauai. The first coffee berry borer, a beetle that feeds on coffee berries and reduces both the yield of quality of coffee, has been found on Kauai, the state Department of Agriculture reported today. Star-Advertiser.

HDOA: Coffee berry borer confirmed on Kaua‘i. Yesterday, the state’s Department of Agriculture confirmed coffee berry borer, a devastating pest of coffee plants, has been detected on Kaua‘i, the first detection on the island. Garden Island.

Keahua bridge repairs with temporary blocked access. Heavy rains in March caused severe damage to Keahua Bridge at the entrance of the Lihu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve. Due to structural damage, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) blocked vehicular traffic until repairs are completed. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hotel keys to keep tourists in quarantine, Ige backs off employee pay cuts, furloughs, Legislature divvies up federal CARES funds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki hotels ©2020 All Hawaii News
One-time use key among new methods for strengthening quarantine monitoring. One of the updates included a new method hotels are making sure their guests are following the quarantine. This is by giving them a one-time use room key. KHON2.

Vacation rentals use loopholes to skirt quarantine. Vacation rentals, which have been ruled nonessential businesses statewide as government tries to stop the spread of COVID-19, are still drawing visitors to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

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Ige tells state workers: There’s no ‘immediate need’ to consider pay cuts or furloughs. The governor sought to reassure state workers Tuesday, saying there is no “immediate need to consider pay cuts or furloughs” despite the gaping budget shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers Are Deciding How To Spend Federal Bailout Money. The House Finance Committee doesn’t want state agencies to use federal stimulus dollars if they already have state money that can be used. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers tackle the state's budget bills. COVID 19 plays a big part in budget requests and spending in the state's multi-billion dollar budget bills. KITV4.

Color-coded state recovery plan to be unveiled. A cryptic, color-coded plan to reopen more parts of Hawaii’s economy will be unveiled this week, the House Finance Committee was told Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

State aims to work with University of Hawaii to train contact tracers. The state Department of Health today asked lawmakers to appropriate about $2.5 million to fund a program at the University of Hawaii that would train workers to track contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s Struggling Farms Want The State To Become A Bigger Customer. With local farmers reeling from a drop in demand from hotels and restaurants, advocates hope schools, prisons and hospitals will buy more local produce. Civil Beat.

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As ER Volumes Drop, Hawaii Doctors Worry People Are Delaying Care. Many health professionals across the state suspect the main reason for the decline in ER visits is patients’ fear of catching the coronavirus at the hospital. Hawaii Public Radio.

Doctors worry people are avoiding hospitals despite serious medical needs. Hawaii doctors are alarmed at the dramatic decline in emergency room visits in the last month. They say people are so afraid of contracting COVID-19, many are now ignoring life-threatening illnesses. Hawaii News Now.

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School’s Out And With It A Reliable System For Flagging Abuse. School closures caused by COVID-19 this spring have meant fewer reports of possible abuse, but more neighbors and relatives are making calls. Civil Beat.

One new coronavirus case on Oahu brings statewide total to 635. Health officials said this afternoon that the new case was an out-of-state resident who was screened at the airport and subsequently tested positive. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Pandemic Forces Honolulu Council To Slash Budget. Oahu’s local government isn’t expected to be as hard hit as Hawaii state government. Civil Beat.

State to borrow from new stadium project. While the state Legislature intends to pull back $20 million in general funds that had been appropriated to help build the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, it still expects to allot a full $350 million in financing to the project, lawmakers said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu malls and retail centers plan to reopen Friday. Several of Oahu’s shopping malls and retail centers are getting ready to reopen Friday as part of the first phase in reopening the state’s economy, but with new guidelines in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu retailers urge customers to prepare for a very different shopping experience. Two months after they were forced to close down, Oahu retailers are scrambling to put the finishing touches on their stores to be able to reopen Friday. Hawaii News Now.

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Mayor offering grants to very small Oahu businesses. The city is directing at least $25 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to help very small businesses on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell announces new relief and recovery fund for small businesses. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces a Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund to help small local businesses who need it most, like mom and pop shops, and other Honolulu restaurants and stores that have been hit hard by COVID-19. KHON2.

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Rail’s interim opening is pushed back to March. City officials now don’t expect the first segment of the $9.2 billion rail line will be operational until March, three months later than had been forecast. Star-Advertiser.

Date for rail to be up and running pushed back. The date that the Honolulu rail system was set to be up and running has been pushed back. KITV4.

City Council Grows Anxious As Rail’s COVID-19 Problems Deepen. The transit project has been plagued for years by skyrocketing costs. Now it faces a $100 million slump in the revenues that fund construction. Civil Beat.

After more than a year of deliberations, the Honolulu Rate Commission gave final OK to a plan that raises daily fares and monthly and annual passes for bus and rail riders but leaves it up to the City Council to decide when the new rates should kick in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii police union announces endorsement in Honolulu mayoral race. A former broadcast executive turned mayoral candidate has scooped up a valuable endorsement. The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers endorsed Rick Blangiardi for Honolulu mayor on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

The Pandemic Ignites A Bike Boom In Honolulu. With gyms closed and other exercise options limited, bicycle shops say they are selling almost every bike they can get their hands on. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

$80M CARES funds could come to Hawaii County. Hawaii County would receive $80 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding under a bill moving through the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

PGV reboot delayed again. Commercial operations at Puna Geothermal Venture are expected to begin in the fourth quarter, said parent company Ormat Technologies Inc. on Monday as part of a first-quarter earnings update. Tribune-Herald.

Corporation counsel responds to ACLU letter criticizing county’s decision to remove homeless camp. Hawaii County’s top civil attorney responded to a letter by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizing the county’s decision to remove a downtown Hilo homeless camp in April. Tribune-Herald.

No Active COVID-19 Cases On Hawaii Island, Civil Defense Reports. All 75 identified cases of COVID-19 on the Big Island have been cleared by the Department of Health as recovered, the mayor says. Big Island Video News.

The Big Island now has no active COVID-19 cases, but mayor urges vigilance. Hawaii Island on Tuesday reached an encouraging milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Mayor Says “Absolutely Not” When Asked about Lifting Travel Quarantine on May 31st. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he plans to announce tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13, 2020), Phase 2 of the opening of Maui’s parks. Maui Now.

A Mixed Reopening. Customers hope more shops resume business. Just because retailers were allowed to reopen Monday didn’t mean they would actually do it, many shoppers learned when visiting malls around Maui. Maui News.

Retail businesses on Maui slow to reopen. Free standing stores and some stores within shopping malls are now allowed to get back to business but many are choosing to remain closed. KITV4.

Kauai

Groundbreaking for Pua Loke. Construction for the $27.5 million project will consist of three residential buildings containing one- to three-bedroom rental units and is slated to begin before the end of this month. Garden Island.

Suicide uptick raises concern. Four suicides on Kaua‘i in less than a week have prompted concern by police and health workers that the COVID-19 crisis is moving in a dangerous new direction, with broad risks to mental health caused by joblessness, financial reversals and despair. Garden Island.

Seal found dead was pregnant. The Hawaiian monk seal found dead on Ha‘ena Beach in late April was pregnant, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ige seeks $7.2M for coronavirus measures, House briefing set; court rules against Maui streetlight project; Ballard pleads for gun limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

All Hawaii News
Hawaii Gov. David Ige
Gov. Ige asks lawmakers for $7.2 million to cope with coronavirus. Gov. David Ige has asked lawmakers to earmark $7.21 million for the next four months to support state efforts to cope with the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

State takes proactive approach with virus, prepares for worst.  At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. David Ige and other state administrators announced they will be switching the state’s response to the global COVID-19 outbreak from one of containment to one of mitigation. Tribune-Herald.

State approval now required before doctors can flag possible COVID-19. The state is changing its coronavirus protocol, making doctors first consult with a state investigator and getting approval before filling out a “Patient Under Investigation” form and collecting specimens. KHON2.

Hawai‘i House Committee Plans Briefing on COVID-19. State Representative John M. Mizuno will hold a Legislative Briefing on the COVID-19 illness in March. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Air Suspends Service To South Korea, Delta Reduces Flights. Hawaiian Airlines announced Wednesday that it is suspending its flights to South Korea starting March 2 and extending to April 30 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in that country. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines suspending service to South Korea due to spike in coronavirus cases. Hawaiian Airlines said today it will temporarily suspend its five-times-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu and Seoul because of the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines To Suspend Service To South Korea. The carrier cites rapid rise in coronavirus cases and declining demand. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines suspending service to South Korea’s Incheon International Airport citing decline in demand, increase in coronavirus cases. KHON2.

COVID-19 triggers canceled flights, DOH warnings. Wednesday, Hawaiian Airlines announced it would be suspending flights from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu to Incheon International Airport in South Korea from March 1 through April 30, citing a spike on COVID-19 cases in South Korea. Garden Island.

COVID-19 Travel Concerns Rise In Hawaii. State Senator Kai Kahele shared some thoughts on the state's readiness in case of an outbreak in Hawaiʻi, while Rep. Gabbard wants to suspend flights from Japan and South Korea. Big Island Video News.

Gabbard calls for suspension of Japan, South Korea flights amid coronavirus fears. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling for a suspension of flights to Hawaii from South Korea and Japan amid growing concerns about the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

If coronavirus impacts schools, here’s what the DOE is planning to do. The Hawaii Department of Education said in the event there is a confirmed coronavirus case at one of its nearly 300 schools, it would follow the guidance of the state Department of Health. However, some parents aren't convinced it is enough to keep their children safe. Hawaii News Now.

Officials: Prepare for coronavirus threat, but don’t ‘panic buy’. Amid growing fears about a potential outbreak of the coronavirus in the US, public health officials nationally and locally are urging people to prepare. Hawaii News Now.

Worries over panic buying arise as some supply shelves at stores empty out. Supplies were flying off the shelves Wednesday, with some shoppers taking pictures of empty shelves at stores across Oahu. KHON2.

Isle residents stock up on supplies. Shoppers were loading up on supplies Wednesday at Sam’s Club on Keeaumoku Street. Among the items sold out were toilet paper, hand sanitizer and water. Star-Advertiser.

Some shoppers stocking up on food and water amidst concerns over COVID-19. Cart after cart, a parade of shoppers filling their trunks to the brim. KITV4.

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House committee proposes $4.9B, 2-year state construction budget. House lawmakers released a draft construction budget for next year that features an increase in funding for a number of major highway projects as well as for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

Finance Committee Approves Billions in CIP Funding. The House Finance Committee on Wednesday approved Capital Improvement Project Funding for 2020. Big Island Now.

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HPD chief Ballard pushes for new gun limits. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard made a public pitch on Wednesday for proposals to ban rifle magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, and for new restrictions on the sale of ammunition in advance of key floor votes scheduled for today on a package of firearms bills. Star-Advertiser.

Police chief makes public plea to lawmakers ahead of votes on tougher gun control measures. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard publicly pleaded for lawmakers to approve controversial gun control measures ahead of key floor votes in both the House and Senate set for Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

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State Lawmakers Consider Measure To Protect Sports Officials From Threats, Abuse. State lawmakers are weighing a measure that would make verbally threatening to harm a sports official a Class C felony instead of a misdemeanor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Vacation Rentals Continue To Decline On Oahu, Surge On Neighbor Islands. The latest data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority shows the number of short-term vacation rentals on Oahu continued to decline, while Maui and Kauai saw substantial increases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Congressional leaders are considering ways to make the nation’s primary fisheries management law more effective as the planet warms. Hawaii’s $100 million tuna industry was the latest focal point for members of Congress trying to decide how to improve the main federal law governing the management of U.S. coastal waters. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Might Get A New State Holiday. Hawaiian Recognition Day would be held the Friday after Thanksgiving. Civil Beat.

Oahu

City officials bump up cost of rail operations contract. The city will pay $918 million to Hitachi Rail International to operate and maintain the city’s rail line for its first 13-1/4 years under an agreement reached last week by the Caldwell administration and the vendor. Star-Advertiser.

Rail operation, maintenance cost will be $69-million a year city says. The city says the cost does not take into account the revenue collected from fares, but officials do not believe it will generate a lot of income in the beginning when rail services start. KHON2.

City Leaders Unveil Most – But Not All – Of Future Rail Operations Costs. The new 13-year, $918 million deal with Hitachi is nearly $100 million more than the one signed in 2011. It will cover just over half of the costs to run the rail system. Civil Beat.

Cost for rail operations revealed. Honolulu's Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed rail's first operating contract. KITV4.

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Former House Speaker Eyes Open Honolulu City Council Seat. Candidates are already lining up to replace longtime Rep. Calvin Say but there’s still time for more. Civil Beat.

Esther Kiaaina Eyes Windward City Council Seat. Incumbent Ikaika Anderson is prevented from seeking another term. Civil Beat.

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Frustration over Waikiki crime prompts town hall meeting to find solutions. People fed up with rising crime in Waikiki, including several recent murders, urged officials at a town hall meeting Wednesday to take action to improve the neighborhood for tourists and residents alike. Star-Advertiser.

Opening reception of Honolulu Festival canceled; other events still on. Fears over coronavirus have led to the cancellation of a kickoff reception for a major event happening in Honolulu. But in the bigger picture, events for the Honolulu Festival are still on. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


PGV restart pushed back to second half of 2020. Ormat Technologies Inc. is continuing its efforts to resume operation of Puna Geothermal Venture, company leaders said Wednesday during a fourth-quarter and 2019 year-end earnings update. Tribune-Herald.

E-waste recycling program in jeopardy. Hawaii County’s e-waste program is drastically over budget and may have to be halted if more funding isn’t found soon, local contractor Mr. K’s Recycle and Redemption Center told the Environmental Management Commission on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

CIP budget includes more than $140M for Big Island projects. Funding for two major Hawaii Island road projects is among more than $4.9 billion in capital improvement projects funds approved Wednesday by the state House Committee on Finance. West Hawaii Today.

Document details Kolekole park improvements. A draft environmental assessment was published Monday for accessibility improvements the county has planned at Kolekole Beach Park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


Court: County streetlight project violated state environmental law. Groups filed suit over fixtures, saying they posed threat to wildlife. Wildlife advocates who sued Maui County over harmful streetlights earned a partial victory Monday after an environmental court judge ruled that the county violated state law by failing to conduct an environmental review before installing the fixtures. Maui News.

Environmental Court Rules Against County for Maui LED Streetlight Project. An environmental court ruled Monday that the Maui County Department of Public Works violated state law by failing to conduct environmental review for a streetlights project that plaintiffs said “threatens harm to Maui’s imperiled seabirds and sea turtles.” Maui Now.

53 luxury home sites being proposed for Makena property. A roughly 28-acre Makena lot that had a 500-room hotel in the works will instead be converted to 53 residential lots under a proposal by its new landowners. Maui News.

New Hotel Planned at Old Maui Palms Site in Kahului. Plans are currently underway for a multimillion dollar project to build a new budget hotel where the old Maui Palms hotel once stood along Kahului Harbor. Maui Now.

Kauai


Mother of missing kids waives extradition from Kauai to Idaho after judge denies bail reduction. The Madision County, Idaho, prosecutor is extraditing Lori Vallow to face charges on two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children under age 18, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, resisting arrest and criminal contempt of court. Star-Advertiser.

Vallow heading back to Idaho. Lori Vallow is going back to Idaho to face two felony counts of child abandonment. Garden Island.

Lori Vallow Waives Extradition, $5 Mil Bail Maintained. An Idaho woman has decided not to fight extradition and will return voluntarily to the mainland to face charges of desertion in relation to her two missing children. Big Island Now.

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge reopens. The county Department of Public Works announced that repairs to the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge have been completed and the bridge is once again open to the public. Garden Island.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Hawaiian hawk removed from endangered species list, Olive Garden files to enter state, TV Executive Blangiardi weighs run for Honolulu mayor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
'Io Hawaiian hawk at Panaewa Rainforest Gardens & Zoo ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian Hawk No Longer Endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed the ‘io from the list of endangered or threatened species. Civil Beat.

ʻIo No Longer Considered Endangered or Threatened. The ʻio or Hawaiian hawk will be removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife on Feb. 3, 2020. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian hawk removed from federal list of endangered wildlife. The io or Hawaiian hawk has been removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Hawk, or ʻio, to be removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule removing the ʻio, or the Hawaiian hawk, from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. KHON2.

Read the Fish and Wildlife Service final rule delisting the 'io here.

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Hawaii Senate Health Chair Plans To Introduce Bills Targeting Youth Vaping. Hawaii Senate Health Chair Rosalyn Baker plans to propose several bills in the coming legislative ssession aimed at reducing youth vaping, but she wants to add e-cigarettes and vaping products to existing tobacco laws. Hawaii Public Radio.

Astronomers to assemble as telescope discord looms. An event described as the Super Bowl of astronomy kicks off Saturday in Honolulu as thousands of scientists descend on the Hawai‘i Convention Center for the biggest meeting of the year for American astronomers. Star-Advertiser.

More vets gain access to commissaries. More than 27,000 veterans with a service-connected disability in Hawaii and over 430 Purple Heart recipients can now shop at commissaries and exchanges and take advantage of greater recreational opportunities under legislation co-authored by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz that went into effect Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Judge Puts Hawaii Taser Case On Hold. A lawsuit over the right to carry a stun gun for personal protection will wait on the outcome of a seemingly unrelated weapons case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil Beat.

USS Missouri reaches 9 million visitors. The nine millionth visitor stepped aboard the USS Missouri today, ringing in the 75th year after World War II officially ended on its decks. Star-Advertiser.

Olive Garden files to do business in Hawaii. Could Olive Garden be coming to Hawaii? According to state business records, the company recently filed to do business here in the islands. KHON2.

Samoan crabs, Kona crabs & lobster proposed rule updates. In an effort to facilitate compliance with the rules regulating the take, possession, and sale of Samoan crab, Kona crab, and lobsters in State waters, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources has scheduled public hearings this month. KITV.

Oahu

TV executive Blangiardi plans mayoral run. Television executive Rick Blangiardi surprised his staff and simultaneously shook up Oahu’s political community Thursday when he announced he is retiring from his job and intends to join the race for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

HNN General Manager Rick Blangiardi announces he’s retiring, considering run for mayor. After more than four decades in the broadcasting industry, Hawaii News Now President and General Manager Rick Blangiardi has announced he will retire this month and is considering a run for Honolulu’s mayor. Hawaii News Now.

TV Executive Blangiardi Weighing Running For Honolulu Mayor. The longtime general manager will leave his Hawaii News Now post Jan. 15. Civil Beat.

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Maili group sues city, developer in bid to stop affordable housing project. Construction on a $23 million affordable rental project in West Oahu called Hale Makana O Maili started in October. But neighbors calling themselves Na Kiai O Maili — protectors of Maili — have filed a suit against the city and developer Laulima Development in a bid to stop construction at the end of Kulaaupuni Street. Hawaii News Now.

Plans move forward to rebuild the old P-3 Orion monument. The last remnants of a P-3 Orion monument erected by the Navy in 1999 to commemorate Naval Air Station Barbers Point’s 57 years of fleet service have been demolished, but a local American Veterans post commander said plans are proceeding to completely rebuild the memorial near the Kalaeloa Airport control tower. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Businessman Files Federal Complaint In Prosecutor Impeachment Effort. Tracy Yoshimura has asked a federal court to clear up an e-signature issue that has stalled his initiative to oust Keith Kaneshiro. Civil Beat.

HPD Swears In New Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief Jonathon Grems retired in December. Clyde Ho took over. Civil Beat.

Tougher inspections at Honolulu ports could aid in crackdown against illegal fireworks according to former state lawmaker. While you can set off small sparklers and poppers without a permit, those aerial fireworks we saw thousands of on New Year's Eve are illegal. KITV.

City erects fence blocking shoreline access near Diamond Head, irking park users.  Park users of the Makalei and Leahi Beach Parks near Diamond Head are protesting the city’s decision to block off access to parts of the shoreline. Over the holidays, the city suddenly erected fences at both ends of a walkway on a seawall between the two beaches. Hawaii News Now.

New rules at Honolulu Zoo parking lot irks nearby businesses. It’s a popular parking lot for locals who venture into Waikiki. But changes are coming to prevent anyone from parking outside the Honolulu Zoo late at night. KHON2.

TheBus Redux: A City Transit Leader Responds To Riders’ Questions. Lags in TheBus’ tracking data can cause angst for riders trying to predict when their bus might arrive. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State orders updated traffic assessment for Pepeekeo power plant. Honua Ola Bioenergy will have to update a traffic assessment submitted for the project in March 2011 before the power plant under construction in Pepeekeo can deliver logs to its facility. Tribune-Herald.

HELCO seeks new power agreement with PGV. Hawaii Electric Light Co. is seeking approval of an amended power purchase agreement with Puna Geothermal Venture, according to documents filed Tuesday with the state Public Utilities Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Chemical sunscreens restricted at Big Island park, a year ahead of statewide ban.  Sunscreens containing chemicals have now been banned for use by commercial vessels in Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island. The restrictions took effect on Jan. 1, a year before a similar statewide ban takes effect. Hawaii News Now.

Changes to Pana‘ewa complex miff equestrians. Extensive accessibility renovations are scheduled for the Pana‘ewa Recreational Complex this year, but several users of the attached Pana‘ewa Equestrian Center are pushing back against some of the proposed changes. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Police seek help in locating families of unclaimed bodies. The Maui Police Department is asking for assistance in contacting family members of eight people whose bodies weren’t claimed after their deaths this year. Maui News.

Staff Shortages Affect Pool Hours in Kahului, Wailuku, Upcountry and Kihei. The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause the community. Maui Now.

Kauai

Removal of ill-fated helicopter on Kauai begins. A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said the wreckage removal process began Thursday of a tour helicopter that crashed Dec. 26 in a remote area of Kokee, killing all seven on board. Star-Advertiser.

Drones documenting wreckage. Investigators aren’t going to physically set foot on the crash site of the tour helicopter that collided with a ridge on Kauai in December, killing all seven passengers. Garden Island.

Hanalei highway lane closure set. The Hawaii Department of Transportation reminds the public there will be a single-lane closure on Kuhio Highway at Mile Marker 1 (the hill approaching Hanalei Bridge) seven days a week starting today. Garden Island.