Showing posts with label Rick Blangiardi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rick Blangiardi. Show all posts

Monday, January 4, 2021

COVID cases rise; weekend ceremonies bring in new congressman, Honolulu mayor, council members; Mauna Kea management plan critiqued, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele displays Hilo painting in his congressional office PC:Kahele Facebook page

Kai Kahele sworn in as U.S. representative, becomes the 2nd Native Hawaiian to serve in Congress. Kahele said that for his swearing-in ceremony, he used the Bible of the first Native Hawaiian congressman, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka. Star-Advertiser.

Kahele becomes second Native Hawaiian sworn into U.S. Congress.  U.S. Congressman Kaiali'i Kahele (HI-02) was sworn in Sunday as a Member of the 117th Congress to become Hawai'i’s newest elected official in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kahele is Hawai'i’s first member of Congress from the Island of Hawai'i. KITV4.

Hawaii delegates sworn in for 117th Congress.
U.S. Congressman Kaialii Kahele was sworn in on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 as a member of the 117th Congress. KHON2.

Hawai‘i’s Ed Case and Kai Kahele Sworn in to 117th Congress. US Congressman Ed Case (D-HI/First District) and Kai Kahele on Sunday joined colleagues in the United States House of Representatives in taking their oath of office to serve in the 117th Congress (2021-2023).  Maui Now.


COVID infection rate on the rise. Hawaii’s rising infection rate now has it listed as the fourth-worst state for spread after Maine, Iowa and New York. Star-Advertiser.

Report shows coronavirus pandemic increases the need for doctors in Hawaii. The Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project Report for 2020 shows that out of 989 doctors offices interviewed about 44% said that the coronavirus pandemic altered the way they do things including more telehealth, early retirement and seeing fewer patients. KHON2.

Hawaii’s ‘Complicated’ COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Will Be Slow To Start. The state received a total of 65,250 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in 2020, down from the 81,825 doses it expected to get. The rest of the vaccine doses will arrive on a delayed schedule sometime after Jan. 1. Civil Beat.

While COVID cases are on the rise, the flu isn’t surging in Hawaii. Cold and flu season normally runs from November to May. And the state Department of Health reports that so far, there have been only five confirmed cases of influenza-A in Hawaii and no flu-related deaths. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 3: 149 New COVID-19 Cases.
Health officials reported 149 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 88 on Oahu, 30 in Maui County, two on the Big Island, two on Kauai and 27 residents who were diagnosed out of the state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and five newly elected City Council members are sworn in. The page was turned to a new chapter at Honolulu Hale on Saturday when veteran businessman Rick Blangiardi was sworn in as mayor and five Honolulu City Council members took their seats for the first time. Star-Advertiser.

New Honolulu Mayor Warns Road Ahead ‘Is Not Going To Be Easy’. Rick Blangiardi was sworn in Saturday as the chief executive officer of the City and County of Honolulu. Civil Beat.

After taking oath of office as mayor, Blangiardi warns road ahead won’t be easy. Hawaii News Now.

New year, new mayor: Blangiardi inducted into Honolulu's highest office. During his induction ceremony on Saturday, former television executive and first-time politician Rick Blangiardi said he is committed to leading with integrity. KITV4.

5 new Honolulu Council members take office; Tommy Waters elected chairman. Five new members of the Honolulu City Council took their oaths of office today, signaling a new era at Honolulu Hale where new Mayor Rick Blangiardi was also scheduled to take his office a short time later. Star-Advertiser.


Steve Alm looks to restore trust as Honolulu’s top prosecutor. Retired U.S. Attorney and Circuit Court Judge Steve Alm was sworn in as Honolulu prosecuting attorney on Saturday, along with dozens of deputy prosecutors who were already working in the city’s Department of the Prosecuting Attorney. Star-Advertiser.

Steve Alm sworn in as Honolulu prosecutor. Steve Alm began his tenure as Honolulu’s new prosecuting attorney after being sworn in at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. KHON2.

Steve Alm sworn in as Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney. Honolulu's new prosecutor Steve Alm was sworn in on Saturday in a scaled down ceremony at the Blaisdell Center. KITV4.


Former radio, TV reporter Garett H. Kamemoto was a leader in the community. Kamemoto, 54, died Dec. 6 at Pali Momi Medical Center after a brief illness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

9 Roth appointees face council confirmation. Nine appointees to Mayor Mitch Roth’s Cabinet are scheduled to appear Tuesday before County Council committees, the first step in the approval process before council confirmation. West Hawaii Today.

Council panel in search of an auditor. The county has been without its legislative auditor for two months following Bonnie Nims’ resignation, and the County Council has launched a search for a new one. West Hawaii Today.


DLNR Completes Review Of UH Maunakea CMP Implementation. The State DLNR says while the university has made progress, it has failed to implement the CMP in major process areas. Big Island Video News.

DLNR review of Maunakea management cites successes, failures. An independent assessment of the University of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan found success in some areas and failure in others. Tribune-Herald.


Public works: Fissure 8 road doesn’t need permit. A newly graded road up the side of Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates is not in violation of any permit requirements, a county agency has determined. Tribune-Herald.

Pohoiki boat ramp unlikely to reopen until fall. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will attempt to expedite the reopening of Pohoiki boat ramp later this month, but the landlocked structure likely will remain unusable until at least the fall. Tribune-Herald.


Alice Lee elected chair of Maui County Council. Also back as vice chairwoman is Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and member Tasha Kama remains as presiding officer pro tempore. Both members were in the same positions last term. Maui News.

Maui Council Approves Leadership and Committees for New 2021-2023 Term. Maui Council leadership remains unchanged as members voted on Saturday to keep the council chair, vice chair and presiding officer pro tempore in place for the new 2021-2023 term. Maui Now.

Harbor Lights Professional Sanitation Takes Place Tonight; County Says they Believe the Cluster Began with Holiday Choir Practice. The Harbor Lights condominium complex in Kahului will undergo professional sanitation this evening (on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021) in response to a COVID-19 cluster that was first reported on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Maui Now.


Property-tax deadline extended. The county has extended the deadline to pay the second installment of property taxes from Feb. 20 to April 23, to lessen the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Garden Island.

Economic recovery for Kauai likely to be slow going. A monthlong shutdown of Kauai tourism ends Tuesday, but it’s still too early to tell whether the changes are enough to make a difference for the Garden Island or the rest of the state, which is grappling with additional tourism challenges. Star-Advertiser.

‘Green’ light at Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School. With the school currently on winter break, the green level means all of the school’s learners report to campus Tuesday, Jan. 5. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Hawaii residents not staying home much, COVID-19 vaccinations not delivered equally, Maui promises vaccines for everybody by Labor Day, Blangiardi picks Cabinet, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy UHERO
Hawaii mobility map PC:UHERO

People in Hawaii have stopped staying home as much following the surge in COVID-19 cases this summer, and have started going back to restaurants and shops, new mobility data shows. Civil Beat.

UHERO mobility dashboard details can be found here.

The number of residents leaving Hawai'i doubles in 2020. 2020 has taken a toll on many across the globe, including those in the Aloha State. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii says the state say the highest rates of population decline in the country. KITV4.

Some healthcare workers not associated with hospitals are still waiting for vaccine. Medical professionals are in group 1-A, the first group designated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But many are still waiting for their first dose. That’s even though the state Department of Health has already started vaccinating people in group 1-B. Hawaii News Now.

This New Ad Campaign Aims To Win Over Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccine Skeptics.
Persuading enough residents to roll up a sleeve for the vaccine for the state to achieve herd immunity is expected to be a challenge. Civil Beat.

Hawaii heiress Abigail Kawananankoa got $142,000 federal bailout loan. Her attorney Bruce Voss said the 94-year-old Kawananakoa needed the Paycheck Protection Program loan because the three-year legal battle over her $215 million fortune had drained her bank accounts. Hawaii News Now.

Plenty of ahi available for New Year’s Eve celebrations during a challenging year. There should be plenty of ahi available for New Year’s Eve at a reasonable price, according to purveyors, as a year besieged by pandemic-related challenges winds down to a close. Star-Advertiser.

King's Hawaiian Rolls not made in Hawaii, class action lawsuit filed. The company has been hit with a class action lawsuit after a New York resident claimed fraudulent marketing misleads shoppers by hiding where the products is really made. KITV4.

Saving Hawaii’s Koa Industry — And The Environment. The private sector and state are coming together to ensure an abundance of koa far into the future. Civil Beat.

Ige delays furloughs until ‘at least July 1’. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday he is delaying the implementation of furloughs for state employees through at least July 1, 2021. West Hawaii Today.

The start of state worker furloughs has been postponed, but remains on the minds of many. Federal funding has pushed back the start date of the furloughs, but they still could happen in 2021. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 29: 76 New COVID-19 Cases. Health officials reported 76 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 55 on Oahu, 10 in Maui County, seven on the Big Island and four residents who were diagnosed out of the state. There were no new fatalities reported. Civil Beat.


Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s transition team announces Cabinet selections. The longtime leader of the company that runs TheBus, a former state senator and the one-time head of the pro-development think-tank Land Use Research Foundation are among a slate of nominees to Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s Cabinet that his transition team announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor-Elect Blangiardi Announces Key Appointments. They include Laura Thielen for Parks and Recreation and Dean Uchida for Planning and Permitting. Civil Beat.

Blangiardi announces key cabinet appointments ahead of January inauguration. Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi has released his list of cabinet members ahead of his inauguration next month. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says coronavirus response was too slow. In a reflection of the city’s handling of its COVID-19 outbreak, outgoing Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he would have responded to the virus earlier and done more to properly inform the public if he had the chance. Star-Advertiser.

Essential workers traveling to Oahu now subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing. Essential workers traveling to Oahu who get exemptions to the state’s quarantine rules will now be subject to new testing requirements. The new rules were included in an emergency proclamation, approved by the governor Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Card usage is extended through Jan. 31. Those several thousand people receiving or scheduled to receive $500 debit cards from the city now have until Jan. 31 to spend the money to pay for food and other necessities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, city officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

New HART CEO taking on rail at high-stakes stage for lower pay.
Honolulu Rapid Rail Authority (HART) has a new CEO, Lori Kahikina, taking the helm at a crossroads for the final leg of the project. She has just one year to prove whether she can turn the troubled agency around. KHON2.

Brigham Young University to Require Free Weekly COVID Tests for On-Campus Students and Faculty. Hawaii universities have been largely distance learning due to COVID-19. However, Brigham Young University-Hawaii hopes expanded testing will put the institution on the path to reopening. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 exposure notification app now available to residents of Hawaii County. AlohaSafe Alert, the state of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 exposure notification app, is now available to Hawaii County residents and is expected to launch statewide next week. Tribune-Herald.

Todd, 2 political newcomers to vie for Kahele’s seat. A state representative and two political newcomers made the cut Wednesday night from a list of seven Democrats vying for Gov. David Ige’s nomination to fill the remaining two years of the state Senate seat vacated by Congressman-elect Kai Kahele. West Hawaii Today.

Waipio Valley pedestrian ban booted.
It’s back to the drawing board for a bill prohibiting pedestrian access to Waipio Valley, after County Council members Wednesday raised constitutionality issues and the effect closing hiking there would have on other valleys, such as Pololu Valley in North Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Council approves Kailua-Kona development. An agreement worked out by two council members negotiating with developers of a Kailua-Kona project was approved by the County Council last week and then sent to the mayor, despite three council members’ assurances that the public would have one more opportunity to comment at a council forum. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor to seek scaled back gatherings, other restrictions. Maui County is seeking to tighten up rules such as scaling back the number of people in gatherings and imposing other restrictions as Maui continues to see double digit positive cases daily. Maui News.

Operation Face Mask Results in 24-Hour Closure of Two Lahaina Bars. ask Force Officers from the Maui Police Department and the Department of Liquor Control conducted Operation Face Mask on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. Maui Now.

Maui District Health Office on Vaccine Rollout: Everybody Should Get a Dose if they want it by Labor Day. Health officials on Maui are asking the public to be patient by waiting their turn in the distribution timeline, and continue health care precautions as the state carries out its vaccination plan. Maui Now.

Push to get independent doctors, staff vaccinated. Dentists and staff included in Phase 1; more doses on the way. Maui News.


County leaving single-use plastics in 2020. Starting Friday, a policy prohibiting county funds from being used for single-use, disposable plastics will go into effect. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e post office safe from closure. On Sunday night, the U.S. Congress passed the COVID Relief Bill, which among other things approved the transition of a $10 billion loan to the U.S. Postal Service in March and into a grant with conditions. Garden Island.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Surf's up! Obama spotted golfing on Oahu, state orders COVID-19 vaccine, Maui prosecutor removed from office, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto
Kohl Christensen dropping in on a giant messy wave at Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu. File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto

Warning-level surf expected into Monday. The National Weather Service in Honolulu said the warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and the north-facing shores of Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Pipe Masters could get green light Tuesday. A high surf warning is in effect for most of the state’s north and west facing shores through Monday evening. Surf heights are expected to reach 30 feet on north-facing shores and 20-feet on west-facing shores. KHON2.

Surf's up! The National Weather Service issued a high-surf warning for north- and west-facing shores of all the islands through 6 p.m. today. The northwest swell that arrived Sunday was expected to produce rapidly-rising surf along most north- and west-facing shorelines. Garden Island.


Former President Barack Obama spotted golfing on Oahu. He was spotted Sunday afternoon at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua. KHON2.


Hawaii DOH places its first order for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. State health officials say the order was for 4,875 doses, and is only a small percentage of the total number of vaccines the state expects to later request if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives the vaccine its stamp of approval. Hawaii News Now.

How This Doctor Is Influencing Hawaii’s Response To COVID-19. A Honolulu doctor critical of the state’s pre-travel testing program is gaining traction with policymakers. Civil Beat.

Several days after Kauai opted out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, Mayor Derek Kawakami says leaders of each county are calling on Gov. Ige for more required testing. In a county update Friday, he said the proposal is now before the governor. Hawaii News Now.


Two More Hawaii Inmates Who Died At Saguaro Prison Had COVID-19, New Details Show. More than half of the 1,079 Hawaii prisoners at Saguaro have tested positive for COVID-19. Three have died from the disease. Civil Beat.

Public Safety faces calls to pause moving Hawaii inmates
to an Arizona prison. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 6: 105 New COVID-19 Cases And One Death In Hawaii. Health officials reported 105 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 87 on Oahu, six on Maui, five on the Big Island and seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi open to idea of using federal aid to help commercial landlords. Business coalition spearheading commercial rent survey to estimate how great the need is for financial help. KITV4.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Haiku Stairs management plan goes before the City Council. A private vendor would be allowed to shuttle up to about 150 people daily to the Haiku Stairs for guided hiking tours under a plan proposed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s bikeshare program is costing the city hundreds of thousands in lost revenue. In the report, Honolulu’s Acting City Auditor Troy Shimasaki said a lack of transparency and accountability in the city’s bikeshare program is costing the city $460,000 a year in lost revenue while the nonprofit Biki is generating more than $2.7 million in annual sales. Hawaii News Now.

'Why Is There So Much Red Tape': Honolulu's Relief Fund Creates Anxiety And Confusion For Some. Honolulu is still trying to spend down federal CARES Act funds by December 30 to help households impacted by the pandemic. But city relief hasn't come for months, with little to no explanation for some who applied. Hawaii Public Radio.


Prosecutor-elect Alm looks to rebuild office as it continues to take heat. Despite the embarrassing corruption scandal uncovered during former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s trial, conviction, and last week’s sentencing, the City’s auditor has found that policies, procedures and controls have not changed significantly and more needs to be done. KHON2.

Kealoha Scandal Hasn’t Led To Major Reforms At Prosecutor’s Office, Audit Finds. The audit suggests that a Katherine Kealoha-type situation could very well happen again. Civil Beat.


How famous surfers and wealthy homeowners are endangering Hawaii’s beaches. For decades, homeowners in Punalu‘u watched from large picture windows as locals sunned on the beach and dove for octopus amid the coral reefs of northeast Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu home sales stay strong as buyers bid up prices. Strong demand by buyers bidding above asking price helped push up the median resale price of single-family homes on Oahu to $872,500 in November, the second highest ever. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Aloha, Harry: Hawaii Island mayor leaves office after decades of public service. 81-year-old Mayor Harry Kim is arguably the most significant political figure in Hawaii Island history, having served two terms as mayor from 2000-2008 and another from 2016 until Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Harry Kim ends third term as ‘voice of authority’. Kim’s term was to end by noon today. He served 36 years in public service — 24 years as a civil defense administrator and 12 years as mayor. Star-Advertiser.


Lava recovery plans released: Council members say action is needed now. Three long-awaited documents that aim to guide Hawaii County’s recovery from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano — a recovery and resilience plan, an economic recovery plan, and a volcanic risk assessment — have been released. Tribune-Herald.

County Releases Kīlauea Recovery Plan. The plan is a strategic document that will continue to guide recovery following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, along with two supporting documents – an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan. Big Island Now.

Kilauea Recovery Effort Continues With More Funding, Plans Finalized. Along with the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan have also been released. Big Island Video News.

Succession of events led to 2018 Kilauea eruption
. The volcanic pressure that preceded the 2018 Big Island eruption was building for years, but it was a relatively rapid and cascading succession of minor geologic processes that led to one of Hawaii’s most destructive events in 200 years, a new study has found. Star-Advertiser.


Prosecuting attorney removed from office. Don Guzman to challenge decision. The Maui County Council voted unanimously on Friday to remove Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman over violence in the workplace claims, affirming a council committee decision about a month ago. Maui News.


DOE staffer with COVID-19 visited 3 Maui schools; no closures planned. A Department of Education employee who visited three elementary schools on Maui has tested positive for COVID-19, but no cases have been identified on the campuses and the schools remain open. Star-Advertiser.

Three Maui Elementary Schools Connected to Positive COVID Case Involving HIDOE Employee. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reports that it was made aware of a COVID-19 case involving an employee who visited three Maui campuses — Pu‘u Kukui, Pōmaika‘i and Kula Elementary schools — between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Maui Now.

3 elementary schools connected to positive COVID case involving Maui HIDOE employee. The Hawaii Department of Education confirmed Saturday, an employee who visited three Maui campuses, tested positive for COVID-19.  KITV4.


Maui County Temporarily Shuts Down Lava Rock Bar & Grill for Physical Distancing Violations. The County of Maui Department of Liquor Control shut down the Lava Rock Bar & Grill in Kīhei for a 24-hour period this weekend after physical distancing violations were observed during an enforcement operation conducted in conjunction with the Maui Police Department. Maui Now.

Maui County is expected to get 16,000 doses of COVID vaccine. Maui County is expected to receive about 16,000 doses when the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Hawaii, with the first doses administered to health care and emergency workers, Mayor Michael Victorino said on Friday. Maui News.

Lee Imada reflects on 40 years with The Maui News. Long before he became an award-winning journalist for his hometown paper, Lee Imada wanted to be an astronaut. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridge rehab coming
. Construction and rehabilitation of the 1911 Hanapepe Road bridge over the Hanapepe River won’t be able to start until the makai bridge on Kaumuali‘i Highway is completed, but the process has already begun. Garden Island.

Families move into Kealaula on Pua Loke. The first several families have moved into Kaua‘i’s first transit-ready communities project, Kealaula on Pua Loke Supportive Housing Development, in late November. Garden Island.

Feds offering up to $20K for info on 2 seal deaths on Kauai. Federal wildlife officials are offering up to $20,000 for information regarding the deaths of two Hawaiian monk seals that occurred within two months of each other. Associated Press.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Ige signs 16th proclamation limiting quarantine-free travel to negative coronavirus tests, Honolulu throws out most COVID-19 citations, Kauai records first COVID-19 death, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hotel beach scene ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii’s hotel industry is still struggling despite tourism reopening, and isn’t expected to break even in 2021. A new annual Hawaii hotel forecast prepared by STR for the Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that by the end of 2021, statewide occupancy will have hit only 46.3%, still short of the 50% to 60% occupancy that the industry needs to break even. Star-Advertiser.


Concerns raised over state’s new quarantine plan. A new 14-day quarantine that starts today for inbound travelers awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests received pushback Monday from the state House Select Committee COVID- 19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, with several members saying the quarantine could hurt Hawaii’s economy just as it’s showing encouraging signs. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker: Changing Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program ‘Doesn’t Serve The Public’. Business and political leaders criticized the governor for changing a program that seems to be working. Gov. David Ige’s change to Hawaii’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program has caused an outcry among business and political leaders who say Ige made the change abruptly without talking to tourism industry executives, based on a small number of infected travelers who slipped through the cracks. Civil Beat.

Officials worried new virus restrictions will slow tourism. Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week imposing new restrictions for trans-Pacific travelers seeking to avoid quarantine needs to be amended, said several figures in the tourism industry Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Some lawmakers want the governor to rethink the new travel rules. Members of the House Committee on COVID-19 are calling for Gov. David Ige to amend new pre-travel testing rule. Beginning Tuesday, travelers who don’t have their test results before boarding a plane to Hawaii, will need to quarantine for 14 days even if a negative result comes in later. Hawaii News Now.


Trans-Pacific Travel Changes in Effect Tuesday. Gov. David Ige signed a 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation Monday, Nov. 23, requiring all transpacific travelers to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for Hawai‘i in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine. Big Island Now.

Governor Ige issues 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation, tightening restrictions for trans-pacific travelers heading to Hawai‘i. Governor David Ige signed a 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation requiring all transpacific travelers to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for the State of Hawai‘i, in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine. The new policy takes effect on Tuesday, Nov. 24. KITV4.

Full text of Gov. David Ige's 16th Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Emergency can be found here.

Dept. of Health Discouraging Air Travel, Gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving. Dr. Libby Char, Department of Health Director, told KITV4 she is "very concerned" about holiday gatherings leading to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Economics and Economists in the Spotlight. Local public debates often include economic information and analysis, but the pandemic and resulting economic crisis have intensified the demand for real-time data and understanding. Hawaii Business magazine.

Unspent funds won’t need to be returned, Case assures. U.S. Rep. Ed Case expressed confidence that unspent federal funds for COVID-19 relief in Hawaii will not have to be returned at the end of the year, and said he remains hopeful that another round of federal support could come from Congress. Star-Advertiser.


Keoni Souza Asks Hawaii Supreme Court For Recount In OHA Race. The race fell just outside of the threshold for an automatic recount. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Is Changing ‘The Face Of Hunger’ In Hawaii. The Hawaii Foodbank has distributed nearly 19 million pounds of food since March. The statewide food insecurity rate for 2020 was projected to be 16.8%, but the figure was far greater for children at 29.4%, or 89,050. Civil Beat.

Inspection data sought on state nursing homes. A senior advocacy group wants more data about inspections of Hawaii nursing homes as long-term care facilities across the nation continue to see record cases of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 23: 114 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials recorded 114 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Monday, including 80 on Oahu, 10 on Hawaii Island, 11 on Maui and three on Kauai. Ten more Hawaii residents were diagnosed outside of the state, according to the Department of Health. Civil Beat.


More than 58,000 citations issued for violating emergency orders have been thrown out. Less than one in 50 citations issued on Oahu since March for violating COVID-19 emergency orders resulted in a conviction, newly-released statistics show. Of the more than 60,000 criminal charges issued by Honolulu police since March that have already gone through the court system, the city Prosecutor’s Office declined to prosecute more than 43,000. Another 15,700 charges were dismissed by a judge or prosecutor, leaving just 962 convictions. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Caldwell says HPD COVID Enforcement Team might not return. The department had put it on hold after possible violations of overtime rules. With the investigation ongoing, the mayor says time is running out. KHON2.

City Council leader calls on police chief to bring back COVID-19 enforcement team. Some are calling on Honolulu’s police chief to bring back its COVID-19 enforcement unit, which was suspended following allegations of overtime abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki residents angered by pool party of 30+ people flouting COVID-19 restrictions. Hugs and kisses... loud music and champagne... even a crowded group picture... it looked like a party pre-pandemic. But this happened this past Saturday -- more than 30 revelers celebrated a friend's 26th birthday at The Hawaiian Monarch Hotel and Condos -- with no social distancing. KITV4.


Mayor-elect Blangiardi favors more aggressive reopening of Oahu. Honolulu mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi indicated today he is willing to be more aggressive in re-opening Oahu to allow for such things as bars, other small businesses and team sports to be open more quickly than under current Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s existing tiered system of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayor-elect Blangiardi prepares to take on mounting budget woes.
Conditions have gone from bad to worse for Honolulu’s projected budget shortfall, rail project, and COVID outlook. KHON2.


Mayor Caldwell announces $24M addition to Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund. Oahu bars and nightclubs, gyms and fitness facilities, and arcades will be eligible to tap from $24 million in additional money that’s being infused into the city’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Adds $24 Million To Business Relief Fund. Grants up to $20,000 will be available to arcades, bars and nightclubs, gyms and fitness centers and commercial boating operations under an expansion of Honolulu’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced on Monday. Civil Beat.


More than 100 inmates at Waiawa Correctional Facility are now COVID positive. On Monday, the state reported 103 infected inmates and seven infected employees. One prisoners’ rights advocate calls it an “infection factory". Hawaii News Now.

Oahu businesses ordered to close for violating Emergency Order. Several businesses on Oahu violated the Mayor’s emergency order so the Honolulu Liquor Commission required them to close for 24-hours. KHON2.

Online queues, sanitizer & distancing: Hawaii malls prep for a unique Black Friday. Black Friday 2020 is already poised to be unlike any other before. In recent years, retailers have been hungry to get people in their doors earlier and earlier with deals often starting Thanksgiving night. Hawaii News Now.

A Pearl City park is renamed in honor of a respected community leader. The Manana Community Park in Pearl City has officially been renamed. It is now the Breene Harimoto Manana Community Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

David to lead County Council. Maile David will lead the County Council for the two-year term beginning next month, following an organizational meeting held shortly after the election. The council is also slated to create a new committee to deal with climate change, according to resolutions that will be voted on Dec. 7. West Hawaii Today.

New Nature Trail Opens Off Saddle Road On Hawaii Island. A new nature trail in the shadow of Maunakea on Hawaiʻi Island is the latest addition to the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. Big Island Video News.

The spirit of giving: Ironman Foundation provides Thanksgiving bundles to 600 families. Volunteers worked hard Monday loading 600 Thanksgiving bundles into a seemingly never-ending line of vehicles containing families needing a turkey dinner with all the fixings ahead of the Thursday’s holiday. West Hawaii Today.


Large gathering of more than 200 on Maui beach broken up. Conservation enforcement officers on Maui broke up a large gathering of more than 200 people who allegedly flouted COVID-19 rules at Makena’s Little Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Law Enforcement Operation at “Little Beach” in Mākena, Maui. A team of eight officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement conducted a law enforcement operation on Sunday night at Puʻu Ōlaʻi “Little Beach” in Mākena State Park on Maui. Maui Now.

October Tourism Authority Report: Maui County Vacation Rentals at 21% and Hotels at 14.2% Occupancy. Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties with 138,500 available unit nights, which was a decrease of 53.5 percent compared to a year ago. Maui Now.

Maui Hub Approved as a Nonprofit Organization. The IRS has approved the online marketplace as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Effective June 29, 2020, all donations made to Maui Hub after that date are tax-deductible. Maui Now.

More mobile help coming for Maui people in need. More help is on the horizon for Maui’s needy population as police spearhead an effort to roll out a Mobile Medical Educational Unit possibly by the end of the year. Maui News.


Kaua‘i records first on-island COVID-19 death. The first on-island COVID-19 fatality was reported Monday morning, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced. The elderly male resident had no travel history. Garden Island.

Kauai reports first COVID-19 fatality since pandemic began. For months, Kauai County has appeared to have had the upper hand on coronavirus, going weeks at a time without any new infections. This death comes as cases are once again ticking up. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai reports first on-island coronavirus related fatality. The Kauai District Health Office reported the first on-island coronavirus-related death on Monday, Nov. 23. KHON2.

Community transmission on the rise on Kaua‘i. The county is seeing a rise in community transmission, and officials are concerned with the holidays coming up. Garden Island.

Congressman-elect Kahele makes first Kaua‘i trip since election.
U.S. Congressman-elect Kai Kahele wants to bring more aloha to a divided country. Garden Island.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Ige wants to reroute CARES money to pay loans as economic recovery falters, audit slams Honolulu Police Department's OT excesses, Kauai seeks tighter travel restrictions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Downtown Honolulu business district ©2020 All Hawaii News

‘Treading Water’: Working From Home Hasn’t Hurt Hawaii’s Office Rental Market — Yet. A wholesale shift to employees working from home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has softened the office market but there’s been no mass exodus from office space. Civil Beat.

Rising COVID-19 cases on the mainland, new travel advisories likely to delay Hawaii’s tourism recovery. The robust holiday season that Hawaii’s visitor industry anticipated is evaporating, pushing the start of a meaningful tourism recovery into the third quarter of next year.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Governor makes case for using CARES Act money to pay back unemployment insurance loan. Critics say relief funds are meant to go directly to residents. Governor David Ige says paying down the federal loan helps businesses and benefits the economy as a whole. KITV4.

Hawaii engineers semi-finalists in worldwide mask challenge. A group of local engineers have made it to the semi-finals in a worldwide challenge that is focused on finding the best mask design of the future. Team Merlin! is one of ten semi-finalists in the Million Dollar XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge and is looking for all the support they can get to make it to the finals. Hawaii News Now.

SHOPO sues all four counties over disclosure law. The statewide police union is now suing all four counties in an effort to keep the names of officers fired or suspended for disciplinary reasons secret until all grievance avenues for the officers are exhausted. Tribune-Herald.

Kahele Plans To Go ‘Old School’ And Move Family To Washington To Build Ties. Hawaii’s congressman-elect has a young family that he wants with him as he tries to build a career in Congress. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii reports promising graduation, retention rates. Graduation rates are up at most University of Hawaii campuses this semester. That’s according to new data out from the UH system. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii offers scholarship to furloughed Hawaii residents. The University of Hawaii (UH) is offering a scholarship to residents who are currently furloughed or have been laid off from a Hawaii-based job due to the coronavirus pandemic. KHON2.

Dept. of Agriculture clamps down on movement of coffee plants in Hawaii. The State Department of Agriculture and Plant Quarantine Branch has banned the movement of coffee from Maui and the Big Island due to an infestation of a devastating coffee pathogen known as the coffee leaf rust. Hawaii News Now.

Here’s Why Hawaiian Homesteaders May Never Fully Profit From Their Own Land. Those fortunate enough to secure a DHHL lot — often after waiting years or decades — find themselves unable to access the property’s market value. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders hardest-hit. No ethnic group has been hit harder by the corona­virus pandemic than Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 22: 123 New COVID-19 Cases, 2 Deaths. Health officials recorded 123 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 97 on Oahu, 14 on Hawaii island, four on Maui and six on Kauai. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Police Department suspends use of COVID enforcement team after overtime violations. The Honolulu Police Department has suspended the use of special COVID-19 enforcement teams after an internal audit revealed “multiple violations” of the department’s overtime policies. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Suspends COVID-19 Patrols After Audit Finds Overtime Violations.
Records show that two officers recorded more than 300 hours of overtime from Sept. 27 to Oct. 31. That translates to 65 hours of overtime each week. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers seek transparency from HPD following alleged overtime violations involving COVID-19 enforcement team. Some lawmakers are calling for changes at the Honolulu Police Department as it investigates allegations of overtime pay violations involving COVID relief funds. KITV4.

Virus hits family of HPD officer hospitalized with COVID-19. A Honolulu Police Officer is fighting for his life after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were discovered at the Wahiawa Police Station. His family also contracted the disease. KHON2.


Blangiardi Names Transition Team, Seeks Job Applicants. The mayor-elect of Honolulu has launched a jobs portal to find viable candidates. Civil Beat.

Honolulu expects to spend all $387.1M in CARES Act funds. Honolulu has already spent $214.1 million, or 55%, of its $387.1 million in federal CARES Act funding and expects to use the entire amount before it expires at the end of the year, according to a news release from Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.


2 Hawaii Department of Transportation employees to pay fines for personal use of highway equipment. Two state Department of Transportation employees have agreed to pay fines and face potential DOT discipline after a supervisor allowed an employee to take a Bobcat skid-steer home for personal use this month and used a DOT truck and trailer on state time to transport the Bobcat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOT Employees Fined For Taking State Equipment Off The Job. The incident violated Hawaii’s Fair Treatment law. Civil Beat.


The Miske Case: An Insider Pleads Guilty And Is Cooperating With The Feds. Jacob Smith’s plea agreement details violence and criminal operations he says were carried out under orders from longtime Honolulu businessman Michael Miske. Civil Beat.

Man’s Death In Honolulu Police Custody Caused By Drugs, Shackles And A Struggle. A medical examiner’s report shows the 28-year-old Kaneohe man died in June from a combination of drug and alcohol use and a physical struggle with police. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roth announces more cabinet appointees. Leading the Planning Department will be former Puna Councilman Zendo Kern of Kurtistown. Civil Engineer S. Ikaika Rodenhurst of Hawaiian Acres will lead the Department of Public Works and Ramzi I. Mansour of Honolulu, also a professional engineer, will be the new director of the Department of Environmental Management. West Hawaii Today.

Three More Roth Cabinet Names Announced. Zendo Kern, Ikaika Rodenhurst, and Ramzi Mansour have been appointed to head three critical Hawaiʻi County departments. Big Island Video News.

Kim seeks expansion of post-arrival COVID screening at Kona airport. Mayor Harry Kim wants to expand post-arrival testing at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole after scaling back testing efforts there earlier this month. Tribune-Herald.

Forest forum: Input sought on proposed Natural Area Reserve in South Kona. Community input on a proposal to add a 1,260-acre South Kona parcel to the Hawaii Natural Area Reserve system is being sought by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife. West Hawaii Today.

CIP Funding Released for Land Acquisition by Waimea Schools. Gov. David Ige has released $1.6 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for the Hawai’i Department of Education’s land acquisition of Parcel 54 from Parker Ranch Land Trust. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Island group distributes $7.5M in housing aid, with more on the way. A hui of Hawaii Island organizations already has distributed all of its $7.5 million in federal funds to pay rent and mortgages for 1,322 households during the COVID-19 economic and health crisis, but the need is even greater. Star-Advertiser.

Three from Big Island file lawsuits against Monsanto Co. A Honolulu law firm has filed a trio of product liability civil lawsuits this month on behalf of three Big Island men against the chemical giant Monsanto Co. in Hilo Circuit Court. Tribune-Herald.

‘Extremely intoxicated’ Brennan arrested again. For the second time in less than four months, a former star quarterback at the University of Hawaii was taken into police custody after allegedly causing a drunken disturbance. Tribune-Herald.


Officials: Strict COVID measures in place for conference. Organizer says no attendees have tested positive for virus. A multiday conference of more than 100 people at Fairmont Kea Lani that spurred criticism in attendees’ home states took strict precautions to prevent COVID-19, the organizer emphasized Thursday. Maui News.

HBO miniseries filming in Wailea. Officials forecast busy end to year for industry on Maui. County officials pulled back the curtain Friday on a busy end to the year for Maui’s film and TV industry, including a $20 million-budget HBO miniseries that’s halfway through filming in Wailea. Maui News.

New HBO series filming on Maui, 'Temptation Island' injects $2M into local economy.
A new miniseries is halfway through filming on Maui after a controversial television series wrapped up production a couple of weeks ago. KITV4.

We Are South Maui Website Launches Public Engagement Activity Through End of Year. The Maui County Planning Department launched a public engagement workshop on its We Are Maui website, which will remain open through the end of the year. Maui Now.


Kauai wants stricter travel entry rules. Kauai health officials have reported 22 more COVID-19 cases, at least 19 of them travel-related, since Nov. 16 when Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami sought additional requirements for travelers coming to the Garden Island. Star-Advertiser.

County has spent 66% of CARES Act funds. As of the end of September, the County of Kaua‘i has spent about 66% of its state-allocated federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. Between August and September, the county had spent $919,915.56, including $500,000 for small-business grants and $100,000 for the Rise to Work program that has hired displaced workers into paid employment. Garden Island.

Virus testing offered in Hanapepe. Nearly 500 appointments — the largest amount since the County of Kaua‘i and state Department of Health started surge testing — greeted the surge-testing crew Sunday at Hanapepe Stadium when testing started in strong trade winds and cloudy skies. Garden Island.

Former HPD captain with COVID left to sleep on a bench after quarantine mix up
. When the coronavirus outbreak hit the island of Lanai, Nyle Dolera got so sick from the virus that he had to be medivacked to the Queen’s Medical Center earlier this month. But the retired Honolulu Police Department captain said the way he was treated by Department of Health officials during his 14-day quarantine on Oahu was much worse than the disease itself. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

'Hilo Boyz' in Congress, state lawmakers push Ige for statewide mask mandate, Blangiardi taps political insider for No. 2, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Zoom
U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Kai Kahele on Zoom

‘Hilo Boyz’ Ed Case And Kai Kahele Prepare For 2021. Both men will represent Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives after a contentious election year that saw Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump. Civil Beat.

Kai Kahele and Ed Case vow to work together to help Hawaii in U.S. Congress
. U.S. Congressman Ed Case and Congressman-Elect Kai Kahele on Monday morning vowed to work together to help Hawaii receive the federal funding it critically needs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Case, Kahele discuss priorities as they prep for 117th Congress. The response to COVID-19 is a priority for Hawaii’s congressmen as they prepare for the start of the 117th Congress in January. Tribune-Herald.

"Proud Hilo boys" plan to push for more federal COVID relief on Capitol Hill. Congressman Ed Case and Congressman-Elect Kai Kahele say they're eager to represent the islands on Capitol Hill as a team. KITV4.

Kahele among group of Natives in Congress giving hope for change. Internet access, health care and basic necessities like running water and electricity within Indigenous communities have long been at the center of congressional debates. But until recently, Congress didn’t have many Indigenous members who were pushing for solutions and funding for those issues. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s Senators See New Hope For Hawaiian Issues In Washington. A Biden presidency will give U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono more opportunity to pursue Native Hawaiian issues as well as climate change and immigration. Civil Beat.

What Local Election Results Reveal About Hawaii’s Politics. When it comes to the results of state and local races in Hawaii’s 2020 election, Colin Moore with the Public Policy Center at University of Hawaii-Manoa says there is one word to describe the results: stability. Hawaii Public Radio.


Pressure builds for stronger mask mandate. The issue of whether masks are mandatory across the islands arose once again Monday with key state legislators pressing Gov. David Ige to emphatically state that wearing masks is required statewide to help slow the rising spread of COVID-19 and prevent a third surge of cases. Star-Advertiser.

State mask policy doesn’t go far enough, lawmakers and economists agree. Lt. Gov. Josh Green wants a special legislative session called so that lawmakers can create a clear policy when it comes to mask wearing. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s lead economist calls statewide mask mandate a “no-brainer”. Hawaii’s leading economist says there is a “no-brainer” to avoiding the next surge in COVID-19 cases and ensuing economic downturn: everyone wear a mask in public. KHON2.

House COVID-19 panel hears presentations about state’s economic recovery, worries about another spike in cases. The state’s economic recovery is going better than expected but could be on the verge of another crisis, according to presentations during a Monday meeting of the House COVID-19 committee. Tribune-Herald.

UH assembles team of experts to discuss economic diversification, sustainability during pandemic. The four-day virtual conference started on Monday, November 9. Topics include food resiliency and self-sufficient solutions. KITV4.


Acellus online curriculum promotes religion, shows racial and cultural bias, Hawaii reviewers find. The Acellus online curriculum has gender, racial and cultural biases and seems to promote religion in the public schools, according to a report released today by the Hawaii Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Report: Acellus Online Curriculum Violated Religion, Discrimination Policies. The Hawaii Department of Education’s internal review of the remote learning tool found the inappropriate content in lessons to be “severe, pervasive and persistent.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gets $1.8M To Support Families With Section 8 Vouchers. The money will go to help renters on Oahu and Maui. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 9: 64 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii.
Hawaii health officials reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, including four on Hawaii Island, two on Kauai, and 53 on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Michael Formby picked as Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s managing director. In tapping former city Transportation Services Director Michael Formby to be his top lieutenant, Blangiardi picked someone well versed in the ways of city, state and federal government — and who knows a thing or two about the city’s vexing $10 billion- plus rail project to boot. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor-Elect Blangiardi Names Mike Formby As Managing Director. Rick Blangiardi, who will take elected office for the first time, has tapped a political insider to handle the city’s day to day operations. Civil Beat.

Mayor-elect Blangiardi names Formby to Honolulu's No. 2 job. Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi has named Mike Formby, a former director of the city’s transportation department and the most recent executive director of the Pacific Resource Partnership, as managing director of his administration, the No. 2 job in the city. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu mayor-elect makes first selection of incoming administration. Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi has announced that he has selected Michael Formby as his managing director. An attorney, Formby served as a director in the city Department of Transportation Services, as well as previously at the state Transportation Department. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor-elect Blangiardi is building his staff.
He named Mike Formby as his managing director. Formby worked in government positions for the city, state and federal levels for nearly 20 years. KITV4.


Oahu could stay in Tier 2 longer than hoped. With the recent rise in coronavirus cases, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says it’s still possible for Oahu to move into Tier 3 by Thanksgiving. KHON2.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell hopes to go to Tier 3 on Thanksgiving. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is still hopeful that Oahu can move into Tier 3 by Thanksgiving, allowing 10 people to gather, up from five currently allowed under Tier 2. Star-Advertiser.

After uptick in new COVID-19 cases, mayor urges Oahu to ‘get back on track’. A recent uptick in new COVID-19 cases on Oahu could slow or reverse the city’s reopening plans, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell warned Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu businesses, residents worry rising number of COVID-19 cases could trigger restrictions. Oahu businesses and residents are weighing in on the prospect of a slowed reopening — or the reintroduction of some restrictions — if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Hawaii News Now.


Ethics Complaint Filed After Honolulu Lobbyist Fails (Again) To Register. Longtime local lobbyist David Arakawa hasn’t registered to lobby at the city despite advocating against recent legislative proposals to reshape Honolulu’s parking and urban-planning policies. Civil Beat.

Diamond Head Theatre redevelopment begins. The final curtain is expected to fall at the 87-year-old Diamond Head Theatre building in 2022 with construction now underway on a new venue. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Feds pick up the tab for county workers: $3.7M in wages, overtime attributed to COVID-19 work since March. The federal government picked up $3.7 million for salaries, wages and overtime of county employees during the first seven months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the county Department of Finance in response to a West Hawaii Today public records request. West Hawaii Today.

County Housing Agency delays approval of action plan for housing buyout program funds. The County Housing Agency last week voted to postpone approval of an action plan that details how more than $83 million in federal disaster recovery money will be spent. Tribune-Herald.

‘Cautiously optimistic’: Kailua Village Business Improvement District updates council. Despite the damage incurred amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Kailua Village Business Improvement District says services in downtown Kailua-Kona will likely go unchanged this fiscal year. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community Pet Support Program Initiated. A new program that provides basic veterinary care to pets in need of assistance is making its way around Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video News.


DHHL Publishes Final EA for Pu‘unani Subdivision on Maui. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has published its final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Puʻunani Subdivision in Waikapū, Maui. Maui Now.

‘No parking’ signs frustrate beachgoers in Paia. Beachgoers, surfers and fishermen are frustrated over the recently installed “no parking” signs along Hana Highway, which are intended to reduce “dangerously parked” cars but have left them with few other places to go. Maui News.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort to Reopen on Nov. 15. The reopening marks the debut of The Grand Life, programming focused on well-being and incorporating personalized health and safety measures, as well as a reimagined twist to the resort’s experiences. Maui Now.


Rental assistance receives funds. Monday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that Hawai‘i will receive $1,820,264 in federal funding to support the Housing Choice Voucher program. Garden Island.

‘Beloved Bundles’ celebrate forensic nurses. Forensic Nurses provide nursing care, collect evidence, and provide consultation in areas including sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, death investigation, elder mistreatment, corrections, emergency services, mental health, and public health, states a Kaua‘i County Council announcement of the observance. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Hawaii elections officials rethink mail-only ballots, long lines spur COVID-19 concerns, Blangiardi and Roth solicit cabinet appointees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii voters line up in Hilo ©2020 All Hawaii News

 Last-minute surge of isle voters flooded election sites. In a last rush to have their opinion count, hundreds of voters showed up just before the 7 p.m. scheduled close of Hawaii voting centers across every county on Election Day, delaying the release of results for more than four hours. Out of 832,466 registered voters — another record — the number of ballots cast represented 69.6% of registered voters. Star-Advertiser.

‘Distrust,’ Enthusiasm And A Hawaii Law Fueled Long Lines On Election Day. Thousands of Hawaii voters waited for hours in lines outside of Hawaii’s eight voter centers Tuesday night, a situation that election officials have promised to remedy but one that citizen groups have been warning against for months. Civil Beat.

Long wait for Hawaii vote spurs call for more voter centers. Voter advocates say Hawaii should set up more voter service centers after a last-minute surge of interest led to hours-long lines for in-person voting on Election Day even as the state switched to a vote-by-mail system for casting ballots. Associated Press.

What worked, what didn’t: Election officials discuss improvements for next election. Election officials said they are reviewing how election-day went after thousands showed-up for in-person voting services on election day. Hawaii News Now.

Near midnight wait leads to call for more voting centers by 2022.
Some voter service centers moved like clockwork and mostly by the election clock. Kauai finished in-person voting just after 7 p.m. Maui and Kona closed about an hour after that, and Hilo at 8:30 p.m. But on Oahu, people were still in line at Honolulu Hale until 10:30 p.m. and Kapolei Hale until nearly 11:30 p.m. KHON2.

Local support for Trump grew in 2020, but it didn’t translate into down-ballot wins. Local support for the Republican presidential candidate rose in 2020 to the highest level observed since the 2004 general election, a sign that enthusiasm for incumbent Donald J. Trump across Hawaii was strong despite the state’s reputation as a Democratic stronghold. Hawaii News Now.


In A Divided America Kai Kahele Wants To Find A Place To ‘Fit In’. The Democratic state senator is only the second Native Hawaiian elected to Congress since statehood. Civil Beat.

Kahele hopes to bring neighbor island perspective to Congress. Democratic state Sen. Kai Kahele plans to amplify the voices of the neighbor islands after winning the U.S. House District 2 seat Tuesday night with 63% of the vote. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo’s Kai Kahele Heading To Washington As Next Congressman. Kahele is looking to recruit individuals to serve in key positions on his Congressional staff in Washington D.C. and in his District Office. Big Island Video News.


Tam To Serve As Only Open LBGTQ State Lawmaker. Adrian Tam is the new state House representative for District 22 covering the Kakaako and Waikiki area. Hawaii Public Radio.

Suicides In Hawaii Appear To Be Decreasing — Despite Pandemic. Experts say the preliminary data is an encouraging indicator that people are paying closer attention to their mental health and getting help. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 4: 156 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 156 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 21 cases on Hawaii Island, one on Lanai, four on Maui, 125 on Oahu, and five out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi’s transition team already underway. Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi said today that he has his sights set on a second-in-command and is putting together a transition group to help him pick others in his cabinet. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s next mayor is ready to hit the ground running. After winning the election, Rick Blangiardi says that he is ready to tackle some of the city’s most important issues. KHON2.

Why Honolulu Chose Rick Blangiardi Over Keith Amemiya. First-time candidates Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya couldn’t run on their political records, so experts say it came down to personality. Civil Beat.

A day after election, efforts to reorganize City Council are already underway. There are five newcomers on the nine-member City Council ― its biggest turnover in years. Hawaii News Now.

Some first time politicians have been elected on O'ahu. First time politicians join City Council. KITV4.


Long lines at Oahu polling locations trigger fears of COVID-19 spread. Onlookers are raising concerns about whether the large crowds of voters ― hundreds at several points through the day and into the evening ― could have been exposed to COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

You didn't need a mask to vote in Honolulu. Of the more than 4,200 in-person voters on O'ahu, Honolulu Elections Administrator Rex Quidilla told KITV4 only a "handful" refused to wear a mask. KITV4.

Long Election Day voter lines lead to complaints. Honolulu election officials said they anticipated more Oahu residents would show up on Election Day to vote at one of the two designated voter services centers on the island, just not 4,520 of them during that 12-hour span. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu appears unlikely to advance to Tier 3. With 125 coronavirus cases reported on Oahu, it appears unlikely that Honolulu will move this month to the next phase of economic reopening. In fact, it could move backward, warns Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Department to deploy COVID-19 quarantine response teams on Oahu. The Honolulu Police Department has created a small unit of police officers to check up on incoming travelers who are supposed to be quarantined on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Ward Village developer plans for 2 more towers. Two towers with 1,243 homes will be in the next phase of Ward Village, according to the developer of the master-planned community in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Pali Lookout reopens to trickle of visitors. A trickle of visitors on Wednesday enjoyed the panoramic view at Nuuanu Pali State Wayside — more popularly known as Pali Lookout — on the first day of its reopening since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth hitting the ground running: Cabinet positions available to be filled by Dec. 7. After a decisive win late Tuesday in his bid for mayor, Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth hit the ground running Wednesday, preparing to close one county office while he begins assembling a cabinet so he’ll be ready to take over the next one Dec. 7. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Mayor-elect Mitch Roth wants to change the ‘philosophy of government’.
Hawaii County-elect Mayor Mitch Roth will take over on Dec. 7, giving him just over a month to build his cabinet. Star-Advertiser.

Kimball, Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder talk priorities after winning council seats in Tuesday’s election. The District 1 and District 5 contests were the only contested council races on the ballot in the general election. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island to Change Pre-Travel Testing Model, Administer Fewer Second Tests
. Hawai‘i County will transition away from its pre-travel testing model, through which all travelers are tested twice, once on the mainland and once upon their arrival to the Big Island. Big Island Now.

Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino students test positive for COVID-19. Two Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino students recently tested positive for COVID-19, days after the school reopened for limited in-person learning. West Hawaii Today.


Voting officials surprised by large Maui precinct turnout. More than 230 voters in line during peakCounty officials and volunteers were surprised with the large turnout of in-person voters on Election Day at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Maui Now.

MEO Celebrates New Buses with Blessing. The buses will primarily transport Head Start keiki and will supplement MEO Youth transportation services. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i sees 72% turnout for 2020 General Election. Kaua‘i recorded a record 72% voter turnout for the 2020 General Election. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i residents approve six charter amendments. Residents voted in favor of reducing the qualifications required to be considered for the roles of the county’s Department of Public Works County Engineer and Water Board Manager. Garden Island.

Kawakami signs Bill No. 2803. Mayor Derek Kawakami signed Bill No. 2803, amending homestead-exemption status for full-time Kaua‘i residents for property-tax purposes. Garden Island.