Showing posts with label Temptation Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Temptation Island. Show all posts

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


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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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Officials question readiness to reopen Hawaii to travelers, Ige to pick Supreme Court justice, film and TV production restarting, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii Supreme Court building
Hawaii Supreme Court building ©2020 All Hawaii News

Gov. David Ige Mulling Over His First Hawaii Supreme Court Nominee. The governor’s choice will likely be vetted by the Senate in November. Civil Beat.

State Supreme Court Nominees to be Considered.
Gov. David Ige has received a list of four nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. Big Island Now.

Governor’s office seeks input on nominees for state Supreme Court. The Judicial Selection Commission sent Ige a list of four names for associate justice on the Supreme Court. The names include: Todd W. Eddins, David M. Forman, Darolyn Lendio Heim and Benjamin E. Lowenthal. Hawaii News Now.


Contact Tracing Program Continues To Struggle, Despite Additional Staff. The Hawaii Department of Heath’s troubled contact tracing program is reporting new issues, even after an influx of new staff. Hawaii Public Radio.

Trans-Pacific travel: Ready for prime time? Kim says no.
With just two weeks remaining to get it all together, Hawaii’s pretest trans-Pacific travel plan is not ready for prime time, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday, a sentiment echoed by two recent travelers to the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kawakami wants all visitors to take a COVID-19 test after arriving on Kaua'i Mayor Kawakami sent a proposal for a post-arrival test program to Governor David Ige that would require visitors to get tested within 72 hours after arrival in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, if Governor Ige grants his permission. KITV4.

Councilman calls on the governor to prove Hawaii is ready to welcome back visitors. A city council member and some residents are calling on the governor to show the state can handle the launch of Hawaii’s trans-pacific travel program. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Prepares For Tourism Increase On October 15. Plans to carefully reopen Hawaiʻi to tourism were discussed on Monday during a virtual meeting of the Hawaiʻi House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. Big Island Video News.

More hotels announce reopening dates after pre-travel testing takes effect. More hotels have announced plans to reopen after the Oct. 15 pre-travel testing program takes effect, but even with more rooms online, some in the lodging industry are keeping low expectations on the number of visitors. KHON2.


State: More than 40,000 Hawaii residents have lost private health insurance amid pandemic. According to the state Department of Human Services, enrollment in the state Med-Quest or Medicaid program has jumped 13% to a record 376,000 residents ― from 333,000 in September 2019. Hawaii News Now.

How to register for the Department of Education's virtual job fair on Wednesday. The DOE is looking to fill roughly 400 teacher positions for the current school year at a virtual job fair taking place on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. KITV4.

Despite $420M loan, Hawaiian Airlines job cuts loom. Hawaiian Airlines got a lifeline worth up to $420 million on Tuesday from the Treasury Department, but the CARES Act loan alone won’t stave off the more than 2,500 job reductions that are anticipated at the state’s largest airline. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Is Revealing Problems With How Hawaii’s Government Uses Data. There doesn’t seem to be a clear data strategy for the virus response. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Film, TV Production Restarting Despite Pandemic.There are definite signs of life in Hawai'i's film industry. Season three of "Magnum PI" is underway, and other productions are shooting on Hawai'i island and Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

State plan would dish out free restaurant meals for the unemployed. Unemployed residents and struggling restaurants in Hawaii could soon share $67 million in federal coronavirus aid under a new state plan. Star-Advertiser.

A new program could allow those out of work to eat at restaurants for free. A new program is in the works to help Hawaii’s jobless families and restaurants. Those out of work would eat for free and the federal government would pick up the tab. Hawaii News Now.


PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox stepping down. Wilcox, a lifelong Hawaii resident who has been at the helm of the public television station since 2007, will relocate to San Antonio to be with an ailing family member. Star-Advertiser.

Leslie Wilcox stepping down as president, CEO of PBS Hawaii after 14 years. Wilcox leaves behind a 48-year legacy of shaping local media in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Leslie Wilcox to step down as President and CEO of PBS Hawaii. After 14 years, the President and CEO of PBS Hawai’i, Leslie Wilcox, announced she will be stepping down from her position. KHON2.


VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 29: 87 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported 87 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including three in Hawaii County, two on Maui, and two out of state. Civil Beat.


Group of bar owners planning to sue city and Mayor for keeping bars closed. The Hawaii Bar Owner's Association says it is planning legal action to force city to let them open again. KITV4.

HPD Crime-Solving Record Is The Worst Its Been In At Least 40 Years. HPD won’t talk about it, but FBI data shows Honolulu has one of the worst records in the country when it comes to solving property crimes as well as violent crimes. Civil Beat.

TheHandi-Van users want fare increase delayed. Testifiers and users of TheHandi-Van voiced support for increasing the fare to ride, but said it should not be implemented now when many people are struggling from the COVID-19 outbreak in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Liliha Healthcare Center tracks COVID-19 cluster with 27 infections reported. The Liliha Healthcare Center reported Tuesday night that 21 residents and six staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Liliha nursing home hit with coronavirus outbreak. A Liliha nursing home is scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has so far sickened 21 residents and six staff members. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Army: State Needs To Renew Lease For Big Island Training Area.
Artillery is playing an increasingly prominent role in global conflicts, but opponents say the training there threatens environment and community health. Civil Beat.

$2.2 Million For Ahalanui Park, Taken By Lava In 2018. The new FEMA money may be used to restore the park at its current location, or at an alternate site, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz says. Big Island Video News.

$2.2M heading to Hawaii County to restore park destroyed in 2018 eruption
. More federal funding is heading to Hawaii Island to continue recovery efforts from the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Hawaii News Now.

Hopeful in Honokaa: Businesses struggle with lack of visitors, eye Oct. 15 reopening. A mandatory 14-day quarantine for trans-Pacific travelers has all but eliminated out-of-state visitors to the former plantation town, and many business owners wonder how long they can hang on. Tribune-Herald.

Palani Road work nearing completion. Palani Road is anticipated to return to two-lane travel between Kailua Pier and Kuakini Highway next week. West Hawaii Today.

Kim still hopeful breakwater study can start soon.
An investigation into whether alterations to the Hilo Bay breakwater can improve the bay’s water quality might still go forward next month despite COVID-related disruptions. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island Voters Will Decide 16 County Charter Amendments.
The issues include County Council term lengths and giving the council and certain boards more disciplinary powers. Civil Beat.


Temptation Island Starts Filming This Week, Two Other Productions Planned on Maui. Maui Film Commissioner Tracy Bennett provided an update on the production of the reality TV show, Temptation Island, which starts filming this week at the Andaz Maui at Wailea resort. Maui Now.

Two more projects to film on Maui. Two more productions will film in paradise against the backdrop of the pandemic, joining the reality show “Temptation Island,” which starts filming this week on Maui. Maui News.

Hospital worker who was critical of facility’s administration fired. An outspoken Maui Memorial Medical Center nurse who has criticized the hospital’s handling of two COVID-19 outbreaks as well as its virus protocols for staff and patients has been terminated. Maui News.

Community rallies around longtime Haiku teacher. Monica Nakahashi placed on leave while investigation pending. Maui News.


Mayor: Kaua’i aims for upscale tourism. Mayor Derek Kawakami participated in a five-person-panel, Zoom discussion Tuesday, “Restarting Hawai‘i’s Tourism Industry.” Garden Island.

Planning Department front counter closed. The county Planning Department’s front counter at the Kapule Building in the Lihu‘e Civic Center is closed now through Monday, Oct. 12, while the area undergoes construction. Garden Island.

Cases not infectious while traveling. Investigation the state Department of Health made into the two active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i gives officials confidence neither was infectious during travel. Garden Island.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Honolulu vial mislabeling sends 1,000 back for second COVID-19 test, $300 weekly unemployment bonus begins, health inspector fined for ethics violation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

COVID-19 lab testing
About 1,000 Oahu residents told to retake COVID-19 surge test because of mislabeling. Just five days into a federally funded COVID-19 surge testing program on Oahu, about 1,000 people from the Kaneohe testing site have been told they have to retake the test due to a mislabeling error. Star-Advertiser.

Due To Mislabeling, About 1,000 Oahu Residents Told To Re-Test For COVID-19. The tests were part of the two-week federally funded testing surge. Civil Beat.

Due to mislabeling, about 1,000 Oahu residents told to re-test for COVID-19. In the latest coronavirus blunder, officials say about 1,000 people will need to get re-tested because vials weren’t labeled. Hawaii News Now.

About 1,000 surge tests labeled incorrectly, impacted individuals urged to retest. Some  of the tests from the Kaneohe site on Wednesday were not labeled correctly and those who are impacted are being urged to retest. KHON2.

1,000 people need to redo COVID-19 test due to labeling error. Another 500 vials were also incorrectly labeled, but staff managed to match the correct patient information to the vials. KITV4.


A Frank Conversation With U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz About Hawaii’s ‘Terrible’ Virus Response Effort. Hawaii’s senior senator is extremely troubled by the Ige and Caldwell administrations’ failure to deal effectively with the coronavirus problem in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Contact tracing for the public: Voluntary contact tracing app would allow personal notification. Would a voluntary, free app that lets people know they were within 10-12 feet of someone who later tests positive for coronavirus help stem the rising tide of infections? Could crowd-sourcing — literally putting a tool into the hands of the public — be the solution that government alone can’t seem to reach? West Hawaii Today.

Travelers flying into Hawaii will be required to complete Safe Travels application. The Safe Travels application, starting Tuesday, will become the newest mandatory requirement for travelers flying into Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Feds fund unemployment bonus program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Sunday it has approved a $193,933,095 grant to Hawai‘i to provide those unemployed due to COVID-19 with an additional $300 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefit. Garden Island.

More federal funding is heading to islands to help fulfill unemployment claims. Senator Brian Schatz announces Saturday that the state is getting nearly $200 million in funding from the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which is administered through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. Hawaii News Now.

FEMA Approves Lost Wages Grant for Hawai‘i to Support $300 Per Week Unemployment Benefit. FEMA’s grant funding will allow Hawaiʻi to provide $300 per week, on top of their regular unemployment benefit, to those unemployed due to COVID-19. Maui Now.


County Budgets Stable For Now, But Face Uncertain Future. Local governments in Hawaii have not yet faced the acute budget woes being felt at the state level. That may change if local businesses a forced to close. Hawaii Public Radio.

Auditor: DOE Should Be Releasing More Info About COVID-19 In Schools. The State Auditor also criticized Department of Education officials for not cooperating with its investigation. Civil Beat.

DOE reports 20 new COVID-19 cases. This week, 20 people associated with the state Department of Education has tested positive for COVID-19. The DOE's weekly web update says that includes nine employees, five students, four service providers and two parents contracted the virus. KITV4.

Hawaii’s hospitals are in urgent need of nurses to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases. With an influx in hospitalizations in Hawaii due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, health care officials have put out an urgent call for more nurses to assist. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Inspector Fined $25,000 For Ethics Violation. A state worker admitted to mixing government work with his second job, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission said. Civil Beat.

DOH nurse consultant hit with $25,000 fine for ethics violation. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission fined Roel Salanga $25,000 dollars after they say he used his position for personal gain. Hawaii News Now.

Guess Who In Hawaii Is Donating To Trump And Biden? More than 600 Hawaii residents have contributed cash to the campaigns of the president and his opponent. Civil Beat.


Bill opens up Hawai‘i to hemp industry. The signing of House Bill 1819 by Gov. David Ige legalizes the growth, processing and sale of industrial hemp in the state, and for Nalu Botanicals Lab, the first and only toll processing facility in the state, this bill opens up new opportunities and business by the ten-fold. Garden Island.

Pandemic renews calls for marijuana legalization in Hawaii. This week, Hawaii took a step forward in legalizing industrial hemp, something the agricultural committee says would be a big boost to the state's economy. KITV4.


Will Hawaii’s $1.9 Billion Missile Radar System Get Built? Critics argue the costly system may already be obsolete and will needlessly threaten the environment and cultural sites. Civil Beat.

Wespac Reconsiders Rule That Keeps Longliners From Fishing Near Hawaii’s Shores. The zone was created nearly 30 years ago to ease conflicts with smaller boats that fish closer to shore. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric takes on threat of albizia trees. In 2019, Hawaiian Electric spent about $18.6 million on trimming or removing more than 360,000 trees across its five-island territory. Star-Advertiser.


VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 30: 200 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths. There are now more than 5,700 active cases identified in the islands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports another coronavirus death on Oahu and 200 new cases statewide. Health officials today reported 174 new cases today on Oahu, 22 on Hawaii island, and four in Maui County. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu mayoral candidates log small campaign funding deficits. he top two vote getters in the race reported small deficits in the days leading up to the primary. Hawaii News Now.

Protesters gather in opposition of mayor’s latest stay-at-home order. In an act of defiance against the mayor’s latest stay-at-home order, a large group of people exercised their freedom of speech Saturday in a protest near the grounds of Honolulu Hale. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists Find Larger Fish, Clearer Water During Hanauma Bay Closure. Scientists anticipate the bay’s vacation from vacationers will bring a much-needed boost to its overall health. Civil Beat.

‘It’s as if a bomb went off:’ Waipahu’s illegal dumping problem worsens. Illegal dumping has been a problem in Waipahu for years. But local businesses and environmental activists say the problem has gotten worse during the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Outrage, not a meadow, grows in Royal Kunia subdivision. The condition and use of 132 acres at Royal Kunia once advertised as the spot for a planned golf course has been perturbing much of the roughly 2,000-home community over the past three years, including about 300 residents whose homes border the old golf course site. Star-Advertiser.

Reporter, weekend anchor Lisa Kubota bids aloha to Hawaii News Now. After 20 years in the broadcast journalism industry, Hawaii News Now’s Lisa Kubota is saying aloha to the world of television news. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island records its first 2 coronavirus deaths amid outbreak at Hilo veterans home. Hawaii island has had its first two coronavirus-related deaths following an outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Star-Advertiser.

Two coronavirus-related deaths reported at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Hawaii Island marked its first coronavirus-related deaths Sunday as the number of positive COVID-19 cases on the island climbed to 340. West Hawaii Today.

Two Deaths, 37 COVID-19 Cases Connected To Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home Outbreak. Six are hospitalized at Hilo Medical Center, and 19 are being cared for at the veterans home’s COVID designated area. Big Island Video News.

HMC Reports Two Coronavirus-Related Deaths. Hilo Medical Center reported two coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday afternoon, the first of which was also reported by Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Sunday morning. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Island reports two COVID deaths as case numbers surpass Maui County. On Sunday, Hawaii County had more COVID-19 cases than Maui County. As of Sunday, there are 166 active cases on Hawaii Island. KHON2.


Five arrested following gathering at Kahaluu. Five people were arrested for violating Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation after Hawaii Police Department officers were dispatched to a report of a more than 20 people gathering at Kahaluu Beach Park. West Hawaii Today.

Police Arrest 5 at Kahalu‘u Beach Park For Violation of COVID-19 Protocol. Hawai‘i County Police on Saturday arrested five individuals for violating COVID-19 protocols as part of a gathering at Kahalu‘u Beach Park in West Hawai‘i. Big Island Now.

5 arrested, charged on the Big Island for COVID violations. Not everyone complied and police arrested five people: 53-year-old Gene Tamashiro of Hilo, 48-year-old Stefanie Nolff of Keaau, 65-year-old Diane Ficher of Kailua-Kona, 60-year-old Melody Harris of Kailua-Kona and 53-year-old Michaele Ann Medearis of Holualoa. KHON2.


More than 5,000 limited quarantine requests. County grants ‘vast majority’ of requests so people can continue to work As of Friday, Maui County officials had received well over 5,000 requests from travelers for a limited quarantine when arriving in the county following interisland travel. Maui News.

Reality series ‘Temptation Island’ to begin filming again on Maui. Maui filming of the reality series “Temptation Island” is back on again after obtaining authorization from Mayor Michael Victorino following a review of the production company’s health security plan and testing protocols. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor green lights reality TV show. ‘Temptation Island’ filming at Andaz allowed beginning Sept. 8. Maui News.


Money helps fund Makauwahi Cave Reserve expansion efforts. For the Makauwahi Cave Reserve, nestled on the south coast of Kaua‘i in the Mahaulepu Valley close to Mahaulepu Beach, change has always been constant, even in the pre-COVID era. Garden Island.

Kauai Businesses Are ‘Hanging On By A Thread’ Without Tourists. The alarming number of businesses facing closure in the next six months should be a warning sign to state leaders, says the head of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. Civil Beat.

Native seabird chicks eaten by single cat. Over the course of three days in a remote area of the Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve, one cat (photographed on multiple trail cameras) killed at least nine endangered Hawaiian Petrel (‘u‘au) chicks. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Hawaii contact tracing in the spotlight, state employees' teleworking plan questioned, Maui 'Temptation Island' filming controversial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook Live
Dr. Emily Roberson shows off new contact tracing center Aug. 19, Facebook Live
Gov. David Ige defends Hawaii’s contact tracing. Hawaii’s COVID-19 case count rose by triple digits again Wednesday amid mounting concerns over whether the state’s contact tracing and testing program is robust enough to halt a surge in community-spread infections. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is Ramping Up Its Virus Tracing Program. The Health Director Says It’s Too Late. Official says COVID-19 is now so out of control that contact tracing will no longer do much good to contain the current spike. Civil Beat.

Governor outlines efforts to bolster contact tracing, defends state’s response to surge. In response to a surge in coronavirus cases, as well as cramped conditions at the Department of Health, the state is working to expand its contact tracing efforts. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. House Subcommittee Chair Questions Governor Ige On Contact Tracing. The chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health sent governor Ige a letter seeking answers on or before August 28, 2020. Big Island Video News.

California Congresswoman Wants Answers On Hawaii’s Virus Response Effort. The chairwoman of a congressional subcommittee on health wants to know details about how the state spent $50 million in CARES Act money aimed at testing and tracing. Civil Beat.


Senate COVID-19 members irritated by lack of oversight. Members of the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 got into testy exchanges with state officials on Wednesday over a wide range of issues, including who’s responsible for monitoring safe hygiene practices in state workplaces, confusion over the state’s color-coded COVID-19 threat levels and a perceived disconnect that stockpiles of personal protective equipment are not getting into the hands of teachers. Star-Advertiser.

Senators: Some state workers aren’t following COVID guidelines. The state senate’s COVID-19 committee says the state government isn’t doing enough to make sure that its workers are following mask and social distancing guidelines while on the job. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii state workers running into issues with teleworking. Hawaii state workers are being told to work from home if they can, but they are running into issues. KHON2.

Lawmakers seek uniformity in telework policy. State Senators alleged Wednesday receiving calls from disgruntled state employees who reported not being allowed to work remotely. KITV4.

National Guard preparing to assist Hawaii hospitals, testing, potential vaccine distribution. In the short-term, there are just 144 intensive care unit beds available, but the state has reserves ready. In the long-term, there are plans to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine should one be approved. KHON2.


Hawaii Principals Are Left To Trust Their ‘Gut’ On How To Reopen Schools. The responsibility has fallen to local administrators as the Department of Education continues to wait on COVID-19 guidance from the Department of Health. Civil Beat.

Unemployment phone bank dismantled, giving those seeking help with claims few options. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is hiring. About 80 people are needed to help with unemployment claims. Hawaii News Now.

Corrections oversight panel struggling without staffing. The Hawaii Supreme Court in June tasked the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission with helping state officials deal with overcrowding and other issues that plague the Oahu Community Correctional Center and the state’s other jails and prisons. Star-Advertiser.

US defense chief Esper to visit Palau, Guam and Hawaii. It will be only Esper’s second international trip since the coronavirus pandemic hit early this year, forcing him to scale back his 2020 travel plans. KITV4.


2 people with coronavirus on Oahu die as Hawaii reports 261 new cases. Hawaii health officials reported two additional coronavirus-related fatalities on Oahu and 261 new cases in the islands today, raising the statewide total since the start of the pandemic to 5,609 infection. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates For August 19th: 261 New Cases, 2 New Deaths. The number of new cases went up today, compared to the 134 reported the day before. The death count has also increased. Big Island Video News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 19: 261 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths. The latest deaths were a man and woman in Honolulu, both who were older than 60, Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson confirmed Wednesday at a press conference. Civil Beat.


Lt. Gov. Green, others say new rules for Oahu gatherings aren’t enough to rein in COVID-19 surge. With a COVID-19 outbreak raging at Hawaii’s largest jail and several of Oahu’s intensive care units nearing capacity, experts are expressing doubt that new restrictions on gatherings that go into effect at midnight will be enough to knock down coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Written order for Honolulu doesn’t exactly match rules outlined by Mayor Caldwell. There are some new discrepancies coming to light in the latest order from the Mayor’s office. Hawaii News Now.

Almost all social gatherings now banned on Oahu. New restrictions will go into effect on Oahu at midnight and there are some significant differences to the rules from what the Mayor laid out on Tuesday, Aug. 18. KHON2.

City says controversial beach picture is legal. A photo of the Hawaii Democratic Party's set-up for the video roll call in Waikiki is the cause of controversy online. It appears it was shot on a beach and Oahu beaches are currently closed because of Mayor Caldwell's COVID-19 emergency orders. KITV4.


Lawyers agree on sentencing date in corruption case for Katherine and Louis Kealoha. Sentencing in the state’s biggest corruption investigation could now happen in November after it was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press.

Kealoha Sentencing Could Be Nov. 3. Attorneys have agreed to sentencing dates for the former police chief and others in the corruption case. Civil Beat.


Electric bills on Oahu set to go up $4.52 a month in October. Hawaiian Electric residential customers on Oahu will pay an extra $4.52 a month on a typical bill starting as early as October after the state Public Utilities Commission’s recent interim order approving an amended fuel supply contract the utility negotiated with Par Hawaii Refining. Star-Advertiser.

Multiple Target store employees on Oahu tested positive for COVID-19. Target officials confirmed two affected locations: Kapolei and Ala Moana. KHON2.

An agribusiness venture on Oahu’s North Shore falls through. The Kalona Brand Company says it’s shutting down operations on Oahu’s North Shore because of a lack of investors. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Denies Threatening Candidate With Quarantine Arrest. The Hawaii attorney general's office denies threatening a Republican state House of Representatives candidate with arrest for violating a traveler quarantine mandated to protect the islands from the spread of the coronavirus. Associated Press.

Honolulu Prosecutor Candidate Has Been On Both Sides Of Alleged Crime Boss. Megan Kau worked to help recover Michael Miske’s boat, the Painkiller, that federal authorities said was used to dispose of the body of Jonathan Fraser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Council urges hiring freeze: Resolution asks Kim to give next administration a chance to evaluate new hires. With the current mayor and a former mayor providing different perspectives, the County Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging Mayor Harry Kim’s administration to immediately institute a hiring freeze for the remainder of his term. West Hawaii Today.

Five new Hilo cases attributed to community spread. The majority of the seven new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday on Hawaii Island are in Hilo, according to state Health Director Bruce Anderson. Tribune-Herald.

Prosecutors, OPD Review List of HCCC Inmates Eligible for Release. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court has granted the expedited release of certain inmates due to a COVID-19 outbreak at O‘ahu Community Correctional Center. Big Island Now.

Blanket screening: Thermal temperature screening expands to all arrival gates statewide. Work to install thermal temperature screening equipment at all arrival gates at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole is expected to wrap up today. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Confirms Temptation Island Filming on Maui During Pandemic. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino confirmed the planned arrival of cast and crew this weekend for the filming of Temptation Island over the next two months at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. Maui Now.

A major television production is slated for Maui, raising concerns. A reality television show is slated to start filming on Maui soon. It will be the first major film production in Hawaii since the pandemic started — and it’s already causing concerns in the community. Hawaii News Now.


14 Arrested for Quarantine Violations on Maui Between June 20 and Aug. 19. Six of the individuals were residents of Maui and the rest were from various states across the mainland including California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Illinois. Maui Now.

Maui Memorial now dealing with 45 total COVID cases between patients, staff. As of noon Wednesday, hospital officials said there was a cumulative total of 24 positive patient cases and 21 positive health care workers. Hawaii News Now.

Prosecutors await ruling on inmates and virus. The Maui County Prosecuting Attorney’s office opposes a mass release of inmates from Maui Community Correctional Center, saying issues related to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 at state jails and prisons are centered at Oahu facilities, not Maui. Maui News.


Two WWII Era Munitions Off Molokini to Remain in Place, No Detonation Planned. There are no plans to ‘detonate-in-place,” two WWII era munitions in waters off Molokini Crater in Maui County. The decision, announced today, is based on an assessment from the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board conducted at the State’s request. Maui Now.

State Will Not Detonate UXO Off Molokini Crater. The state of Hawai‘i will maintain a hands-off approach when it comes to unexploded ordnance off the Molokini Crater in Maui County. Big Island Now.


Last-minute amendment to anti-styrofoam bill. A bill that would effectively ban the use and sale of polystyrene foam food service containers faced another amendment yesterday, making the proposed law less strict, and bringing some of the language back to what was initially introduced. Garden Island.

Businesses opt for compostable alternatives. From Hanalei to Lihu‘e, restaurant owners are making the switch from styrofoam to paper carryout containers before it becomes law. Garden Island.

County offers small business a boost. The County of Kaua‘i has announced that its Small Business Boost Grant Program will be open for applications starting on Monday, Aug. 24, at 9 a.m. The program is funded by the county’s share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Garden Island.