Showing posts with label Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Green's housing plan scrutinized, school bus driver shortage impacts 4 islands, Hilo vet home fined again for infractions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green’s emergency order is under scrutiny.  The sweeping set of new rules largely waives or modifies parts of several state and county regulatory procedures in an effort to produce more housing at lower prices without significant negative impact. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii school bus driver shortage interrupts service. A worsening shortage of school bus drivers is leading to the partial or complete suspension of bus services at 14 public schools on Oahu and Kauai for the new school year, adding to transportation woes already long plaguing public schools on Hawaii island and Maui. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.  KHON2.

Native Hawaiian Contractors Take A Back Seat To Alaskans And Tribes For Lucrative Jobs. Hawaii's congressional delegation is hoping to make it easier for Native Hawaiian-owned businesses to compete with other Indigenous contractors. Civil Beat.

EVs will be first to join pilot program for road usage charges.
A pilot program to charge motorists based on their mileage is about to kick off. Electric vehicle owners will be part of the first test run. Ed Sniffen, director of the state Department of Transportation, said the program is part of an effort to move away from a gas tax in order to fund highways. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.

Did Misconduct Allegations Spur State’s $2M Settlement In Case Already Won? A federal court judge announced in May she would probe allegations of misconduct by state lawyers in a lawsuit over sex assaults of inmates by staff at the Hawaii women’s prison. Weeks later, the state Attorney General’s Office announced it had agreed to pay $2 million to settle the case. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines posts $12.3M loss. 
Hawaiian Holdings Inc., parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, on Tuesday reported a $12.33 million loss in the second quarter but still surpassed Wall Street expectations, as strengthening from Japan added to robust leisure travel demand. Star-Advertiser.


Council considers demolition of ‘monster homes’ as possible penalty.  A bill meant to prohibit giving false statements to city planners as a means of cracking down on “monster homes” might see more penalties given to violators beyond potential monetary fines and imprisonment. Star-Advertiser.

City Council eyes big tax break for homeowners who have a landfill for a neighbor. While the Honolulu City Council is looking for ways to soften the bite of a property tax spike for homeowners, it’s also considering a tax break for another reason: To make amends for those who have to live with a landfill as their neighbor. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor signs bill requiring bars, nightclubs to carry life-saving overdose treatment. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed Bill 28 Tuesday, which will require the overdose antidote, Narcan, to be available in Oahu bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Hawaii News Now. KITV4

4 major crashes a year required to change traffic signal: City. Kailua residents have been asking for a left turn arrow at an intersection they claim is notoriously dangerous for years. But the city said the intersection does not warrant the change. KHON2.

Kapolei wholesaler must pay $73K for overtime pay violations. The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a Hawaii food wholesaler to pay $73,000 in back wages and penalties for denying overtime pay to 11 warehouse employees. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Abandoned boat from California drifts onto Oahu beach.  A boat that washed ashore in Punaluu last week has been identified as belonging to a California mariner who ran into trouble while sailing from San Diego to Guadalupe, Mexico, seven months ago. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo veterans home fined again for failing to meet standards.
Staffing shortages and health and safety problems have continued to plague the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, two years after the state took over the nursing facility and fined the company that was managing it over $510,000 for numerous violations following a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 80% of residents, killing 27. Star-Advertiser.

County finance committee tackles housing crisis. Hawaii County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday advanced to full council the acceptance of $10 million in federal funds for the vertical construction of Kukuiola emergency shelter in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County Council calls on U.S. Postmaster to improve Puna postal service. The Hawai‘i County Council on Tuesday passed a resolution urging the United States Postal Service to expand or rebuild the Pāhoa Post Office in Puna on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

Report: Single WWII relic recovered from area in Waimea.  A single piece of military hardware has been recovered from an 11,000-acre area in Waimea over the last 17 years, according to a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Threatens Crackdown On Controversial Monster House In Napili. Permitted as a single-family residence, Greg Brown's home has been advertised as a vacation rental for up to $20,000 per night. Civil Beat.

Senate Ways and Means Committee to tour Maui and Molokaʻi facilities. The Senate Ways and Means Committee will visit Maui on Wednesday into Thursday, July 26-27, and Molokaʻi on Thursday and Friday, July 27-28, 2023. Maui Now.

Hotel data reflect slower summer start than last year. Room revenue, hotel occupancy in Maui County lag behind last summer. Maui News.


Parents call for ouster of Waimea Canyon Middle School principal. Representatives from the state Department of Education heard parents and teachers call for the immediate removal of Waimea Canyon Middle School Principal Melissa Speetjens at a meeting at Hanapepe Neighborhood Center on Monday evening, where Speetjens was accused of multiple forms of negligence and creating a toxic school environment for students and staff. Garden Island.

School bus driver shortage to impact four schools, 250 students on Kauaʻi.  The continuing shortage of qualified school bus drivers in Hawaiʻi will completely or partially suspend bus transportation services at four schools on Kauaʻi and 10 of Oʻahu’s 24 high schools when the new school year begins for students on Aug. 7.  Kauai Now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

State employee furloughs part of budget-balancing plan, survey shows half of Hawaii residents wary of COVID-19 vaccine, businesses question readiness for tourists, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


HGEA workers
Courtesy Hawaii Government Employees Association

Governor proposes public worker union furloughs that would amount to 10% pay cut for 4 years. Gov. David Ige met with union leaders Monday afternoon to discuss the proposal, which is poised to start Dec. 1 and would likely be coupled with deep cuts to contracts and state programs. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Human Services employees told to expect 10% furlough for 4 years. Department of Human Services employees, who continue to assist those in need during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, got the news late this afternoon that their department will likely experience furloughs. Star-Advertiser.

Half of Hawaii residents are wary of taking a vaccine, according to a community survey. Even if a much-awaited vaccine for COVID-19 became available, nearly half of Hawaii residents surveyed last month by the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center said they were not yet committed to getting it. Star-Advertiser.

Survey: Hawaii Residents Give State Low Marks For COVID Response. They are also wary of reopening to tourism even as they struggle to make ends meet and fear the pandemic’s long-term impact. Civil Beat.

When And How Does The Pandemic End? Settle in for another year — at least — of mask wearing and social distancing, the experts say. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige says he’s reluctant to set COVID-19 benchmarks for reopening, closing. Gov. David Ige said the county mayors want to set explicit COVID-19 benchmarks that would trigger economic shutdown and reopening, but he favors continuing a more nuanced approach. Star-Advertiser.

Details remain vague on Hawaii’s October pre-arrival testing program. Gov. David Ige’s announcement last week that Hawaii will launch a pre-arrival testing program Oct. 15 kicked off the start of a fall tourism reopening for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: No testing for keiki. The state plans to allow incoming travelers from out of state who have tested negative for the coronavirus to avoid quarantine as of Oct. 15 — but visitors seeking a family vacation might have to look elsewhere. Tribune-Herald.

Fast, Frequent And Cheap COVID-19 Tests Hold Promise For Hawaii. Some experts agree that rapid tests could be a useful tool to fight the spread of coronavirus but caution they’re not a panacea. Civil Beat.

Lt. Governor says multiple forms of COVID-19 testing will eventually be accepted.
Hawaii's pre-travel testing program begins in less than one month and details of how it'll work are slowly being revealed. KITV4.

As Deadline Approaches, More Than $1 Billion In Federal Aid To Hawaii Remains Unspent. When Congress rushed to pass the $2 trillion emergency assistance package known as the CARES Act in March, the goal was to get the money to individuals and businesses quickly. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Cases of COVID Push Downward, as DOH Identifies 56 Monday. The Hawai‘i Department of Health on Monday reported 56 new cases statewide, bringing the statewide total to 11,459. Big Island Now.

Hawaii COVID-19 Monday Update At Noon: 56 New Cases, 2 Big Island Deaths. There was a lower number of newly reported cases of COVID-19 statewide on Monday, however the death toll on the Big Island continues to rise. Big Island Video News.


Internal emails suggest officers are being pressured to write more emergency order citations. Police officers serving in a special COVID-19 enforcement team appear to be facing pressure from within to issue more citations to those violating emergency orders. Hawaii News Now.

Class-action suit filed over COVID-19 outbreak at OCCC . Several inmates and an adult correctional officer at the Oahu Community Correctional Center have filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging state that prison officials failed to protect staffers there and housed sick inmates with healthy ones. Hawaii News Now.

Businesses call on leaders to form clearer plans to revitalize the local economy. With the stay-at-home order set to be lifted in just a few days, the city not releasing official plans to reopening is no surprise to business owners. Hawaii News Now.

Bad time to replace HART leader, critics say. The impending ouster of the head of the troubled Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation — the rail project’s sixth leader in nine years — comes as another critical deadline approaches for the city’s $9.2 billion project. Star-Advertiser.

City lifeguards launch emergency mobile response during Hawaii Beach Safety Week. Drownings can happen with astonishing speed. Star-Advertiser.

“Wi-Fi on Wheels” program aims to help students with internet problems. Kamehameha Schools, Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) and HawaiiKidsCAN launched a “Wi-Fi on Wheels” connectivity program to support families of one West O’ahu school with their distance learning needs. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Kim urges Gov. to remove managing company Avalon from Hilo Veterans Home. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim wants drastic changes at the Veterans Home in Hilo where 24 residents have now died. KHON2.

Report: ‘Culture’ At Hilo Veterans Home Contributed To Deadly Spread Of COVID-19. A state review says lapses in protocols and staff complacency likely led to the surge in infections. Civil Beat.

HI-EMA report says Hilo veterans home staff played role in COVID-19 spread. Coronavirus transmission brought in from Liberty Dialysis and internal spread in the employee break room of a Hilo veterans home appear to be among the origins of the largest COVID-19 nursing facility outbreaks in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Reports find fault with Avalon Health Care Group. Critical reports stemming from recent assessments at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home have identified a number of factors that might have aided in the spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility. Tribune-Herald.

VA, HIEMA Reports Indicate Bad Practices, Procedures at Veterans Home. Big Island Now.

Two Reports Examine Failures In Hilo Veterans Home Outbreak. Separate reports detailing conditions and protocols at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been developed by the State and Federal agencies. Big Island Video News.

Isle businesses guarded about Oct. 15 reopening. While the state has announced that some restrictions on travel to Hawaii will be lifted Oct. 15, many businesses are skeptical whether the plan will actually happen. Tribune-Herald.

DOJ approves beer merger; Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii operations to be sold. Craft Brew Alliance has agreed to sell Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii operations in order to pave the way for the purchase of the alliance by beer giant Anheuser-Busch. West Hawaii Today.

Commission defers decision on wedding business permit. The Leeward Planning Commission on Monday deferred decision on an after-the-fact permit for a wedding venue in the coffee-growing region of Holualoa. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor: Interisland pre-travel test may be coming. A pre-travel COVID-19 testing program for interisland flyers to bypass quarantine “could be the prelude” to the program for trans-Pacific flyers, set to begin Oct. 15, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Monday afternoon. Maui News.

Budget will not be cut for first responders on Maui. On Friday Mayor Michael Victorino said the county is ready to use federal CARES Act money to cover any possible budget cuts. KITV4.

Ige signs bills on Front Street housing lease. Gov. David Ige has signed a bill that would extend the deadline for the state housing agency to work out a lease for the Front Street Apartments, a housing project in Lahaina that lawmakers have fought to keep affordable. Maui News.

Main trails into Haleakala Crater to fully open for day hikes Wednesday. The Keonehe’ehe’e (Sliding Sands) Trail and Halemau’u Trail in Haleakala Crater are open for day hikes starting Wednesday, the national park announced Monday. Maui News.

Haleakalā Increases Access by Opening All Crater Trails for Day Use. Maui Now.


Tune in for county council forum Wednesday. Tomorrow, 13 of the 14 candidates running for a seat on the Kaua‘i County Council will take the stage, er, virtual stage, for another round of questions at one of the only forums to this election season. Garden Island.

County auction scheduled to begin Sept. 24. County officials announced Friday that its annual vehicle and equipment auction will begin on Thursday, Sept. 24. Garden Island.

Coffee berry borers’ found on Kaua’i raises for concern for industry. The Kaua‘i Coffee Company experienced a small outbreak of the coffee borer beetle last week. Garden Island.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Hawaii Senate special session to test live, remote testimony; VA faults veterans home as 24 vets die of COVID-19, jobless rate tied for third worst in nation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii state Capitol
Hawaii state Capitol ©2020 All Hawaii News

Senate To Hold Special Session In October For Judicial Appointments. The public will have a rare opportunity for live, remote testimony to the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's Unemployment Rate Ties For Third-Worst In Nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday the state's 12.5% seasonally adjusted jobless rate was tied with New York for third-highest in the nation last month. Nevada had the worst rate at 13.2%, while Rhode Island came in second with 12.8%. Associated Press.

Hawaii Will Pay Hundreds Of Displaced Workers To Get Job Training. A $10 million grant from the federal CARES Act fund will match up to 650 displaced workers with temporary gigs and career training in conservation, renewable energy, creative arts and aerospace. Civil Beat.

Thousands of Local Jobs Available, Chamber Says. The overall Hawai‘i economy may be stalled, but some organizations are hiring – and not just in health care and home deliveries. About 14,000 jobs are available in Hawaiʻi, says Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. Hawaii Business magazine.

Details remain vague on Hawaii’s October pre-arrival testing program. There are those Hawaii residents and business leaders who are still questioning the need, workability and usefulness of Ige’s plan, which has been pushed back three times. Star-Advertiser.

Statewide COVID-19 metrics improving, officials say. State Department of Health officials Sunday reported 77 new COVID-19 infections which brought the statewide count to 11,403 cases since the pandemic began and continued a recent trend of improving metrics. Star-Advertiser.

DOH clears Lt. Gov. Josh Green as an active COVID-19 case.  The Hawaii Department of Health cleared Lieutenant Governor Dr. Josh Green from being an active case on Saturday, Sept. 19, eight days after he tested positive for the virus. KHON2.


University of Hawaii medical school seeks COVID-19 positive patients for medication study. The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine is seeking recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients for a 21-day study. Star-Advertiser.

UH seeks recent COVID-positive patients for a clinical trial. The University of Hawaii is looking for people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 to participate in a clinical trial. Hawaii News Now.

UH Clinical trial seeks individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. Participants can earn up to $160 for joining the study. KITV4.


3 Local Companies Receive State Grants To Produce PPE. A $10 million program funded with CARES Act money is meant to ensure Hawaii has a local supply of protective gear. The state has awarded three companies over $1 million combined to manufacture equipment to protect people from the virus that causes COVID-19. Civil Beat.

State offers small businesses $10 million in grants to help with PPE demand. To keep up with the demand for personal protective equipment, the state is offering $10 million in grants for small businesses to manufacture them. Hawaii News Now.

After a very slow start that saw few people returning their census questionnaires, Hawaii has picked up the pace to the point that it now has the third-highest rate in the nation for census forms completed. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii to test for lead in public schools’ drinking water. Hawaii’s public schools have never been comprehensively tested for lead in drinking water, but now it’s going to start happening as early as spring. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Court Hears Case On Legality Of Foreign Fishing Labor.
The Hawaii Supreme Court heard arguments Friday on the legality of granting licenses to foreign workers in Hawaii’s longline commercial fishing fleet, which for years has been under scrutiny after an Associated Press investigation revealed claims of human trafficking and questionable labor practices. Associated Press.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wore connection to Hawaii, University of Hawaii law school proudly. Ginsburg formed strong ties with the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, as evidenced by a judicial collar adorned with pink Niihau shells she often wore. Star-Advertiser.


HART’s Andrew Robbins out after 3 years overseeing rail. The head of the city’s troubled rail project will be gone after three years on the job, and someone new will come in to lead Hawaii’s largest public works project, under a proposal before the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

After 3 years at the helm, HART CEO likely to be voted out. After three years as the head of the embattled Honolulu rail project, CEO Andrew Robbins' tenure is heading to a close. In a email to staffers Friday, Toby Martyn, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s chairman, said the board’s Human Resources Committee is recommended not renewing Robbins' contract when it expires at the end of the year. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor’s Race: ‘It’s Not Dirty Politics, It’s Just Politics’. Sniping between Keith Amemiya and a super PAC that smeared him in the primary has led to a series of back and forth allegations of wrongdoing. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Supreme Court Considers Petition To Impeach Keith Kaneshiro. While the court’s forthcoming decision is unlikely to affect the race for prosecutor, it could affect future cases involving electronic petitions. Civil Beat.

25 miles of Oahu beaches could be lost to coastal erosion, study finds. As much as 40% of Oahu’s beaches could disappear over the next 30 years if coastal management policies are not changed to better protect sandy shorelines retreating under the pressure of rising sea levels, a new study found. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Veterans Home Death Toll Reaches 23, VA Report Finds Fault With Avalon Practices. Twenty-three residents of the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo infected with COVID-19 have succumbed to the virus, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) has confirmed. The death toll rose by one on Sunday. Big Island Now.

VA review of Hilo veterans home finds long list of potential hazards. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has issued their assessment of a Hilo veterans care home that is dealing with a worsening COVID-19 outbreak where over 20 coronavirus deaths have been reported. Hawaii News Now.

VA’s assessment of Hilo veterans home says there was little evidence of proactive COVID planning. KHON2.

Sen. Brian Schatz: Failures At Hilo Veterans Home ‘Infuriating’. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has called for the nursing home operator to be removed. Civil Beat.

Hilo veterans home reports second COVID-related death Sunday night, 14 more employee recoveries. Avalon Health Care reported two COVID-related deaths on Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. KHON2.

HCCC inmate tests positive for COVID-19. A Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmate has tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Public Safety reported Sunday. Tribune-Herald.

Council takes administration to task for slow pace of eruption recovery. While the pace of the county’s Kilauea eruption recovery has pushed the patience of residents and County Council members to the breaking point, administration officials insist the process is going as fast as it can. Tribune-Herald.

Virus prompts more changes for Big Island courts. In-person hearings have been discontinued in Hawaii Island courts and criminal jury trials have been postponed through Nov. 13, per an emergency order issued by Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert D.S. Kim. West Hawaii Today.

Planning Department opposes wedding business in Holualoa’s coffee farming region. The county Planning Department is recommending the Leeward Planning Commission deny an after-the-fact permit for a wedding venue in the coffee-growing region of Holualoa. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County spends 85% of federal CARES Act funds. All $67M will be spent by year’s end, official says. Maui News.

Mayor: Maui in ‘good place’ for pre-travel testing. Maui County is in “a good place” to begin welcoming back more visitors when the pre-travel testing program launches Oct. 15 for trans-Pacific flyers, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Friday. Maui News.

Chancellor: No program cuts this school year. But UH-MC is looking at ways to trim its budget amid UH system shortfalls. Maui News.


‘Glamping’ plan has Princeville residents up in arms. A proposal by the Miami investment firm redeveloping the former Princeville resort and adjoining Makai Golf Club has stirred new controversy by proposing a 50-unit luxury camping resort that would be built, to open in 2022, on three holes of one of the property’s two golf courses. Garden Island.

2 Kauai Resorts Still Plan A ‘Tiny Bubbles’ Program For Some Visitors. The mayor says the program is still on track despite the governor’s pre-travel testing policy taking effect next month. Civil Beat.

County hosts houseless outreach. Friday, the Housing Agency, in partnership with the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office, Catholic Charities Hawai‘i, Women In Need, Ho‘ola Lahui, Project Vision, Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity and Hale ‘Opio, set up several booths, talking directly to those who need help. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Ige reassembles COVID-19 team, sets Oct. 15 tourism reopening date; VA 'tiger team' moves in after 15 veteran deaths; Hawaii Island beach closures extended, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Department of Health Director Libby Char


Gov. David Ige announces Oct. 15 as the start of the state’s pre-arrivals testing program. Gov. David Ige has set Oct. 15 as the new date to launch a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Hawaii Will Launch Pre-Travel Testing Program Oct. 15. The long-awaited program to let travelers bypass quarantine is set for next month, but state leaders did not have all the details ironed out on how it will work. Civil Beat.

Pre-travel COVID-19 testing program for trans-Pacific visitors to begin Oct. 15. Ige on Wednesday announced the start of the often-delayed program, which will allow airline passengers to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Facing mounting economic woes, Hawaii to launch pre-travel testing program Oct. 15. After being delayed for months, a much-touted pre-travel testing program that authorities say is a key step in rebooting the tourism industry will be launched Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific visitors to forgo a 14-day quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige sets mainland tourism to reopen Oct. 15. Governor David Ige has set a new date for reopening tourism to mainland travelers, pushing it back to Oct. 15. This will be the third time it has been delayed. KHON2.

Pre-Travel Testing Program Scheduled to Start Oct. 15. Hawai‘i’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program will launch on Oct. 15, Gov. David Ige announced in a press conference this afternoon. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program to Start Oct. 15.
Governor David Ige this afternoon confirmed that the state’s pre-travel testing program will launch on Oct. 15, enabling travelers to get a COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawai‘i to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine if the test comes back negative for the virus. Maui Now.

Ige: Pre-travel testing Oct. 15.
Gov. David Ige has pushed back Hawai‘i’s pre-travel testing program to Oct. 15, and announced a new leadership team to realign the state’s COVID-19 efforts. Garden Island.


Gov. David Ige assembles new COVID response team. After months of ambiguity in public policy to reopen the economy, Gov. David Ige announced a new leadership team Wednesday with the specific focus on restoring the state’s most important economic engine. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Ige announces new leadership team and realignment of COVID-19 efforts. The Governor hopes the pre-travel testing program can provide a much needed boost to the economy, but people need to be tested before boarding an airplane. KITV4.

New DOH director sets priorities for COVID-19 response.
It was the first day on the job for Dr. Libby Char, the new Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health. KHON2.

Experts: New testing methods could speed up tourism’s reopening. New COVID-19 testing methods and better access to tests could make it safer for tourism to ramp up, experts say. Doctors still call the polymerise chain reaction, or PCR test, the gold standard. That will be the test the state requires under the pre-travel testing program set to launch Oct. 15. Hawaii News Now.

How accurate is the test for the pre-travel testing program and where can you get one? Only  a certain COVID-19 test will be accepted, which is the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). KHON2.


Hawaii Has Spent Only A Small Fraction Of CARES Act Money. The state and neighbor island counties are required to expend nearly $863 million by the end of the year — or they will lose it. Civil Beat.

Senator Hirono calling for more transparency on how CARES Act money is spent. Hawai'i U.S. Senator, Mazie Hirono is calling for more transparency on how federal CARES Act money is being used. KITV4.

Hawaii Supreme Court denies Kokua Council’s request to intervene in DOH contact tracing. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Monday denied Kokua Council for Senior Citizens’ petition to compel the Department of Health to increase the number of COVID-19 contact tracers in Hawaii and to require that the agency improve translation services. Star-Advertiser.

New Directors Named For Hawaii’s Labor Department. Scott Murakami left the pandemic-beleaguered agency earlier this year. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige appoints Anne Perreira-Eustaquio to head the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Gov. David Ige today announced the appointment of Anne E. Perreira-Eustaquio as director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. She has been serving as acting director since last month. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 16: 102 New COVID-19 Cases And 3 Deaths In Hawaii.
On Wednesday, 102 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by state health officials, along with three COVID-19 associated deaths on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Leaders of the hospitality industry say that hotels will be ready when tourism restarts. Waikiki currently has 5,000 rooms ready to go, with more expected to come online before tourism returns to Hawaii on October 15. KHON2.

Dr. Jim Ireland named new chief of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. Ireland is no stranger to the city. Back in 2010, he was director of the Emergency Services Department, overseeing both EMS and ocean safety. KITV4.

Honolulu Police Are Issuing An ‘Unprecedented’ Number Of Pandemic Tickets. Many are being dismissed. But the court system is struggling to keep up as thousands of violators are forced to appear before a judge anyway. Civil Beat.

Leahi Hospital Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19.
No residents at the elderly care facility have tested positive for COVID-19 to date. Civil Beat.

Elections officials remind Hawaii voters they don’t need to request ballots. Honolulu elections officials said Wednesday voters don’t need to request ballots to be mailed to them after the U.S. Postal Service sent postcards to residents across the country warning them to ask for mail-in ballots at least 15 days before Election Day. Hawaii News Now.

Council seeks provisions for Hanauma Bay park’s protection. Two measures — one that’s going through the Honolulu City Council and another that’s already been approved — could promote the recovery of Hanauma Bay’s marine ecosystem even once visitors are allowed back in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Veteran Affairs infection specialists head to Hilo veterans home. A federal team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs specializing in infection control and safety will arrive today at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo to put an end to a major COVID-19 outbreak resulting in 15 deaths. Star-Advertiser.

Federal 'Tiger Team' Heads To Hilo Veterans Home As Death Roll Rises To 14. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sending a larger COVID-19 team to the Big Island Thursday to help contain the coronavirus outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Hawaii Public Radio.

Team from Veterans Affairs set to arrive today; Another COVID-19 death reported at Hilo vets home. With 15 COVID-19 deaths now associated with Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, a team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will review “almost everything” about the facility’s management of the outbreak. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiʻi Island Beach Parks Closed For Two More Weeks. The closure of all County and State Beach Parks on Hawai‘i island will be extended for two additional weeks, and will reopen at 7 a.m. on October 1. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Kim Extends Big Island Beach Closures Until Oct. 1. All county and state beach parks on the Big Island will remain closed through the end of the month, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim announced on Wednesday. Big Island Now.

Target Hilo sees “multiple” COVID-19 employee cases. Multiple people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Target store in Hilo, which is located on Makaala Street. KHON2.

Council endorses voluntary contact tracing apps.
A nonbinding resolution urging the mayor to support a voluntary contact tracing app cleared the County Council by an 8-1 vote Wednesday after it was changed to allow more than one specific vendor. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly $1M in HUD funds earmarked for 4 virus relief projects. A Hawaii County Council committee voted in favor of allocating nearly a million dollars in federal funds to a quartet of COVID-19 recovery projects throughout the county. Tribune-Herald.

$3.7 Million Granted For Various Eruption Recovery Efforts. Money will go toward private road restoration, assisting impacted farms, building affordable homes for displaced residents, and helping Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School. Big Island Video News.

18 nonprofits receive lava recovery grants.
The Hawaii County Kilauea Recovery Team awarded $3.7 million in grants to 18 nonprofits to assist in eruption recovery efforts in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.


Man Charged in ‘Bizarre’ Case of Illegal Aquarium Fishing. Authorities have arrested a man on several charges involving illegal aquarium fishing in West Hawai‘i waters, after what the state Department of Land and Natural Resources described as a “bizarre series of events” that ended with a search and rescue operation for two women apparently abandoned at sea. Big Island Now.

Illegal aquarium fishing arrest prompts search and rescue mission. Another arrest has been made for illegal aquarium fishing in West Hawaii waters. West Hawaii Today.


Some products will soon get pricier with shipping rate increase. Businesses brace for Young Brothers invoices in already challenging times. Residents soon will see prices increase on certain products in the wake of the 46 percent emergency rate hike approved by the state Public Utilities Commission for interisland shipper Young Brothers that took effect this month. Maui News.

Red Placard Issued to Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant in Kīhei, Maui. According to the DOH, the restaurant’s kitchen was allegedly infested with roaches among many other food safety violations and health hazards. Maui Now.

Ali‘i Kula Lavender Open Two More Weekends Before Temporary Closure. Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm in Kula on Maui announced it will be open for two more weekends before it transitions to a temporary closure starting on Oct. 1, 2020.  Starting next month, the farm will be closed to visitors until further notice. Maui Now.


Kupa‘a Kaua‘i food distribution program to begin Sept. 22. The County of Kaua‘i is partnering with the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank to provide food packages to individuals and families who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

All water sites test high in September water results. The Kaua‘i Chapter of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force has completed water quality sampling for September 2020, with a limited set of data due to the pandemic. Garden Island.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hawaii's on-again-off-again reopening plans are off again, Honolulu mayor to loosen restrictions, Kauai to open resort bubbles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii sunset with airplane ©2020 All Hawaii News
Gov. Ige says pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism probably won’t begin Oct. 1. Gov. David Ige today said that he’s likely to delay for the third time the start of a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Pre-travel testing program likely to be delayed beyond Oct. 1. It’s likely that the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all passengers arriving to Hawaii will remain in place beyond Oct. 1, Gov. David Ige said Monday. Pacific Business News.

Ige says loosening of restrictions on travel unlikely by end of this month. State restrictions on travel to Hawaii are unlikely to be loosened by Oct. 1, Gov. David Ige said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Out-of-State Travel Quarantine Likely to be Extended. Out-of-state travelers will likely remain subject to quarantine restrictions beyond Oct. 1. Big Island Now.

Governor Ige says tourism’s return October 1 is unlikely, pilot programs could come first. Governor David Ige said Monday that it is unlikely that trans-Pacific travel will reopen without the state’s mandatory 14-day travel quarantine before the tentatively scheduled date of Oct. 1. KHON2.


State adding 25 more contact tracers this week to help track COVID-19 cases. There are currently 256 contact tracers on-the-job in Hawaii. KITV4.


Can Military Spending Prop Up Hawaii’s Faltering Economy? As tourism crumbles and tensions escalate between the U.S. and China, the military’s economic role in the islands could become more prominent. Civil Beat.

Jobless claims increasing. Initial unemployment claims are again on the rise statewide, a University of Hawaii economist told the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. Tribune-Herald.

Economic woes widen as governor prepares to delay Hawaii’s reopening again. Gov. David Ige said Monday that he’s likely to delay for the third time the start of a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Economist: Hawaii’s Economic Fall Will Be Worse Than Predicted. Researchers are starting to get more data on just how the extended closure of Hawaii’s tourism industry has impacted the economy. Civil Beat.


2 Senate Staffers Test Positive For COVID-19. The Senate president says social distancing and other protocols were observed and the risk of spread remains low. Civil Beat.

DOH Names Care Homes Affected by COVID-19. A new list doesn’t include case numbers and is not as comprehensive as advocates would like. Civil Beat.

More than 6,000 have applied for rent relief. A new state program providing $100 million of rental assistance to struggling tenants has been wildly popular since being established last week. Tribune-Herald.

Former DLIR Director Scott Murakami takes job at DBEDT. The former head of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, who resigned from his post in August after being on paid leave for two months, has resurfaced at another state agency. Star-Advertiser.

‘Equity Specialists’ Are Reviewing Hawaii DOE’s Problematic Online Learning Program. The state Board of Education is scheduled to take up the issue at its meeting Thursday as parents’ complaints over culturally insensitive content continue. Civil Beat.


VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 14: 80 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Since March, 635 people with the virus have been hospitalized. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials report 80 new coronavirus infections statewide. Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported 80 new infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the beginning of the pandemic to 10,779 COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor pledges to ease restrictions on retailers, gatherings starting next week.  Facing criticism of his stay-at-home order as COVID-19 infections drop on Oahu, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday said he’s hoping to relax some rules next week. Hawaii News Now.

It’s been about three weeks since Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a second stay-at-home order for Oahu. Since then there has been confusion over what businesses are considered essential and can stay open versus the non-essential stores that must stay shuttered. KHON2.

Oahu retailers get ready to reopen. Honolulu’s mayor said Monday if the drop in cases continue, the lock down won’t be extended. Hawaii News Now.

HPD issues thousands of citations over the weekend. Honolulu Police officers issued approximately 2,700 citations over the weekend for emergency order violations. KHON2.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Oahu surge testing successful; more than 60K tested in 2 weeks. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell declared Oahu’s mass surge testing effort a success, with more than 60,000 people tested for COVID-19 over the past 14 days. Star-Advertiser.

Surge Testing Program Is Showing How To Control The Coronavirus On Oahu. Preliminary results of a federal coronavirus surge testing drive on Oahu indicate that the infection’s spread is concentrated in certain communities. Civil Beat.

Positive rates likely to rise with fewer COVID-19 tests. Now that COVID-19 surge testing on Oahu is finished after a nearly three-week run, one key metric to monitoring the severity of the pandemic in Hawaii might get worse. Star-Advertiser.


Homeless shelter reopens following COVID-19 outbreak, but with fewer beds. One of Oahu’s largest homeless shelters is back open after a COVID-19 outbreak prompted health officials to shut it down last month and use it as a quarantine facility. Hawaii News Now.

Plan to upgrade, expand West Loch munitions annex has neighbors on edge. A draft environmental assessment describes a new Army munitions storage complex at the Navy’s West Loch Annex within Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Star-Advertiser.

Park Service seeks to replace Pearl Harbor shore-side floating dock. The National Park Serv­ice is seeking public comment on a proposed project to replace the deteriorating shore-side floating dock and anchoring system at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial Visitor Center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim: VA team to investigate Hilo veterans home. Mayor Harry Kim said a team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will arrive later this week to investigate the situation at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home and make changes to better manage a deadly COVID-19 outbreak there. Tribune-Herald.

13th coronavirus fatality reported at Hilo veterans home as more federal aid pledged. A Hilo veterans home scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak saw its 13th coronavirus fatality Monday. Hawaii News Now.

HOPE Services returns no positive tests. All 98 HOPE Services shelter residents and staff tested last week for COVID-19 have received negative results, the organization announced Monday. West Hawaii Today.

These Big Island Residents Are Trying To Keep Remote Beaches Safe And Sanitary. Illegal campers are flocking to beaches that have no county police to enforce shutdown orders. Civil Beat.


Maui County Council approves 2 affordable housing projects. Two affordable housing projects slated for South Maui got the green light from the Maui County Council on Friday afternoon. Maui News.

Hawaiian Language Keyboard Developed by UH Maui Professor is Released by Google. University of Hawai‘i Maui College Assistant Professor Dr. Keola Donaghy has developed and Google has just released a Hawaiian language keyboard extension for users of the Chome OS operating system. Maui Now.

Mayor Interview: Team to Meet with Poi By The Pound. Mayor Victorino’s team is meeting with the Poi By The Pound restaurant today.  Earlier this month, the local eatery had announced its planned closure on Sept. 11, amid the ongoing pandemic. Maui Now.

Condo listings, prices jump in August. Single-family home inventory and costs decline from 2019. New listings for condominium units on Maui last month skyrocketed 97 percent in year-over-year data, according to the latest Realtors Association of Maui report. Maui News.


State to approve Kaua‘i resort bubble. Gov. David Ige is set to approve a voluntary “Resort Bubble” program on Kaua‘i in the hopes to bring tourism revenue back to the county this week. Garden Island.

Council discusses additional agriculture usages. Noting the impacts of the on-going coronavirus pandemic on farmers and ranchers, the Kaua‘i County Council is looking at a number of additional revenue options residents can utilize on agricultural land. Garden Island.


Search intensifies for quarantine sites on Molokai as number of active cases grows to 13. There are now 13 active cases of COVID-19 on Molokai. And that has state and county leaders scrambling to find a quarantine location. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Lt. Gov. Green describes how he and his security detail contracted coronavirus, new contact tracing head moves fast to quell virus, flaws in response cause COVID-19 to spread, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook Live video
An apparently exhausted Lt. Gov. Green in July from Facebook Live
Lt. Gov. Josh Green: "I guess I had to get COVID to make my point". Lt. Gov. Green explains how one doctor's call not to test a person for COVID-19 potentially exposed dozens of people, and underscores need for more testing and contact tracing. KITV4.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green says he’s asymptomatic during home quarantine despite testing positive for coronavirus. Green, head of Hawaii’s COVID-19 efforts, announced Friday that he had tested positive and was quarantining at his Honolulu condominium. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green: ‘I Don’t Feel Differently At All’. The state’s vocal COVID-19 medical liaison was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday. Civil Beat.

Lt. gov. provides update on his condition, another member of his security detail tests COVID-positive. The lieutenant governor is working from home and says that Sunday’s numbers show that Hawaii is at a turning point. KHON2.

Second member of Lt. Gov. Green’s security detail tests positive for COVID. According to the Department of Public Safety, a second deputy sheriff assigned to Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s security detail has tested positive for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

2nd Deputy Sheriff Assigned To Hawaii Lt. Gov. Has COVID-19. Lt. Gov. Josh Green has been in isolation since Friday. Civil Beat.

Second Member of Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s Security Detail Tests Positive for COVID-19. A second deputy sheriff assigned to Lieutenant Governor Josh Green’s security detail has tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy last worked on Sept. 10, 2020. As of Sunday, Sept. 13, the two deputy sheriffs and Lt. Gov. Green are the only confirmed positive cases in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Maui Now.

Third Member of Lt. Gov. Green’s Office Positive For Coronavirus. A second deputy sheriff assigned to Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s office has tested positive for COVID-19. Big Island Now.


Emily Roberson, Hawaii’s new head of contact tracing, moves quickly to revamp the program. Hawaii is at a critical crossroads in reining in the coronavirus that has killed nearly 100 and sickened more than 10,500 statewide, wreaking havoc on the economy and leaving thousands of residents jobless. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s New Leadership PAC. Political experts say the Hawaii congresswoman’s new PAC signals she’s not done with politics even after she leaves office at the end of her term. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Public School Enrollment Down 2.6% This Year. The total student count across public schools is now 174,704. Civil Beat.

Thousands inquire about state’s rental relief program, some have been helped. It’s been less than a week since the state launched a program that will help residents with rent. KHON2.


Hawaii Demand Slumps For Energy Providers. Utilities and alternative energy providers have felt the economic effects of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pandemic Changes Hawai‘i’s Energy Consumption: Who, When and How Much. The pandemic and resulting recession has transformed the way Hawai‘i uses energy: who consumes it, when and how much, says Scott Glenn, the state’s chief energy officer. Hawaii Business magazine.

Sustainability bill to become law Sept. 15. A state House bill to strengthen statewide sustainability coordination and update the roles and responsibilities of the state Office of Planning will become law Tuesday, Sept. 15, after the measure was not included on Gov. David Ige’s intent-to-veto list. Garden Island.


Oahu-based contact tracing phone app waiting to launch. Nonprofit develops voluntary self-reporting software that keeps location data secure. An Oahu-based nonprofit with the help of a Maui surgeon has been developing an app to be used as an anonymous, voluntary self-reporting tool for residents and visitors during the pandemic. Maui News.

Hawaii officials report 2 coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 114 new infections statewide. Hawaii Department of Health officials today reported two more coronavirus-related deaths on Oahu and 114 new infections statewide, bringing the state’s totals since the beginning of the pandemic to 99 fatalities and 10,700 COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.

114 New COVID-19 Cases (96 O‘ahu, 2 Maui, 16 Hawai‘i Island), 2 Deaths. Maui Now.

The Latest: 2 Deaths, 114 New Cases; One Death At Hilo Medical; Green In Quarantine Says He's Fine. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu has allocated about 60% of CARES Act funds, but December deadline looms. It’s use it or lose it when it comes to federal CARES Act funds, but so far Honolulu has only spent about $72 million of its $387 million distribution. Star-Advertiser.

This Is How Honolulu Is Spending $387 Million In CARES Act Money. The clock is ticking. The federal money has a “use it or lose it” provision. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Council Chair Ikaika Anderson Already On Payroll Of Local Union. Anderson said Wednesday he would resign from the council before his term ends to care for his grandparents. He started work for Local 630 Sept. 1. Civil Beat.

UH Manoa May Cut Theater, Journalism, Social Welfare Programs. Degrees in languages, dance and other subjects are also among those on a preliminary chopping block to balance the budget. Civil Beat.

The struggle of North Shore’s largest employers reaches deep into the tourism-dependent community. Oahu’s North Shore, where most residents and businesses rely on tourism for economic survival, has been among the communities hardest-hit by the tourism collapse. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 survivors see flaws in system: Mayor thinks central command post will improve response. It started with a little tickle at the back of her throat. When she lost her sense of smell, this Hawaii Island woman had no doubt. She had COVID-19. West Hawaii Today.


Hilo veterans home outbreak prompts more scrutiny. Two more coronavirus deaths related to an outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home were reported Sunday by Avalon Healthcare, whose infection control practices are under federal review. Star-Advertiser.

2 more deaths reported at a Hilo veterans home as Mayor Kim calls for changes. On Saturday, Mayor Kim held a rare news conference to call for the the suspension and replacement of administrative staff at the home, saying their failed response has led to the worsening outbreak and alarming number of deaths. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kim Holds Press Conference On Veterans Home Outbreak. Mayor Harry Kim called a news conference in Hilo on Saturday, speaking out on the worsening situation at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, where an outbreak of COVID-19 has contributed to the deaths of ten veterans. Big Island Video News.

2 more have died of COVID-19 at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home on Sept. 13. The COVID-related death toll rose by two at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, Avalon Healthcare officials reported on Sunday, Sept. 13. KHON2.


Charter amendment price tags: Most of the 16 proposed amendments will have minimal financial impact, county says. West Hawaii Today.

Site blessed for homeless village; Kukiola construction to take about eight months. In a very small and low-key ceremony Thursday, Hawaii County blessed the site of the future KukuiOla, a homeless village to be located at the corner of Kealakehe Parkway and Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today


County of Maui Successfully Prices $74.42 Million in General Obligation Bonds. The proceeds of the General Obligation Bonds will be used for capital improvement projects in the County of Maui and to refinance outstanding bonds issued by the County of Maui at lower interest rates. Maui Now.

South Maui housing projects get green light. Liloa Hale would offer 117 units for seniors, Hale Kaiola 40 units. Maui News.


Hearing-impaired students to get special masks. The East Kaua‘i Lions Club Foundation awarded Paleka Zirzow an award of $1,440 Saturday to purchase special face masks for students and those who work with students on Kaua‘i who are deaf or hard of hearing. Garden Island.

A place to bring the fish to. Located at 3083 Peleke Street, Lawai‘a offers not only a variety of fresh catch, but a lot of other things fish, including lures, line, gift items, and stuff growing in the backyard like pumpkins, avocado and more. Garden Island.

Molokai leaders anticipate an increase in COVID cases this week. Molokai has reported 11 cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks. KHON2.

Four new virus cases reported on Molokai. Island’s COVID-19 count now up to 13. Health officials are investigating four new cases of COVID-19 on Molokai, with two possibly related to a recent string of travel- and family-related reports earlier this week. Maui News.

Moloka‘i Grab-And-Go Meal Service Modified After COVID-19 Case Involving High School Employee. Grab-and-go Meal Service on Molokaʻi is being modified as a precaution after confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case involving a Molokaʻi High School employee. Maui Now.

Friday, September 11, 2020

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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