Showing posts with label furloughs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label furloughs. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Ige proposes 1.8% cut, undisclosed tax hikes, possible layoffs in new budget; DHHL to vote on Kapolei casino today; Kilauea volcano eruption expected to draw crowds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

From Governor's Office video
Gov. David Ige unveils budget Monday in video conference

 Ige’s New Budget Proposal Would Wipe Out The Jobs Of 149 State Workers. Gov. David Ige’s new two-year budget proposal would eliminate the jobs of 149 state employees who are scattered in departments across state government, and may also involve some as-yet unspecified tax increases. Civil Beat.

Governor Ige's biennium budget 2021-2023 reflects reductions. With the state expecting a $1.4 billion shortfall each of the next four years, Governor David Ige unveiled his fiscal biennium budget on Monday. KITV4.

State furloughs might be pushed back to July. Furloughs for thousands of state employees scheduled to begin Jan. 1 could be postponed until July if a COVID-19 funding bill moving through Congress provides Hawaii with millions of dollars in COVID-19 aid, taking some pressure off of an already strained state budget. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers React to Governor Ige's Budget Proposal. Anticipating a $1.4 billion per year shortfall over the next two years, Governor David Ige is proposing a $15 billion per year budget to the State Legislature. KITV4.

Gov. Ige Announces Proposed Budget Cuts. Governor David Ige has released his proposed state budget for lawmakers to consider in the 2021 legislative session. Ige says the two year spending plan reflects the difficult decisions forced on the state by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige eyes steep budget cuts to avoid furloughs. Gov. David Ige’s proposed budget for the next two years recommends sharp cuts to state programs in order to make up for a $1.4 billion shortfall over each of the next four years. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Unveils Budget Calling For “Sudden, Sharp Reductions”.
Governor David Ige held a news conference today, unveiling his Fiscal Biennium Budget 2021-23 to the public. The spending plan includes reductions in both the operating and capital improvements program budgets in the next two fiscal years, as the state anticipates a $1.4 billion shortfall each year of this two-year period. Big Island Video News.

Governor Ige’s Biennium Budget 2021-23 Reflects “Sudden, Sharp Reductions”. Governor David Ige today unveiled his Fiscal Biennium Budget 2021-23 which includes reductions in both the operating and capital improvements program budgets in the next two fiscal years. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige's 167-page budget in brief can be found here.


Ige is ‘hopeful’ federal relief will help to defer or reduce planned furloughs. The governor said Monday he is “hopeful” that a federal coronavirus relief package that could send as much as $1.7 billion in aid to Hawaii will help to defer or reduce planned furloughs of most state government workers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Get Millions To Help With Rent Relief, Vaccine Distribution And More. The bill includes millions for unemployment assistance, child care, education and other programs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii could get $2.5B in federal relief funds. The massive $900 billion coronavirus pandemic relief bill passed Monday by Congress includes at least $1.7 billion in Hawaii funding that U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said is not enough, but is temporary help in the current crisis. Star-Advertiser.


Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives In Hawaii. Half of the 12,000 doses in the state’s first shipment from the drug company will be distributed to neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

More doses of coronavirus vaccines arrive in Hawaii, many slated for neighbor islands. Hawaii received nearly 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today, as neighbor island hospitals began immunizing health care workers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gets 12,000 doses of newly-approved Moderna vaccine. The state Health Department said Oahu got 6,000 doses, while Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties each received 2,000 doses. Hawaii News Now.

CVS pharmacists to launch mass COVID-19 vaccination effort at Hawaii care homes. Next Monday, Longs Drugs pharmacists will embark on an effort to vaccinate thousands of residents in Hawaii’s long-term care facilities for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 21: 134 New COVID-19 Cases. The new cases included 104 on Oahu, 13 on the Big Island, 14 on Maui, one on Kauai and two Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Oahu inmate infections to be removed from Oahu’s reopening metrics, Caldwell says. Oahu inmate infections will be subtracted from seven-day average case counts beginning Thursday to avoid snapping back to the more-restrictive Tier 1 of the city’s economic re-opening plan, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Inmates who get COVID-19 will no longer be added to Oahu’s daily case count. Inmates on Oahu who get COVID-19 will no longer be included in daily case counts as part of a bid to prevent the island for “snapping back” to Tier 1. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu inmates will no longer be counted in City’s COVID-19 tier count, says Mayor Caldwell. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the City will begin to remove inmate positive cases from the tier count in hopes to help Oahu moves ahead with more reopenings. KHON2.


Hawaiian Homes Commission Airs Concerns Over Kapolei Casino Proposal. The commission will decide whether to send the proposal to the Legislature at a meeting on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

State lawmaker, tourism expert oppose DHHL casino in Kapolei. A plan to build Hawaii’s first casino is moving forward despite push back from some lawmakers. KHON2.

Kapolei casino seen as key to land trust’s future. Given the severe budget deficits expected by the state over the next several years, a plan to develop a West Oahu casino is key to avoiding the prospect of more Native Hawaiians waiting decades for homesteads and thousands dying without getting onto the land, according to an executive with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

DHHL Pushes For Casino Gaming On Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL is proposing a single, integrated resort property in Kapolei, Oʻahu on lands already designated for commercial use. Big Island Video News.

Police Commissioner: HPD Surveillance Of Medical Examiner ‘Raises Some Red Flags’. Honolulu Police Commission Chairwoman Shannon Alivado says Chief Susan Ballard must answer some tough questions about a 2019 operation that stemmed from a complaint from the mayor’s office. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Lava flows again inside Halemaumau Crater atop Kilauea Volcano. Flowing lava, the main draw of Hawaii’s historically most popular visitor attraction, reappeared Sunday night at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park after a more than two-year absence and produced a steamy show attracting crowds through Monday in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

First Kilauea eruption since 2018 draws hundreds of onlookers to HVNP. Hundreds of people visited the park throughout the day on Monday to see the huge plume after two years of inactivity. Tribune-Herald.

How To Safely View New Eruption In Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The National Park Service says all areas open to the public before the new eruption started remain open, but urge visitors to take certain precautions. Big Island Video News.

HVNP Remains Open Amid New Eruption at Kīlauea Summit. Volcanoes National Park has remained open since the eruption at Kīlauea Volcano Sunday evening. Big Island Now.

Eruption at Halemaumau Crater stabilizes, but lava lake continues to grow. An eruption that started Sunday night at Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater has stabilized — at least for now. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Mitch Roth reacts to Kilauea eruption as he begins his third week in office. According to Roth, the main concern right now is the added attraction on the island during the pandemic. KITV4.


Hawaii gets vaccine shipment. Hawaii received its first shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Real estate boom: West Hawaii real estate sales reach 15-year high. Driven by a surge in demand for residential homes, property sales in Kona reached a 15-year high in October and November, marking a significant rebound from a pandemic-induced lull that started in April. According to statistics compiled by Kona Realtor Gretchen Osgood, sales are up 59% over last year’s combined October-November totals. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Considers Banning Pedestrians On Road To Waipio Valley. Opponents say closing the road would prevent people from using public lands. Civil Beat.


Maui Woman Arrested for Alleged Violation of Mask Mandate. Maria Maither, 56, of Nāpili was arrested at around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Complaints relayed that Maither and other employees at a business, located at 5095 Nāpilihau Street were not complying with Hawaiʻi’s statewide mask mandate. Maui Now.

Affordable apartment project breaks ground. Lahaina’s 89-unit Kaiaulu O Kupuohi slated for a May 2022 completion. Maui News.

Report: Maui homes snapped up last month. Median hits $800K or more for fourth time this year. Maui News.


Doctors receive first COVID-19 vaccines on Kaua‘i. Vaccine distribution has started on Kaua‘i with the first supply arriving on island Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i’s food banks get help from the community. Garden Island.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Kilauea volcano erupts, residents distrust tourists, Caldwell warns of Oahu lockdown amid COVID-19 surge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Janice Wei
Crowd watches Kilauea erupt Dec. 20, 2020 PC: Janice Wei

Kilauea volcano lava flows inside Halemaumau Crater; Hawaii island officials warn of possible ash fallout. Scientists are monitoring a new lava eruption of Kilauea volcano inside the Halemaumau Crater within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Star-Advertiser.

New eruption at Kilauea Volcano.
Hawaii County Civil Defense said the eruption that commenced shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday remains confined to the Kilauea Volcano’s summit caldera. West Hawaii Today.

Kilauea Erupts After Earthquakes Shake Hawaiʻi.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms an eruption began at the summit of Kilauea Sunday evening. Big Island Video News.

Kīlauea Erupts on Sunday Night. Shortly after 9:30 p.m. HST, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory detected glow within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Big Island Now.

Unexpected overnight eruption in Halemaumau Crater leads to new lava lake. Authorities are closely watching an eruption that started Sunday night at Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater, sending plumes of smoke into the air and prompting concerns about ashfall. Hawaii News Now.

New Kilauea eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu. Halemaumau is erupting again according to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. KHON2.

New eruption at Kilauea inside Halema'uma'u. Sunday night the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park confirmed a new eruption of Kilauea inside Halema'uma'u. KITV4.


U.S. Sen. Schatz: Hawaii could see at least $1 billion from stimulus agreement. Senator Schatz says Congress is trying to get the bill enacted by Monday night and that the Treasury Department plans to send the stimulus checks out right away. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i could receive $1B
as Congress agrees on nearly trillion dollar relief package. Both the House and Senate are set to vote on the bill Monday night. KITV4.


Residents’ sentiment toward tourism has worsened. Even after enduring a collapse of the state’s economy this year, most Hawaii residents aren’t eager for a return to the 2019 tourism numbers. Star-Advertiser.

Lackluster Hawaii tourism widens losses for hotels. Holiday traffic in November — the first full month of the Hawaii Safe Travels pre-arrivals testing program — didn’t help Hawaii hotels much. Star-Advertiser.

Safe Travels Fails To Lure Many Travelers From Japan To Hawaii. An average of 131,000 people came from Japan each month last year. In the first month of Safe Travels, 1,350 came. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Gov. David Ige: There’s No Money To ‘Sustain Government As It Existed’. The governor, anticipating a slow economic recovery, likely will present lawmakers with a much-reduced conservative spending plan. Civil Beat.

Hawaii teachers union files complaint with labor board over furloughs. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is challenging the governor’s plan to furlough teachers and other school employees by turning to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Star-Advertiser.

HSTA Files Complaint With Labor Board After Announcement of Furloughs. The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association is challenging the state’s decision to impose furloughs on its 13,000 union employees. Big Island Now.


Congress Poised To Restore Medicaid For Micronesians. It’s been more than two decades since citizens of Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia were stripped of Medicaid access. Civil Beat.

Promised Land: The government promised to return ancestral Hawaiian land, then never finished the job. Over the years, the U.S. government has provided about 900 acres as compensation for its unauthorized takings. But none of the land conveyed, almost all of it on Oahu, was suitable for residential use, according to DHHL. And the federal government still owes additional land under the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act. Star-Advertiser.

Pandemic Hits More Than 1,475 Hawaiʻi Inmates This Year. The coronavirus pandemic has reached deep into Hawaiʻi's criminal justice system -- infecting nearly 1,500 inmates and 170 staff. Hawaii Public Radio.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 20: 204 New COVID-19 Cases. The new cases included 180 on Oahu, 13 on the Big Island, and 11 on Maui. Civil Beat.


Oahu may revert to Tier 1. Oahu reported 180 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell warned that the island could revert to the more restrictive Tier 1 activity and business limits if the trend continues. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell worries case spikes will force city back to tier 1 by year’s end. In a news conference Sunday afternoon, Mayor Caldwell expressed his worries that Honolulu, on its current case track, is at risk of reverting to tier one of the reopening plan. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants to remove inmates from Honolulu’s COVID-19 count. With Oahu’s rising coronavirus cases headed in the direction of another shutdown, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urgently petitioning the state Department of Health and Gov. David Ige to consider allowing him to remove inmate coronavirus counts from the island’s reopening metrics. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell urges Gov. Ige to remove inmates from City’s case count. A substantial number of Oahu’s case count on Sunday is connected to the Halawa Correctional Facility, according to Honolulu City and County officials. KHON2.


Covert Honolulu Police Unit Targeted Former Medical Examiner. Former Honolulu medical examiner Dr. Christopher Happy was tailed by an elite intelligence unit at the request of the mayor’s office. Civil Beat.

Mayor-elect Blangiardi completes interviews for senior cabinet positions. The mayor-elect’s transition team announced it has completed the initial application process to fill executive-level positions with the incoming administration of the City and County of Honolulu. KHON2.

Struggling families still waiting for city grocery cards plagued by delays. A federally funded city program to help feed families devastated by the pandemic has run into major delays. But the city hopes today’s stimulus deal in Congress will help it extend the program. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown conditions worsen in pandemic.
From his second-floor office window at the corner of Maunakea and Pauahi streets, Oren Schlieman has seen his share of problems in a neighborhood he has invested in, including public urination and street brawls. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kierkiewicz on board of company receiving CARES funds. Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz steered taxpayer money to a not-yet nonprofit corporation on whose board she sits, records show. West Hawaii Today.

Seven Democrats Apply To Replace Kahele At Legislature. They include Big Island notables Chris Todd, Wil Okabe and “Fresh” Onishi. Civil Beat.

Many appeal their property assessments. More than twice as many property owners appealed their tax assessments this year than last year, according to the 2020 report of the county Real Property Tax Board of Review. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County lacks hundreds of physicians needed to sustain the population. Hawaii’s physician shortage has loomed large for years but worsened in 2020 — and on the Big Island, the lack of doctors became even more dire. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Economy Is ‘Getting By’ As The Pandemic Persists. While tourism-fueled businesses struggle from tighter travel restrictions, the housing market has remained healthy and aquaculture continues to grow. Civil Beat.


Some frontline workers look forward to COVID-19 shot. They’re slated to be first on Maui to be vaccinated once doses arrive. Maui News.

New DNA technology helps identify shark species in fatal attack. Researchers believe 14-foot tiger shark attacked Robin Warren. Maui News.


County backs nation’s first feminist economic recovery plan. The economic hardship of the novel coronavirus has disproportionately affected women in terms of profession, childcare and household responsibilities, a Kaua‘i County Council resolution states. Garden Island.

Getting food out before the holidays. The urgency of the final weekend before Christmas helped push cars smoothly through the drive-thru, no-contact food distribution Saturday at the Kaua‘i Philippine Cultural Center. Garden Island.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Honolulu bars to stay closed, delays expected in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, rail boss ousted, Aloha Stadium struggling but not planning to close, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki at night ©2020 All Hawaii News

 Federal judge denies request to reopen Oahu bars and nightclubs. A federal judge denied a preliminary injunction today that would have reopened bars and nightclubs on Oahu. The suit seeks $50 million in damages. It claims the civil rights of bar owners have been violated, partly because they are forced to be closed while other establishments serving alcohol have been allowed to remain open during the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Report from Hawaii Health Department shows small gatherings can still cause COVID outbreak. Data over the past two weeks shows no clusters on Kauai, one cluster tied to a restaurant on the Big Island, clusters tied to bars, nightclubs, restaurants and social gatherings on Maui, and clusters tied to correctional facilities, schools, restaurants, places of worship, gyms and an athletic competition are to blame on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.


Up to 40% of Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be delayed, feds say. The federal government has notified Hawaii that as much as 40% of some vaccine orders will be delayed due to production, but the state is still expecting to receive more than 81,000 doses by year’s end. Star-Advertiser.

As demand ramps up, state likely to experience some delays in COVID vaccine distribution. A state Health Department spokesperson said Thursday that the distribution of its initial vaccine allotment was likely to experience at least partial delays while drug manufacturers worked to deliver doses of the vaccine across the country. Hawaii News Now.


Renters who needed financial relief inadvertently exposed tax evaders, state says. In all, more than 18,000 people applied for relief ― and many of them inadvertently exposed landlords who didn’t have General Excise Tax licenses and had likely been able to avoid paying taxes on rent revenue. Not only did that discovery disqualify the renters from the assistance, it now has the state’s tax office on alert. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Board of Education members oppose furloughing teachers, school staff. Board of Education members are pushing back against Gov. David Ige’s plan to furlough public school employees, saying the move would be too damaging and federal funds might bridge the budget gap. Star-Advertiser.

Heated testimony, threat of legal action over furloughs dominate BOE meeting. Gov. David Ige’s teacher furlough plan forces teachers to take at least one unpaid day off each month, starting Jan. 4. KHON2.

Public School Principals Grapple with Looming Budget Cuts. Along with much of the rest of the state government, the state Department of Education faces sharp budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH system anticipates financial challenges as it navigates pandemic. The 10-campus University of Hawaii system is looking at some rocky financial years ahead due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, university officials told lawmakers Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


USS Daniel Inouye Begins Sea Trials. The missile destroyer, named for Hawaii’s late senator, set sail Wednesday after production delays. Civil Beat.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 17: 142 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths. Among the cases recorded Thursday were 113 on Oahu, 16 on the Big Island, seven on Maui, one on Kauai and five Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Andrew Robbins out as rail boss; interim replacement not identified.
Contract negotiations are underway for a new interim CEO and president to take over the city’s beleaguered rail project Jan. 1 after the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors voted Thursday to find new leadership. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rail Project Is Left Without A Leader As HART Ousts Robbins. Major utility problems on Dillingham Boulevard and a failed P3 effort helped seal the fate of rail’s latest executive director. Civil Beat.

HART board votes to oust CEO, search for as-of-yet unnamed replacement. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board on Thursday voted to replace CEO Andy Robbins ― they just haven’t decided with who yet. Hawaii News Now.


Corrections Commission Wants To Pause Planning On New Oahu Jail. A panel formed to oversee the state correctional system voted Thursday to ask for a delay in the planning and design of a proposed new $525 million Oahu jail, in part because members said the state needs to reconsider how large the new facility should be. Civil Beat.


Budget problems and maintenance issues force Aloha Stadium to put a temporary halt on new events. After 45 years, Aloha Stadium — Hawaii’s Rust Palace, which has hosted University of Hawaii Warriors football, NFL Pro Bowls, Major League Baseball, Bruno Mars, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson — is shutting down at least three years before a replacement stadium will be built. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium not quite shut down, will ‘entertain’ new events with added expenses. In somewhat of a reversal, the Aloha Stadium Authority announced late Thursday that it would “entertain events,” but that additional expenses would be put upon licensees who want to use the facility. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium Won’t Host Events For The Foreseeable Future. The University of Hawaii is already considering alternate sites such as high school stadiums for the 2021 football season. Civil Beat.

Aloha Stadium shutting down indefinitely
, leaving UH football without a home field. Aloha Stadium is shutting down. The Stadium Authority announced on Thursday, Dec. 17, that it will be closed indefinitely after all previously scheduled events are honored. KHON2.


City Releases Housing Numbers for Mayor Caldwell's Second Term. According to the Office of Housing report released Thursday, the total homeless population has decreased ten percent in Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's second term. KITV4.

Diamond Head State Monument has a quiet reopening day after 9 months’ coronavirus closure.
On Thursday morning people reappeared atop the crater known as Leahi, forehead of the tuna, to Native Hawaiians, after the monument reopened to the public at 6 a.m. with new vehicle and pedestrian traffic controls and COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including mandatory mask-wearing and 6-foot physical distancing throughout the state park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

‘Artisan-scale’ composting popular: Environmental Management Commission considers alternatives to $10.5M composter. This may be one of those cases where bigger isn’t necessarily better, at least when it comes to turning waste into compost. West Hawaii Today.

New facility will provide space for expanded cancer treatment, other services in Hilo. Health care leaders and legislators gathered Thursday morning for a blessing and groundbreaking for a project that will expand the Hawaii Health System Corporation’s East Hawaii Health Clinic on Waianuenue Avenue — formerly known as the Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s first certified arson dog dies at 13. The state’s first certified arson dog, Kaimi retired Dec. 31, 2019, and died Saturday at the home of his handler, Acting Fire Chief Robert Perreira. He was 13. Tribune-Herald.

First Certified Arson K9 in State Dies. Big Island Now.


Positive COVID-19 case temporarily closes Lahaina DMV office. An employee at the Lahaina DMV office has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the office to close for the next ten days, a Maui County spokesperson said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina DMVL Immediate Closure Triggered by Employee Testing Positive for COVID-19. The Department of Finance Lahaina Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing office is closed for 10 days, beginning immediately today, after an employee reported testing positive for COVID-19. Maui Now.

EMS still waiting on budget cut decisions. In July and August, the state Department of Health was in talks with all four county EMS providers in preparation for a potential statewide budget cut of up to 20 percent for the coming budget due to financial deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui News.

Mayor Supports Possible Use of War Memorial Stadium for UH Football Games.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he supports the possible use of War Memorial Stadium for University of Hawaiʻi football games or other events in light of the temporary moratorium placed on new events at Aloha Stadium earlier today. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i County Council passes bills to avoid budget shortfall. The Kaua‘i County Council passed several bills to cover a budget shortfall caused by suspended tax revenues, retroactive salary increases and COVID-19 operations. Garden Island.

High schools revise 2nd-semester plans. Last week, the state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area superintendent announced in a video that Kaua‘i’s public schools’ distance-learning plans will be revised for the second semester. Garden Island.

New case of COVID-19 is local child. The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday. Thursday’s case is a child resident. Garden Island.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine may be in Hawaii next week, Maui closes bars, unions may sue to stop furloughs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention
CDC lab worker developing vaccine PC:CDC

 Vaccines offer the key to speed of Hawaii’s economic recovery. The state’s recovery is not expected to pick up in earnest until the middle of next year, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization’s annual Hawaii forecast due out today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Economists Predict Slow, Perilous Path To Recovery. Hawaii’s economy is among the hardest hit in the country, a new report confirms. Civil Beat.

Ige: Coronavirus Vaccines May Land In Hawaii As Early As Next Week. Hawaii health officials say they expect to receive more than 81,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna during the month of December. Civil Beat.

‘A hopeful moment’: Hawaii preparing to receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses soon. The state’s plan to acquire and distribute a coronavirus vaccine ‘may be the largest immunization campaign in the history of our state,’ Governor David Ige said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Ige: More than 81K doses of vaccines from two companies slated for Hawaii this month. Gov. David Ige said during a news conference Thursday that the first round of vaccines could arrive as early as next week. Tribune-Herald.

DOH says general population could get vaccinated by summer. Officials say the state is expecting to receive nearly 82,000 doses, and that’s just for the first dose, by the end of the month. These doses will go to people in phase one which is divided into groups: essential healthcare workers, staff and residents in long term care facilities, first responders and essential workers. KHON2.

DOH Director has plan for who will receive COVID-19 vaccine first, Lt. Gov. says he has faith in the vaccine. Director of the Department of Health, Libby Char confirms her top priority will be essential healthcare workers and kupuna in long-term care facilities. KITV4.

State announces COVID-19 vaccines coming. The rollout of a vaccine for COVID-19 inches closer, with a possible shipment to the state coming as early as next week. Garden Island.

Gov Holds Press Conference On COVID Vaccine Distribution. With FDA approval of an Emergency Use Authorization for the first COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, the State of Hawaiʻi is moving forward with a plan to vaccinate 81,000 individuals in December. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii health-care workers could get shots in the arm as early as Tuesday. The state expects 81,000 thousand people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of the month, including health care workers, staff and patients in long-term care facilities, and first responders. Hawaii News Now.

Health-care workers won’t be required to take vaccine until FDA’s full approval
. Health Director Libby Char said the state is expecting 45,825 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 36,000 initial doses of the Moderna product, which federal authorities will consider next week for emergency use authorization. Star-Advertiser.


Furlough fight likely to wind up in court unless lawmakers step in. With unions set to challenge the governor’s proposal to furlough state workers, experts say it could ultimately be up to the courts to decide. But the legislature can also step in and provide a solution. KHON2.

DOE Reveals Furlough Plan For Teachers, Other Employees. Hawaii’s 13,000 teachers and other Department of Education employees will have to take six to 10 days of unpaid leave next year, the superintendent said Thursday after the governor ordered statewide furloughs in a bid to balance the budget. Civil Beat.

Public Worker Unions Urge Ige To Halt Furlough Plan, Cite Confusion In State Departments. State department heads were given a “very short window” to determine which employees will be furloughed and which will be exempt, and department heads are unsure how the program should be executed, according to the statement from the unions, which included United Public Workers and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly. Civil Beat.


$22 million left on Hawaii Restaurant Cards need to be spent by Tuesday. Millions of dollars on Hawaii Restaurant Cards need to be used by next week or it will go away. With just days left before the deadline, restaurant owners are begging people to come eat. Hawaii News Now.


Office of Hawaiian Affairs names Carmen Hulu Lindsey chairwoman. Lindsey, who has represented Maui on the board for eight years, replaces former chair and veteran OHA trustee Colette Machado, who lost her reelection after 23 years on the board. Star-Advertiser.

Carmen Hulu Lindsey To Chair OHA Board Of Trustees. Lindsey is taking over the board’s top leadership position from former chair and OHA trustee Colette Machado, who lost her bid for reelection in November after serving at OHA for more than two decades. Civil Beat.

Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey Voted OHA Chair. The Maui trustee and award-winning recording artist said Thursday marked the dawning of a new era at OHA. Big Island Video News.


How Hawaii Became A Training Ground For The Indonesian Military. Hawaii politicians and military commanders have pushed for strong defense ties with Jakarta for two decades, but Indonesia’s bloody history in the Pacific casts a shadow. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 10: 123 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 123 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday, including 79 on Oahu, 24 on the Big Island, 11 on Maui and two on Kauai. Seven Hawaii residents were diagnosed with COVID-19 out of state. Civil Beat.


Tommy Waters likely to become chairman of Honolulu City Council. Veteran lawmaker Tommy Waters will lead the Honolulu City Council as its chairman when a new lineup meets for the first time Jan. 2, under a resolution made public Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council May Be Headed By Waters, Kiaaina And Tupola. The new council will have several political veterans and a couple of newcomers. Civil Beat.

Mayor Caldwell says City and County of Honolulu won't furlough workers. But he does caution if things don't improve the new mayor could have to consider furloughs as a last resort further down the road. KITV4.

Oahu restaurants get 90-day delay of ban on plastic utensils. Restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets and other businesses that serve prepared food on Oahu are getting an extra three months to use up their plastic or other fossil fuel-based forks, spoons, knives and other utensils. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu’s move to tier 3 on Christmas unlikely unless numbers decrease. In a press conference Thursday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Honolulu could move to tier 3 by Christmas but it will take a lot of hard work. KHON2.

Honolulu mayor hopeful Oahu can move into Tier 3 by Christmas. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said it would be very difficult, but that there is still hope that Oahu could get to Tier 3 by Christmas in about two weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Despite millions in federal funds, HPD’s tent city at Keehi Lagoon sits mostly underutilized.
The Honolulu Police Department’s large tent city at Keehi Lagoon Beach Park is a highly-visible symbol of the twin battles being raged against COVID-19 and homelessness. But the rising cost of the emergency shelter is raising red flags amongst members of the Honolulu City Council and within the community. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Replacing Kahele: Local Democrats prepare to fill Hilo Senate seat. The Big Island could be short a state senator when the regular legislative session begins Jan. 20, as the process of filling Sen. Kai Kahele’s greater Hilo District 1 seat can’t begin until he resigns. West Hawaii Today.

The solar photovoltaic system was given Hawaiian Electric approval to operate on September 30, Keck officials say. The W. M. Keck Observatory announced on Thursday that it has successfully installed a solar photovoltaic system on the rooftop of its telescope facility on the summit of Maunakea. Big Island Video News.

Keahuolu Courthouse Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19.
An employee at the Keahuolu Courthouse tested positive for COVID-19, the Hawai‘i State Judiciary announced Thursday. Big Island Now.

Kona Judiciary Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19. The employee was last at work on December 8, does not work in a courtroom, and did not have close or frequent contact with coworkers or court users. Big Island Video News.


APPROVED: Mayor’s Request for Two Week Bar Closure on Maui. Governor David Ige has approved Maui County’s request to close bars and bar areas within restaurants for two weeks from Dec. 12 to 26, 2020. Maui Now.

County seeks to stop bar service for two-week stint. Mayor hopes that temporary closure will stop uptick in cases. Maui County is seeking to close down bars and bar service areas for two weeks to try and stop the uptick in COVID-19 cases that officials say are coming from “bar-like” behavior. Maui News.


Maui’s Family Life Center Receives $1.25 Million Bezos Grant to End Homelessness. Family Life Center, a nonprofit organization serving the homeless in Maui and Kauaʻi Counties, was selected to receive a $1.25 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund created by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Maui Now.

Maui authorities identify surfer who died following Honolua Bay shark attack. Authorities initially said 56-year-old Robin Warren of Napili was in stable condition when he was hospitalized on Tuesday. He underwent surgery, but his condition quickly deteriorated and he died on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.


KPD recruit commencement postponed. The graduation ceremony scheduled to take place on the lawn of KPD was called off in the final minutes leading to the start of the protocol. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Hawaii government workers face twice-monthly furloughs, Maui surfer dies from shark attack, ethics board dings Kim on Mauna Kea access, quarantined travelers swamp Honolulu PD, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Governor's Office video
Gov. David Ige announces furloughs PC: Governor's Office

More than 10,000 state employees face furloughs in January. An estimated 10,160 state employees will face twice-a-month furloughs beginning Jan. 1 and the number will be even higher when Department of Education and University of Hawaii employees are included, Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday as he struggles to balance the state’s budget and plug a projected $1.4 billion shortfall over each of the next four years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Governor To Furlough State Workers Beginning In January. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday he is imposing two-day-per-month furloughs for unionized state workers starting Jan. 1 to balance the budget, which amounts to a pay cut of slightly more than 9%. Civil Beat.

Under governor’s furlough plan, most state workers will see a 9% pay cut in 2021. Gov. David Ige announced the furlough plan Wednesday, saying it’s expected to save the state approximately $300 million a year and will be coupled with a host of other budget cuts to programs. Hawaii News Now.

State worker furloughs to start January 1. Thousands of state workers will be furloughed two days per month starting in January. KHON2.

Most state employees to be furloughed starting Jan. 1. Governor David Ige made the announcement Wednesday, noting that the state is projecting a $1.4 billion budget shortfall in the general fund for the next four years. KITV4.

Ige announces furloughs: State’s largest unions push back against cutbacks slated for Jan. 1. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that, beginning Jan. 1, about 10,160 state executive branch employees will be subject to furloughs for two days out of every month. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii State Employees To Be Furloughed Starting January 1. Thousands of state employees, including public school teachers, will be furloughed when the new year begins. Big Island Video News.

Most Hawai‘i State Workers To Face Furlough in January. Most state government employees will face furloughs beginning in 2021, as Hawai‘i faces massive budget shortfalls in the coming years. Big Island Now.

State to furlough 10K employees. The Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i are on the list of state agencies that will be implementing furloughs effective January 1, 2021. Garden Island.

Furloughs for state employees to start Jan. 1. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that state employees will be furloughed two days a month starting Jan. 1 to offset an expected $1.4 billion budget shortfall in the general fund for each of the next four years. Maui News.

Most State Workers to be Furloughed Two Days Per Month Starting in New Year. The state is projecting a $1.4 billion budget shortfall in the general fund for each of the next four fiscal years. Maui Now.

Full news release on how furloughs is here.


Poll: Fewer than half of Hawaii residents plan to be vaccinated. Fewer than half of Hawaii residents currently plan to take a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, according to a University of Hawaii poll released this week. Tribune-Herald.

Survey: Many Hawaii residents remain uneasy about getting COVID-19 vaccine. Just 44% of the 616 people surveyed said they planned to take the vaccine when it’s available. Hawaii News Now.


The Safe Travels Program is working but some want to add mandatory post testing. Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green said the State’s Safe Travels Program is working and that he reported his findings to the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 on Wednesday, Dec. 9. KHON2.

Senate hears mayors’ Safe Travels perspectives. County mayors made their case to the state’s Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 calling for modifications to the state’s Safe Travels program on Wednesday. Garden Island.


DLNR Has Transferred More Than 19,000 Acres To Use For Agriculture. A program to make more state agricultural lands available for farming and ranching has made progress in the last decade, according to the head of the state agency in charge of those land transfers. Civil Beat.

UH and Hawaiian Electric Collaborate on ‘Green Tariff’ To Benefit Campuses and Community. The University of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Electric have collaborated on an innovative renewable energy initiative to help the university achieve its net-zero energy goal and bring online more cost-effective, renewable energy resources to benefit the entire state. Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 9: 80 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii and 4 Deaths. Health officials reported 80 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 45 on Oahu, 12 on the Big Island, 15 on Maui and one on Kauai. Civil Beat.


Authorities overwhelmed with 20,000 in quarantine. Roughly 20,000 people are in travel-related quarantine on Oahu and authorities are unable to keep up with enforcement. Star-Advertiser.

City Council passes ‘surf equity’ bill for permits. Introduced in February by Council member Kym Pine, Bill 10 requires gender equity in the issuance of permits for sports activities by the Honolulu City and County Department of Parks and Recreation, in order to ensure the fair allocation of park facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Pipeline Masters Kicks Off Amid Virus Concerns. Hawaii’s biggest surfing competition of the year is underway on the North Shore. While the surf is up, so are concerns about Covid-19. Hawaii Public Radio.

Facing economic hardship, restaurants urge city to ease plastic utensils ban. In the final meeting for most of the current Honolulu City Council members, they urged the mayor and legislature to pay more attention to small businesses who are still struggling amid the ongoing pandemic. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Army Hospital Will Be One Of The Military’s First COVID-19 Vaccination Sites. The Pentagon announced Wednesday that Tripler Army Medical Center will be one of military’s initial vaccination sites. Civil Beat.

Tripler Army Medical Center on O'ahu among first group of DOD locations to administer COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Defense will have just under 44,000 doses of the vaccine in its initial rollout. KITV4.


3 finalists to build, design new Aloha Stadium announced. Three developer-led teams, all of which list some Hawaii-based elements, are finalists to present proposals for the building of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, according to a post on today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ethics Board rules Kim violated law in Maunakea case. Former Mayor Harry Kim violated the county code against unfair treatment when he allowed protesters to close the Maunakea access road to some people but not others, the Board of Ethics said Wednesday in a unanimous vote. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County ethics board rules against Kim in TMT case. The Hawaii County Board of Ethics on Wednesday found former Mayor Harry Kim guilty of violating the county’s ethics code when he didn’t enforce the law evenly during the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protests. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Mayor Kim Violated Ethics Code On Mauna Kea, Board Says. Harry Kim allowed for unequal treatment on the Mauna Kea Access Road, where he used county funds to lay gravel for the kūpuna opposed to the Thirty Meter Telescope, the Ethics Board says. Big Island Video News.

Fire commission gets budget update. The Hawaii Fire Department is on track to meet its 2020-21 budget, Deputy and acting Fire Chief Robert Perreira said Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.


Honolua shark attack victim dies. A 56-year-old Lahaina man died Wednesday after he was attacked by a shark while surfing at Honolua Bay on Tuesday morning, according to a hospital official. Maui News.

Victim of shark attack in Maui’s Honolua Bay dies from his injuries. The 56-year-old Lahaina man who was bitten by a shark while surfing at Honolua Bay died of his injuries today, according to a spokeswoman for the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Star-Advertiser.

Shark Bite Victim on Maui Succumbs to Injuries. It happened hours before the Maui Pro surf competition was set to get underway for professional women surfers. The event was subsequently suspended and beaches were closed for a mile in either direction from DT Fleming to Punalau “Windmills” Beach. Maui Now.

Surfer bit by a shark in Maui’s Honolua Bay dies after his condition deteriorates. The victim, a man in his fifties, was initially reported to be in stable condition when he was hospitalized on Tuesday. He underwent surgery but his condition quickly deteriorated leading to his death. Hawaii News Now.

56-year-old man dead following shark attack at Honolua Bay. Maui Memorial Medical Center has confirmed that a 56-year-old man who was surfing at Honolua Bay on Tuesday has died. KITV4.


Maui Seeks Two Week Closure of Bars Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is seeking approval from Gov. David Ige to temporarily close bars and bar areas within restaurants for two weeks, or until Dec. 26, 2020, to stem the recent double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases. Maui Now.

Maui mayor requests approval to close bars for 2 weeks. Mayor Victorino announced Wednesday that he’s awaiting approval from Gov. Ige to shutdown all bars starting this Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County seeking bar closures amid rising COVID cases.  Maui County is seeking approval from Gov. David Ige to temporarily close bars and bar areas within restaurants to limit the spread of COVID-19 until Dec. 26. KHON2.


Court to decide how injection wells decision impacts county. A federal court in Hawaii will decide in the spring how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a lawsuit over injection wells in West Maui will apply to Maui County, an attorney in the case said Tuesday. Maui News.


Behind the scenes of the Kaua‘i District Health Office. The Kaua‘i District Health Office was one of the first to provide translated educational COVID-19 materials. Garden Island.

Ige honors The Cliffs at Princeville, Department of Water. Gov. David Ige honored 20 businesses, venues, and events for their energy efficiency and sustainable business practices in the Hawai‘i Green Business Program, which is apart of the Hawai‘i State Energy Office, and two honorees are from Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Hawaii happiest state in the nation, Ige signs proclamation on travel, masks, eviction moratorium; COVID-19 cases back in triple digits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hula in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii tops ranking as Happiest State in America. Hawaii may have a double-digit unemployment rate and a virtual tourism lockdown, but the state ranks as the Happiest State in America, according to a WalletHub study released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Ige’s latest emergency proclamation OKs pre-travel COVID-19 testing and extends travel quarantine, evictions ban. Gov. David Ige today signed a new emergency proclamation that extends Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency period through the end of October and officially authorizes a pre-arrivals testing program that would ease travel restrictions for some travelers. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Signs Proclamation On Travel, Masks, And Driver’s Licenses. Governor David Ige on Wednesday signed a 13th supplementary emergency proclamation, extending the COVID-19 emergency period through Oct. 31. Big Island Video News.

Ige Extends COVID-19 Emergency Period Through October, Authorizes Pre-Travel Testing to Start Oct. 15. Governor David Ige today signed a 13th supplementary emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period in Hawaiʻi through Oct. 31. Maui Now.

Hawaii Has A New COVID-19 Response Team. Will It Make A Difference? Decisions about programs and policies to combat the virus are happening faster under a newly restructured leadership team. Star-Advertiser.

Air ventilation in the classroom is a concern for returning to campus. The Hawaii Department of Education does not yet have details on which schools that plan to implement blended or in-person classes over the course of the next quarter. KHON2.

United Airlines to begin pre-travel COVID-19 testing pilot in San Francisco for Hawaii-bound travelers. United Airlines, which brought more travelers to Hawaii than any other carrier pre-pandemic, on Oct. 15 will offer rapid COVID-19 tests to Hawaii-bound customers who are originating from San Francisco. Star-Advertiser.

Ige’s Eviction Moratorium Doesn’t Do What He Says It Does
. Hawaii renters and landlords alike are frustrated by the governor’s confusing rule. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 23: 168 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii health officials reported 168 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, marking a triple-digit increase after three consecutive days of fewer than 100 cases confirmed in the islands. Civil Beat.


Chairman Ikaika Anderson officially leaves City Council. Honolulu City Council members gave retiring colleague and Chairman Ikaika Anderson a couple of fist bumps, a hug, maile lei and an elbow touch along with praise and well wishes Wednesday on his last workday at Honolulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

Alan Texeira Sworn In To Replace Ikaika Anderson. Former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson’s deputy chief of staff was officially sworn in to take over his seat on Wednesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

More than 3,000 families have tapped a city program offering financial assistance. The city says about $4 million has been distributed as part of the Household Hardship Relief Program, which helps with payments for families financially impacted by COVID. Hawaii News Now.

More than $20M remains for Oahu residents needing aid. More than $20 million in assistance for rent, utilities, child care and even cellphone and internet service for Oahu residents is waiting to be distributed by the end of the year as people continue to struggle with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

More than $20 million still available through Household Hardship Relief Program. For those needing financial help because of the pandemic, more than $20 million is still available through the City and County of Honolulu's Household Hardship Relief Program. KITV4.

Businesses prepare to follow new rules for reopening on Thursday. After being shut down for nearly a month, many Oahu businesses are getting ready to reopen. Businesses like restaurants, retail shops and attractions can reopen, but only at 50 percent capacity. KHON2.

Restaurant and bar owners offer differing views of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s reopening plan. Restaurant and bar owners had mixed reactions to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s reopening plan, which bases restrictions on a four-tiered metric. Star-Advertiser.

O'ahu gyms will have to take their business outdoors in order to reopen. Gyms on O'ahu have been closed for the past four weeks and it could be at least another month until they're allowed to reopen unless they take their business outdoors. KITV4.

Underground obstacles threaten to further delay Honolulu’s rail project. There’s more trouble for the embattled rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Kaneohe cemetery, Hawaiian Memorial Park, expansion plan wins approval. The largest funeral and cemetery service company in the world will be allowed to expand Hawaiian Memorial Park in Kaneohe under a state decision Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State, but not county, workers face furloughs.
Gov. David Ige’s proposal to help patch the state’s budget hole by instituting twice-monthly unpaid furlough days for most union employees won’t affect Hawaii County workers, at least in the short term. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo veterans home administration needs to be replaced, Mayor Harry Kim says.
Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim renewed calls Wednesday for the immediate suspension of the administration of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, where he said documented shortcomings have resulted in too many COVID-19 deaths. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Pushing Management Change at Hilo Veterans Home
. A decision on the future management of Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home could be made Thursday, Hawai‘i County’s mayor said this afternoon. Big Island Now.

State Says Veterans Home Staff Receiving Death Threats. Staff at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been getting death threats, according to a state emergency management official. Hawaii Public Radio.

As death toll at Hilo veteran’s home mounts, family calls for criminal investigation. Mary Benevides says prior to contracting COVID-19, her dad was always smiling, joking and doting on his grandchildren. Hawaii News Now.

DOH: No further environmental review needed for PGV permit. Puna Geothermal Venture — which hopes to produce electricity again by the end of the month following delays in rebuilding the facility after it was partially destroyed by lava two years ago — has cleared a hurdle in renewing its air pollution control permit from the state. Tribune-Herald.

DLNR plans to dredge existing Pohoiki boat ramp to reopen access to ocean. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to dredge the landlocked Pohoiki boat ramp to re-establish ocean access in Puna. Tribune-Herald.


Maui allocates $20 million in CARES Act money for coronavirus recovery. Maui County has allocated over $20 million in CARES Act funds to pay for economic recovery initiatives ranging from farm and ranch grants to support the county’s food system, to buying computers for students who are attending school online. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly 30 medical workers on Maui at risk of losing their jobs after the planned closure of a surgery center. Kaiser Permanente announced it will shut down various services at its Wailuku Clinic on Maui because of financial troubles. Hawaii News Now.

$3 Million Project to Repave War Memorial Stadium Parking Lot Nears Completion. War Memorial Stadium parking lot will reopen to the public on Monday, Sept. 28, after completion of a $3 million project to repave the 51-year-old parking lot, install new underground drainage and plant nearly 130 new trees. Maui Now.

Liquor director candidates may be revealed next week. Licensees ask for leader who will improve relations. Maui News.

Ha‘ikū’s Town Hall to Focus on Maui Water Use and Development Plan. The Ha‘ikū Community Association hosts a virtual town hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 via Zoom or Facebook Live. The town hall meeting will focus on helping Ha‘ikū residents better understand the effects of the Maui Water Use and Development Plan. Maui Now.


Kauai Voters Will Decide On 6 Changes To The County Charter. Some of the proposed amendments are significant but political observers wonder if a less informed public will just leave them blank. Civil Beat.

$1.75 M to help Kaua‘i cattle ranchers. Many cattle ranchers ship off their herds to O‘ahu or other destinations to be finished and processed, but with market disruptions made prevalent due to the coronavirus pandemic, they’re unable to and are now forced to rethink what to do with their livestock. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

State employee furloughs, 46% shipping rate hike, more lock downs in store as Hawaii struggles with coronavirus, school starts with distance learning, downsized RIMPAC kicks off, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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New plans for the Ala Wai. See Oahu news section. ©2020 All Hawaii News
Ige Plans Furloughs For Public Workers Starting In November. The administration also plans to borrow $750 million and defer health fund payments to balance the state budget. Civil Beat.


PUC approves emergency 46% rate increase for Young Brothers. In a decision expected to drive up the already high cost of living on the Neighbor Islands, the Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved a jaw-dropping 46% rate increase for the state’s only inter-island cargo shipping company. Hawaii News Now.

PUC approves emergency 46% rate increase for Young Brothers. The Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved Young Brothers’ emergency request to increase rates by 46% — or $27 million — to keep the company afloat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

PUC Okays Young Brothers’ 46% Rate Hike. In a decision issued Monday, the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission approved Young Brothers’ emergency request to increase rates by 46% with several conditions over the next 12 months. Big Island Now.

Young Brothers 46% rate increase approved by PUC. The Public Utilities Commission has approved Young Brother’s emergency request to increase rates by 46% with conditions. KHON2.


More restrictions expected as Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell plan their next move. Ige said last week he was looking at reestablishing the stay-at-home order and delaying the relaunch of trans-Pacific tourism through a pre-travel testing program, set to begin Sept. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Further COVID-19 restrictions imminent. State officials agree further restrictions on Oahu are necessary to control the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases, but have not yet announced what those restrictions will be. Tribune-Herald.

As number of COVID-19 infections soar on Oahu, state says new restrictions are near. The state on Monday said Oahu residents should prepare for “additional targeted restrictions” as the number of new COVID-19 infections continues to soar. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Health Director Bruce Anderson back on job after taking a few days off to ‘re-energize’. After taking a few days off last week ”to rest and re-energize,” beleaguered state Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson is back on the job today. Star-Advertiser.

3 key state leaders departing during pandemic. The heads of the state departments of Tax, Human Services, and Labor and Industrial Relations have left Gov. David Ige’s administration just since July while Ige still has two years left in his final term. Star-Advertiser.


COVID-19 committee says case data needed to slow coronavirus surge. Members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 voiced their frustrations Monday with the state Department of Health’s response to the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

House COVID-19 Committee: ‘We Really Do Need Data’ To Get The Virus Under Control. The blue-ribbon committee of lawmakers and community leaders is pushing for state health officials to release more information and provide more effective public communication. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Office of Elections works to deter mail-in voter fraud with safeguards. Amid the flames of mail-in voter fraud claims being made by President Donald Trump before November’s general election, Hawaii election officials are confident that the process locally will be transparent and fair. KHON2.


DOE Struggles To Get Students The Technology They Need For Online Learning. The department is spending millions of dollars on laptops and mobile hotspots for low-income families but some devices have yet to arrive. Civil Beat.

Only a few teachers opt out of first day back at Hawaii public schools. Monday was the first day for students at public schools across the state, after the coronavirus disrupted their 2019-20 academic year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Schools Resume With Anxiety, Excitement of New Year. Hawaii public schools today begin a month of distance learning to kick off the new school year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Many Hawaii students spend first day online as virus surges. The statewide teachers union led an effort to delay the first day for students by two weeks. At the union’s urging, the Hawaii Department of Education later announced most schools would start the first four weeks online. Hawaii News Now.


Scaled Back RIMPAC Launches Amid Pandemic Concerns. The Rim of the Pacific international military exercise, or RIMPAC as its known, is held every two years on land, in the air, and on the seas around the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Downsized RIMPAC kicks off with COVID-19 precautions. The world’s largest international maritime exercise — otherwise known as RIMPAC — was originally planned to have 30 countries, more than 50 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Star-Advertiser.

RIMPAC to begin, but will be scaled back and held at sea only. RIMPAC, the world’s largest maritime exercises, begins Monday. But it will be scaled way back and only held at sea off the islands. Hawaii News Now.

RIMPAC begins military exercises in waters off of Hawaii. On Aug. 17, military officials kicked off the world’s largest international maritime exercise here in Hawaii, with some significant modifications. KHON2.

Big military exercise in Hawaii scaled back due to virus. The 27th Rim of the Pacific international military exercise will be considerably smaller than usual primarily. KITV4.


VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 17: 174 New COVID-19 Cases. Multiple hospital workers at Queen’s hospital Punchbowl are isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. Civil Beat.

The Latest: 174 New Cases; Court Says Some Felony Defendants Can Seek Release. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii Supreme Court OKs expedited release of eligible felons. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Monday issued a new order speeding up a plan to allow eligible felons and those charged with felonies to be released from Oahu Community Correctional Center quickly to help curb the spike in COVID-19 cases at the Kalihi facility. Star-Advertiser.

Court orders release of certain felons as COVID-19 grips state’s largest jail. As the new coronavirus continues to spread through the Oahu Community Correctional Center, the state Supreme Court on Monday ordered the release of certain felons to ease overcrowding at the Kalihi jail. Hawaii News Now.


Colleen Hanabusa Endorses Rick Blangiardi For Honolulu Mayor. The longtime Democrat chose the more conservative Blangiardi over self-proclaimed Democrat Keith Amemiya. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa backs Blangiardi in race for Honolulu’s next mayor. Former mayoral candidate and one-time U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa announced Monday that she was endorsing retired Honolulu television executive Rick Blangiardi for the city’s top job. Hawaii News Now.


Another proposal based off public feedback is suggested for Ala Wai flood control project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is recommending a new plan for the controversial Ala Wai Flood Control Project. Hawaii News Now.


UH Manoa students move into dorms in the midst of pandemic. Parents and students weigh in on moving into University of Hawaii - Manoa dorms during a pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii students begin moving into residence buildings. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, students began moving into on-campus housing on Aug. 17. KHON2.

Additional staff test positive for COVID-19 at Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. According to a letter sent to residents and their family members, two more staff members tested positive. KITV4.


Ex-CIA agent living on Oahu accused of spying for China. A former CIA officer who lives in Honolulu was arrested Friday on a charge that he conspired with a relative — who also was a former CIA officer — to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People’s Republic of China, the Justice Department said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Former CIA Agent Arrested In Honolulu For Helping China Spy On US. Recordings of meetings obtained by the FBI show Chinese officials paying Ma and another co-conspirator $50,000. Civil Beat.

Media mogul Byron Allen to buy Hawaii ABC affiliate KITV. A division of Allen Media Group and Entertainment Studios announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy KITV from SJL Broadcasting for $30 million. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County Says It Is Seeing Community Spread Of COVID-19. Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense changed its message on COVID-19 on Monday morning, saying that recent cases are not travel related. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County Launches Rent, Mortgage Assistance Program. RMAP nonprofit partners are encouraging Hawai‘i Island residents who are at least 18 years old and lost income or work hours due to COVID-19 to prepare ahead to apply. Big Island Now.

Hilo courthouse security guard tests positive for COVID-19. Employees at the state courthouse in Hilo have been notified that a security guard who worked in the building has tested positive for the coronavirus. Tribune-Herald.

Pandemic suppresses Big Island film industry. Along with nearly every other industry in the state, the Big Island’s motion picture industry has drastically underperformed so far this year. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Mayor Keeps Eye on COVID-19 Case Count, Explores Job Creation. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino says he’ll look at potentially closing beach parks and reinstating other restrictions if the county continues to see double digit new cases over the next few days. Maui Now.

28 MMMC hospital COVID-19 cases; 2 new at Hale Makua. Maui Memorial Medical Center confirmed 28 COVID-19 cases at the hospital as of midday Monday, with the majority being health care workers. Maui News.

Maui Hospital COVID-19 Count Rises to 28. Maui Health confirmed that there are 17 health care workers and 11 patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center who have tested positive for COVID-19. Maui Now.

Kanaha Hotel has another public comment period. Project would build 200-unit hotel near airport, Costco. Maui News.

Police Issue 45 Citations Including Illegal Habitation of Vehicles in Pā‘ia Town. The Department of Housing and Human Concerns is surveying the area to locate campsites at Baldwin Beach Park and at adjacent properties. Maui Now.


Kauai Candidate Councilman Mel Rapozo Took Illegal Contributions, State Commission Says. The Campaign Spending Commission has taken the rare step of referring a case of false name contributions to the Attorney General’s Office. Civil Beat.

Council to workshop housing policy with stakeholders. Tomorrow, the Kaua‘i County Council will have an explanatory workshop to discuss the contentious reform of Ordinance 860, the county’s housing policy from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Garden Island.

Woman arrested for breaking quarantine. Kaua‘i police arrested 51-year-old Shannon Patrick of Longview, Washington on August 13 for violating Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine emergency and vehicle rental prohibition rules pertaining to COVID-19. Garden Island.