Showing posts with label quarantine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quarantine. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2022

State can't accurately count COVID cases, closes quarantine facilities amid omicron surge, Hawaii legislative session to start Wednesday, Kauai seeks to outlaw feral cat feeding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Feeding feral cats in Hawaii ©2022 All Hawaii News
Legislative session opening with hopes for Hawaii’s working families. The Legislature begins its third consecutive session on Wednesday with the state Capitol closed to the public because of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, while members of the state House and Senate feel pressure to do more to help working families and low-income residents as the economy rebounds. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Chart of members of the state Senate and House for the 2022 session. pdf.

Hawaiʻi State Senate announces priorities for 2022 Legislative Session. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present new challenges for the state, the Hawaiʻi State Senate is focused on addressing these concerns and more in the upcoming legislative session. Maui Now.

Gov. David Ige seeks to create new law enforcement agency. Gov. David Ige is proposing the creation of a statewide law enforcement agency to streamline and help coordinate multicounty investigations, public-safety activities and training. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Education strives to provide more local food. A strategy is developing to use centralized kitchens to replace processed food imports currently served in student meals with fresh, local ingredients. Civil Beat.

Another call for investigation on UH athletics by Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The university continued to deal with the controversy that involved now-former head football coach Todd Graham, who resigned Friday, Jan. 14, amid player accusations of verbal abuse and a lack of cultural awareness, among other things. KHON2.

Federal funds to help ‘rebuild bridges across Hawaii’: State to receive $339M for repairs, improvements. Hawaii will receive $339 million in new federal funding over five years to repair and improve the state’s bridges, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced in a Friday statement. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Clean-up efforts underway following tsunami surge triggered by Tonga eruption. While a tsunami advisory has been canceled for Hawaii, people across the islands are now cleaning up the mess left behind by wave surges triggered by a large eruption in Tonga. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Availability of Hawaii COVID-19 quarantine facilities dwindling.
The availability of COVID-19 quarantine and isolation facilities has been drastically reduced since the state handed over the responsibility for providing them to the counties of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

DOH: Overwhelming surge in COVID tests delays reporting of both positive and negative counts. The state’s electronic data collection system for COVID-19 cases has become overwhelmed by the number of test results that it is trying to process. As a result, state health officials say they will stop processing negative test results beginning Saturday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,878 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,285 new cases on Oahu, 585 on Hawaii Island, 700 on Maui, 230 on Kauai, 28 on Molokai, 28 on Lanai and 22 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Navy Gives New Dates For Families Displaced By Water Crisis To Return Home. The Navy continues to flush petroleum-tainted water from homes and neighborhoods, with most residents expected to be able to return starting later this month. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian organizations, community groups seek to restore, preserve historic lands in Luluku. The plan calls for restoring the agricultural terraces and loi systems in Luluku, creating community partnerships and educational opportunities, and starting programs that steward the land for future generations. Star-Advertiser.

Security under fire at Honolulu’s airport following rash of car thefts. State lawmakers grilled airport officials over a recent rash of car thefts at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and urged them to invest in more consumer-friendly upgrades at the airport. Hawaii News Now.

Public can attend virtual meeting discussing Ala Wai Flood Risk study. The community will be able to attend a virtual meeting to learn about and discuss the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management General Reevaluation study on Thursday, Jan. 20. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

East vs. West: Who should get the eighth House seat? The addition of a new Big Island seat in the state House has set up a battle about whether it should go to East Hawaii or West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

Shortage of volcanic black cinder in Hawaii triggers emergency search.
The situation has prompted the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, at the direction of the Legislature, to pay a research team to find big deposits of black cinder on public or private land that is well suited for commercial excavation on Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser.

Tsunami triggered by volcanic eruption in Tonga causes minor damage in West Hawaii.
A Keauhou Bay business sustained heavy damage Saturday morning as an approximately 3-foot tsunami surge tore through the Sea Quest retail store. West Hawaii Today.

First cruise ship since March ‘20 arrives in Kailua Bay.
The first cruise ship to make call since March 12, 2020, in Kailua-Kona arrived in Kailua Bay Sunday morning. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Victorino announces bid for re-election, aims to revitalize Maui County. Victorino, a former Maui County Council member, was sworn into office as mayor Jan. 3, 2019, after defeating Elle Cochran, also a former council member. He is slated to finish his first mayoral term at the end of this year. Maui Now. KITV4.

Discovery of mysterious substance oozing from ground in West Maui draws concern. The tar-like material was found on the site of a long-shuttered sugar mill in Lahaina. Hawaii News Now.

Two people survive Hāna plane crash. The incident was reported at 9:57 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, approximately 100 yards west of the Hāna Airport runway in heavy foliage. Maui Now.


Feral-cat bill moves at county council; prohibits feeding, abandonment. A cat-centric county bill that would tighten up compliance with seabird-protection mandates passed first reading before the County Council Wednesday. Garden Island.

HSTA requests collective bargaining again. Kaua‘i teachers and administrators are struggling to keep schools open for in-person learning. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Ige mulls new COVID restrictions as hospitals erect triage tents, quarantine spaces dwindle, anti-VAX rallies rage across the state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Annette Ammasi public Facebook post
Anti-VAX rally on Maui PC:Annette Ammasi public Facebook post

Gov. David Ige looking at new COVID-19 restrictions for Hawaii. Gov. David Ige is looking at reimposing restrictions, including limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, to try to dampen the surge in COVID-19 cases that’s threatening to overwhelm the state’s health care system. He’s expected to make an announcement by the end of the week. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Doesn’t Have Enough Quarantine Rooms For COVID Patients. COVID-19 patients need more isolation facilities and state help than ever, but far fewer hotel rooms are available. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Several Hawaii hospitals put up triage tents to deal with COVID hospital rise. Hospitals statewide are full and running above normal capacity, and the situation is getting worse by the day. KHON2.

Ige Urges People To Limit Interactions Amid COVID Surge. COVID-19 hospitalizations are exponentially climbing as the delta variant drives state coronavirus positivity rate past 7%. Civil Beat.

Ige stands behind decision to begin in-person learning. Gov. David Ige on Monday stood firm in the decision of state leaders to return students to in-person learning amid the ongoing surge of COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Airlines issues vaccine mandate for all employees in U.S. Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s largest air carrier, will require all of its United States-based employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Nov. 1. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.  

New Secretary of Army, Christine Wormuth, supports renewal of training ground leases. The top civilian within the Department of Defense was visiting Oahu on Monday as part of a three-state tour where she also will visit installations in Washington state and Alaska. She landed here Sunday and is scheduled to leave today. Star-Advertiser.

Officials seek funds to manage land, curb wildfires. Michael Walker, state protection forester of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife, plans to request at least $1 million from the state Legislature next year to establish a wildfire fuel reduction program.  Star-Advertiser.

DOH: 1 death, 437 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide Monday. 67 new cases were reported in Hawaii County, 16 in Kauai County, 52 on Maui, 4 on Molokai,  293 on Oahu, and 5 cases out of state. KITV4.


State lawmakers seek answers on contractor’s death at UH athletic field. State lawmakers are digging in to find out who is responsible for a deadly construction accident at the University of Hawaii’s new home for football. Work is being done at the school’s Clarence TC Ching Athletics Complex on lower campus. Hawaii News Now.

Future of Waikīkī Beaches May Rely on $12M Shoreline Stabilization Project. Waikīkī’s iconic beaches may be getting a $12 million facelift as part of the state’s effort to increase the shoreline’s resilience to climate change, coastal erosion, and sea level rise. Hawaii Public Radio.

Waikīkī Restaurants Still Face Challenges Despite Crowds of Visitors and Locals. Even in good times, successful restaurants in Hawaiʻi operate on very lean profit margins. This is due to the usual challenges that eateries face — rent, food costs, utilities, and labor. But for months, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down dining rooms across the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Staffing shortages leave critical posts unmanned at Hawaii’s largest prison. Adult Corrections Officers at Halawa Correctional Facility are being forced to work 24, even 36 hour shifts to cover. Hawaii News Now.

Vaccine-or-test COVID-19 mandates in Hawaii spur protest rally. About 200 people Monday peacefully descended on Honolulu Hale and the state Capitol to rail against public and private employers in Hawaii forcing workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or take weekly infection tests. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Hilo, Honokaa reach ‘herd immunity’. Hilo and Honokaa are leading the Big Island in the percentage of the population vaccinated for COVID-19. West Hawaii Today.

90-unit affordable house project proposed for Hilo. A draft environmental assessment for a proposed 90-unit affordable housing project for seniors and families in Hilo has an anticipated finding of no significant impact. Tribune-Herald.

Upgrades coming to Hawi wind farm. Improvements, but not an increase in wind turbines, are coming to the Hawi Energy wind farm at Upolu Point as the company proposes a 20-year extension to its power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric Co. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Trolley Relaunched As Hele-On Route 201. The Kona Trolley is the new Route 201, operating 7 days a week as part of a new Hele-On transit services to be incorporated in Kailua-Kona. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

BLNR to mull fine for conservation easement damage. A Kona coffee grower has agreed to fund the planting of hundreds of Native Hawaiian trees as part of a settlement meted with the state for damaging a conservation easement in 2019. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaiʻi Community Foundation Granted $7 Million to 194 Nonprofits, 27 in Maui County. Hawai‘i Community Foundation today announced $7 million in awards from its CHANGE Grants program to 194 nonprofits statewide, including 27 in Maui County, that are working to address some of the state’s most difficult challenges. Maui Now.

Maui Rally Draws 500, Seeking Freedom of Choice Amid Vaccination & Mask Mandates. Organizers say an estimated 500 people attended today’s rally fronting the State Office and County buildings in Wailuku, Maui, calling for freedom of choice amid further vaccination mandates announced in recent days. Maui Now. Maui News.


KIUC cancels WKEP Talk Story today
. Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and increased evidence of community spread of the virus, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is postponing the launch of the West Kaua‘i Energy Project “Talk Story Tuesday” community outreach program. Garden Island.

COVID testing urged for customers of Kauai’s Tahiti Nui restaurant in Hanalei.
The Department of Health said on Monday they identified a cluster tied to the Hanalei restaurant. At least seven known cases have been confirmed so far in both workers and customers. Hawaii News Now.

Residents, county and state workers and parents protest vaccinations Monday. About 75 people were gathered around 11 a.m., at the intersection of Hardy and Eiwa streets in Lihu‘e, many protesting vaccinations, testing for COVID-19 in workplace settings, mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

University of Hawaii football team quarantined, contact tracing chief resigns, state 50th in work from home rankings, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy UH Manoa
University of Hawaii football, courtesy photo

Entire UH Football Team Heads to Quarantine Following Eight Positive Tests. The football team directed 81 players to quarantine in their homes "out of an abundance of caution after UH medical officials consulted with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health," the school said in a statement. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

CDC finds spread among youth sports, Hawaii pediatrician says play on. While the Rainbow Warriors are regularly tested for COVID-19, youth sports in Hawaii are generally not. This as the Centers for Disease Control says that they’re finding spread of the virus from youth sports. KHON2.

Official In Charge Of Hawaii’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Resigns. Emily Roberson, an epidemiologist hired last year to revamp Hawaii’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, has resigned, she told Civil Beat Tuesday. Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said that Roberson left her position April 1.  Civil Beat.

Report: Hawaiʻi Ranks 50th in Work from Home Rankings. With 71 percent of people — whose jobs can be done remotely — working from home all or most of the time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on the Best States for Working from Home. Hawai’i was ranked 50th, with only Alaska ranking lower. Maui Now.

Here’s How Hawaii’s New State Budget Is Shaping Up. With just a few weeks left in session, both the House and Senate plan to bail out Hawaii employers and pass some tax increases. Civil Beat.

Hawaii closer to declaring a ‘climate emergency’. A series of symbolic — but widely supported — climate resolutions, including one declaring a climate emergency, continued to move through the Legislature on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Dark Clouds Are Looming Over Hawaii Even As The Economy Appears To Be Improving. Economic experts say many people are worse off than they were before the pandemic and a lower unemployment rate is simply masking deeper problems. Civil Beat.

Transition to 10-Digit Dialing (Area Code + Number) to Begin on April 24. Beginning April 24, 2021, callers in Hawai‘i will be encouraged to dial the area code (808) plus the telephone number when making local calls, six months before this will be required for local calls to complete. Maui Now.

Hawaii Expects To Meet Biden’s New Goal Of Offering Vaccines To All Adults By April 19. Hawaii health officials say they can meet a new deadline set by President Biden Tuesday of offering COVID-19 shots to all adults by April 19, supplanting an earlier goal of May 1. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

April 6, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 61 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 30 on O‘ahu, 21 on Maui, three on Hawai‘i Island, and seven in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi makes request to change Oahu’s tier criteria. Blangiardi on Tuesday said he sent a request to Gov. David Ige asking that the criteria for Tier 3 be increased to a seven-day average case count of 50 to 100, which is what it currently is for Tier 2. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Business owners say they are disappointed in the lack of clarity surrounding COVID guidelines. Business owners are seeking clarity on tier system as Oahu’s averaging 57 daily COVID cases clearly meeting the criteria to move back to Tier 2 Thursday at 12:01 a.m. Hawaii News Now.

Public reviews proposed rules for short-term rentals. A public hearing Tuesday on the city’s plan to give permits to about 1,700 Oahu homeowners to operate bed-and-breakfast units raised the question of whether the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting can be trusted to distribute the permits fairly. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Home prices on Oahu surge closer to $1 million median. Oahu’s housing market had another breakout month in March with a record $950,000 single-family home median sale price and an eye-popping number of condominium sales. Star-Advertiser.

City starts fixing Kakaako streets owned by state. Two oversize city pothole patching crews descended on perhaps the worst streets in Kakaako on Tuesday to smooth over a problem that has vexed area residents and business owners for several years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

State crews clear out more than 30 homeless camps at Diamond Head. More than 30 homeless camps on both sides of Diamond Head are being cleared out this week by state Department of Land and Natural Resources crews. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State again proposes removing seawall that forms Doris Duke swimming hole. A state Department of Land and Natural Resources proposal to remove the 83-year-old Diamond Head Breakwater, which parallels the seawall beneath Doris Duke’s Shangri La to form a popular ocean swimming hole, will be discussed Thursday at a public hearing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A reprieve for Van Pernis:
Council Planning Committee postpones action on ouster of commissioner. Mark Van Pernis was called rude, crusty, insulting, confrontational and condescending, among other adjectives, during a grueling three-hour Tuesday evening session of a County Council panel that ended with a recommendation to not immediately remove him from the powerful Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Plan calls for 6 low-income housing projects to begin this year. The county will spend nearly $6 million in federal funds on six low-income housing projects this year, according to an action plan presented to a County Council committee. Tribune-Herald.

USA Women’s Water Polo Team donates lane course, valued at $5,500, to county. A gift from the USA Women’s Water Polo Team could result in the County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation implementing a youth water polo program on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Resolution for lava zone insurance study gets lukewarm support. Hawaii County Council members were lukewarm Tuesday about a proposal to investigate ways to manage home insurance rates in Lava Zones 1 and 2. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery slated for expansion. The West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery is slated to receive funds for expansion in the Hawaii State Legislature’s Capital Improvement Project proposed budget. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County population could decline with job losses.
With Maui suffering some of the worst pandemic-induced job losses in the state, one of Hawaii’s top economists is predicting the Valley Isle will also be hardest hit in 2020 population decline as people move away for better work opportunities. Maui News.

Maui County Economic Development Office Hosts Virtual Grant Training Workshop April 21. Businesses and nonprofit organizations that administer viable projects that positively impact the economy of Maui County are urged to participate in a virtual grant training workshop Wednesday, April 21, at 1 pm. Maui Now.


Cowden fined $500 for ethics violations.
A 2019 county Board of Ethics complaint alleged that Councilwoman Felicia Cowden had used her role and position as a councilmember to secure the benefit of an expense-paid trip to attend a conference in Vologda, Russia, in 2019, and for having county staff use council letterhead to urge others to attend the conference, “which gave the impression attendance at the conference was being promoted by the Kaua‘i County Council,” according to the complaint. Garden Island.

Kauai coronavirus rental, utility assistance program applications open in May. The Kaua’i Government Employees Federal Credit Union (KGEFCU) will be administering the program. KHON2.

Koke‘e Nature Trail trampled Easter weekend. Easter celebrations in Koke‘e State Park over the weekend left native plants destroyed along a trail that runs behind the Koke‘e Museum. Garden Island.

Timbers embraces community throughout pandemic. Timbers Kaua‘i at Hokuala is one of the many resort properties on Kaua‘i now accepting trans-Pacific visitors through the Hawai‘i Safe Travels program. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spring breakers could bring COVID surge, lobbyists but not public allowed in state Capitol, 1.4k vaccine doses discarded on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Kapu Quarantine Breakers
Spring breakers in Hawaii defy mask, distancing rules PC:
Hawaii Kapu Quarantine Breakers

Adjutant General warns of possible spring break COVID surge. COVID-19 case counts are still too high for the state to end the interisland travel quarantine in mid-April. That's what Adjutant General Kenneth Hara of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday at an AARP Hawaii webinar. KITV4.

Rapid growth in Hawaii arrivals stresses Safe Travels coronavirus screening. Travel to and between the Hawaiian islands has skyrocketed in recent weeks, nearing 30,000 on Saturday, March 20, which is almost pre-pandemic level, and all of them needed to squeeze through a post-arrival pinch-point: the Safe Travels screening that makes sure only COVID-negative people are checked off for quarantine exemptions. KHON2.


The Hawaii Capitol Is Closed To The Public, But Some Lobbyists Still Have Entree. While most members of the public can’t visit the State Capitol during the 2021 legislative session, the ability of some lobbyists to gain access raises questions of fairness. Civil Beat.

Relief money plugs hole in proposed Hawaii budget to be voted on today. Coronavirus relief package will allow Hawaii to cover unemployment insurance claims and avoid slashing spending on key social programs like sexual assault treatment and HIV prevention, lawmakers say. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers advance bill to fund corrections oversight commission. Hawaii lawmakers are looking to fund a corrections oversight commission that was granted broad powers in 2019 but has been unable to hire staff due to a lack of funding. Star-Advertiser.

In Hawaii and across the U.S., advocates for police accountability are scrutinizing the union contracts that keep troublesome officers on the job. Over the next few months, Hawaii’s statewide police union will negotiate a new contract expected to result in pay raises for nearly 3,000 officers spread across four counties, most of them on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Legislation proposing amendments to aid-in-dying law stalls. Legislation that aimed to amend Hawaii’s aid-in-dying law passed through the state Senate earlier this month but failed to gain traction in the House. Tribune-Herald.


6 Reaper drones will be based on Oahu. The Marine Corps in Hawaii will be getting six big MQ-9A Reaper drones that can be armed with missiles as the Corps as a whole pursues “a deliberate but aggressive” path toward unmanned systems to gain advantage over China. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s mayors discuss COVID restrictions and what’s next. Hawaii’s mayors have taken a key role in the COVID pandemic, putting in place restrictions or lifting them as they sought to balance public health with the economy. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic depresses college-going rates, especially for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders. The class of 2020 at Hawaii’s public high schools managed to graduate at a record rate after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, but far fewer of those graduates enrolled in college, new data shows. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii Board of Agriculture expands coffee plant quarantine to slow spread of coffee leaf rust. The Hawaii Board of Agriculture voted today to expand the coffee quarantine areas in Hawaii in an attempt to keep coffee leaf rust, a fungus that can threaten the state’s coffee industry, from spreading. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

March 23, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 41 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 28 on O‘ahu, eight on Maui, one on Hawai‘i Island, one on Lāna‘i, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha allowed to delay prison term to get COVID vaccine. Retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who was convicted of conspiracy in a tangled corruption case, doesn’t have to report to prison until June so that he can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Associated Press. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City audits HPD’s overtime costs after department spends $38M on overtime. The city council announced its plans to audit Honolulu Police Department’s overtime costs after a report shows that costs were up by nearly 40% -- even before the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Despite Lawsuit, HPD Still Lacks Conflict Of Interest Policy. A police commissioner said he plans to ask the chief about the policy at an upcoming meeting. Civil Beat.

Concert in Waianae draws hundreds of people sparking health and safety concerns. In a quonset hut on Waianae Valley Road Saturday night an estimated 500 people jammed to the music of Grammy-nominated rapper Swae Lee. Hawaii News Now.

NTSB: ‘Aggressive Takeoff Maneuver’ Likely Caused Fatal Skydiving Crash. The 2019 skydiving plane crash in Mokuleia — one of the nation’s worst civil aviation accidents of the past decade — probably occurred due to an “aggressive takeoff maneuver” by the pilot, according to new findings released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Civil Beat.

Vaccination Appointment Call Center Opens for Kūpuna. While COVID-19 vaccinations are available to anyone 65 years of age or older, some O‘ahu kūpuna have not felt comfortable registering online. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Hugs are welcome again at nursing home. Kalakaua Gardens is “opening its doors so that its residents and their family members can visit each other again — up close and in person,” welcoming “hugs from family members” indoors and allowing nonessential visits outdoors starting this week. Star-Advertiser.

Low inventory, high demand driving Oahu home prices through the roof. In February 2021, the median price of a single-family home on Oahu was $917,500, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Fire chief selection questioned: Secret voting raises concerns. A politically connected battalion chief with a degree in fire science rocketed past his more experienced colleagues to take the top position in the Fire Department, but questions have come up about how the vote was taken, so it may have to be redone. West Hawaii Today.

DOH not expanding vaccine eligibility yet, despite Civil Defense message. The state Department of Health will not expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 50 and older today, despite a message early Tuesday from Hawaii County Civil Defense that said the department would do so. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital preregistering Phase 2 individuals for vaccine. Kona Community Hospital has begun preregistering Phase 2 individuals age 50 and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine at their Thursday mega clinics held at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

1,386 Vaccine Doses Compromised on Maui. An estimated 1,386 doses of Pfizer vaccine were compromised and ultimately discarded on Maui after it was discovered that a refrigerator door did not seal properly. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Wailuku water system, not lands, focus of potential county buy. While the government’s anticipated purchase of Wailuku Water Co.’s system and lands continues to drag on, the county Department of Water Supply is moving forward on key reports that will help put price tags on the water business and infrastructure. Maui News.

Upgrade would deliver potable water to West Maui projects. A proposed water system improvement project will help deliver potable water to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and other state projects in West Maui. Maui News.

Researchers study false killer whale found on Maui. Octopus remains were found in the belly of a rare false killer whale on Maui, a dietary discovery that researchers say could help the endangered species. Maui News.


Kauai Residents Age 60 And Up Now Eligible For COVID Vaccine. The County of Kauai has expanded COVID vaccine eligibility and said most residents are now eligible and there are appointments available. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

County refinancing $28.5 million in General Obligation Bonds. The County of Kaua‘i is moving forward with the issuance of approximately $28.5 million of general obligation bonds with the intent to refund certain outstanding general obligation bonds for economic savings. Garden Island.

Comments sought on PMRF radar proposal. A federal project to secure a location for a radar capable of detecting and classifying missile threats is seeking a spot close to home. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Coronavirus vaccinations expanded to age 70-plus, all teachers to be immunized by April, Maui closes in on Oahu for tourism numbers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from DOH video
Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char

Hawaii residents 70 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday; state receives Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The state has decided to open eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations early to residents 70 and older on Monday because of a substantial increase in the number of shots arriving in the islands. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

The first shipment of Johnson &Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived Wednesday in Hawaii. According to the state Department of Health, 5,900 doses were delivered to Oahu, while Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties each will receive 2,000 doses of the vaccine, which was approved for emergency use Saturday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Maui Now. KITV4.

Senate Health Committee Recommends Libby Char as DOH Director. The Senate Health Committee today, March 3, voted to recommend that the Senate consent to the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Char as Director of the Department of Health. She took over leadership at the DOH on Sept. 16, 2020, after being appointed by Gov. David Ige. Big Island Now.  KHON2.

AARP Hawaiʻi Seeking Kupuna Feedback About COVID-19 Vaccination Experiences. AARP Hawaiʻi is asking kupuna 50 and older to fill out an online questionnaire and share their experiences and thoughts about the COVID-19 vaccine process in Hawaiʻi in an effort to improve the process. Maui Now.

Hawaii to have all teachers vaccinated before April, here’s why it’s important. Hawaii is on track to get all teachers vaccinated by the end of March, 2021, according to Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green. KHON2.

Hawaii’s hotel industry wants workers vaccinated now. The state Department of Health has ruled that travel is not essential to the “functioning of society” and has said most hotel workers must wait a little longer to get vaccinated. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Green urges governor to drop interisland quarantine.
Interisland travelers may no longer need to get tested starting in April, 2021, if the lieutenant governor gets his way. KHON2.

Governor reflects on a year of successes and blunders in responding to COVID. A year after he issued his first COVID-related emergency proclamation, Gov. David Ige on Wednesday reflected on the lessons he’s learned and what’s still ahead. In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Ige apologized for ongoing delays in issuing unemployment benefits during the pandemic but commended the state’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Military Spouses Hope For Easier Ways To Get Licensed To Work In Hawaii. A House bill would expedite the licensing process for many military spouses, especially medical professionals, who have to move frequently. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Requiring Gender Diversity On Corporate Boards. The Senate bill cites several studies that say gender diversity on boards is correlated with higher or equal profits compared with all-male boards. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines Is Holding Off On More Layoffs — For Now. The state’s largest private employer has said it will delay plans for a large lay off, even as changes to Hawaii’s travel policy remain in limbo. Civil Beat.

More elementary kids headed back to school in 4th quarter. More elementary students will be back on campus after spring break and secondary schools are also being asked to ramp up in-person learning, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Despite criticism, DOE Superintendent says she’s focused on the challenges ahead. Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto says there are more pressing issues to focus on in light of the teachers’ union voting against renewing her contract. Hawaii News Now.

Nonprofit moves forward with lawsuit to protect Hawaiian honeycreeper.
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to designate critical habitat and develop a recovery plan for the iiwi, a cherished forest bird in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Update: There were 20 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including eight on O‘ahu, 11 on Maui, and one on Kaua‘i. Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 deaths increased to 441 with two new deaths reported Wednesday, both on O‘ahu. Maui Now.


Honolulu Police Department still probing body cam misuse, overtime abuse. The Honolulu Police Department is still investigating a couple of dozen cases of possible misuse of body-worn cameras and abuse of overtime. Star-Advertiser.

Police Commissioners: Redirect HPD Funds To Social Services And Cut Overtime. Other cities are considering moving police department funds to social services. Some Honolulu police commissioners say the city should follow suit. Civil Beat.

Youth Correctional Facility Managers Receive Ethics Fines. Mark Patterson, administrator of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua, and institutional facility superintendent Darrell Bueno were fined last week by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

HART interim CEO: Rail construction in Dillingham corridor halted, route may shift. Construction of the problem-plagued Honolulu rail project in the Dillingham corridor has been halted, interim HART CEO Lori Kahikina said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Kalaeloa slated for first new housing subdivision in decades. Longtime Hawaii housing developer Gentry Homes is planning to build the first homes at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Kalaeloa since the base closed in 1999. Star-Advertiser.

State board considers 2 more towers at Ward Village. A state board Wednesday began its review of two very different condominium towers planned for Ward Village, and the distribution of moderate-priced homes was a major point of discussion. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Vaccinations ramp up: 4,000 doses could be given at Hilo POD. Hilo Medical Center will offer 4,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine during an upcoming mass-vaccination POD, doubling the capacity of its last large clinic. Tribune-Herald.

Energov moving forward: Planning and permit system set to go live July 26. A multi-agency software system designed to streamline the planning and building permit process is now scheduled to go live at the end of July, five years after the project first began. West Hawaii Today.

County accepts $83M for Kilauea eruption recovery projects. The Hawaii County Council accepted Wednesday $83 million in federal funds for Kilauea eruption recovery projects in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension project progressing despite lack of funding. A record of decision marking the completion of the environmental review process for the long-delayed extension of Daniel K. Inouye Highway is expected this fall. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor to Host Virtual State of the County Address on March 9. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s third State of the County Address will be a virtual event, scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9. Maui Now.

Maui closes in on Oahu for visitor arrivals in January. There were 66,925 visitors on Maui and 78,967 visitors on Oahu in January, according to the most recent Hawaii Tourism Authority data. Maui News.

County working on lawsuit against bank. Contracted private attorneys for Maui County are currently working on a draft complaint of a lawsuit that may be brought against Bank of America and other mortgage lenders, a county attorney said on Tuesday. Maui News.


Blessing to mark completion of Kauai affordable rental project. A blessing will be held on Friday, March 5, to mark the official completion of an affordable rental housing project on Kauai. KHON2.

Red Cross officials recognize Hero, Volunteer of the Year.
March is American Red Cross Month and acknowledged by Mayor Derek Kawakami with gratitude and appreciation to the American Red Cross, Kaua‘i Branch headed by Padric Gallagher. Garden Island.

On Kauai, virtual counseling offers struggling residents an important lifeline.  Residents on Kauai are now eligible for three hours of free counseling with a new program. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Legislature mulls sunscreen ban, magic mushrooms, recreational marijuana, gambling, bestiality and more, Big Pharma fine could boost state budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Rinsing off baby at Kona beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

 Bill adds new ingredients to state’s sunscreen ban. HB 102, HD 1, which seeks to amend Section 342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding avobenzone and octocrylene to the list of banned ingredients, has been making its way through the state House of Representatives and is scheduled to be heard today by the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Court’s Massive $834 Million Fine Against Drug Makers Could Boost State Budget.
The penalty would go directly to the state’s general fund, but not until all legal appeals are exhausted, which could drag on for two years or even longer, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said at a press conference Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Bill could help Hawaii’s tenant-landlord dispute backlog. Hawaii’s court systems have been slowly returning to service since December, but a tsunami of cases are on the horizon once the state’s moratorium on evictions eventually ends. KHON2.

Beefing Over Control Of Hawaii’s Meat Processing Industry. A bill scheduled to be heard Wednesday targets an investor who has gained control of 70% of Hawaii’s meat processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Advances Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana. Another bill approved by the committee would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Permitted In Hawaii?
A bill before the Legislature would remove psilocybin from the federal register of Schedule I drugs. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Bill outlawing animal sexual abuse gains traction in Legislature. A bill that would make sexually assaulting an animal a felony is moving through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Home Lands gambling bill debate pushed to Thursday. A key Senate committee postponed decision-making until Thursday on whether to allow a controversial gambling bill that would allow the possibility for generating revenue for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands through some form of legalized gaming — and break Hawaii’s prohibition on any form of legal gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Clamping Down On Gov’s Emergency Powers. Hawaii isn’t the only state worried that a governor’s emergency orders are in need of better oversight. Civil Beat.

Youth vaping rates keep rising in Hawaii.
More Hawaii high school students are trying vaping and getting hooked, with the rate of daily vaping more than doubling over two years, while use of alcohol and cigarettes is dropping. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Deadly winter weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Hawaii.
Efforts to further curtail the spread of the virus in Hawaii hit a snag this week, as state health officials reported that a record-breaking winter storm on the mainland that left millions without power and resulted in at least 20 deaths had delayed some shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to the islands. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccination Hesitation: How the Lack of Access Affects Trust from the Pacific Islander Community. Hawaii’s Pacific Islander communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not clear if they are actually receiving the vaccine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lab reporting issue leads to Tuesday's low COVID-19 case count. Hawaii health officials reported 17 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Tuesday, an undercount due to a laboratory reporting error. The 17 cases recorded Tuesday included 13 on Oahu, three on Maui, and one resident diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Low case numbers move Honolulu closer to Tier 3. Honolulu, for the first time, is expected to hit its metrics today for moving into the less restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s COVID-19 Reopening Framework from the current Tier 2. Star-Advertiser.

2 Louisiana residents accused of bribing Honolulu airport screener with $3,000 to bypass quarantine. The state Department of the Attorney General charged two Louisiana residents with bribing airport screeners in an attempt to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory Safe Travels rules after arriving Friday at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State officials begin to clear ‘literal potpourri of useless junk’ from Waimainalo site. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the site, formerly home to Dragon Garden—Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center, may take several weeks to clear out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bill to let OHA build Kakaako Makai condos advances. The on-and-off battle over development of Kakaako Makai has flared up again as state lawmakers consider the latest measures aimed at allowing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to put residential housing in the oceanfront region of urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island At 43.4 Percent Renewable Energy.
Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up nearly 10 percent this year, as the company says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years. Big Island Video News.

Puna roads update given: Administration provides tentative estimates for restoration of Pohoiki Road, Highway 137. Parts of Pohoiki Road which have been buried in lava for nearly three years finally might be excavated later this year, county officials estimate. Tribune-Herald.


Hospital workers call for fair raises. Maui Health System workers are calling for fairer raises in the face of a proposed 0 percent increase in pay over the first year of their new contract. Maui News.

O‘ahu Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Travel Quarantine. Daniel Gildenbrand, 24, was arrested on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, after arriving on Maui without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and no approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Housekeeping measure triggers closer look at county code. The Kaua‘i County Council recently received a two-decade-old bill affecting public access. Garden Island.

Small businesses band together. Last week, more than 50 frustrated business owners gathered at the Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a to discuss ways to keep their businesses open. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Furloughs delayed as Hawaii awaits federal bailout, Honolulu grocery cards malfunction, Kauai seeks 3-day bubble quarantine, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Government Employees Association
Hawaii Government Employees Association member signup Dec. 10, 2020 PC:HGEA

 Hawaii to delay state furloughs after virus relief bill passes. Gov. David Ige today said the passage of a new coronavirus relief bill by the U.S. Congress this week has prompted him to delay the implementation of state worker furloughs previously due to begin on Jan. 1. Associated Press.

Governor delays January start of furloughs for state workers
, but doesn’t set new date. Gov. David Ige said the federal government’s $900 billion pandemic relief package allows Hawaii to put off implementation of the furloughs ― or two unpaid days a month for most state workers. Hawaii News Now.

Ige Announces Delay For Furloughs. Governor David Ige announced Wednesday afternoon that there will be a delay in state furloughs, that were set to begin on January 1, 2021. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Delays State Employee Furloughs.
Based on the promise of federal aid, the governor made the decision to delay the implementation of planned state furloughs, which was set for Jan. 1, 2021.  Big Island Video News.

Governor announces delay of furloughs. In a letter sent to state employees this afternoon, the governor said the state had been waiting months to see if Congress would provide additional federal funds to help address the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts here in Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

University of Hawaii faculty union sues to stop furloughs. The union representing University of Hawaii faculty filed a lawsuit today, asking the court to stop Gov. David Ige from enacting furloughs and a 9.23% pay cut. Star-Advertiser.

State worker union files lawsuit against Gov. Ige on furloughs as delay is announced. The unions say they will take action against the governor if a furlough is imposed before their contract expires in June of 2021. KHON2.

HSTA President calls delay of furloughs a holiday gift for teachers. More than 13,000 public school teachers and staff would have been affected. KITV4.


Hawaii Joins Legal Battle Over Telework Tax. Hawaii wants the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit states from levying income tax on people who work from home in another state. Civil Beat.


Lagging tourism could result in more than half of Hawaii’s eateries closing for good by April, a survey says. More than half of Hawaii restaurants may be forced to close for good by April without a significant boost in tourism, according to a survey by the University of Hawaii’s Public Policy Center. Star-Advertiser.

Without a tourism rebound, half of Hawaii restaurants say they’ll be permanently closed by April. If tourism doesn’t make a rebound early on in 2021, more than half of Hawaii restaurants say they will be forced to close permanently by April, a new survey finds. Hawaii News Now.

Survey: 50% of Hawaii restaurants will close by April. More than half of Hawai'i’s restaurants will be forced to permanently close by April 2021, if tourism does not significantly increase, according to a survey by the Public Policy Center located at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. KITV4.


PUC OKs regulatory changes for Hawaiian Electric. The state Public Utilities Commission approved Wednesday regulatory changes for Hawaiian Electric aimed at incentivizing the quick adoption of clean energy goals and could lower customers’ energy bills. Tribune-Herald.

Casino plan underscores worsening problems with homesteading program. This fall, as the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands faced mounting criticism over its handling of a century-old program to return Native Hawaiians to their ancestral lands, top officials asked their staff to come up with bold solutions. Star-Advertiser.

The Pandemic Is Hitting Hawaii’s Filipino Community Hard. The virus has sickened Filipinos disproportionately and led to widespread job losses. A grassroots Filipino COVID-19 task force has partnered with various nonprofit organizations and the Filipino Community Center to use federal CARES Act funding to educate thousands of Filipino residents about the virus and how to prevent it. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Vaccines Are Arriving At Slower Pace, Health Officials Say. Hawaii health regulators anticipate the arrival of thousands more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine across all counties next week. Civil Beat.

TRACKER — Dec. 23: 107 New COVID-19 Cases and 3 Deaths. Health officials reported 107 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 69 on Oahu, 15 on Maui, 13 on the Big Island and 10 Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Vendor trying to rectify City Card activation issues. As of Tuesday night, 751 out of 3,700-plus cards distributed had activated their cards, said Amy Asselbaye, the city’s director of economic revitalization. Star-Advertiser.

If you’re still trying to activate your city grocery card,
here’s what to do. On Wednesday afternoon, the city said the cards can now be activated online. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces new H-POWER contract to recycle ash, prevent it from going into Oahu landfills. Instead of going into the landfill, the ash byproduct of H-POWER would be treated and cleaned and could then potentially be used as construction material. Metals that are recovered from the ash would be recycled as well. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU pushes city to stop homeless sweeps, at least during the holidays. Honolulu city officials are under pressure to stop the homeless sweeps. Hawaii News Now.

Rail line on verge of opening. The first segment of the city’s over budget and long-delayed rail line will begin carrying passengers between East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium sometime in the second half of 2021, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Andrew Robbins told reporters Wednesday in what likely was his last public availability while on the job. Star-Advertiser.

Draft environmental impact statement for new Aloha Stadium entertainment district released. The march to replace aging Aloha Stadium reached a major milestone today with the release of the draft environmental impact statement for the new Aloha Stadium entertainment district. Star-Advertiser.

State seeks feedback about its vision for Aloha Stadium redevelopment. The state released its draft environmental impact statement for the “Aloha Stadium Entertainment District” ― and wants your input on next steps. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

HVO: Kilauea lava lake rises to more than 500 feet. Areas around the summit of Kilauea on Wednesday were blanketed in high levels of sulfur dioxide and particulates that reached levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous, according to a statement from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

HVNP Sees Surge in Visitors Coming to See New Kīlauea Eruption. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has temporarily closed the backcountry to overnight use due to a surge in visitors coming to see the new eruption at Kīlauea volcano. Big Island Now.

HMC begins vaccinations. The first round of Pfizer vaccines was given to health care workers Wednesday at Hilo Medical Center, 273 days after the first stay-at-home order was implemented in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

‘The beginning of the end’: Frontline workers, first responders receive COVID-19 vaccine. The first 25 frontline workers at Kona Community Hospital received their initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday afternoon in Kealakekua. West Hawaii Today.

Healthcare Workers at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital Receive Vaccine.
Thirty staff members at Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital received their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday, with the remaining staff expected to receive the vaccine in the next two weeks. Big Island Now.


Maui County tops state in revenue per hotel room for month of November. County saw rise in occupancy, rates, revenue last month. Maui News.

Hospital workers first in Maui County to receive vaccine. A respiratory therapist, an emergency room physician and other Maui Memorial Medical Center staff became the first people in Maui County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early Wednesday morning. Maui News.

Maui First Responders Begin Vaccinations at UHMC Drive Up Clinic. A drive up COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held for first responders at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in Kahului today for fire personnel, police officers, paramedics and front line medical workers. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i proposes rule independent of state’s Safe Travels. The county is seeking approval to create a post-travel resort bubble program that would allow incoming travelers to test out of the quarantine after three days. Garden Island.

Mayor Kawakami requests ‘resort bubble’ alternative to Safe Travels Program. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami sent a proposal to Gov. David Ige during the week of Monday, Dec. 21, that would allow incoming Kauai passengers who received a pre-travel test to quarantine at an approved resort bubble. KHON2.

Kaua'i County proposing mandatory post-travel COVID-19 test. Kaua'i County is proposing a mandatory post-travel COVID-19 test, three days after arriving on the island. KITV4.

Aea appointed new KLA president. Newly appointed president to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Association Laola Aea is looking forward to new challenges she and her team will face in a world significantly altered by COVID-19. Garden Island.