Showing posts with label stimulus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stimulus. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Help wanted in tourist industry, no COVID-19 cases in ICU as Hawaii hits milestone, Honolulu mayor and council spar over stimulus funding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Royal Kona Resort ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii sees labor crisis in visitor industry.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is now launching an industry survey to determine the type of job skills and training that are needed in the visitor industry. KHON2.

Ige supports rebate plan: Proposal would give back $300 to most taxpayers. Gov. David Ige on Monday said an agreement by lawmakers to triple his original rebate proposal to the state’s taxpayers and their dependents is “a great move for our community.” Tribune-Herald.

Ige doesn’t anticipate return of mask mandate. Gov. David Ige said Monday he is not currently considering reinstating a mask requirement for public indoor spaces. Hawaii was the last state in the nation to lift its indoor mask mandate at the end of March. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii reaches pandemic milestone -- no COVID-19 cases in the ICU for the first time. Monday marks the first time in almost two years there are zero COVID-19 patients in intensive care units statewide. KITV4.

A key tax credit for working class families is about to expire. Some lawmakers want it extended. The Hawaii Earned Income Tax Credit is set to expire at the end of the year. A new bill proposes to extend the credit for another six years. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi is spending $417 less on services per child compared to 2005, report says. Over the course of nearly two decades, the state is spending about $400 less per child than in 2005, according to a new report from advocacy groups Hawaii Budget and Policy Center and Hawaii Children's Action Network. Hawaii Public Radio.

2022 could be a big year for Native Hawaiian issues at the Capitol. Here are the measures to know. With just four weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session, 2022 is potentially shaping up to be a big year for Native Hawaiian issues at the Capitol. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Review Board Recommends No Charges Against Police In 4 Deaths. The Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board said the officers were justified in their actions. The Hawaii Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board urged prosecutors on Oahu and the Big Island not to file charges against police involved in the deaths of four people, including a parolee who was fatally shot. Civil Beat.


Honolulu’s spending of COVID-19 relief funds questioned. City officials are still trying to decide how to spend much of $386 million awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act. Complicating the matter is a disagreement between Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration and City Council members over who gets to make spending decisions, which, in turn, is giving rise to questions about transparency and public oversight. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige pushes Board of Water Supply to repair wells to boost water supply. Oahu residents are facing mandatory restrictions on their water use, and developers could have to grapple with a moratorium on new construction as the hot, dry summer months approach — consequences of a reduction in water capacity due to 2021’s Red Hill emergency. Star-Advertiser.

State investigating after North Shore homeowner moves tons of sand in bid to protect property. The state is investigating after a North Shore homeowner used an excavator to move tons of sand in what he says was a bid to protect his and his neighbors’ homes. Homeowner Todd Dunphy acknowledged he took the action amid worsening erosion at Rocky Point Beach. Hawaii News Now.

Violent attack raises concern about crime in Waikiki. Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association President and CEO Mufi Hannemann said he plans to gather Waikiki stakeholders and law enforcement and criminal justice officials for a public safety coalition meeting the first week of May to address the crimes that have been occurring since Waikiki’s economy reopened and visitors have come back. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Honey production down, but beekeeping on Big Island remains popular. Honey production across the U.S. and Hawaii dropped in 2021, however, the beekeeping industry and craft remains popular on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Four busted for planting ‘kanaka garden’ on state land in Hilo. A longtime Hawaiian sovereignty activist and three others were cited Sunday by Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officers for their third attempt to plant what they call a “kanaka garden” at Wailoa State Recreation Area in Hilo. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Kawauchi seeks legal fees in police case. Former Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, now a private practice attorney, went public last week with her case against the county as she tried to clear the name of retired police captain Chadwick Fukui, whose charges in a 2017 case were dismissed by a judge. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Voters Set To Vote On 11 Changes To County Government. If approved in the general election this fall, the reforms would restructure county agencies, improve government ethics, promote Hawaiian culture and more. Civil Beat.

Nonprofits awarded $700K to help support farming, food security. Six nonprofits have been awarded grants to help support farmers and food security as well as youth and workforce development, Maui County announced this week. Maui News.

South Maui residents invited to online Growth Alternatives workshop. The workshop aims to gather input on growth alternatives, the type of development, and the desired density for South Maui in the next 20 years. Maui Now.


Kauai group protest controversial south shore condo development. Some Kauai residents are trying to stop a 25-acre project that includes 279 luxury units on the south shore, saying it’s too close to the Koloa Heritage Trail, also known as the Hapa Trail. Hawaii News Now.

Grants fund rental help, housing. Several anticipated grants will fuel more emergency rental assistance, affordable housing units and other community projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Legislators tackle climate change. The county’s four state lawmakers will tackle climate legislation and questions from their constituents at this Wednesday’s virtual Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum at 6 p.m. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Schatz describes next round of federal bailouts, mainland storms force Hawaii vaccination cancellations, COVID-19 case count unknown due to lab failure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sen. Brian Schatz
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz PC:Star-Advertiser video grab

Sen. Brian Schatz hopes stimulus will prevent layoffs and furloughs, among other benefits. The next round of COVID-19 related federal stimulus could be enough to prevent layoffs and furloughs of Hawaii public workers, keep island businesses afloat and prevent renters and homeowners from losing their homes while extending unemployment benefits, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii online video program Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Storms interrupt vaccine deliveries to Hawaii as the state sees a drop in cases. Bitter winter storms across much of the mainland this week so far have delayed shipment of 37,450 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Hawaii, with only 10,250 doses successfully delivered, the Department of Health reported Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


DOE Superintendent Says Better Spacing Guidance Is Needed For School Reopenings. Christina Kishimoto said she’ll meet with state health officials and lawmakers Friday to discuss how best to proceed in light of new federal guidance. Civil Beat.

House Education Committee Recommends Using CARES Act Funding to Pay Hawaii Teachers. A bill at the state legislature would use the money to pay teachers to avoid furloughs and layoffs, and it has the support of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Tax ‘Imbalance’: Would A New State Property Tax Fix It?
Some House lawmakers have hatched a complex plan to export more of Hawaii’s weighty tax burden to non-residents, but it would require an amendment to the Hawaii state Constitution and a huge leap of faith on the part of the voters. Civil Beat.

State to slash general assistance benefits as number of program recipients swells.
A key state benefits program that helps adults who are temporarily disabled and do not qualify for Social Security is being slashed. The state Department of Human Services confirmed Wednesday that the monthly check for the general assistance program will be slashed from $388 to $260 starting in March. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment benefits start flowing again for many but not all. Those waiting on the second Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation were finally able to file their claims on Monday after more than a month-long delay as the state scrambled to re-implement the federal extension program on its outdated computer system. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal Would Make Information on Inmate Deaths Public. When a Hawaii inmate dies at any of the state's jails or prisons, the state Public Safety Department is required to provide a report to the governor withing 48 hours. A legislative proposal would require that same report be made available to the public and a copy given to the inmates' family. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate Panel Kills Beef Bill. A Senate committee on Wednesday effectively killed a bill intended to impose operating restrictions on an Idaho rancher who has acquired about 70% of Hawaii’s beef processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Salina Kanai to serve as federal public defender in Hawaii.
Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have appointed Salina M. Kanai as the next federal public defender in the District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

‘NCIS: Hawaii’ appears bound for the isles. A Hawaii spinoff of the popular series based on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is in the works, but hasn’t been officially greenlit, reported. Star-Advertiser.

Proposal To Protect Pacific Corals Exempts Military Training Areas. A National Marine Fisheries Service proposal to designate 230 square miles of critical habitat for seven threatened coral species in the Pacific Ocean is getting mixed reviews from environmental advocates due to an exemption for military training areas. Civil Beat.

For a second day, Hawaii is unable to report the actual number of new COVID cases.
The state said for a second day lab reporting issues meant it was not clear how many new infections were actually reported. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 17: 29 New COVID-19 Cases And 1 Death. Low case counts this week are being attributed to a laboratory reporting error. The cases reported Wednesday included one on Hawaii Island, nine on Maui, 16 on Oahu and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Former state Senator Laura Thielen is confirmed as city parks director. The Honolulu City Council has confirmed former Hawaii State Senator Laura H. Thielen as director for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, which announced her confirmation in a press release this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu airport businesses seek added protections from state. Airport concessionaires are asking state lawmakers to write into state law the types of relief available to them during the coronavirus pandemic and other emergencies that cause significant economic hardship. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu To Pay $1.9 Million After Bus Shelter Collapsed On Woman’s Legs. The lawsuit said the city should’ve known its bus shelter wasn’t safe. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department ramps up recruitment efforts amid ongoing officer shortage. The Honolulu Police Department is 15% below its full staffing level and has sped up the application process to reduce officer vacancies. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium district redevelopment plan gets divided in 2. A state plan to redevelop the 98-acre site of Aloha Stadium in Halawa with a private partner is now a two-part endeavor. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Measure aims to boost to Banyan Drive. Big Island legislators are backing a proposal to create a redevelopment district to revitalize the Waiakea peninsula and Banyan Drive. Tribune-Herald.

The $160M question: Is upgrading Kealakehe sewer plant to R-1 worth it? Mayor Mitch Roth’s top environmental official is taking a hard look at the advisability of upgrading Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce R-1, the highest grade of recycled water, after the cost of the 20-year-old plan ballooned to $160 million. West Hawaii Today.


Maui water use plan likely pushed back again. The Maui County Council is mulling whether to again push back the adoption deadline for the Maui Island Water Use Development Plan, a blueprint for protection, management and water use over a 20-year period. Maui News.

With Maui County paying $100,000 per month in rent for office space, the administration of Mayor Michael Victorino is proposing to buy the 6.3-acre Maui News building complex and turn it into county office space. Star-Advertiser.

Talks over hospital wages continue. Maui Health System and the hospital workers’ union have scheduled more negotiating dates as the two sides remain deadlocked over raises for employees, among other issues. Maui News.

Four Visitors Arrested on Maui for Alleged Quarantine Violation. Police say all four arrived on Maui on an Oʻahu flight without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.  KHON2.


SB1286 would make travel program uniform statewide. This bill would restrict the County of Kaua‘i from enacting additional rules to the state’s already established set, like its on-going post-arrival test option to be released from quarantine. Garden Island.

Business rally at Vidinha. More than 200 business owners across the island assembled at Vidinha Stadium’s parking lot on Wednesday to organize their concerns and find a way to send them to the county and state officials in hopes of opening tourism on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Inmates to get $1200 stimulus, Honolulu maintains existing COVID-19 restrictions, coffee leaf rust hits two islands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii jail dorm ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii Inmates Can Now File For $1200 Federal Stimulus Checks.
A federal court in California has ruled that prison and jail inmates are eligible to receive federal stimulus payments under the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act, and Hawaii corrections officials are now distributing forms for prisoners to use to file for the payments. Civil Beat.

CARES Act Funding Lifted Hawaii Residents’ Incomes. The state Council on Revenues projects total personal income will actually increase by 5% this year but decline by 4% next year. Civil Beat.

Supreme Court Rejects Suit Seeking Prompt Payments For Hawaii’s Jobless. The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected a class-action lawsuit that tried to spur faster action from the state’s labor department on thousands of outstanding unemployment claims. Civil Beat.


Hawaii Lawmaker Spent Years Obstructing Vaping Regulation While Receiving Thousands From Big Tobacco. As youth vaping rates surged, powerful state lawmaker Sylvia Luke repeatedly held up anti-vaping laws while accepting nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions from tobacco companies and lobbyists. Hawaii Public Radio.

Public access: Legislation in the works to allow more online participation in government. If a global pandemic can even have a silver lining, it’s this: Public access to state and local government meetings has never been easier, especially for neighbor island residents. West Hawaii Today.


7 out of 10 patients in Hawaii hospitalized with COVID-19 are being treated with a drug called Remdesivir. Remdesivir is the same drug that was used help fight the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2016. KITV4.

Hawaii tourism struggles to gain momentum.
In the second week of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, visitor arrivals fell 25% compared with the first week.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii resorts plan for more visitors, fewer jobs. Hawaii hotels are slowly reopening, but they are also converting some temporary furloughs into permanent layoffs. Hawaii News Now.

Lessons learned from first two weeks of the state's Safe Travels platform. Since Hawaii's pre-travel testing program started two weeks ago, data from the state's Office of Enterprise Technology Services shows more than 110,000 people have come to the islands. KITV4.

More than 83,000 flew to Hawaii since Oct. 15. Since the state reopened to tourism on Oct. 15, the number of trans-Pacific air arrivals has more than quadrupled the total for all of September. Tribune-Herald.

Post-arrival surveillance testing finds a handful of Hawaii travelers with COVID-19. A handful of trans-Pacific travelers have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in the islands, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 data analyst projects spike from Halloween could come around Nov. 15. Experts say coronavirus case averages have been consistent over the past few weeks, but all it takes is one event without masks or social distancing for cases to spike. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 29: 77 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases include 60 on Oahu, eight on Hawaii island, one on Kauai and two on Lanai. Civil Beat.


Despite encouraging trend, Oahu won’t see any loosening of COVID-19 restrictions for weeks. In recent weeks Honolulu’s coronavirus numbers have been slowly declining even as the pandemic has started to rage on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor announces requirements for O'ahu to possibly move into Tier Three in third week of November. Oahu's recovery plan could potentially move into Tier Three in the third week of November if the average number of COVID-19 cases per day remain low. KITV4.

Decision on Malaekahana housing plan again postponed. The community has for years been heatedly divided on language in the proposed revised plan that would allow for up to 200 residential units on 50 acres of undeveloped land that straddles Laie and Malaekahana. Star-Advertiser.

State says Kaaawa homeowner who chopped down trees fronting shoreline had no permit; neighbors are outraged. Conflict is brewing on Oahu’s North Shore after a homeowner illegally chopped down multiple trees along the coastline in Kaaawa, creating concerns among residents about erosion. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Coffee leaf rust hits Hawaii Island. A sample of a rust fungus collected at a residence in Hilo has been tentatively identified by the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Hilo as coffee leaf rust. West Hawaii Today.

Data-Collecting Vehicle Sensors Installed On East Hawaii Highways. The connected vehicle sensors anonymously collect data from Bluetooth-enabled devices in passing vehicles, and calculate travel times between units in order to optimize traffic signal timing, HDOT says. Big Island Video News.

Fairmont Orchid to Reopen in Mid-November. The reopening includes guest services as well as food and beverage venues, including Brown’s Beach House, Hale Kai, Brown’s Deli, and Spa Without Walls. Big Island Now.


Single Positive COVID-19 Result Out of 700 Participants in Maui Post-Arrival Voluntary Test. More than 700 participants have taken COVID-19 tests as part of the County of Maui’s free voluntary post-arrival testing program, which started Oct. 17. Maui Now.

Coffee leaf rust threatens Hawaii’s coffee industry. A notorious new pest has landed on Maui, and coffee growers across the islands fear the plant disease could devastate — and maybe even transform — the $54 million industry in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

State alleges company violated stream-flow levels. Wailuku Water Co., which owns a water delivery system used for Maui County drinking water, was given notice recently for failing to meet state standards for in-stream flows on three Na Wai ‘Eha waterways in the West Maui Mountains. Maui News.

Ka‘ahumanu Avenue Community Corridor Project Announced. Maui County residents are invited to participate in a study to create a new vision for the roadway corridor along Ka‘ahumanu Avenue and Main Street in Wailuku. Maui Now.


Kollar: All must obey virus rules. Eight of the 14 people arrested on Kaua’i for allegedly violating the 14-day mandatory quarantine since the state’s reopening were out-of-state visitors. Garden Island.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hawaii doesn't meet federal criteria to reopen, RIMPAC 'ready to flex' anyway, 1/3 of residents on unemployment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

RIMPAC Facebook page
Strapping a M777A2 towed 155 mm howitzer to a U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion at Pyramid Rock Beach, Hawaii in 2018. RIMPAC Facebook photo
Hawaii Gov Asks RIMPAC Participants Not To Disembark. Governor David Ige is asking the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to disallow participating personnel aboard the ships to disembark during the international military excersise set for this summer. Big Island Video News.

Navy ‘ready to flex’ Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii despite coronavirus outbreak. The Navy is still hoping to hold the big Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise scheduled mainly through July off Hawaii — but suggested it is looking at modifying the international interoperability drills to do so. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii doesn’t meet federal guidelines to lift quarantine orders by May 1. While Hawaii is among the states with the fewest coronavirus cases, it still does not meet the criteria to reopen May 1. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige: Hawaii doesn’t meet the criteria to start reopening. Officials say that this downward trend is good news and that we’re beginning to flatten the curve. But a lot still needs to be done in order to reopen the state. KHON2.

Gov. Ige: 'We do not meet criteria to re-open May 1' as President Trump encouraged. While there were only 11 new positive cases on Thursday, and it appears Hawai‘i is flattening the curve, the state currently doesn’t meet the criteria for a phased opening. KITV4.

Trump Issues Criteria For Reopening Nation, Hawaii Says Not Ready. Governor David Ige says the State does not meet the criteria for phase one, which requires a downward trajectory in cases for a 14-day period. Big Island Video News.

New Federal Guidelines Issued for Reopening of States. Despite the state’s continued downward trend in COVID-19 cases, Hawai‘i does not satisfy the Federal Government’s criteria for a phased economic reopening. Big Island Now.


Should the State use federal funds to pay for rapid antibody tests? Lt. Gov. Josh Green said they should. Imagine being able to tell if someone is immune to COVID-19. The rapid antibody test does exactly that in less than two minutes. KHON2.

CARES money uncertain: State budget woes may eat into neighbor island money. As the state struggles to resurrect an economy sucker-punched by the coronavirus, there were no guarantees Thursday that the neighbor islands will see their fair share of a federal bailout of local governments. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii’s New ‘Economic Navigator’ Has A Murky Journey Ahead. Alan Oshima, a former utility chief executive, faces the daunting task of crafting a long-term economic plan that people can agree on. Civil Beat.

Fed Grants For Small Businesses Run Out. Hawaii firms that acted fast got more than $1.6 billion to pay workers. Civil Beat.


1/3 of Hawaii’s labor force files unemployment claims. More than one-third of Hawaii’s labor force has filed unemployment claims, according to the latest state data as the islands effectively shut down large sectors of the economy to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Associated Press.

Unemployment in Hawaii tops 37% as coronavirus shutdown continues. More than 1 in 3 workers in Hawaii has lost a job as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, new figures from the state Labor Department show. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii Supreme Court: Inmate Release To Be Considered By Judges. The court also required that motions for release be filed by April 20. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s coronavirus cases rise to 541, up 11. Hawaii Department of Health officials said today that the state’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 541, up 11 from Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Reports 11 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports 11 new COVID-19 cases since Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 541. Big Island Now.

State encourages use of telehealth services to maintain social distancing. The state Department of Health launched a new online portal compiling resources for residents to conduct health-related appointments remotely. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor: Lifting stay-at-home order is not like 'ripping off a Band-Aid’. Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday outlined the criteria for lifting the city’s stay-at-home order, saying it will be done in phases as it’s safe to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Salary Commission members unanimously vote no to city officials’ raises. In light of the economic crisis facing the city and the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many furloughed or laid off, elected officials and citizens objected to the nearly across-the-board 3% pay raises on the list, many of whom already make well over $100,000. Star-Advertiser.


HART considers a huge $70M-to-$100M ‘change order’ for rail. Rail officials are proposing a complex change order worth $70 million to $100 million that would expand the amount of work to be done by contractor Shimmick/Traylor/Granite JV, which is now building the rail guideway and stations through the airport area. Star-Advertiser.

HART Explores Ways To Keep Rail Work Going Amid COVID-19 Setbacks Can rail’s current primary contractor, STG, build more of the guideway to pick up the slack? Civil Beat.


Paused For Pandemic, Honolulu Homeless Sweeps To Resume. The city says it wants to help unsheltered homeless people to isolate themselves during the pandemic. Civil Beat.


Visitor to Oahu is arrested for violating travel quarantine rules. A woman who flew to Honolulu without a place to stay was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating emergency rules in place because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Mainland woman arrested for allegedly violating 14-day quarantine. Honolulu Police have arrested a 37-year-old homeless woman from the mainland for violating the state’s 14-day quarantine for travelers. Hawaii News Now.

Visitor suspected of listing fake address as hotel arrested. Honolulu police arrested a visitor who they say flew into Oahu and lied about where she was staying. KHON2.

Visitor arrested for breaking stay at home order. So far this week 388 visitors flew into Hawaii despite the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals and stay-at-home orders. KITV4.


A runner can trail droplets up to 30 feet directly behind, researchers say. With gyms closed, popular jogging paths from Diamond Head to Kailua Beach are more crowded than ever with walkers and runners. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

108 inmates on Big Isle seek early release because of pandemic. The state Supreme Court ordered the Hawaii Paroling Authority to “expeditiously address requests for early parole” for prisoners because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Cluster of cases associated with Kona McDonald’s increases to 13. A additional person associated with a pair of McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona has tested positive for COVID-19, state health officials announced Thursday afternoon. West Hawaii Today.

New COVID-19 Case Identified in Kona Cluster. One new positive COVID-19 case was identified within the Kona cluster among the McDonald’s restaurants, officials reported Thursday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Before coronavirus, Merrie Monarch was scheduled to run this week. Now organizers are struggling to issue refunds. Organizers of the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo continue to issue refunds for tickets to the hula competition, which would have taken place this week, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


County manager vote Friday. The Maui County Council will decide Friday whether voters in November should weigh in on a long-debated charter amendment to hire a professional manager to oversee county operations. Maui News.

Commission: MVB should get no county funds. The county Cost of Government Commission is recommending no county funding in the next budget year for the Maui Visitors Bureau, which helps promote tourism and received a $3 million grant from the county for the current fiscal year. Maui News.

Hale Makua Health Reports 3rd COVID-19 Case: 2 Home Health Patients, 1 Kahului Nursing Home Resident. Hale Makua Health Services has a newly confirmed COVID-19 positive case.  Maui Now.

Third Hale Makua senior has COVID-19; home patient isolated, asymptomatic. Another senior with Hale Makua Health Services has tested positive for coronavirus after time spent at Maui Memorial hospital, Hale Makua officials said Thursday afternoon. Maui News.


Resident loan program rolls out. A new loan program from the county will assist Kaua‘i residents while they wait for unemployment benefits. Garden Island.

Emergency ag loans available. The state Board of Agriculture Thursday approved an emergency loan program for farmers, growers and ranchers across the state who are suffering economically due to the COVID-19 situation. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Legislature seeks agriculture self-sufficiency, gas hits record high price, Marines eye Molokai, plastic bag ban moving through Honolulu council, $200M ceded lands settlement set for ceremonial signing, statewide Foodbank cites shortages, Big Island fish farm approved without public hearings, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Big Island cattle (c) 2012 All Hawaii News
A proposal headed to the state Senate could help Hawaii double its locally grown food supply by 2020. Associated Press.

The state has spent about $30 million in stimulus funds provided by the White House in the past three years. Civil Beat.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie is scheduled to put his signature on a historic $200 million settlement between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Wednesday. Associated Press.

Governor Neil Abercrombie will sign Senate Bill 2783 into law next week, effectively sealing a $200 million settlement land deal between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Maui Now.

The state Senate approved a resolution Wednesday calling for an audit of state agencies and long-time department practices that can give employees excessive amounts of nonbase compensation, such as overtime and unpaid leave. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature is eager to pass legislation to attract more film production in the islands. Civil Beat.

Free wireless Internet access will be available in public libraries statewide beginning on Monday, April 2. Associated Press.

Gas prices continued their march upward in Hawaii this week, with the statewide average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline hitting a record price on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Linda Lingle
Lingle: Women Voters Care About Finances, Jobs, Families - Not Just Contraception. Hawaii Reporter.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee wants to give more money to Hawaii's public schools to help them tackle ambitious reform initiatives. Associated Press.

Its cupboards aren't bare, but with just a 13-day supply of food on hand, the Hawaii Foodbank is asking for donations from the community. Star-Advertiser.


In one of the oddities of a tumultuous election year, state Rep. Kymberly Pine will run against City Councilman Tom Berg, her former aide and ally in driving the anti-tax, less government message of the tea party movement. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu consumers and businesses would be eased into a plastic bag ban under a bill moving through the City Council. Star-Advertiser.

Citing doubts about the Hawaii Legislature's ability to pass a statewide single-use checkout bag fee this year, the Honolulu City Council Wednesday took a major step forward toward a temporary Oahu-only fee on plastic bags. Civil Beat.

Bills that would allow people who keep horses on agricultural lands to once again be eligible for significant tax breaks was advanced by the City Council's Budget Committee on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

There are a dozen bills pending at the State Legislature relating to dogs …and improving their lives.  But at the Honolulu City Council … the issue today was about Horses and how to prevent them from becoming homeless. Hawaii Public Radio.

Federal Stimulus Still Not Stimulating Many Jobs at Local Biorefinery Plant. Civil Beat.

Six members of the Occupy Honolulu movement pleaded no contest to charges of violating city rules at Thomas Square Park last November. KHON2.

State officials are trying to identify the species of a live bat a man was playing with at the Honolulu airport. Hawaii News Now.

A capital improvement project for Kewalo Basin Harbor valued at $18 million may hinge on a public-private partnership between the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Almar Management Inc. KITV4.

The State is taking another step forward on its master plan for the Diamond Head State Monument. KHON2.


Repairs are under way to the zip line platforms at the course where a construction worker fell to his death in September when a 30-foot platform collapsed. But an engineer observing the work says other zip lines on the Big Island may contain the same fatal flaws. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii County Council spent two hours in closed session Wednesday afternoon, emerging with no decision on a settlement offer from the attorney representing three fired Elections Office employees. West Hawaii Today.

A Seattle-based developer is seeking to build the Big Island’s first Holiday Inn Express in Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.

DOH gives fish farm permit No public hearing held by agency. West Hawaii Today.

Bank of Hawaii is donating a North Kohala building and land worth $440,600 that the county Parks and Recreation Department and Office of Aging plan to use for community programs. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has announced the release of $600,000 in Capital Improvement Project funds for road improvements in the Pu’uwaawaa area of Mamalahoa Highway. Associated Press.


A public meeting is planned this Friday to discuss two upcoming projects at the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor in West Maui. Maui Now.

The Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors  announced the appointment of Lisa Varde, as executive director. Maui Now.


County departments have agreed to recommendations from a fuel use audit that cites concerns about accountability and billing practices. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Darryl Perry to use $300,000 of the department’s asset forfeiture funds to begin work on a police substation that ultimately would cost $6 million. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i County Fire Department on Wednesday reopened two North Shore beaches — Hae‘ena and Ke‘e —  that had been closed Tuesday due to dangerous surf conditions. Garden Island.


The U.S. Marine Corps is looking to expand their presence in Hawaii, and some of their proposed operations may take place on Molokai. Molokai Dispatch.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hawaii stimulus job creation debated, more agencies want more money, Senate doesn't have a prayer, 2010 driest on record, more news from the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii grows more corn for seed than for eating, and the seed industry is the new sugar for Hawaii, accounting for more than a third of all farmgate revenue in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

The year 2010 was among the driest on record, according to year-end rainfall totals reported by the National Weather Service. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County officials expect a finding of no significant impact in the county's draft environmental assessment of a planned agriculture park on 1,739 acres of Kapulena farmland. West Hawaii Today.

Dwight Takamine's effort to help rebuild the job market on the Hamakua Coast after the collapse of the Big Island's sugar industry is indicative of the passion he will bring to his new job as head of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, his supporters say. Star-Advertiser.

A commission created to oversee and evaluate how American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money is being spent has problems with the estimates of how many local jobs were created or saved by the stimulus dollars. Hawaii Reporter.

State Senate leaders will recommend that the Senate end the invocations traditionally offered by clergy before floor sessions to avoid intruding on the separation between church and state. Star-Advertiser.

And the state Senate seat goes to ... Neil Abercrombie's East Hawaii campaign chairman. West Hawaii Today.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday announced his choice to replace Sen. Russell Kokubun, who has taken the job of Department of Agriculture director. KITV4.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has named leaders of state agencies that focus on youths, the elderly, taxation, and consumer affairs. Associated Press.

Hawaii schools got a C-plus in an annual report that grades the quality of the nation's public education systems, coming in slightly higher than the national average but lower than 19 other states. Star-Advertiser.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee continued its week-long review of the executive budget. Today, the Department of Human Services provided its fiscal overview. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Department of Human Services is asking for funding increases of 16 percent and 20 percent over the next two years — mostly due to increased costs for health-care services for low-income adults and children. Civil Beat.

Interim DHS director Pat McManaman told a Senate money committee Tuesday she needs $2.3 billion in 2012 and $2.4 billion in 2013 to fund a basic budget, plus emergency money that tops $100 million. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii says it needs $1.9 million to tighten its Web security and lessen the chance of future data breaches of individual privacy. Star-Advertiser.

The Walt Disney Co. will be the 2011 sponsor of the Hawaii Minority Business Advisory Committee, part of the Hawaii Minority Supplier Certification. Pacific Business News.

It's like finding a needle in a haystack. That's what a member of the Illegal Fireworks Task Force said Tuesday about the importation of aerials, outlawed in Hawaii since 1994. KHON2.

Hundreds of law enforcement, military and federal officials met in Waikiki on Tuesday for briefings and presentations on the security concerns surrounding the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. KITV4.

Kamehameha Schools increased security this week, bringing in state sheriffs deputies to patrol its Kalihi campus and its Kakaako administrative offices because of a “potential threat” by a recent graduate. KITV4.

Schofield resident Jenny Rogers was with friends at Young Guns in Mapunapuna Saturday, browsing the aisles of the gun store. Star-Advertiser.

Upper Kula residents and businesses are being advised to boil water after heavy rains washed out approximately 60 feet of waterline near Kawehi Place in Kula. Maui News.

Kaua‘i law enforcement officers say they are cracking down on prescription drug abuse, calling it a “serious and growing problem in our community.” Garden Island.

Experts and long-time residents emphasized Lualualei Valley’s cultural and agricultural significance in testimony last week to the State Land Use Commission (LUC). The nine commission members will decide in May whether 96 acres of agricultural land will be reclassified for urban use—namely for Tropic Land LLC’s construction of a proposed light industrial park. Hawaii Independent.

A subscription-based journalism website is allowing occasional readers to access its content for free in an evolving effort to make money from online news. Associated Press.

Mayor Alan Arakawa announced today that applications are still being accepted for Boards, Councils, Commissions and Committees. Molokai Dispatch.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Akaka Bill heading for vote, UH scientists predict oil spread, civil union veto could hurt tourism, Inouye talks stimulus funding, more Hawaii news

A vote in the U.S. Senate on allowing Native Hawaiians to form their own government could come this month following a deal between Hawaii's Democratic senators and the state's Republican governor. Associated Press.

The Akaka bill on Wednesday cleared a groundbreaking hurdle and now a vote could come down this month in the U.S. Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Linda Lingle has agreed to strongly support a native Hawaiian federal recognition bill after U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka promised to insert changes to protect the state's regulatory power. Star-Advertiser.

The Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, known as the Akaka Bill, could soon be on its way to a vote in the U.S Senate. KHON2.

Gov. Linda Lingle stood her ground on the Akaka Bill — and in the end it means she had her way. Civil Beat.

A team of University of Hawaii researchers has produced a long-range computer simulation with new details showing where the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could spread. Star-Advertiser.

The state is losing more than a half million dollars a year because it's leasing a building it already owns near Honolulu International Airport. KITV.

Despite the stakes for public education and the attention given to the issue by Gov. Linda Lingle, none of the candidates for governor has made the structure of the state Board of Education a significant part of their education platforms.Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of legislation to grant civil unions to same-sex couples is generating rumblings of a possible boycott of tourism-dependent Hawaii. Associated Press.

Civil Union Supporters Mount Hawaii Boycott. KITV.

Lawmakers are aware this is still a hot issue but are hopeful constituents don't lose sight of other legislative accomplishments this session. But that may be a tough sell. KHON2.

While many have voiced their opinion on House Bill 444, one gubernatorial candidate's stance remained unclear. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Linda Lingle has allowed the following 24 bills to go into law without her signature.  Six of the bills were on the Governor’s potential veto list that she submitted to the Legislature on June 21. KHON2.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) Wed- nesday heard from Hawaii agencies pleased with the millions they have received in federal stimulus money. KITV.

When Inouye conducted a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee at the Hawaii State Capitol Wednesday, a contingent of eight Capitol Police from Washington, D.C., lined the hall and the hearing room. They were backed up by three state sheriffs. KITV.

Maui County last to enact cell ban. Maui News.

Proposed new rules regarding conservation and coastal lands would allow for more land uses, like creating renewable energy, and for routine property maintenance, state officials said. West Hawaii Today.

Shoppers at Borders Books and Music in Hilo were greeted Tuesday by signs announcing that the store is closing. Tribune-Herald.

By continuing to chop rates, Maui hoteliers boosted occupancy to 60.5 percent in May, according to the Smith Travel Research statistics published by Hospitality Advisors in Honolulu. Maui News.

Vacation packages and Hollywood’s renewed presence on island are the most likely reasons for the recent improvements to certain economic indicators in the visitor industry, county officials said Wednesday. Garden Island.

Hawaii County will soon start allowing owners of more than 150,000 Big Island vehicles to renew their yearly registrations online, a senior administrator said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Stacy Jeffrey discovered aviation not through movies or books, but through a chance encounter with a set of French doors. West Hawaii Today.

She may be a political rookie, but Elle Cochran’s fiery ambition and enthusiastic personality prove she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to campaigning for a seat on the Maui County Council. Molokai Dispatch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Federal bailout reaching few, businesses struggle in sour economy, Kilauea grumbling, other top news

Federal contracts pumped $122.4 million into Hawaii's economy while saving or creating 250 jobs as of early October, according to a federal government Web site that tracks stimulus spending.

Demonstrating that a by-now-familiar phenomenon can still dish out surprises, Kilauea Volcano sent lava over an old access road to Kalapana late last week in a smoky show of deja vu.

From the mom-and-pops to the largest employing thousands of workers, Hawaii's seasoned businesses have paved the way during Hawaii's first 50 years as a state. The cultural diversity that has created Hawaii's unique environment has also flavored its business community, creating a strong, varied economic base.

When anchors Lisa Kubota, Steve Uyehara and Grace Lee sign on the morning show today on KGMB9 and KHNL, it will mark a new era in Hawaii broadcasting.

Hawaii's medical marijuana program will be the subject of a public meeting on Tuesday.

Heavy rains over Windward Oahu on Sunday made for treacherous driving conditions, leaving many stuck in the mud.

Hawaii Island's world class observatories celebrated the International Year of Astronomy by opening their Hilo headquarters Saturday for a "Galileo Block Party" that featured free tours, music and science demonstrations.

Agriculture has been one of the linchpins of the Big Island economy.Yet with all the lip service county officials give agriculture and agricultural sustainability, they've been reluctant to put their money where their mouth is.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares will host an informational meeting Tuesday on the impact of planned layoffs in the state Department of Agriculture's Plant Pest Control Branch and of furloughs of agricultural inspectors.

Collectively, the fathers of Pat Pablo, Becky Komaki and Roland Pablo have more than 160 years of service to the Gay & Robinson sugar plantation.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Federal bailout: Will it help Hawaii?

Will the economic stimulus package that passed the U.S. House yesterday help state government balance its budget? Depends whom you ask.

A lot, says U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii.

Abercrombie says the state would see more than $2.3 billion from the House’s version of the bailout. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a measure next week.

“Our legislature is facing huge gaps between the demand for the basic services and the money to pay for them: state funding for schools, unemployment benefits for those whose jobs have disappeared, and funding to keep the most basic medical care available for people who have nowhere else to turn,” Abercrombie said in a statement.

Not so much, says the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The public policy group says the amount that would go to states to help them maintain current activities is approximately $150 billion to $155 billion — or roughly 40 percent to 45 percent of projected state deficits.

“A substantial amount of funding in the House package beyond the $150 billion to $155 billion would flow through states or be administered by them.,” the group said in a Jan. 26 article. “But states would not be allowed to apply these other funds to the $350 billion in estimated budget shortfalls, a figure that represents the gap in state operating budgets and does not include local government shortfalls.”

Only with more budget cuts, says Gov. Linda Lingle’s Finance Director, Georgina Kawamura.

Her Jan. 27 letter to Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim balances the budget with an additional 2-percent across-the-board cut in discretionary spending and by increasing the withdrawal from the rainy day fund from $40 million to $60 million.