Showing posts with label teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teachers. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Money flows to lawmakers during legislative session, Honolulu mayor rejects Alaska homeless, COVID-19 sends Maui council back to remote meeting, another Big Isle death from dog packs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ban On Fundraisers? Hawaii Legislators Continued To Rake In Campaign Cash During Session. Many found ways to raise big donations even though a new law was intended to limit the influence of special interest money. Civil Beat.

Alaska mayor’s plan to send homeless to warmer cities gets pushback in Hawaii. The mayor of Alaska’s largest city says he’s planning to send some of the state’s homeless to warmer cities, citing a lack of shelter space as winter approaches. The program is already getting pushback, including from Honolulu’s mayor. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii DOE Has Changed Up Its Teacher Recruitment And Early Results Are Promising. The department has made 690 local and 277 out-of-state hires to start the school year.  There are around 300 vacant positions in the system now, compared to over 1,000 vacancies at the start of the last school year. Civil Beat.

US Department of Energy funding to support state renewable energy network.  The U.S. Department of Energy named 67 winners for its Energizing Rural Communities Prize. One of them is Shake Energy Collaborative in Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands struggling to fill dozens of vacancies. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is positioned to build thousands of homes, but it's the positions behind the desk that first need to be filled. KITV4.

UH sets new record in extramural funding with $515.9 million. For a second year in a row, the University of Hawaii has set a record in extramural funding, pulling in $515.9 million for fiscal year 2023 and surpassing its prior peak by $10.9 million, UH officials announced. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors spent $2B in June, mostly on Maui and Oahu. Neighbor Island visitor spending through first half of 2023 outpacing 2019. Visitors to Hawaii spent $2 billion in June — more than any other month during the record-breaking year before the pandemic — with nearly three-quarters of that total coming from tourists on Maui and Oahu.  Maui News.

Ambitious public housing plan focuses on creating thousands of new units — quickly.  The state’s public housing authority plans to build more than 10,000 affordable units over a decade. Past projects may have failed to build enough housing, but the executive director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority told Hawaii News Now the $6.6 billion plan is different. Hawaii News Now.


New city traffic study finds 7 in 10 drivers failed at yield for pedestrians at busy intersection. Hawaii Kai residents are calling for safer crosswalks. The plea comes following a new city traffic study conducted at nine areas with high traffic incidents. Researchers found 71% of drivers failed to yield for pedestrians at the intersection of Lunalilo Home Road and Kaumakani Street in east Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Audit finds improvements in city hiring shortfalls. An audit into the city’s 2,458 job vacancies is revealing an outdated system and lengthy hiring process. As a result, the city is making improvements to the system. KHON2.

King Tide Leads To New Release Of Partially Treated Wastewater Near Pearl Harbor. The military said water in the area remained safe to use but warned another discharge may occur as ocean conditions persist. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Spectrum News.

Invasive Species Are Rampant On Oahu And Stakeholders Are Calling Out DOA. The department said it is taking an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to the issue. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi could see a big hurricane season, but most homes aren't ready.
  Two-thirds of the single-family homes on Oʻahu, an island of 1 million people that's home to Honolulu, have no hurricane protections. Associated Press.

Powering O‘ahu 24/7 for 60 Years. Behind the scenes at the Kahe Power Plant, which opened in 1963 and still generates firm power to supplement solar- and wind-generated electricity. Hawaii Business magazine.

Hawaii Island

Police: Ocean View man killed by dogs in ‘horrific attack’.  Hawaii island police are investigating the death of a man who was reportedly attacked by four dogs in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision Monday morning. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  KHON2. KITV4.

Look South of Hilo for Affordable Homes in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i Island’s overall median price has been relatively steady this year, but the lowest priced deals – including many inexpensive vacant lots – can often be found in Puna. Hawaii Business magazine.

DHHL awards 15 subsistence-ag lots in Panaewa.  Fifteen Department of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries became the first to be awarded subsistence-agricultural lots Saturday at the Keaukaha Elementary School gymnasium. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council meeting to be held remotely Friday due to COVID-19 cases.  Due to several cases of COVID-19 within the Legislative Branch, Council Chair Alice L. Lee determined that Friday’s council meeting will be held remotely via Bluejeans. Maui Now.

NOAA announces $17M for infrastructure improvements at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will invest $17 million from the Inflation Reduction Act in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary to improve the climate resilience of the Kīhei, Maui visitor and community center.  Maui Now.

Betty’s Beach Cafe in Lahaina to reopen after inspection
.  The state Department of Health Food Safety Branch has allowed Betty’s Beach Cafe in Lahaina to reopen after closing it last week due to a cockroach infestation. Star-Advertiser.


State suspends bus services at four Kaua‘i schools amid driver shortage.  Kapa‘a High School, Kapa‘a Middle School, Kapa‘a Elementary School and Hanalei Elementary School will see canceled services on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Waimea middle school principal removed from position. The principal of Waimea Canyon Middle School has been removed from her position in the midst of increasing complaints from parents, teachers and students. Garden Island.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Hawaii short health-care workers, teachers, corrections officers; cash flows to legislators during session, coffee labeling bill advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Consider Higher Bar For Labeling Hawaii Coffee. The label “Kona Coffee” could no longer used by coffee distributors unless more than half of the blended beans were in fact from Kona if a bill moving through the Legislature becomes law. Civil Beat.

Campaign Cash Flowed To Hawaii Senators Just Before An Energy Bill Vote. Reform Measures Won’t Stop It. A bill would prohibit lobbyists from cutting checks to lawmakers during the legislative session, but wouldn't prevent other people with an interest in legislation from writing checks. Civil Beat.

Bills to repeal Hawaii Tourism Authority advance. Two bills are moving forward to repeal the embattled Hawaii Tourism Authority this legislative session, which could prove one of the more contentious for the agency since state lawmakers gave it life in 1998. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Are Focusing On Hawaii’s Youngest Residents As Other Education Measures Stall. Proposals to increase preschool attendance and stabilize child care centers are receiving the most attention in this legislative session. Civil Beat.

To stem exodus of preschool teachers, lawmakers consider using taxpayer dollars to boost their pay. Hawaii preschools say a shortage of qualified teachers is making Hawaii’s childcare crisis even worse. Now, lawmakers are considering using taxpayer money to give some underpaid educators a raise. Hawaii News Now.

Resurrected afterschool proposal gets approval from Senate committee.  House Bill 69 would give an additional $2.5 million to the DOE's Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, & Health (REACH) program for middle and intermediate school students. Hawaii Public Radio.

Reports show more healthcare workers leaving Hawaii. According to a recent survey from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, vacancy rates went from 10% in 2019, to 17% in 2022. KHON2.

Waitlists grow for Hawaii’s long-term care facilities. For years, Hawaii’s long-term care facilities, which include nursing homes, have been dealing with staffing shortages, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Today the situation has only gotten worse, with long-term care facilities operating in crisis mode. Star-Advertiser.

Labor conflict in Hawaii’s shipping industry playing out at Legislature.  The dispute is largely, or at least partly, between different factions of organized labor, and it could affect the prices and availability of goods. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s state prisons face severe staff shortages. The confirmation hearing for Tommy Johnson to lead the state Department of Public Safety revealed a deep and complex rift between guards and the department over chronic staff shortages, absences and overtime. Star-Advertiser.


DOH: Fecal bacteria in Kailua Bay exceeds permitted levels; Stay out. The public is advised to avoid Kailua Bay until further notice after wastewater was discharged into the ocean, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

State considers closing financial gap to buy Maunawili Valley. More than a thousand acres of Maunawili are privately owned, and for years community members have been raising funds to buy it. Now, with the state’s help, they hope to restore agricultural land and preserve cultural and historical sites. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Permit granted for Ka‘u-based satellite receiver array. The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics plans to install a system of 10 satellite dishes 20 feet in diameter on a two-acre site on a larger 10.7-acre parcel in Wood Valley in order to observe faint radio pulses from deep space. Tribune-Herald.

60th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival kicks off with Ho‘olaule‘a. Seven halau and a taiko drum group were to entertain an anticipated crowd of hundreds, perhaps thousands, starting at 9 a.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Merrie Monarch Week: The ‘unofficial’ events.  The action during the upcoming 60th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo on the Big Island isn’t just confined to the official events at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium and Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Big Island Now.


Bissen’s Spending Plan For Maui Targets Affordable Housing And A Rainy Day Fund. His $1.23 billion spending plan for Maui, Lanai and Molokai is only slightly higher than fiscal year 2023’s $1.21 billion spending plan — the largest budget in county history.  Civil Beat.

Maui experts hope to catch up in battling coquis, Little Fire Ants, miconia. Christy Martin and Teya Penniman have spent more than 20 years successfully leading the fight against alien species on Maui, including the coqui frogs and Little Fire Ants. But they warn budget cutbacks in recent years have hurt their efforts. Maui Now.

Mokulele Airlines struggles to win the trust of its kamaʻāina passengers. Mokulele Airlines serves as a lifeline for the Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi communities, especially for critical medical appointments and off-island work. However, residents say they can no longer depend on Mokulele to get them there.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Kaua‘i police warn of Craigslist apartment rental scams. The already herculean task of finding an affordable apartment on Kaua‘i has been made more difficult by a recent rash of fake listings aimed at scamming tenants. Garden Island.

Therapists to analyze ‘climate psychology’ at next Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum. The Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum – made up of local environmental groups Zero Waste Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Climate Action Coalition and the Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Chapter – will discuss “climate psychology” at its next online meeting. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Senate 'bullies' create chaos, Hawaii ranked worst state for doctors, Red Hill families drank fuel and antifreeze, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate ‘Bullies’ Are Creating Chaos At The Capitol This Year. Donovan Dela Cruz and Michelle Kidani have taken political strong-arming to an alarming level as they work to control business and financial issues, their colleagues say.  Two powerful state senators are pressuring colleagues to derail confirmation of Scott Glenn to lead the Hawaii Office of Planning and Sustainable Development. Civil Beat.

Future of DBEDT confirmation up to nominee. The troubled Cabinet nomination of the head of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is up to acting Director Chris Sadayasu to decide whether he wants to take his confirmation vote to the full 25-member Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Republicans Don’t Get Many Bills Passed, But They’re Playing A Long Game. The minority caucus agrees it needs more members to get things done, but there is disagreement on how to get there. Civil Beat.

‘Misleading’ macadamia nut products prompt legislation in Hawaii. A kamaaina company that claims to be the biggest seller of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts has collided at the Legislature with local macadamia producers over whether Hawaii-branded products containing foreign macadamias should say so. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers consider bill that will allow counselors to file restraining orders for minors. A bill to let trained professionals petition for restraining orders on behalf of minors is now being discussed in the Hawaii state house. Senate Bill 45 includes counselors and other mental health professionals. KITV4.

State's newest homelessness coordinator pitches idea for ʻOhana Zone incentives. The state's homelessness coordinator wants ʻOhana Zone developments to get the same exemptions as affordable housing projects. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teacher Housing Has Been Only In Rural Areas, But That Could Change. Proposed legislation would fund a pilot program with locations in urban Oahu. Civil Beat.

Amid ongoing physician shortage, Hawaii ranked worst state for doctors. Analysts from the financial planning website WalletHub looked at all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and evaluated several factors across two key dimensions: “opportunity and competition” and “medical environment.” When it came to opportunity and competition, Hawaii ranked dead last. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. in ‘better place’ since pandemic, CDC director says during Hawaii visit. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to become more nimble as a result of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Not Just Fuel: Red Hill Families Drank Antifreeze Too, Lawsuit Says. The Pearl Harbor area residents who drank and showered in fuel-tainted water in 2021 were also exposed to antifreeze, which the Navy used as a fuel additive, according to an amended lawsuit complaint filed on Monday.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Board of Water Supply confirms trace amounts of PFAS were found in Waipio well. The state's Board of Water Supply announced Friday that trace amounts of perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, were found in the Waipio Heights Wells Pumping Station last month during a routine test. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health, safety concerns raised over homeless at State Library. A growing homeless encampment by the Hawaii State Library is raising concerns with library users and nearby residents. They’re calling on the state to do a better job in cleaning the area. KHON2.

A New Recipe: This Program Puts Oahu Inmates In College Cooking Courses. Kapiolani Community College has offered courses to women at the Women's Community Correctional Facility since 2008. Civil Beat.

Keeaumoku Street safety in the works. Under the Honolulu “Complete Streets” program, the city Department of Transportation Services proposes a project along Keeaumoku Street — from Kapiolani Boulevard to Wilder Avenue — to include protected bicycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and pedestrian-­crossing improvements. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii AG: Imprisoned Prison Guard Shouldn’t Get His Job Back. The state says the labor board exceeded its authority and made a "clearly erroneous" decision regarding Jonathan Taum. The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is appealing a decision by the state labor board that requires that a corrections sergeant who is serving a federal prison term be reinstated with back pay to his job at the Hilo jail. Civil Beat.

Funding requests for the Big Isle’s hospitals slashed. Gov. Josh Green requested that $50 million from the state budget be used to expand Hilo Medical Center, but when the House released its initial budget on Thursday, the amount was cut in half to $25 million. Tribune-Herald.

Progress on Hilo sewage plant. A plan to renovate the decrepit Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant is now a two-part project. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting On Waikoloa Road Project Set For March 30. The pavement removal/replacement project is scheduled to begin in May 2023 and run through April 2024. Big Island Video News.


Want to fix the food system? Maui’s Polipoli Farms aims to help local farmers do just that. Lehia Apana recently won a $10,000 grant from Dove Chocolate to help grow her food hub project.  Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple announces leadership transition. Maui Land & Pineapple announced today the appointment of Race Randle as CEO and Scot Sellers as Chairman, effective April 1, 2023. Maui Now.

Repairs underway for historic church damaged by storm. Ke‘anae Congregational Church has been closed due to safety hazards since 2021. Maui News.


Wilcox earns national patient safety award.
The Wilcox Medical Center received the Healthgrades 2023 Patient Safety Excellence Award that places Wilcox among the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading marketplace connecting patients and providers. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i DOCARE presence nearly doubles as 41 new officers commissioned. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources significantly bolstered its ranks on Monday, as 41 new Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers were deployed for their first assignments Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Legislature kills tax breaks on food and medicine, teacher and doctor retention falls, Senate to vote on bill legalizing recreational marijuana, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii lawmakers kill excise food tax exemption, but other proposed relief lives on. The proposal to end Hawaii’s 4.5% excise tax on food and medicine has died at the state Legislature, but there is still millions of dollars in income tax relief still on the table as the 2023 session nears its midpoint. Hawaii News Now.

Key state Senate vote today on measure aimed at physician retention. A bill that would exempt medical providers from the state’s general excise tax for treating Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE patients will be voted on today in the Senate. Tribune-Herald.

Report: Teacher Turnover Increases In Hawaii. Hawaii saw a 12.3% uptick in turnover of public school teachers during the 2021-2022 academic year compared with the school year that began in fall 2017, according to an employment report by the state Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Bill To Legalize Weed Set For Vote In Hawaii Senate.
Senate Bill 669 would allow residents to grow, consume and sell less than 1 ounce of cannabis within the state of Hawaii. It also establishes taxes for cannabis sales.  Civil Beat.

Tax to fund affordable housing advances in state Legislature. Senate Bill 362, Draft 2, which raises the conveyance tax on property sales over $2 million, has survived committee (a feat that only one in 10 bills achieve) and is set for a final floor vote in the Senate this week. Garden Island.

A push to charge for rescues on hikers blatantly ignoring rules. Senate Bill 786 would charge an individual who ignores warning signs, leave a trail to get to a prohibited area, or go on an illegal hike. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi's economic growth could surpass the national average, DBEDT says. In their latest report, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism predicted Hawaiʻi to have a better economic outcome than the national average. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lobbying continues for midwifery licensing bill at state Capitol. A bill to define licensure laws for traditional birth attendants died in the state House of Representatives last week, but some members of the public haven’t given up hope.  Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.


Budget committee chair seeks longer-term solutions within Blangiardi's $4.5B proposal. The Blangiardi administration is proposing a $3.4 billion operating budget and a $1.09 billion Capitol Improvement Plan budget. Both are roughly a 6% increase from the previous year.  Hawaii Public Radio.

HPD seeking budget increase amid recruitment efforts. The staffing woes continue at the Honolulu Police Department with 360 police officer positions remaining unfilled. KHON2.

Honolulu Emergency Services proposal for new Ocean Safety, ambulance facilities. The Honolulu Emergency Services Department is proposing a 17.6% budget increase for fiscal year 2024. KHON2.

Median sales price for Oahu single-family homes stays under $1M. The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes on Oahu stayed below the $1 million mark for the second month in a row, and days on the market nearly quadrupled — signs that the local housing market is continuing to soften amid high inflation, relatively high mortgage rates and concerns about a looming U.S. recession. Star-Advertiser.

Surviving bill would give OHA $6M for an environmental study on Kakaʻako Makai. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs said it is not receptive to reopening the 2012 ceded lands settlement with the state because it is not giving up its Kakaʻako Makai lands. Hawaii Public Radio.

Native Hawaiian protesters who are ‘tired of waiting’ stage protest to claim DHHL lands. This week, the group began placing signs on vacant Department of Hawaiian Home Land parcels in Waianae and Kalaeloa, “reclaiming” the land for beneficiaries. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Josh Green simplifying Aloha Stadium P3 plan. Gov. Josh Green has decided to pursue an alternate path for redeveloping Aloha Stadium in which a private partner would develop and operate a new stadium wholly or largely paid for by the state. Star-Advertiser.

Council chair: Law needs to be changed to fix flawed Waikiki Safe and Sound program. Critics complain there are no immediate consequences for repeat offenders caught violating Waikiki’s Safe and Sound program. Now, the district’s councilman is calling on the courts for help. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-Mililani athletic director surrenders in theft case. The former Mililani High School athletic director and baseball coach accused of stealing more than $400,000 from the school’s Athletic Booster Club Inc. surrendered to state Sheriff’s deputies this morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Official Reports Of Drug Use At Hawaii’s Largest Prison Are Challenged By Staff. Staff allege that the number of inmates who tested positive at the Halawa Correctional Facility is higher than official figures. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Nene’s death sparks call for action in Keaukaha. Nonprofits and native bird enthusiasts are pleading with government officials for help mitigating traffic in Keaukaha after a nene was killed by a driver last weekend. Tribune-Herald.

Maui’s ‘Dolphin Dave’ cited for harassing dolphins, humpback whale at Hawaiʻi Island state park.
A 65-year-old Maui man is accused of actively pursuing an adolescent humpback whale and dolphins inside Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

800 attend Big Island cockfight; four men charged with firearms, drug offenses. Four men were arrested for firearms offenses on March 4 while at a cockfight in Kealakekua, where drugs and illegal firearms were recovered, along with U.S. currency and two vehicles for forfeiture, according to Hawaiʻi Island police. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Lease dispute escalates over state land in Hilo. Legal challenges against the state by a Hilo business owner whose lease agreement is in jeopardy could heat up after a hearing Friday. Tribune-Herald.


Excavation starts at site of fuel spill atop Haleakalā. Excavation for cleanup of the Haleakalā fuel spill site began March 2, 2023, at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex following approval of a work plan.  Maui Now.

DLNR pursues owners for costs to remove yacht from Maui reef. The nominee to run the state Department of Land and Natural Resources plans to go after the owners of an illegally moored yacht that broke free, leaked fuel and damaged 20 species of coral near a Maui marine life conservation district. Star-Advertiser.

Contract negotiations for Maui County hospital workers continue, but talks break down. Negotiations between Kaiser’s Maui Health System and the United Public Workers union for a new contract for nearly 500 health care workers continued Monday, but talks broke down after just two hours, officials said. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lanai Water Utility Seeks Significant Increase In Rates. The Lanai Water Co. is seeking a rate increase that would add $76.78 to the average customer’s monthly bill, which now is $18.75. Civil Beat.

350 still without power; initial outage impacted 6,900 customers from Pukalani to Hāna, Maui. Approximately 6,900 customers from the Pukalani to Hāna area experienced the outage starting around 6:40 a.m. Maui Now.


Scrap metal not accepted at Līhuʻe refuse transfer center March 6-10.  The Līhu‘e refuse transfer station will not be accepting residential scrap metal for recycling from March 6 to 10 due to equipment issues. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Gov. Green's first State of the State address seeks tax reform, solutions to homelessness, climate crisis. More news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Gov. Josh Green shares vision for Hawaii. Gov. Josh Green outlined a bold vision for Hawaii’s future that includes tax reform and ideas to turn Hawaii into a global model addressing climate change — immediately after Green signed his first emergency proclamation on homelessness, which received a standing ovation Monday in a joint session of the state House and Senate. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Maui News. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.  KHON2.

Full text of Gov. Josh Green's State of the State address can be found here.

Decision forthcoming to fill 2 state House vacancies. A social worker, a fire commissioner and a couple of current or former County Council members are in the running to fill two vacant seats in Hawaii’s Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Lawmakers Seek Shields Against Supreme Court Rulings On Abortion, Guns. Lawmakers are considering statewide regulations on concealed carry and also plan to debate measures protecting doctors who perform abortions. Civil Beat.

‘One set of rules’: Counties look to state for uniformity on concealed carry guns. Every county has been working on its own way of dealing with concealed weapon permits and identifying sensitive places. Now, there’s a push for statewide legislation to clear up confusion. Hawaii News Now.

Teacher shortage complicates Hawaii’s preschool plan. As the state embarks on its ambitious plan to offer universal access to preschool by creating 465 new classrooms by 2032, among the questions stakeholders are asking most is, How will so many additional preschool teachers be found in the midst of the state’s chronic teacher shortage? Star-Advertiser.

Soft hotel occupancy may persist in first quarter. December hotel occupancy was 71.3%, down 9 percentage points from December 2019, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, using data from STR, a global hospitality data and analytics company. Star-Advertiser.


Police In Hawaii Killed 2 People Last Year. Is It A Sign Of A Downward Trend? The quiet year for the Honolulu Police Department meant it fell marginally on a scale used to compare police killings across departments of comparable size, policing communities with similar populations over the past decade. Civil Beat.

Hundreds petition against a new bar planned for a residential area in Waikiki.
The concern is around increased noise and disruptive activity to the residential area just mauka of Kuhio Avenue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth Presents County Priorities To Lawmakers. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth appeared before a joint meeting of the Hawaiʻi House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday, offering a perspective from Hawaiʻi County as the 2023 legislative session gets underway. Big Island Video News.

Prisoner in Dana Ireland murder might get freedom. Attorneys for a Native Hawaiian man who has been imprisoned for more than 20 years for the 1991 sexual assault, kidnapping and murder of a white woman visiting Hawaii will ask a judge today to dismiss his conviction due to new evidence — including DNA testing — in the case. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

HFD seeks OK to hire grant manager. The Hawaii Fire Department is seeking County Council approval to hire a consultant to manage a nearly half-million dollar federal grant recently awarded to the county. West Hawaii Today.

Retreat expansion headed to contested case hearing. A proposal to more than double the number of rooms at a North Kohala retreat is headed to a contested case hearing after three neighbors successfully petitioned the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County officials ‘eager’ to work with Green on proposals. The Maui County Council’s chairwoman is “eager” to discuss a partnership to help the homeless by setting up tiny home villages across the state, as proposed Monday by Gov. Josh Green during his State of the State address. Maui News.

$198,000 grant allows for launch of Native Hawaiian Owner-Builder project on Molokaʻi. Hawai‘i Community Lending announced grant awards totaling $1.3 million that aim to increase economic stability on Moloka‘i by helping the island’s native Hawaiian community to actualize affordable homeownership. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i public schools to receive $3.1M in federal funds. A federal funding mechanism that provides money for elementary and secondary education is projected to deliver more than $3 million to the County of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Public may weigh in as Kaua‘i utility seeks 50-year permit. Members of the public have 60 days to comment on a Habitat Conservation Plan developed by the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, which is seeking a 50-year incidental take authorization from state and federal agencies. Kauai Now.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Higa pleads guilty to embezzling CARES, AmeriCorps funds, UH resuming on-campus education, Kauai dissolves COVID tier system, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Oct. 8, 2020 FBI raid Na Leo TV ©2021 All Hawaii News

Higa pleads guilty in federal court to embezzling, bribery. Former Hawaii County Council Chairman Stacy Higa admitted in federal court Wednesday to embezzling money from two federal programs and using some of it for cosmetic dental surgery and to help fund his 2020 campaign for mayor. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Is Losing More Teachers Than Ever Amid Pandemic Fatigue. Hawaii had 25% more public school teachers retire or resign during the 2020-21 academic year compared with the previous year, a sign that pandemic-related fatigue could be driving educators away from the job. Civil Beat.

Lassner to UH faculty, staff, students: Prepare to be on campus next spring. University of Hawaii President David Lassner on Monday sent a memo to all UH faculty and staff, telling department chairs and faculty to “carefully review your spring 2022 schedules and make adjustments to the mode of instruction to provide our students across the UH system with the on-campus educational experience they need and expect.” Tribune-Herald.

UH employees will be subject to stricter vaccine mandate than other state workers. A strict new vaccination mandate for all University of Hawaii employees is getting pushback by the faculty union, whose leadership says they weren’t fully consulted. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic fuels spike in childhood obesity in Hawaii. Nearly one in six children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese in Hawaii, marking a significant increase from four years ago and fueling concerns about the impact that COVID-19 restrictions and school closures have had on the health of the state’s youth. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii flu-pneumonia report includes ‘hundreds’ of COVID-19 fatalities. The state Department of Health said Wednesday that “hundreds” of the more than 850 deaths counted in its influenza and respiratory disease surveillance report for the just-ended 2020-2021 flu season were casualties of COVID-19. A Page 1 headline on a Monday Honolulu Star-Advertiser article about the influenza season incorrectly stated the flu was deadlier than COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 127 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 68 new cases on Oahu, 11 on Maui, 29 on Hawaii Island, five on Kauai and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi optimistic about large events by the end of the year. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said with COVID-19 case counts now trending downward, and vaccination rates edging upward, more pandemic-related restrictions could be lifted in coming months. Star-Advertiser.

HART Says It Didn’t Get A Key Report On Track Woes. The Contractor Says Otherwise. The much-anticipated analysis will shed light on a major problem that must be fixed before interim rail service can start. Civil Beat.

HPD Reviewing New Bodycam Policy After Judge’s Ruling. A judge recently ordered the release of all body-worn camera footage in the Iremamber Sykap case, saying an open investigation doesn’t justify keeping it from the public. Civil Beat.

Fourth hotel for Kapolei will cost up to about $70 million to build. The hotel business is booming in Kapolei, so much so that a developer plans to add a fourth hotel in the community — just steps away from two others. Star-Advertiser.

City program disrupting homeless outreach services. Police have cleared out many homeless people from the River Street area. But outreach workers providing medical and social services said they're having trouble finding many of their clients again once they're moved. KITV4.

New youth program seeks to inspire kids through culture, health. When canoe races were canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hui Nalu O Hawaii Canoe Club decided to pivot its popular summer youth paddling program to one that weaved in more cultural practices and hands-on learning. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Pele’s show continues. Kilauea volcano has erupted more than 4.2 billion gallons of lava since its current summit eruption began Sept. 29. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Improvements ongoing at two Hilo schools. As students enjoy fall break, construction crews are working to create new parking areas at two Hilo schools to address traffic concerns on Puainako Street. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County to ease restrictions, gathering limits, starting this weekend. Gov. David Ige reviewed and approved the new set of emergency rules for Maui County which increases social gatherings of up to 10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

800-unit housing development in West Maui moves forward. Pulelehua gets approval for site plan, which includes market-rate, affordable units. Pointing to the incredible need for affordable, long-term housing solutions for local families, the Maui Planning Commission voted unanimously for the development of a West Maui housing and commercial project. Maui News.

Doctors On Call Able to Deploy Mobile Testing Teams to Meet Hospitality Needs. The company created Mobile Testing Teams that are deployed when a group arrives for checks in. Maui Now.


Ige approves Emergency Rule No. 27; Tier system dissolved. Most COVID-19 regulations, including masking requirements, travel regulations and limits on gathering size, will remain in place. Garden Island.

Westside residents consider WKEP impact on waterways. The West Kaua‘i Energy Project encompasses an approximately 350-acre solar farm on the Mana Plain, hydro-powered energy storage and generation, and rehabilitated reservoirs, irrigation systems and roads throughout the island’s West Side. Garden Island.

State, landowner meet to safeguard shearwaters. State officials recently met with property owners in Po‘ipu to discuss protection of a wedge-tailed shearwater colony ravaged by feral-cat predation. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Hawaii outdoor mask mandate lifted, economic outlook rises, University of Hawaii mulls fully open campuses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Gov. Ige Eliminates Mask Mandate for Outdoors, Allows Ocean Sports Competitions. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday people will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, effective immediately, as COVID-19 cases decrease and more people get vaccinated. The governor said he would maintain a requirement that people wear masks indoors. The same rules will apply regardless of whether someone is vaccinated. Associated Press. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

State Panel Forecasts Better Economic Outlook For Hawaii. Adjustments to Hawaii’s projected tax revenues could mean state government hauls in $450 million more than previously predicted. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii floats plan to reopen campuses to public, end telework policy. The University of Hawaii has made tentative plans to reopen its campuses to the public Tuesday and phase out its pandemic telework policy, with all staff back on campus Aug. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii teachers’ $2,200 bonuses may be in jeopardy. The governor is under pressure to veto the $2,200 bonuses that legislators voted to give every public school teacher, but hefty pay “differentials” for classroom teachers in shortage areas are on track for next year. Star-Advertiser.

Grand jury mix-up puts dozens of state felony cases at risk. A Judiciary spokesperson for the state Judiciary said 60 cases total were impacted by the mix-up and additional precautions have been taken to prevent similar situations from occurring. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii reports 23 new COVID cases; no additional fatalities. Of the new cases, 16 were on Oahu, two on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai, and one on Molokai. There were also three residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Ex-Honolulu Police Department officer, Derek Wayne Hahn, bound for prison pending appeal. A former Honolulu police lieutenant must report to prison next week to serve a 3-1/2-year sentence in Hawaii’s biggest ever corruption case after a U.S. judge denied his request to remain free while he appeals his conviction. Associated Press.

City plans to revitalize Chinatown, but business owners say crime is the biggest issue. Earlier this month, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he has a plan to fix major problems in Chinatown and efforts include beautification and security. Hawaii News Now.

Sierra Club raises new questions about Navy’s cleanup of Red Hill fuel leak. Citing data from the state Department of Health, the Sierra Club said they believe the reason for a spike in contaminants is because the leak was not properly contained. Hawaii News Now.

TheBus to modify, discontinue more than a dozen routes. The discontinued routes include Route 80A (Hawaii Kai Park and Ride Express – University) Route 80B (Upper Aina Haina Express); and Route 235 (Kahala Mall — Waialae Iki). Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

New Hawaii State Veterans Home Is Being Built On Land Designated For Affordable Housing
. Construction crews broke ground on the 120-bed residential and treatment facility last month on a long-vacant lot in Kapolei. Civil Beat.

Small Oahu Landowners Say They Were Blindsided By Ag Land Plan. The state Land Use Commission has scheduled two days of hearings beginning Wednesday to try to sort through Honolulu’s plan for designating Important Agricultural Lands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Wanted: Good foster parents for some troubled kids. Catholic Charities Hawaii is seeking therapeutic foster parents on Hawaii Island to provide specialized foster care for emotionally and behaviorally challenged youths ages 5-19. Tribune-Herald.

Water Board creates operations superintendent position. A shortage of qualified administrators has hit home for the county Department of Water Supply, which on Tuesday was given permission to add a superintendent position to its operations division to help shoulder the load. West Hawaii Today.

Ag Theft Leads to Regulations Legitimate Producers Need to Know
. Due to the increasing reports of agricultural theft on Hawai’i Island, the Hawai’i Police Department on Tuesday, May 25, issued a reminder to the public that there are regulations set in place. Big Island Now.


Concerns persist over market-rate units in Larry Ellison project. Pulama Lana‘i is proposing 150 units with 76 affordable, 74 market-rate. A high number of market-rate units, proximity to a sewage treatment facility and lack of options to buy are among the concerns of community members for a 150-unit rental home project proposed by Pulama Lana’i. Maui News.

Maui Police Commision votes to allow former chief to retire in ‘good standing’. Despite being caught on camera fleeing the scene of an accident, former Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu is now allowed to retire in good standing. Hawaii News Now.

Virtual Climate Change Town Hall for South Maui Scheduled for June 3. The town hall is an opportunity for the public to learn about how climate change is affecting the South Maui community and the strategies to deal with those effects that could be included in the South Maui Community Plan. Maui Now.

Online Public Hearing for Proposed Firing Range Rules at Ukumehame on June 9. Proposed amendments of the Maui County Code for the use and operation of the Maui Firing Range at Ukumehame will be discussed during an online public hearing on Wednesday, June 9 at 5:30 pm. Maui Now.

Kahoolawe restoration project to benefit land and sea.
The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission has launched a 14-month campaign to restore the Hakioawa Watershed and protect the island’s windward nearshore waters and reefs. Star-Advertiser.


2 levels added to tier system. If the state hits a vaccination rate of 70%, Kaua‘i will lose its tier system and mandated restrictions, according to the county’s latest tier chart from Mayor Derek Kawakami. Garden Island. KITV4.

Solid-waste plan up for review. The latest draft of the county’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, which outlines goals and objectives for one of the county’s most pressing issues of waste disposal, is now up for public review. Garden Island.

TGI editor returning to mainland. After six years of writing for The Garden Island newspaper, including a year as editor of this publication, this is my last week at TGI. Garden Island.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Hawaii Legislature reconvenes Monday to tackle $1B shortfall, new rules coming for tourists, CARES money to provide safety net, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii lawmakers will return to Capitol on Monday to help patch huge state budget hole. Hawaii lawmakers will return to the state Capitol on Monday to get back to work, and their primary mission is to find ways to cope with a looming budget shortfall and prevent furloughs and pay cuts for public workers. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature Reconvenes Monday To Deal With $1B Shortfall. House Speaker Scott Saiki and Senate President Ron Kouchi said the session may last from 6 to 10 days. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislature reconvening next week to figure out budget shortfall. The state legislature is estimating about a billion-dollar shortfall. To address the shortfall, the state senate and the house will be reconvening next week. KHON2.

Legislature will reconvene next week to address budget shortfall. The state Legislature will reconvene next week — after more than a month of recess — in order to address the state’s growing budget shortfall. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Legislature to Reconvene on May 11 After Nearly 2 Month Recess. Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki today announced that the Hawaiʻi State Senate and the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives will reconvene the 2020 legislative session on Monday, May 11. Maui Now.

As lawmakers grapple with $1B shortfall, advocates urge them to preserve social safety net. As lawmakers prepare to grapple with a $1 billion budget shortfall when they reconvene Monday, advocates for the poor are warning them not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s tourism recovery could take years, experts say. Occupancy at Hawaii hotels plummeted to about 10% statewide for several weeks in April as COVID-19 fears and lockdowns ravaged the state’s tourist- driven economy. Star-Advertiser.

Is Hawaii Ready To Reopen The Economy? Some Experts Say Not Yet. State, county and health experts are publicly at odds over whether enough trained workers are in place to track an expected resurgence of the virus, especially when tourists return. Civil Beat.

New requirements ahead for passengers arriving in Hawaii. Two major changes are in the plans for arriving passengers: a new level of scrutiny and a new form designed to give officials information to follow up on — and potentially prosecute — failed promises to adhere to statewide quarantine rules. Star-Advertiser.

Airline Rep Questioned On Informing Passengers About Quarantine. An airline industry spokesperson was questioned by state senators Thursday about how well customers planning a trip to Hawaiʻi are informed about the 14-quarantine mandated for all visitors to the islands. Big Island Video News.

Lawmakers face more hurdles trying to crack down on quarantine violators. More frustration for state lawmakers trying to crack down on visitors who don’t follow the 14-day quarantine order. Plans to immediately fine violators face legal challenges. KHON2.


Schools Chief: Use Federal Bailout Money To Avoid Teacher Pay Cuts. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto outlined some plans for federal stimulus money, including keeping salaries at current levels. Civil Beat.

Hawaii teachers inundate Board of Education with testimony against pay cuts. More than 900 Hawaii public school teachers pleaded with the state Board of Education not to cut their pay to meet the looming budget shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers look to BOE to protect pay in the face of looming cuts. Teachers are pressuring the Hawaii Board of Education to help protect their pay as the state legislature prepares to start cutting the budget. Hawaii News Now.

Special needs students falling behind. As schools remain closed and offer virtual distance learning while the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course, many parents worry that their children are regressing, especially students who need special education services. Maui News.


Unemployment Update: 141,077 Claims Processed, Additional 84,500 Under Review. Since the start of COVID-19 response in Hawaiʻi, the state has paid out over $320 million in benefits. Maui Now.

State kicks off alphabetized system for unemployment claims certification. Thousands of laid off workers frustrated with trying to file weekly certifications for their unemployment claims are being encouraged to instead file on designated days. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Labor to implement alphabetized system for unprocessed unemployment claims. Due to what the governor called an “antiquated system,” tens of thousands of unemployment claims are still waiting to be processed. KHON2.

State asks unemployment claimants to file on specific days. In an effort to deal with a glut of unemployment claims, the state requested beneficiaries to file claims only on specific days of the week. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii’s coronavirus cases rise by 3 to 629. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 629, up three from Wednesday, the state Department of Health announced today. All three new cases are on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Three New COVID-19 Infections Confirmed On Oahu. As of Thursday, about 87% of those infected had gotten better. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases ‘released from isolation’ category includes fatalities. Media and sometimes government officials have referred to the “released from isolation” cases as people who have recovered from the virus. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces $25M program to reimburse household and childcare expenses during coronavirus. Caldwell said the program, called the COVID-19 “Hardship Relief for Individuals” program, will start May 18 with $25 million in seed money from the federal coronavirus aid bill. Star-Advertiser.

City announces $25M program to provide emergency aid to struggling Oahu families. With tens of thousands of Oahu residents unemployed, the city is launching a new emergency relief program to provide up to $1,000 a month to families in need. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic Bust Your Budget? Honolulu Will Help With Expenses. Residents who can demonstrate they’re struggling can get six months of help with housing, utilities and child care. Civil Beat.

Mayors announce financial relief programs. On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a city program to assist families who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. KHON2.

City and County of Honolulu offering financial assistance to residents in need. The new program just announced on Thursday is called the COVID-19 Hardship relief fund. KITV4.

City and County of Honolulu receiving grant money from the Federal Transit Administration. The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) will be receiving award funding from the Federal Transit Administration through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. KITV4.

Honolulu attorney connected to Katherine Kealoha is arrested again. A troubled Honolulu attorney who entered the spotlight during investigations into disgraced former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha has been arrested again. Christopher Woo, 47, was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly driving a stolen car. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo retailers begin reopening. Prince Kuhio Plaza is planning a tentative opening Saturday, with social distancing measures enforced throughout the stores and mall. Tribune-Herald.

Red tape: Administering CARES money costs a lot. Four Big Island charities have been approved for a portion of a $1.5 million federal grant. But the red tape will eat up $250,000 of it. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Muni Golf Course Reopening With Some New Rules. All persons arriving at the golf course to play shall wear face masks or face coverings, the County says, as it sets to reopen on Monday, May 11. Big Island Video News.

County to Open Three Greenwaste Sites on Limited Basis. After widespread calls to reopen its greenwaste services, Hawai‘i County is making such disposal available at three sites islandwide. Each site will be available three days per week. Big Island Now.


County retail businesses allowed to open Monday. Mayor says ‘miscommunication’ with Ige cleared up. Maui News.

Six visitors who violate quarantine rules are sent back. Six Maui visitors were being sent back to California on Wednesday after reports that they violated 14-day quarantine rules, a Maui airport official said. Maui News.


Continuing to fund COVID-19 efforts. When the Kaua‘i County Council allocated $2 million to battle COVID-19 in March, most of these funds went toward sanitation products, personal protection supplies and operation of the Emergency Operation Center. Garden Island.

New kind of litter. Gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment are starting to accumulate on Kaua‘i shorelines, as well as places around the world, and Surfrider Foundation’s local Hawai‘i chapters are joining the nationwide organization in a campaign to bring awareness to the fact that discarded PPE is adding to the plastic pollution on the world’s shorelines. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hawaii mulls public employee pay cuts, COVID-19 cluster at Kona fast-food eatery, Honolulu tightens mask requirements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from HGEA Facebook page
Hawaii Government Employees Association workers HGEA Facebook photo
Unions: Governor is proposing 20% pay cuts for ‘most’ state employees. The governor has proposed a 20% pay cut for “most” public employees as early as May 1, according to two public sector unions. Hawaii News Now.

HSTA says Ige proposing pay cut for teachers, first responders, and nurses. The Hawaii State Teacher’s Union says it has received notice from Governor David Ige’s office, alerting them about a possible 20% pay cut. KHON2.


Hawaii explores visitor crackdowns as more keep coming. Emergency Management Agency Incident Commander Kenneth Hara said he is working with state Attorney General Claire Connors to see whether it’s possible for Hawaii to restrict visitors who arrive for leisure from making lodging reservations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s daily visitor count hits highest level since quarantine started. The count of daily trans-Pacific visitors rose to its highest level since the first day that Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine was implemented for all arriving passengers. Star-Advertiser.


State hopes to start giving out extra unemployment payments in a week. The state hopes to start distributing by April 22 the first of many thousands of checks that will include the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits that has been promised by the federal government, according to Scott Murakami, state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations director. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Updates Unemployment Application To Include Pacific Migrants. The state’s fix isn’t perfect but it allows migrants from Micronesia the same level of access to unemployment benefits as other legal workers. Civil Beat.

State launches new online portal for tracking unemployment claims. The status form went online Tuesday after multiple complaints from people waiting to receive benefits. Hawaii News Now.

$20 million in unemployment benefits paid out so far in April. The state Director of Labor and Industrial Relations on Tuesday gave lawmakers some good news regarding unemployment benefits claims, which have skyrocketed during the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.


Safety versus liberty: Constitutional freedoms tempered by COVID-19 crisis. When a constitutional lawyer says the Hawaii government is within its rights to restrict basic freedoms during the coronavirus pandemic, you can probably take that to the bank. West Hawaii Today.

Lockdown Not in Violation of Constitutional Rights, Law Professor Says. A common argument against Hawai‘i’s statewide lockdown is that it’s a violation of an individual’s personal freedoms — restricting movement, erasing jobs and punishing anyone who doesn’t comply. Big Island Now.


Hawaii Experts Disagree Over Importance Of Testing In Reopening Economy. Experts in academia and healthcare have unveiled separate plans for safely reopening Hawaii’s economy. Both frameworks rely heavily on testing, but the state health director says that isn’t where the focus should be. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii is making progress in ‘flattening the curve.’ Now what? The business closures, school shutdowns, social distancing, and masks — it’s all working. State leaders say we all need to keep doing it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s daily count for new coronavirus cases has been trending downward in recent days, in an encouraging sign that social distancing efforts are working. But officials warned Tuesday that returning too quickly to business as usual could be disastrous. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lags Behind Other States In Release Of COVID-19 Data. State health officials say they are trying to release more data and are open to providing whatever information people want to know. Civil Beat.


Is Hawaii ready to handle a wave of mass evictions? With nearly a quarter million Hawaii residents filing for unemployment, it stands to reason that the next crisis to hit the Islands will be mass evictions from people who cannot pay their rent. That's what a group of state Senators predicts, and they quizzed Attorney General Clare Connors about it on Tuesday. KITV4.

Lawsuit: Special Ed Students Need Extra Help When Schools Reopen. A potential class action suit proposes that the Hawaii DOE set parameters to assess the needs of Hawaii’s special education students during the school closures. Civil Beat.

Economists Seek Data To Help Hawaii Businesses. Detailed information can help policymakers steer assistance to needy areas and industries. Businesses across Hawaii are being asked to participate in a statewide survey designed to identify what businesses will continue to need assistance and to help plan for restoring the economy. Civil Beat.

State making sure safety-net programs continue uninterrupted during pandemic. Several state programs to assist with food, finances and child care are available during the COVID-19 crisis for those who might need help. Tribune-Herald.

Demand for food assistance in Hawaii skyrockets during COVID-19 crisis. With Hawaii’s economy in the tank due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are reaching out for food to feed their families. Star-Advertiser.

Deal to save Meadow Gold Hawaii collapses. A deal that would have saved Meadow Gold Hawaii has been dropped. On Monday, Meadow Gold’s parent company, Dean Foods, said it intended to close its Honolulu facility by April 30. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Caldwell mandates masks for business interactions. Starting Monday, everyone conducting a business transaction on the island will need to wear a nonsurgical mask. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Will Require Masks At Businesses And Riding Transit. Starting Monday, all visitors to grocery stores and other open businesses will need to keep their faces covered with a mask, scarf, bandanna or other material. Civil Beat.

Under emergency order, city to make non-medical face masks mandatory in public. The city is making face masks mandatory for most interactions in public, including when visiting businesses, on the city bus, or when ordering from the drive-thru. Hawaii News Now.


The Coronavirus Has Been Good For Hanauma Bay. Scientists says studies being done in the unusual absence of tourists will help them understand the impact of large numbers of people on the natural world. Civil Beat.

Visitor pays fine and apologizes for slapping Hawaiian monk seal on Oahu. The attorney for a man who slapped a Hawaiian monk seal while visiting Oahu several months ago has issued an apology on behalf of his client. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19 cluster tied to Kona McDonald’s. State health officials said there is no “significant risk” to the public after a dozen people associated with a Kailua-Kona fast-food establishment tested positive for COVID-19. West Hawaii Today.

Second cluster of Hawaii coronavirus cases found at McDonald’s in Kona. An employee who contracted the new coronavirus inadvertently infected six other workers at McDonald’s locations on Makala Boulevard at Kona Commons and at Walmart in Kailua-Kona. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Cluster Linked To Kona McDonalds. State officials eventually confirmed the "limited, localized community spread of COVID-19 among employees at a Kona food establishment" took place at two Kona McDonalds. Big Island Video News.

12 Positive Cases Tied to McDonald’s COVID-19 Cluster in Kona on Hawai‘i Island. On Hawaiʻi Island, a cluster at a fast food restaurant in Kona has resulted in 12 positive cases–including seven workers and five family members of two of the employees. Maui Now.

COVID-19 cluster prompts closure, cleaning of Kona fast food eateries. The state Health Department is investigating a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to two fast food eateries in Kona. Hawaii News Now.

DOH investigating localized community spread among McDonald's employees in Kona. The Department of Health is investigating a limited, localized community spread of COVID-19 among McDonald's employees in Kona. KITV4.

Kona Coronavirus Cluster Swells to 14. A cluster of coronavirus cases in Kailua-Kona has swelled from eight to 14 overnight and left both McDonald’s locations in West Hawai‘i closed indefinitely. Big Island Now.


Kubota confirmed as Third Circuit judge. The state Senate announced on Monday announced the confirmation of Peter K. Kubota as Circuit Count judge of the Third Circuit. West Hawaii Today.

Kona airport to get $13M in federal funding. Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole will receive more than $13 million in federal funds after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $10 billion aid package to support airports nationwide. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor not taking position on calls to oust hospital leaders. He remains concerned about virus cluster but calls hospital safe. Maui News.

Things Got Out Of Hand Quickly At Maui Hospital. Staff at the Maui medical facility that is the center of a COVID-19 cluster describe a chaotic week on the job. Civil Beat.

16 tested after Kula Hospital employee comes down with virus. A total of 16 people who were believed to have been exposed to a worker with COVID-19 at Kula Hospital have been tested for the virus, according to a state official. Maui News.


Kauai mayor expands virus measures. Everyone over age 5 on Kauai must wear a cloth face mask during most activities while outside in public to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to a new county mandate. Star-Advertiser.

Council makes Brun ex-officio member. Kaua‘i County Councilmember Arthur Brun has been in federal custody in Honolulu since his arrest this winter. Garden Island.

Loosening up the rules. County of Kauai has loosened restrictions for construction and landscaping and for realtors starting today, cracking open the stay-at-home mandate and allowing some local residents to get back to work. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e Airport gets funding. The Lihu‘e Airport, Kaua‘i’s gateway to air travel, is scheduled to receive more than $13 million in funding. Garden Island.