Showing posts with label tourists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tourists. Show all posts

Monday, December 13, 2021

Environmental fee for tourists gains ground, audit finds $2M discrepancy in Hanauma Bay funds, Maui mayor recall petition 20k signatures short, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Sunbathers on Hapuna Beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

Proposal to charge environmental fee to come to Hawaii gaining support.
There’s growing momentum for the idea of charging tourists an environmental fee to come to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Should Hawaii Levy a Visitor Green Fee to Protect Our Environment? The idea of a fee to raise money from visitors to fund conservation and environmental management programs that benefit visitors and residents alike has been simmering in Hawaii for some time under a different name—a “visitor green fee.”  University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization blog.

The Spigot Of Federal Broadband Funding Is About To Open For Hawaii. Hawaii historically has not had access to gobs of money to expand access to broadband or upgrade service, so the volume of federal pandemic funding now headed into the state for broadband projects is nothing short of astounding. Civil Beat.

Why So Many Hawaii Families Are Opting Out Of The Public School System.
Private school enrollment rose to 33,540 as of Oct. 1, compared with 31,987 in 2020-21, according to the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 5 new coronavirus-related deaths, 215 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 165 new cases on Oahu, 16 on Hawaii Island, 14 on Maui, 11 on Kauai, three on Molokai and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Independent Audit Alleges $2M Discrepancy In Hanauma Bay Funds. The probe is the result of efforts by a nonprofit group advocating for the Oahu nature preserve. Civil Beat.

Summer 2022 is the earliest the rail could begin partial operations, HART CEO says. But the July start depends on a number of pieces falling into place, such as fixing wheel rims that are too small for the track. That would require temporary welding. Hawaii Public Radio.

How The Red Hill Fuel System Has Threatened Oahu’s Drinking Water For Decades. Built in haste during World War II, the facility has a history of leaking despite the Navy’s assurances that it is secure. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Navy gives inside look of cleanup efforts at Red Hill Shaft.
On Sunday, Dec. 12, the Navy allowed media to visit the affected area at Red Hill Shaft to see fuel recovery operations being done by Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One divers, as well as other contractors. KHON2. KITV4.

Straub Medical Center breaking ground on new Honolulu medical campus. Straub Medical Center, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding, is scheduled to break ground today on a future Straub “campus” that has the potential to keep local doctors, nurses and technicians in the islands, attract new ones and — perhaps more importantly — provide patients with modern facilities and technology instead of their seeking treatment on the mainland. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands lace up for highly anticipated return of the Honolulu Marathon. With early-morning fireworks and thousands of eager runners, the Honolulu Marathon made a grand return Sunday. Hawaii’s biggest road race was canceled last year like every other large-scale event over pandemic concerns. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lawmakers react positively to Decadal Survey results. Two U.S. Congressional committees were pleased with a recent survey naming the Thirty Meter Telescope as a priority project for federal funding. Tribune-Herald.

Pololu Valley lookout plans in the air.
“How good are you at backing up?” Paul Ishikuro asks the driver trying to find a spot to park his SUV in an increasingly crowded lot overlooking scenic Pololu Valley. West Hawaii Today.

Sewage Entering Puakō Groundwater, UH Says Wastewater Treatment Plant Needed. Bacterial levels on the Puakō coastline are higher than State health standards in recreational waters fronting 81% of residential homes sampled. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

The power of flowers. The chief executive of a small but budding orchid-growing cooperative compared the company’s formation to “a phoenix rising out of the ashes.” Tribune-Herald.


Initial effort to recall the mayor falls 20,022 signatures short. Organizers will have 20 days to collect more signatures. Maui News.

DOH issues cease-and-desist, $58K fine to COVID testing clinic on Maui. Officials said NextHealth clinic had been offering COVID testing at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea since in October. DOH said about 982 people were tested at this site. Hawaii News Now.

Charter Commission Adopts Proposals for Department of Human Concerns, Bilingual Government and More. A number of proposals were approved by the Maui Charter Commission this Thursday. Some of these included a new department to separate social services from the housing department, a semi-autonomous water supply board, voting amendments that could increase the odds of ballot initiatives and charter amendments passing and mandates to create a bilingual (English and Hawaiian) government. Maui Now.

Kula Forest Storm Assessment Shows Hundreds of Trees Flattened in Storm. While fencing seems to have held up along the south slopes of Haleakalā, hundreds of trees were flattened along a road in the Kula Forest Reserve. Maui Now.


A mother’s dream becomes reality with inclusive playground. Shana Marie Cruz grew up playing at the Kamalani Playground at Lydgate Park. Garden Island.

Firework permit portal opens Dec. 15. An online portal for fireworks-permit applications opens this week, according to the Kaua‘i Fire Department. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spring breakers hit Hawaii beaches, Blangiardi highlights housing, 65k vaccines for 400k people in Phase 1C, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii News Now
Visitors crowd Waikiki over the weekend PC:Hawaii News Now

Hawaii logs its highest three days of tourist arrivals in a year. Some 21,433 trans-Pacific travelers and 4,968 interisland travelers were screened by Safe Travels Hawaii on Saturday, Hawaii’s highest single day since coronavirus-related fears and government restrictions caused travel to plummet. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Rush To Vaccinate Has Led To A Patchwork System With Little Policing. The state acknowledges that the hospitals and clinics that vaccinate people have sometimes bent the rules to the breaking point, by inoculating someone outside the current phase, for instance, but say they have little recourse. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials prioritizing certain people over others in Phase 1C for COVID-19 vaccine. Hawaii health officials decided over the weekend to prioritize hotel, restaurant and bar workers for COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to those with specific high-risk medical conditions and residents 65 and older. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Looking for a COVID vaccine appointment? Persistence (and patience) recommended. The state expanded vaccine eligibility to roughly 400,000 more residents on Monday, but getting an appointment for a jab make take persistence ― and patience. Hawaii News Now.

State House resolution opposes $1.9B Hawaii radar. A resolution introduced in the state Legislature calls for the Missile Defense Agency to “resist” siting a $1.9 billion defensive radar in Hawaii because it is a “prime example of wasteful Pentagon spending” during a time of unprecedented need for public services in health, education and welfare.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Adopts Most Extreme Open Records Limits Amid Pandemic. Hawaii has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate of any state in the nation. It's also a pandemic standout for a more dubious reason: instituting the most extreme restrictions on the public's access to official records. Associated Press.

Education and union leaders agree to bring more kids back to Hawaii public schools. Education, health and union leaders announced today they have signed off on guidelines to bring more students back to campus at Hawaii’s public schools, especially at the elementary level. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

The economic hardships of the pandemic in Hawaii haven’t been equally distributed. While Hawaii’s economic recovery seems to be beginning, a financial comeback will take much longer for the state’s lower wage and service workers, experts say. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment call center understaffed, overwhelmed. The state’s understaffed unemployment insurance call center that’s designed to handle 2,000 calls a day at the Hawai‘i Convention Center was getting more than 200,000 calls every day just two weeks ago but is still overwhelmed by 40,000 calls each day. Star-Advertiser.

Federal stimulus act bolsters Hawaii unemployment benefits. Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, said Monday that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed Thursday by President Joe Biden will extend the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs for an additional 25 weeks, until Sept. 4 and Sept. 6, respectively. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

Bill would expand DA BUX food program. A state Senate bill that would eliminate a daily cap on a dollar-for-dollar match for supplemental nutrition assistance program beneficiaries under DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program has cleared its first House hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

Isle jobless rate 10.2%, nation’s worst, in January. Hawaii’s unemployment rate climbed back into double digits in January to retain the dubious honor of having the highest figure in the country. Star-Advertiser.

Flags will fly at half-staff across Hawaii on Tuesday to honor the life of the late politician and community servant William Bains-Jordan. Through his career in politics, he served as the first state representative of ʻAiea. Hawaii News Now.

March 15, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 46 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 22 on O‘ahu, 15 on Maui, seven on Hawai‘i Island, and two in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out of state. Maui Now.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi highlights affordable housing, homelessness
crisis in State of the City address. The city’s Office of Housing has been changed to reflect that focus, and is now the Office of Housing and Homelessness. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Budget Realities Undermine Blangiardi’s Vision For Honolulu. The mayor presented his agenda in his State of the City address Monday. City Council members have raised concerns about a lack of funding for essential services. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Restaurant Association among other organizations to submit application to City for 2 year extension to plastic ban. The City and County of Honolulu will begin enforcing the ban in two weeks. KHON2.

Kakaako Makai tower opponents to rally again. In 2006 the state Legislature prohibited all housing development there, and in 2012 the state gave 30 acres to the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs in exchange for $200 million in ceded-land back revenue the state owed Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Press Club announces annual Torch of Light, Lava Tube awards for 2020. The Big Island Press Club awards its annual meritorious Torch of Light Award for 2020 to James Hustace and the Waimea Community Association and the Lava Tube dishonor award to Hawaii Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

$500K Releases For Kohala Hospital Improvements. Governor David Ige on Monday released State Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds totaling $500,000 to finance the construction of centralized administrative offices at Kohala Hospital on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

University of the Nations Kona looking to expand: Updated master plan proposes 62-acre addition. The University of the Nations Kona may soon be more than doubling in size. West Hawaii Today.


Inventory hits new low for Maui homes. Meanwhile, median sales prices for single-family homes remained high at $895,000 — a 19.8 percent spike year over year.  Maui News.

Pacific Whale Foundation Retrieves Ghost Nets in Maui Waters. Ghost nets — fishing nets or gear that have been abandoned, lost or discarded by fishing vessels — are an increasingly serious threat to whales and dolphins around the globe. Maui Now.


Kawakami gives State of the County address. Mayor Derek Kawakami, reflecting on over a year of the pandemic, highlighted the county’s efforts to embrace adversity, Monday, in his third State of the County address. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

‘My Words Have Caused People Pain’: Kauai Police Chief Apologizes For Anti-Asian Remarks. Chief Todd Raybuck has done a good job by most accounts and some local leaders say losing him would be a setback for the island. But others including the police union see it differently. Civil Beat. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Tourist tax proposed, 7 Hawaii National Guard troops test positive for COVID-19 after D.C. duty, Honolulu restaurant cited for lack of masks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Tourists at Hawaii rocky beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

Proposed Tourist Tax Could Help Hawaii Deal With Climate Change Impacts. Legislative leaders want to bump up taxes that could be assessed on the kinds of things sought by higher-spending tourists and travelers. Civil Beat.

Pandemic drives sharp drop in Hawaii tourism, with arrivals down 75%. Stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii tourism entered 2021 in critical condition with visitor arrivals down 74% from the previous year, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

State lawmakers, legislative staff get COVID-19 vaccine as essential workers. Some 500 state lawmakers, legislative staff and other employees who work at the state Capitol were able to get COVID-19 vaccines Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii representative proposes work-from-home grant to cut down traffic. Hawaii State Representative Takashi Ohno introduced a bill on Wednesday that aims to establish a remote work transition grant program to help small businesses convert to virtual working environments. KHON2. KITV4.

7 Hawaii National Guard troops test positive for coronavirus following D.C. duty. Seven cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed among the nearly 200 Hawaii Army National Guard soldiers who were part of a massive security force for the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

American Samoa Repatriation Picks Up Five COVID-19 Cases. American Samoa’s repatriation system picked up five COVID-19 cases so far among the more than 160 residents in quarantine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Some parents say Hawaii is moving too slowly to bring students back to class. Roughly 74% of Hawaii’s public school students are spending all or part of their instructional time on campus. Hawaii News Now.

Fed Help Would Give Hawaii’s Vaccination Campaign A Shot In The Arm. Faster vaccine deliveries promised by President Joe Biden would help the state give a COVID-19 shot to every willing Hawaii resident by the fall, health official says. Civil Beat.

State of Hawai‘i Weekly COVID-19 Cluster Report can be found here.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 28: 100 New Infections And 2 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported two Oahu deaths and 100 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including 65 on Oahu, 21 on Maui, seven on the Big Island, one on Lanai, and six Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Has Third-Worst Finances Of Any American City. The City and County of Honolulu’s balance sheet is in rough shape. That is the assessment of Truth In Accounting, a non-partisan think tank that promotes transparency in government financial reporting. Hawaii Public Radio.

To ease courts backlog, prosecutors are considering plea deals in DUI cases. The pandemic could change a longstanding practice for Honolulu prosecutors handling drunk driving cases ― at least temporarily. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and Mothers Against Drunk Driving are discussing plea deals for some defendants in an effort to clear a court logjam. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii stadium on campus will cost $5M. The cost to build a temporary stadium would be $5 million if the University of Hawaii (UH) football team plays its home games at the Manoa campus. KHON2.

Punahou School fires teacher accused of sexual misconduct. The case is not related to allegations of sexual abuse by coaches and teachers in the early to mid-2000s that were detailed in lawsuits filed last year. Star-Advertiser.

A Bitter Domestic Dispute Could Shake Up How The Navy Handles Abuse Cases In Hawaii. The Family Advocacy Program is supposed to help military families experiencing abuse, but one Navy sailor’s experience shows its broad discretion in handling cases. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Restaurant Gets Red Placard for Repeat Mask Violations. The Hawai‘i Department of Health Food Safety Branch has issued a red “CLOSED” placard to Doner Shack at 79 South Pauahi St. in Honolulu due to repeated instances of employees not wearing face masks while working, the department announced. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Alternatives sought for Ka‘u sewer projects: Current plan could cost $400k hookup fee per home. Faced with sewer hookup fees higher than the value of the homes themselves, Naalehu property owners have cajoled, badgered and even filed a lawsuit to stop sewer projects in Naalehu and Pahala that are aimed at getting the county out from under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency consent order. West Hawaii Today.

Just 5 Hilo leases have been extended so far through revitalization program. Only five Hilo leases have been extended in exchange for renovating their properties under a program intended to revitalize Banyan Drive and the Kanoelehua Industrial Area. Tribune-Herald.

Ka’u Coffee Mill drastically impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. There are coffee plants as far as the eye can see at Ka’u Coffee Mill on the Big Island. The coffee farm sits on 86 acres of land. KHON2.

Land Nominations Sought for Cultural, Historical Preservation. The County of Hawai‘i Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission is seeking suggestions from the public regarding lands that should be preserved because of cultural or historical significance. Big Island Now.


Survey: Maui folks are less likely to want COVID vaccine. Maui residents were less likely to want the COVID-19 vaccine than in other areas of the state in a new survey of nearly 4,000 people across Hawaii. Maui News.

State investigating 2 COVID clusters identified at Maui hotels.
The state said it is investigating two clusters of COVID-19 at hotels in Maui County and believes improper mask usage and other problems may be to blame. Hawaii News Now.

Tourism Report: Maui Visitors for Dec. 2020 Down 67.2 Percent from 2019. Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry continues to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with December 2020 visitor arrivals down 75.2 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Tourism Research Division. Maui Now.

Vandals cut through fence at Little Beach. Authorities are searching for vandals who cut through metal gate poles and fencing at the entrance to Pu’u Ola’i, also known as Little Beach, at Makena State Park. Maui News.

Southwest to Add Nonstop Long Beach to Maui Flight. The flights will be added on March 11, 2021 with fares as low as $99 one-way, according to a company press release. Maui Now.

Ranchers hope for greener pastures amid Maui County’s ‘extreme’ drought. Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation declaring Maui County a disaster area because of severe drought has restored some hope for future economic relief ― but other ranchers say it’s too late for their businesses. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor hopeful for more federal funds. At the Lihue Business Association’s video conference on Thursday, Mayor Derek Kawakami spoke on Kaua‘i’s economic recovery plans in his first term. Garden Island.

Senate hears proposed Polihale pilot permit program. Before Polihale State Park reopened after nearly five months of closure by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, officials hinted there may be new rules coming to the secluded, sandy shores. Garden Island.

This UH Researcher Is Studying An Unusual Invasive Species — Figs. The island of Kauai is host to a mix of dozens of nonnative fig species from all over the world. Civil Beat.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Feds give green light to test incoming tourists, COVID-19 complicates hurricane response, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park opens some trails, libraries reopen book drops, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

2018 file photo
Downtown Hilo during Hurricane Lane 2018 file photo
Hawaii Braces For A Dual Threat: Hurricanes And COVID-19. The pandemic will make Hawaii’s response to a natural disaster even more daunting, officials say. Civil Beat.

State grapples with preparing for hurricane season amid COVID-19 pandemic. The National Weather Service is predicting two to six tropical cyclones over the course of the 2020 hurricane season in the Central Pacific. Hawaii News Now.

Hurricane season could be complicated by coronavirus response. The Central Pacific is expected to see two to six tropical cyclones for the annual hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, events that could be complicated by the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Masks and hand sanitizers essential in hurricane supply kit. Add on masks and hand sanitizers to your 14-day hurricane supply kit. That’s according to emergency officials, who say COVID-19 also poses unique challenges if evacuations are needed. KHON2.

As pandemic continues, Hawaii readies for hurricane season. The Big Island’s Civil Defense chief said his agency is “ramped up as much as we can be” for the upcoming start of hurricane season because of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Virus prompts changes for hurricane evacuation shelters. New requirements will be in place at Hawaii’s hurricane evacuation shelters, should they need to be used amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. West Hawaii Today.

Hurricane season ahead: Forecast calls for 2-6 tropical cyclones in Central Pacific. Forecasters are calling for near- to below-normal tropical cyclone activity within the Central Pacific this hurricane season. West Hawaii Today.

2 to 6 tropical cyclones forecast for Central Pacific in 2020. The Central Pacific is expected to see two to six tropical cyclones for the annual hurricane season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, officials said today. Star-Advertiser.

2020 hurricane season prediction: 2-6 cyclones. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting between two and six tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific hurricane region in the upcoming 2020 hurricane season. Garden Island.


Feds give green light to test tourists prior to their arrival in Hawaii. Nothing in the Federal Aviation Administration or the United States Department of Transportation regulations that prohibits the state from requiring such testing. KITV4.

A negative COVID-19 test before landing in Hawaii? Some lawmakers push the idea. Hawaii lawmakers are discussing multiple efforts to restarting tourism while keeping the coronavirus out. Passengers could avoid quarantine by testing negative for the virus before coming to Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

More lawmakers call for COVID-19 tests in passenger screenings. U.S. Transportation officials have told state lawmakers the federal government cannot prevent a COVID-19 testing program for travelers, but the state cannot stop someone who does not want to be tested from boarding a plane. KHON2.


Hawaii Prosecutors Want COVID-19 Inmate Releases Stopped. The state has released more than 800 inmates since early March. Three county prosecutors say the public safety risk outweighs COVID-19 dangers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police already have rearrested 47 people who were released from jail in recent weeks as part of the effort to reduce the inmate population to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state correctional system, lawmakers were told Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Waipahu hit hard by joblessness, stats show. A breakdown of nearly 150,000 initial unemployment claims by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations also shows that four of the 10 ZIP codes with the highest number of claims in the tally are on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Hotel occupancy plunged 88% in April compared to 2019. Fewer than one out of every 10 hotel rooms was occupied in Hawaii in April as the coronavirus lockdown devastated one of the nation’s top hotel markets. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Summer School to Include Some In-Person Instruction. The Hawaii State Department of Education will begin offering summer school on June 1. The classes will be provided with a mixed approach of both distance learning and in-person instruction. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii’s libraries prepare to start a new chapter as branches slowly resume service. All 51 branches of the Hawaii State Public Library System have been closed for more than two months. Hawaii News Now.

Library book drops are open. The Hawai‘i State Public Library System announced that library book drops are now open to return library materials. Garden Island.


VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 20: 2 More COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. New coronavirus cases were confirmed in Hawaii County and on Oahu Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Two new coronavirus cases in Hawaii bring statewide total to 643. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen by two cases to a total of 643, the state Department of Health announced today. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Reports 2 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide. Two new COVID-19 cases — one in Honolulu County and one in Hawai‘i County —  brings the state total of cases to 643, according to the Hawai‘i Department of Health. Big Island Now.


Solar heaters, EV-ready stalls to be required in new houses. Requiring new houses come installed with solar hot water heaters and mandating that all new buildings set aside parking stalls that can be used to recharge electric vehicles are among the changes in a planned revamp of Honolulu’s energy code that won final approval from the City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Pay Keeps Flowing For Accused Honolulu Officials On Leave. Accused workers are presumed innocent, but some question whether they should continue to be paid as months turn into years. Civil Beat.


Hanabusa Officially Running To Be Honolulu Mayor. The former congresswoman says her federal and state experience is critical in the wake of COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Colleen Hanabusa touts political experience as she enters Honolulu mayoral race. Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa has officially filed her papers to run for Honolulu mayor. Hawaii News Now.

Former Representative Colleen Hanabusa running for Honolulu Mayor. It is official, former Hawaii U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa is running for Honolulu Mayor. KITV4.


Queen’s resumes non-emergency surgeries at main Honolulu operating room. The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu resumed non-emergency surgeries today at its main operating room after gradually reopening clinics and other outpatient services over the past three weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Coal Plant Vows To Reduce Carbon Emissions. AES Hawaii’s announcement came after the Sierra Club filed suit asking the state to impose a lower standard required by law. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Developing A Major Expansion Of COVID-19 Testing. The city is working with health centers across Oahu to expand testing in targeted communities, hoping to augment the state’s programs. Civil Beat.

Oahu retailers struggling to climb out of slump from COVID-19 closures. Although many shopping malls and retailers reopened their doors Friday, the abrupt closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have taken a toll. Star-Advertiser.

Marilyn Bornhorst, former Honolulu city councilwoman, dies at age 93. Marilyn Bornhorst, a forward-thinking former Honolulu City Council woman who helped preserve open views along the Ka Iwi coastline, promoted the idea for what today is Kakaako’s largest public green space and helped community organizations navigate the political landscape, has died. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

New tax tier for luxury homes. Council also approves raises for some employees while prepping for budget work. With serious work on the coronavirus-stricken county budget set to begin today, the County Council on Wednesday set up a property tax structure that would allow it to tax $2 million-plus second homes at a higher rate than other residential property. West Hawaii Today.

Council supports grant award to reopen access to Puna farms. The Hawaii County Council voted in support of a resolution to award a $50,000 grant to a Puna nonprofit to reopen access to Puna farms isolated by lava. Tribune-Herald.

Ruderman won’t seek third Senate term. State Sen. Russell Ruderman of Puna announced today he would not seek a third term. Tribune-Herald.

Public Comment Sought On Draft Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The comment period runs from May 19 to June 2, and the County is planning a virtual presentation over the internet set for May 27. Big Island Video News.


Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Reopens Sections For Public Use. Some areas of the park have been reopened following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local authorities. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park begins phased reopening. Parts of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have reopened to the public for limited use as the park begins its phased reopening plan. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Memorial Medical Center declares COVID-19 outbreak ‘closed’. Hawaii’s largest coronavirus outbreak at Maui Memorial Medical Center in Kahului is now considered over. Star-Advertiser.


CARES Act funding for Kaua‘i housing. The county’s Housing Agency received community development funds to soften the blow of the coronavirus crisis across public services and by providing new facilities, including the first of a series of tiny house villages. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cracking down on tourists breaking quarantine, DOE plans for summer school, Honolulu ramps up COVID-19 testing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii rainbow ©2020 All Hawaii News
Recent changes have beefed up enforcement of the traveler quarantine. State lawmakers are pushing for tougher enforcement of the 14-day traveler quarantine, which has been extended through June 30. During the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 meeting on Tuesday, law enforcement leaders detailed recent changes made to crack down on violators. Hawaii News Now.

Senators concerned about visitors who violate quarantine. Senators questioned the Attorney General and the Honolulu Police Chief on Tuesday about cracking down on visitors accused of violating the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine. KITV4.

AG talks quarantine enforcement policies with panel. During a Tuesday meeting of the state Senate Special Committee on COVID-19, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said the state is looking into implementing a system whereby vacation rental owners can be fined for not keeping their guests in compliance with quarantine requirements. Tribune-Herald.

Lifting 14-day quarantine will be key factor in Hawaiian Airlines’ recovery, says CEO. Establishing a timeline for lifting the 14-day quarantine for travelers to and within the Islands will be one key factor in future metrics for Hawaiian Airlines as the carrier faces what President and CEO Peter Ingram called an “incredible destruction in revenue” as a result of the coronavirus. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Department of Education to receive $43M to support students, schools during Covid-19 crisis. The Hawaii Department of Education has received more than $43 million in federal funding to be used to bolster schools, retain the educational workforce, and support students during the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Monday. Pacific Business News.

State DOE makes plans for summer school. The Hawaii Department of Education is rolling out summer school plans as the state transitions to the next phase of its COVID-19 recovery. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai'i DOE set to offer summer school with some in-person classes. Classes would be small just about 6 to 8 students to promote social distancing. KITV4.

HIDOE Announces Summer Education Plans. The Hawaii State Department of Education will deliver summer programming by both in-person and distance learning. Big Island Now.

As Hawaii parents head back to work, many are faced with another challenge: no childcare. Because of distancing rules, day cares have fewer slots available and most summer school classes will be held online so kids will still be at home on a computer screen. Hawaii News Now.

DOE lays out plans for summer school and what we may see during the new school year. With the impact of COVID-19 on the last semester of school, some students will be returning this summer to make up grades and even get ahead. KHON2.


Despite urgent social needs, legislators decide to bank state and federal funds. Lawmakers are poised to stash more than $1.6 billion in state and federal funding in the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund at a time when Hawaii residents are hurting from the highest unemployment rate in generations, prompting one state senator to tell her colleagues Tuesday she is ashamed of the Legislature for failing to help more people in need. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Antibody Tests Suggest Community's Level Of Exposure Low. As more people in Hawaii take the COVID-19 antibody test, their results are providing information about how far the virus has spread statewide. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii distributes first pandemic unemployment assistance checks. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today that it has now paid out nearly $109.9 million in federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Star-Advertiser.


Senators Put Off Vote For Land Board Nominee. Opponents of the wind farms in Kahuku voiced opposition to his confirmation. Civil Beat.

Prison Commission Demands Answers On COVID-19 At Arizona Prison. Hawaii’s jail and prison oversight commission is demanding an investigation by the Department of Public Safety into an attorney’s claim that more than a dozen correctional staff at the Arizona private prison housing Hawaii inmates have COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Citing mounting concerns, lawmakers urge paroling authority to delay another large prisoner release. State lawmakers say the courts have done enough to reduce jail overcrowding amid COVID-19 fears — and they want the Hawaii Paroling Authority to delay another large wave of releases that’s slated to happen in the next few weeks. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — MAY 19: 1 New Case. Four more people recovered on Tuesday, including two on Oahu and one patient each on the Big Island and Maui. Civil Beat.

One new coronavirus case on Big Island raises statewide total to 641. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen by just one case to a total of 641, the state Department of Health announced today. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu creates partnership to increase coronavirus testing. With more of the island’s activities gradually opening, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday that the city is aiming to provide coronavirus testing for more than 100,000 people, or about 1 in 10 Oahu residents. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Expanding Virus Testing With Federal Funds. The program is slated to be operational within six weeks. Civil Beat.

After another day with no new cases of COVID-19 in Honolulu County, Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a news conference to announce new broad testing measures, including waste water testing. KHON2.

From the lavatory to the laboratory, Honolulu testing wastewater for COVID-19. Another tool in the fight against COVID-19 could be what goes down your toilet. KHON2.

The city is starting to test wastewater (yes, sewage) for COVID-19. Here’s why. The city announced Tuesday that it’s participating in a COVID-19 Wastewater Testing Project with dozens of other states to test sewage for the presence of the virus. The testing is designed to monitor for possible increases in COVID-19 cases in particular communities or on the island as a whole. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu’s business grant program due to coronavirus draws thousands of applicants in first day. The city’s grant program for Oahu small businesses netted about 2,200 applications in less than 24 hours, the city’s top economic development official told a City Council committee today. Star-Advertiser.

Dept. of Parks and Recreation is working to restart operations at Hanauma Bay. The City Department of Parks and Recreation on Tuesday told the Honolulu City Council that it's working with vendors to restart operations. KITV4.

Yokohama Bay won’t have lifeguards for the time being. After 20 years of lifeguard protection at Yokohama Beach, the city says lifeguards won’t be stationed there anytime soon. Hawaii News Now.

Free ‘Pop-Up’ Health Clinic In Kalihi Aims To Cover The Newly Uninsured. More than 140 doctors and nurses have already contacted Dr. Jim Ireland, one of the organizers to work at the Aloha Free Clinic. Civil Beat.

New homeless outreach effort zeroes in on Waianae Coast. On Tuesday morning, a team from Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center was packed up and ready to go. Hawaii News Now.

Damien Memorial rethinks cancelation of graduation. Damien Memorial School’s president has reversed course after abruptly canceling the school’s virtual graduation ceremony when students petitioned for an in-person gathering in the summer. Star-Advertiser.

The Navy Replaced Its Leaky Fuel Tanks In California. Why Not Oahu? . In California and Washington, the Navy said its World War II-era tanks should be retired. But in Hawaii, the Navy says its tanks from the same era are working great. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Governor Approves Hawaii County Beach Park Reopenings. Governor David Ige approved the islandwide reopenings, which will come with numerous restrictions, the County of Hawaiʻi reports. Big Island Video News.

Council free to donate to non-COVID causes. Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday he’s rescinding an earlier recommendation that County Council members use their contingency funds only to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Announces First Phase of DMV Reopening. Division of Vehicle Registration & Licensing offices will reopen for limited in-person services on Monday, June 1. Big Island Video News.


DOH Deems Outbreak Cluster “Closed”, One COVID-19 Patient Remains at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Maui Health today has one positive COVID-19 patient in the hospital and only one “warm” COVID-19 isolation unit, which will remain in place for any future COVID needs. Maui Now.

County outlines rules for salons, church services. Maui County officials announced new requirements for hair and nail salons, religious drive-in services and dine-in restaurants, which are slated to reopen in the coming days. Maui News.


Kawakami asks to reopen early. Mayor Derek Kawakami said Kaua‘i is aiming to reopen some businesses earlier than the timeline proposed Monday by Gov. David Ige, and his office is looking for the governor’s approval to do so. Garden Island.

Kauai Wants To Reopen Churches, Zipline Tours. There have been no reported coronavirus infections on the Garden Isle for more than five weeks. Civil Beat.

Addressing abandoned vehicles. With the help of a special task force moderated by County Councilmember Mason Chock, the county is hoping for a low report on abandoned vehicles on Kaua‘i this year. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

64% say Hawaii is moving in right direction on COVID-19, lawmakers seek stricter quarantine monitoring, Kauai reopening its beaches, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook Live
Hawaii Gov. David Ige Facebook Live screenshot
Majority believes Hawaii is moving in right direction against COVID-19. 64% of Hawaii residents believe government is moving in the right direction in its handling of the coronavirus crisis, a statewide survey has found. Star-Advertiser.


Officials suggest COVID-19 testing of air passengers prior to their arrival as condition to restarting tourism. Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and a member of its congressional delegation on Wednesday floated the idea of COVID-19 testing for any arriving air passenger prior to travel as a condition to reopen the tourism industry. Tribune-Herald.

Thermal sensors at airports, mass testing seen as key to safely reopening tourism. Thermal sensors, which have been used in a handful of airports around the world to detect travelers with fevers, are emerging as one of several new tools the state could use to reopen tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Congressman Calls For Testing Hawaii-Bound Travelers. U.S. Rep Ed Case is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend rules around pre-boarding requirements. Civil Beat.

Case Wants FAA to Allow Hawai‘i to Impose COVID-19 Testing as a Condition to Boarding Planes for Hawai‘i. Congressman Ed Case today called on the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm the State of Hawai‘i’s ability to impose and enforce COVID-19 prevention public health conditions on air travel to the islands. Maui Now.

Ed Case pushing FAA to allow stricter travel policies for flights to Hawai'i. Hawaii U.S. Representative Ed Case wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking for help from the FAA to test people for COVID-19 before boarding a Hawaii-bound plane. KITV4.

Senators express concerns over enforcement of 14-day quarantine order for travelers. Officials are trying to tighten up the system at the airports. But state lawmakers still have concerns over the enforcement of the 14-day quarantine order for travelers and put those concerns in a letter. KHON2.

Senate Committee Asks Chief Justice to be Tougher on Quarantine Violators. The Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 doesn’t think the mandatory travel quarantine is being appropriately implemented. Big Island Now.

Some hotels concerned about quarantine enforcement. Some of the state’s hotels say they need more guidance about how to enforce a 14-day quarantine on travelers, including what to do if guests refuse to comply or how to participate if they still use physical keys instead of cards. Associated Press.


Hawaii’s economy is reopening, but tourism remains on lockdown. Hawaii’s low COVID-19 infection and mortality rates have increased calls to start reopening the state’s economy — but support to restart tourism is still mixed. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu restaurant, Kauai resort lay off more than 180 employees. A restaurant chain in Honolulu and a Kauai hotel have recently laid off a combined 187 workers, according to Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act notices filed with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations this week. Pacific Business News.

This Federal Bailout Is Bringing A Lot More Money To Hawaii Than The Last One In 2008. The Great Recession’s federal stimulus program focused on building projects while CARES is putting more money directly into the pockets of residents and business owners. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to get $50M from federal government to fight COVID-19. The Department of Health said it plans to use part of the money to train about 300 contact tracers after being criticized for being slow to expand the public health workforce to deal with a surge in cases. Star-Advertiser.

State announces plans to bolster contact tracing, testing efforts as economy reopens. The governor announced plans Wednesday to ramp up contact tracing efforts in order to prepare for a possible increase in COVID-19 cases as the state’s economy reopens. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Get $50M For Ramped Up Contact Tracing, Funds For UH Tracers Training Sought. Hawaii is receiving $50 million in federal funding to ramp up contact tracing, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz announced today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Islands to receive $50M in federal funding for Covid-19 contact tracing. The Aloha State will be receiving $53 million in new federal funding to bolster Covid-19 contract tracing and testing across the Islands, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Schatz urges state to quickly bolster contact tracing with $50M in federal funding. Hawaii will get $50 million in federal funding to dramatically expand its COVID-19 contact tracing and testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i DOH and UH create contact tracing program. To help locate people who may be infected with the coronavirus the Department of Health and University of Hawaii joined forces to create a year-long $2.5 million contact tracing program. KITV4.

Reentry Support Key in Reducing Incarcerated Population. The transition from incarceration back into society has always been a challenge for Hawaiʻiʻs criminal justice system. Over the course of two months, the COVID-19 threat has moved hundreds of inmates back into the community – oftentimes with little to no support in navigating life outside jail or prison. Hawaii Public Radio.

State senator questions whether he had COVID-19. State Sen. Clarence Nishihara, whose positive COVID-19 test led to the March 19 shutdown of the state Capitol, said Wednesday his test may have been a false positive. Star-Advertiser.


How Honolulu Will Spend $487 Million In Federal Funds. With nearly half a billion dollars in federal aid, Honolulu plans to spend much of it assisting individuals and businesses, supporting first responders and working to prevent and reduce homelessness, city officials told council members on Wednesday. Civil Beat.


Health officials work to contain cluster of COVID-19 cases in a Kalihi housing project. The state reported three new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, and officials confirm they’re linked to a cluster of patients at Kalihi Valley Homes. Hawaii News Now.

First COVID-19 Cases Reported In Hawaii Public Housing. Seven cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Hawaii public housing, Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said at a press conference Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s 3 latest coronavirus cases came from cluster in Oahu family. One adult and two minors were infected as part of a cluster of seven cases in one extended family in public housing. Star-Advertiser.


No food court dining or fitting rooms under new retail reopening rules. Food take-out, drug stores, and food markets have remained open at shopping centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but on Friday, the rest of the shops can resume business. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Council advances luxury tax measure. A bill creating a structure for a luxury residence tax — with 99% of the targeted property situated in three West Hawaii council districts — easily passed its first hearing Wednesday before the County Council, with one more vote to go before heading to Mayor Harry Kim, who supports it. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Luxury Homeowners Could Be On The Hook For County Budget Shortfall. Fair or not, owners of high-end homes are being asked to fill a Hawaii County budget hole caused by the coronavirus. Civil Beat.


ACLU confused by county’s defense for removal of Hilo homeless camp. The American Civil Liberties Union called Hawaii County’s defense of the April removal of a downtown Hilo homeless camp “confusing.” Tribune-Herald.


Four Concepts In Volcanoes National Park Disaster Recovery Project. Public input is needed to review various concepts in a disaster recovery project following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and summit collapse. Big Island Video News.

National park seeks input on four proposed designs. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the U.S. Geological Survey are seeking community feedback on a series of proposed recovery projects within the park. Tribune-Herald.


Second Phase of Reopening Maui County Parks Begins Saturday, May 16. Mayor Michael Victorino announced the reopening of additional County parks and beach parks will take place on Saturday, May 16. The reopening of parks facilities includes select tennis and pickleball courts. Maui Now.

Maui nurses describe grueling battle in and outside the hospital. It has been a grueling battle on the front lines of Hawaii’s largest outbreak. It has been 12 days since Maui's main hospital admitted its last coronavirus patient. Hawaii News Now.

County proposes changes to zoning district. Short-term rentals would be removed but B&Bs allowed. The Maui Planning Commission recommended a bill Tuesday that would allow more than one accessory dwelling and remove short-term rentals in a rarely used zoning district. Maui News.

UH-MC to hold most fall classes online. Two-thirds online, one-third in person. University of Hawaii Maui College was ahead of the curve when it came to creating and releasing a fall class schedule that includes safety protocols for COVID-19. Maui News.

Maui retail store employee owed back wages after being denied leave to care for child during crisis. After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, it determined that Mana Foods violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act when it denied the employee leave. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i beaches are reopening on Friday, according to a Wednesday announcement by Mayor Derek Kawakami, who has also announced an extension of the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers through June 30th. Garden Island.

Kauai plans to reopen beaches, while extending passenger quarantine. Kauai will reopen its beaches Friday as part of a two-week pilot program that allows people to use the beach under certain restrictions designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai beaches to reopen with restrictions under 2-week pilot program. Kauai beaches will reopen Friday as part of a two-week test involving a new set of restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kawakami Extends Mandatory Quarantine for Incoming Travelers to Kaua‘i Through End of June. Kauaʻi Mayor Derek Kawakami today announced that he has signed Emergency Rule 9, which extends the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers to the island of Kauaʻi through the month of June. Maui Now.

Nearly 500 cited for breaking COVID-19 rules. The Kaua‘i Police Department has issued 493 citations as of May 11 since March, according to a department spokesperson. Garden Island.

Mayor proposes $33.6 million CIP budget. The CIP budget, which the Kaua‘i County Council will discuss in a meeting Friday, is proposed at $33,642,237, down from $34,410,730, which was submitted in early March, before the county could gauge how long-standing the coronavirus pandemic would affect revenue streams. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hotel keys to keep tourists in quarantine, Ige backs off employee pay cuts, furloughs, Legislature divvies up federal CARES funds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki hotels ©2020 All Hawaii News
One-time use key among new methods for strengthening quarantine monitoring. One of the updates included a new method hotels are making sure their guests are following the quarantine. This is by giving them a one-time use room key. KHON2.

Vacation rentals use loopholes to skirt quarantine. Vacation rentals, which have been ruled nonessential businesses statewide as government tries to stop the spread of COVID-19, are still drawing visitors to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Ige tells state workers: There’s no ‘immediate need’ to consider pay cuts or furloughs. The governor sought to reassure state workers Tuesday, saying there is no “immediate need to consider pay cuts or furloughs” despite the gaping budget shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers Are Deciding How To Spend Federal Bailout Money. The House Finance Committee doesn’t want state agencies to use federal stimulus dollars if they already have state money that can be used. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers tackle the state's budget bills. COVID 19 plays a big part in budget requests and spending in the state's multi-billion dollar budget bills. KITV4.

Color-coded state recovery plan to be unveiled. A cryptic, color-coded plan to reopen more parts of Hawaii’s economy will be unveiled this week, the House Finance Committee was told Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

State aims to work with University of Hawaii to train contact tracers. The state Department of Health today asked lawmakers to appropriate about $2.5 million to fund a program at the University of Hawaii that would train workers to track contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Associated Press.

Hawaii’s Struggling Farms Want The State To Become A Bigger Customer. With local farmers reeling from a drop in demand from hotels and restaurants, advocates hope schools, prisons and hospitals will buy more local produce. Civil Beat.


As ER Volumes Drop, Hawaii Doctors Worry People Are Delaying Care. Many health professionals across the state suspect the main reason for the decline in ER visits is patients’ fear of catching the coronavirus at the hospital. Hawaii Public Radio.

Doctors worry people are avoiding hospitals despite serious medical needs. Hawaii doctors are alarmed at the dramatic decline in emergency room visits in the last month. They say people are so afraid of contracting COVID-19, many are now ignoring life-threatening illnesses. Hawaii News Now.


School’s Out And With It A Reliable System For Flagging Abuse. School closures caused by COVID-19 this spring have meant fewer reports of possible abuse, but more neighbors and relatives are making calls. Civil Beat.

One new coronavirus case on Oahu brings statewide total to 635. Health officials said this afternoon that the new case was an out-of-state resident who was screened at the airport and subsequently tested positive. Star-Advertiser.


Pandemic Forces Honolulu Council To Slash Budget. Oahu’s local government isn’t expected to be as hard hit as Hawaii state government. Civil Beat.

State to borrow from new stadium project. While the state Legislature intends to pull back $20 million in general funds that had been appropriated to help build the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, it still expects to allot a full $350 million in financing to the project, lawmakers said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu malls and retail centers plan to reopen Friday. Several of Oahu’s shopping malls and retail centers are getting ready to reopen Friday as part of the first phase in reopening the state’s economy, but with new guidelines in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu retailers urge customers to prepare for a very different shopping experience. Two months after they were forced to close down, Oahu retailers are scrambling to put the finishing touches on their stores to be able to reopen Friday. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor offering grants to very small Oahu businesses. The city is directing at least $25 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to help very small businesses on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell announces new relief and recovery fund for small businesses. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces a Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund to help small local businesses who need it most, like mom and pop shops, and other Honolulu restaurants and stores that have been hit hard by COVID-19. KHON2.


Rail’s interim opening is pushed back to March. City officials now don’t expect the first segment of the $9.2 billion rail line will be operational until March, three months later than had been forecast. Star-Advertiser.

Date for rail to be up and running pushed back. The date that the Honolulu rail system was set to be up and running has been pushed back. KITV4.

City Council Grows Anxious As Rail’s COVID-19 Problems Deepen. The transit project has been plagued for years by skyrocketing costs. Now it faces a $100 million slump in the revenues that fund construction. Civil Beat.

After more than a year of deliberations, the Honolulu Rate Commission gave final OK to a plan that raises daily fares and monthly and annual passes for bus and rail riders but leaves it up to the City Council to decide when the new rates should kick in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii police union announces endorsement in Honolulu mayoral race. A former broadcast executive turned mayoral candidate has scooped up a valuable endorsement. The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers endorsed Rick Blangiardi for Honolulu mayor on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

The Pandemic Ignites A Bike Boom In Honolulu. With gyms closed and other exercise options limited, bicycle shops say they are selling almost every bike they can get their hands on. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

$80M CARES funds could come to Hawaii County. Hawaii County would receive $80 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding under a bill moving through the state Legislature. West Hawaii Today.

PGV reboot delayed again. Commercial operations at Puna Geothermal Venture are expected to begin in the fourth quarter, said parent company Ormat Technologies Inc. on Monday as part of a first-quarter earnings update. Tribune-Herald.

Corporation counsel responds to ACLU letter criticizing county’s decision to remove homeless camp. Hawaii County’s top civil attorney responded to a letter by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizing the county’s decision to remove a downtown Hilo homeless camp in April. Tribune-Herald.

No Active COVID-19 Cases On Hawaii Island, Civil Defense Reports. All 75 identified cases of COVID-19 on the Big Island have been cleared by the Department of Health as recovered, the mayor says. Big Island Video News.

The Big Island now has no active COVID-19 cases, but mayor urges vigilance. Hawaii Island on Tuesday reached an encouraging milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor Says “Absolutely Not” When Asked about Lifting Travel Quarantine on May 31st. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he plans to announce tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13, 2020), Phase 2 of the opening of Maui’s parks. Maui Now.

A Mixed Reopening. Customers hope more shops resume business. Just because retailers were allowed to reopen Monday didn’t mean they would actually do it, many shoppers learned when visiting malls around Maui. Maui News.

Retail businesses on Maui slow to reopen. Free standing stores and some stores within shopping malls are now allowed to get back to business but many are choosing to remain closed. KITV4.


Groundbreaking for Pua Loke. Construction for the $27.5 million project will consist of three residential buildings containing one- to three-bedroom rental units and is slated to begin before the end of this month. Garden Island.

Suicide uptick raises concern. Four suicides on Kaua‘i in less than a week have prompted concern by police and health workers that the COVID-19 crisis is moving in a dangerous new direction, with broad risks to mental health caused by joblessness, financial reversals and despair. Garden Island.

Seal found dead was pregnant. The Hawaiian monk seal found dead on Ha‘ena Beach in late April was pregnant, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Garden Island.