Showing posts with label trans-Pacific travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trans-Pacific travel. Show all posts

Friday, October 16, 2020

Smooth opening day for trans-Pacific travel to Hawaii, most Hawaii residents wear masks, Honolulu rail tops $10B, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

fromm KITV4 Facebook

More than 8,000 out-of-state passengers fly into Hawaii on the first day they could test out of a travel quarantine. It was a solid first day for the reopening of Hawaii tourism with 8,000-plus passengers coming through local airports — still only a little more than a third of October 2019’s daily domestic air traffic. Star-Advertiser.

Opening Day For Hawaii Tourism
: It’s Just The Beginning. Lt. Gov. Josh Green laid out several likely next steps as Hawaii reopened to travelers on Thursday with 8,000 arrivals expected. Civil Beat.

Thousands Arrive With Pre-Tests, Bypass Quarantine. Thirty trans-Pacific flights arrived in Hawaii yesterday on the first day of the state’s traveler testing program, carrying an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules. A new pre-travel testing program allowing visitors in Hawaii who test negative for COVID-19 to come to Hawaii and avoid the two weeks of mandatory quarantine — a measure that’s been in place for all arriving passengers for most of the year. Hawaii Island requires a second, on-arrival rapid antigen test to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine. Associated Press.

On first day of traveler testing program, some report issues and confusion over rules. Thousands of visitors and returning residents flew into the state Thursday, on the first day of the much-anticipated traveler testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Visitors face long lines, long wait times at airports on first day of pre-travel testing program. The first day kicked off for Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, and thousands from the mainland took the opportunity to come to Hawaii. KHON2.

Safe Travels Hawai'i Program officially launches.
Day One of state's pre-travel testing program. KITV4.

State to rely on voluntary, post-arrival tests to gauge safety of traveler testing program. Over the next couple days, the state’s first pre-tested travelers will get a notification on their Safe Travels Hawaii app asking if they’d like to volunteer to take a second COVID-19 test. Hawaii News Now.

Are You Wearing A Mask In Public? These Hawaii Researchers Want To Know. Hawaii is one of the first states to conduct a widespread study of how many people are wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The highest rate of mask usage was observed on Oahu at 83%, followed by Hawaii Island at 76%, Maui at 71%, and Kauai at 62%. Civil Beat.


New record set for Hawaii voter registrations. Following a record-setting primary election turnout, more than 832,000 people across the state already had registered to vote as of Thursday — and many likely already have voted through mail-in ballots for the upcoming Nov. 3 general election, which will decide Honolulu’s next mayor and the next U.S. president. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Hawaii Voters Embrace Biden For US President. They also say they are satisfied with voting by mail, especially in a time of coronavirus. Civil Beat.


New State Laws Have Significant Effects on Employers. The rules have changed on nondisclosure agreements, criminal background checks and family leave, while financial penalties for violating some labor regulations have increased as much as 1,000%. Hawaii Business magazine.

Former UPW Officials Sue Union Over Ousters. Former Hawaii labor union officials ousted over allegations of financial abuse are suing their old union over claims their terminations were not properly handled. Civil Beat.

Courts And Prosecutors Are Keeping Jail Populations Lower During Pandemic. Efforts to divert arrestees to reduce jail populations and limit the spread of COVID-19 have made some headway. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 15: 91 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The state identified 13 people with COVID-19 on the Big Island and two on Maui. Two Hawaii residents were diagnosed with the virus out of state. The remaining 74 cases were reported on Oahu, according to the Department of Health. Civil Beat.


Honolulu mayoral candidates agree it’s time to reopen tourism, despite the risks. The next mayor of Honolulu will start the job just a few months after the relaunch of tourism thanks to a new traveler testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor wants to open mobile COVID-19 testing lab at airport. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he believes the city is ready to reopen tourism ― and hopes a new mobile lab at Honolulu’s airport will increase testing capacity. He says the lab could process up to 10,000 tests a day, delivering results in under three hours. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu on track to move to Tier 2 of reopening strategy. Oahu is on track to move into the next level of reopening the economy in one week with restrictions on gyms, personal services and other activities being lifted as long as coronavirus cases remain low. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Rail Cost Now at $9.9 Billion But That Estimate Will Likely Grow. The contractor overseeing Honolulu rail for the federal government believes the new, local cost projections released this week showing an $832 million price increase are too low and likely to climb, according to project board members. Civil Beat.

Rail project cost estimate now jacked up above $10 billion. The projected cost of the city’s troubled East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail project has now moved above the $10 billion mark. Star-Advertiser.

The latest estimate for Honolulu’s embattled rail project: $10B. The cost for the city’s beleaguered rail project continues to soar ― and now stands at nearly $10 billion. Hawaii News Now.

Ko Olina to open all 4 lagoons to public. The Ko Olina resort, hit by overwhelming opposition to its plan to ban the public from several lagoon beaches, said today it was reversing direction and will open all four of its lagoons to the public with parking beginning Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Trans-Pacific Travelers Arrive at Kona Airport. The first trans-Pacific travelers participating in Hawai‘i’s pre-travel coronavirus testing program arrived at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole Thursday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Visitors To Kona Tested On Arrival As Tourists Return To Hawaiʻi. President and Founder of Premier Medical Group Hawaii, Dr. Scott Miscovich, MD, talks about the busy Thursday of passenger testing at Kona Airport. Big Island Video News.

Few hiccups at Hilo airport as trans-Pacific travelers return. The first day of post-flight testing at Hilo International Airport went by largely without incident as a trickle of trans-Pacific travelers returned to the Big Island on Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases. Hawaii Island surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 cases Thursday with the addition of 13 new cases, bringing the island’s tally to 1005 since Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today.

Puakea Ranch expansion approved. A special permit to expand the uses of a historical ranch near Hawi was approved Thursday on a 6-0 vote by the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Victorino Declares ‘Rebirth of Our Visitor Industry’ with Launch of Safe Travels Program. At Kahului Airport, just before the Thursday morning arrival of United Airlines Flight 417 from Los Angeles, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino declared: “This is a new day for Maui County. It is a rebirth of our visitor industry.” Maui Now.

Milestone Reached in Hawai‘i’s Tourism Reboot, Leaders Monitor for Adjustments. The state’s Safe Travels Hawai‘i program officially launched on Thursday marking the start of pre-travel COVID-19 testing for trans-Pacific flights arriving in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Many Maui travelers using state’s new pre-travel testing program. Most of the passengers aboard the first trans-Pacific flight to Kahului Airport since the state’s pre-travel testing program began took advantage of the option to bypass Hawaii’s two-week quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test. Maui News.

Protests Arise Over Burial Protections on West Maui Construction Site. Tensions are rising on Maui’s west end over construction that’s begun on known historic burial grounds in Kauaʻula Valley. Lineal descendants of the area have flocked to the site in recent days to halt the project until archeological work can be done to ensure ancestral remains are protected. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pukalani Skate Park social distancing. Signs requiring face masks and social distancing at the Pukalani Skate Park are not being followed earlier this month as groups of skaters gather closely with only a few in the park wearing masks. The facilities were shut down due to COVID-19 in March but reopened on June 1. Maui News.


Meet the Candidates: Arryl Kaneshiro. Growing up on Kaua‘i, incumbent Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said there was always a desire to live up to expectations. Garden Island.

Tracking the spread of ROD on Kaua‘i.
Researchers at the University of Hawai‘i Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit have collaborated with multiple agencies to develop a management tracking system to keep crucial data organized as the Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death fungus continues to spread to parts of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Hawaii opens travel to trans-Pacific flights, Japan flights coming soon; Ige popularity low in poll; $1B hole in Honolulu rail, more state and local news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines plane at airport ©2020 All Hawaii News

Airlines Predict A Long Slow Recovery Even As Tourism Returns. As Hawaii reopens to tourists with a plan that lets travelers sidestep the state’s 14-day quarantine for arrivals, few companies stand to gain more than Hawaiian Airlines. Then again, few have lost more because of the shutdown. Civil Beat.


Japan may join Hawaii COVID-19 pre-travel testing once ‘trusted partners’ picked. Japanese visitors, the state’s top international market, won’t be among the first out-of-state travelers coming to Hawaii through a pre-arrivals testing program on Thursday. But they’ll likely be coming soon. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Approves COVID Test For Japan Travelers. The Hawaii Department of Health is now working with Japanese medical institutions to find “trusted partners” to administer the tests. Civil Beat.

Visitors from Japan approved for state’s pre-travel testing program, too. Visitors from Japan will soon be able to avoid quarantining upon arrival in Hawaii by participating in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program, state officials said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Green light for travelers from Japan. The executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau said the organization Hawaii Tourism Japan “has already got an initial marketing campaign set” for attracting Japanese visitors back to the islands. Tribune-Herald.

Pre-Travel Testing Approved For Japan. Mainlanders will begin returning to Hawai‘i tomorrow with the possibility of a quarantine exemption, and visitors from Japan won’t be far behind. Big Island Now.

Hawai‘i Approves Japan’s Procedure for Pre-Travel Testing Program. Proof of a negative test result from trusted testing partners in Japan will allow travelers from Japan to bypass the 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Hawai‘i. Maui Now.

Health Department approves Japan’s testing procedure for pre-travel testing program. The Department of Health has approved the COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test authorized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. KITV4.


State expects 7,000 incoming passengers on first day of traveler testing program. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed the figure Wednesday night and said Hawaii is ready to welcome travelers back. He also asked for patience as the state works some kinks out of the system. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Voters Still Sour On Ige And Caldwell. And yet they also believe those very same leaders made the right call on stay-at-home and quarantine orders. Civil Beat.

Auditors find lack of planning, coordination in traveler quarantine program. As the state prepares to launch a traveler testing program Thursday to reboot tourism, a new audit is raising questions about the state’s oversight of its quarantine mandate and how it will be managed once federal funds run out in December. Hawaii News Now.

Surveillance testing for incoming passengers will start as pre-travel testing program launches. Thousands of passengers are expected to come in on Thursday, which is when the state’s pre-travel testing program launches. KHON2.

Here’s what travelers should know about the state’s pre-testing process. If you have not yet booked your flight to Hawaii and want to avoid quarantine, first step is going to HawaiiCOVID19 and check the trusted testing and travel partners page. Hawaii News Now.

Confused About Hawaii's Travel Tests? Hawaii plans to reopen to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine starting Thursday if the passengers can show a negative COVID-19 test. Hawaii Public Radio.


Up to 65% of Hawaii restaurants could close for good, industry leader warns. That estimate comes from a recent survey by the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents the roughly 3,600 restaurants across the state. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii prepares to welcome visitors back, 660 airport food service workers laid off. HMSHost, the company that manages the concessions and restaurants at airports, will permanently lay off more than 660 of its employees. That’s more than 80% of concessions staff. The decision impacts airport workers on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

More than 600 HMSHost airport workers to be laid off in Hawaii, union says. More than 660 Hawaii airport workers will be permanently laid off Thursday, the same day that the state is reopening to tourism with the launch of a pre-travel testing program after numerous delays, according to union representative UNITE HERE Local 5. Star-Advertiser.

Restaurant card also accepted at bakeries, catering services. Approximately 116,000 residents in Hawaii who filed for unemployment insurance benefits are expected to receive a $500 prepaid debit card beginning Friday to spend at local restaurants, bakeries and catering services. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige offers clarity to Restaurant Card Program. Gov. David Ige clarified eligibility for a $500 restaurant card and how the state came to that conclusion after the state found out there was much confusion on social media recently. Garden Island.

Qualified residents to begin receiving Hawai‘i restaurant card in the mail beginning October 16. KITV4.

Campaign Spending Commission: Ad Reporting Law Needs Changed. The Campaign Spending Commission levied over $6,900 worth of fines against 20 candidates at a meeting Wednesday. Almost all of the fines came because of a failure to comply with rules over advertising disclosures that many new candidates have found confusing. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 14: 101 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The state said 18 cases were on the Big Island and one case was on Maui. One resident was diagnosed out of state. The remaining 81 cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Caldwell wants post-travel test for those who don’t get one before arrival. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing an entirely different way to test travelers who want to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine. He wants to make tests available to those arriving on Oahu if they couldn’t get one before travel. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell questions state’s surveillance testing program. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is questioning the effectiveness of a surveillance testing program meant to be a key safety net in the safe reopening of Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.


Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi trade barbs in KHON debate. During a direct questioning period between the candidates, Blangiardi raised objections to a series of critical campaign ads Amemiya’s campaign has put out against him. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayoral Debate feat. Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi.
Honolulu’s next mayor will have the monumental task of handling the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of nearly one million residents, all while figuring out how to revive Oahu’s economy. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council: Young Legislative Staffers Run To Represent Kalihi Area. The District 7 candidates’ backgrounds, résumés and values are similar. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Rail’s New Budget Hole Estimated At More Than $1 Billion. Project leaders will likely struggle to secure more funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

City’s exit from rail phase equated to a ‘divorce’. Honolulu Councilman Brandon Elefante on Wednesday put the city’s withdrawal from participating in building the final 4.16 miles of the troubled rail project in the terms of a divorce. Star-Advertiser.

Pandemic causes shortage of high-end Oahu rentals.
Kailua is just one of the hot rental markets, so are high end neighborhoods like Lanikai and Kahala, according to Duke Kimhan, the owner of Hawaii Pacific Property Management. KITV4.

Waikiki retailers prep for anticipated bump in business. Businesses in the heart of Hawaii’s tourism hot spot are eagerly awaiting the anticipated bump in tourists come Thursday. It’s been seven months since tourism screeched to an abrupt halt in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu to get 5 new playgrounds; work starts next week in Waimanalo. City officials said construction for new playgrounds at five Oahu parks is underway, with work expected to begin next week at Waimanalo Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Mililani Middle to transition onto single-track calendar to address overcrowding. A new three-story building at Mililani Middle School will soon house 15 additional classrooms to help ease overcrowding issues at the nearly 2,000-student campus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ready, set, go: A reluctant Mayor Kim opens the island to trans-Pacific travelers. Mayor Harry Kim prefers not to open up the island at all today to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine, but since he has no choice, he implemented the two-test procedure to reduce the coronavirus infection risk to residents and visitors. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim Questioned On Inter-Island Travel Status. Mayor Harry Kim went before the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday to clear up confusion in regard to Thursday’s start of the pre-travel testing program in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

How post-arrival testing will be conducted at Hilo airport. Trans-Pacific travelers to Hilo should expect a relatively smooth arrival as the county implements post-flight COVID-19 tests at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ready for influx; Improvements to park made during pandemic. With the state loosening travel restrictions for trans-Pacific travelers today, the Big Island’s most popular tourist destination is preparing for an increase of visitors. Tribune-Herald.


Drop your ballot here. There are 12 drop-off boxes countywide, and voters may drop off their ballots through 7 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3. Maui News.

Post-travel testing options are permitted by state. Maui County officials Tuesday afternoon branded their pre- and post-travel testing programs as “Arrive Healthy, Stay Healthy and Return Home Healthy” as the state prepares for an influx of travelers beginning Thursday. Maui News.


Meet the Candidates: Arryl Kaneshiro. Growing up on Kaua‘i, incumbent Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said there was always a desire to live up to expectations. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i starts its reopening on Tier 4. 
Mayor Derek Kawakami is urging residents to wear masks as the state makes its long-awaited reopening to trans-Pacific travelers. Garden Island.


Hawaiian Telcom Expands Fiber Broadband Service on Moloka‘i. Hawaiian Telcom has expanded its fiber broadband service to nearly 700 new homesteads in East and North Central Moloka‘i, according to the company’s news release. Maui Now.


Lanai Oil Company agrees to $71K EPA fine for Clean Water Act violations.
The Lanai Oil Company Inc. has agreed to pay a penalty of $71,166 as part of a settlement for Clean Water Act violations at its bulk oil storage facility on the island, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

EPA Requires Lanai Oil Co. To Protect Hawaiian Waterways from Oil Spills
in Proposed Settlement. Under the agreement, Lanai Oil is required to pay a penalty of $71,166. EPA believes the penalty will reduce the risk of oil spills from their Lanai Oilʻs terminal to Lanai’s Kaumalapau Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Maui Now.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Ige says state on track to open Oct. 15 but not all islands are on board, Fauci says wear your mask, Hilo High grad wins Nobel Prize, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov. David Ige at Honolulu airport Wednesday

Pre-travel testing program on track. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s pre-travel testing program is on track to start Oct. 15 and will include random COVID-19 testing of 10% of incoming passengers four days after arrival in a move to determine the program’s effectiveness. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Hawaii Is Still On Track For Oct. 15 Tourism Reopening. Hawaii plans to move forward with a plan to reopen to tourists on Oct. 15, Gov. David Ige said on Wednesday, ending days of uncertainty about the governor’s plan amidst a storm of objections by neighbor island mayors and the Honolulu City councilman who represents Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Ige says traveler testing to launch as scheduled, despite safety concerns. The governor said Wednesday he’s “confident” the state’s much-touted testing plan for trans-Pacific travelers will launch as scheduled Oct. 15, but acknowledged that Neighbor Island mayors still aren’t sold on the safety of the program aimed at rebooting tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Ige says Oct. 15 opening of trans-Pacific travel is essential for state’s economy. Gov. David Ige remained insistent Wednesday that the state is committed to opening up trans-Pacific travel on Oct. 15 without requiring quarantines for arriving passengers who tested negative for COVID-19 by using a “trusted partner” of the state within 72 hours prior to departure. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Reopening Tourism Update. On Wednesday, State officials unveiled the "trusted testing partners" who can help provide visitors to Hawaiʻi with the necessary, pre-travel test. Big Island Video News.

Gov. Ige Provides Update on October 15 Pre-Travel Testing Program. Gov. Ige said the state does not expect an immediate flood of travelers, but is using Oct. 15 as a deadline to bring testing and contact tracing capabilities to the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness achieved so far. Maui Now.

Post-Arrival Surveillance Testing of Tourists Won’t Carry Quarantine Penalties.
One of the major potential pitfalls of the program is that those people who test positive as part of second-wave surveillance testing won’t be subject to quarantine if they return a positive result. Neither will participants be made aware of their test results unless they explicitly ask for them, under the current configuration of the plan. Big Island Now.

State launches second surveillance testing program. With a week left before reopening, the state is committing to a surveillance testing program that will randomly select 10% of travelers to take a state-funded second test. Garden Island.

County mayors in disagreement over the state’s tourism relaunch plan. Just eight days before Hawaii reopens for trans-Pacific travel, the state is still nailing down key details for its pre-travel testing program, including which counties will drop the 14-day quarantine for visitors who get tested. Hawaii News Now.

Maui, Kauai Weighing Whether To Opt Out Of Pre-Test Program Following Big Island. Maui and Kauai haven’t decided whether they will follow the lead of the Big Island and opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, leaving the 14-day quarantine in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

State urged to implement second COVID test or postpone its pre-travel testing reopening. The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved Resolution 20-253, which urges the Governor to adopt and implement a two or more test system for COVID-19 for all incoming passengers who intend to bypass Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine. KITV4.

Maui Moving Forward with Pre-Travel Testing Program. Mayor Michael Victorino is requesting support from the Governor, visitor industry and businesses to urge transpacific travelers to voluntarily take a second test after they arrive in Maui County, under the State’s pre-travel testing program. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island mayor stands behind decision to keep 14-day quarantine in effect. Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim is standing by his decision not to participate in the state’s pre-travel testing program unless the governor approves a two-test option for the island that has seen coronavirus cases surge in recent weeks. Star-Advertiser.

‘Misinterpreted’ Mayor Kim says he has a commitment of 50,000 visitor arrival COVID-19 tests. “When you come through Hawaii Island you will be going through a second test.” KHON2.

Mayor Harry Kim clarifies his position on state's pre-travel testing program. Seemingly more confusion along with more details released on Wednesday about the state's scheduled reopening of Trans-Pacific travel on October 15th. KITV4.

A week to go, officials weigh-in on reopening. The county has not ruled out opting out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, County of Kaua‘i Managing Director Michael Dahilig briefed the Kaua‘i County Council Wednesday. Garden Island.

Inter-island travelers want option to bypass quarantine similar to pre-travel testing program. While the state is preparing for mainland visitors to come in with the pre-travel testing program set to launch on Oct. 15, many are questioning why inter-island travelers don’t have the same option. KHON2.


Fauci: Hawaii can reopen to tourists, but should do so gradually and carefully. As the state prepares to launch a pre-travel coronavirus testing program next week, it’s inevitable that COVID-infected people will slip through the cracks and into Hawaii, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says prudent measures needed for Hawaii tourism to recover.  Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, also said Hawaii can revive its tourism- dependent economy if done prudently and carefully. Star-Advertiser.

Green talks COVID-19, tourism with Fauci. “The reality is, no matter what you do, there are going to be infected people who slip through the cracks,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, about the planned Oct. 15 reopening of Hawaii to tourism. Tribune-Herald.


Surgeon General Jerome Adams responds to Hawaii emergency order citation. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams spoke publicly for the first time on Oct. 7 about getting a COVID-19 emergency order citation when he was on Oahu in August. KHON2.

Uncertainty lingers over safety of welcoming back students to in-person learning. With classes resuming for public school students on Monday, the Department of Education has yet to release a clear plan for reopening classrooms to in-person learning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House Lawmakers Look To Capture Open Senate Seats. Rep. Chris Lee, a Windward Oahu lawmaker and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Joy San Buenaventura, who represents Puna and chairs the House Human Services and Homelessness Committee, are both leaving the House for the chance to win seats left open by the departures of Sens. Laura Thielen and Russell Ruderman, who are not seeking reelection. Civil Beat.

New Fees Go Into Effect at State Parks on Friday. Park Visitors will now pay $10 per vehicle and $5 for walk-ins at eight parks on the four major islands. Previously fees were $5 per vehicle and $1 for walk-in visitors. Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 7: 110 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Of the new cases diagnosed, 18 were on Hawaii island. Two Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. The remaining new cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.


City Council passes entrance fee increase at Hanauma Bay. Two Honolulu City Council measures to help restoration efforts at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, including a significant increase in entrance and parking fees for visitors, were passed on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

City Leaders Advance Bill To Withdraw Rail Construction Dollars. The Honolulu City Council took a notable first step Wednesday toward revoking the city’s remaining $144 million that has been committed to help complete rail. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Candidates Say They’d Finish Rail As Planned But Not How They’d Pay For It. But the situation with the more than $9 billion project is so fluid right now that both Amemiya and Blangiardi struggle to say how they’ll handle it. Civil Beat.

Rick Blangiardi shares ‘90 Day Roadmap to Recovery’ that calls for accountability, new oversight. The plan calls for new job descriptions for city officials, greater accountability and pledges to work cooperatively with state officials, the City Council and other critical officials should he be elected mayor on Nov. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Ko Olina bans public from lagoon beaches. Ko Olina Resort plans to ban the public from using three of its four lagoons starting next month, reserving their use for hotel guests and condominium owners. Star-Advertiser.

More LED lights to be installed at city parks under new energy efficiency initiative. The City and County of Honolulu launched a new initiative on Wednesday designed to ramp up efficiency efforts at parks and facilities across Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief: Case Closure Stats Are Not As Bad As They Look. HPD’s chief rejects FBI data that shows the department is failing to solve the vast majority of crimes but said she is taking steps to improve the clearance rate anyway. Civil Beat.

Board of Water Supply asks Oahu residents to conserve water due to drought conditions
. For the past five months, officials said rainfall has been less than 50% of the normal average on Oahu, which prevents the adequate recharge of the isle’s aquifers. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 case forces closure of Kapolei Satellite City Hall, but Kapolei Hale remains open. The Satellite City Hall at Kapolei Hale is closed for deep cleaning and the remaining employees are in self-quarantine, city officials said today.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo High graduate one of 2 Nobel Prize winners in chemistry. Hilo is all abuzz about one of its own, Jennifer A. Doudna, sharing the Nobel Prize in chemistry with co-researcher Emanuelle Charpentier of France. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo High graduate Jennifer A. Doudna wins Nobel in chemistry. Jennifer A. Doudna, who grew up on the Big Island, became the second female scientist in two days with ties to that island to receive a Nobel Prize. Associated Press.

Jennifer Doudna Wins 2020 Nobel Prize In Chemistry. Doudna, who grew up in Hilo, shares the prize with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for their genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine. Big Island Video News.

Challenges remain in response to Life Care Center COVID outbreak.
Although an extensive COVID-19 response plan has been in place at Life Care Center of Hilo since the early days of the pandemic, staff and administrators are still working to contain an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Tribune-Herald.


Panel denies 59-unit Olowalu housing project. An Olowalu housing project awash with debate was voted down by the County Council Affordable Housing Committee in a close 5-4 decision on Monday. Maui News.

Maui planning commissioner at center of debate over alleged shoreline pollution. On Maui, multiple state and county agencies are investigating alleged pollution at Olowalu on the west shore. At the center of the controversy is the chair of the county’s planning commission. Hawaii News Now.

7 more Roselani residents test positive. Seven more residents at Roselani Place have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 36 residents and 31 staff, Roselani Place management said Tuesday. Maui News.

Ka‘ahumanu Theatres are planning to reopen Friday. The movie theaters at Queen Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center will reopen Friday after Maui County gave cinemas the green light to resume operations. Maui News.


Pacific Current purchases Port Allen Solar facility on Kauai from A&B. Pacific Current and its wholly owned subsidiary, Kaieie Waho Company, LLC, acquired the Port Allen Solar facility on Kauai from Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.’s McBryde Sugar Company, LLC. Pacific Business News.

Celebrating late Senator Spark ‘Sparky’ Matsunaga. Celebrate the 104th birthday of former U.S. Senator Spark “Sparky” Matsunaga in a garden made in his honor, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Storybook Theatre of Hawai‘i in Hanapepe. Garden Island.

A Labor of Love at the Friendship House. Friendship House is a Clubhouse Model Psychiatric Rehabilitation program, providing mental health services to adults with mental illness on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Officials question readiness to reopen Hawaii to travelers, Ige to pick Supreme Court justice, film and TV production restarting, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii Supreme Court building
Hawaii Supreme Court building ©2020 All Hawaii News

Gov. David Ige Mulling Over His First Hawaii Supreme Court Nominee. The governor’s choice will likely be vetted by the Senate in November. Civil Beat.

State Supreme Court Nominees to be Considered.
Gov. David Ige has received a list of four nominees from the Judicial Selection Commission for Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. Big Island Now.

Governor’s office seeks input on nominees for state Supreme Court. The Judicial Selection Commission sent Ige a list of four names for associate justice on the Supreme Court. The names include: Todd W. Eddins, David M. Forman, Darolyn Lendio Heim and Benjamin E. Lowenthal. Hawaii News Now.


Contact Tracing Program Continues To Struggle, Despite Additional Staff. The Hawaii Department of Heath’s troubled contact tracing program is reporting new issues, even after an influx of new staff. Hawaii Public Radio.

Trans-Pacific travel: Ready for prime time? Kim says no.
With just two weeks remaining to get it all together, Hawaii’s pretest trans-Pacific travel plan is not ready for prime time, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday, a sentiment echoed by two recent travelers to the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kawakami wants all visitors to take a COVID-19 test after arriving on Kaua'i Mayor Kawakami sent a proposal for a post-arrival test program to Governor David Ige that would require visitors to get tested within 72 hours after arrival in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, if Governor Ige grants his permission. KITV4.

Councilman calls on the governor to prove Hawaii is ready to welcome back visitors. A city council member and some residents are calling on the governor to show the state can handle the launch of Hawaii’s trans-pacific travel program. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Prepares For Tourism Increase On October 15. Plans to carefully reopen Hawaiʻi to tourism were discussed on Monday during a virtual meeting of the Hawaiʻi House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. Big Island Video News.

More hotels announce reopening dates after pre-travel testing takes effect. More hotels have announced plans to reopen after the Oct. 15 pre-travel testing program takes effect, but even with more rooms online, some in the lodging industry are keeping low expectations on the number of visitors. KHON2.


State: More than 40,000 Hawaii residents have lost private health insurance amid pandemic. According to the state Department of Human Services, enrollment in the state Med-Quest or Medicaid program has jumped 13% to a record 376,000 residents ― from 333,000 in September 2019. Hawaii News Now.

How to register for the Department of Education's virtual job fair on Wednesday. The DOE is looking to fill roughly 400 teacher positions for the current school year at a virtual job fair taking place on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. KITV4.

Despite $420M loan, Hawaiian Airlines job cuts loom. Hawaiian Airlines got a lifeline worth up to $420 million on Tuesday from the Treasury Department, but the CARES Act loan alone won’t stave off the more than 2,500 job reductions that are anticipated at the state’s largest airline. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Is Revealing Problems With How Hawaii’s Government Uses Data. There doesn’t seem to be a clear data strategy for the virus response. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Film, TV Production Restarting Despite Pandemic.There are definite signs of life in Hawai'i's film industry. Season three of "Magnum PI" is underway, and other productions are shooting on Hawai'i island and Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

State plan would dish out free restaurant meals for the unemployed. Unemployed residents and struggling restaurants in Hawaii could soon share $67 million in federal coronavirus aid under a new state plan. Star-Advertiser.

A new program could allow those out of work to eat at restaurants for free. A new program is in the works to help Hawaii’s jobless families and restaurants. Those out of work would eat for free and the federal government would pick up the tab. Hawaii News Now.


PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox stepping down. Wilcox, a lifelong Hawaii resident who has been at the helm of the public television station since 2007, will relocate to San Antonio to be with an ailing family member. Star-Advertiser.

Leslie Wilcox stepping down as president, CEO of PBS Hawaii after 14 years. Wilcox leaves behind a 48-year legacy of shaping local media in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Leslie Wilcox to step down as President and CEO of PBS Hawaii. After 14 years, the President and CEO of PBS Hawai’i, Leslie Wilcox, announced she will be stepping down from her position. KHON2.


VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 29: 87 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported 87 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including three in Hawaii County, two on Maui, and two out of state. Civil Beat.


Group of bar owners planning to sue city and Mayor for keeping bars closed. The Hawaii Bar Owner's Association says it is planning legal action to force city to let them open again. KITV4.

HPD Crime-Solving Record Is The Worst Its Been In At Least 40 Years. HPD won’t talk about it, but FBI data shows Honolulu has one of the worst records in the country when it comes to solving property crimes as well as violent crimes. Civil Beat.

TheHandi-Van users want fare increase delayed. Testifiers and users of TheHandi-Van voiced support for increasing the fare to ride, but said it should not be implemented now when many people are struggling from the COVID-19 outbreak in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Liliha Healthcare Center tracks COVID-19 cluster with 27 infections reported. The Liliha Healthcare Center reported Tuesday night that 21 residents and six staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Liliha nursing home hit with coronavirus outbreak. A Liliha nursing home is scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has so far sickened 21 residents and six staff members. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Army: State Needs To Renew Lease For Big Island Training Area.
Artillery is playing an increasingly prominent role in global conflicts, but opponents say the training there threatens environment and community health. Civil Beat.

$2.2 Million For Ahalanui Park, Taken By Lava In 2018. The new FEMA money may be used to restore the park at its current location, or at an alternate site, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz says. Big Island Video News.

$2.2M heading to Hawaii County to restore park destroyed in 2018 eruption
. More federal funding is heading to Hawaii Island to continue recovery efforts from the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Hawaii News Now.

Hopeful in Honokaa: Businesses struggle with lack of visitors, eye Oct. 15 reopening. A mandatory 14-day quarantine for trans-Pacific travelers has all but eliminated out-of-state visitors to the former plantation town, and many business owners wonder how long they can hang on. Tribune-Herald.

Palani Road work nearing completion. Palani Road is anticipated to return to two-lane travel between Kailua Pier and Kuakini Highway next week. West Hawaii Today.

Kim still hopeful breakwater study can start soon.
An investigation into whether alterations to the Hilo Bay breakwater can improve the bay’s water quality might still go forward next month despite COVID-related disruptions. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island Voters Will Decide 16 County Charter Amendments.
The issues include County Council term lengths and giving the council and certain boards more disciplinary powers. Civil Beat.


Temptation Island Starts Filming This Week, Two Other Productions Planned on Maui. Maui Film Commissioner Tracy Bennett provided an update on the production of the reality TV show, Temptation Island, which starts filming this week at the Andaz Maui at Wailea resort. Maui Now.

Two more projects to film on Maui. Two more productions will film in paradise against the backdrop of the pandemic, joining the reality show “Temptation Island,” which starts filming this week on Maui. Maui News.

Hospital worker who was critical of facility’s administration fired. An outspoken Maui Memorial Medical Center nurse who has criticized the hospital’s handling of two COVID-19 outbreaks as well as its virus protocols for staff and patients has been terminated. Maui News.

Community rallies around longtime Haiku teacher. Monica Nakahashi placed on leave while investigation pending. Maui News.


Mayor: Kaua’i aims for upscale tourism. Mayor Derek Kawakami participated in a five-person-panel, Zoom discussion Tuesday, “Restarting Hawai‘i’s Tourism Industry.” Garden Island.

Planning Department front counter closed. The county Planning Department’s front counter at the Kapule Building in the Lihu‘e Civic Center is closed now through Monday, Oct. 12, while the area undergoes construction. Garden Island.

Cases not infectious while traveling. Investigation the state Department of Health made into the two active COVID-19 cases on Kaua‘i gives officials confidence neither was infectious during travel. Garden Island.