Friday, May 8, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Just 1 new COVID-19 case: Hawaii opens more parks, stores, Senate panel mulls tough new tourist rules, Obama building Oahu home, Zuckerberg donates to Kauai community, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lt. Gov. Josh Green at May 6, 2020 press conference on Facebook Live
Ige, Green make case for partial opening of economy. With Hawaii on a two-week roll of single digit cases of COVID-19 per day, Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green teamed up Wednesday to explain and defend the first phase of reopening the state’s economy, which starts today. Star-Advertiser.


State parks reopen on a limited basis. Select Hawaii state parks have been reopened for active hiking and beach exercise during daylight hours, subject to restrictions and continued requirements that visitors respect social distancing, stay in motion and avoid gatherings “of any sort,” the state Division of State Parks announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Opens Select State Parks. The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks is re-opening select parks and monuments across the state with an emphasis on social distancing and exercise, and continued restrictions on gatherings of any sort. Big Island Video News.

More beach parks, hikes open for exercise; social distancing rules still apply. As more parks and beaches reopen ahead of Mother’s Day weekend, it’s important to remember that rules still apply and will be enforced. KHON2.

On beach closures, the governor and lieutenant governor aren’t on the same page. Despite the growing list of businesses and state parks that are set to reopen, Gov. David Ige says Hawaii’s beaches are still off limits for relaxing and sunbathing. Hawaii News Now.


Just 1 new coronavirus case in Hawaii, bringing statewide tally to 626. Hawaii’s coronavirus tally has risen by just one case today to a total of 626, the state Department of Health announced. The new case was an adult on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports just 1 new COVID-19 case, bringing statewide total to 626. Hawaii is reporting just one new COVID-19 case Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 626. The new case is on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

DOH Reports 1 New Case of Coronavirus Statewide. Hawai‘i Department of Health officials reported one new case of coronavirus overnight, bringing the statewide total to 626. Big Island Now.

Just 1 More COVID-19 Case Reported On Oahu. Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that he is lifting some restrictions because Hawaii has gone two weeks with fewer than six new cases confirmed per day. Civil Beat.

Lt. Gov. Green Compares Hawaii COVID-19 Rates To Nation. Hawaiʻi has the lowest mortality rate from COVID-19 infection in the entire United States, says Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, as well as the second lowest case rate in the nation. Big Island Video News.


Tougher rules ahead for quarantined visitors. New measures are being proposed to make sure travelers are not carrying COVID-19 into the state, some of these include testing before travel as well as tougher rules under quarantine. KHON2.

State Senate panel makes recommendations to beef up quaratine enforcement. A state Senate committee is recommending that hotels not issue room keys to visitors during the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period, nor should visitors be allowed to rent cars while officially quarantined. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers make series of suggestions to crack down on visitors who violate quarantine. A legislative committee charged with helping to steer the state’s response to COVID-19 is making a series of suggestions aimed at better enforcing a mandatory quarantine for visitors. Hawaii News Now.


Businesses seek clear path and protocols for reopening, as clock ticks on companies’ survival. Business owners and workers are happy to see some sectors start to get the green light to re-open, but the approval process has some baffled. KHON2.

Gov. and mayors clear the air on when businesses can open. Oahu retailers will open next week Friday. Other counties such as Kauai and the Big Island can open Thursday. Maui will open on Monday. KHON2.

Ige Says Child Care Centers Can Reopen. But Are They Ready? At least 100 private, licensed facilities have never closed since the pandemic, limiting care to children of essential workers. Civil Beat.

State Lacks Child Care Plan As Parents Return To Work. Gov. David Ige’s newest emergency proclamation allows more businesses to reopen their doors as early as tomorrow. Hawaii Public Radio.

To ease burden on system, state asks laid off workers to file certifications only on certain days. Thousands of laid off workers frustrated with trying to file weekly certifications for their unemployment claims are being encouraged to instead file on designated days. Hawaii News Now.

Ige halts suspension of open government laws. The latest emergency proclamation by Gov. David Ige steps back from blanket suspensions of the state open meetings and open records laws that he had issued in mid-March in an effort to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Low Risk Safety Checks Can Resume May 15. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation is coordinating the reopening of stations for Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspections (PMVI or Safety Checks) starting Friday, May 15. Maui Now.

Safety checks to resume starting May 15. Safety check certificates and stickers expiring on or before May 31, 2020, will remain valid until August 31, 2020. All other safety checks that expire in 2020 will be valid for an additional three months after the 2020 expiration date. KHON2.

Home sales in Hawaii take hit amid pandemic. Hawaii’s real estate market is now getting pounded from complications of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu faces nine-figure budget shortfall, City Councilmember suggests bonds. The City and County of Honolulu announced Wednesday that it is expecting a budget shortfall of $130 million in 2021. KHON2.

Oahu property tax payers can pay in installments. All property tax payers on Oahu will have more time to pay the major portion of their August tax bills under a plan unveiled by Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu To Allow Delayed Property Tax Payments. Property tax payments can be delayed to help during the pandemic but won’t be forgiven. Civil Beat.

City gives relief to property owners in regards to their next tax bill. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is giving some relief to property owners when it comes to paying their next property tax bill. KITV4.


Oahu retailers left puzzled over ‘lack of collaboration’ in reopening announcement. After the governor’s announcement Tuesday about reopening a large portion of Hawaii’s economy, Oahu retailers started scrambling to figure out how they’d reopen in two days. Then came a sudden change: The Governor’s Office said the reopening date for Oahu was actually May 15. Hawaii News Now.

Confusion over order hits O'ahu retailers. Store owners say they know things will be different but they also say staying closed too long isn't an option. KITV4.


4,000 line up again for free food. For the second time in a week, thousands of cars lined up for more than a mile and waited for hours to pick up 50 pounds of free food. Star-Advertiser.

Many heartbroken to see long lines again at food assistance site. Hundreds of vehicles once again lined the street for Oahu’s second food distribution event at Aloha Stadium. KHON2.


UH Is Making Students Vacate Campus Housing Next Week. About 750 students still live on campus at the University of Hawaii Manoa. But most are being told to move out by May 16 even as the stay-at-home order makes it hard to find housing. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Moving To Expand Crackdown On Homeless. The city’s sit-lie ban could soon include streets around the Institute for Human Services, but shelters don’t have enough room for those living in encampments. Civil Beat.

Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Kealohas Stuck In Limbo. Gerard Puana’s attorney wants a federal judge to lift a temporary hold on the case so that a resolution can be found. Civil Beat.

On property under construction, Waimanalo looks forward to a very presidential neighbor. The Waimanalo beachfront property made famous by the hit 1980s television series “Magnum PI” has been mostly leveled and new structural elements are being constructed. State records indicate the property with multiple homes and a guard shack could be slated for the former President Barack Obama and his family. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor sets reopening requirements for some businesses and parks. A gradual reopening of Hawaii County businesses, parks and community facilities moved another step forward Wednesday, with Mayor Harry Kim announcing his latest set of rules. West Hawaii Today.

More Businesses, Parks to Reopen in Hawai‘i County. Hawai‘i County is moving forward with plans to reopen additional businesses and parks as COVID-19 case numbers continue to dwindle. Big Island Now.

Big Island retail businesses allowed to reopen on Thursday. On the Big Island Mayor Harry Kim issued COVID-19 Emergency Rule 4 on Wednesday expanding on the Governor's newest proclamation. KITV4.

FULL TEXT: Mayor Kim’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule Number 4. The day after Governor David Ige replaced his "stay-at-home" order with a “safer-at-home” order, Hawaiʻi County Mayor signed his own set of new emergency rules. Big Island Video News.


Some parks reopen as restrictions ease. Several state and county parks around the island have reopened as restrictions on outdoor activities are gradually relaxed. Tribune-Herald.

Spring delivery: Monk seal born on West Hawaii beach. For a third straight year, a Hawaiian monk seal has been pupped on West Hawaii’s shores, officials confirmed Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.


Maui retail stores to reopen Monday, Mayor Michael Victorino announces. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has announced that retail stores — including those in malls — in the county will be allowed to reopen Monday as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Star-Advertiser.

Retail at Shopping Malls on Maui to Open on Monday, May 11. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino provides his daily update on COVID-19 response in Maui County and offers some clarification on the Governor’s latest “Safer-at-Home” order for phased reopening of businesses in Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Retail store given green light to open on May 11 in Maui County. Mayor Michael Victorino announced that retail stores and retail stores in shopping malls will be allowed to reopen as long as they follow physical distancing requirements, starting Monday, May 11, in Maui County. KHON2.

Victorino mulling whether to follow Ige’s lead on malls. 6-foot distancing, masks for staff, customers among rules considered. Maui News.


Part of Mākena State Park and Polipoli Springs Open for Hiking and Exercise, But Not Gatherings. The DLNR Division of State Parks is re-opening select parks and monuments across the state with an emphasis on social distancing and exercise, and continued restrictions on gatherings of any sort. Maui Now.

Joint effort on Maui produces 40 ventilators for COVID-19 response. A joint effort involving Maui County and tech companies has led to the production of 40 bridge ventilators to help aid health care providers in their COVID-19 response. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency Ventilators Produced on Maui for COVID-19 Response Unveiled. Newly manufactured emergency ventilators produced on Maui by HNu Photonics to help increase Maui County’s emergency healthcare capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, were unveiled today by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now.


Kaua'i County mayor announces retail stores set to reopen Thursday. Kaua'i County Mayor Derek Kawakami laid out the type of services allowed to reopen. KITV4.

Some state parks were reopened Wednesday for day beach use or hiking, with restrictions on “gatherings of any sort” according to a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. On Kauai, the state parks that remain closed are Polihale State Park, which is closed for road repairs, Kalalau Trail beyond Hanakapiai Valley and the Wailua River State Park – though the river access for paddling is allowed at the Kaumuali‘i section of the river. Garden Island.

Some local businesses open up. Many businesses are opening their doors today, thanks to Governor David Ige’s seventh proclamation relating to COVID-19.  Garden Island.

Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Kaua‘i Community Fund of Hawai‘i Community Foundation has provided a second grant to help Kaua‘i residents suffering financially from the COVID-19 situation. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Ige's 7th proclamation reopens some malls, shopping centers; Honolulu and Maui mayors disagree; health experts say it's too soon; Young Bros. curtails shipping, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from May 5 Facebook live
Gov. David Ige in May 5, 2020, Facebook live press conference
Read the full text of Gov. David Ige's 7th Supplemental Emergency Proclamation HERE.

Ige loosens restrictions with ‘safer-at-home’ proclamation. More Hawaii businesses will be permitted to reopen Thursday as per a new emergency proclamation from Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Ige announces phase 1 of re-opening businesses across Hawaii. After another day that saw new positive COVID-19 cases in the single digits, Governor David Ige held a news conference to announce his 7th Supplemental Emergency Proclamation, which initiates phase 1 of re-opening Hawaii businesses across the state starting May 7th. KHON2.

Hawaii shopping malls among businesses allowed to reopen. More than two weeks of single-digit daily new cases of coronavirus is allowing Hawaii to take the next step in reopening the state’s economy, Gov. David Ige said Tuesday in announcing more businesses that will be allowed to operate. Associated Press.

First Phase Of Hawaii Reopening Begins May 7. Governor David Ige has signed the 7th Supplemental Emergency Proclamation, announcing Phase 1 of opening businesses and activities. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i Economy to Begin Reopening Thursday. People and businesses in Hawai‘i will operate a little more freely starting May 7, as Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced phase one of the state’s economic reopening. Big Island Now.

State says retailers on Oahu, Maui won’t be allowed to reopen this week as governor announced. In a major communications fumble, the Governor’s Office on Tuesday night said that retailers would not be allowed to reopen on Oahu and Maui this week as the governor said earlier in the day. Hawaii News Now.

Governor Ige delays reopening of retail businesses on O'ahu. Governor Ige signed a 7th supplementary emergency proclamation on Tuesday that authorizes the first group of businesses to re-open since the COVID-19 pandemic. KITV4.

Some Hawaii Businesses Including Malls Will Reopen By Thursday. However, Oahu’s retail and repair establishments won’t reopen until May 15, and malls will remain closed on Maui for now. Civil Beat.

Slowly reopening. Ige’s seventh supplementary emergency proclamation to cope with the threat of the new coronavirus will allow state residents to leave home to shop at the newly reopened “low risk” businesses starting Thursday, but retail sales will not begin on Oahu until May 15. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige Unveils 7th Supplemental Proclamation. Governor David Ige today unveils his 7th Supplemental Emergency Proclamation relating to COVID-19, announcing Phase 1 of opening businesses and activities. Maui Now.


Health experts say it’s too soon to reopen. Health experts say it is too early for Hawaii to reopen businesses, arguing that the state does not have a sufficient public health workforce to identify new coronavirus cases, trace contacts and ensure those infected are isolated to stop the spread of the disease. Star-Advertiser.

Head of State Emergency Response Says Health Department Dragging Feet On Expanding Contact Tracing. Contact tracing is universally regarded as critical in safely relaxing pandemic-induced lockdowns. But Hawaii officials publicly disagree over how much tracing capacity is needed. Hawaii Public Radio.

Antibody tests for COVID-19 have flooded the market. Some are more reliable than others. The COVID-19 swab test tells you if you’re currently infected with the virus. But antibody tests, now becoming more widely available, can tell you if you’ve already had the infection. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii’s coronavirus cases rise by 4 to a total of 625. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 625, up four from Monday, the state Department of Health announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Four New COVID-19 Infections, Including Three On Oahu. Four new infections were confirmed by the Department of Health on Tuesday, including three on Oahu and one Hawaii resident on the mainland. Civil Beat.


Hawaii, Other States With Few Virus Cases Get Big Share Of Relief Aid. An Associated Press analysis showed Hawaii got about $2 million for each coranavirus case in the state, while hard-hit New York got $24,000 per case. Associated Press.

Study: Hawaii ranked strictest state for COVID-19 rules. Hawaii has one of the lowest infection rates from COVID-19, and our flattening the curve might be in part due to some of the measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus. KITV4.


PUC approves temporary Young Brothers barge schedule change. The state Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved a request from Young Brothers to temporarily reduce its weekly barge schedules for Hawaii and Maui counties. Tribune-Herald.

How An Antiquated IT System Failed Thousands Of Hawaii’s Unemployed. The nearly quarter of a million unemployment insurance applications that Hawaii has received during the COVID-19 pandemic are being processed on a government mainframe that was installed in the early 1980s, back when Pac-Man was a cutting-edge video game. Civil Beat.

Attorney general, prosecutors want inmate releases halted. State Attorney General Clare Connors and three of the state’s four county prosecutors want the Hawaii Supreme Court and Special Master Daniel Foley to halt or at least pause a court- mandated push to release inmates from Hawaii’s correctional facilities, an order designed to reduce the potential spread of the new coronavirus at the historically overcrowded jail and prisons. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors raise alarms about hundreds of offenders released amid pandemic. In the last two months, state prisons have reduced their populations by nearly 38% — all to socially distance inmates despite there being zero positive cases in any state correctional facility. Hawaii News Now.


Councilwoman: State should require visitors to prove they’ve tested negative for coronavirus. A Honolulu City Councilwoman is calling on the state to have more safeguards in place before lifting a mandatory quarantine for visitors and restarting the tourism industry. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Councilwoman provides ideas to re-opening Hawaii in a resolution. Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi looks at 3 areas where she says we need to do a better job in addressing. One of them is restarting the visitor industry. KHON2.

State officials working on new plans to track visitors as Hawaii sees increase in arrivals. Despite Hawaii’s mandatory, 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers, the state has seen an uptick in visitors over the last few days. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii visitor arrivals climb to highest since start of coronavirus quarantine. More out-of-state passengers came to Hawaii on Monday than any day since the start of March tourism lockdowns. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaiian Airlines reports $144M loss in first quarter, warns more economic pain ahead. Hawaiian Airlines revealed Tuesday how hard the pandemic has hurt their bottom line. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines still bleeding despite CARES Act and says it can’t withstand the severity indefinitely. Tens of millions of dollars in federal government support wasn’t enough to prevent Hawaiian Airlines from suffering a staggering first-quarter loss as COVID-19 fears and containment policies zeroed out travel demand. Star-Advertiser.


Preschoolers Adjust to Distance Learning But Teachers Worry About Loss of Social Interaction. Hawaii’s public preschoolers have not had in-person classes since mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hawaii Public Radio.

Private Schools May Suffer As Cash-Strapped Families Can’t Afford Tuition. Some schools are offering more financial aid to try and help families who are feeling the economic brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Workers are shocked after money Meadow Gold promised to pay is deposited, then withdrawn from their accounts. Former Meadow Gold employees said money the company promised to pay them was deposited in their accounts, then taken back without notice. KHON2.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell discusses guidelines for reopening Oahu retail businesses. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he supports the reopening of retail businesses in the city on Thursday, despite sending a proposal to Gov. David Ige’s office to reopen retail businesses on Oahu on May 15. Star-Advertiser.

Retailers are happy, but many might not open as soon as Thursday. Gov. David Ige gave some retailers the green light to open on Thursday, but don’t be surprised if your favorite store isn’t ready to push open those doors just yet. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Council Can Meet By Video, But Not The Public. Council members can video conference in. Citizens have to put comments in writing or show up in person. Civil Beat.

UH chooses company to provide campus housing. The university has entered into a pre-closing agreement with Greystar Real Estate Partners to provide on-campus housing for graduate students and faculty members. KHON2.

Lifeguards are back on the beach with new strategies in dealing with COVID-19. On Tuesday the broad white sands of Queen’s Beach, stretching from lifeguard Tower 2-E to the Kapahulu Groin, were mostly empty in the midafternoon heat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim releases revised $585M budget. Facing an uncertain economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Harry Kim has lopped $40.8 million off the preliminary budget he presented earlier this year. West Hawaii Today.

Roth: Campaign social media pages spoofed. Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, who is running for Big Island mayor, said Tuesday his campaign’s Facebook and Instagram accounts have been spoofed. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Woman Released After Month-Long Battle with COVID-19. A patient on Maui who was diagnosed with COVID-19 over a month ago and had been on a ventilator, was greeted with a celebratory exit from hospital staff who lined the halls upon her departure today. Maui Now.

Coronavirus survivor’s departure celebrated. Talilotu Carlson beat the coronavirus. Maui News.


Kauai’s curfew expires Wednesday. Kauai’s nightly curfew is set to expire Wednesday. Mayor Derek Kawakami said Tuesday that Kauai has no active cases. KHON2.

Easing restrictions. Both Gov. David Ige and Mayor Derek Kawakami announced coming relaxed restrictions on Tuesday, with Kawakami canceling the overnight Kaua‘i curfew and Ige announcing a list of businesses that can reopen on Thursday. Garden Island.

Approaching delivery differently. Personal-shopping and grocery-delivery companies were in business on Kaua‘i years before COVID-19 countermeasures were put in place on the island, but now two of those companies are delivering almost exclusively to Kaua‘i residents in quarantine, or those following stay-at-home orders. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Universities, stores set to reopen, tourists to be welcomed back by July, mass jail releases include violent offenders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
UH Hilo campus earlier this year ©2020 All Hawaii News
University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade to resume in-person instruction for fall semester. Star-Advertiser.

UH Plans To Resume In-Person Classes This Fall. The university is still working on what those classes will look like. Civil Beat.

UH announces plans to resume in-person instruction in August across its 10 campuses. The University of Hawaii plans to resume in-person classes across its 10-campus system on August 24, with the start of the fall semester, but stressed that it won’t be business as usual. Hawaii News Now.

In-person instruction at UH campuses will resume this fall — with a host of caveats. The president of the University of Hawaii said Monday all 10 campuses plan to resume in-person instruction for the fall 2020 semester. Tribune-Herald.

UH to Resume On-Campus Education This Fall. University of Hawai‘i students will attend classes on campus this fall, or at least that’s the plan as of Monday, May 4. Big Island Now.

UH Plans for Return to In-Person Instruction at All 10 Campuses in Fall 2020. UH will deploy a “COVID-19-aware approach to providing a safe, high-quality education” for new and returning students, faculty and support staff as the semester begins as scheduled on Monday, August 24. Maui News.


Gov. David Ige is poised to allow some retailers to reopen their doors. Gov. David Ige said he plans to sign an emergency proclamation today that will allow “low-contact” retailers to reopen as long as they can minimize contact between employees and customers to protect them against the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Ige says he plans to give green light to resume ‘low-contact retail’ operations in Hawaii. The governor said he plans to give more Hawaii businesses the OK to resume operations as the number of new COVID-19 cases in the islands remains low. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige says ‘low-contact retail,’ could re-open very soon. Governor David Ige said he plans on re-opening more Hawaii businesses like retail soon. KHON2.

Local retailers preparing new guidelines for reopening. With just one new case of COVID-19 Monday, Governor David Ige said in a press conference that he will issue another order that would allow retailers to open. However, there are a lot of factors that come with that including safety, and security when everyone is wearing a mask. KHON2.


Hawaii economy not likely to fully recover this year. In a best-case scenario, Hawaii’s economy should start to slowly recover this month, but 2020 will end with double-digit unemployment and the return of only about 75% of the economic activity lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state House Select Committee on COVID-19 was told Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Reshaping Hawaii’s Economy For A Post-Pandemic World. Hawaii’s long-term economic plan is a blank slate by design to be filled in by an ensemble cast, says Alan Oshima, Hawaii’s economic recovery chief. Civil Beat.

Leaders expect 'unified plan' to restart Hawaii economy by end of this week. However economists say tourism is unlikely to start returning to Hawaii before late July and the local economy is expected to regain by year's end only three-quarters of the activity lost to the coronavirus. Pacific Business News.

UHERO Projects 75% of Local Hawai‘i Economy Could Be Regained by End of Year. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness today reviewed estimates of when jobs may start returning to the state, talked about how the retail and restaurant industries can adapt to health measures and still survive, and discussed the growing number of people that may become homeless. Maui Now.


Economists say tourism could restart in late July. Experts say tourism can start picking up by the end of July. Along with that, more than 100,000 people unemployed could be back to work by the end of the year. KHON2.

When will tourists be welcomed back? The best-case scenario is predicting the end of July. Government officials, economists and business experts are working on a comprehensive plan to restart more businesses that cater to Hawaii residents. Hawaii News Now.

Tourism leaders urge state recovery plan. Hawaii’s visitor industry is adopting new safety protocols to begin tourism’s recovery, but leaders say they can’t reopen until the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state passengers is lifted. Star-Advertiser.


Recalling workers presents challenge in unemployment policy. The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations anticipates having to deal with appeals from displaced workers who are receiving unemployment checks that exceed what they can earn when employers decide to restore their pay. Star-Advertiser.

The Long Wait For Unemployment Checks Is Taking A Personal Toll. The state’s huge backlog of jobless claims has left many waiting weeks for benefits. For some, the loss of work has derailed dreams for starting over. Civil Beat.

Flattening the Next Curve, Homelessness In Era Of COVID-19. Hawaiʻi is likely to experience a wave of housing instability and homelessness in the coming months. Big Island Video News.

Federal loans might limit bankruptcies — for now. Federal loan programs to small businesses may be temporarily curbing an expected increase in Hawaii bankruptcies. Star-Advertiser.


Prosecutors say dangerous offenders are being released to free up space in Hawaii correctional facilities. In the last two months, state prisons have reduced their populations by nearly 38-percent all to socially distance inmates despite there being zero positive cases in any state correctional facility. Hawaii News Now.

1 New COVID-19 Case Confirmed On The Big Island. Four other recoveries from COVID-19 were announced by state health officials on Monday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is reporting just one new COVID-19 case Monday, bringing the statewide total to 621. The new case is on the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture preparing for possibility of "Murder Hornets" landing in Hawaii. "Murder Hornets" are being spotted in Washington State and the Department of Agriculture is preparing for the possibility of them landing in Hawaii. KITV4.


Queen’s Medical Center takes down coronavirus triage tent as Hawaii’s infection rate remains low. The outdoor triage tent was erected seven weeks ago on March 12 to evaluate, test and separate COVID-19-infected patients from the rest of the hospital population. Star-Advertiser.

The Queen’s Medical Center removes COVID-19 screening tents at Punchbowl. The hospital will still be screening patients but with fewer people needing the service, operations have moved indoors. KHON2.

Pacific Princess cruise ship returns to Honolulu for fuel and provisions. The Hawaii Department of Transportation reports that the Pacific Princess cruise ship is scheduled to arrive at Honolulu Harbor on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7 a.m. and depart at approximately 2 p.m. the same day. There are no passengers on the ship and no crew members will disembark in Honolulu. KITV4.

A Prominent Developer Was Charged With Assault. Then The Case Languished For A Year. A politically connected Honolulu real estate mogul didn’t receive a summons until Civil Beat started asking questions. Civil Beat.

Residents report stinky smell coming from Waimanalo Beach Park. City officials say its Maintenance Support Services crews applied an organic fertilizer made at Sand Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Lawyers Demand Hawaii Island Stop Homeless Sweeps. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and another civil rights law firm are demanding Hawaii County immediately cease the sweeping of homeless encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

County seeks site in Kona for homeless housing units. Eighteen temporary housing units are ready to be built for the homeless in Kona, but where they will be built remains to be seen. West Hawaii Today.

South Kona Water Conservation In Effect After Equipment Failure. The Hawaiʻi County Department of Water Supply issued an urgent message for residents in Kainaliu, Keʻei, Honalo, Kealakekua, Napoʻopoʻo, Hōnaunau, and Hoʻokena. Big Island Video News.

DWS Issues South Kona Water Conservation Request. The Hawai‘i County Department of Water Supply is asking all South Kona customers to begin water conservation processes immediately. Big Island Now.


Hawaii Supreme Court To Hear Historic Remote Arguments In Maui Water Case. The Carmichael v. Board of Land and Natural Resources case involves a decades-long battle over water flowing from the East Maui mountains. Hawaii Public Radio.

Jail population in Wailuku drops below 300 with inmate releases. At 283, count is below the facility’s operational capacity. The number of inmates held at the Maui Community Correctional Center dropped below 300 last week and was less than the Wailuku jail’s operational capacity, as part of a “substantial reduction in the jail population across the state,” according to the state Department of Public Safety. Maui News.


Two caught sneaking onto Kaua‘i. The Kaua‘i Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving an unauthorized small plane from Maui that dropped off two passengers in Kaua‘i on Sunday. Garden Island.

Opening the doors. St. Catherine School principal David Adams said the reopening of the preschool Thursday is a sure sign of hope during these times of COVID-19. Garden Island.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Hawaii House committee to plan reopening state, Health Department apologizes for director's remarks about Marshallese COVID-19 victims, airlines require face masks, limit routes, UPW chief ousted, Waikiki bartender awakes from coma, posts selfie, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Anderson from Facebook Live
House Select Committee on COVID-19 discusses reopening Hawaii and more. How should Hawaii reopen? What do retailers and restaurants think? What's happening with unemployment? These and more, at the House committee meeting. The next House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness briefing will cover federal funding programs to support nonprofit groups, farmers, consumers and other relief programs at 10 a.m. Monday, May 4. KITV4.

DOH apologizes for director’s comments about race and ethnicity. The state Department of Health on Friday apologized for comments its director made about race and ethnicity while discussing the recent cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with McDonald’s restaurants in Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Native Hawaiians Are Losing Out On Millions Of COVID-19 Dollars. Native Hawaiians do not have a centralized government formally recognized by the federal government. An ongoing battle over $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money for America’s indigenous people is missing a key participant — Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.


As new coronavirus cases dwindle, the state looks at a ‘phase-in’ approach to reopening. With car washes and golf courses open on Oahu, state and county leaders are now talking about how to phase-in the reopening of other businesses in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Reshaping Hawaii’s Economy For A Post-Pandemic World. Hawaii’s long-term economic plan is a blank slate by design to be filled in by an ensemble cast, says Alan Oshima, Hawaii’s economic recovery chief. Civil Beat.


Hawaii lawmakers push for tightened quarantine as visitor numbers climb. The number of visitors arriving in Hawaii increased Friday to the largest count since the state’s 14-day quarantine began in late March as Hawaii lawmakers strive to improve the passenger quarantine before tourism reopens. Star-Advertiser.

Arriving visitors climb past 5,000 since quarantine began. The number visitors arriving in Hawaii since the beginning of the state’s mandatory 2-week quarantine for travelers topped 5,000 on Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

330 Arrivals Referred to Law Enforcement, 27 Visitors Forced to Leave for Quarantine Violations. Representatives from the Department of Transportation and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority provided the committee with updates on traveler quarantine procedures during a Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 meeting held on Thursday, April 30. Maui Now.

Travel to Hawaii will be filled with new safety measures in a COVID-19 world. Safe travels will take on a whole new meaning as tourism begins to recover in a COVID-19 world. Star-Advertiser.

From visitors to ‘intended residents,' arrivals are slowly rising. There are early indications Hawaii’s arrivals by air are on the upswing. Even with most shops and hotels closed, Hawaii could soon see more visitor arrivals in the coming weeks as mainland states and other countries ease COVID-19 restrictions. Hawaii News Now.


US DOT approves United, American request to temporarily suspend neighbor island travel. With empty planes and a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place, flights to Hawaii have been virtually empty. KHON2.

Hawaiian Airlines To Require Passengers To Wear Face Masks. Hawaiian Airlines has announced enhanced policy changes requiring travelers to cover their faces with masks or cloths to combat the spread of COVID-19. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines To Require Face Masks, Spacing For Passengers. The airline, which has already been manually assigning seats to increase personal space onboard, will put the new measures into effect on May 8. Big Island Video News.


Hawaii sees 2 new COVID-19 cases as coronavirus-related death toll rises to 17. A Maui woman who became infected with COVID-19 in the hospital has died, the 17th coronavirus-fatality in Hawaii, state health officials announced today. Star-Advertiser.

DOH Confirms Two New COVID-19 Cases, 17th Virus-Related Death. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported two new cases of COVID-19 overnight, including the state’s 17th virus-related death. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Reports New Coronavirus-Related Death On Maui. The state’s coronavirus case count remains at 620, after the Department of Health removed two duplicate cases on Maui and in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing Ramps Up In Hawaii Without DOH Endorsement. Due to uncertainty around the tests, Hawaii Pacific Health doesn’t plan to change any of its policies if any of its employees are found to have antibodies. Civil Beat.


Hawai‘i Judiciary Frees 37% of Prison Population in Two Months. The state judicial system has reduced jail populations across Hawai‘i by 37% over the last two months in response to threats of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the close confines of prisons. Big Island Now.

Lawmaker condemns the release of hundreds of inmates from Hawaii's prisons. Hawaii's incarcerated population has decreased by over 800 inmates since March 2nd. KITV4.


Economic Downturn Could Hit Public Pension Funds Hard. Hawaii owes billions to its state retirement system. Civil Beat.

As financial pain grows, Hawaii’s ‘nonessential’ retailers await OK to reopen. Hawaii government leaders have taken cautious baby steps allowing a few more kinds of businesses to reopen last week, but financial burdens continue to pile up for retailers and restaurants. Star-Advertiser.


UPW Head Ousted Over Financial Abuse. UPW’s parent union announced the removal of the Hawaii president on Friday. Dayton Nakanelua, state director of the United Public Workers union in Hawaii, has been removed from his position along with another UPW administrator after failing to fix problems related to the union’s fiscal mismanagement. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Media Is Surviving On Federal Assistance And Community Support. News outlets, struggling before the pandemic, are dealing with huge ad revenue losses and some are slashing workers’ hours. Civil Beat.


Councilwoman calls for Honolulu to follow Kauai in four day work week. On Monday, hundreds of employees for Kauai County switch to a four day work week to reduce movement on the island and one lawmaker is calling for Honolulu County to do the same. The idea was proposed by Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine in January. KITV4.


Hawaii State Capitol Protest Sees 3 Arrested. Police were on hand to enforce restrictions against public gatherings and social distancing rules. Civil Beat.

As state begins to ease restrictions, scores gather to protest stay-at-home order. More than 100 gathered at the state Capitol on Friday to protest emergency stay-at-home orders aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.


Waikiki bartender recovering from virus. After spending about six weeks unconscious in a hospital while his body fought off a coronavirus infection, Ewa Beach resident and Waikiki bartender Coby Torda was able to mouth his desire for a back scratcher Sunday during a video chat with family. Star-Advertiser.

Ewa Beach man wakes from medically induced coma in COVID-19 battle. Coby Torda shocked his family when he posted a selfie early Sunday morning from his hospital bed at Kaiser Permanente, where he has been recovering from the coronavirus for 44 days. Hawaii News Now.

After 6 weeks, COVID-19 patient Coby Torda wakes up from coma.  Torda has been in the hospital since then in a medically induced coma at Kaiser Moanalua. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Campaigning during COVID-19: Mayoral candidates try to break out of the pack. This has got to be the toughest mayor’s race yet. With just over three months remaining until the Aug. 8 primary, mayoral candidates interviewed Friday are finding campaigning a challenge during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. West Hawaii Today.


Kona Community Hospital resumes elective surgeries. Kona Community Hospital has resumed a limited number of elective outpatient services and procedures including imaging, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation services and surgery. West Hawaii Today.

KCH Resumes Elective Procedures. Patients may again seek some elective treatment options at Kona Community Hospital. Big Island Now.


Mediation program to help landlords, tenants. Big Island tenants and landlords alike are being offered free mediation services by a county program seeking to stave off a flood of COVID-related evictions later in the year. Tribune-Herald.

‘Our way of giving back’: Suisan sells bulk food items to customers. Suisan Foodservice is providing its customers with the option to make large-scale grocery purchases in Hilo and Kona. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii couple that contracted COVID-19 recounts harrowing and frustrating battle against the disease — and red tape. When an elderly Hawaii couple departed Yokohama, Japan, aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship on Jan. 20, they had signed up for a two-week luxury cruise to China, Vietnam and Taiwan and a return to Japan. Tribune-Herald.


Court Rules In Favor Of Helicopter Noise Opponents. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the FAA and National Park Service must complete Air Tour Management Plans. Big Island Video News.

Court: FAA, National Park Service failed to comply with air tour law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., on Friday ordered the Federal Aviation Administration and National Park Service to produce a schedule for bringing 23 national parks, including those in Hawaii, into compliance with the Air Tour Management Act of 2000. Tribune-Herald.

Court orders limits for noisy flights over Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes national parks. The Friday order came in response to a lawsuit by Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which argued the agencies were offering little relief from the noise being generated by air tours. Star-Advertiser.


Parks, golf courses reopen for play. Residents happy to be back in parks, though people are wondering why some still closed. Maui News.

Over 4,000 file for unemployment. A total of 4,150 Maui residents filed an initial claim for unemployment for the week ending on April 18, and about 5,996 the week before, according to the latest data released from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Maui News.

Elderly Maui woman is county’s 6th COVID-19 fatality. State increases by two new coronavirus cases Sunday. Maui News.


Jobs Losses, Worries About Paying Rent Widespread On Kauai. A new Department of Health COVID-19 survey of 189 households showed many residents are worried about reopening tourism. Civil Beat.

Motorcycle riders help with food. More than a hundred motorcycle enthusiasts capitalized on the clear, windy weather Sunday to help boost the coffers of the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i branch. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Humane Society ends feral-cat intake. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kaua‘i Humane Society has halted its intake of feral cats. Garden Island.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Hawaii's new tourism brand: 'safest place in the world,' airport arrivals triple, thousands wait hours in Oahu food line, Kauai goes to 4-day workweeks, taxing the rich, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii beach scene ©2020 All Hawaii News
Plans in the works to market Hawaii as the ‘safest place in the world’. Most Hawaii businesses remain closed and the stay-home orders have not yet been lifted, but plans are already in the works to begin marketing the state to tourists as the safest place on earth. Star-Advertiser.

Senate committee wants passenger quarantine improved and scaled up to accommodate rising visitors. The Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 today criticized loopholes in the mandatory passenger quarantine and said they want them sealed before visitor counts to Hawaii begin rising again. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Officials Mull Further Restrictions On Tourists, But Data Show Most Virus Cases Are Residents. Data from the Hawaii Department of Health show that most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the islands are local residents. But some legislators are calling for increased quarantine restrictions on visitors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Airport arrivals triple in May, says state. Senators fear a resurgence of the coronavirus in Hawaii, citing lax airport visitor screenings and inconsistent quarantine enforcement. KITV4.

Airports official criticized over quarantine enforcement failures. An official tasked with overseeing the arrival of passengers at Hawaii’s airports was raked over the coals Thursday by members of the state Senate’s Special Committee on COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 Monitoring Could Turn Hawaii Into A Tourist ‘Prison Camp,’ Critics Say. Among the possibilities state Attorney General Clare Connors has floated for monitoring tourists in quarantine are ankle bracelets and GPS monitoring. Civil Beat.

Mid-week visitor count moves higher, but out-of-state passenger trend remains low. Wednesday brought one of the highest counts of out-of-state visitor arrivals into the state since tourism lockdowns began in mid-March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines adding one daily flight between Seattle, Honolulu. When people are ready to travel again, we wanted to know what airlines are doing to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. KHON2.


Hawaii Lawmakers Are Trying To Figure Out How To Get Back Into Session. If details on social distancing and constitutionality can be worked out, the Hawaii Legislature could meet this month. Civil Beat.


Clinical Labs of Hawaii ramps up antibody testing to further understanding of coronavirus. Clinical Labs of Hawaii started coronavirus antibody testing Thursday and is partnering with Hawaii Pacific Health which will start testing its employees Friday for free. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific Health to begin coronavirus antibody testing for its employees. Hawaii Pacific Health will begin coronavirus antibody testing for 7,200 employees to assess the level of infection in the health care workforce. Star-Advertiser.


No Quick Recovery, Say Hawai‘i’s Business Leaders. BOSS Survey of 404 local executives asks about Hawai‘i’s economic recovery, expected changes within their companies, the challenges of working from home, how they’ve adjusted their personal habits and more. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Eateries look to reopen dine-in areas with strict social distancing, hygiene practices. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said he wants to see restaurants open their dining rooms by the end of May. Hawaii News Now.

Federal help for independent contractors, gig workers in Hawaii still weeks away. The state has already received more than 7,500 unemployment claims from independent contractors since a state web portal was launched Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.


Judges have released more than 500 Hawaii inmates during pandemic. More than 500 Hawaii inmates have been released early by state judges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by a court-appointed special master. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of Hawaii inmates freed from overcrowded facilities to limit exposure to COVID-19. More than 650 inmates at Hawaii’s correctional centers have been released since March in the ongoing effort to reduce crowding in jails and prisons and to limit inmates’ exposure to COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.


Information Lockdown At Hawaii Labor Department Stymies Coronavirus Stories. Civil Beat tried to pursue stories about workers in unsafe conditions or denied workers’ compensation claims, but the state labor department says it’s too busy to answer questions. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige to step back from blanket suspension of open meetings law. State attorneys are working on language that would restore at least some portions of the Sunshine Law that requires government meetings to be public, a law that was suspended as part of an emergency proclamation issued by Gov. David Ige in mid-March to lessen the spread of the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii coronavirus cases rise by 5 to 618. Hawaii’s tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 618, up five from Wednesday, the state Department of Health announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOH Reports 5 New COVID-19 Cases. New infections were reported on the Big Island and Maui on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Public school round up: budget cuts and support for homeless students. Administrators looking at where it can cut from the budget; also considering buying buses to deliver supplies to homeless children. KITV4.

Walmart workers in Hawaii receive a total of $380K in bonuses. To give back in this time of uncertainty, one big box store is saying thank you to their employees in a big way. Walmart says associates in Hawaii received a bonus in their paychecks Thursday, which adding up to $380,000 statewide. KITV4.

No trims, no dyes, no perms for over a month. Under the state’s phased reopening plan, salons will be among the last to reopen. Hawaii News Now.


‘Mind-blowing': Advocates say huge turnout for food distribution underscores scope of need. In a startling display of the scope of need on Oahu, thousands turned out Thursday to get free food at the first of a series of distribution events aimed at helping laid off workers. Hawaii News Now.

Thousands wait in line for food distribution. Thousands of Oahu residents lined up for free groceries Thursday — many enduring a 2-mile line of cars and a four-hour wait — in one of the most dramatic examples of economic suffering brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of people wait in line for hours for food on Oahu. Thousands of Oahu residents waited in long lines for hours on Thursday for 50 pounds of food provided by the City and County of Honolulu, the Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation and the Hawaii Foodbank. KHON2.


The job of leading the City’s proposed COVID-19 testing program has been reassigned. The job of leading the City’s proposed COVID-19 testing program has been reassigned after the department director who had been spearheading the initiative was placed on paid leave. KHON2.

Select businesses allowed to reopen in first steps toward reopening economy.  Oahu is dipping a toe into efforts to reopen Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii News Now.

Some businesses on Oahu allowed to reopen under mayor’s recovery plan. One of the services allowed to re-open is automated car washes. KITV4.

Waipahu woman released due to pandemic is now back in custody for a carjacking. She was among the hundreds of Hawaii inmates released early due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County mulls extra property tax on the rich: Revenues sought as COVID-19 cripples budget. Both County Council Chairman Aaron Chung and Mayor Harry Kim said Thursday they’re considering an additional tax for residences where the building plus land is valued at more than $1.5 million or $2 million. West Hawaii Today.

West Hawaii’s lawmakers set blueprint for reopening. The process to reopen Hawaii has officially begun. On Wednesday night, nine of West Hawaii’s leaders held a virtual town hall laying out the plan for opening the state following its closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo jail population down 160 inmates due to court order. The inmate population at Hawaii Community Correctional Center continues to shrink as a result of an order by the Hawaii Supreme Court to reduce populations in the state’s jails and prisons to help prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in those facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Despite pandemic, Big Island real estate market fairly stable. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic affects industries worldwide, real estate activity on the Big Island remains relatively steady. Tribune-Herald.


Parks for limited use, golf courses to reopen Friday. Face masks required when in public. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced Wednesday afternoon the first round of reopenings, starting with some beach and inland parks and golf courses at 7 a.m. Friday. Maui News.

Texas visitor disobeys quarantine order several times. Houston man is arrested; opts to leave voluntarily. Maui News.

Speeding Citations Up 92% Since Start of Maui’s Stay-at-Home Order. Speeding citations on Maui are up 92% since the start of Maui’s stay-at-home order was implemented on March 20, 2020.  The data covers a five-and-a-half week period through April 29, 2020. Maui Now.

35-MW wind farm is proposed in Ulupalakua. Auwahi 2 would sit next to sister project on ranch land. Maui News.


Kauai County is giving the 4-day work week a try. Starting next week Monday, some 400 county workers will have Fridays off. Their pay is not being cut. Hawaii News Now.

Not a furlough; Kauai County will test out a four-day work week. Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami implemented a schedule change for county employees. KHON2.

Small businesses slowly readying for reopen. Slowly businesses are gearing up to open their doors after county and state officials have announced they’re starting to loosen up their restrictions and emergency rules. Garden Island.