Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Pearl Harbor anniversary commemorated virtually, Hawaii County swears in new mayor, secrecy surrounds Honolulu rail partnership plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

From video
U.S. Navy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. John Aquilino speaks during a ceremony Monday to mark the 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

79th Pearl Harbor attack observance marked by COVID-19 caution. At 7:55 a.m. Monday, the approximate time when Japanese warplanes dropped out of the sky in a shocking attack on Oahu, a moment of silence was held at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in a coronavirus-reduced 79th anniversary of the moment that launched America into World War II. Star-Advertiser.

Virtual ceremony held in recognition of 79th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor. Traditionally, a big ceremony is held at the site in recognition of those who served. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials opted for a smaller and more private event this year, which was shared online. KHON2.

As pandemic rages, virtual ceremony honors those lost in 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. On the solemn anniversary of the ‘date which will live in infamy’ ― where more than 2,000 American lives were lost during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor ― hundreds of people would typically gather for a memorial service on the harbor’s shores. Hawaii News Now.

Video: 79th National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration. DMA Pacific official video.


Hawaii landlords rejecting $8M in overdue rent. Some island landlords have rejected about $8 million in direct payments to cover the rents they’re owed because they do not have general excise tax licenses and are not paying taxes on their rental income. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Economic Recovery May Be Slowing. After Hawaii saw a bump-up in positive economic indicators in November, things appear to be slowing down again. During a virtual meeting of a House Committee on Monday, Carl Bonham, the Executive Director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, delivered this update. Big Island Video News.

Economic Gains, Travel-Related Cases: Unpacking Safe Travels Data. Travel-related cases made up just a small portion of statewide totals — 14% in November — but Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties saw double-digit spikes that were largely blamed on travel-related cases. Civil Beat.


House committee: No changes needed to Safe Travels program. Despite updated federal COVID recommendations, state officials do not believe the Safe Travels Hawaii program requires significant changes. Tribune-Herald.

Incoming mayors want looser Safe Travels restrictions. Hawaii’s two incoming mayors want changes to the Safe Travels Program, and allow passengers to be released from the 14-day quarantine if they get a negative COVID result after arrival. It’s a proposal some lawmakers and health experts want the governor to consider. KHON2.

Lawmakers, medical experts express concern about confusion in traveler testing program. Lawmakers and medical community leaders want the governor to streamline the traveler testing program and do away with island-specific rules. Currently, there are different rules for different islands and various groups have competing proposals. Hawaii News Now.


2 Local Surveys Ask About Today and Tomorrow. The research division of the Anthology Marketing Group conducted two statewide polls for Hawaii Business Magazine in October and November: The BOSS Survey of 413 local business owners and senior executives, and the 808 Poll of 502 members of the general public. Here’s what we learned. Hawaii Business magazine.

The Army Is Spending Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars On Pigs In Hawaii. Since 2016, the Army has spent approximately $65,400 on contracts for “live animals, not raised for food.” The locally grown Hawaii hogs are for medical research and training health care providers at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 7: 81 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 81 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Monday, including 58 on Oahu, 12 on Maui, seven on the Big Island, one on Kauai, and three Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


HART Reveals P3 Bidders For Honolulu Rail — But Not Their Prices. One of the bidding teams “expressed concern” about the cost going public, leaving it uncertain when the information will be released. Civil Beat.

City Council asks Mayor to revise tier system to help small businesses. The Honolulu City Council is asking Mayor Kirk Caldwell to revise his tier system so that small businesses can increase their capacity. KHON2.

Haiku Stairs access plan advances but is still being debated. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan to have a private vendor provide a “managed access” hiking tour operation at Kane­ohe’s iconic Haiku Stairs won tentative approval Monday from the City Council Economic Assistance and Revitalization Committee. Star-Advertiser.

City council moves closer to restoring the Haiku Stairs, but opposition remains.  Plans to restore and reopen the illegal but popular Haiku Stairs were advanced Monday by the city council. But community opposition remains on the divisive topic. Hawaii News Now.

90% of Waiawa’s inmate population has tested positive for COVID in recent months. The COVID outbreak at the Waiawa Correctional Facility is more widespread than previous thought. 90% of the prison’s population has either gotten sick or have recovered from the virus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

New mayor, prosecutor, council inaugurated. Mayor Mitch Roth has repeatedly stated the goal of his administration is to help people thrive and succeed, and on Monday, less than an hour after reaffirming that pledge during his inauguration speech, he detailed several examples of emergency rules he plans to implement to help schools and businesses better cope with COVID-19 restrictions. West Hawaii Today.

Will travelers to Big Island undergo second, post-arrival testing? New Mayor explains. The Big Island officially has a new mayor. Former Prosecutor Mitch Roth was sworn in on Monday. KHON2.

Longtime prosecutor Mitch Roth sworn in as Hawaii County mayor. Former Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth is now mayor. He became the first to be inaugurated in Kona during a virtual event. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i Island says 'aloha' to new Mayor Mitch Roth. Mitch Roth said he hopes to create a government that's more open to the community. He also wants to work on a bolder plan to rebuild Hawaii Island's economy. KITV4.


County of Maui Set to Purchase Hawaiian Telcom Building in Wailuku for $3.8 Million. The County of Maui is set to close as early as the end of this month on the purchase the Hawaiian Telcom Building in Wailuku Town to provide more space for Maui Emergency Management Agency operations and for information technology workers. Maui Now.

Quarantine breaker returns to Colorado. A 23-year-old man chose to return to Colorado after he was arrested Saturday for violating the mandatory 14-day travelers quarantine after arriving on Maui, according to police. Maui News.


Polihale reopens after five-month closure. When the park was shut down in July, the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks blamed overuse and abuse of the beach and camping area citing a weekend where over 1,000 people camped illegally. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Complex Area revising distance learning plans. For the upcoming second semester of school, the Kaua‘i Complex Area and Department of Education are revising distance learning models through the third quarter. Garden Island.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Surf's up! Obama spotted golfing on Oahu, state orders COVID-19 vaccine, Maui prosecutor removed from office, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto
Kohl Christensen dropping in on a giant messy wave at Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu. File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto

Warning-level surf expected into Monday. The National Weather Service in Honolulu said the warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and the north-facing shores of Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Pipe Masters could get green light Tuesday. A high surf warning is in effect for most of the state’s north and west facing shores through Monday evening. Surf heights are expected to reach 30 feet on north-facing shores and 20-feet on west-facing shores. KHON2.

Surf's up! The National Weather Service issued a high-surf warning for north- and west-facing shores of all the islands through 6 p.m. today. The northwest swell that arrived Sunday was expected to produce rapidly-rising surf along most north- and west-facing shorelines. Garden Island.


Former President Barack Obama spotted golfing on Oahu. He was spotted Sunday afternoon at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua. KHON2.


Hawaii DOH places its first order for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. State health officials say the order was for 4,875 doses, and is only a small percentage of the total number of vaccines the state expects to later request if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives the vaccine its stamp of approval. Hawaii News Now.

How This Doctor Is Influencing Hawaii’s Response To COVID-19. A Honolulu doctor critical of the state’s pre-travel testing program is gaining traction with policymakers. Civil Beat.

Several days after Kauai opted out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, Mayor Derek Kawakami says leaders of each county are calling on Gov. Ige for more required testing. In a county update Friday, he said the proposal is now before the governor. Hawaii News Now.


Two More Hawaii Inmates Who Died At Saguaro Prison Had COVID-19, New Details Show. More than half of the 1,079 Hawaii prisoners at Saguaro have tested positive for COVID-19. Three have died from the disease. Civil Beat.

Public Safety faces calls to pause moving Hawaii inmates
to an Arizona prison. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 6: 105 New COVID-19 Cases And One Death In Hawaii. Health officials reported 105 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 87 on Oahu, six on Maui, five on the Big Island and seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi open to idea of using federal aid to help commercial landlords. Business coalition spearheading commercial rent survey to estimate how great the need is for financial help. KITV4.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Haiku Stairs management plan goes before the City Council. A private vendor would be allowed to shuttle up to about 150 people daily to the Haiku Stairs for guided hiking tours under a plan proposed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s bikeshare program is costing the city hundreds of thousands in lost revenue. In the report, Honolulu’s Acting City Auditor Troy Shimasaki said a lack of transparency and accountability in the city’s bikeshare program is costing the city $460,000 a year in lost revenue while the nonprofit Biki is generating more than $2.7 million in annual sales. Hawaii News Now.

'Why Is There So Much Red Tape': Honolulu's Relief Fund Creates Anxiety And Confusion For Some. Honolulu is still trying to spend down federal CARES Act funds by December 30 to help households impacted by the pandemic. But city relief hasn't come for months, with little to no explanation for some who applied. Hawaii Public Radio.


Prosecutor-elect Alm looks to rebuild office as it continues to take heat. Despite the embarrassing corruption scandal uncovered during former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s trial, conviction, and last week’s sentencing, the City’s auditor has found that policies, procedures and controls have not changed significantly and more needs to be done. KHON2.

Kealoha Scandal Hasn’t Led To Major Reforms At Prosecutor’s Office, Audit Finds. The audit suggests that a Katherine Kealoha-type situation could very well happen again. Civil Beat.


How famous surfers and wealthy homeowners are endangering Hawaii’s beaches. For decades, homeowners in Punalu‘u watched from large picture windows as locals sunned on the beach and dove for octopus amid the coral reefs of northeast Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu home sales stay strong as buyers bid up prices. Strong demand by buyers bidding above asking price helped push up the median resale price of single-family homes on Oahu to $872,500 in November, the second highest ever. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Aloha, Harry: Hawaii Island mayor leaves office after decades of public service. 81-year-old Mayor Harry Kim is arguably the most significant political figure in Hawaii Island history, having served two terms as mayor from 2000-2008 and another from 2016 until Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Harry Kim ends third term as ‘voice of authority’. Kim’s term was to end by noon today. He served 36 years in public service — 24 years as a civil defense administrator and 12 years as mayor. Star-Advertiser.


Lava recovery plans released: Council members say action is needed now. Three long-awaited documents that aim to guide Hawaii County’s recovery from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano — a recovery and resilience plan, an economic recovery plan, and a volcanic risk assessment — have been released. Tribune-Herald.

County Releases Kīlauea Recovery Plan. The plan is a strategic document that will continue to guide recovery following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, along with two supporting documents – an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan. Big Island Now.

Kilauea Recovery Effort Continues With More Funding, Plans Finalized. Along with the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan have also been released. Big Island Video News.

Succession of events led to 2018 Kilauea eruption
. The volcanic pressure that preceded the 2018 Big Island eruption was building for years, but it was a relatively rapid and cascading succession of minor geologic processes that led to one of Hawaii’s most destructive events in 200 years, a new study has found. Star-Advertiser.


Prosecuting attorney removed from office. Don Guzman to challenge decision. The Maui County Council voted unanimously on Friday to remove Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman over violence in the workplace claims, affirming a council committee decision about a month ago. Maui News.


DOE staffer with COVID-19 visited 3 Maui schools; no closures planned. A Department of Education employee who visited three elementary schools on Maui has tested positive for COVID-19, but no cases have been identified on the campuses and the schools remain open. Star-Advertiser.

Three Maui Elementary Schools Connected to Positive COVID Case Involving HIDOE Employee. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reports that it was made aware of a COVID-19 case involving an employee who visited three Maui campuses — Pu‘u Kukui, Pōmaika‘i and Kula Elementary schools — between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Maui Now.

3 elementary schools connected to positive COVID case involving Maui HIDOE employee. The Hawaii Department of Education confirmed Saturday, an employee who visited three Maui campuses, tested positive for COVID-19.  KITV4.


Maui County Temporarily Shuts Down Lava Rock Bar & Grill for Physical Distancing Violations. The County of Maui Department of Liquor Control shut down the Lava Rock Bar & Grill in Kīhei for a 24-hour period this weekend after physical distancing violations were observed during an enforcement operation conducted in conjunction with the Maui Police Department. Maui Now.

Maui County is expected to get 16,000 doses of COVID vaccine. Maui County is expected to receive about 16,000 doses when the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Hawaii, with the first doses administered to health care and emergency workers, Mayor Michael Victorino said on Friday. Maui News.

Lee Imada reflects on 40 years with The Maui News. Long before he became an award-winning journalist for his hometown paper, Lee Imada wanted to be an astronaut. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridge rehab coming
. Construction and rehabilitation of the 1911 Hanapepe Road bridge over the Hanapepe River won’t be able to start until the makai bridge on Kaumuali‘i Highway is completed, but the process has already begun. Garden Island.

Families move into Kealaula on Pua Loke. The first several families have moved into Kaua‘i’s first transit-ready communities project, Kealaula on Pua Loke Supportive Housing Development, in late November. Garden Island.

Feds offering up to $20K for info on 2 seal deaths on Kauai. Federal wildlife officials are offering up to $20,000 for information regarding the deaths of two Hawaiian monk seals that occurred within two months of each other. Associated Press.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Hawaii National Guard COVID-19 response funding extended, Board of Education approves deep budget cuts, Honolulu theBus driver dies from coronavirus, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii National Guard
Hawaii National Guard moves PPE in April file photo

Feds Extend Funding For Hawaii National Guard’s COVID-19 Response. The federal government will continue to compensate the Hawaii National Guard’s COVID-19 response in the islands through March 31, the White House announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

Trump extends funding for National Guard coronavirus duty in Hawaii and most other states. President Donald Trump today approved funding requests from Hawaii and most other states to continue National Guard assistance with COVID-19 through March 31. Star-Advertiser.

Trump approves funding extension for COVID-19 assistance from Hawaii National Guard. The Trump administration has approved a funding extension that will allow the Hawaii National Guard to continue assisting the state with COVID-19 response efforts, including contact tracing, testing and, eventually, vaccine distribution. Hawaii News Now.

President approves Gov. Ige’s request to extend federal funding for Hawai‘i National Guard COVID-19 assistance. The federal government has approved Gov. David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawai‘i National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. KITV4.

Trump approves Ige’s request to extend federal funding for Hawaii National Guard COVID-19 assistance. The federal government has approved Gov. David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawaii National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. West Hawaii Today.

Ige’s Request to Extend Federal Funding for Hawai‘i National Guard COVID-19 Assistance Approved. The federal government has approved Governor David Ige’s request for an extension of funding that will allow the Hawai‘i National Guard to continue with COVID-19 assistance across the state through March 31, 2021. Maui Now.

Hawai‘i National Guard to Remain Active Through March Via Federal Funding. The Hawai‘i National Guard’s citizen-soldiers and airmen are performing critical missions such as contact tracing, working on mobile swab teams, health education for at-risk populations, screening, food and medical supply distribution, and several others. Big Island Now.


Worker layoffs, furloughs still on the table, Gov. David Ige says. Gov. David Ige is continuing to give strong indications this week that layoffs and/or furloughs may be in the future for state workers. Star-Advertiser.

With ‘A Very Reluctant Aye,’ Board Of Education Approves DOE Budget Despite Deep Cuts. Many board members expressed consternation at proposed cuts that will largely be absorbed by schools in order to plug a minimum $165 million pandemic-related shortfall. Civil Beat.

BOE approves state’s hefty budget cut proposal. The latest operating budget proposal is layered on top of an existing $100 million reduction, so the total amount comes out to $264 million for each of the next two years. The details of how the individual schools will be affected are not outlined yet. KHON2.

BOE approves proposed $1.5B budget. The state Board of Education on Thursday approved a proposed $1.5 billion operating budget that will drastically reduce the state Department of Education’s spending in the upcoming fiscal biennium as Hawaii faces significant revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Special Education among the possible cuts labeled high impact by the DOE in proposal. The Department of Education's proposal of more than $264 million in budget cuts was approved on Thursday by the Board of Education. KITV4.


As deadline approaches, worries grow about programs funded by CARES Act. As the deadline approaches for use of federal CARES Act money, concerns grow over what happens when the state loses access to funds. According to the Hawaii Data Collaborative, a group tracking the money, 48% of the $1.25 billion in aid to the state has been expended. Hawaii News Now.

Without Money, Hawaii’s Police Standards Board Is ‘Dead In The Water’. A state board has finally started work developing basic training and decertification standards for law enforcement in Hawaii — more than a year after that panel of police chiefs and state agency heads were required to do so. Civil Beat.

Workers rally for in-person unemployment assistance
. Still frustrated by the lack of accessibility to the unemployment office and unresolved claims, roughly a dozen workers rallied Thursday in front of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations headquarters downtown. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation will improve emergency alert system; Schatz says goal is to avoid mishaps such as false missile scare. Federal legislation moving through Congress will ensure more people receive relevant emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions and radios. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Coast Guard warns Hawaii boaters about ‘hundreds’ of overboard shipping containers. Hawaii mariners as a precautionary measure after hundreds of shipping containers reportedly fell into the ocean from a vessel hundreds of miles away from the islands after the ship encountered severe weather conditions while enroute to California from China. Star-Advertiser.

State: 23 COVID-19 clusters linked to food production and distribution industry. The state has identified nearly two dozen COVID-19 clusters linked to the food production and distribution industry in the last four months. In its weekly report issued Thursday, the state Department of Health said the size of the clusters varied, but at least one of them involved 26 cases. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 3: 144 New COVID-19 Cases And 2 Deaths In Hawaii. Health officials reported 144 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Thursday, including 118 on Oahu, 14 on Maui, seven on the Big Island, two on Kauai and three residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Driver For TheBus Dies Due To COVID-19. That driver, MacArthur (Art) Nieto, a 20-year veteran of TheBus, died Nov. 23, which was about a month after he had tested positive for the virus, according to OTS President and General Manager Roger Morton. Nieto is the only reported transit driver death in Hawaii due to COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Some businesses on rail line suspect passing trains linked to recent power outages. Some shop owners say they’ve had their power knocked out completely. Others describe brownout conditions, saying their lights will dim or flicker. Many of those impacted believe power fluctuations are caused by the passing trains, and both rail officials and engineers from Hawaiian Electric are investigating that claim. Hawaii News Now.

Wife of prominent Honolulu attorney returns home after 90-day battle with COVID. Honolulu attorney Michael Green was able to celebrate Thursday night, but it wasn’t for a victory in court. Instead, the high-profile lawyer was grateful that his wife, Estelita, was finally able to return home after being hospitalized for three months due to COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.


City moves to get $250K back from Louis Kealoha. More bad news for disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha: The city wants its $250,000 retirement settlement package back. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill For HPD Overtime Abuse. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city will pay for inappropriate OT costs and federal relief money will be used for other programs. Civil Beat.

Audit finds Honolulu Police Department not preventing police misconduct. The Honolulu Police Department does a good job of tracking and investigating police misconduct and complaints, but it does little to prevent them, according to a report by the city auditor. Star-Advertiser.

Audit: HPD Could Do More To Prevent Officer Misconduct. In the wake of the criminal conspiracy that landed Honolulu’s former police chief and his estranged wife behind bars, the Honolulu Police Department needs to do more to prevent misconduct in its ranks, the city auditor said in a report released on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Audit praises HPD for cracking down on officer misconduct but criticizes ability to prevent it. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu plans to keep 130 COVID-19 contact tracers through June. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the city plans to keep 130 coronavirus contact tracers in place at least through the end of the fiscal year in June, despite the state’s plan to reduce the program. Star-Advertiser.

Median price for single-family home on Oahu increased 11% in November. Locations, a real estate firm, said that the median price for a single-family home on Oahu in November was $877,500. That’s up 11% from a year ago. The median condo price was up 2% to $425,000. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of pounds of fireworks seized from Makiki home. Two people have been arrested after police seized hundreds of pounds of fireworks at a Makiki home. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth announces more cabinet selections. Doug Adams​, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and current Vice-chairman and Director of W.H. Shipman, Ltd., has been tapped to head the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development. Tribune-Herald.

Third Round Of Roth Cabinet Positions Announced. Doug Adams will serve as the head of the Hawaiʻi County Department of Research and Development, a Thursday news release reported. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island’s three-term Mayor Harry Kim says aloha. Two photos of Harry Kim represent the bookends of his career as Mayor of Hawaii County; his first day on the job after winning the election in 2000 and this week as he prepares to say goodbye to a job that he says he never truly aspired to have. KHON2.

Before he took the mayor’s seat, Harry Kim was well-known as the voice of calm in disasters. Anyone who grew up on the Big Island remembers Harry Kim’s deep voice on the radio, informing residents of natural disasters. While he’s leaving his seat as Hawaii County Mayor on Monday, it was his time as civil defense chief that made him a local legend. Hawaii News Now.

Rhonda Loh To Be Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent. Loh, already serving as the acting park superintendent since April 2019, will be in the position on a permanent basis starting December 20th. Big Island Video News.

Movie madness: New Ocean View drive-in theater reveals giant demand. Tonight, the drive-in will host its first showing, projecting the “Nightmare Before Christmas” on the 12- by 16-foot screen as audio is transmitted via FM radio into the viewers’ vehicles. West Hawaii Today.


First jury trial in state since COVID completed. Process took months of planning so jurors could gather safely. Before 12 jurors and an alternate were seated last week for the first jury trial in the state since the COVID-19 pandemic, 2nd Circuit Court judges, staff and attorneys spent months of planning, reconfigured a courtroom and precisely measured spaces so jurors were positioned at least 6 feet apart. Maui News.

Nominees Announced for 2020 Annual Mayor’s Small Business Awards.
The Maui Chamber of Commerce announced the nominees for the 2020 Mayor’s Small Business Awards. Nominees and winners will be honored during a virtual event on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 6:30-8:30 pm. Maui Now.


HoKua Place stalled again
. Wednesday, the state’s Land Use Commission granted a petition to intervene in the proceeding of rezoning lands for a 96-acre residential subdivision next to Kapa‘a Middle School that has been in the planning stages for nearly a decade. Garden Island.

This Kauai Nonprofit Is Trying To Change How People Buy Their Food. Food hubs provide a way for farmers to sell their crops outside of grocery stores. Civil Beat.

KIUC Anahola Service Center boosts economy. The benefit of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic adds to the list of benefits that will come with the construction of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Anahola Service Center adjacent to the KIUC solar farm in Anahola. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Hanauma Bay reopens, schools face deep budget cuts, Health Department to scale back contact tracing, Maui dogs sniff out COVID-19, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hanauma Bay snorkeling spot ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hanauma Bay Is Reopening — But Capacity Will Be Limited. The county nature park is one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist attractions, but fewer visitors will be allowed in, face masks will be mandatory and nonresidents will pay more in fees. Civil Beat.

Hanauma Bay Reopening Today Under City Guidelines. Prior to the shutdown, as many as 3,000 residents and tourists entered the marine sanctuary daily. Hawaii Public Radio.

City reopens Hanauma Bay with new restrictions and higher fees. The city reopened Hanauma Bay on Wednesday, but announced new restrictions aimed at ensuring the environmental gains the preserve made while it was shut down aren’t lost when residents and visitors return. Hawaii News Now.

Hanauma Bay reopens to the public, new measures aim to protect nature preserve. Hanauma Bay, which has been closed since March, reopened to the public on Wednesday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. KHON2.

Visitors welcomed back to Hanauma Bay with new fees and restrictions.  A new limit of 720 daily visitors has been set for the reopening in a pilot program seeking to balance conservation with recreation, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the preserve. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii plans to shrink contact-tracing team next year. While health experts are predicting a third wave of infections fueled by the holidays, Hawaii’s contact tracers that track COVID-19-positive residents are set to be reduced after the new year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOH Plans Cuts In Contact Tracing Team
Despite Continued COVID-19 Worries. Even as more cases are anticipated, Hawaii is “doing pretty well” a state health official said. Civil Beat.

State's contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of individuals who may have come in contact with an infected person. The state's COVID-19 contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of all people who may have come in contact with an infected person. KITV4.

Lack of interest in quarantine may be a barrier in contact tracing efforts. The State Department of Health (DOH) has released more results of its contact tracing efforts, including the percentage of cases being reached. KHON2.


State Education Board Holding Two Virtual Meetings Dec. 3 on Proposed Budget Cuts. The Hawaii State Board of Education will hold two meetings Thursday, Dec. 3, to vote on the proposed Department of Education budget for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium. Due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the proposed budget includes a 10-percent cut for public school operations and positions and consideration of a 9-percent cut to special education. Maui Now.

School Funds, Special Education Programs Face Cuts In DOE Budget Proposal. Hawaii State Teachers Association warns that proposed cuts could mean a loss of 1,000 teacher positions. Civil Beat.

HSTA says DOE budget cuts could result in loss of 1,000 teachers. The Hawaii State Teachers Association this morning expressed grave concerns about proposed budget cuts that would result in the loss of 1,000 teachers, including special education teachers. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed state education budget cuts concern HSTA. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is taking aim at budget reductions proposed by the state Department of Education the union says will undoubtedly affect Hawaii’s students. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi DOE Proposes Budget Cuts, HSTA Responds. The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association says the proposed, deep budget cuts will have "damaging impacts" on schools. Big Island Video News.

HIDOE Proposed Budget Cuts Could Impact Student Programs, Special Education, HSTA Says. The Hawai‘i Student Teacher Association fears the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s proposed cuts could result in lost jobs and student programs. Big Island Now. Big Island Now.

Budget crisis won’t spare schools and that has educators worried about the future
. With the pandemic squeezing state budgets, public schools are facing as much as $264 million in budget cuts over the next two years. And that’s got the teachers union asking which programs could be slashed. Hawaii News Now.

Teachers union says budget cuts could eliminate jobs and school programs. The Department of Education (DOE) is faced with making more than 200 million in budget cuts thanks to COVID-19. The teacher’s union knows cuts are needed but said they come at the expense of students and teachers. KHON2.

Teachers Union President: Education Budget Cuts Could Cost 1,000 Jobs. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee said Wednesday that 1,000 teaching positions could be lost if the Department of Education's budget cuts are not reworked. KITV4.


Subsea connectivity in Pacific, Hawaii expanded. Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Hawaiian Telcom to secure significant international capacity on the Southeast Asia-United States trans-Pacific fiber cable system from Guam to Los Angeles. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 2: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 78 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 63 on Oahu, one on the Big Island, one on Kauai, four on Maui. Nine residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Police Commissioner: People Want Answers On HPD’s Low Crime-Solving Rate. Chief Susan Ballard says the FBI data on HPD’s clearance rates is wrong, but her department shared data with a city councilman that reveals similarly troubling numbers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department switching to new data-reporting system. The Honolulu Police Department will switch to a new, data-rich system for reporting crimes at the start of the new year. Star-Advertiser.

HPD investigation into COVID-19 overtime violations will take months, chief says. It will be months before the Honolulu Police Department can publicly report on the apparent overtime violations within the department’s COVID enforcement teams, according to HPD Chief Susan Ballard. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents have problems with a proposed 30-story tower at Ala Moana Center. The 400-foot Ala Moana Plaza would feature 583 rental units with 20% set aside as affordable. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Monsanto: Roundup did not cause cancer in Big Island men. The men, who range in age from 60 to 77, claim exposure to glyphosate — a herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup — and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, manufactured and marketed by Monsanto in the U.S. until banned in 1979, caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tribune-Herald.

Virtual Meeting On Helicopter Noise Set For Dec. 3. The Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force will hold a virtual meeting about the Hilo and Kona regions on Thursday morning. Big Island Video News.

Funding For Airport COVID Testing in Jeopardy; Mayor-Elect Details Possible Changes. A new mayor will take the helm in Hawai‘i County on Monday. Likely accompanying his arrival will be substantial changes to COVID testing policies at Big Island airports, though those adjustments will be more a result of timing than political philosophy. Big Island Now.

You haven’t heard the last of Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. While Kim’s time in office is coming to an end, the 81-year-old says he’s not preparing to retire. Instead, he’s preparing for his next act. Hawaii News Now.

Group seeks transparency from DOH after virus outbreak at Hilo veterans home. A Hawaii seniors advocacy group has called on the state Department of Health to release more information about nursing home inspections after a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans home caused at least 27 deaths earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Life Care Center of Kona employee tests positive for COVID-19. A Life Care Center of Kona employee remains in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. The staff member last worked at the Keauhou care facility on Nov. 11 and remained in isolation, according to the early Tuesday update posted to the center’s website. West Hawaii Today.


How Maui Dogs Are Learning How To Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections. Perspiration samples from Hawaii residents recently diagnosed with COVID-19 are key to a study of whether dogs can sniff out the virus. Civil Beat.

Meetings Seek Feedback on Maui’s 5,000-Unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui nonprofits, Hawaiian Community Assets hosts a series of community meetings from December 2020 through February 2021 to gather feedback from local residents on the development the County’s 5,000-unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui Now.

DLNR: Kahakapao Recreation Area on Maui is a “Hot-Spot” for Illegal Trails. A series of legal, planned, and engineered trails at Kahakapao Recreational Area on Maui provide thrills and fun for mountain bikers, as well as for hiking and horseback riding. But illegal trails have become a concern with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources identifying 21 such paths crossing the popular Pineapple Express mountain bike trail alone. Maui Now.

Citizens’ Patrol back on road after COVID delays. Program credited with deterring car break-ins at popular beach parks. Maui News.

Maui home prices reach new highs. Median for single-family units hits $867,500 in October. Maui News.


CDC tipped Kauai police about COVID-positive fliers arrested after landing. A tip from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led to the arrest of a Kauai couple on Nov. 29 when they landed on the Garden Isle after boarding a plane in San Francisco knowing they were COVID positive. They had been told by airport quarantine station officials to stay in San Francisco. KHON2.

Protesting COVID restrictions.
About 25 people protested the state’s mask mandate and the county’s temporary Safe Travels shutdown yesterday afternoon. Garden Island.

Businesses struggle to stay open. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort &Spa will be closing temporarily on Dec. 7 in a move to further protect its staff. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Public schools lose enrollment, predators target girl on school-issued laptop, Schatz pushes Ige for COVID-19 plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii public school in COVID-19 era PC:Department of Education

Hawaii Public Schools Keep Losing Students Amid Coronavirus Concerns. Latest figures show Hawaii’s public school lost 1,023 more students in the first quarter as overall enrollment plunged nearly 3% compared with last year. Civil Beat.

Oahu mom says online predators connected with her daughter through school-issued laptop. An Oahu mother has a warning for other parents after she says her 13-year-old was being groomed by a pair of suspected online predators who she connected with on her school-issued laptop. The woman says the filter on her daughter’s computer worked only on campus. Hawaii News Now.

DOH Not Publishing Nursing Home Inspection Reports That Families Need. A seniors advocacy group has called on the state department of health to reveal more about nursing home inspections than it presently does. The lack of disclosure involves both the state and federal governments. Hawaii Public Radio.

Has The Hawaii Tourism Industry Lost Its Clout? Amid pandemic, state and local government leaders do not defer to the state’s major industry. Civil Beat.


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz worries for state with CARES funds ending. Hawaii’s COVID-19 response, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, and the upcoming vaccination campaign, is in jeopardy with federal CARES Act money that pays for the programs set to end Dec. 30. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz to Ige: What’s the plan for testing? U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Tuesday urged Gov. David Ige to maintain Hawaii’s expanded COVID-19 contact tracing program as some federal coronavirus relief funding is set to expire. Tribune-Herald.

Sen. Schatz Urges Hawaiʻi to Maintain Expanded COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program. With some federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act set to expire at the end of the year, Schatz urged Ige to utilize other sources of funding to ensure the contact tracing program remains fully operational. Maui Now.

Schatz to Ige: How will the state fund contact tracing after federal money expires? U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is calling on Gov. Ige to take full advantage of federal funds to expand COVID-19 contact tracing beyond the end of the year. Sen. Schatz recently sent a letter to the governor asking for answers on the state’s plans to continue the contact tracing program, adding he’s encouraged by the growth of the tracing effort, but feels there is still room to improve. Hawaii News Now.

US Senator Schatz wants the state to find other ways to fund its contact tracing program beyond 2020. US Senator Brian Schatz wants the state to find other ways to fund its COVID-19 contact tracing program beyond the end of the year. KITV4.


Surgeon general, aide shouldn’t be prosecuted, tour guide says. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and his aide, whom police cited at an Oahu beach park in late August for allegedly violating an emergency order during a shutdown of the island’s beach parks, should not be prosecuted, said an attorney who spoke on behalf of a tour guide who took the men to the park. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 1: 44 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 44 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 32 on Oahu, six on the Big Island and five on Maui. The location of the final case was not specified in the state’s daily case report. Civil Beat.


Criminal case finished, the next victims of the Kealoha scandal could be city taxpayers. Now that the criminal case against the Kealohas has been finished, the next victims of the former power couple could be Honolulu city taxpayers ― by way of civil lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-Honolulu Police Officers Sentenced In Corruption Case. A judge sentenced a former Honolulu police lieutenant on Tuesday to three-and-a-half years in prison and a former officer to four-and-a-half years for helping a now-retired police chief and his now-estranged ex-prosecutor wife frame a relative as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy aimed at preserving the couple's lavish lifestyle. Associated Press.

Co-conspirators in Kealoha corruption case are headed to federal prison. Two Honolulu Police Department co-conspirators in the Kea­loha conspiracy trial were sentenced Tuesday to 4-1/2 years years and 3-1/2 years, respectively, in federal prison, adding a coda to one of the island’s most notorious cases of law enforcement corruption. Star-Advertiser.

HPD officers convicted in Kealoha scandal get sentenced multiple year prison terms. A federal judge sentenced Derek Hahn to three-and-a-half years in prison while Bobby Nguyen will serve four-and-a-half years. KHON2.


Honolulu Neighborhood Board Election Period Opens. The volunteer boards hold public meetings and make recommendations to elected leaders. Civil Beat.

City leaders say an ordinance meant to help create more affordable housing on O'ahu is working. Bill 7 provides incentives to smaller local construction firms to develop family-owned lots that are no larger than 20,000 square feet. KITV4.

Developer credits bills with making 5-story walk-up complex feasible. A five-story walk-up affordable rental building is sprouting on a small Liliha lot that until recently was occupied by a deserted and dilapidated single-family house. Star-Advertiser.

First affordable housing walk-up under ‘Bill 7′ now in the works in Liliha. An old home in Liliha is being transformed into a 25-unit walkup rental complex. It’s the city’s first reconstruction project under Bill 7, which provides property tax incentives to developers to encourage more affordable rentals. Hawaii News Now.

$80K settlement reached in student housing discrimination lawsuit. Hawaii Developer Peter Savio and the U.S. Justice Department agreed to an $80,000 settlement after three student complexes owned by Savio were accused of unfairly rejecting applicants with children. The suit alleged that these potential tenants were turned away or steered to other properties because of their family status. Hawaii News Now.


Two lifeguard towers replaced on Oahu beaches with more upgrades to come. Ahead of a big north swell, lifeguards on Oahu got two brand new towers this week — one of them overlooking the famous Banzai Pipeline. Honolulu Ocean Safety replaced the tower at Ehukai Beach Park on the North Shore on Monday, and the Depots Beach park tower Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Ocean Safety replaces critical lifeguard towers. The City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division has replaced two lifeguard towers at critical beaches on Oahu’s West and North shores ahead of a large northwest swell that was predicted to strike Tuesday evening, peaking today at 15 to 25 feet with 20- to 40-foot faces. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Ocean Safety replaces old lifeguard towers on North Shore and Leeward coasts. According to Ocean Safety they are durable, built for safety and maximum visibility. KITV4.

CVS debuts HealthHUBs at 3 Oahu Longs.
The HealthHUB at Longs Drugs is now open and is offering an array of health care services on Oahu in the well-known chain, which has had a presence in Hawaii since 1954. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

New Hawaii County mayor, council to be inaugurated Monday. Like nearly everything else in 2020, Hawaii County’s inauguration ceremonies will look and feel quite different this year as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. West Hawaii Today.

Inauguration Of New County Officials Will Be Virtual Event. The inauguration of the new Mayor, Prosecuting Attorney, and nine Councilmembers will be a virtual event, the County of Hawaiʻi announced on Tuesday, with no public attendance. Big Island Video News.

KCH Clears Hospital of COVID Patients Monday. As of Monday afternoon, Kona Community Hospital reported zero patients currently admitted for coronavirus treatment. Big Island Now.

Visitors Bureau to Launch ‘Shop Big Island’ Website. The Hawai‘i Island Visitors Bureau has announced plans to launch a new website in December dedicated to helping local businesses promote and sell their products, as the county and the state begin the slow climb out of the economic wreckage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Big Island Now.


Molokai, Lanai solar projects up for debate. Hawaiian Electric will discuss proposed solar and battery projects for Molokai and Lanai during two virtual meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. Maui News.

Maui Real Estate Report for October Shows Activity Up and Supply Down. Median Sales Price increased 18.5 percent to $867,500 for Single Family homes and 12.7 percent to $587,800 for Condominium homes. Maui Now.

Maui home prices jump nearly 20% in October. The median price of a single-family home in October was 18.5% higher than the median price in October 2019, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.


Council, prosecuting attorney sworn in virtually
. There was a bit less fanfare Tuesday than in years past as the 2021-22 Kaua‘i County Council pledged their oaths to the people of Kaua‘i and were sworn in as councilmembers. Garden Island.

A Kauai couple was arrested on Sunday after boarding a flight despite having tested positive for COVID-19. The Wailua couple was arrested for reckless endangerment after boarding a flight traveling from San Francisco to Lihue. Police say the 46-year-old man and 46-year-old woman knew they had tested positive for the virus. KHON2.

Kauai’s travel rules bring job and revenue losses. Hotels and visitor industry businesses are curtailing or postponing operations, and many visitors are going elsewhere, as the harsh economic realities of Kauai’s decision to opt out of Safe Travels Hawaii begin to take root. Star-Advertiser.

Quarantine could mean end for businesses. As of today, all travelers coming to Kaua‘i must quarantine for 14 days, as the county is temporarily opting out of the state’s pre-travel-testing program that allowed travelers to bypass the quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Honolulu ex-police chief, deputy prosecutor sentenced in corruption scandal, House committee seeks looser travel rules, HPD chief vows to discipline CARES OT abusers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii News Now
File footage of Katherine and Louis Kealoha PC:Hawaii News Now

Honolulu’s former law enforcement power couple learned their punishments in federal court Monday: seven years in federal prison for disgraced Police Chief Louis Kealoha and 13 years for his estranged wife, former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. The Kealohas and two Honolulu Police Department officers were convicted in June 2019 following an elaborate but botched effort for the Kealohas to steal the proceeds from a reverse mortgage on the home belonging to her grandmother Florence M. Puana and then framing her uncle, Gerard Puana, now age 60, when mother and son began figuring out the scheme. Star-Advertiser.

Former HPD Police Chief And Prosecutor Wife Sentenced To Prison.
Katherine Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha, are at the center of a years long investigation into public corruption. Civil Beat.

Calling their corruption ‘shocking,’ judge goes above guidelines in sentencing Kealohas. Saying that Katherine Kealoha had “perverted justice over and over and over again,” a federal judge on Monday sentenced the former high-ranking deputy city prosecutor to 13 years behind bars ― going above the sentencing guidelines of 10 years. Hours later, her husband ― ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha ― was sentenced to seven years in prison, two more than was recommended. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine gets 13 years, Louis gets 7, in Kealoha federal sentencing. Katherine and Louis Kealoha learned their fate on Monday, finally sentenced for their federal convictions last year. Katherine was sentenced to 13 years. Louis got seven years. Restitution of more than $450,000 is owed to various victims of their schemes. KHON2.

Ex-Police Chief Gets 7 Years, Wife Katherine Sentenced To 13 Years In Corruption Case. A federal judge today sentenced former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to 13 years in prison for masterminding an elaborate scheme that defrauded her grandmother, led to her uncle's false arrest and plundered the trust funds for two children. Her husband, ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha, received 7 years in prison for his part in the scheme. Hawaii Public Radio.

A once powerful Oahu couple will soon be known simply as two federal inmates, Louis and Katherine Kealoha are finally sentenced. In addition to the sentences, the Kealohas were also ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in restitution to the numerous victims. Judge Seabright ordered 75% of Louis' $9,720 monthly police pension to go toward his restitution. KITV4.

Ex-Honolulu prosecutor, police chief get prison for corruption. A U.S. judge sentenced a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor to 13 years in prison Monday and her retired police chief husband to seven years, saying she stole money from her own grandmother and then used his law enforcement power to frame her uncle for a crime he didn’t commit — all to maintain the couple’s lavish lifestyle. Associated Press.

Judge Exceeds Guidelines in Sentencing Kealohas For Corruption. Two central figures in perhaps the most prominent corruption case in Hawai‘i history were sentenced Monday, as one of the final chapters in the years-long saga was written without sympathy by a federal judge. Big Island Now.

Letter from deceased victim says Kealoha’s ‘ruthless scheme’ was a final blow. Before she died in February at the age of 100, Florence Puana wrote a stinging letter describing the financial and emotional toll Katherine Kealoha’s crimes had on her family. Hawaii News Now.


Gov. David Ige says nearly 300 people have entered the state and later been informed of a positive COVID-19 test. Gov. David Ige said since the Safe Travels program began, nearly 300 people have entered the state and then been informed of a positive COVID-19 test.  Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Safe Travels is working.
Days after approving a request from Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami that will permit Kauai to temporarily opt out of the state’s Safe Travels program, Gov. David Ige said that the pre-travel testing initiative is working in Hawaii’s other counties. Tribune-Herald.

House COVID Committee Pushes Back Against New Quarantine Rule For Hawaii Travelers. A new report from the high-profile committee says the state’s pre-travel test program has been working fine and asks the governor to back off a stricter 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Business leaders, legislators urge governor to rethink new restrictions on pre-travel testing program.  Health and business leaders across Hawaii are proposing a modification to one of Gov. David Ige’s new rules governing trans-Pacific travel during the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Post-arrivals test urged to shorten quarantine for travelers. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness is recommending allowing travelers who arrive with pending COVID-19 results the chance to shorten their quarantine by taking a rapid post-arrival test. Star-Advertiser.

State House committee proposes changes to Safe Travels program. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 has sent the state a proposal that could, once again, change the Safe Travels program. KHON2.

House Committee Proposes To Modify Safe Travels Hawaiʻi Program. A white paper was written by the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, defending the efficacy of the pre-travel testing program before it was altered by the Governor. Big Island Video News.

COVID committee suggests Safe Travels modification. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness has submitted a proposal to modify the state’s Safe Travels program which involves offering rapid post-arrival tests to travelers awaiting pre-travel testing results. Garden Island.


Gov. David Ige Appoints New Public Safety Director. Max Otani, a retired corrections official and member of the Hawaii Paroling Authority, will take over as head of the state Department of Public Safety starting Tuesday, Gov. David Ige’s office announced. Civil Beat.

Gov Appoints Hilo Native to Public Safety Director. Max Otani was appointed by Gov. David Ige to serve as the director of the Department of Public Safety, effective Dec. 1, 2020. Big Island Now.

Governor names long-time paroling authority staffer as Public Safety director. Gov. David Ige has appointed the state’s former Deputy Director for Corrections as the new Director of Public Safety, replacing Nolan Espinda, who retired earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Critical Funding Fight Looms As Public Safety Boards Remain Cash-Strapped. State public safety boards have been shortchanged since they were put in place. But lawmakers suggest there may be little help in sight. Civil Beat.


Hawaiian Telcom to buy firm’s fiber assets for $50M. Hawaiian Telcom has signed a definitive purchase agreement to buy interisland submarine and middle-mile terrestrial fiber infrastructure assets currently owned by the bankruptcy estate of Paniolo Cable Co. for $50 million. Star-Advertiser.

Coast Guard completes drone ship exercise in Hawaii as Navy prepares unmanned asset test. The Coast Guard in Hawaii recently wrapped up a 30-day demonstration and evaluation of two ship drone versions to better patrol the vastness of the Pacific as the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, also in the drone hunt, plans a “fleet battle problem” exercise early next year using unmanned systems “on the sea, above the sea and under the sea". Star-Advertiser.

Ige, others reiterate need for National Guard assistance. To help in the continued fight against COVID-19, state officials are working to secure federal funding to extend the deployment of the Hawaii National Guard. Tribune-Herald.

Why The Navy Is Becoming A Powerful Force For Clean Energy. As the pandemic highlights fragile supply chains, the Navy is working with Hawaii to harness the sun and other natural elements for power. Civil Beat.


Aquarium fishing: Environmental review required, court rules. The state Monday said it will no longer renew or issue new commercial marine licenses for aquarium fishing without a required environmental review, effective immediately, following a recent state Circuit Court ruling. Star-Advertiser.

New Court Ruling Further Restricts Commercial Aquarium Fishing In Hawaii. More than half a million aquarium fish have been collected despite a 2017 state Supreme Court ruling. Civil Beat.

Court ruling closes loophole for commercial aquarium collection. The state says it is taking immediate steps to comply with a court order shutting a loophole that allowed for continued commercial aquarium fish collection despite a 2017 high court ruling that halted the practice pending environmental review. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i Court Rules Commercial Aquarium Collection Without Environmental Review is Illegal. he state’s environmental court ruled Friday that the continued extraction of aquarium fish from Hawaiʻi’s reefs without first reviewing the environmental and cultural impacts, is illegal. Maui Now.

More pets left behind during pandemic. Although there has been an increase in demand for the adoption of pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an uptick in the number of animals being surrendered to shelters, according to several Hawaii nonprofits and shelters. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 30: 85 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 85 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Monday, including 66 on Oahu, four on the Big Island, 10 in Maui County including one on Molokai, and one on Kauai.  Four Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Police Department acknowledges excessive overtime. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Monday that HPD takes responsibility for actions by officers who violated the department’s overtime policy, and she confirmed that multiple investigations are taking place as a result of the abuse. Star-Advertiser.

Chief: Officers who abused overtime while responding to COVID calls will be disciplined. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says officers and supervisors who abused overtime privileges during COVID-19 enforcement efforts will be disciplined. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief addresses COVID-19 enforcement team violating overtime. According to Ballard, multiple investigations have been opened and violators will be disciplined. KITV4.


More Tales Of Crime And Violence As 2 More Caught Up In Miske Murder Case. Court records reveal two more men who are cooperating with federal authorities in the case against a Honolulu businessman charged with running a criminal enterprise. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolls out food card for disadvantaged families, individuals. A new city-issued debit card would provide 4,000-plus disadvantaged families and individuals with $500 to spend on groceries and other household necessities in the coming weeks, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Distributing $500 Grocery Gift Cards. Thousands of Oahu households will receive assistance with food and other necessities from city CARES Act funds. Civil Beat.

City to mail out $500 gift cards for groceries, necessities to thousands of Oahu families. The city will distribute $500 gift cards to thousands of Oahu families experiencing hardship because of the pandemic. The gift cards, which will be mailed out starting Dec. 7, can only be used for groceries and other necessities. Alcohol, tobacco, bus passes and gift cards can’t be purchased. Hawaii News Now.

Direct cash going to Honolulu households affected by COVID-19. Honolulu households that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting help in the form of $500 cash cards. KHON2.


Kapiolani nurses plan picket over expiring contract situation. More than 700 nurses from Kapiolani Medical Center are planning to picket on Wednesday over the status of their contracts, which were set to expire on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani nurses, sans contract, claim unsafe working conditions. Nurses and respiratory therapists on the front lines at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children are now working without a contract and say they are worried about patient care and unsafe conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Starting Wednesday, all trans-Pacific travelers who took a pre-boarding COVID-19 test also will be given a rapid-result antigen test upon arrival at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, Mayor Harry Kim said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island COVID-19 case count nears 1,600. Hawaii County Civil Defense has reported a total of 49 coronavirus-related fatalities on Hawaii Island. The state has yet to confirm 15 of the deaths reported to date on Hawaii Island and has not responded to repeated requests for information on pending cases. West Hawaii Today.

County announces free COVID-19 testing schedule. Free COVID-19 drive-through testing will be provided at a handful of sites this week, Hawaii County announced Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Wastewater Flows Into Reed’s Bay Following Monday Spill.
The County Wastewater Division said the spill resulted from a sewer force main break caused by employees of Goodfellow Brothers, Inc., who were repairing the sidewalk over the Banyan SPS force main Monday. While excavating to prepare the foundation, workers accidentally punched a hole in the force main, which is 10 inches in diameter. Big Island Now.

Sewage Spill Reported Near Ice Pond Area Of Reeds Bay. An unknown amount of sewage entered the waters of Reed's Bay near Ice Pond shortly after noon on Monday, officials report. Big Island Video News.


Memorial Checkpoint Comes as Maui Police Deal with 400 Percent Increase in Habitual Drunk Driving. The Maui Police Department is seeking a change in behavior within the community in an effort to prevent further drunk driving fatalities in Maui County. Maui Now.

Kīhei Charter School Transitioning from Distance Learning to Blended Learning Model. The Kīhei Charter School is transitioning from all distance learning to a blended learning model in a steady safe process that gradually adds grades to the reopening of the school campus, Head of School Michael Stubbs announced in a news release. Maui Now.


Kawakami defends opt-out. As Kaua‘i temporarily opts-out of the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, Mayor Derek Kawakami offered some insight into his reasoning. Garden Island.

2 more travel-related cases. The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported two new travel-related cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Both cases participated in the Safe Travels program and reportedly boarded their flight after receiving positive pre-travel test results. Garden Island.