|A frank conversation us Sen. Brian Schatz about Hawaiʻi’s virus response effort
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has a blunt assessment of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — “objectively terrible.” From top to bottom, Hawaiʻi’s government officials have failed to listen to scientific and public health experts and take advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal relief funds sent to help the state control the virus, he says. Instead, the administrations of Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell have let politics interfere with decision making and public safety, Schatz believes. Civil Beat.
Travelers flying into Hawaiʻi will be required to complete Safe Travels application
The Safe Travels application, starting Tuesday, will become the newest mandatory requirement for travelers flying into Hawaiʻi. The app, travel.hawaii.gov, collects health and travel information to help with the public-safety-motivated screening of travelers in a COVID-19 world. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
State slated to get nearly $200 million more to fill unemployment claims
The funding is from the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which is administered through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The money will be split up into additional payments of $300 a week for the unemployed. The assistance will be in addition to regular state unemployment benefits. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now. Garden Island.
A condominium can last hundreds of years, but not its components
The head of a local construction management company says many of Hawai‘i’s condominiums were built in the 1960s and ’70s and are reaching the point where they will need major infrastructure, cosmetic and architectural improvements to keep their value and remain liveable. Hawaii Business Magazine spoke with plumbers, exterior renovators, homeowner association managers, real estate experts and reserve planning specialists to learn more about these capital improvement projects. Hawaii Business Magazine
State Auditor: DOE should be releasing more information about COVID-19 in schools
The state Department of Education’s COVID-19 policies are riddled with inconsistencies, incomplete information and often outdated guidance, according to a critical report released Friday by the Hawaii State Auditor. The report also calls out top DOE personnel, including the superintendent and deputy superintendent, for refusing to make themselves available for meetings or turn over the most current versions of policy documents to the auditor. Civil Beat.
Health care officials put out urgent call for more nurses to assist with COVID-19 surge
Health care officials in the private, public and nonprofit sectors are collaborating on a multipronged initiative to bring more nurses in to the state. Within the past week, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, the Hawaii State Center for Nursing and the state and federally authorized Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition launched a recruiting campaign aimed at experienced nurses as well as recent nursing graduates. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
County budgets stable for now, but may face uncertain future
Local governments have not yet faced the acute budget woes being felt at the state level but that may change if local businesses a forced to close. Hawaiʻi’s four county governments generate most of their revenue from property taxes, which so far are holding steady. However, there have been reductions from other important funding sources. Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
Wespac reconsiders rule that keeps longliners from fishing near Hawaiʻi shores
Hawaiʻi’s commercial fishing industry leaders are weighing whether to uphold the boundary that prohibits longline vessels from fishing within 50 miles of the main islands’ shores, a review that has some small-boat fishermen nervous. The zone has been in place for nearly 30 years and extends to 75 miles in some places. Civil Beat.
State health inspector fined $25,000 for ethics violation
A Hawaii Health Department employee is being ordered to pay the state $25,000 after he used inspections of adult care homes to find real estate clients, according to a Hawaii State Ethics Commission notice published on Friday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.