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Tourism recovery delayed

Hotel executives believe tourism won’t recover until summer at the earliest.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content provided by “Hawaii Business Magazine Newsletters.”

Accessed on 29 December 2020, 2202 UTC, Post 22,104.

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Tourism recovery not expected until summer, hotel execs say
Hawai‘i hotel industry executives don’t see any meaningful recovery in tourism until the summer, even as the COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out across the country. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.Visitor numbers are down 77%, despite holiday surge  
November numbers dropped significantly compared to last year, with most visitors coming from the U.S. West Coast; only 524 came from Japan. While down from peak tourism years, the week before Christmas saw the largest number of arrivals — 89,050 — since the state’s pre-testing program was launched. KHON2. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige pans HHL casino plan
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands recently suggested that Gov. David Ige could include its proposal for “limited casino gaming” in his legislative packet for the next session, which begins Jan. 20. It now appears that isn’t going to happen. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Federal aid means Hawai‘i will avoid state worker furloughs — for now
The new round of federal relief could bring millions of dollars to Hawai‘i’s agencies and struggling residents. The $900 billion federal bill prompted Gov. David Ige to delay state furloughs, which would amount to a 9% pay cut for most employees. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

State to hold public hearings on water plan
A state water panel will hold virtual public hearings in January on an update to the State Water Projects Plan. According to the plan, an additional 34 million gallons per day of potable water and more than 148 mgd of non-potable water are needed by 2034 to support state projects. Maui News.

As more vaccine doses arrive, Hawai‘i prepares to ramp up distribution
More shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday and are expected on Tuesday, bringing the total doses received to 61,000. Residents of nursing facilities will start being vaccinated this week; so far, 14,000 doses have been given to health care workers and first responders. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i sees 38% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations
Currently, 80 coronavirus patients are in hospitals statewide compared to 58 a month ago, says Lt. Gov. Josh Green. The rise correlates to increased infections over the holiday season — 1,558 active cases in the last 14 days. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

People and places that grow Hawaiʻi’s food
Growing food for Hawai‘i is hot right now. In the past decade, farms of unprecedented diversity have spread across the Islands. Sensing a business opportunity in growing food locally (it’s widely assumed that around 85% of Hawai‘i’s food is imported, though it’s difficult to verify), a number of large companies plunged into… read more.
Kirk Caldwell’s legacy as Honolulu mayor is marred by rail and homelessness
When he ran for mayor in 2012, Caldwell promised to help the homeless, “build rail better” and be a dependable leader for Honolulu. Eight years later, O‘ahu has barely progressed, political observers say. Civil Beat.Caldwell outlines improvements at Ala Moana Regional Park, including the Hawaiian Pond
Among the updates, the eroded, muddy banks of the Hawaiian Pond are being fixed and improved, says Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lori Kahikina picked to lead HART as interim CEO
The saga of Honolulu’s financially strapped rail project enters a new chapter Friday when veteran city engineering chief Lori Kahikina takes over as interim CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu officials hope to extend “City Card” until Jan. 31
With over 1,300 of the $500 grocery cards not yet activated, city officials are working to extend the deadline. The cards, distributed to disadvantaged families, were plagued with  delivery delays and problems activating them. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Year-long fishing ban along a south O‘ahu shoreline is set to begin Friday
Rules to prevent overfishing take effect Jan. 1, when the Shoreline Fisheries Management Area from Waikīkī to Diamond Head will be closed for fishing. Hawaii News Now.


Your road map to financial well-being

Protecting our families and investments by planning for the unexpected is top of mind to many of us during the pandemic. Developing a trust and estate plan, as well as organizing your finances and defining long-term goals is the essential part of this process… read more.

State Land Board to decide on dredging of new beach at Pohoiki
The state seeks a waiver to dredge a channel through black sand deposited by the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. Civil Beat.West Hawai‘i golf subsidy program returns
Waikoloa Village Golf Course in South Kohala and Makalei Golf Course in North Kona will both offer reduced rates for residents of Hawai‘i County for six months. West Hawaii Today.

Thousands flock to park to see eruption
Additional staff have been brought in to manage the crowds at Halema‘uma‘u crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

Our fresh water world

Now is a good time to ask the same question of our water that we ask of our farm-to-table food: What’s its story? Here is our guide to the fresh water that we share. Included is information on each island, but each island is different..read more.
10 COVID-19 cases detected at Harbor Lights, cleaning underway
Maui County officials confirmed a cluster of infections at the Harbor Lights condominium complex in Kahului. Maui Now.Garbage is collected and bagged before heavy rains sweep it into the ocean 
The Maui Nui Marine Resource Council organized volunteers to clean up trash and debris from the half-mile-long Mā‘alaea  gulch before rains funnel it into the bay. Maui News.
Bus fares will rise on Friday
The Kaua‘i Bus announced a fare increase effective Jan. 1, as well as a new design for its 2021 monthly bus passes. Garden Island.Lane closures scheduled for portions of Hanapēpē
The Department of Public Works said that portions of Hanapēpē will be closed Dec. 29, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for road reconstruction work. Garden Island.
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