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State of the State speech short on specifics

Governor Ige’s address offers no concrete details on layoffs, furloughs, and possible tax increases.

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

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Gov. Ige’s speech skips the difficult details
In his address to the state Legislature yesterday, Gov. David Ige  recapped the impacts of the pandemic and warned that government will have to “tighten its belt” in the face of a gaping budget deficit. But he neglected to offer concrete details such as furloughs, layoffs or possible tax increases. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. West Hawaii TodayKITV4.

More investment in digital technology could reshape the economy, says governor
One idea that Gov. David Ige pushed in his State of the State speech is to develop a more robust digital economy — a “Hawai‘i 2.0” pivot. He called for increasing broadband connectivity to rural communities and moving away from a reliance on tourism. Honolulu Star-AdvertiserKHON2Garden Island.

A new administration raises hopes for Native Hawaiians seeking federal recognition
Democratic control of the White House and Congress may breathe new life into efforts to establish a Native Hawaiian government that is recognized by the U.S. Civil Beat.

Marines in Hawai‘i are training for a return to island fighting
Hawai‘i is at the center an ambitious plan to give the Marine Corps a 21st-century reboot, leading to a leaner force that moves faster and strikes harder as tensions with China intensify in the Pacific. Civil Beat.

Vacation rental numbers were bleak in 2020 but rose in recent months
The state’s short-term vacation rental industry completed a painful year, with 42.8% occupancy in 2020 compared with 74.2% in 2019. The figure rose from a low of 8.8% in September to 22.7% in October, and then to 31.6% in November and 40.5% in December. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 variant linked to California outbreaks is found in Hawai‘i
The state Department of Health confirmed Monday that its Laboratories Division detected two cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant L452R — one on O‘ahu and one on Maui. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2KITV4.

Vaccinations will be available for all employees at Legislature
The Department of Health said all Capitol employees will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Thursday. The employees fall into phase 1B as “essential for government operations.” Phase 2, covering everyone not in phase 1 categories, is scheduled to begin in early summer. Civil BeatMaui Now.

CVS says vaccinations at Hawai‘i nursing homes, long-term facilities on schedule
The company begin vaccinating residents at 45 skilled nursing and long-term facilities on Dec. 28. As of Sunday, CVS said it has finished administering all 5,800 of the first doses. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

My Job: Photographing Massive Waves
“So far, I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life, because each and every day I’m so excited to go to ‘work’ and really can’t believe I’m being paid to do this,” says Mike Prickett, an avid surfer and paddleboarder who always wanted a career in – or at least near – the water… read more.
Witness in drug case involving Katherine Kealoha’s brother is now on the run
A 33-year-old woman who played a major role in the Kealoha corruption scandal is now wanted by police in connection with another crime. Hawaii News Now.

Wastewater spills reported around O‘ahu after heavy rains subside
City officials said the Department of Environmental Services responded to at least five sanitary sewer spills. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu extends City Card use to Feb. 15
The deadline has been pushed back to give people more time to spend the $500 on groceries and other household necessities. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Waikīkī sand replenishment begins again
Work began Monday on a project to dredge 20,000 cubic yards of sand from a channel 2,000 feet offshore and pump it onto the beach, the state Department of Natural Resources said. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Leaders it is Time to Shine, Literally

Face it: 2020 was devastating. You ditched your business plans, shifted performance goals, and raised spirits for your employees through social media videos (like how to make a pizza). Find the opportunities waiting for you in 2021 with 3 practices… read more.

B.J. Penn arrested for DUI on Hawai‘i Island
Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer B.J. Penn was arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence of intoxicants, the Hawai‘i Police Department said. Honolulu Star-AdvertiserTribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hilo hospital is seeing high demand for vaccinations among residents 75 and up  
Hilo Medical Center said the demand is forcing them to delay the vaccine rollout among residents in the 65-74 age bracket. Tribune-Herald.

Reef-safe sunscreen dispensers installed at Kahalu‘u Beach Park
The pavilion’s two new dispensers are part of an ongoing initiative to support reef health and regrowth. Big Island Now.

Turn Your Rent Renegotiation into an Honest Give-and-Take

Advice from both sides of the fence and the agents who sit in the middle, including separate tip sheets for tenants and landlords. While rent deferral can be helpful in the short term, he says, it could also mean that a restaurant will be less profitable or potentially broke when..read more.
Out-of-state buyers account for nearly 30% of Maui home sales
Mainland buyers made up 27.4% of sales and foreign buyers 1.4%, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui News.

Rental aid program sent $10M to county households
About 2,500 households in Maui County received help from the rental assistance program, which was launched by the state during the pandemic. Maui News.

Maui County sees more than 600 new COVID-19 cases in January
In comparison, the island had less than 1,000 cases in all of 2020. KITV4.

Jonathan Herrera case will be the first jury trial since last March
Fifth Circuit Court Judge Randal G. B. Valenciano announced Monday that he will move forward with the island’s first jury trial since the start of the pandemic. Garden Island.

North Shore Lions raise over $50,000
In partnership with Aloha Roofing Supply, the club raised the money during its annual golf tournament in Princeville. Garden Island.

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