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Expanding vaccine eligibility


Lt. Governor Josh Green wants to vaccinate all people 65 and older as COVIS-19 variants spread across the U.S. mainland.

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

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Lt. Gov. wants to vaccinate people 65 and older as COVID-19 variants spread across the Mainland
Josh Green says the state could see a surge of the highly transmissible strain, and he’s worried younger people will bring it into multi-generational households. Others believe the state should prioritize the most vulnerable before vaccinating a long list of essential workers. KHON2. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i is being used to train a new brand of island-hopping military
The Army and Marines are running exercises on O‘ahu to prepare to become a 21st-century island-hopping force. The training aligns with a 2018 National Defense Strategy shift to confronting China and Russia, with the Pacific becoming the Pentagon’s priority theater. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

House panel strikes down DHHL casino proposal
A companion measure is still alive in the state Senate, though the gambling bills face opposition from some legislative leaders and the governor. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Bills aim to save Hawai‘i’s beaches
Lawmakers are considering bills this legislative session that could force oceanfront property owners to remove sandbags and draped heavy tarps that contribute to coastal erosion. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i lawmakers consider moratorium on commercial business evictions
Commercial landlords would be prohibited from evicting tenants under a bill taken up last week to assist businesses reeling from the economic downturn. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

New tax on alcoholic drinks advances in the state Senate
A key Senate committee gave preliminary approval for a new 10-cents-per-drink tax on all alcoholic beverages, a step that would raise an estimated $62 million per year for the state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Bankruptcies plunged nearly 25% in January
The drop reflects the strength of aid delivered as well as optimism that the vaccine rollout will help Hawai‘i’s economy recover in the second half of the year. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Data shows some Hawai‘i public school students are falling behind
A segment of elementary school students are struggling academically, with 21% “well below” proficiency in English and 15% falling short in math in the first semester, new public school data shows. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Photo: Aaron Yoshino
20 for the Next 20: Neill Char
As a 28-year-old branch manager for Bank of Hawaii, Neill Char had an epiphany. “In my first leadership role, I found my purpose in life and that is to help people realize their fullest potential… read more.
The deadline for public input on new Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is today
State officials released a drafted environmental impact statement on Dec. 23 and are encouraging Hawai‘i residents to comment on the proposal. KHON2.

COVID-19 created a new problem for recently released inmates, prison reform advocates say
United Self-Help’s executive director said prisoners are being turned away from shelters, forcing them to live on the streets. Hawaii News Now.

Illustration: Getty Images

2021 Education & Career Guide

The world has seen its fair share of disruption and upheaval recently. These institutions can help develop the skills you need for a successful career… read more.

Feds fine Hilo veterans’ home $500,000 over deadly COVID-19 outbreak
State health officials said it was the largest fine they could recall for a long-term care facility. Last fall, 27 residents died at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

“Goofy” Waikoloa project is withdrawn for revision
An application for a Waikoloa affordable housing project — which a planning consultant called “funky” and a councilman called “goofy” — were withdrawn last week from the County Council Planning Committee for a redo. West Hawaii Today.

Central Pacific Bank’s leadership team is, from left, Paul K. Yonamine, executive chairman; David Morimoto, chief financial officer; Catherine Ngo, president; Kevin Dahlstrom, chief marketing officer and Arnold Martines, chief banking officer. | Photo: courtesy of Central Pacific Bank
Central Pacific Bank says Rebranding Reflects “Digital-First Mindset”

Central Pacific Bank, which unveiled a $40 million renovation of its downtown Honolulu headquarters on Jan. 26, has also launched a rebranding campaign. The pandemic dramatically accelerated many trends that were already underway, including adoption of digital more.
Hosts will be liable for underage drinking
Maui County Council unanimously approved a bill that will make party hosts liable for illegal underage drinking, whether the party happens at home or another private residence. Maui News.

New Maui Commission on Healing Solutions for Homelessness is seeking applications
People who are actively working on or advocating for issues related to homelessness are encouraged to apply for the new commission. The deadline is noon, Feb. 19. Maui Now.

Public hearing on property-tax exemptions is scheduled for today
The county Department of Finance will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to property tax rules and regulations. Garden Island.

Princeville residents overwhelmingly dislike “glamping” plan, according to survey
A stunning 94% of residents and property owners believe that preserving open space in Hawai‘i’s first planned community is critical. The group is studying options for resisting a proposed luxury camping resort. Garden Island.

40% of KCC students are food insecure
A survey showed that a huge number of Kaua‘i Community College students are struggling to get enough to eat, Chancellor Joe Daisy said last week. Garden Island.

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