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Shortage of vaccine in Hawaii

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Supply gaps hinder Hawaii’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

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

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Today's Hawaii News - Hawaii Business Magazine
2.9.2021
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Supply gaps slow Hawai‘i’s vaccination efforts
Mass COVID-19 immunization sites are putting the brakes on new appointments, at least for the next few weeks, as vaccine supplies remain limited across the country. Adding to the pressure are seniors 75 and older who got vaccines at the sites and will soon get second doses. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Outlook brightens for Hawai‘i’s economy, though Ige urges caution
More vaccinated tourists visiting the state could drive arrivals to around half their record 2019 level by summer, while economists say new federal funds will further help the state’s recovery. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.
But Gov. David Ige said he’s cautious about loosening air travel restrictions for vaccinated visitors, and his economic development officials say their plan won’t roll out until spring 2022. Honolulu Star-AdvertiserCivil Beat.

State lottery and cigarette tax increase are on the table 
A hearing is set this week on a bill that proposes using lottery revenue for public education. Civil Beat.
Lawmakers are also considering a bill to increase the state cigarette tax from 16 cents per cigarette to 21 cents. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i legislators could boost minimum wage to $12 next year
A bill to raise the minimum wage in July 2022 passed unanimously out of its first committee on Monday, with more than 180 individuals and groups testifying in favor. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Should Hawai‘i governors pick their lieutenant governors?
Hawai‘i is one of only a few states where both top positions are elected in separate primaries. State Rep. Patrick Branco has introduced legislation to change that. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Senate advances asset forfeiture reform measure
A bill that would only allow law enforcement agencies to sell property if the owner is convicted of a felony offense won unanimous approval in the Senate on Monday. Gov. David Ige vetoed a similar proposal in 2019 over worries that it would hinder law enforcement operations. Civil Beat.

State officials want to form a defense industry “alliance” for local businesses
The new organization would help more local businesses win lucrative defense contracts — and find ways to use military money to grow other sectors of the state’s economy. Civil Beat.

Feds are weighing whether fishers can use paintballs and sponge grenades on endangered monk seals
The National Marine Fisheries Service is reviewing the practice, which is used to stop monk seals from damaging fishing gear or stealing catch. Most commenters are against the idea, but commercial fishermen and Wespac are in favor. Civil Beat.

Photo: Aaron Yoshino
HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
20 for the Next 20: Makena Coffman
Makena Coffman has become a go-to person on local environmental issues: everything from climate change and sea level rise to electric vehicles and emission standards… read more.
OʻAHU
Mayor Blangiardi is happy with low case counts but warns residents to stay vigilant
The state Department of Health reported just 33 new COVID-19 cases on Monday — the fewest cases reported in a single day since late July. KITV4.

Governor believes Aloha Stadium is still usable
Gov. David Ige questioned the wisdom of spending $350 million for a successor to Aloha Stadium and suggested the state invest further in the repair and maintenance of the deteriorating facility. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

DOH Food Safety Branch suspends in-person inspections until staff is vaccinated
The Department of Health’s manager on O‘ahu decided to halt in-person food establishment inspections and complaint investigations until his 21 staff members are vaccinated. KHON2.

Finances grim for Chinese developer who owns much of Mākaha Valley
The developer that acquired the Makaha Valley Country Club and hundreds of acres in the valley nine years ago has filed for bankruptcy protection. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown businesses see sales rise even as Chinese New Year celebrations are cancelled
Chinese New Year is on Friday, but residents will be ushering in the year of the ox without many celebrations. Even so, some Chinatown businesses say sales are picking up. KHON2.

Photo: courtesy of Hawaiʻi Energy
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EV Popularity Is Growing – Put Your Business on the Literal Map

As electric vehicles become more affordable and popular, public charging is in high demand. Depending on the type of charger installed, businesses can receive up to $35,000 in rebates per station… read more.

HAWAIʻI ISLAND
Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth returns to work after heart attack
The newly elected mayor returned to work yesterday after making a recovery from a Jan. 9 heart attack in Kona. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kohala coastline tops preservation committee’s priority list
Seven of the top 10 land preservation purchases recommended by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission are in North Kohala, according to a report submitted to the county council. West Hawaii Today.

Chamber head speaks out against suggestion UH should no longer manage Mauna Kea
The president and CEO of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce took issue Monday with House Speaker Scott Saiki’s recent statement that UH should stop trying to extend its master lease. Tribune-Herald.

Rare turtles are rescued in Ka‘ū
A nest of olive ridley sea turtles, a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, was discovered last week in Ka‘ū. Although known to inhabit Hawaiian waters, most olive ridleys in the Pacific Ocean nest in Central America. Tribune-Herald.

Sears is closing after 36 years in Hilo mall
Prince Kuhio Plaza might seek a new tenant after Sears, one of the mall’s oldest stores, closes later this year. Tribune-Herald.

Click here to learn more about this Small Business Summit session!
HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
What Federal and State Policies Mean for Small Businesses

Join Reps. Ed Case and Kai Kahele and Hawaiʻi House Speaker Scott Saiki as they discuss what changes will have the most impact on small businesses in Hawaiʻi. They will also talk about what the federal government can do to help small business owners and managers. Register today!
MAUI COUNTY
Hawai‘i officially gets its first Space Force guardians
The six former Air Force officers have new insignias but remain assigned to the Air Force Research Laboratory Detachment 15 at a military installation at Maui’s Haleakalā observatory. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Senate judiciary votes to recommend two Maui appointments
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that the Senate consent to the judicial appointments of Christopher Dunn to the District Court of the Second Circuit and James Rouse to the District Family Court of the Second Circuit. Maui Now.

KAUAʻI
Open space commission to discuss Menehune fishpond
The county’s Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission will meet for the first time in almost a year on Thursday to discuss the potential acquisition of the Alakoko “Menehune” fishpond. Garden Island.

American AgCredit pledges $2M to support GoFarm Hawai‘i
The $2 million pledge will be distributed over a five-year period and will benefit the state, says the GoFarm Hawai‘i program coordinator on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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