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More COVID-19 testing needed in Hawaii

As COVID-19 case climb, health officials are worried about a dip in virus testing statewide.

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

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Accessed on 29 March 2021, 2300 UTC, Post 22,616.

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As COVID-19 cases rise, health officials push for more testing across the state
The statewide positivity rate rose nearly 60% in the past two weeks, and experts are worried about a drop in testing for the virus. They fear the vaccination rollout has caused people to let down their guard. Hawaii News Now.

Data gathered on humpback whales in Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i and Maui waters

Marine experts held the last humpback whale count of the season on Saturday, as about 68 trained leaders from NOAA gathered data from 42 sites. KHON2.

Neighbor Island lawmakers’ per diem overlooked as 10% raise could go into effect
The state senators and representatives earn $225 for every day of the legislative session, weekends and even after the session — valued at nearly half of their $62,604 legislative salaries — even as some have criticized proposed pay raises in July. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Bills to get Hawai‘i income taxes from real estate investment trusts die
State lawmakers have once again taken a pass at trying to abolish a tax break for real estate investment trusts operating in Hawai‘i. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Should Hawai‘i invest to help workers displaced by the pandemic find new careers?
The state paid hundreds of unemployed tourism workers to learn new job skills last year. Now state lawmakers want to create a permanent jobs corps — but no one knows how to fund it. Civil Beat.

Cocktails to go? Hawai‘i restaurants hope service will outlast the pandemic
To help struggling bars and restaurants during lockdowns, Gov. David Ige signed an executive order last April to allow them to sell alcohol to go and for home delivery. Many hope the newly legalized sale of take-away alcohol is here to stay. Civil Beat.

Vaccination passport system in the works, Lt. Gov. Josh Green says
Governments in other parts of the world have started setting up vaccination passport systems in an effort to further open up borders, live events and tourism. Green says Hawai‘i will soon see a vaccination tracking system as well. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Announcing Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi: Small Companies
Hawaii Business Magazine partners with the Best Companies Group to create the list each year. This year, we will announce the winners in alphabetical order starting with the Small Companies (15-49 Hawaiʻi employees) leading up to the Online Reveal on April 2 at 4pm… read more.
Rising COVID-19 cases could push O‘ahu back to Tier 2
If the trend continues, the island could move back to Tier 2 restrictions on business and social activities, which limit gatherings to five people. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Police break up another large concert in Kapolei 
The HPD made one arrest for disorderly conduct at the weekend concert. Video on social media showed a full-scale event with a stage, lights and no social distancing. Hawaii News Now.

“Stop Asian Hate” protesters gather at the state Capitol
The event on O‘ahu was one of many held across the country in the wake of anti-Asian attacks. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

O‘ahu man pleads guilty to embezzlement, bribery over CARES Act funds
Prosecutors say Hanalei Aipoalani, who was hired by the city to administer the federal funds, agreed to accept a bribe in exchange for federal pandemic aid money. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

HGEA files grievance against HART after interim CEO lays off dozens without notice
The state’s largest labor union has filed a grievance against the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation over recent layoffs at the troubled rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Resilience: Motivating Lasting Change

Do you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but find that you just can’t seem to stick with new habits once your initial burst of motivation fades? You are not alone. This free event will provide you with a more strategic way to communicate about and promote the sustainable behavior necessary for achieving improved health and well-being… read more.

Kahele touts COVID-19 relief, infrastructure plans
U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele is touting the merits of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and President Joe Biden’s plan to spend up to $3 trillion on infrastructure. Tribune-Herald.

Roth addresses West Hawai‘i forum
The waiting game continues as Mayor Mitch Roth works on his proposed budget. He says county and state officials must first get clarity about federal funding before their own anticipated revenues become more solid. West Hawaii Today.

Prospects dim for tax breaks on solar water panels
The County Council will soon consider a bill that eliminates the tax break for property owners who install solar hot-water panels on their property. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo evacuation maps should account for possible mega-tsunami, says UH researcher
New models were incorporated into updated tsunami evacuation plans on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Maui, but not on Hawai‘i Island. Tribune-Herald.

Portuguese cultural center plans scaled back
Nearly five years after fundraising began in earnest, plans for the Hawai‘i Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Cultural and Educational Center have gone back to the drawing board. Tribune-Herald.

Learn to Communicate Better With Your Boss

I have this nagging feeling that my boss hates me. Could I be right? Cynthia Yamasaki, a business and life coach based in Honolulu, says when you feel someone doesn’t like you, it often boils down to communication styles..read more.
1,000 residents get shots at mass vaccination site in Wailuku
Both Kaiser Permanente members and non-members were vaccinated at a mass clinic on Saturday at the health organization’s Wailuku facility. Maui Now.

As travel returns, some changes are here to stay
Airlines and hotels say increased cleaning and digital services are among the lasting effects of the pandemic. Maui News.

More rental and mortgage assistance are available on Maui
A Maui Economic Opportunity rental and mortgage assistance program that helps residents impacted by the pandemic received an infusion of $900,000 from the county-managed Community Development Block Grant fund. Maui Now.

Half of Kaua‘i’s population has been vaccinated
A UH researcher says that statewide figures are lower, with 31% of the adult population having received at least one dose. Garden Island.

Hanapēpē bridge project takes step backward
After a month spent pouring concrete on the north side of the new Kaumuali‘i Highway bridge, a Kalāheo resident spotted workers jackhammering out yards of the new pour. Garden Island.

Team Rubicon cleans up after flooding
A veteran-led organization has launched a statewide operation to support flood recovery on three of the most heavily impacted islands, including Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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Russ Roberts (https://hawaiinewsdigest.net).