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Sunday, December 26, 2021
December 26, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:46 PM :: 2341 Views

Can We Beat COVID Without Lockdowns?

Number of initial unemployment claims up in Hawaii

Hawaii Ranks #4 for Dental Health

Jones Act needs an update, and so does the Jones Act fleet

Take heart: We represent the mainstream

‘Tourist tax’ surcharges threaten Hawaii recovery

More on 'Green Fees'

Legislators Want to Boost Spending Even More Than Ige

Borreca: … Last week, Ige was able to look at growth and good news. Growth has been the Christmas miracle.

“Current general fund tax revenue growth through the first five months of FY 22 has been 27.3%,” Ige reported on the state’s webpage.

“That’s astounding. We’ve seen increased consumer spending, the rapid recovery of visitor arrivals, and healthy general excise and income tax collections,” Ige said. “The increased revenues allow us to launch initiatives that are responsive to the pandemic and restore critical services that were previously reduced.”…

“As we have seen with the pandemic, we must be prepared to weather the worst. We had built up the emergency fund prior to the pandemic,” Ige said during a state Capitol news conference, explaining why he wants a $1 billion safety net.

Others, such as Finance Committee chairwoman Rep. Sylvia Luke, are saying, “There are too many needs out there and too many things we need to take care of that need immediate attention.”…

Despite Ige’s (so-called) ‘caution’, Hawaii’s end-of-year debate is worrying about how to spend the money, not how to save more….

Background: Ige Releases Supplemental Budget--Boosts Spending 12.2%

Reality: State budget windfall opens way for tax cuts

read … After a year of financial bad news, Gov. David Ige has a budget built on a stronger economy

New laws to take effect Jan. 1

HTH: … Ghost guns illegal … A law allowing dependents of military members to apply for government employment in Hawaii even if they are not state residents, so long as the military member is in Hawaii on military orders.… fines for intentionally catching or killing a shark in state marine waters…no-wait divorce …A law that imposes fines, instead of the current misdemeanor charges, for failing to register as a transient accommodations provider…..A law requiring tax return preparers to have a valid preparer tax identification number or else face penalties….A law clarifying that filing fees for tax appeals are nonrefundable…A law allowing greenhouses and agricultural shade cloth structures to be exempt from building permit….A law banning the sale or import for sale of cosmetic products if the product or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using animal testing…. 

read … New laws to take effect Jan. 1

COVID Excuse to Keep Public out of Legislative Offices 

Shapiro: … >> The public was barred from the 2021 Legislature as lawmakers, worried about COVID-19 and protests, fenced off the Capitol. Lobbyists could get in if they answered the secret security question: “What’s in YOUR wallet?”

>> The Legislature pressed to restrict the governor’s emergency powers and assert their own after Gov. David Ige issued dozens of COVID-19 proclamations. They didn’t say what happens when the Legislature and governor are the emergency….

read … Holidays end ring-ting-tingling, ding-dong ding-a-ling year

Hawaii sets new record with 2,205 new coronavirus cases

Star-Adv Dec 26, 2021: … Health officials also said today that, of the state’s total infection count, 12,777 cases were considered to be active. Officials say they consider infections reported in the past 14 days to be a “proxy number for active cases.” The state’s total number of active cases increased today by 1,956.

By island, Oahu has 11,180 active cases, the Big Island has 532, Kauai has 322, Maui has 695, Molokai has 36 and Lanai has 12.

The seven-day average case count for Oahu is 1,155 and the seven-day average positivity rate is 13%, state health officials said today.

KHON: More than 1500 COVID infections were reported in Hawaii for 3 days in a row

read … Hawaii sets new record with 2,205 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 102,389

Honolulu restaurants relieved that City won't be shutdown amid new COVID surge

KITV: … Restaurants are breathing a little easier.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced he will not be shutting the city down with the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

Blangiardi saying we can't afford it and that it's everyone's personal responsibility to make safe choices….

"From a business standpoint it's a huge relief," said Peter Anderson.

Anderson is the owner of Morning Brew with locations in Kailua and Kaka'ako.

"I felt like we were just coming out of the woods, business was ramping back up again, tourism was coming back, and then we could see the beginning signs of this ramping up again and all those memories started flooding back...thinking oh god, it's only a matter of time," Anderson said….

"One of my biggest concerns during this last outbreak is that there is no more money waiting in the wings to support businesses like ourselves incase we do have to shutdown," said Anderson. "We could not handle another several months of no business."…

read … Honolulu restaurants relieved that City won't be shutdown amid new COVID surge

With COVID cases soaring, many turn to testing to keep their ‘bubbles’ safe

KHON: … People waiting in line said it was necessary to have peace of mind before celebrating Christmas with loved ones.

“It’s just the smart thing to do,” said James Chan, a Honolulu resident. “I have at-risk parents, so for that reason alone I just want to be responsible. We have a lot of family coming over tomorrow, so I just wanted to make sure that everything was all safe.” …

On Dec. 1, Oahu’s positivity rate was at 1.1%. It has since shot up to 11.3%.

On the Neighbor Islands, the positivity rates are rising to the 4%-range….

read … With COVID cases soaring, many turn to testing to keep their ‘bubbles’ safe

HTA: Maui County has largest vacation rental supply in state in November 2021

MN: … Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties in November, with 189,300 available unit nights (-15.6% vs. 2020, -37.8% vs. 2019), according to the Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report issued by the Hawai.i Tourism Authority.

Unit demand in Maui County was 122,700 unit nights (+87.2% vs. 2020, -46.9% vs. 2019), resulting in 64.8% occupancy (+35.6 percentage points vs. 2020, -11.1 percentage points vs. 2019), the HTA reports.

The Average Daily Rate in Maui County was $285 (+19.5% vs. 2020, +16.3% vs. 2019). In comparison, Maui County hotels reported ADR at $531 and occupancy of 65.4%, according to the report….

read … HTA: Maui County has largest vacation rental supply in state in November 2021

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