Face Coverings Mandated on Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that the City and County of Honolulu’s proposal to Governor David Ige has been approved to mandate non-medical grade face coverings on O‘ahu effective Friday, July 3. This directive is outlined in an amended Order 5: Non-Medical Grade Face Coverings of the Mayor’s Emergency Order No. 2020-18 (Amendment to Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 4.0).

The amended Order 5: Non-Medical Grade Face Coverings now requires everyone on O‘ahu to wear non-medical grade face coverings over their noses and mouths at indoor public spaces, like Essential Business and Designated Businesses and Operations, as well as outdoor areas where physical distancing is unlikely or difficult to maintain. 

Face coverings under this Order may not be worn only under the following circumstances: 

• Within banks, financial institutions, or using automated teller machines where the inability to verify the identity of the customer or visitor of the bank, financial institution or automated teller machine poses a security risk; 

• By individuals with medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering may pose a health or safety risk to the individual;

• By individuals engaging in physical activity outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained (e.g., walking, jogging, hiking, etc.)

• By children under the age of 5; 

• By first responders (Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Emergency Services Department) to the extent that wearing nonmedical grade face coverings may impair or impede the safety of the first responder in the performance of his/her duty; 

• By children in childcare, educational, and similar facilities consistent with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) for such facilities; 

• As allowed by another provision of this Order. The wearing of face coverings under this Order is intended to complement, not serve as a substitute, for physical distancing and cleanliness. 

Face coverings will not be required if an individual has no engagement or interaction with anyone else (e.g. working alone at an office desk). If you are unable to wear a non-medical grade face covering due to medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering may pose a health or safety risk to the individual, a face shield should be worn instead. 

“Face coverings are one of the easiest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Caldwell. “I know wearing a face covering can be a bit inconvenient and take some time getting used to, but think about who you’re trying to protect. Throughout the month of June we saw double-digit bumps in the daily new cases of the virus here on O‘ahu and unfortunately another coronavirus related death. Doing all we can to control the spread of COVID-19 now, is imperative.”

“Non-medical grade face covering” or “face covering” as used in this Order, means a tightly woven fabric without holes that is secured to the head with either ties or straps, or simply wrapped and tied around the wearer’s nose and mouth. 

If you have any questions on Mayor Caldwell’s Ho‘oulu i Honolulu Order 3.0, the City and County of Honolulu COVID-19 information call center remains open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays. O‘ahu residents are encouraged to visit the website, oneoahu.org to get answers to frequently asked questions. If they do not find an answer to their questions on the site, residents can call the 768-CITY (2489) information hotline or email covidresponse@honolulu.gov.

Emergency Order for O‘ahu Extended Through July

Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that the City and County of Honolulu’s proposal to Governor David Ige has been approved to extend the Emergency Order on O‘ahu through July 31. The Mayor’s Emergency Order No. 2020-17 (Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 4.0) can be found here.

“Keeping everyone on O‘ahu safe is our priority,” said Mayor Caldwell.

“Extending our Emergency Order allows us to carefully get more of our island back to work and to a more open way of life while keeping measures in place that protect everyone in our island community.”

The emergency period on O‘ahu is now set to expire on July 31, aligning with the Governor’s Ninth Supplemental Proclamation.

Gov. Ige Approves Request to Re-Open More Businesses on Oahu

Gov. David Ige yesterday approved Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to re-open designated indoor/outdoor businesses and operations, including fitness facilities and bars.

The businesses/operations will open with limitations starting on June 19. 

They include: 

  • Education and care facilities
  • Indoor attractions (including bowling alleys, arcades, museums, theatres)
  • Outdoor organized team sports (two phases, with phase 1 beginning June 19)
  • Fitness facilities
  • Bars
  • Film and television production (approved re-opening as of June 5)

The designated businesses and operations must follow safety guidelines and conditions that ensure the safety of employees, clients and customers. 

The signed Amendment is posted online here.

For more information on businesses/operations/activities designated for re-opening and for a list of requirements and conditions for the re-opening and resumption of operations go to: http://www.honolulu.gov/mayor/proclamations-orders-and-rules.html.

Mayor Caldwell Outlines Plan for Oahu to Get Safely Back to Work

Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that he submitted the City and County of Honolulu’s proposal to Governor David Ige for approval to allow for the safe reopening of more Oʻahu designated businesses and operations. These businesses and operations, if approved, will be allowed to reopen under guidelines and recommendations to ensure safety for both employees of these establishments and customers/clients.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell

As part of Mayor Caldwell’s proposal, “Personal Service Providers” would be allowed to resume operations with modifications on Friday, May 29. “Personal Service Providers” include barbers, beauty operators, including hairdressers, nail technicians, and tattoo artists. These service providers must ensure:

• Compliance with all State of Hawaiʻi and City statutory and regulatory requirements and standards; 

• Compliance with applicable CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/…/organizatio…/businesses-employers.html); 

• Arrange seating in the establishment so that customers are separated from other customers by six feet between booths/stations or have physical barriers between them

• Implement additional mitigation measures when strict physical distancing of at least six feet is not feasible for a specific task; 

• Ensure that all equipment that comes into direct contact with customers/clients and all furniture in service areas (such as chairs, capes, and the shampooing area in a barber shop or salon) is completely cleaned and disinfected between each customer/client in accordance with CDC guidelines and applicable law; 

• No waiting areas are allowed.

Details related to the reopening of these designated businesses and operations will be published in the Mayor’s Ho‘oulu i Honolulu Order 3.0 (Restore Honolulu Order 3.0) pending approval by Governor Ige.

“Getting more of our residents back to work safely is one of our top priorities right now,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Oʻahu’s unemployment rate jumped to 20% last month, with even more who haven’t filed for unemployment yet or aren’t eligible but are struggling to make ends meet. We feel it’s important to keep the public up-to-date with our proposals so that businesses will have sufficient lead time to properly prepare for a safe reopening approved by the Governor. I thank the Governor and his staff for working with us to safely return our state to a more open way of life and I’m confident we’ll be able to get this done while protecting the health and safety of our residents.”

As part of Mayor Caldwell’s proposal pending approval, outdoor attractions may be able to resume operations with limitations as soon as Thursday, May 28. Public and private outdoor attractions, such as but not limited to sea life attractions, water parks, pools, campgrounds, People’s Open Markets, shooting and archery ranges, and similar outdoor facilities may reopen under the following conditions:

• Groups are limited to ten individuals, and where multiple groups are present, operators must implement measures to ensure that they must maintain six feet of physical distance between each other at all times (i.e. no mingling between groups); 
• Indoor portions of the facility must remain closed, unless such portion is authorized under another section of the Mayor’s Order and comply with any restrictions imposed; 
• To the extent consistent in this section of the Order, and to the extent reasonable practicable the facility operators and participants shall follow applicable guidance from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/…/organizatio…/businesses-employers.html); 
• Individuals must comply with any lawful requirements imposed by the Outdoor Attraction operator.

These are just a few of the requirements for outdoor attractions to reopen with limitations. The full list will be in the Mayor’s Ho‘oulu i Honolulu Order 3.0. The Honolulu Zoo is included in this category of outdoor attractions but is targeting for a June 5 opening date.

As part of Mayor Caldwell’s proposal, the following would be allowed to resume operations on the following dates:

June 5: business/commercial offices (in addition to restaurants that were already announced), indoor residential, non-commercial gatherings of 10 or less (regardless of household) 

June 19: indoor operations (such as movie theatres and museums with modifications), and fitness centers with modifications 

Reopening of City park facilities, including City gymnasiums and City swimming pools and other indoor and outdoor City park facilities will be announced by the Department of Parks and Recreation (“DPR”) at later dates, depending on when DPR determines that these City facilities are prepared to reopen safely for members of the public. Requirements, conditions, and opportunities for reopening differ according to the type of business or operation. The complete lists of guidelines will be published as they are approved.

Mayor Caldwell Provides Guidelines for Resuming In-Person Spiritual Services

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that starting Saturday, May 23, Gov. David Ige has approved the City and County of Honolulu’s Order that allows in-person spiritual services on Oʻahu to resume with associated restrictions and recommendations. This reopening is consistent with the State’s reopening framework. 

Mayor Kirk Caldwell

“Gathering together safely, praying together, and taking part in group worship is so important right now, as so many of our residents have been practicing physical distancing for months,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Religious services can be a key resource to help many of us get through these tough times since spiritual institutions can play a significant role in our emotional and spiritual well-being. Restoring these in-person interactions will allow people to connect again in a much deeper way.”

In-person spiritual services may be conducted starting on May 23 provided all persons present at the service must maintain six feet of physical distance between others, except members of the same household or living unit. Organizers are also encouraged to limit the number of persons attending their in-person spiritual services to ensure this physical distancing requirement is met and that appropriate COVID-19 mitigation plans and procedures are implemented. 

These are just a few of the requirements for in-person spiritual services to resume operations. The full list can be found in an amended Exhibit A of the Mayor’s Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 2.0 Order (Restore Honolulu 2.0 Order).

O‘ahu to Reopen Certain Businesses with Limits

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that certain businesses will be allowed to open with limitations on O‘ahu according to his amended and restated Stay at Home/Work From Home Order, Emergency Order No. 2020-09. This Order is effective from 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 through 4:30 p.m. on May 18. The City and County of Honolulu will continue to work with the Governor along with other county mayors, on the relaxing of Honolulu’s stay at home order going forward.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell

“We’d like to thank the governor and the other county mayors for meeting and working with us on this amended and restated emergency order,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Together, we are determining how we can keep everyone in our state safe. Together, we are taking the first steps towards a more open way of life. Getting people back to work is a priority right now and we will continue to make decisions based on all available data and sound science.”

Changes to the amended Stay at Home Order add the limited reopening of certain designated businesses and operations such as: 

· Certain real estate services. All real property sales and management activities must be accomplished by remote/electronic means whenever possible. Restrictions and permitted real estate services are outlined in Emergency Order No. 2020-09;

· New and used car and truck dealerships – sales and leasing activities (with restrictions);

· Automated service providers. Service providers that do not require human interaction between the service provider and the customer, including for example, fully automated car washes;

· Mobile service providers. Businesses that provide service on a mobile bases in which no human interaction between the service provider and the customer, including, but not limited to, mobile pet grooming and car washing/detailing businesses;

· Services provided on a one-one-one bases. Businesses that provide services such as private tutoring, certain music instrument lessons, etc., on a one-on-one basis, that 
comply with social distancing requirements;

· Public and private golf courses within the City operating in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Professional Golfers’ Association’s “Procedures for Reintroduction to the Game and Business of Golf” as may be updated/amended.

Grave site visits are also being added as an Essential Activity.

All of the added reopening of certain businesses are with limitations. 

The restated Stay at Home Order incorporates prior orders, including but not limited to, ordering all individuals living within the City to stay at their place of residence except for Essential Activities, Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses, mandating employees and visitors of Essential Businesses to wear a non-medical grade face covering mandate, and the ban of all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit.

Oahu: Most Traffic, Criminal & Civil Cases Postponed

 The Hawaii State Judiciary wants to emphasize that the vast majority of District Court cases on Oahu have been postponed until after April 30. Individuals with the following cases should not report to court:

  • Traffic cases for non-custody defendants
  • Misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor, and criminal violation cases for defendants who are not in custody (e.g. jail, police department)
  • Small claims cases
  • Regular claims cases, including landlord-tenant cases
  • Community Outreach Court cases

“Earlier this week, First Circuit Chief Judge R. Mark Browning issued an emergency order granting postponements of these cases to reduce the number of people going to court during this public health crisis,” said Deputy Chief Judge Melanie May. “We appreciate people taking their court appearances seriously, but want to reiterate that most cases have been postponed. They will get letters informing them of their new court dates.

“We support social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and ask for everyone’s cooperation by doing so as well.”

During this public health crisis, the only District Court cases that will proceed as scheduled are:

  • Temporary Restraining Order cases
  • Misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor, and criminal violation cases for defendants currently in the custody of the Honolulu Police Department, the Department of Public Safety, and/or the Hawaii State Hospital (referred to as “custody defendants”)
  • Traffic cases for custody defendants 
  • Felony cases 
  • Driving While Impaired (DWI) court cases

Anyone with questions about their District Court cases may call the appropriate court:

Honolulu District Court: (808) 538-5629
First Circuit Civil District Court: (808) 538-5767
Kaneohe District Court (criminal): (808) 534-6300
Ewa-Pearl City District Court: (808) 534-6900
Wahiawa District Court: (808) 534-6200
Waianae District Court: (808) 954-8575

For the latest information, visit the Judiciary’s COVID-19 Information page.

Coast Guard, Partners Respond to Aground Vessel off Waikiki

The Coast Guard and partners are responding to a report of a 35-foot, double-masted sailing vessel grounded off Waikiki, Saturday evening.

The Coast Guard and partners are responding to a report of a 35-foot, the double-masted sailing vessel grounded off Waikiki, March 21, 2020.
Pollution responders are on the scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts.  At this time, there are no reports of pollution. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

Pollution responders are on the scene assessing the situation and surrounding area for impacts.  At this time, there are no reports of pollution. 

There is a maximum potential fuel load of 30 gallons of diesel aboard, including miscellaneous oil and marine batteries.

The Coast Guard, working in partnership with the State of Hawaii and local officials, will oversee assessment and mitigation efforts. Contractors have been hired to assess and relocate the vessel. The oil spill liability trust fund has been opened to allow the response to move forward quickly. 

There are no reports of personnel injuries or impacted wildlife. The weather on scene is 2-foot surf seas and 3 mph winds.

At 2:50 p.m., Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from Ocean Safety of the vessel, Steady Beat, aground about 50 yards off Waikiki Reef Hotel with two people aboard. The vessel was reportedly at anchor offshore when the anchor failed, allowing the vessel to drift. 

Ocean Safety crews, a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, and Coast Guard marine safety personnel responded.

Catering & Food Trucks to Deliver Free Meals to Kūpuna

Mayor Caldwell, along with Aloha Beer owner Steve Sombrero announced today a coalition of Catering and food truck operators will deliver free meals to Hawaiʻi’s kūpuna during this COVID-19 period. This coalition is self-funded but is looking for grants from local foundations and donors to support this project.

The Coalition has created a website called “Malama Meals COVID-19 Community Meal Program” with the goals of supporting kūpuna, who are encouraged to stay out of the public for the next 15 days. This program will provide meals to seniors who live in senior centers along with keiki who depend on school meal programs.

Department of Community Services Director, Pamela Witty-Oakland, shared, “our Elderly Affairs team is excited to launch this partnership, which will supplement our existing meal delivery program to home-bound seniors and expand that network to help our kūpuna at senior housing across the island get nutritious meals that will allow them to stay in their homes as we all try to help flatten the curve.”  Some of the projects receiving daily meals will include:

  • Whitmore Circle Apartments
  • Kumuwai, the City’s newest project which provided permanent housing to previously homeless seniors
  • Mānoa Gardens
  • Nā Lei Hulu Kūpuna
  • Franciscan Vistas ʻEwa Beach
  • West Loch Elderly Village
  • Additional sites still being confirmed

The City & County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services, also serves as the Area Agency on Aging.  Our County Executive on Aging, Derrick Ariyoshi, and his team have been working hard with our network of senior care providers to ensure that in-home and meal services to the thousands of seniors we serve will continue uninterrupted.  Catholic Charities of Hawaiʻi has also been a key partner in reaching out to the senior housing to be served through this program.

Coalition Partners currently include Owner of Aloha Beer Steve Sombrero, Debra Espino of Applebee’s, IHOP and Olive Garden Restaurants, Ahmad Ramadan of Da Spot, Gilbert Sakaguchi of Blue Water Shrimp, and Dan Port of Aloha Venues. In coordination with public service and non-profit community organizations, Malama Meals mission is to provide food security to individuals and communities in need or at risk to contain COVID-19.

Those in need can also request meals online at Malama Meals website, www.malamameals.org.

Counties Roll Out Plans to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

Following the State of Hawai‘i’s plan for “15-Days to Slow the Spread” of COVID-19, Hawai‘i’s mayors have recently implemented county plans that are geared to their island residents. Department of Health supports everyone’s efforts to keep the community safe and healthy.

“We can be more effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 if everyone takes these aggressive actions seriously,” said Bruce Anderson, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “The response to the Governor and County directives has been positive so far and there are many, such as food establishments, which have identified alternative ways to serve the public with drive-through and take-out service to maintain their operations.”  

  • The City and County of Honolulu has mandated the closure of restaurants, parks and nightclubs for indoor service beginning 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20. Restaurant take-out, curb-side pick-up and delivery will be allowed. 
     
  • The County of Kaua‘i issued an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday, March 20. The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. daily until further notice. Individuals must remain in their residence during these specified hours, with a few exceptions. 
     
  • The County of Maui announced rules that will be in effect beginning 7:45 a.m. on Friday, March 20, limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions. Restaurants and cafes that serve food within the premises are required to close; however, take-out and delivery service may continue.
  • Hawai‘i County issued guidance that restaurants, bars and places of worship may make their own decisions to open or close, and consider ways to minimize risk to customers and employees.

Please visit the county websites for more information.

Be Considerate When Purchasing Food and Supplies 
The DOH reminds the public to be judicious when shopping for food and essential goods so that kūpuna and others in need are able to purchase necessary items. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division continues to manage Hawai‘i’s commercial ports–the lifeline for Hawai‘i’s communities for food, medical supplies, clothing, household goods and more. There have been no interruptions to the supply chain as a result of COVID-19.

Definition of Community Spread 
Community spread is defined as cases that cannot be traced back to a traveler and have absolutely no travel related or involved connection with travel. As of noon today, March 19, all cases who tested positive in Hawaiʻi are travel related or involved with visitors on a daily basis.

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

Most people who are sick do not need to be tested. There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19, so whether you test positive or negative, management of your illness will be the same.

Individuals who are not sick should not be tested even if they have been exposed to COVID-19.


Individuals who are sick with respiratory illness (e.g., fever and cough or shortness of breath)  AND who are at a higher risk for severe respiratory infections (e.g., older people, those with chronic medical conditions including immunosuppression) should call their usual source of healthcare to discuss whether they should be tested for COVID-19 and/or other infections such as influenza.

  • A provider’s referral is required to receive testing. 
  • If you do not have a provider, call an urgent care center or community clinic in your area.

Anyone having difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately. If possible, call your healthcare provider first so they are prepared to receive you.

Other people with mild illness should help protect our most vulnerable and conserve our precious supplies by practicing social distancing measures, monitoring their illness, and calling their healthcare provider if their symptoms worsen or persist. 

State Launches New, Dedicated COVID-19 Website 
The State of Hawai‘i unveiled a new website for the public to access the latest information on COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. The website, hawaiicovid19.com, is an inter-agency collaborative effort to keep the community safe and healthy. It provides timely information and resources on the coronavirus, including guidance on how to prevent and mitigate community spread, common symptoms of COVID-19, and frequently asked questions.

Social Distancing 
COVID-19 recommendations are changing the rules on how much physical distance individuals should keep from each other. Cancelling events that do not allow attendees to be at least six feet apart—the equivalent of two arms length—and avoiding unnecessary physical meeting with others are proven strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus. The effectiveness of these initiatives largely depends on the cooperation and compliance from the public.

“One of the best ways to show aloha for each other at this critical time is to refrain from being in large gatherings and to keep a safe, healthy distance from each other,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “You may be healthy, but others around you may not be as fortunate. By practicing social distancing, you’re limiting the potential for exposure to any illness in your household and protecting everyone in our community. We all need to consider the health and wellbeing of others, especially seniors, those with preexisting health conditions and others whose health may be compromised.”

Anderson noted that technology enables us to have social distance without sacrificing emotional connection. “When feasible, we should use tools available for virtual meetings by phone, tablet or computer as a way to maintain contact with loved ones, especially kupuna in care homes given Gov. Ige’s directive to refrain from visiting nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities at this time.”

Ten New Positive Cases on O‘ahu and Maui 
As of March 19, 2020, noon, there is a total of 26 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. New positive results were announced today for eight individuals on O‘ahu and two individuals on Maui. All cases who tested positive in Hawaiʻi are travel related.

The Department of Health will be confirming case numbers daily at noon. The situation is fluid with constant changes. Any additional case information received after noon will be reported the following day.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 19, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. HST

(updated as new information becomes available)

Number of Total Positive Case(s)* Statewide                         26

Honolulu                                                                               18

Maui County                                                                         5

Kaua‘i                                                                                   2

Hawai‘i Island                                                                        1

*Includes confirmed and presumptive cases.

Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory such as the DOH State Laboratories Division.

Presumptive Positive: Positive test results from a private laboratory requiring confirmation by a state public health laboratory.

Sentinel Surveillance Testing Results

The DOH has received 124 negative results from test samples selected from sites statewide with the goal of identifying possible community transmission of COVID-19. There were 62 negative test results received last week and 62 negative test results received this week.

2-1-1 Call Center for Information on COVID-19

The Aloha United Way call center is open daily between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. For information or questions about COVID-19:

Two Arrested for Illegal Harvest of Hundreds of ‘Opihi

Two men from O‘ahu’s North Shore were cited yesterday by officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), after they were allegedly caught picking ‘opihi in the Pūpūkea Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD). It is illegal to remove any marine life from an MLCD.

PC: DLNR

53-year-old Raymond Agsalda of Waialua and 53-year-old Ronsin Rosa of Hale‘iwa had 784 ‘opihi in their possession when contacted by DOCARE officers. Hawai‘i Administrative Rules prohibit any fishing, catching, killing, removal, or possession of any sea life, including live coral or rock from the MLCD. The only exception is in-season fishing at Waimea Bay, which has species restrictions and bag limits. 

PC: DLNR

The men are charged with a petty misdemeanor and if convicted could be fined or face jail time. Anyone who sees possible illegal activity or resource violations is asked to report it immediately to 643-DLNR (3567) or via the free DLNRTipApp.

Responders Rescue 4 Divers off Hanauma Bay

The Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services rescued four divers a half mile off Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Tuesday.

Hanauma Bay

“We often work closely with the Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services in cases such as this,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Gebhart, a Sector Honolulu watchstander. “Each organization has its own assets and capabilities, complementing each other, and allowing us to use the right tools for the job.”

A Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Jet Ski operator recovered the divers and returned them to their vessel while a Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew provided aerial assistance. There were no reports of injury.

At 9 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a call from a good Samaritan reporting four divers were separated from their recreational dive vessel and were calling for assistance. 

Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) Notice to mariners and diverted the Dolphin helicopter crew from nearby training. They also contacted the Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services who deployed an engine company and Jet Ski operator in response.

Once on-scene, the Dolphin aircrew located the divers and vectored in the Jet Ski operator who successfully recovered them. 

The weather on scene was winds of 14 mph and seas up to a foot.

Response to Grounded Vessel Off Honolulu Continues

Responders continue work, Friday, to remove potential pollutants from the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise currently aground off Honolulu, prior to the onset of larger swells and surf.

Responders continue work, Oct. 12, 2017, to remove potential pollutants from the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise currently aground off Honolulu, prior to the onset of larger swells and surf. The salvage team are surveying and rigging the vessel for tow to take advantage of favorable tides after removing about two thirds of the the fuel aboard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Barbers Point/Released)

“We are working diligently with the salvage team and our partners to ensure a safe and deliberate response,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “The safety of the public and the environment remain our top priority. We have removed about two-thirds of the fuel aboard significantly reducing the pollution threat. Due to the tides and incoming weather we have transitioned to the towing evolution to take advantage of our best window for removal of the vessel prior to the arrival of stronger winds, surf and swells this weekend.”

The salvage team are surveying and rigging the vessel for tow to take advantage of favorable tides.

Roughly 3,000 gallons of fuel was removed by the salvage team before operations were suspended Thursday. Approximately 1,500 gallons remain.

Further assessment by the salvage team Thursday revealed the initial amount of fuel aboard to be 4,500 total gallons of diesel, less than previously reported. No pollution has been sighted in the water or on shore.

A safety zone remains in effect around the vessel extending out 500 yards in all directions from position 21-15.69N 157-49.49W. The public is asked to remain clear of the safety zone to prevent injury or impact to operations.

Partners in the effort include personnel in several divisions of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response, the responsible party, commercial salvors and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Weather conditions in the vicinity of the vessel are 11 mph with waves of up to 3 feet with a long south southwest swell. Rain showers are possible. These conditions are expected to degrade through the weekend. Weather for Oahu is forecast as 25 mph winds with wind waves to 6 feet, but the vessel is somewhat sheltered from the wind by Diamond Head as it’s on the south shore of Oahu.

The Pacific Paradise is a U.S.-flagged vessel and part of the Hawaii longline fleet homeported in Honolulu. Coast Guard response and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued the master and 19 fishermen from the vessel late Tuesday night following reports that the vessel grounded off Diamond Head near Kaimana Beach. The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

Responders Work to Remove Fuel, Vessel Grounded Off Honolulu

Responders are working to lighter all potential pollutants from the 79-foot fishing vessel Pacific Paradise currently aground off Honolulu.“The safety of the public is our primary concern as we work with our state partners and responsible party to address the potential pollution threat and salvage the vessel,” said Capt. Michael Long, commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu and captain of the port. “I want to thank our state and federal partners who worked with us to affect a safe rescue of the crew and continue to work with us on the response. The Coast Guard is also investigating the cause of the grounding.”

An incident management team has been established. The Coast Guard is working with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response, the responsible party and commercial salvors to mitigate the potential pollution threat and salvage the vessel. The salvage team is stabilizing the vessel with anchors and will attempt to lighter the vessel fully before dark Wednesday with the intent to remove it from the reef during the next optimum high tide, currently forecast for late morning Thursday.

Approximately 8,000 gallons of diesel, 55 gallons of lube and hydraulic oils and four marine batteries are reported aboard.

A safety zone has been established and is being patrolled by Coast Guard crews. The vessel is about 1,000 feet offshore of Kaimana Beach. The zone extends 500 yards in all directions from position 21-15.69N 157-49.49W. The public is asked to remain clear of the safety zone to prevent injury or impact to operations.

The Coast Guard is working with NOAA’s marine mammal protection division, sanctuaries division, Office of Response and Restoration, NOAA Fisheries and DLNR to minimize impact to any marine mammals. DLNR’s divisions of Aquatic Resources, Boating and Ocean Recreation and the HEER and DOH are assisting in evaluating and minimizing risks to aquatic resources from the grounding and salvage operations and potential fuel spills. No marine mammals have been impacted. Coast Guard survey crews will walk to the beaches as an additional impact assessment tool.

Coast Guard response and Honolulu Fire Department crews rescued the master and 19 fishermen from the vessel late Tuesday night following reports the vessel grounded off Diamond Head near Kaimana Beach. The crew was released to Customs and Border Protection personnel for further action.
The Pacific Paradise a U.S.-flagged vessel and part of the Hawaii longline fleet homeported in Honolulu. The vessel’s last port of call was American Samoa and they were en route to the commercial port of Honolulu. No injuries or pollution are reported. Weather at the time of the incident was not a factor.

1% Transient Accommodations Tax Increase Takes Effect January 1, 2018

Please be advised that, effective January 1, 2018, the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) applied to lodging accommodations in the State of Hawaii will be increased by 1%, raising the TAT from its current rate of 9.25% to 10.25%. This increase is scheduled to stay in effect until December 31, 2030.

The TAT increase is being put into effect to help pay for Honolulu’s rapid transit system that is currently under construction. The light metro rail system will extend 20 miles from Kapolei in Leeward Oahu to Ala Moana Center in Honolulu with 21 stations along the way, including the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the State of Hawaii’s main port of entry for air transportation.

Following is a summary of State taxes that will be applied by lodging properties statewide when the 1% TAT increase takes effect on January 1, 2018:

Oahu
4.712%: General Excise Tax
10.25%: Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)
14.962%: TOTAL Lodging Taxes

Maui County / Island of Hawaii / Kauai
4.166%: General Excise Tax
10.25%: Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)
14.416%: TOTAL Lodging Taxes

Click here to see the notice issued by the Hawaii State Department of Taxation providing detailed information about the changes in State law that applies to the 1% TAT increase.

Any questions regarding the implementation of the 1% TAT increase should be directed to the Hawaii State Department of Taxation via email at Tax.Rules.Office@hawaii.gov or by calling 808-587-1530.

Coast Guard, HFD Rescue 20 Fishermen From Aground Vessel Off Honolulu

Twenty fishermen were transported to shore from an aground vessel less than a half mile off Honolulu early Wednesday morning.

 

Honolulu Fire Department Jet Ski crews transported fishermen from the vessel to a Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium for further transport to awaiting emergency responders at Ala Wai Harbor. A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter crew hoisted two of the fishermen and the master of the vessel and transported them to Honolulu airport.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received three reports of the 79-foot commercial fishing vessel Pacific Paradise grounded off Diamond Head near the Outrigger Canoe Club Channel Tuesday night. They responded by directing the launch of response assets.

The RB-M crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu arrived on scene at 11:48 p.m. Tuesday followed by an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at midnight. HFD Jet Ski, boat and shore crews also arrived on scene.The Pacific Paradise is homeported in Honolulu and the vessel’s last port of call was American Samoa. No injuries were reported.

The vessel is carrying a maximum of 13,000 gallons of diesel as well as assorted lube and hydraulic oils. No pollution has been reported. Further evaluation will be done after first light.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding. Responders will work with the owner to assess damage and develop a salvage plan.

Weather at the time of the incident was reportedly winds at 11 mph, seas 1-foot or less with partly cloudy skies.

Hawai`i Department of Health Approves Fourth Dispensary to Begin Retail Sales of Medical Cannabis

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a formal notice to proceed to Mānoa Botanicals LLC dba Noa Botanicals after the dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed its final onsite inspection. Noa Botanicals is the fourth licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state (and the second on O‘ahu) to receive approval to begin sales of medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers.

The licensed retail center for Noa Botanicals is located at 1308 Young Street in Honolulu, and the dispensary expects to begin sales at the site this month.

“We are continuing to closely work with both the licensed dispensaries and private laboratories in each of the counties to help them meet all of the requirements as efficiently as possible without compromising product or patient safety,” said Keith Ridley, who oversees the medical cannabis dispensary program for the Hawaii State Department of Health.

The rigorous dispensary approval processes to open and begin selling medical cannabis are based on the requirements of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850. Dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county, health, safety, and sanitation regulations, and are subject to unannounced inspections by the Hawaii Department of Health.

The other licensed retail centers are:

  • Maui Grown Therapies, located at 44 Pa‘a Street in Kahului, Maui, which was the first licensed dispensary in Hawai‘i to receive a notice to proceed on Aug. 8, 2017;
  • Aloha Green, in the Interstate Building at 1314 South King Street in Honolulu, received its notice to proceed on Aug. 9, 2017; and
  • Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, at 415 Dairy Road in Kahului, Maui, was the second Maui dispensary to receive a notice to proceed on Sept. 29, 2017.

Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period. All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space.

There are eight licensed dispensaries in Hawai‘i. There are three on O‘ahu: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals LLC dba Noa Botanicals; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure O‘ahu. There are two in Hawai‘i County: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC. The two Maui dispensaries include Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies; and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC. The one dispensary located on Kaua‘i is Green Aloha, Ltd. Each licensed dispensary is an independent business and operates based on their individual business plans.

More information on the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Program is available at www.health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabis/.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Launch Online Tool to Streamline Solar Application Process

Customers submitting new applications to install private rooftop solar can now complete the process entirely online using a new tool launched by the Hawaiian Electric Companies.

The Customer Interconnection Tool (CIT) is believed to be the first of its kind to provide a seamless, start-to-finish online solar application process that allows customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light to check the status of their applications. The tool provides a user-friendly interface to guide contractors and customers through all steps of the Customer Self-Supply program application process, from submittal to finalizing the agreement.

“We’re excited to offer a streamlined electronic process to our customers,” said Jim Alberts, senior vice president of customer service. “The tool is able to show customers exactly where they are in the application process, which eliminates guesswork. This is one more way to make interacting with our companies as smooth and as easy as possible.”

CIT allows applicants to submit all of their information, including electronic documents, online. For convenience, customers and their designated representatives will have the ability to submit electronic signatures as well.

Applicants are prompted to provide required documentation, reducing the potential for delays caused by errors of omission. The tool also automatically calculates the system size based on four design guidelines, which simplifies the procedure.

Customers will receive regular status updates by email as various milestones are reached, keeping them informed every step of the way.

For more information, visit:

www.hawaiianelectric.com/DistributedEnergyResources

www.hawaiianelectric.com/CITonline

Monk Seal Drops in at Haumana Bay Nature Preserve

Early morning visitors to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in East Oahu were delighted to see a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach.  At first, it was thought the seal might be “Rocky,” the female who pupped a seal on Kaimana Beach over the summer, prompting worldwide media attention for mom and her precocious pup.  Since Rocky has never been tagged, volunteers and staff from Hawai’i Marine Animal Response (HMAR) now say they can’t be sure of this seals identity.

DLNR Photo

Seals “haul-out” at Hanauma Bay regularly, but typically up onto the rocky tidal shelves on either side of the popular snorkeling destination. Swimmers report the seal was swimming parallel to the beach prior to it hauling out on the sand on the left side of the beach at about 6:50 a.m.  DLNR Chair Suzanne Case and DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Dr. Bruce Anderson happened to be at the bay for a tour and helped set up cones around the resting seal to keep curious people and photographers back.  HMAR staff and volunteers arrived a little later and set up caution signs.  Shortly after nine the seal went back into the water and was last seen swimming back toward the open ocean.

DLNR Photo

Its visit this morning again highlights the safe viewing recommendations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), DLNR, HMAR and other partners. Basically, people are asked to keep a safe distance from seals resting or sleeping on the beach.  Harassing endangered Hawaiian monk seals in any way violates both federal and state marine mammal protection laws.

NBA Stars Help Open a Newly Refurbished Computer Lab for Students

Stevenson Middle School and the L.A. Clippers Foundation dedicated a newly refurbished computer lab earlier today before students, teachers and special guests, along with members of the L.A. Clippers Foundation and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan also joined the dedication ceremony with a special appearance by the team’s mascot, Chuck the Condor.

Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers with students on new computers in the Stevenson Middle School lab.

“Our students are so thankful for the wonderful generosity of the L.A. Clippers Foundation. The new computers will provide technology access to more students,” said Principal Linell Dilwith. “We want to thank the Hawaii Tourism Authority for connecting us with the L.A. Clippers Foundation, and a big mahalo to the foundation and Denise Booth for their hard work in making this new computer lab a reality.”

The Clippers’ mascot, Chuck the Condor, tries his hand (or wing?) on the ukulele with students.

Stevenson Middle received a donation of nearly $40,000 in computer equipment from the L.A. Clippers Foundation, including 30 HP ProDesk desktops, two Canon wireless printers and a 55-inch television for instruction. In addition to converting the classroom into a computer lab, the donation will also provide a new central air conditioning unit for the room.

“These are not just computers,” said Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the L.A. Clippers, “they’re windows to the world that I hope make learning fun. That’s really what we want to do. We want to make coming to school a better experience for students.”

Students, Gillian Zucker, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, VP Sonja Samsonas and Principal Linell Dilwith untie the official maile lei opening Stevenson Middle’s refurbished computer lab.

The computer lab will be accessible to all students for the school’s digital and online programs. Stevenson’s Media/Photography Club will be housed in the new lab and will use the equipment to produce the student newsletter and document school activities. Coincidentally, the computer lab happens to have a special room number — 213 — which corresponds to Chuck the Condor’s jersey number and LA’s area code.