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Thursday, October 15, 2020
October 15, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:35 PM :: 1015 Views

COVID Count: 101 new cases out of 4,069 tests

UH Manoa student loan defaults among lowest in the nation

Hawaii To Welcome Back Travelers Starting October 15

Hawaii Least Politically Engaged State

COVID Count: 91 new cases out of 3,489 tests

Virtual Town hall for small businesses not allowed to reopen

Poll: Voters Still Sour On Ige And Caldwell

CB: … In the latest Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll, just 19% of voters say they have a positive view of Gov. David Ige compared with 56% who hold negative views.

Similarly, only 28% of voters see Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in a positive light while 42% have a negative opinion of him. The numbers barely shift when counting only Oahu voters.

The latest views on Ige and Caldwell are nearly identical to what voters had to say about both leaders in mid-May….

Voter opinion on Lt. Gov. Josh Green has remained steady, too, though his positive numbers ticked down a few percentage points this time around (69% in May, 66% in October) while his negative numbers inched a little upward (10% and 14%, respectively)….

read … Poll: Voters Still Sour On Ige And Caldwell

State expects 7,000 incoming passengers on first day of traveler testing program

SA: …several travelers told Hawaii News Now on Wednesday they were having trouble finding a place to take a test. Others said they couldn’t even get an appointment.  “Every place that we’ve tried has been full," said Hawaii musician Shawn Pimental, who is in California….“So we ended up driving two hours to Sacramento to get tested as Walgreens over here because that’s the only place where we could get an appointment."…

Jozzy Norbisrath of Minnesota is trying to get tested so she can fly to Hawaii to care for her ailing father. She’s finding that difficult because Hawaii isn’t accepting tests from all certified hospitals or clinics unless they are on the trusted partners list.

“So the hospital that I go to is a CLIA certified lab, which is what they’re asking for, but it’s not one of Hawaii’s trusted testing partners, so I had to find another lab that I could go through,” she said.

Pimental still plans to return home Thursday.

“We were gonna try to stay even a few more days, but actually all the flights through the weekend are filing up. So if we missed our flight tomorrow to test and wait for our results, there’s no guarantee that we can come over, come home on the weekend," he said….

read … State expects 7,000 incoming passengers on first day of traveler testing program

Pre-arrival testing plan will allow visitors from Japan to bypass quarantine

HTH: … The state Department of Health has approved a testing plan by the Japanese government that will allow travelers from Japan to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii.

Visitors from Japan can skip the quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test, or NAAT, authorized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare….

read … Pre-arrival testing plan will allow visitors from Japan to bypass quarantine

Honolulu Rail’s New Budget Hole Estimated At More Than $1 Billion

CB: … Honolulu’s rail transit project has officially plunged into renewed financial crisis, with the latest estimates showing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion.

The cost to build the full 20-mile, 21-station transit system to Ala Moana Center from Kapolei has increased by another $832 million, according to new internal estimates released this week by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The megaproject also faces a COVID-19-related revenue shortfall of around $450 million. Together, those two factors have pushed rail into yet another massive budget hole, leaving its future uncertain.

HART’s Project Oversight Committee is expected to discuss in detail the latest cost increases at its meeting Thursday….

read … Honolulu Rail’s New Budget Hole Estimated At More Than $1 Billion

Experts: Pandemic wiped out 8 years of economic growth in Hawaii

HNN: … Hawaii experienced a 42% drop in growth domestic product, which measures the size of the economy and economic growth.

Not only is that decline among the worst in the nation, Bonham says there’s also no historical comparison.

“We’re all the way back at a level of GDP from 2012, so we’ve essentially wiped out about eight years of economic growth," said Bonham, who also sits on Hawaii’s House Select Committee on COVID-19.

"And you can’t, from the 1960s on, you don’t have any drops that size.”

As the state moves toward the start of its pre-testing program, UHERO’s forecasts show that it’ll take years for tourism numbers to recover even under the best of circumstances ― meaning, hypothetically, no shutdowns or surges in cases.

“Out in 2024, 2025, we are at about the same level of visitors as we had in early 2017, and that comes about for a variety of reasons,” Bonham said….

Bonham anticipates it could take until 2023 or 24 for unemployment numbers to drop below 5% again….

read …  Experts: Pandemic wiped out 8 years of economic growth in Hawaii

Serious mortgage delinquencies in Hawaii triple in July

PBN: … The percentage of Hawaii homeowners who were three months or more behind on their mortgage payments in July was more than three times higher than the same month in 2019 as the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic leaves some people “house-rich, but cash poor,” according to a report by CoreLogic.

The percentage of Hawaii mortgage borrowers who were seriously delinquent, defined as 90 days or more, in July was 4.7%, compared to 1.4% in July 2019, according to the data from CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX)….

Hawaii’s overall delinquency rate was 7.7%, the lowest among the five states whose economies have been hardest hit by Covid — New York’s was highest at 10%, followed by New Jersey at 9.6%, Florida at 8.6% and Nevada at 8.2%, CoreLogic found….

read … Serious mortgage delinquencies in Hawaii triple in July

Pandemic causes shortage of high-end Oahu rentals

KITV: … "Usually high end units above $6,000/month take 60-90 days to rent out. In all of the cases of our rents over $7,000, they flew off the market in 2 weeks," added Kimhan.

Why such an interest? High end renters tell Kimhan they are testing the water before diving into a particular community.

"For $9,500/month they get to rent a home, and see how they like it before they sink $5 million into the real estate market," said Kimhan.

Another reason for the demand for Windward Oahu homes right now, is members of the military made their permanent change of station later in the summer and fall than normal ...because of COVID.

"Half of the individuals looking in Kailua were military, they love the beach and community. The other half were coming from condos specifically. They said, 'We can't work from home, we need a yard for kids, we want something bigger'," said Saxon.

While Kailua homes rentals are being quickly snatched up, Waikiki condos are not.

read … Pandemic causes shortage of high-end Oahu rentals

COVID Coverup: August Nursing Home deaths on Maui Reported

MN: … Maui County’s death toll from COVID-19 grew by five to 18 on Wednesday following updated information on fatalities between Aug. 15 and Sept. 30, the state Department of Health reported.

Two men and two women were 80 years old or older with underlying conditions. Another man with underlying conditions was 60 to 69 years old. The men were hospitalized when they died.

The women died in a nursing home. Cases have been reported in the past at Hale Makua, a nursing home, and more recently at Roselani Place, an independent living facility. Hale Makua officials reported that the deaths were not from their facility; there was no response from Roselani Place on Wednesday….

read … 5 earlier COVID-19-related deaths reported on Maui

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