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Trump supporters gather at the state Capitol; most condemn pro-Trump mob in DC
About 200 supporters of President Donald Trump gathered at Hawai‘i’s Capitol building on Wednesday but kept their demonstration peaceful. Hawaii News Now. 
Gov. David Ige called the violence in Washington "a sad day in American history," while the state Republican and Democratic parties issued a joint statement calling for calm. Civil BeatMaui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Members of Hawai‘i’s congressional delegation recount a terrifying day 
Some of Hawai‘i’s congressional members were hunkered down inside their offices when rioters breached the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday. The assault by a mob of angry Trump supporters drew incredulity and condemnation. Hawaii News Now. Honolulu Star-AdvertiserTribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

House Speaker to push for uniform travel rules
Scott Saiki plans to introduce legislation that would create statewide COVID-19 travel rules to reduce confusion for both residents and tourists. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

State finance director says carbon and sugar taxes may be among increases
Craig Hirai stressed that nothing is settled but dropped some hints about possible tax increases in a House Finance Committee hearing. Civil Beat.

"In crisis": DOE warns that 1,300 teaching positions could be cut 
The state Department of Education is expecting a $400 million budget cut, and officials say that could mean 1,300 teaching positions will be lost by the end of 2021. Hawaii News Now.

AlohaSafe app aims to slow COVID-19 as deaths increase
The state Health Department officially launched its new AlohaSafe Alert app on Wednesday, along with a new media campaign targeting Hawai‘i’s youth. The app warns users of possible exposure to COVID-19. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Catholic Charities Hawai'i to provide more rent relief 
Catholic Charities Hawai‘i and state officials announced the launch of a new rent relief program, which will begin accepting applications next week. KITV4. Big Island Now.

‘Ohana by Hawaiian to suspend air service between Honolulu and Molokai, Lanai
Hawaiian Airlines announced it will discontinue passenger service next week. The move suspends all operations by the inter-island carrier. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Since the Great Recession, Hawaiʻi saw an increase in lower-paying leisure and hospitality jobs, which generally require less education. At the same time, there was a decline in higher-paying science and technology jobs, which require a college education and pay more. | Source: “Hawaiʻi Wages and Household Costs: A Chartbook for Building a Better Economy” by the Hawaiʻi Budget & Policy Center; Current employment statistics from the Hawaiʻi Workforce Infonet.
“Talent Roadmap” Declares: Now is the Time to Reinvent Hawaiʻi’s Economy
A collaboration of public, private and philanthropic leaders say Hawaiʻi needs to train people for jobs that will be needed and in demand now and in the future – and that means preparing them for careers in health care, technology and skilled trades. The way to do that, they say, is through more work-based learning... 
read more.
City Council chair announces that Say, Elefante will be in powerful roles
Tommy Waters, the newly installed Honolulu City Council chair,  said Calvin Say will be in charge of the influential budget committee, while Brandan Elefante will chair the committee on zoning and planning. Civil Beat.

Queen’s Medical Center reports cluster of 39 COVID-19 cases
Twenty-seven caregivers and 12 patients have tested positive at the main Punchbowl location. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

HPD: "We can only do so much" to stop aerial fireworks
The Honolulu Police Department says it received about 2,000 calls regarding illegal aerial fireworks in the days leading to New Year’s Eve. Of those calls, just 45 citations were issued and one arrest was made. Hawaii News Now.

O‘ahu housing market ends 2020 with a bang
The housing market made a huge recovery in December. The sales spike followed several months of hefty declines after coronavirus impacts began in March. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Be inspired by these local companies who are celebrating important milestones in 2021.
Corporate Anniversaries to Start the New Year
What does it take to succeed in Hawaiʻi? Business longevity and growth is a testament to solid management, exceptional products and incomparable service. Be inspired by these local companies... read more.
UH responds to review of Mauna Kea management
A statement from the university concluded with a promise to use the results of the assessment to continue to improve its stewardship of the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

Life Care Center begins vaccinations
The Hilo facility began vaccinating residents and employees Wednesday against COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

Activists clear tents at Wailoa, leave garden
Activists occupying a portion of the Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo were handed a cease-and-desist order signed by Department of Land and Natural Resource Chairwoman Suzanne Case. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.
Photo: Getty Images
Editor’s Note: My Cynicism Has Been Silenced

What was your reaction when you heard another report had been released on how to create a better future for Hawai‘i and its people? If you add tens of thousands of people to the thinking, creative and innovating workforce of Hawai‘i, the economic multiplier effect will be powerful..read more.
Some residents plea for Maui County COVID-19 task force
Maui County's 81% rise in cases since late December sparked a protest outside Mayor Mike Victorino’s press conference Wednesday. The group called on him to accept more help in the form of a COVID-19 task force. KHON2.

Maui health officials focus on two large clusters
One COVID-19 cluster is at Maui Memorial Medical Center, where officials said there were 14 positive patients. The other, at Harbor Lights in Kahului, has ballooned to 75 cases. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

Local restaurants and bars struggle to adapt to growing restrictions
Business owners say the ever-changing rules and new restrictions are making it more difficult to stay afloat. Maui News.
Rise to Work says it has filled 280 jobs
Officials from the county Kupa‘a Kaua‘i program announced that 100 local employers had hired 280 people into the Rise to Work program. Garden Island.

Monk seal killings on Kaua‘i highlight human threat to endangered species
A new study found that human activity was to blame for more than half of all known seal deaths in the Islands over the past quarter century. Civil Beat.
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