Mayor Michael Victorino released the following statement today on a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Hāna.

“The County of Maui has been notified that a test result has returned positive for a resident of Hāna. The person is asymptomatic and in self-isolation and has no recent travel history.

The Department of Health is investigating and conducting contact tracing.

“The person was among approximately 100 people who were tested for COVID-19 in Hāna on Wednesday as part of the County’s free testing programs for residents and visitors. The County provided this free testing event as a means to protect our Hāna community and

preemptively address positive cases that may have gone undetected otherwise.

“I want to reassure our residents of Hāna that the County of Maui is working closely with State Department of Health officials who are calling close contacts this individual might have had. We are hopeful that this has been caught early and can be contained quickly.

“I urge Hāna residents to stay home as much as possible and practice aloha by taking all measures to limit the spread of the virus in our community. These include wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing and avoiding gatherings.”

State Sen. J. Kalani English is working with State Rep. Lynn DeCoite to host a community meeting at 6:30 tonight via Zoom.

Click on the following link to register:

The Hawai‘i State Senate in their second special session of 2020 has confirmed the judicial appointments of First Circuit Court Judge Todd Eddins to the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court and Stephanie R.S. Char to the District Family Court of the Fifth Circuit.

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Richard Pollack retired in June after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, leaving a vacancy on the State's highest court.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Karl Rhoads (Dist. 13) stated, “After careful consideration by members of the Judiciary Committee and the entire State Senate, I’m confident that both Justice Eddins and Judge Char will serve our communities well in their new roles on the State Supreme Court and the District Family Court of the Fifth Circuit."

Justice Todd Eddins and his 'ohana

Justice Eddins served as a judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit since 2017, where he primarily presided over criminal cases. Prior to that appointment, he was in private practice handling criminal, civil, and appellate cases for thirteen years. Previous to that, he was a Deputy Public Defender in the State Office of the Public Defender from 1992 to 2004. At the beginning of his legal career, he was a law clerk for then-Associate Justice Yoshimi Hayashi of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. Justice Eddins is a graduate of Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy, the College of William & Mary, and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law.

Judge Stephanie R.S. Char and her 'ohana

Judge Char has spent her legal career as a public defender in the State Office of the Public Defender, primarily on Kaua‘i, since 2003; most recently she served as a Supervising Deputy Public Defender. She is active in the Kauaʻi and legal communities, having been a member of the Kauaʻi Criminal Defense Bar, the Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity Advisory Board for Mediation Program, and the Hawai‘i State Board of Continuing Legal Education. Judge Char graduated from Kapa‘a High School and received her undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Denver and her law degree from the University of San Diego Law School.

Honolulu’s iconic Aloha Tower will turn purple this week as two important homelessness-related events take place.

The tower will be lit up on Wednesday and Thursday to observe Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, which is typically held the week before Thanksgiving and is meant to raise awareness about the pressing issues of hunger and homelessness, as well as poverty. In Hawai‘i, there are an estimated 6,458 homeless individuals statewide on any given night, including more than half who are unsheltered and sleeping on the sidewalks, beaches, in their vehicles, or in other areas unsuitable for human habitation.

Wednesday and Thursday are also the dates of the statewide 2020 Homeless Awareness Virtual Conference, Moving Forward Together: Our Resilient Community. The conference is sponsored jointly by the State of Hawai‘i; City & County of Honolulu; County of Hawai‘i; County of Kaua‘i; County of Maui; and Hawai‘i’s two Continua of Care: Partners in Care and Bridging the Gap.

“This week is a time to recognize the hard work of all who work so hard to end homelessness throughout the year,” said Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “Despite the adversity of the pandemic, our homelessness system has transitioned nearly 3,400 individuals into permanent housing between March and September. Our community is resilient and has pulled together to keep a focus on permanent housing and helping the most vulnerable among us.”

“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone in Hawai‘i, the United States, and around the world,” said Laura Thielen, executive director of Partners in Care. “As the year comes to a close and we reflect on the issue of homelessness and hunger, let us remember how we have come together in so many ways during this pandemic, and acknowledge that we do have the ability to overcome some of the issues that have plagued our community for years.

“Despite the pandemic, we have gotten food to our neighbors on our beaches and on our streets, we have housed those who have been homeless for years, and we have shown compassion to our community. We are stronger than we realize and together we can make a better community for all. Let’s continue the amazing things that we have started during 2020 and carry them into the new year.”

“Despite a worldwide pandemic, we still saw the Aloha Spirit alive and well in Hawai‘i, where people didn’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to those in need,” said Brandee Menino, chief executive officer of HOPE Services Hawai‘i and chair of Bridging the Gap. “Our island community has been incredibly resilient this year, and I’m pleased that we continue to look out for each other. During this week and through the holidays, let us all continue to keep our most vulnerable residents in mind.”

To find out more about Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, please visit

To find out more about the 2020 Homeless Awareness Virtual Conference, visit The conference is free, and will feature keynote speeches from Gov. David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and CEO Nan Roman from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

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