Department of Finance - County of Kaua'i: The County of Kaua‘i Department of Finance will hold a Public Hearing on Feb. 8, on the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations relating to Home and Related Exemptions.

The Public Hearing will take place at 5 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 8, via the Microsoft Teams audio and video teleconferencing platform.

The Department of Finance proposes to amend its existing Rules and Regulations to reflect newly adopted law which requires those applying for a home exemption to adhere to the following:

1. Occupy the applicable property as their primary residence for more than 270 days of the tax year;

2. Submit an N-11 Hawai‘i State Residential tax return as a resident of the State of Hawai‘i with a reported address in the county the year prior the effective date of the exemption; and

3. Provide a copy of their Hawai‘i state driver’s license, Hawai‘i state identification, or resident aliens possessing a valid resident alien card (green card). These are new requirements to obtain the homeowner’s exemption for property tax purposes.

The proposed rules and a full copy of the Public Hearing notice are available at the Department of Finance Real Property Assessment Division in the Līhu‘e Civic Center, Moikeha Building, 4444 Rice Street, Suite A 454, Līhu‘e, during normal business hours.

It is also available on the Department of Finance’s website, Copies of the proposed amendments may also be mailed to any interested person who calls the Department of Finance at 241-4224.

All interested persons who wish to present their testimony on Feb. 8 may do so via the Microsoft Teams audio conferencing platform by calling 1-469-848-0234, Conference ID 692 876 534#.

If you wish to participate via video teleconference, you may do so via the Microsoft Teams video teleconferencing platform and it shall be the responsibility of the testifier to ensure the Microsoft Teams software is downloaded prior to the hearing.

Anyone interested in providing oral testimony by video teleconference must register with the Real Property Assessment Division at least two hours prior to the hearing by sending an email to or by calling (808) 241-4224, and provide your name, phone number, and email address. A link to the video teleconference will be emailed to you following your registration.

Advance registration is not required if you wish to participate by audio conference only.

Testimony may be submitted any time up to and including the date of the public hearing, or at the public hearing itself.

Written testimony may be submitted to the Real Property Assessment division by email to, by facsimile to (808) 241-6252; or by mail to the Real Property Assessment Division, 4444 Rice Street, Suite A-454, Līhu‘e, HI 96766.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service or other accommodation due to a disability, contact the Department of Finance at (808) 241-4224 or as soon as possible. Requests made as early as possible will allow adequate time to fulfill your request.

Upon request, this notice is available in alternate formats such as large print, Braille, or electronic copy.

Beginning this Saturday, January 9, only vehicular entry into Hanauma Bay will be allowed from Kalaniana‘ole Highway. Walk-in entry is not permitted.

In response to safety concerns resulting from the reopening pilot program for the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, new pilot entry procedures are being implemented while an online reservation system is in development.

Beginning this Saturday, Jan. 9, only vehicular entry into Hanauma Bay will be allowed from Kalaniana‘ole Highway. Walk-in entry is not permitted.

Upon reaching the preserve entrance off of Kalaniana‘ole Highway, visitors will be directed into the bay parking area and provided tickets to determine which order they entered the nature preserve, with a pre-determined educational video show times.

Visitors have the option of remaining in the parking lot and upper area of the preserve while they await their show time, or they may choose to leave the nature preserve after receiving their entry ticket. If they leave temporarily, they must return with their ticket 15 minutes before their designated show time to ensure their entry into the theatre and beach.

“Even with the daily limit of 720 people, it is apparent that Hanauma Bay continues to be one of the most popular destinations for locals and malihini,” said Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Director-Designate Laura H. Thielen. “We have heard the concerns from the neighboring community and visitors to the nature preserve regarding some of the problems with visitors parking in the residential areas, walking along the busy Kalaniana‘ole Highway, and gathering near the Hanauma Bay entrance. We hope these adjustments to the pilot reopening help to alleviate these concerns as we pursue an online reservation system and improve our management of this magnificent natural resource. Certainly, we can make further adjustments to these procedures if additional issues arise.”

The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation is currently working with the Honolulu Department of Information Technology on developing an online reservation system. We greatly appreciate the patience of the public while this unique system is developed. Its implementation is expected in this first quarter of 2021.

All face mask, physical distancing, and gathering restrictions remain in effect. The daily capacity for the nature preserve remains at 720 people, and no commercial activity is currently allowed within the nature preserve.

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve was reopened on Wednesday, Dec. 2 after being closed for nearly nine months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is open to the public from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, with last entry into the preserve at 2 p.m.

It’s also now posted on the City’s website:|1210/new-entry-procedures-at-hanauma-bay.html?Itemid=2404

Free app augments contact tracing, keeps data private, sends notice of potential exposure

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with aio Digital and the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative (HEC) have launched AlohaSafe Alert, the free State of Hawai‘i officially-approved exposure notification app to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Masks, distance and vaccines are all valuable tools against COVID-19. The AlohaSafe Alert app is another important tool in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Libby Char, director of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. “This innovative app was developed for the community, by the community, and it has the potential to greatly increase the speed of the exposure notification process, allowing anyone who receives an alert to quickly self-quarantine and get tested if needed.”

“AlohaSafe Alert will help to empower our residents to protect themselves, their families, and their community,” said Governor David Ige. “We appreciate the partnership formed between DOH and the private sector to develop this useful tool and help Hawaii remain one of the states with the lowest infection rates in the country. I strongly urge everyone to download this free app so they can receive notifications as quickly as possible in the event of an exposure.”

AlohaSafe Alert was first piloted on Lāna‘i and in Hāna on November 17, and expanded to Maui County on December 16. The app has been downloaded more than 14,000 times.

“When Lāna‘i experienced a surge in COVID cases, AlohaSafe Alert was critical in helping us to control the spread,” said Mayor Michael Victorino of Maui County. “Maui County strongly believes these types of technological advances can help us get the upper hand in the fight against COVID-19. We were pleased to pilot the app in our county, and hope other communities throughout the state utilize this tool to protect all of our residents.”

Hawai’i joins 17 other states and 19 countries in authorizing the Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system that uses Bluetooth technology to measure the closeness and duration of signals between enrolled smartphones. AlohaSafe Alert will anonymously and privately send notifications within 48 hours if an app user comes into close contact – within six feet for at least 15 minutes – with an individual who tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days.

“We have confidence that this tool will help to make our communities safer,” said Brandon Kurisu, president of aio Digital and founder of AlohaSafe Alert. “The GAEN technology is anonymous and completely private, and most important, is connected to a national server that can help to protect Hawai‘i residents as we welcome visitors to the islands and open up our economy.”

Preliminary results and learnings from other states and countries show that, coupled with other measures, if only 15 percent of the population were to use AlohaSafe Alert, COVID-19 infections could be reduced by eight percent and deaths by six percent.

“The effectiveness of AlohaSafe Alert is dependent on our residents downloading the app and we urge our community to seize this opportunity to further protect each other,” said Representative Linda Ichiyama, chair of the House Committee on Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness. “The legislature sees this app as a critical tool our state can deploy to proactively help us control the spread of COVID-19."

“It’s our privilege to partner with the state, DOH, legislators, businesses, and community groups to encourage our residents to use AlohaSafe Alert,” said Lynelle Marble, executive director of Hawai‘i Executive. “Based on studies from the University of Oxford, for every two app users, one infection can be avoided. It will be up to each of us to add AlohaSafe Alert to our existing safety measures so we can further care for our families, neighbors, and community.”

Other key features of AlohaSafe Alert include:

• Participants may opt in/out at any time;

• The app allows smartphones to interact and exchange anonymous codes that are frequently changed, but it does not keep track of any geo-location or GPS data;

• Only DOH authorities will have access to data, and all data will be kept anonymous;

• Should you test positive for COVID-19, your identity is kept private from anyone who receives an alert, and their identities are kept private from you;

• AlohaSafe Alert is interoperable with other similar official notification apps in other states and those apps can also be used by visitors to Hawai’i.

The app was developed by local firm aio Digital, was funded by DOH and The Omidyar Group, and supported by a public-private partnership with the Hawaii Executive Collaborative, Every1ne Hawaii and the State of Hawaiʻi.

To download the free app, go to the Google Play or Apple App Store on your phone.

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