State briefs for April 5

Officials consider new uses for virus screening tech

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials in Hawaii are looking for new ways to use the state’s “Safe Travels” program that was implemented to screen visitors during the pandemic.


Hawaii’s $37 million travel policy, which ended last month, required travelers to upload a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to avoid quarantine.

The program had web and mobile applications developed and the state installed thermal and facial-recognition cameras in airports to help find potentially sick passengers.

“Getting rid of facial-recognition cameras and thermal screening is a ridiculous idea,” said state Sen. Glenn Wakai. “We are moving toward the day when you and I don’t need a phone or a card, we just use our face to get access and pay for things.”

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said the mobile application could be used to help visitors get educational and emergency information, fill out agricultural forms or make reservations to visit natural and cultural sites, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Gov. David Ige said he is promoting the entire program to federal officials.

“They should establish some process for health emergencies,” Ige said. “We don’t want to end up having to see the same kind of shutdown of the (visitor) industry when an infectious disease starts to circulate in the community.”

Sleeping pair killed when truck crashes into parked car

KIHEI, Maui (AP) — Two people sleeping in a car parked on the shoulder of a Maui roadway died when a pickup truck crashed into them, police said.

A man driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck southeast on North Kihei Road early Sunday drifted onto the shoulder of the road and collided into the back of a parked Nissan Sentra, Maui police said.

The 47-year-old woman and 52-year-old man in the Nissan were asleep when the crash occurred and were pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver of the truck sustained minor injuries and was taken an emergency room for treatment.

Live audiences to return to Paliku Theatre

KANEOHE, Oahu (AP) — Actors will once again start performing before live audiences at Windward Community College’s Paliku Theatre this month after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first performance will be “Oriental Faddah and Son,” a play by Lee A. Tonouchi that investigates what it means to be Okinawan in Hawaii. The show explores the relationship of an Okinawan father and his son and delves into the nuances of an Okinawan family.

The windward Oahu theater had been scheduled to put on the play in 2020, but then canceled the run two days before opening night due to the spread of COVID-19.

“After two years of presenting our shows virtually, we are so excited to welcome live audiences back to Paliku,” theater manager Nicole Tessier said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email