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Best of Oahu Newsletter, Issue #007 -- Haiku Stairs Voted for Removal
September 20, 2021

Best of Oahu Newsletter

Haiku Stairs to be Removed

Haiku Stairs has been hotly debated for years over neighborhood disturbances and trespassing by hikers seeking to complete the illegal “Stairway to Heaven” hike, which has been popularized through social media posts and even some national entertainment attention. A million dollars has been approved for the removal of the stairs, but no action has been taken yet.

Meanwhile the Honolulu City Council voted unanimously today in favor of a resolution urging the city to remove Haiku Stairs. The Council did include $1 million in the city’s budget for the stair’s removal.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi has agreed with the city council to release the funds for this action. Oahu-Hiking-Trails.html

Proof of Vaccinations or 72hr Test

Starting Sept 13th, proof of vaccination or a 72 hour negative COVID test results will be required for restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment facilities including most Oahu attractions.

Gov. David Ige and Office of Enterprise Technology Director Doug Murdock today announced the state-issued Hawaii SMART Health Card, which saves the CDC vaccination card digitally on the mobile phone and replaces the physical card. Opting into the program, which begins Sept. 10, is voluntary. Individuals who don’t want to participate may still show their physical card.

“This will help to prevent the use of fake vaccination cards,” said Ige, adding that businesses will be able to scan the QR code using a verification app.

Four visitors were recently charged with using fake vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii.

State prosecutors recently charged two visiting families, one from California and the other from Florida, for allegedly using falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii.

Oahu September Events

Oahu Events have started returning as visitors have this summer.

Farmers Markets were the first to return as they were deemed essential, but now some other social events are returning including Bishop Museum After Hours, Art After Dark at the Modern Museum of Art, Wildest Show at the Honolulu Zoo, Beyond Van Goug Experience, Yoga in the Park, and others.

See more September event in Oahu... oahu-events-in-september.html

Laniakea Beach Turtle Supervision

Patrols have increased at Oahu’s Laniakea Beach to protect sea turtles as visitors have increased visiting this North Shore beach.

Oahu’s surge in tourism has generated larger waves of visitors to the North Shore’s Laniakea Beach Park, popularly dubbed Turtle Beach, and people continue to break the law by harassing the endangered green sea turtles there, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the turtle conservation group Malama na Honu report.

Remember to give sea turtle a lot of space at any Hawaii beach, and reframe from touching or harassing these sea creatures. laniakea-beach.html

Ocean Safety & Beach Closures

Recently Ocean Safety conducted 271 rescues, 2,100 preventative actions over a high surf weekend on Oahu.

Officials advised beachgoers to talk to a lifeguard before entering the water during big wave episodes.

16 recues at China Walls this year…is a large increase with visiting tourist jumping into the ocean from the rocky shoreline, and having problems getting out with continuous dangerous waves hitting the rocks. China Walls got it’s name not from the long rocky shoreline, but from the long line of waves that form in this area when the surf gets big.

Also beach closures happening due to a direct result of staffing availability as Ocean Safety steadily increases its daytime coverage as part of a 2019 legal mandate requiring a “dawn to dusk” lifeguarding program in the City & County of Honolulu. Waimanalo Beach and Sandy Beach experienced a closure for a day, with more to follow.

Ocean Safety recommends avoiding beaches without lifeguards and visiting a guarded beach instead, where towers are staffed from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Oahu-Beaches.html

Waikiki Aquarium Makeover

Waikiki Aquarium is looking at a long overdue makeover. After months without visitors because of the pandemic, the Waikiki Aquarium quickly went into disrepair.

Some of the tanks are empty and the monk seal exhibit has been drained for cracks and repairs. The loss of revenue of 700 visitors per day has depleted funds after the closure.

They are slated to receive over $2 million for relief and another $10 for repairs and improvements. A new ocean exhibit is slated for the lawn area that includes a 540,000-gallon tank with deep water marine life such as sunfish, sharks and tuna

They are moving to a new model to emphasize research, education and conservation. Start and completion is to be determined. waikiki-aquarium.html

Arizona Memorial Temp Closed

The Arizona Memorial platform in Peral Harbor will be closed for repairs again, with no ETA to resume ferry visits to the memorial. The Pearl Harbor Museum, located at the visitor center and features the Arizona Memorial, will remain open to the public.

All other Pearl Harbor exhibits and museums will remain open, including the USS Missouri Battleship, The USS Bowfin Submarine, and Pacific Aviation Museum. pearl-harbor.html

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