Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Legislature mulls sunscreen ban, magic mushrooms, recreational marijuana, gambling, bestiality and more, Big Pharma fine could boost state budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Rinsing off baby at Kona beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

 Bill adds new ingredients to state’s sunscreen ban. HB 102, HD 1, which seeks to amend Section 342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding avobenzone and octocrylene to the list of banned ingredients, has been making its way through the state House of Representatives and is scheduled to be heard today by the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Court’s Massive $834 Million Fine Against Drug Makers Could Boost State Budget.
The penalty would go directly to the state’s general fund, but not until all legal appeals are exhausted, which could drag on for two years or even longer, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said at a press conference Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Bill could help Hawaii’s tenant-landlord dispute backlog. Hawaii’s court systems have been slowly returning to service since December, but a tsunami of cases are on the horizon once the state’s moratorium on evictions eventually ends. KHON2.

Beefing Over Control Of Hawaii’s Meat Processing Industry. A bill scheduled to be heard Wednesday targets an investor who has gained control of 70% of Hawaii’s meat processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Advances Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana. Another bill approved by the committee would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Permitted In Hawaii?
A bill before the Legislature would remove psilocybin from the federal register of Schedule I drugs. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Bill outlawing animal sexual abuse gains traction in Legislature. A bill that would make sexually assaulting an animal a felony is moving through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Home Lands gambling bill debate pushed to Thursday. A key Senate committee postponed decision-making until Thursday on whether to allow a controversial gambling bill that would allow the possibility for generating revenue for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands through some form of legalized gaming — and break Hawaii’s prohibition on any form of legal gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Clamping Down On Gov’s Emergency Powers. Hawaii isn’t the only state worried that a governor’s emergency orders are in need of better oversight. Civil Beat.

Youth vaping rates keep rising in Hawaii.
More Hawaii high school students are trying vaping and getting hooked, with the rate of daily vaping more than doubling over two years, while use of alcohol and cigarettes is dropping. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Deadly winter weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Hawaii.
Efforts to further curtail the spread of the virus in Hawaii hit a snag this week, as state health officials reported that a record-breaking winter storm on the mainland that left millions without power and resulted in at least 20 deaths had delayed some shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to the islands. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccination Hesitation: How the Lack of Access Affects Trust from the Pacific Islander Community. Hawaii’s Pacific Islander communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not clear if they are actually receiving the vaccine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lab reporting issue leads to Tuesday's low COVID-19 case count. Hawaii health officials reported 17 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Tuesday, an undercount due to a laboratory reporting error. The 17 cases recorded Tuesday included 13 on Oahu, three on Maui, and one resident diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu

Low case numbers move Honolulu closer to Tier 3. Honolulu, for the first time, is expected to hit its metrics today for moving into the less restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s COVID-19 Reopening Framework from the current Tier 2. Star-Advertiser.

2 Louisiana residents accused of bribing Honolulu airport screener with $3,000 to bypass quarantine. The state Department of the Attorney General charged two Louisiana residents with bribing airport screeners in an attempt to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory Safe Travels rules after arriving Friday at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State officials begin to clear ‘literal potpourri of useless junk’ from Waimainalo site. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the site, formerly home to Dragon Garden—Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center, may take several weeks to clear out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bill to let OHA build Kakaako Makai condos advances. The on-and-off battle over development of Kakaako Makai has flared up again as state lawmakers consider the latest measures aimed at allowing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to put residential housing in the oceanfront region of urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Hawaii Island At 43.4 Percent Renewable Energy.
Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up nearly 10 percent this year, as the company says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years. Big Island Video News.

Puna roads update given: Administration provides tentative estimates for restoration of Pohoiki Road, Highway 137. Parts of Pohoiki Road which have been buried in lava for nearly three years finally might be excavated later this year, county officials estimate. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Hospital workers call for fair raises. Maui Health System workers are calling for fairer raises in the face of a proposed 0 percent increase in pay over the first year of their new contract. Maui News.

O‘ahu Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Travel Quarantine. Daniel Gildenbrand, 24, was arrested on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, after arriving on Maui without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and no approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.

Kauai

Housekeeping measure triggers closer look at county code. The Kaua‘i County Council recently received a two-decade-old bill affecting public access. Garden Island.

Small businesses band together. Last week, more than 50 frustrated business owners gathered at the Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a to discuss ways to keep their businesses open. Garden Island.

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