Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Hawaii poised to become state with highest income tax, highly infectious COVID-19 variant detected, flood over-tops Maui dam, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino at video press conference

Hawaii lawmakers consider nation’s highest income tax. Hawaii is considering overtaking California as the state with the highest income tax rate in the nation, under legislation slated for a vote this week. Associated Press.

Hawaii Could Lose Access To Next Generation Broadband Internet.
Technological advances allow the next generation of undersea fiber optic cables to traverse the Pacific without stopping in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

House Speaker Seeks Hawaiian Nominees For Mauna Kea Group. The 15-member working group has until December to come up with a new management structure for Mauna Kea. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to receive over $6.1B in federal funds. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed Saturday by the Senate and poised for imminent passage in the House will provide over $6.1 billion in estimated funding for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Convention Center charges state millions for unemployment call center. Hawaii lawmakers are looking to expand the governor’s powers to assume control over any state facility during an emergency and not have to worry about paying rent to the agency that controls it. Star-Advertiser.

South Africa COVID-19 Variant Detected On Oahu. A new COVID-19 strain originating in South Africa that is both highly contagious and able to evade antibodies was detected in an Oahu resident, state health officials announced Monday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Ige: ‘Vaccine passport’ program unlikely until May.
Vaccinated travelers could be exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions by May, said Gov. David Ige on Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Resolutions urge Ige to ease travel quarantine on vaccinated persons. A pair of resolutions will be introduced today by state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, an Oahu Democrat, that would ease travel restrictions in Hawaii for vaccinated individuals. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Hawaii plans brand-specific vaccination sites to allow people to pick their shot. People getting vaccinated could soon have the option to pick which brand of COVID shot they want. Hawaii News Now.

March 8, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 45 additional COVID-45 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 21 on O‘ahu, 11 on Maui, 10 on Hawai‘i Island, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Feds Examining Honolulu Police CARES Spending On ATVs, Robot Dog. The Honolulu Police Department is facing questions from the federal government about its spending of millions of dollars of pandemic relief funds on ATVs, pickup trucks and a robot dog. Civil Beat.

Free COVID-19 tests offered for Oahu restaurant workers. Honolulu’s restaurant workers will be able to take a free COVID-19 test starting today. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

There Are 10 Community Gardens On Oahu. None Of Them Are On The Westside. Unequal access to community gardens has some people calling for a revamp of the decades-old program. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Governor approves Roth’s emergency rule amendments. Gov. David Ige approved COVID-19 emergency rule amendments for the Big Island signed into effect Monday by Mayor Mitch Roth, which ease certain restrictions. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Ahu‘aila‘au proposed for county land buy: Neighbors seek purchase of ’Fissure 8’ with PONC funds. Neighbors of Puna’s internationally famous “Fissure 8” want the still smoldering volcanic vent preserved for future generations, and they’re asking a county land-buying commission to purchase it using taxpayer money. West Hawaii Today.

Another push for a new hospital in North Kona. Legislators are pushing forward the conversation about constructing a new hospital in North Kona with a pair of resolutions requesting the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation conduct a feasibility study. West Hawaii Today.

Three Finalists For Hawaiʻi County Seat On UH Board Of Regents. Wayne S. Higaki, Peter S. Hoffmann, and Eric S. Takamura are the names of the candidates, one of whom will fill the five-year appointment beginning on July 1. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Flash flood warning expires for heavily-soaked Maui, but threat of torrential rain continues.  Evacuation orders stretched into the night for Haiku residents who fled the life-threatening flooding downstream of the Kaupakalua Dam. Hawaii News Now.

Overtopping dam spurs evacuation in Maui’s Haiku area. Nearly 14 inches of rain Monday led to the overtopping of the Kaupakalua Reservoir and Dam, forcing the evacuation of some 150 downstream homes. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State issued notice of deficiency to Kaupakalua Dam last year. The Kaupakalua Dam is one of the oldest agricultural dams and was built more than a hundred years ago. KHON2.

Hana Highway reopens though extreme caution still urged.
The heaviest of showers are slowly subsiding on Maui, though some emergency closures and operations are still in place. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kauai

Outreach at ‘Anini; community faces ouster. Thinking about where to go once the ‘Anini Beach Park closes to the houseless community in less than a month has been stressful for Ceci Lindsey. Garden Island.

DOE announces 4th quarter school schedules. The Kaua‘i Complex Area Department of Education Office announced the Kaua‘i revisions of school learning models will cover the fourth quarter that runs from March 22 through May 28. Garden Island.


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