Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hawaii vaccine passport program to start May 11, HPD refuses to release video of alleged police shooting of 16-year-old, licenses expire during huge DMV backlog, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii to begin vaccine passport program. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that Hawaii will begin accepting a vaccination exemption on May 11 for interisland travelers who received their vaccination in Hawaii and have completed the required 14-day waiting period. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Neighbor islands look to gain on vaccine passports, but how much tourism is too much? Industry experts believe inter-island travel will provide another big boost, especially on the neighbor islands. KHON2.

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Legislative Negotiators Agree To End Payday Loans In Hawaii By 2022. The bill would replace the high-interest loans with installment loans that have lower fees. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers agree on budget that includes federal aid. Key Senate and House members agreed on a $31.2 billion state budget Tuesday over the next two fiscal years that relies on $1.35 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and a resurging tourism economy to help avoid massive cuts, furloughs and even layoffs of state employees. Star-Advertiser.

Why It’s So Hard To Pass A Minimum Wage Increase In Hawaii. Ripple effects and unintended consequences, especially in a down economy, have become driving factors in the debate over a minimum wage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Asset Forfeiture Reform Appears Dead This Year. An effort to make it harder for law enforcement agencies to seize property used in alleged crimes has stalled this legislative session after House and Senate lawmakers failed to reach agreement on the reform measure. Civil Beat.

Search begins for interim superintendent for Hawaii public schools. Hawaii’s Board of Education is looking for a temporary replacement to take over in August for Superintendent Christina Kishimoto while it conducts a broader search for her permanent replacement. Star-Advertiser.

April 20, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 48 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 26 on O‘ahu, 14 on Maui, one on Hawai‘i Island, and seven in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

City officials work to find a solution as DMVs wade through COVID backlog.
If you’ve had trouble booking an appointment with the Honolulu Department of Motor Vehicles, you are not alone. The city is facing a backlog of thousands that stretches back a year. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Nominates Former Mainland Officer To Honolulu Police Commission. The mayor says he wants someone on the commission who has empathy for law enforcement officers. Civil Beat.

HPD Says It Won’t Release Video Of Officers Fatally Shooting 16-Year-Old. Police departments elsewhere release video that is edited to cover faces. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Protesters demand transparency, accountability from HPD following 2 deadly Oahu shootings. Outside Honolulu Police Department’s headquarters Tuesday, about two dozen protestors held signs calling for more transparency and accountability from the department. Hawaii News Now.

City Council committee advocates for funding for local farmers. A City Council committee wants Mayor Rick Blangiardi to use funds for a grant program to support local agriculture growers who may have been overlooked by federal help. Star-Advertiser.

Remote workers helping to fuel luxury real estate sales on Oahu, experts say. According to data released by Coldwell Banker Realty, the first quarter of 2021 saw a 106% increase in luxury home sales compared to the same time in 2020. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Shovel-ready: Three road paving projects on deck for federal funds. Hawaii County is preparing three major road resurfacing projects to meet the “shovel-ready” requirement of the American Jobs Plan. West Hawaii Today.

Official: Estimated completion of project to reopen Pohoiki Boat Ramp is by mid-2023. Work to reopen the blocked Pohoiki Boat Ramp could begin at the end of 2022 — at the earliest. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mayor Michael Victorino nixes higher bar for affordable-housing incentives on Maui. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has vetoed a highly contentious bill that would have applied stiffer rules to a state program offering developers incentives to build affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

$9 million needed for county flood repairs. It will take about $9 million to repair nine County of Maui roads, bridges and other structures hit by catastrophic flooding last month, though none of them are downstream of Kaupakalua Dam in Haiku, according to a county Public Works Department report. Maui News.

Governor Ige Releases $21.9 M for Capital Improvement Projects in Maui County.
The allocation includes $21.9 million for projects on Maui with the biggest allocation of $10.4 million going to finance design and construction for field improvements to the baseball and softball fields at King Kekaulike High School. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i selected for federal energy transitions program. U.S. Department of Energy has announced that Honolulu and Kaua‘i have been selected as part of the agency’s Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project and statewide electric vehicle group leaders are applauding the actions of Senator Brian Schatz, who has helped forward the initiative. Garden Island.

County spends $90K on campground clean-up. The county is estimating about $90,000 in repairs and clean-up for ‘Anini and Anahola beach parks after a year of consistent use. Garden Island.


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