Thursday, July 8, 2021

Hawaii opens its gates to travelers, Health Department whistleblower sues state, Kauai water rights case heads to Supreme Court, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Safe Travels Special Projects Administrator Sherilyn Kajiwara

Fully Vaccinated US Travelers Can Bypass Quarantine, Testing Requirements. Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and its territories can bypass quarantine and COVID-19 testing if they possess one of three federally recognized vaccination documents. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. Tribune-Herald.

State leaders question need to market Hawaii as vaccination exemption adds to a travel surge. The leaders of the state House and Senate are saying that tourism marketing is no longer needed given the summer surge, and invited the Hawaii Tourism Authority to figure out what role it should play in managing tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Travel Rules Are Ending But Restrictions On Other Businesses Linger. Although the hospitality business has opened fully and bounced back substantially, driven by a daily average of more than 32,000 passenger arrivals per day so far this month, some industries remain hamstrung by restrictions limiting things like the size of gatherings and social distancing requirements. Civil Beat.

Whistleblower sues state after being fired by Hawaii Health Department. A former Hawaii Department of Health epidemiologist who exposed deficiencies within the department’s COVID-19 contact tracing program last year is suing the state alleging that she was fired in late May in retaliation for speaking out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

More detailed school COVID reports mandated. A bill that requires the state Department of Education to publish a weekly report enumerating COVID-19 cases on school campuses is now law despite Gov. David Ige’s veto of the measure. Tribune-Herald.

Come January 1, it will be legal for private citizens in Hawaii to own a Taser. On January 1, it will be legal for private citizens in Hawaii to own a Taser. It’s one of the laws that emerged from the legislative session and repeals Hawaii’s ban on electric guns for the public ― allowing them for self-defense, defending another person or protecting property. Hawaii News Now.

Case Draws Most Of His Campaign Cash From Special Interests
. Lobbyists and business interests continue to pump money into Hawaii Congressman Ed Case’s political campaign, according to his latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. Civil Beat.

Ige picks former Hawaiian Homes Commissioner to serve on Board of Land and Natural Resources. Gov. David Ige has nominated Doreen “Pua” Canto, who has served on a number of local boards and commissions, including the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Maui Police Commission, to fill a vacant seat on the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Oahu

24 apply to be Honolulu Police Department chief, but names not made public. Twenty-four people applied to serve as Honolulu’s 12th police chief but the process is delayed by 30 days because not enough people applied to serve as the consultant to assist the Honolulu Police Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers May Foot The Bill For Lawyers For Officers Charged In Sykap Shooting. Honolulu taxpayers could end up paying for the legal defense of three officers charged in an April shooting incident that ended with the death of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City cites homeless project for lacking building permit.
The Department of Planning and Permitting issued a notice of violation against a church-backed foundation helping house the homeless by erecting 50 plastic storage sheds on a 4-acre Waianae farm. Star-Advertiser.

Council narrowly approves first steps for a new Chinatown fire station. In a 5-4 vote, the Council on Wednesday authorized the Honolulu Fire Department to adjust the Public Infrastructure Map adopted in 2017 by adding a fire symbol that is required for the Council to appropriate any funds for construction. Star-Advertiser.

Developers propose building a 15-story hotel in Chinatown. Developers are proposing to build a 15-story hotel in a Chinatown parking lot located on 120 Nimitz Highway. KHON2.

Measure introduced to remove Haiku Stairs. A measure introduced at the Honolulu City Council is calling for the removal of Haiku Stairs, which has been hotly debated for years over neighborhood disturbances and trespassing by hikers seeking to complete the illegal Stairway to Heaven hike. Star-Advertiser.

In big step for Aloha Stadium, Hawaii agency takes lead to develop ‘entertainment district’.
Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 1348, making the Aloha Stadium Authority Board the lead agency for development of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District — or NASED — project. Hawaii News Now.

State board rules against homeowners in Kakaako tower dispute. A state board has rejected a petition from owners of a moderate-priced Kakaako condominium tower to hold the developer of the 2-year-old building accountable for grossly underestimated maintenance fees. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Island

Roth, others mulling options after passage of TAT bill.
HB 862 abolishes the allocation of statewide TAT revenues to the individual counties and instead allows them to establish their own taxes on accommodations at a rate of up to 3%. Tribune-Herald.

$25.5M for ADA compliance: County Council advances bond float. Required improvements at 10 county parks will likely continue, with a $25.5 million bond issue forwarded Wednesday by the County Council on an 8-0 vote. West Hawaii Today.

‘It’s disgusting’: Lawsuit alleges DOE, BOE and principal failed to protect female student. A Kona school principal, the state Department of Education and Board of Education are being sued for failing to protect a female student from repeated sex assault on a public school campus. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Gymnasiums Preparing to Reopen. The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation is preparing to reopen gymnasium facilities that have been closed for recreational use since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Proposed Amendments To Kahului Harbor Fisheries Area & Maui ‘Oama Rules. A statewide online public hearing will be held on proposed amendments of Hawai’i Administrative Rules relating to the Kahului Harbor Fisheries Management Area and rules regulating the take and possession of ‘oama on the island of Maui. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

State seeks information on vandalism of Maui petroglyphs estimated to be over 300 years old. Conservation officers are seeking information on those responsible for defacing a collection of petroglyphs on the face of a cliff in Olowalu Valley on Maui with a paintball gun, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kauai

Dispute over public water rights on Kauai heads to state Supreme Court.
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case over public water rights on Kauai. The case is over a dispute of a new 18-inch pipe proposed by the Kauai Department of Water, which would tap into the East Wailua Watershed. Hawaii News Now.

County deeds Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center to HHSC
. The title of the land where the Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center is has been formally offered to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation by the county. Garden Island.

Waimea man opens home to Salt Pond residents. This week, Buna and wife Marcia Leialoha have taken in several families who were recently evicted from Salt Pond Beach Park with the closure of the county’s Shelter-In-Place program that allowed the houseless to set up camps during the pandemic. But this set-up may not last, either. Garden Island.

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