Monday, November 4, 2019

Hawaii bankruptcies hit 5-year high, state looks to curb child sex trafficking, counties struggle with vacation rentals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Senate Provision Requires Impact Study Of Imported Orchids. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaiʻi, a state known for its orchid growing industry, wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to submit a report on the economic and environmental impacts of importing foreign orchids in growing media. Big Island Video News.

State bankruptcies hit highest level in 5 years. There were more bankruptcy filings in October than in any month since 2014 as the number of cases now appears nearly certain to top 2018’s full-year total in just 11 months. Star-Advertiser.

Feds called to resolve rail land dispute. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the city are turning to the federal government to help resolve a years-long stalemate over how to value land in a property exchange involving the rail project. Star-Advertiser.

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Protests are continuing against three separate projects in Hawaii. That’s led people who work with infrastructure development to rethink how they engage the public. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mauna Kea protests have exposed ‘corruption,’ activists say. There is a strong sense among them that the struggle over Mauna Kea has finally exposed systemic unfairness in public institutions that, among other injustices, allowed the TMT to win government approval. Star-Advertiser.

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Why Some Native Hawaiians End Up Selling Coveted Homesteads. So far this year, 16 residential homesteads have been sold on Oahu — allowing buyers to shortcut DHHL’s long waiting list. Civil Beat.

Aloha United Way helps families stay out of poverty. After waiting 60 years for a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands lot to build their home, Keonaona Salis and his family finally felt like they won the lottery. Star-Advertiser.

Principals Forced to Hire Non-speakers for Hawaiian Immersion Positions Amid Teacher Shortage. About 43 percent of Hawaiian immersion teachers do not speak Hawaiian. Maui Now.

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Authorities seek ways to protect children in the islands from sexual exploitation. It's a relatively unknown crisis that has hit our island paradise, but officials say more awareness about the issue of child sex trafficking is the first step to ending its vicious cycle. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii tourism industry is getting involved with sex trafficking awareness. It's part of an inaugural symposium that kicks off on Oahu Monday and will continue statewide through the week. KITV.

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September Vacation Rental Performance Report. For seven years, the State of Hawai‘i has set visitor arrival records. But during those years, the number of traditional lodging units, like hotels and timeshares, has increased only minimally. Big Island Now.

State drives toward renewable energy. Hawaii is getting a boost toward the goal of transitioning its municipal fleets to 100% renewable energy by 2045 thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Garden Island.

State Rep. John Mizuno (D-Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights) is calling for the U.S. Attorney General’s office to investigate allegations that New York City officials are shipping homeless people to Hawaii. Garden Island.

Why Nearly Half The Kids In An Island State Can’t Swim. Some Hawaii schools are working with community groups to make swim lessons more affordable and more widely available. Civil Beat.

Kaiser billing-practices suit against Queen’s dismissed. A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. against The Queen’s Health Systems over unfair billing practices. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Oahu short-term vacation rentals drop steeply since city’s crackdown Vacation rental supply fell on Oahu and the number of visitors reporting vacation rental stays dropped by about half in September, the first month since the city’s crackdown on illegal rentals took effect. Star-Advertiser.

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State to extend Pali Highway hours as crews prepare to wrap up repairs. The state is extending Pali Highway hours, giving Windward Oahu drivers the opportunity to use the route seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Pali Highway to open daily starting Monday. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has completed emergency slope repairs and is reopening the Pali Highway (Route 61) daily during daytime hours. KHON2.

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A new village-style homeless project could begin to rise by Thanksgiving on Oahu. A new village-style homeless project could start to rise in Kalaeloa before the end of the month. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Vacation rental applications flood Planning Department. A month after a key deadline for short-term vacation rentals, the Hawaii County Planning Department is plowing through almost 4,000 applications, including 1,150 seeking exemptions for nonconforming zoning. West Hawaii Today.

County to hear first appeal of vacation rental permit denial. A Captain Cook homeowner is appealing the county’s new short-term vacation rental law, saying it’s unconstitutional. West Hawaii Today.

Second lab sought for HMC cardiac clinic. Cardiac services continue to expand at Hilo Medical Center, with a full panel of cardiologists now on staff and treating patients, and hospital officials are hoping to keep that momentum going. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Thousands of meals made for local children in need. Two local companies team up for a good cause. Many hands made light work Saturday during a joint local effort to pack 20,000 dry meals for Maui children in need. Maui News.

Kauai

Spectrum restores internet, cable for Kauai residents after second lapse in service. Kauai residents are back online after another outage of phone, internet and cable services Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring Stop the Ant Month in support of little fire ant awareness on Kauai. Garden Island.

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