Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness, HUD funds to buy out lava victims, Westboro Baptist Church to picket Maui high school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless in Honolulu ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness as trends improve, officials say. Hawaii no longer holds the ignominious title as the country’s leading state in per capita homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is No Longer No. 1 For Homelessness. New York Is Worse. Civil Beat.

Get Ready For An Economic Slowdown, State Economist Says. It’s not a recession yet but government should consider picking up some of the private sector’s slack as the construction industry wanes. Civil Beat.

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Rep. Chris Lee to seek Windward Senate seat. State Rep. Chris Lee has become the first prominent politician to announce plans to run for the soon-to-be- vacated state Senate seat held by Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo- Kailua), creating a fourth vacancy on the Windward side. Star-Advertiser.

Chris Lee Leaving House Seat For State Senate Run. The lawmaker is seeking the Kailua to Hawaii Kai seat being vacated by Laura Thielen. Civil Beat.

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Fighters and other aircraft will train over Hawaii for the Hawaii Air National Guard’s exercises. A dozen or more fighter jets are expected to roar off the reef runway at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport twice a day for the latest iteration of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s “Sentry Aloha” fighter exercise. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Returned $2M Of Ceded Land Revenue In 2019. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has previously pushed to have a cap on their ceded land revenues raised. Civil Beat.

Pushing to halt all aquarium fishing. Some conservation groups and Native Hawaiians are concerned the state isn’t following court orders for the environmental review of aquarium fishing and permit issuance in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Medicare Trims Payments To 8 Hawaii Hospitals. Medicare docks hospitals on an annual basis for too many patients returning to the hospital within a month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest health insurance company, has agreed to pay $180,000 and provide injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Assistant Superintendent Retires From DOE. Another assistant superintendent in the Hawaii Department of Education has left, marking the third departure from the core leadership team within a span of six months. Civil Beat.

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Hawaiian Telcom announced Tuesday that its chief of staff, and former broadcast journalist, Su Shin has been promoted to president and general manager effective Feb. 10. She replaces John Komeiji, who resigned as president and general manager. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom names new president and general manager. Hawaiian Telcom today announced that Su Shin, its Chief of Staff, has been promoted to President and General Manager effective February 10, 2020. KHON2.

Oahu

Audit: Honolulu Can’t Meet Building Industry Demands For Permits. Low pay, insufficient training and high turnover contribute to a permitting department that can’t keep up, the auditor found. Civil Beat.

City officials say new audit findings show help is needed at the Department of Planning and Permitting. A new audit found the department isn't keeping up with the demands of the building industry. KITV4.

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Oahu Grapples With Where To Place Its Next Landfill As It Confronts Its Waste Dilemma. About 30 trucks roll down Farrington Highway on the west side of Oahu every day to dump waste at the City and County of Honolulu's only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch. Hawaii Public Radio.

Auditor: Handi-Van Software – And Perhaps Its Operator – Need An Overhaul. The Honolulu auditor’s latest update on Handi-Van performance finds some progress, but the busy paratransit service still needs a lot of improvement. Civil Beat.

City issues 260 citations for illegal short term vacation rentals across the island. Despite the crackdown, hundreds of short term vacation rentals are still operating on the Windward side of O'ahu. KITV4.

Vacation Rentals Are Still Thriving In Kailua. Critics warned that a bill to crack down on illegal vacation rentals would doom Kailua’s economy. But months later, the town still bustles with tourists and hundreds of vacation rentals. Civil Beat.

1 year later, city touts success of Punawai Rest Stop for homeless. One year after it first opened its doors, city officials say the Punawai Rest Stop for homeless on Kuwili Street is a big success. Hawaii News Now.

Punawai Rest Stop homeless program recognizes one year anniversary. The city’s Punawai Rest Stop is a homeless program that is working. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Property buyouts mulled: County will use HUD funds to purchase land from those wanting to leave areas impacted by eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Contract awarded for road and trail repairs in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced Tuesday that it has awarded a $3.3 million contract to a construction company to repair roads and trails that were damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Eruption-Damaged Road Repairs In HVNP Set To Begin. Repairs to roads and paved trails in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park that were damaged during Kilauea Volcano’s 2018 eruption and summit collapse are set to begin in February. Big Island Video News.

Making housing affordable: Council panel advances resolution to reach solution. Government officials agree Hawaii County needs to construct more affordable housing, and there’s also agreement on the steps that can be taken to do it. But how to pay for it is open to debate. West Hawaii Today.

Audit sought for subdivision, zoning statutes. A Hawaii County Council committee voted in support of an audit that would be the first step in rewriting two chapters of the county code. Tribune-Herald.

Council members give thumbs down to Kim nominee. A Hawaii County Council committee voted against recommending a nominee to the Leeward Planning Commission Tuesday after a vetting process failed to discover a disciplinary complaint against him. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

In election year, search for new county clerk underway. New Maui County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee hopes to have candidates lined up for the Maui County clerk and deputy clerk positions — the county’s top two elections officials — in about two weeks. Maui News.

Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket at Maui High on Friday. Maui Baptist churches are denouncing and disassociating themselves from the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a widely recognized hate group that has announced plans to protest at Maui High School on Friday. Maui News.

Public Meetings to Discuss Hana Highway Bridge Updates. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will host a series of public meetings to discuss a project to improve six of the historic bridges along the Hāna Highway (Route 360), located between Huelo and Hana town. Maui Now.


Kauai

Cat kills Hawaiian petrel. A cat has been terrorizing Hawaiian petrel burrows in the mountains of the Hono NaPali Natural Area Reserve, and its latest kill was a chick involved in a scientific tracking project. Garden Island.

Molokai

Power slowly being restored to Molokai after island-wide outage. Most on Molokai were without electricity for much of the day Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

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