Thursday, February 6, 2020

Coronavirus could hamper Hawaii tourism, teacher pay hikes clear first hurdle, concerns over planned Dillingham closure, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tour group visits Hawaii shoreline ©2020 All Hawaii News
Virus could hamper Hawaii tourism growth. Hawaii economists Wednesday forecast slower growth in the tourism market over the next few years, but cautioned that the outlook doesn’t factor in the impact of the coronavirus — even if no one here gets it. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus travel warnings, cancellations begin to take toll on Hawaii tour companies. With no end in sight to the coronavirus outbreak, the travel warnings and flight cancellations are starting to take a toll on some Hawaii companies. Hawaii News Now.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Probably Won’t Get You Asylum In The U.S.. Two Chinese people taken into federal custody at Honolulu’s airport were reported to be seeking asylum because of the virus. Civil Beat.

Virus fears spur workers to wear masks on the job. With the threat of the coronavirus outbreak seemingly growing daily, the largest union representing hotel workers in the state is asking resort executives across the islands to allow their employees to wear surgical masks while on the job. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii teacher pay hike passes first hurdle in Senate. After emotional pleas from classroom teachers, the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday approved putting $25 million toward boosting the pay of teachers in hard-to-staff positions and adjusting the salary schedule to reward experience. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate bill aims to bolster teachers’ pay. Legislation proposed in the state Senate would help better fund teacher compensation if approved. Tribune-Herald.


House Bill allowing farmers to grow hemp receives preliminary approval from the Agriculture Committee. House Bill 18-19 allowing farmers to grow hemp received preliminary approval from the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday. KITV4.

Lawmakers propose to outlaw shipping of vaping products. Hawaii lawmakers are considering several bills to put a stop to teen vaping, a proposed change would outlaw electronic cigarette products bought online from being shipped to the state. KHON2.

State lawmakers propose stricter gun laws to keep firearms out of criminals' hands. A public hearing is set for Thursday to discuss a range of gun control measures, including notifying police when a gun owner passes away and requiring permits for ammunition purchases. KITV4.

Streamlining plan will require 38,000 Neighbor Island patients to find new health insurance. HMSA and United Healthcare won the Neighbor Island contracts. Kaiser and AlohaCare were left out and AlohaCare has since filed a protest that has frozen the award. Hawaii News Now.


Trump’s Revamp Of Major Environmental Law ‘A Big Disaster For Hawaii’. Proposed changes to one of the country’s most influential environmental laws could mean less public scrutiny and oversight of big projects. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit: Feds Failing To Protect Hawaii Waters From Plastics. Environmental groups say the EPA should have declared the state’s coastal waters as “impaired” due to significant plastic waste. Civil Beat.

Environmental groups sue Trump administration. Several environmental groups are taking a different approach to preventing plastic pollution in the ocean by taking the matter to court under the Clean Water Act. Garden Island.

Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Protect Hawaiian Waters From Plastic Pollution. Environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency today for allegedly failing to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaiʻi from what they are calling “wide-scale plastic pollution". Maui Now.


Hawaii Taxpayers To Foot Bill For Student’s Near-Drowning, Teen’s Fatal Scooter Crash. The Ige administration is asking the Legislature to approve over $1 million worth of settlements. Civil Beat.

Ige Announces Environmental Quality Control Pick. Kathleen Ho will require Hawaii Senate approval for the director position. Civil Beat.

Ige Taps Kathleen Ho as Next OEQC Director. Kathleen S. Y. Ho is slated to become the next Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control in the state Department of Health, Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday. Big Island Now.


Aviation businesses worry about Dillingham Airfield closure. U.S. Army Hawaii was notified Jan. 23 that the state intended to end the lease early and vacate Dillingham Airfield by June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns take flight over the future of Dillingham Air Field. Businesses at the Dillingham Air Field on Oahu say they’ve been hearing that the state plans to shut down the small air field soon, but none of them have been officially informed. Hawaii News Now.

State wants to vacate Dillingham Airfield as soon as this Summer. The state DOT leased and ran Dillingham Airfield for nearly 50 years and has just recently told the feds they want out within months. KHON2.


North Shore community fights for a louder voice in planning of future projects. Eight newly installed wind turbines of the Na Pua Makani wind farm are now up in Kahuku. Hawaii News Now.

Fight Over Green Building Code Highlights Challenge Of Phasing Out Carbon. A proposal before the Honolulu City Council aims to reduce the long-term carbon footprint of Oahu’s buildings, but it has run into opposition from the island’s gas utility and construction industry. Hawaii Public Radio.


Second set of Hibiscus remains ID’d as suspected killer Hanel. The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the second set of remains found in a Diamond Head house on Hibiscus Drive that burned on Jan. 19 as suspected killer Jerry J. “Jarda” Hanel, 69. Star-Advertiser.

Final Remains In Diamond Head Incident Identified. As was expected, they are of arson-and-shooting suspect Jerry Hanel. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Medical Examiner IDs 2nd Set Of Remains At Shooting/Fire. The Honolulu medical examiner has identified the second set of remains at the scene of the fatal Diamond Head-area shooting and fire as Jerry Hanel. Hawaii Public Radio.


Chinese firm seeks partners or buyer for Makaha project. A Chinese company with an ambitious Makaha Valley resort development plan is seeking investors or a buyer for the project, raising uncertainty over the plan it announced last year that includes golf superstar Tiger Woods designing one of two golf courses at the heart of the endeavor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State, Hawaii County Partner On Coronavirus Guide. Hawaii County and the state of Hawaii on Wednesday announced that they had collaborated to produce an informational brochure to inform folks about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Hawaii County, State Produce Coronavirus Brochure. The County and State of Hawaiʻi have collaborated to produce an informational brochure to inform the community about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Big Island Video News.

Council moves GET money for Puna bus depot. An administration plan to fast-track a bus depot for Puna by buying land from a politically connected property owner has been derailed by the discovery that the property doesn’t have the environmental clearances the county thought it had. West Hawaii Today.


Single-use plastics eyed for next Maui County ban. Proposal mulled in council committee. Utensils, straws and other single-use disposable plastics may be banned from Maui County if a proposed bill being considered in a County Council committee gains traction. Maui News.

Sugimura Continues as Chair of MPO Policy Board. Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura will continue to serve as chair for the policy board of the Maui Metropolitan Organization, an independent entity that facilitates state and county work on federally funded transportation projects. Maui Now.

Maui County to restore eroding sand dunes at a Kihei shoreline. A new effort to restore a Maui shoreline in Kihei is set to begin next week. Hawaii News Now.

Wailuku infrastructure work begins. Lane closures, traffic disruptions expected. Maui News.


Kipu Ranch Adventures receives enviromental award. Kipu Ranch Adventures recently received the Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year award for 2019 from the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawai‘i. Garden Island.


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