Tuesday, March 3, 2020

State park fees going up, Native Hawaiian skulls returned from England, Caldwell seeks 5.1% budget increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Snow atop Mauna Kea March 2, 2020. ©2020 All Hawaii News
Shower activity to slowly decrease as an upper level low moves north of the islands. KHON2.

BLNR approves parks fee increase proposal. Land Board members on Friday approved unanimously a State Parks proposal to increase an array of parks-related fees in an effort to increase revenue. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Lawmakers Hamstrung By Their Own Law On Special Funds. The auditor determined that none of the 63 special funds that legislators wanted to create this session met the high legal bar they set for themselves in 2013. Civil Beat.

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20 Native Hawaiian skulls are returned from England. Human remains taken from Hawaii in the name of science have been returned to the islands after more than a century in a museum in England. Star-Advertiser.

OHA, Hui Secure Return of 20 Iwi Kupuna. After a decade-long struggle, ancient Native Hawaiian remains housed in a foreign land have returned to Hawai‘i. Big Island Now.

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How Prepared Are Hawaii Hospitals For Coronavirus? Past training for outbreaks such as Ebola have hospitals equipped to deal with infectious diseases like the new coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Leahi Hospital being considered for quarantines. State officials are considering using Leahi Hospital in Kaimuki to quarantine any people in Hawaii who contract the deadly new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Additional hospitals adding virus screening. Local hospitals are ramping up their screening for anyone who walks in the door to make sure they don’t spread any viruses. KHON2.

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Weather dampens statewide efforts to count whales. Hundreds of volunteers counted 191 humpback whales on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island over the weekend, but heavy rain and wind resulted in challenging sighting conditions. Star-Advertiser.

More whales than most. Despite the blustery weather, Kaua‘i island with just 11 sites operating, posted the most average number of whales viewed per 15-minute count period at 2.4 whales “counted”, Saturday during the Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count for February. Garden Island.

Pacific Media Group is moving into television. PMG has acquired the Paradise Television Network in a transaction that took effect on March 1, 2020, the company announced Monday. Big Island Now.

Oahu

Mayor Caldwell’s $2.8B budget calls for 5.1% increase. There is a relatively flat property tax picture on Oahu and a need to find $71 million to pay for the first half-year of rail operations as well as other increasing expenses. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Ethics Commission Scrubs Financial Disclosures From Website. The records are now only available for inspection at Honolulu Hale and officials are charging for copies — even if that’s just taking photos with your phone. Civil Beat.

City Seeks Comments On Proposed $3 Fare, Free Transfers Between Bus and Rail. The Honolulu transit fare review body wants to raise the price of a bus ride by 25 cents to $3, but provide free transfers between the rail and bus. Hawaii Public Radio.

Glider Tours Get Federal Scrutiny After Dillingham Airfield Crash. Officials are looking more closely at the use of towplanes to get gliders aloft. Civil Beat.

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COVID-19 keeps L.A. Clippers from returning to Hawaii and postpones FESTPAC. The Los Angeles Clippers, who played in Hawaii the last three years, won’t return to the islands this year due to uncertainty over the spreading coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

FESTPAC international festival has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns. The 13th Festival of the Pacific Arts and Culture — or FESTPAC — has been postponed due to concerns of the coronavirus. KHON2.

Pacific Arts Festival Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns. Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture was planned for June but event organizers are putting it off as concern about COVID-19 grows. Civil Beat.

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Tents in Old Stadium Park offer temporary stay to the homeless. Honolulu officials said tents could be part of the solution in tackling homelessness on Oahu, the Old Stadium Park is the new location for the Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons or HONU that hopes to take hundreds off the street. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Council reacts to mayor’s proposed budget. Nonprofit organizations are set to get a $1 million raise in Mayor Harry Kim’s proposed budget, but County Council members will see their individual contingency accounts shrink from $100,000 to $20,000 each. West Hawaii Today.

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TMT opponents ask Japan to end involvement with project. Protesters in opposition to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea presented a letter to the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu urging the Japanese government to cease its involvement in the project. Tribune-Herald.

TMT opponents seek Japanese support as hiatus for telescope continues. As a pause in the Thirty Meter Telescope project at the summit of Mauna Kea continued, telescope opponents calling themselves kiai, or protectors of the mountain held sacred by many Native Hawaiians, took a break from their Big Island vigil to travel to Oahu on an outreach mission. Star-Advertiser.

TMT Opponents Visit Japan Consul, Refute Governor’s Claims. TMT opponents say there is no hoʻoponopono process taking place with Maunakea kiaʻi, and requested that Japan withdraw support for the planned observatory. Big Island Video News.

TMT opponents voice opposition outside of Japanese Consulate-General. Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope took their message to the Japanese Consulate-General in Nuuanu Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Mauna Kea protectors ask Japanese government to stop supporting the Thirty Meter Telescope. Protectors of Mauna Kea -- or kia'i -- took their fight against the Thirty Meter Telescope to the Japanese government. KITV4.

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Five Big Island residents self-monitoring for COVID-19. The Big Islanders are among 91 across the state — including 83 on Oahu, two on Kauai and one Maui — keeping tabs for symptoms of the coronavirus that’s sickened more than 88,000 worldwide and killed more than 3,000, the vast majority in mainland China. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Iron Works Rezoning Requested. The property owners want to rezone the current Open zoning designation to an Industrial-Commercial Mixed Use, in order to maintain the existing uses and structures at the site. Big Island Video News.

Maui

As Maui Weighs Countywide Vacation Rental Ban, Molokaʻi Is Divided On Impacts. Molokaʻi may become the first island in Hawaiʻi where new short-term vacation rentals are banned and old ones phased out. Hawaii Public Radio.

Haleakala summit dusted with snow. Winter weather brings cold rain, winds to isle. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauaʻi Residents Surprised, Disappointed After Councilman Brun's Arrest. The arrest on Thursday of Kauaʻi Council Member Arthur Brun has surprised and disappointed residents across the small island, while charges that he led a major drug ring selling methamphetamine has shaken the image of the tranquil, laid-back community. Hawaii Public Radio.

Organizations monitor COVID-19 spread. Kaua‘i officials said Monday there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, but some on-island resorts say they’re starting to see cancellations, some people who work with the public are donning masks and there have been reports of busy lines at local stores. Garden Island.

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