Thursday, January 21, 2021

Hawaii Legislature convenes without pomp, federal recognition for Hawaiians back on the table, Honolulu mayor names chief of staff, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Ka Leo University of Hawaii Manao Facebook page
Taro farmers offer free cuttings at Capitol as Hawaii Legislature convenes PC: Ka Leo o Hawai'i via Facebook, Ethan Weil

State Legislature opens without the usual revelry. The coronavirus pandemic and the shock waves it has sent through the economy, as well as heightened security as a result of the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, combined to create somber, austere ceremonies as lawmakers gathered on Wednesday to kick off this year’s legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

New legislative session opens with little fanfare, lots to get done. State lawmakers started the new legislative session Wednesday, but there wasn’t much of the usual fanfare. Because of the ongoing pandemic, members of the public could not attend and plexiglass separated lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Legislature Launches ‘Laser Beam’ Session In A Locked Down Capitol. Traditional festivities and speeches were all canceled amid security concerns and the threat of COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Legislature Convenes Under Heightened Security Concerns. Although the state capitol has already been closed to the public for several months in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, that ban is now more physically apparent. Hawaii Public Radio.

State House seeks solutions to fill budget gap without tax hike. Although Hawaii faces a massive budget deficit, leaders of the state House of Representatives said Wednesday that they have no desire to raise taxes. Tribune-Herald.

State Senate faces funding shortfall while trying to prop up economy. State Senate leaders said after the Legislature reconvened Wednesday that two of the biggest challenges during the 2021 session will be to decide what can be funded and whether taxes will need to be increased in order to contend with Gov. David Ige’s proposed budget cuts. Tribune-Herald.


Taro farming group makes peaceful splash at Hawaii Capitol amid inauguration security worries across country. A sizable security force that tried to be as low key as possible loomed over the Hawaii Capitol Wednesday as a taro farming sustainability group peacefully took center stage with 10,000 Hawaii state flags planted on the lawn, a band and the give-away of 10,000 taro plantings. Star-Advertiser.

Activists Rally At Capitol To Support Local Farmers. Participants handed out taro cuttings and called on lawmakers to invest in agriculture. Civil Beat.

Some are renewing a push for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians under Biden administration. The new administration is opening the door for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, allowing greater self-determination and control similar to other Native American tribes. KITV4.


Ige appointee called for his impeachment. Gov. David Ige’s appointee to the District 1 state Senate seat pushed for Ige’s impeachment less than a year and a half ago through a petition she posted on her public Facebook page. West Hawaii Today.

Senator Appointed By Ige Had Called To Impeach Him.
In a statement, Gov. David Ige said he knew about Sen. Laura Acasio’s background opposing the Thirty Meter Telescope when he appointed her. Civil Beat.


Biden order to help Hawaii renters, but expert requests more assistance. Of the 17 executive orders that President Biden signed on his first day of office Wednesday, an extension on the federal moratorium on evictions until the end of March will have a large impact on Hawaii’s propped-up rental market. KHON2.

Stranded American Samoans Are Finally Going Home After A Hawaii Quarantine. Hawaii is helping to coordinate with a testing and quarantine center in Waikiki to facilitate the first repatriation effort since the pandemic began. Civil Beat.

LIST: How and where to get a COVID-19 vaccine
in the state of Hawaii. KHON2.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 20: 75 New COVID-19 Cases And One Death. Hawaii health officials announced one death on Maui and 75 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 50 on Oahu, 14 on Maui, four on the Big Island, one on Kauai and six residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Sam Moku, Hawaii Pacific athletic director, to serve as Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s chief of staff. Hawaii Pacific University announced today that senior administrator Sam Moku will leave the university at the end of the month to become Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s chief of staff. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Hires HPU Athletics Director As Chief Of Staff. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced on Wednesday that he has selected Sam Moku to be his chief of staff. Civil Beat.

Mayor Blangiardi picks HPU athletic director as Chief of Staff. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has announced his new Chief of Staff. Blangiardi selected HPU Athletic Director Sam Moku to fill the key role. Hawaii News Now.


Longtime Honolulu fire chief Neves to retire. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves announced Wednesday he will retire Feb. 28 after 42 years of servi­ce — eight years as chief, holding the position longer than 14 of his predecessors. Star-Advertiser.

After 8 years on the job, Honolulu’s fire chief to retire next month.  After eight years on the job, Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves has announced he will retire in February. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium: Meetings seek public comment. Two virtual community meetings on the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District next week highlight the final two weeks of the public comment period on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Star-Advertiser.

Most city surveillance cameras in Chinatown are broken ― and won’t be fixed. The cameras and infrastructure are obsolete so broken pieces cannot be repaired. They have to be replaced. The city’s technology department, which maintains the equipment, previously estimated a new system would cost about $200,000. Hawaii News Now.

KITV4 Island News announces new owner: Allen Media Broadcasting. Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993 and has a growing portfolio of media companies, including 17 broadcast television stations across the country. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Big Island mayor released from hospital 11 days after heart attack. In addition to the stent surgeons implanted hours after the 56-year-old mayor was stricken on Jan. 9, Roth on Tuesday had a procedure to install an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Roth Released From Hilo Medical Center. On Tuesday, doctors implanted a pacemaker and defibrillator into Mayor Roth, after his January 9th heart attack. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Roth Released from HMC. Mayor Mitch Roth was released from Hilo Medical Center this afternoon in good health after suffering a heart attack earlier this month. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Island Mayor Mitch Roth discharged from hospital after heart attack. Hawaii News Now.

Waipio Valley Residents Still Seek A Deal Limiting Foot Traffic On Dicey Road. The Hawaii County Council deferred action on a bill to ban most pedestrians on the Waipio Valley Road, but residents believe a compromise may be near. Civil Beat.


Andrew Martin Appointed Maui Prosecuting Attorney. Mayor Michael Victorino today announced his appointment of Andrew Martin as Maui County prosecuting attorney. Martin’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Maui County Council. Maui Now.

Gym members mask up for new rules. New rules that went into effect on Tuesday limit business capacity to 30 percent and require gyms, yoga studios and similar fitness venues to ensure participants wear masks at all times, whether indoor or outdoor. Maui News.


Survey: over 4K furloughed employees will lose health insurance.
According to a recent survey of Kaua‘i businesses, 49% of respondents stated that their business will not survive more than 90 days without the significant return of tourism. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i celebrates Biden/Harris inauguration. Pockets of local inauguration celebrations joined the national event that took place in Washington, DC as President Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Garden Island.



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