Monday, February 8, 2021

Hawaii important to China military missions, Green seeks to lower age for vaccinations, bankruptcies plunge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Troop transport at Pohakuloa Training Area ©2021 All Hawaii News
 Hawaii is used to train island-hopping military. Hawaii isn’t an island chain in the Western or South Pacific, but it is being used to replicate one for multiservice military training as the Army and Marines prepare to become a 21st-century island-hopping force to counter China. Star-Advertiser.

‘Golf ball’ radar helps plug gap in Pacific. The giant Sea-Based X-Band Radar has come and gone from Hawaii again as it embarks on another lengthy defense-of-the-homeland and missile defense testing mission. Star-Advertiser.


Lt. Gov. wants to push up vaccination of 65 and older as COVID-19 variants spread across mainland. Green says the state could potentially see a surge in cases among younger people who party or gather and that he worries they could bring the highly transmissible strain into their home and spread it to parents or kupuna. KHON2.

Other States Have Opened Vaccinations To Those As Young As 65. Why Not Hawaii?. Some argue the state should prioritize the most vulnerable before vaccinating a long list of essential workers. Civil Beat.


Hawaii House Panel Strikes Down DHHL Casino Proposal. A companion measure is still alive in the Senate, though the gambling bills face opposition from some legislative leaders and the governor. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Bills aim to save Hawaii’s beaches. Hawaii lawmakers are considering bills this legislative session that could force oceanfront property owners to remove sandbags and draped heavy tarps that can significantly contribute to coastal erosion. Star-Advertiser.

Wage hike bills draw concern. The minimum wage in Hawaii could rise as high as $17 an hour under several new bills in the state Legislature, which has some businesses worried about their future. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmakers consider moratorium on commercial business evictions. Commercial landlords would be prohibited from evicting tenants under a bill Hawaii lawmakers took up last week to try to assist businesses reeling from the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Advance New Tax On Alcoholic Drinks. The new state tax of 10 cents a drink would be in effect for the next three years, and raise about $62 million a year. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

House’s proposal ends contested case land use hearings, sending them directly to court. In a supposed effort to streamline the state’s contested case hearing process, a controversial new bill in the state Legislature would end those hearings over land use issues entirely. Tribune-Herald.


State bankruptcies plunged nearly 25% in January. The number of cases in January plunged 24.8% on the strength of financial aid as well as signs that the vaccine rollout is providing hope that Hawaii’s economy can recover in the second half of the year. Star-Advertiser.

Data shows some Hawaii public school students struggling amid coronavirus. Elementary school students are having trouble keeping up with coursework during the pandemic, with 21% “well below” proficiency in English and 15% falling short in math in the first semester, new public school data shows. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii to receive $2 million in opioid epidemic settlement. The state is set to receive nearly $2 million as part of its share in a multistate opioid epidemic settlement.  KHON2.

Micronesians Wait Their Turn As Other Pacific Islanders Head Home. Hundreds of people from Pacific islands and territories have been stranded abroad for months after their homelands closed borders early in the pandemic. Civil Beat.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 7: 75 New COVID-19 Infections And Two Deaths. Hawaii health officials reported 75 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday including 51 on Oahu, 15 on Maui, seven on the Big Island and two residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Police Commission questions disparities in use of force. The disproportionate involvement of Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Blacks in police arrests and “use of force” incidents caught the attention of Hono­lulu Police Commission members in their ongoing re-examination of Honolulu Police Department policies — an effort that sprung from recent police shootings on the mainland and calls for law enforcement reforms nationwide. Star-Advertiser.

Deadline for public input on new Aloha Stadium Entertainment District is Feb. 8. State officials released a drafted environmental impact statement detailing the project’s impacts on the surrounding environment on Dec. 23 and encouraged Hawaii residents to comment on the proposal. KHON2.

COVID-19 created a new problem for recently released inmates, prison reform advocates say. United Self-Help’s executive director said more and more of these maxed-out prisoners are being turned away from the shelters, forcing them to live on the streets. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Feds Fine Hilo Veterans Home $500,000 Over Deadly COVID-19 Outbreak
. State health officials said it was the largest fine they could recall for a longterm care facility. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

‘Funky,’ ‘goofy’ and postponed: Waikoloa project withdrawn. A rezoning and application for a Waikoloa affordable housing project with a past that a planning consultant called “funky” and a councilman called “goofy” were withdrawn Tuesday from the County Council Planning Committee for a redo. West Hawaii Today.


Hosts liable for underage drinking. Maui County Council unanimously approved a bill that will make the host of a Maui gathering at home or another private residence liable for illegal underage drinking. Maui News.

Mahi Pono farmers pivot amid pandemic. New crops go to market; 3,500 acres of plantings slated this year. Maui News.

New Maui Commission on Healing Solutions for Homelessness Accepting Applications. The Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency Committee is seeking applications for the new Commission on Healing Solutions for Homelessness, Chair Mike Molina announced today. Maui Now.


Public hearing on property-tax exemptions slated for today. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Finance will hold a public hearing today on proposed amendments to rules and regulations relating to real-property-tax home and related exemptions. Garden Island.

Survey: Princeville residents overwhelmingly dislike ‘glamping’ plan. A stunning 94% of Princeville residents and property owners believe that preserving open space in Hawai‘i’s first planned community is critical as it ponders its options in resisting a proposed luxury-camping resort. Garden Island.

40% of KCC students are food-insecure. Some 40% of Kaua‘i Community College students reported they are food-insecure, Chancellor Joe Daisy said last week. Garden Island.


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