Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Pay to Play: Feds bust Honolulu Planning Department employees for allegedly accepting bribes, Legislature adds tax hikes, keeps budget papers secret, vaccination passport in the works, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu Hale city hall ©2021 All Hawaii News

Five Honolulu Planning Department Employees Indicted For Bribery. Federal prosecutors say city workers accepted tens of thousands of dollars to fast track permits and provide other special treatment. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


State officials won’t release unemployment office budget. As state House leaders finalized their version of the biennial budget last week, they announced they had appropriated $105 million to Hawaii’s labor department to tackle a massive problem: thousands of unpaid unemployment claims and a call center so overwhelmed that some residents have tried for months to get through to an agent without success. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate Committee Mulls Inheritance And Conveyance Tax Increases.
Even after a $1.6 billion federal bailout, a key lawmaker says the state might need more money. Civil Beat.

A bill that would provide rent relief to businesses advances in state Legislature. As more businesses bite the dust and fall victim to the economic impact of the pandemic, the state passed a bill to help businesses recover from back rent. Hawaii News Now.

House panel suspends state Rep. Sharon Har DUI inquiry. A special committee in the House of Representatives set up to investigate state Rep. Sharon Har’s arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in February is suspending its proceedings until charges in the criminal case are resolved. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.


Ige Names 3 To UH Board Of Regents. The 11-member board is tasked with overseeing the 10-campus University of Hawaii system. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers are the first to track freshwater plumes rising from the ocean floor. University of Hawaii at Manoa scientists have figured out how to detect and image underwater freshwater plumes rising from the ocean floor, a scientific first that could have wide-ranging implications for oceanography, hydrology and the study of sea life in coastal waters. Star-Advertiser.

Most visitors would recommend going to the Hawaiian islands if quarantine lifted. Hawaii has seen a travel resurgence since spring break travelers began appearing. The seven-day average of trans-Pacific travelers was 20,330 as another 19,491 travelers flew into Hawaii on Monday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaii moving forward using coronavirus vaccine passport for travel. State officials are moving toward issuing some type of vaccination passport to travel in and out of Hawaii as thousands of Hawaii residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 every day. KHON2.

For Many Hawaii Companies, The Pandemic Has Changed Work Forever. Many companies are grappling with when — and whether — to bring workers back to the office and how to do so safely. Civil Beat.

Army gets long-range missiles to guard against China. In a discussion Tuesday on the future of the Army in the Indo-Pacific, two top service leaders reiterated that the ground force isn’t stepping on the toes of the Marine Corps or Air Force budgetwise or operationally in developing long-range missiles. Star-Advertiser.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green: Hawaii Still on Track for July Herd Immunity. He predicts that 1.7 million vaccine doses will be administered by then and roughly 80 percent of the state's population will be inoculated. KITV4.

In big milestone, 25% of eligible population in each county received at least 1 dose of vaccine. In a major milestone in Hawaii’s vaccination efforts, a quarter of the eligible population in each county has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state Department of Health reported Monday. Hawaii News Now.

March 30, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 71 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 45 on O‘ahu, 12 on Maui, six on Hawai‘i Island one on Kaua‘i, and seven in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Ban on disposable plastic food utensils and single-use bags starts Thursday in Honolulu. Starting Thursday, when a city ordinance aimed at reducing plastic pollution takes effect, Honolulu food vendors will be prohibited from providing or offering conventional, disposable service ware made of petroleum-derived plastic. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Violent crimes are happening around Oahu, yet HPD is failing to provide crucial info. There was another high-profile murder in Honolulu this week — and once again, there was a lack of communication from the Honolulu Police Department in sharing crucial information. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiser Permanente opens mass vaccination clinic at Kapolei movie theater. People were lining up at Kapolei’s Consolidated Theatres on Tuesday, March 30, not for movie tickets but for a COVID-19 shot. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

3 isle schools to get capital improvement funds. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced the release of more than $165 million in CIP money to fund critical infrastructure projects. Tribune-Herald.

Bill would partially restore lifeguard funding. State senators are set to take up Thursday the House’s proposed two-year budget bill that restores some funding for lifeguard services at five state beach parks, including two on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Wayne Higaki Returns To UH Board of Regents. Governor David Ige on Tuesday announced the appointment of Higaki, who has served on the BOR representing Hawai‘i County (West) since 2015. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Orchards LP sues Hawaiian Host affiliate over debt. Hawaii’s largest macadamia nut farm has sued an affiliate of Hawaiian Host Group over unpaid nut deliveries two months after investors saved the local candy and snack maker from potential bankruptcy. Star-Advertiser.

New Malama Market Pahoa opens today. Malama Market’s new location will be the largest in the state. At 35,000 square feet, it is more than three times larger than its previous location down the road. Tribune-Herald.


Inmate injured in 2019 riot sues state, cites overcrowding.
Lawsuit alleges department failed to keep prisoners safe. Maui News.

Transport of inmates to court may resume with cluster ‘under control’. Maui Community Correctional Center and court officials are discussing resuming the transport of inmates to court “now that the virus spread has been mitigated” at the Wailuku jail, a state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman said Monday. Maui News.


KFD and KPD take budget, positions cuts in FY 22 proposal. The county was recently tasked with balancing core services and operations with a tighter belt, and proposed a $243-million operating budget and $24.3-million capital improvement projects budget, with no position layoffs. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Legislature advances capital gains tax hike, cuts services and jobs in proposed budget, public TV exec implicated in CARES fraud case, rental car shortage as tourism surges, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sylvia Luke, Donovan Dela Cruz
Legislative money chairs Rep. Sylvia Luke, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (file)

Hawaii state agencies in an uproar as budget eliminates hundreds of positions. State agencies were in an uproar Monday as they fought to reinstate funding for hundreds of government positions and hold onto tens of millions of dollars squirreled away in special funds that normally fall outside of the legislative budget process. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Advance Capital Gains Tax Increase. A proposal to jack up the top rates for state capital gains taxes on businesses and wealthier individuals cleared an important hurdle Monday by winning unanimous approval in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Civil Beat.

Labor director asks lawmakers for millions to expand unemployment services. Following a COVID infection in a staffer last week, the state’s unemployment office call center at the Hawaii Convention Center reopened Monday. The reopening comes as the labor director asked the state for more than $100 million to expand call-center services. Hawaii News Now.

State bill would make sex with animals illegal. A bill that would make sexual abuse of animals a Class C or Class B felony in Hawaii is scheduled to be heard today in the state House. Star-Advertiser.

‘What About Us?’: Retailers Struggle To Find Their Way Through The Pandemic. The state had 10,000 fewer retail trade jobs at the end of 2020 than it had in 2019. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Private Schools See Enrollment Drop More Than 20% For Preschoolers. The changes varied school to school and island to island, based on a new report by the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. Civil Beat.

With Love’s Bakery closure a day away, its brand will live on. Portland-based Franz Family Bakery, also known as United States Bakery, announced Monday that it has acquired a license to produce the Love’s-branded items on the mainland for Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green warns of surge if people let down their guard, with majority of cases among younger set. Lt. Gov. Josh Green warned Hawaii residents that the number of corona­virus cases could continue to rise if people let their guard down and hold large gatherings. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii seniors now have lowest rate of COVID cases.
A year after COVID first hit Hawaii, there has been a dramatic switch in who is getting the coronavirus. Thanks to mass vaccinations, seniors 65 and older now have the lowest rate in the state. KITV4.

March 29, 2021 COVID-19 Update:
The state Department of Health reports that there were 103 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 52 on O‘ahu, 36 on Maui, 10 on Hawai‘i Island and five Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


City and County of Honolulu to receive half of its $365 million federal funds by early May. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz explained that the city can use the funds from the new stimulus package to make up for lost tax revenue, which last year’s CARES Act did not allow for. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Want New Group To Determine Future Of OHA Kakaako Makai. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says it does not plan to cooperate with the group if it two resolutions pass the Legislature. Civil Beat.

While businesses welcome a tourism boom, some worry it came too quickly. As coronavirus cases rise on Oahu, some fear it means falling back into Tier 2 restrictions. Mayor Blangiardi has said that’s not an option. Hawaii News Now.

Turtle Bay Resort to reopen July 1 as rise in visitors sparks hope for tourism industry. Turtle Bay Resort is still closed to guests, but the 450 construction workers readying the property for a summer reopening are a sign that better times are coming for Hawaii’s visitor industry — if they aren’t already here. Star-Advertiser.

$1,000 a day to rent a car? Low supply, surging demand are pushing up prices. Rental cars are a hot commodity in Honolulu. If you can reserve one ― and that’s not guaranteed ― prepare to pay top dollar. Hawaii News Now.

Waialua Beach Road bridge closed indefinitely due to structural instability. The Department of Transportation Services is keeping the Waialua Beach Road bridge closed indefinitely as repairs are ongoing following recent damages from heavy rainfall and flooding. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii reopens campus next fall with more classes offered in-person. The University of Hawaii announced Monday it will be reopening its campus and amenities next fall, and it will be slowly transitioning students back to the classroom. KHON2.

University of Hawaii’s Snyder Hall to be razed as part of Mini Master Plan. Construction barriers have gone up around Snyder Hall at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in preparation for its demolition in May, marking the start of Phase 2 of the campus’ Mini Master Plan. Star-Advertiser.

Care center employees in Nuuanu ‘locked out’ amid contract talks. Dozens of workers have been locked out of the Care Center of Honolulu amid ongoing contract negotiations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Higa implicated in fraud case: Na Leo TV president to be placed on leave following federal plea deal. The board of directors for Na Leo ‘O Hawaii TV is putting Stacy Higa, its CEO and president, on leave after a former associate alleged in federal court he and Higa were involved in a scheme to fraudulently funnel federal coronavirus relief funds to the Big Island public-access cable TV nonprofit. Tribune-Herald.

Nishimoto leaves Public Works.
Just four months into his four-year term, Mayor Mitch Roth has lost his first top official, with Merrick Nishimoto leaving as deputy director of the Department of Public Works. West Hawaii Today.

Citing mounting costs, Hawaii County considers changes to post-travel testing program. A modified COVID-19 testing system for arriving passengers is in the works on the Big Island, the only county that still tests people upon arrival. Hawaii News Now.

‘Carmageddon’ Crashes Into Big Island, as Rental Industry Swallowed by Mass Demand. Anyone on the hunt for a rental car in Hawai´i is in for a disappointing month. At least. Big Island Now.

Nearly 15% of Big Islanders fully vaccinated.
Nearly 15% of the more than 199,000 people on the Big Island are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, state data released Monday shows. West Hawaii Today.

East Hawaii a ‘hot spot’ for new virus cases. According to data from the state Department of Health, 41 new cases have been reported in Hilo over the past 14 days, and 25 new cases have been reported in Kailua-Kona during that same period. Tribune-Herald.


Upcountry Councilmember Sugimura Hosting Public Online Meeting April 1 about FY 2022 Budget. Maui County Upcountry Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura will host an online meeting to hear input from community members about the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 budget on April 1 at 5:30 pm. Maui Now.

$11 Million in Economic Coronavirus Relief for 5 Airports in Maui County.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Airports Division has received authorization for $11,098,912 in Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations for five airports in Maui County. Maui Now.

Mokulele Airlines Completes Maui Terminal Renovation; New Kahului-Hilo 4x Daily Route. Mokulele Airlines held a blessing today, marking completion of a long-awaited facelift of its Kahului Commuter Terminal on Maui. Maui Now.

Mass vaccination draws more than 1,000. More than 1,000 people were vaccinated at a COVID-19 mass vaccination Saturday at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Wailuku Medical Office. Maui News.

Visitors to Maui hit post-pandemic high in February. Maui County hotels also led state in revenue per room. Maui News.


Kauai County expands vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and up. Kauai is expanding vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and up, in a major step forward as the county prepares to rejoin the Safe Travels program for trans-Pacific visitors. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

County behind on landfill closing costs. The estimated closing costs are about $26.2 million, and the county has about $15.4 million saved away already, Acting Solid Waste Management Division Head Allison Fraley reported Monday to the Kaua‘i County Council. Garden Island.

Aguilar has two hearings in April.
After being arrested last week on two counts of sexual exploitation of a child under the age of 18 by directing his victim into producing child pornography, Victor Aguilar, 65, a former educator and JROTC instructor at Waimea High School, made his first court appearance via phone from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center on Monday. Garden Island.

Monday, March 29, 2021

COVID cases rise as vaccination passport system in works, guilty plea in CARES funds scam, HGEA files grievance over mass rail layoffs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Humpback whale watching off Hawaii ©2021 All Hawaii News

Data gathered for humpback whale count from Kaua’i, O’ahu, Hawai’i, and Maui. Marine experts held the last humpback whale count of the season Saturday, March 27, 2021. About 68 trained leaders from NOAA gathered data from the 42 sites across Kaua’i, O’ahu, Hawai’i, and Maui. KHON2.

Neighbor island lawmakers’ per diem overlooked as 10% raise could go into effect. Neighbor island state senators and representatives continue to earn $225 for every day of the legislative session, weekends and even after the session — valued at nearly half of their $62,604 legislative salaries — even as some have criticized the possibility of legislative pay raises in July. Star-Advertiser.

Bills to get Hawaii income taxes from real estate investment trusts die. State lawmakers have once again taken a pass at trying to abolish a tax break for real estate investment trusts operating in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Nonprofit Leader Pleads Guilty To Embezzling And Agreeing To Take A Bribe. Hanalei Aipoalani also admitted using his position as a Honolulu grant administrator to direct money to the CEO of Hawaii island’s public access TV station. Civil Beat.

Should Hawaii Invest To Help Workers Displaced By The Pandemic Find New Careers? Hawaii paid hundreds of unemployed tourism workers to learn new job skills last year. Now state lawmakers want to create a permanent jobs corps — but no one knows how to fund it. Civil Beat.

Cocktails To Go? Hawaii Restaurants Hope Service Will Outlast The Pandemic. To help struggling bars and restaurants stay in business amid COVID-19 lockdowns, Gov. David Ige signed an executive order last April to allow establishments with a liquor license to sell alcohol to-go and for home delivery for the first time in state history. Civil Beat.

Many Inmates Leaving Prison Are Still Having Trouble Getting ID Cards. Advocates say something as simple as a state ID card can make all the difference for released convicts. Civil Beat.

Vaccination Passport System in the Works, Lt. Gov. Green Says. Governments in other parts of the world have started setting up vaccination passport systems in an effort to further open up borders, live events and tourism. As for Hawai‘i, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said he sees a vaccination tracking system coming soon. Hawaii Public Radio.

As COVID case counts rise, health officials push more testing across the state. The statewide COVID case count average rose nearly 60% in the past two weeks, and experts are worried about a drop in testing for the virus. They fear the vaccination rollout has caused people to let down their guard. Hawaii News Now.

March 28, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 102 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Sunday, including 61 on O‘ahu, 26 on Maui, and 15 on Hawai‘i Island. Maui Now.


Rising COVID-19 cases could push Oahu back to Tier 2.
If the number of positive COVID-19 cases on Oahu continues to climb, the island could move back to Tier 2 restrictions on business and social activities, which limit gatherings to five people. Star-Advertiser.

Police break up another large concert in Kapolei as partiers ignore COVID rules. Another weekend, another large concert on the west side. This time, HPD took action, arresting one man. Hawaii News Now.

In an effort to ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ scores gather at the state Capitol to push for change. Scores rallied at the state Capitol Saturday to call for an end to racism and misogyny. The event on Oahu, known as the “Stop Asian Hate Rally” was one of many rallies that were held across the country to advance an important conversation -- fighting hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu man pleads guilty to embezzlement, bribery over CARES Act funds. Prosecutors say a Waianae man agreed to accept a bribe in exchange of federal pandemic aid money. Hanalei Aipoalani, 42, pleaded guilty to the charges of embezzlement and bribery on Friday. He was hired by the city last August to administer the federal funds. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

HGEA files grievance against HART after interim CEO lays off dozens without notice.
The state’s largest labor union has filed a grievance against the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation over recent layoffs at the troubled rail project. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu rail’s future tied to questions of federal obligation. Joe Uno, a member of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors, has been frustrated in trying to get the board to discuss ideas for an unspecified “Plan C” for how to complete and fund the city’s troubled rail project, which faces a budget shortfall of $3.68 billion. Star-Advertiser.

Developers readying affordable apartment projects on Oahu. Thirteen developers have submitted applications for building permits to produce roughly 300 apartments under a 2-year-old city ordinance that provides incentives for private developers to build such projects in areas zoned for apartment use. Star-Advertiser.

Kakaako streets remain in disrepair after judge rules ownership away from two brothers. A state judge recently removed what some Kakaako business owners and residents regarded as a troll of sorts that collected tolls to park on several longtime public streets. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kahele talks COVID relief, infrastructure. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele is touting the merits of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — the third and probably last federal coronavirus relief package — and President Joe Biden’s plan to spend upwards of $3 trillion on America’s infrastructure. Tribune-Herald.

Roth addresses West Hawaii Forum. It’s all still a waiting game as Mayor Mitch Roth works on his proposed budget, with the county awaiting word from the state and the state awaiting word from the federal government before anticipated revenues become more solid. West Hawaii Today.

Solar water tax break program dims. The County Council will soon be considering a bill eliminating a tax break for property owners who install solar hot water panels on their property. West Hawaii Today.

Researcher: Hilo evacuation maps should account for possible megatsunami. Hilo’s existing tsunami evacuation zones are not sufficient to respond to a hypothetical megatsunami, according to a University of Hawaii researcher. Tribune-Herald.

Portuguese cultural center plans scaled back. Nearly five years after fundraising for the effort began in earnest, plans for the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Cultural and Educational Center have gone back to the drawing board. Tribune-Herald.

Vaccinating a village: 120 residents of the Miloliʻi Fishing Village receive one-shot vaccine. West Hawaii Today.


1,000 People Get Shots at Mass Vaccination Site in Wailuku. More than 1,000 eligible individuals, both Kaiser Permanente members and non-members, were vaccinated at a mass vaccination event held on Saturday, March 27, at the Kaiser Permanente Wailuku Medical Office. Maui Now.

As travel returns, some changes here to stay. Airlines, hotels say increased cleaning, digital services among lasting effects. One year later, Hawaii’s travel and tourism industries are turning the page to a “new normal,” a term that has been tossed around throughout the pandemic and at times still feels like a moving target.  Maui News.

More Rental and Mortgage Assistance Available on Maui. A Maui Economic Opportunity rental and mortgage assistance program targeting Maui County residents economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic received an additional infusion of $900,000 from the county managed Community Development Block Grant fund. Maui Now.


Half of Kaua‘i’s population vaccinated. Professor Amy Ebesu Hubbard of the Department of Communicology said in Hawai‘i, 31% of the adult population have received at least one dose, and 36% have indicated that they will definitely get the vaccine. Garden Island.

Hanapepe bridge project takes step backward. After a month of pouring new concrete on the north side of the new Kaumuali‘i Highway bridge over the Hanapepe River, Kalaheo resident Robert Brodowy spotted some highway workers jackhammering out yards of the new pour. Garden Island.

Team Rubicon cleans up after flooding. A veteran-led organization has launched a statewide operation to support recovery on three of the most-heavily-impacted islands, including Kaua‘i, which was affected by the recent heavy rain and flooding earlier this month. Garden Island.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Hawaii tax burden highest in nation, state opens vaccinations to 60 and up, unemployment call center shuts down after worker tests positive, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

©2021 All Hawaii News
Hula demonstration at Merrie Monarch festival ©2021 All Hawaii News

Merrie Monarch competition will take place in June with no live audience. The vaunted hula competition was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii opens vaccines to people 60 and older. The state health director did an about-face Thursday afternoon when she opened COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday to those 60 and older in the state. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii unemployment call center shuts down after staffer tests positive for COVID-19. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations shut down operations at the call center at the Hawai‘i Convention Center ballroom in Waikiki after the staff member tested positive on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii thinktank shows state tax burden is highest in the nation. Using data from the National Association of State Budget Officers and the U.S. Census Bureau, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii found the per capita burden for Hawaii is $5,428 in 2020, which is compared to national averages of $2,664 in 2020. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii businesses, unemployed on the hook for $450M in taxes
as state opts not to follow federal lead. If you received federal relief to help cope during the coronavirus pandemic, prepare for a hefty tax bill — not from the feds, but from the state. KHON2.

Spring acceleration helps Safe Travels hit 2 million travelers. Traveler screenings under Safe Travels Hawaii, the state’s COVID-19 testing entry program, passed the 2 million mark this week as March momentum fueled the visitor industry. Star-Advertiser.

Despite potential obstacles, state pushes forward on vaccine passport plan. The start of Hawaii’s vaccine passport program might take a bit longer than expected, but state officials say they’re committed to the idea. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s daily visitor count averaged 90,776 in February. The daily visitor census in Hawaii, on any given day in February, was about 36% of the same time last year. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now.

Food aid fails to keep up with need among Hawaii’s hungry. Nearly half of all households with children in Hawaii are “food insecure,” with 15% simply not having enough to eat, according to a new report from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Social Sciences. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

$1.1 Million in New Grants Awarded To Accelerate Vaccinations to Hawai’i’s Underserved Residents. The Hawai‘i Community Foundation is investing $1.1 million in new grants to support and accelerate community vaccination efforts for underserved residents of Hawai’i. Maui Now.

Hawaii Senate Considering Recognition Of Micronesian Contributions. Citing historical relationships and current hardships, the resolutions call for support of Compact of Free Association migrants. Civil Beat.

Strong Conservation Efforts Lead to Proposal To Downlist Endangered Hawaiian Stilt to Threatened. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to downlist the aeʻo (Hawaiian stilt)from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Service is seeking public comment on the proposed change in status for the aeʻo from March 24 – May 24.  Maui Now.

12 COVID cases reported in fully vaccinated individuals in Hawaii, DOH says. Classified as ‘breakthrough cases,’ the infections happened no sooner than 14 days after the individuals got their second dose. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

March 25, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 122 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Thursday, including 84 on O‘ahu, 20 on Maui, 12 on Hawai‘i Island, and six in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


Honolulu rail project still determining who is responsible for needed rail track repairs.
With 16 miles out of 20 built, the rail is continuing to grapple with repairs needed for track infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

Opponents demonstrate against putting solar farm on Hawaiian Home Lands site.
Opponents of a planned solar energy farm on land in Nanakuli Valley owned by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands took to a busy street during rush-hour traffic Thursday to protest the project. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Overtime Reached New Heights In The Last Fiscal Year. The Honolulu Police Department said on Thursday that it spent nearly $40 million on overtime in fiscal year 2020, more than double the amount five years earlier. Civil Beat.

City releases draft assessment for a proposed pedestrian bridge across the Ala Wai Canal. The city published a Draft Environmental Assessment Tuesday for the proposed project to construct a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Ala Wai Canal. Hawaii News Now.

These Makaha Residents Are Hoping To Move A Major Highway. Moving Farrington Highway mauka of Makaha Beach Park has been part of a master plan since 1998. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police issue 93 citations, make 6 arrests for trespassing in just over a week at Haiku Stairs. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Construction to begin on upcoming business park in West Oahu.  A ceremonial groundbreaking was held this week for the upcoming Hoopili Business Park in Leeward Oahu, adding to what many say is the island’s growing “second city.”  Private investment company Jupiter Holdings will begin building on a 44 acre plot of land between the H-1 Freeway and Farrington Highway. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Guy Paul, former police chief, dies at 85. Guy Anthony Paul, former Hawaii County police chief, died March 18 at Hale Anuenue in Hilo after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Tribune-Herald.


After confusion over high school graduation ceremonies, Maui mayor says it will be held in-person. Parents of Baldwin High School received an email from the school giving seniors an option to either have a drive-through diploma presentation with their families or a graduates-only ceremony. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Visitors Down 52% Through February to 29,060 Per Day. For the first two months of 2021, visitors to Maui were down 58 percent to 29,060 visitors per day, compared to a census of 69,281 visitors per day at the same time in 2020. Maui Now.

Health Department’s cluster report looks at ‘spillover’ cases on Maui. The DOH is investigating a cluster in a Maui middle school where one cluster most likely “spilled over” into another. Officials say all the cases in the school cluster can be linked to source cases in their households that belong to two other clusters: one in a large, faith-based setting and another among hotel employees. KHON2.


County sees another lean fiscal year. The last time the state paid the county its cut of the transient accommodations tax was in April 2020. Garden Island.

Wording mix-up defers use-permit application. An application to bring permitting compliance to the Longman Jiu-Jitsu Academy and add a juice bar to the Kilauea Old Mill Building brought dozens of testifiers out to a county Planning Commission meeting earlier this month. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Federal court upholds Hawaii's open carry gun limits, state won't extend income tax deadline or exempt unemployment, Ige may veto marijuana decriminalization bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Andy Montes de Oca on Unsplash
Photo by Andy Montes de Oca on Unsplash

Ruling upholds Hawaii’s limits on carrying guns in public. Hawaii’s strict limit on openly carrying firearms is lawful, a panel of federal appeals court judges ruled today in a lawsuit by a man who tried unsuccessfully several times to obtain a license to carry a loaded gun in public. Associated Press.

Hawaii saw record number of firearm permit applications in 2020. A record high total of 26,122 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2020, marking a 62.3 percent increase from 16,098 applications processed in 2019. Maui Now. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.


Despite federal extension, state says it won’t budge on its tax filing deadline. The state Department of Taxation said Tuesday that the filing deadline for 2020 remains April 20. Hawaii News Now.

Bill exempting jobless benefits from state taxes hits a snag. Senate Bill 614 would exempt unemployment compensation, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, received by Hawaii residents between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 31 when the coronavirus ravaged the local economy. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Ige has ‘big concerns’ about marijuana bill. A bill that would legalize the personal use of marijuana in Hawaii is still alive, but Gov. David Ige suggested Wednesday that he intends to veto it. Tribune-Herald.

DUI threshold bill stalls: House committee defers measure to lower legal blood alcohol limit. A House committee Tuesday deferred a measure that would have made Hawaii the second state in nation to lower its blood-alcohol threshold for drunken driving to 0.05. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers Advance Bail Reform To Fix A ‘Broken’ System. Both the House and Senate seem open to the idea of releasing more minor offenders without bail. Civil Beat.

Affordable teacher housing bill moves forward. A Senate bill that would authorize the state to provide affordable rental housing units for teachers has moved one step closer to being passed. West Hawaii Today.


Hawaii vacation rental outlook brightens, sees dramatic increase in tourism industry. The outlook is getting brighter for short-term vacation rentals, which put more heads on beds at available units in February and held onto rates better than their hotel counterparts. Star-Advertiser.

Government officials, UH remain silent on return of fans to sports. Big West Conference schools can now decide if they want to allow fans at games. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Antiquated 211 Phone Line Gets A Much Needed Upgrade.
As the pandemic escalated last year, soaring call volumes crashed the system. Hawaii Data Collaborative is helping overhaul it. Civil Beat.

Coronavirus vaccinations: Hawaii to miss President Joe Biden’s goal. Hawaii will come to close to meeting President Joe Biden’s nationwide goal of having all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1, but the islands likely will be a week or two behind schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns over coronavirus travel passport verification process. State officials are working on a travel passport that would allow fully vaccinated travelers to bypass testing and quarantine. KHON2.

Rather than targeting high-risk conditions, state uses age as ‘a guide’ for vaccine rollout. Hawaii remains on track to open vaccinations to every adult in early May, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said, but many are still anxious to know when it will be their turn. Hawaii News Now.

March 24, 2021 COVID-19 Update:
The state Department of Health reports that there were 58 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including 24 on O‘ahu, 22 on Maui, seven on Hawai‘i Island, one on Moloka‘i, one on Kaua‘i, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


University Of Hawaii Report Finds ‘Discriminatory Policing’ In Honolulu Schools. Researchers said Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Black students were disproportionately cited for offenses like running away from home or truancy. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Nominates Former HPD Officer For Police Commission. The Police Commission conducts oversight of HPD and has the power to hire and fire the chief. Civil Beat.

Oahu Customers May See Their Electric Bills Rise Next Year As Power Plant Converts. But Hawaiian Electric says its Kapolei Energy Storage project will save customers money over the life of the project. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente partners with Consolidated Theatres to open vaccination site in Kapolei. The health care provider said it will be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day at the theater, located at 890 Kamokila Blvd. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Sen. Hirono, Rep. Kahele help secure approval for outpatient clinic for Leeward Oahu veterans. Congress has approved the construction of an outpatient clinic for Leeward Oahu veterans. Star-Advertiser.

Koko Crater summit to close 3 weeks for repairs. Koko Crater summit area atop the Koko Crater tramway trail is scheduled to be closed to the public daily through April 19 for work to mitigate safety issues. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Conflict of interest? Kern signs off on approval of project he represented as a planning consultant. Zendo Kern represented clients as a consultant before the Leeward Planning Commission on a rezoning application, and then as planning director, signed off on a plat map for the same project, records show. West Hawaii Today.

State House to Restore Funding to Hilo Youth Challenge Academy. House Bill 200 House Draft 1 restores more than $600,000 in general funds and $2.3 million in federal funds to the program and retains over 40 full-time positions that would otherwise have been cut. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Kona’s Mask-Making Company Faces Setbacks Due to Damaged Shipment. Kona Mask Co. was founded by retired United Airlines pilot Nick Garcia and is based in Kailua-Kona. Big Island Now.


$1.6B affordable housing plan unveiled. Called “bold” and “dramatic,” a $1.6 billion draft plan unveiled Tuesday to bring 5,000 affordable units online in Central, South and West Maui calls for major overhauls to the County of Maui’s affordable housing approach. Maui News.

Permit granted for six-story 170-room hotel expansion. The Maui Coast Hotel received approval for a permit to build a six-story, 170-room expansion that drew hours of public testimony from some residents who touted the new jobs and others who worried about overtourism and traffic. Maui News.

$18M Ferry Pier Improvement at Lahaina Small Boat Harbor to Start April 5. Construction is set to start April 5 on a new concrete ferry pier at the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s Lahaina Small Boat Harbor. Maui Now.


County passes Ag use bill. While there remained slight reservations, a bill allowing various money-generating uses to agriculturally zoned land passed through the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

Readying for in-person learning April 5. Kaua‘i’s public secondary schools are making preparations to bring all students back to their campus for daily in-person learning, starting on Apr. 5 to April 9. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spring breakers could bring COVID surge, lobbyists but not public allowed in state Capitol, 1.4k vaccine doses discarded on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Kapu Quarantine Breakers
Spring breakers in Hawaii defy mask, distancing rules PC:
Hawaii Kapu Quarantine Breakers

Adjutant General warns of possible spring break COVID surge. COVID-19 case counts are still too high for the state to end the interisland travel quarantine in mid-April. That's what Adjutant General Kenneth Hara of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday at an AARP Hawaii webinar. KITV4.

Rapid growth in Hawaii arrivals stresses Safe Travels coronavirus screening. Travel to and between the Hawaiian islands has skyrocketed in recent weeks, nearing 30,000 on Saturday, March 20, which is almost pre-pandemic level, and all of them needed to squeeze through a post-arrival pinch-point: the Safe Travels screening that makes sure only COVID-negative people are checked off for quarantine exemptions. KHON2.


The Hawaii Capitol Is Closed To The Public, But Some Lobbyists Still Have Entree. While most members of the public can’t visit the State Capitol during the 2021 legislative session, the ability of some lobbyists to gain access raises questions of fairness. Civil Beat.

Relief money plugs hole in proposed Hawaii budget to be voted on today. Coronavirus relief package will allow Hawaii to cover unemployment insurance claims and avoid slashing spending on key social programs like sexual assault treatment and HIV prevention, lawmakers say. Associated Press.

Hawaii lawmakers advance bill to fund corrections oversight commission. Hawaii lawmakers are looking to fund a corrections oversight commission that was granted broad powers in 2019 but has been unable to hire staff due to a lack of funding. Star-Advertiser.

In Hawaii and across the U.S., advocates for police accountability are scrutinizing the union contracts that keep troublesome officers on the job. Over the next few months, Hawaii’s statewide police union will negotiate a new contract expected to result in pay raises for nearly 3,000 officers spread across four counties, most of them on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Legislation proposing amendments to aid-in-dying law stalls. Legislation that aimed to amend Hawaii’s aid-in-dying law passed through the state Senate earlier this month but failed to gain traction in the House. Tribune-Herald.


6 Reaper drones will be based on Oahu. The Marine Corps in Hawaii will be getting six big MQ-9A Reaper drones that can be armed with missiles as the Corps as a whole pursues “a deliberate but aggressive” path toward unmanned systems to gain advantage over China. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s mayors discuss COVID restrictions and what’s next. Hawaii’s mayors have taken a key role in the COVID pandemic, putting in place restrictions or lifting them as they sought to balance public health with the economy. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic depresses college-going rates, especially for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders. The class of 2020 at Hawaii’s public high schools managed to graduate at a record rate after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, but far fewer of those graduates enrolled in college, new data shows. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii Board of Agriculture expands coffee plant quarantine to slow spread of coffee leaf rust. The Hawaii Board of Agriculture voted today to expand the coffee quarantine areas in Hawaii in an attempt to keep coffee leaf rust, a fungus that can threaten the state’s coffee industry, from spreading. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

March 23, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 41 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 28 on O‘ahu, eight on Maui, one on Hawai‘i Island, one on Lāna‘i, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha allowed to delay prison term to get COVID vaccine. Retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who was convicted of conspiracy in a tangled corruption case, doesn’t have to report to prison until June so that he can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Associated Press. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City audits HPD’s overtime costs after department spends $38M on overtime. The city council announced its plans to audit Honolulu Police Department’s overtime costs after a report shows that costs were up by nearly 40% -- even before the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Despite Lawsuit, HPD Still Lacks Conflict Of Interest Policy. A police commissioner said he plans to ask the chief about the policy at an upcoming meeting. Civil Beat.

Concert in Waianae draws hundreds of people sparking health and safety concerns. In a quonset hut on Waianae Valley Road Saturday night an estimated 500 people jammed to the music of Grammy-nominated rapper Swae Lee. Hawaii News Now.

NTSB: ‘Aggressive Takeoff Maneuver’ Likely Caused Fatal Skydiving Crash. The 2019 skydiving plane crash in Mokuleia — one of the nation’s worst civil aviation accidents of the past decade — probably occurred due to an “aggressive takeoff maneuver” by the pilot, according to new findings released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Civil Beat.

Vaccination Appointment Call Center Opens for Kūpuna. While COVID-19 vaccinations are available to anyone 65 years of age or older, some O‘ahu kūpuna have not felt comfortable registering online. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Hugs are welcome again at nursing home. Kalakaua Gardens is “opening its doors so that its residents and their family members can visit each other again — up close and in person,” welcoming “hugs from family members” indoors and allowing nonessential visits outdoors starting this week. Star-Advertiser.

Low inventory, high demand driving Oahu home prices through the roof. In February 2021, the median price of a single-family home on Oahu was $917,500, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Fire chief selection questioned: Secret voting raises concerns. A politically connected battalion chief with a degree in fire science rocketed past his more experienced colleagues to take the top position in the Fire Department, but questions have come up about how the vote was taken, so it may have to be redone. West Hawaii Today.

DOH not expanding vaccine eligibility yet, despite Civil Defense message. The state Department of Health will not expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 50 and older today, despite a message early Tuesday from Hawaii County Civil Defense that said the department would do so. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital preregistering Phase 2 individuals for vaccine. Kona Community Hospital has begun preregistering Phase 2 individuals age 50 and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine at their Thursday mega clinics held at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

1,386 Vaccine Doses Compromised on Maui. An estimated 1,386 doses of Pfizer vaccine were compromised and ultimately discarded on Maui after it was discovered that a refrigerator door did not seal properly. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Wailuku water system, not lands, focus of potential county buy. While the government’s anticipated purchase of Wailuku Water Co.’s system and lands continues to drag on, the county Department of Water Supply is moving forward on key reports that will help put price tags on the water business and infrastructure. Maui News.

Upgrade would deliver potable water to West Maui projects. A proposed water system improvement project will help deliver potable water to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and other state projects in West Maui. Maui News.

Researchers study false killer whale found on Maui. Octopus remains were found in the belly of a rare false killer whale on Maui, a dietary discovery that researchers say could help the endangered species. Maui News.


Kauai Residents Age 60 And Up Now Eligible For COVID Vaccine. The County of Kauai has expanded COVID vaccine eligibility and said most residents are now eligible and there are appointments available. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

County refinancing $28.5 million in General Obligation Bonds. The County of Kaua‘i is moving forward with the issuance of approximately $28.5 million of general obligation bonds with the intent to refund certain outstanding general obligation bonds for economic savings. Garden Island.

Comments sought on PMRF radar proposal. A federal project to secure a location for a radar capable of detecting and classifying missile threats is seeking a spot close to home. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Hawaii lawmakers set to get 13% pay hike, spring break boom crowds Waikiki beaches, mask enforcement increases, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii state Capitol ©2021 All Hawaii News

Two Pay Raises For Lawmakers Over The Next Year Are Raising Eyebrows. The salary commission approved the wage hikes two years ago but critics now question the optics of government officials getting pay raises during an economic crisis. Civil Beat.

Did Unions’ Lack of Support Spell Trouble for School Superintendent? Some education insiders said while union opposition was damaging, it was not as simple as unions throwing their weight around. Civil Beat.

Economic recovery rosy with billions in federal aid set to roll into Hawaii. Hawaii’s economic recovery is looking up, with billions in additional federal aid set to pour into Hawaii this year and the pace of vaccinations picking up, Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, told lawmakers Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii tourism gains momentum.
Despite doldrums in January and February, Hawaii’s visitor industry has rounded the corner and taken off. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s seeing a boom of spring break vacationers. Are they following mask rules? The state says more than 28,000 people arrived in the islands this past Saturday, nearly matching the pre-pandemic average for March. Hawaii News Now.

Targeted messaging necessary to overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, UH study finds. According to the surveys, 55% of adults 18 and older said they will “definitely” or “probably” get shots, while 12% indicated they will “definitely not” or “probably not” get vaccinated, compared with 17% in the U.S. Star-Advertiser.

Ige, department heads acknowledge challenges of pandemic response over the last year. Gov. David Ige acknowledged Monday there were missteps along the way from his administration in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. But he also pointed to positive signs, saying Hawaii has the lowest-in-the-nation per capita COVID infection and death rates, saying that’s proof he put the community first. Hawaii News Now.

Legislators defer measure relating to Safe Travels program. A bill that would allow Gov. David Ige to impose a statewide COVID-19 travel restriction plan stalled Monday and is likely dead. Tribune-Herald.

Immigration Reform Efforts In Congress Offer Hope To Hawaii ‘Dreamers’. But the bill the House passed last week that would create a pathway to citizenship for 2.5 million undocumented immigrants faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Civil Beat.

State quietly makes changes to vaccine registration process for most employers. There’s a new registration process for many workers who would like to get COVID vaccine. It’s a change the state Department of Health made quietly earlier this month ― never making an official announcement to broadly inform the public. Hawaii News Now.

March 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: The state Department of Health reports that there were 79 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 48 on O‘ahu, 19 on Maui, nine on Hawai‘i Island, two on Moloka‘i, and one on Kaua‘i. Maui Now.


40 officers rattle peaceful protest at Kapiolani Park. Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard said she thought thousands of protesters were at Kapiolani Park on Saturday afternoon — dispatching dozens of officers to a peaceful Aloha Freedom Coalition event where 400-500 gathered at a rally in protest of COVID-19 health restrictions. Star-Advertiser.

HPD’s embattled chief denies reports of low morale, promises better communication. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is now promising more transparency and openness after a months-long pause in public statements. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Plea Agreement Details How Miske Allegedly Ordered A Chemical Attack On Rival Nightclub. Ashlin Akau said she was recruited by a Miske associate to take part in the attack on the Ginza Night Club. Civil Beat.

Hopes dwindle for more clarity in HART board votes. Confusion about voting rules for members of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project remains unresolved after bills that attempted to provide clarity appear to be dead this legislative session. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Students at Aikahi Elementary are returning to campuses under new CDC guidelines. Precisely a year after Hawaii public schools switched to distance learning due to the coronavirus, nearly the entire student body at Aikahi Elementary School flocked back to campus Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism boom provides boon for Hawaii farmers.
For many local farmers, the fruits of their labor are finally paying off after months of uncertainty. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

HMC expands eligibility for COVID vaccine
; Hospital opens early registration for people who are 50-65 years old. Assistant Hospital Administrator Kris Wilson said the hospital will this week begin processing the sign-ups to allow those individuals to register and schedule appointments at upcoming mass vaccination clinics planned for April 3 and 24 at Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

KTA Super Stores will offer its own large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday at Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo. The grocery chain aims to administer 1,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration Now Open at KCH. The Kona Community Hospital on Monday, March 22 began accepting pre-registration applications for individuals aged 50 years and older who would like to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Big Island Now.

Banyan Drive Proposals To Be Selected Next Month. An announcement is expected in April on the selection for proposals - which includes the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel and Country Club Condominium Hotel. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Teachers, parents and students call for Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino principal’s ouster. Makua, haumana and kumu took to the streets Monday making public their call for the removal or resignation of Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino Po‘okumu Makala Pa‘akaula. West Hawaii Today.


189 Citations Over Two Weeks During Maui Mask Enforcement. The Maui Police Department issued 189 citations over a two week period for violation of public health rules and orders as part of an ongoing face mask enforcement effort. Maui Now.

Two students and two employees at Maui County public schools have tested positive for COVID-19,
the state Department of Education reported Friday. All were in the Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex, which has seen 54 cases since June 26. Maui News.

COVID-19 Outbreak at Maui Jail Compounded by Staffing Shortages, Contagious Variant.
The Maui Community Correctional Center is seeing a significant drop in COVID-19 cases after nearly two months of trying to contain the virus. Hawaii Public Radio.

Micro Grants Awarded to 105 Small Farms in Maui County.
Maui County’s $2.5 million Agricultural Micro Grants Program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity, purchased tractors, chippers and other supplies; put up fencing and sheds; and established an online presence for 105 small farms in the county. Maui Now.


King Kamehameha celebrations barred due to COVID. The King Kamehameha Celebration Commission on Friday announced the cancellation of the King Kamehameha Celebration parade events statewide due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

County seeks to adopt microchipping program for pets
. A one-time $20 microchipping cost may soon replace biennial licensing fees for cats and dogs on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

New Kauai program encourages visitors to participate in beach cleanups. On Kauai, guests who vacation at The Cliffs at Princeville are now encouraged to do beach cleanups while they enjoy the sun and surf. Hawaii News Now.