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.

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