Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, miss out on vaccine; Kakaako Makai condos die; Honolulu trains have defective wheels, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Only 8.8% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have received COVID vaccine, DOH says. Three months into Hawaii’s vaccination campaign, only 8.8% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have received immunizations though they represent more than 40% of COVID-19 cases in the islands. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bill that would bar suspension of public records requests during emergency advances. A state Senate bill that would bar the governor or county mayors from suspending requests for public records or vital statistics during a declared state of emergency passed its first committee hurdle in the House. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers look to claw back felons’ pensions. Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is set to begin a seven-year prison sentence next month for felony convictions relating to his use of police officers to help frame his wife’s uncle. But that won’t stop his $9,700 monthly pension payments that come with having served 33 years on the police force. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii police chiefs defend themselves on video, but won’t take reporters’ questions.
Communicating with the public is becoming a one-sided, scripted event for three of Hawaii’s police chiefs. They’ve refused multiple media requests for interviews on the challenges facing their departments ― and criticism of them personally ― instead using department-produced video statements to make their case. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i National Guard to Deploy 80 Members to Washington D.C. The Hawaiʻi National Guard is set to deploy about 80 of its members to Washington, D.C. to support US Capitol Police until early May. Maui Now.

Hawaii’s Unemployed Must Clear Up Earlier Benefit Snafus Before Getting Federal Dollars. Minor mistakes that led to overpayments of a few hundred dollars can hold up much more substantial relief for struggling families. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom Brought Fast Broadband to 10,740 Locations in 2020. Last year Hawaiian Telcom enabled broadband service with speeds up to 940 megabits per second download and 300 Mbps upload to more than 10,740 locations in Hawai‘i, according to a news release. Maui Now.

March 16, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 48 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Tuesday, including 30 on O‘ahu, seven on Maui, eight on Hawai‘i Island, one on Kaua‘i, and two in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Proposal for condo towers in Kakaako Makai dies. Kicking off a Save Our Kakaako Coalition rally Tuesday morning on the steps of the state Capitol, state House Speaker Scott Saiki announced the death of a bill seeking to change existing law to allow the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs to build housing in Kakaako Makai. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Proposal to Rename McKinley High School Introduced at Legislature. House Resolution 148 and House Concurrent Resolution 179 seek to acknowledge President William McKinley's role in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by returning McKinley High School's name to Honolulu High School. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.

HART: Defective Train Wheels Are A ‘Major’ Problem And Possible Safety Issue. The latest defect, revealed after a tense exchange at a City Council hearing, could delay the system’s interim opening another year. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

As Oahu Karaoke bars struggle during the pandemic, owners ask mayor to modify reopening order. Under Honolulu’s rules, anyone singing needs to be at least 10 feet from any other person and a physical barrier must separate the person singing from others. Hawaii News Now.

Medical teams hit the street to vaccinate Hawaii’s most vulnerable homeless people. The initiative launched a little over a week ago. Hawaii’s Department of Health says since then, more than 500 homeless people have been immunized. Hawaii News Now.

Aloha Stadium replacement plan includes maintenance risk shift.
Long-term maintenance expenses for a new stadium on Oahu would be preset under the state’s plan to replace Aloha Stadium using a private partner. Star-Advertiser.

Hanauma Bay will be closed due to a sewage pump failure. The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will be closed Wednesday after the city discovered a sewage pump failure. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Controversial statue will be moved. A statue recently erected in Lili‘uokalani Gardens in Hilo will be moved after the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected the donation of the sculpture. Tribune-Herald.

Panel votes to repeal ‘non-speculative residential use’ tax exemption program. A County Council committee voted in favor of a bill to abolish a 30-year-old property tax exemption program. Tribune-Herald.

Hundreds get Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Hilo POD. Hundreds of people were vaccinated after waiting in line at the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium. Tribune-Herald.

A Hele-On hub for Kona. Eleven Kailua-Kona locations are in the running for a centralized Hele-On bus hub, and the county wants to hear which one the public likes best, or if other sites would be better. West Hawaii Today.

County’s 1st hydrogen bus should be on the island within 6 weeks. After long delays, the county’s first hydrogen bus could be driving on Kailua-Kona’s streets by May. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Mobile unit brings counseling, medical care to homeless. Homeless residents will be able to seek mental health counseling, noncritical medical care and other services in one location when the Maui Police Department launches its Mobile Medical Educational Unit. Maui News.

Hawaii task force sting nets 7 men suspected of online enticement of minors. A sting operation involving multiple law enforcement agencies in Hawaii has resulted in charges against seven men who are accused of soliciting who they believed to be minors for sex and arranging to meet up with them on Maui. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Kauai

State commission rules to end diversion of a Kauai stream. A ruling from Commission on Water Resource Management on Tuesday means the Lawai stream can no longer be fully diverted, like it has been for nearly a century. Hawaii News Now.

Emergency lane open on highway near Hanalei
. A single lane is now open on Kuhio Highway by above the Hanalei Bridge, and concrete barriers have been placed along the side of the single emergency-only lane. Garden Island.

Council talks path erosion. Coastal erosion has already gone beneath the multi-purpose Ke Ala Hele Makalae coastal path at Wailua Beach, and the county knew that might happen. Garden Island.

Sea-level rise affects everyone. University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Charles “Chip” Fletcher of the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology believes Hawai‘i and other Polynesian islands are going to be most affected by the glaciers melting and experience more sea-level rise and coastal erosion in the near future. Garden Island.


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