Thursday, April 29, 2021

Big HART contract for former chairwoman Hanabusa, Pearl Harbor sub commander removed from duty after suicides, red light cameras coming to Honolulu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Colleen Hanabusa courtesy photo

Colleen Hanabusa, ex-chairwoman of the rail board, gets $924,000 HART contract. Colleen Hanabusa, a former Hawaii congresswoman and former chairwoman of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project, was the only bidder on a contract worth $924,000 with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, which Hanabusa won. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

This Bill Aims To Prevent A Wave Of Evictions But Critics Say It Falls Short. The state eviction moratorium is currently expected to expire June 8 but could be extended through the summer. Civil Beat.

Counties eye hotel room tax hikes as state seeks to divert revenues to general fund
. Currently, there is a 10.25% tax on all Hawaii transient accommodations like hotel rooms and vacation homes. House Bill 862 would give all that money to the state rather than the counties. However, to make up for the lost funds, counties would be able to impose their own additional hotel tax of up to 3% — bumping the total hotel room tax to more than 13% per night. Hawaii News Now.

How would President's plan impact education in Hawaii? Right now, about half of Hawaii's four-year-olds go to some kind of preschool. Under President Biden's plan more than 35,000 keiki, age 3 and 4 year old, could head to classrooms for free. So could tens of thousands of college students. KITV4.

Who Should Lead Hawaii Schools? State Lawmakers Have Some Ideas. A bill passed this week would establish new minimum qualifications for the school superintendent, drawing criticism of legislative overreach. Civil Beat.

Legislators approve measure to repeal tobacco prevention and control trust fund. A measure to repeal the Hawaii tobacco prevention and control trust fund passed final readings Tuesday in the state House and Senate. Tribune-Herald.

Rep. Lynn DeCoite Announces Intent to Vie for Senate District 7 Vacancy. State Representative Lynn DeCoite today announced her intent to vie for the Senate District 7 seat being vacated by Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English. Maui Now. KHON2.

Pearl Harbor submarine commander removed from duty. Capt. Michael Majewski on Tuesday relieved Cmdr. Joseph Lautenslager of his command of the USS Charlotte, which experienced the second armed watch stander suicide recently on a Pearl Harbor submarine in the shipyard. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s first COVID-19 child fatality is wake-up call. Hawaii’s first pediatric COVID-19 death this week was a wake-up call for parents that children are not immune to the disease. Star-Advertiser.

April 28, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 69 Cases (55 O‘ahu, 10 Maui, 1 Hawai‘i Island, 2 Kaua‘i, 1 Out-of-State); 3 Deaths. Maui Now.


Honolulu prosecutors will conduct independent investigations of Honolulu Police Department’s fatal shootings. For the first time in more than 30 years, Honolulu prosecutors plan to conduct independent investigations of Honolulu Police Department shootings to determine whether criminal, civil or administrative action is warranted, starting with this month’s fatal shootings of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap and 29-year old Lindani Myeni. Star-Advertiser.

Hearing set for ex-OHA aide accused of wire fraud. A hearing is set Friday for a former Office of Hawaiian Affairs aide accused of wire fraud. Court documents said Harleman used his firm, Precision Accounting Hawaii, to defraud an Oahu landscaping business out more than $415,000. Hawaii News Now.

Under state’s new red light camera program, tickets will follow car owners not drivers.
After receiving funding from lawmakers, the state Transportation Department is preparing for the first installation of cameras to catch drivers who run through red lights on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu farmland owners pummel city effort to protect farmland. A flood of complaints has begun to flow from Oahu farmland owners who don’t want their property preserved for agricultural use, possibly in perpetuity. Star-Advertiser.

Proposal seeks new buffer for wind farms, residents. A proposal to create a larger buffer zone between new wind turbine developments and neighboring properties was tabled by the Honolulu Planning Commission Wednesday pending further investigation into the matter. Star-Advertiser.

261 complaints from a single person trigger crackdown on ‘unauthorized trees’. Some Pacific Palisades residents say the city is forcing them to cut down trees on city sidewalks fronting their homes. Hawaii News Now.

State agency looks to juice up affordable-housing fund. Hundreds of people who own affordable high-rise homes in Kakaako could soon have an opportunity to help produce new affordable housing for local residents. Star-Advertiser.

State Inspections Show History Of Neglect At Elderly Care Facility Facing Shutdown. Dignity Senior Living at Oceanside Hawaii appealed the order to close by Friday as residents scramble to find new housing. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Sexual assault on TheBus leaves Oahu teen shaken, father thanks bus driver for stepping in. An Oahu father is praising a city bus driver for stepping up and stopping the sexual assault of his daughter from going any further. KHON2.

Stage set for new Aloha Stadium redevelopment leadership. Hawaii lawmakers have fixed a kink in a state effort to redevelop Aloha Stadium and surrounding land in partnership with the private sector. Star-Advertiser.

City says repairs for Waialua Beach Road bridge are on track to be expedited. As residents and business continue to deal with traffic problems due to Waialua Beach Road bridge’s closure, the city announced that repairs will be expedited. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth says bill that nixes TAT allocations places intolerable strain on isle’s hospitality industry. Mayor Mitch Roth will ask Gov. David Ige to veto a pending bill in the state Legislature that would allow the state’s four counties to levy their own hotel taxes. Tribune-Herald.

Officials conduct sweep at condemned Hilo hotel. Officers from three law enforcement agencies conducted a dawn sweep of all 146 rooms at the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel on Thursday morning, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Maui County plans 30% rise in visitor tax if Gov. David Ige signs bill. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he plans to increase the county’s transient accommodations tax by 30% if Gov. David Ige approves a bill that allows the counties to raise their own TAT. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Testifiers call for more in-depth study on Wailea condo project. Community members are calling for a 57-unit luxury condominium project in Wailea to undergo a longer, more in-depth study, especially with neighboring developments already built or on the horizon. Maui News.

Development Services Administration Moves Kahului Office to Maui County Service Center Location, May 3. The Department of Public Works’ Development Services Administration will move its Kahului office from 86 Kamehameha Avenue to its new location at the Maui County Service Center at 110 Ala`ihi St., Suite 203 on Monday, May 3. Maui Now.


County has 7% of CARES Act funds remaining. The county has spent around 93% of its $28.7 million received from the state through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. Garden Island.

Rent-relief program on the horizon. Starting May 10, residents of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau with a demonstrated reduction in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to apply for the County of Kauai’s 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program. Garden Island.


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