Friday, April 9, 2021

Gas prices going up, House shelves worker relief bills, Oahu opens vaccine to 50+ as COVID cases continue to rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News
Gas prices were very high 10 years ago ©2011 All Hawaii News

AAA Hawaiʻi: State Gas Price Average Reaches 17-Month High. On Thursday, April 8, the statewide average price for regular unleaded is $3.71 a gallon, which is up two cents from last Thursday, April 1, 22 cents higher than a month ago and 40 cents higher than the average last year on the same date. Maui Now. KITV4.

State House leaders shelve bills that would help workers. House leaders are resisting union pressure to revive bills this year that would raise the minimum wage and exempt jobless benefits from state income taxes.  Star-Advertiser.

Gut-and-replace bill threatens Tourism Authority funding. The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the agency responsible for leading tourism recovery across the islands, is at risk of losing funding again due to 11th-hour maneuvering at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Bill Would Make Superintendent Hiring Process More Local. House Bill 515 HD1 SD2 would make a "working understanding" of Hawaii's education system a "desired qualification" for the Superintendent position. KITV4.

‘Mismanaged and dysfunctional’: DOH official calls out alleged corruption in department. A longtime Department of Health manager is blowing the whistle on his own department, alleging corruption and mismanagement that is fleecing taxpayers and jeopardizing sanitation and health inspections. Hawaii News Now.

Report: Hawaiʻi Tech Sector has Direct Impact of $3.4 Billion on State’s Economy. The Cyberstates 2021™ report by CompTIA showed that the state is home to nearly 2,300 tech business establishments and the sector has a direct impact of $3.4 billion on the state economy. Maui Now.

Commander of Pearl Harbor destroyer removed from duty. Cmdr. Kathryn Dawley, commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Hopper was relieved of her duties Tuesday “due to a loss of confidence in her leadership,” the Navy said. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

How People Across Hawaii Are Creating Spaces To Grow Their Own Food. Locally grown vegetables are expensive, so communities are coming together to grow fresh produce. Civil Beat.

Hawaii will receive far fewer doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine next week. Fewer shots mean fewer appointments available at vaccination sites. KITV4.

April 8, 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 70 on O‘ahu, 40 on Maui, 10 on Hawai‘i Island, one on Kaua‘i, and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Oahu opens COVID-19 vaccinations to those age 50 and over starting Monday. State Health Director Libby Char, in a news release, called the wider eligibility a great opportunity for residents 50 and older on Oahu to register before vaccine eligibility opens to everyone 16 and older on April 19. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Maui News Now Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State investigators raid Honolulu airport baseyard, investigation ongoing. State investigators executed a search warrant Thursday at a baseyard at the Honolulu airport. The state Attorney General’s office raided the airport’s Maintenance Section Airfield and Grounds Maintenance Unit Facility, which is located off Aolele Street. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium Plan Will Burden Taxpayers. Sources of funding for the $350 million worth of public investment in the new stadium would put more burden on the state’s general fund, and therefore tax dollars, under a proposal moving through the Legislature, House Bill 1348. Civil Beat.

Deadline to use expired licenses quickly approaching. Tuesday, April 13, is the last day a driver’s license or state ID that has expired since March, 2020 will be considered valid. The City and County of Honolulu says thousands of motorists are behind on their renewals. KHON2.

More Oahu retailers close permanently, creating a surge in vacant space. Collateral damage from COVID-19 in Oahu’s retail industry has multiplied greatly in recent months and likely will get worse before the year is over, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

Doris Duke breakwater demolition is opposed. Testimony was heard Thursday evening at an online public hearing on the state’s plan to demolish the Diamond Head Breakwater, which forms one wall of a swim basin beneath Doris Duke’s Shangri La, and use the rubble to fortify the seawall and walkway along the shoreline. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Senate version of state budget includes funding for lifeguards at Kua Bay, Hapuna. Full funding for lifeguard services at two Big Island state beach parks has been restored by the state Senate in its draft of the proposed state budget. West Hawaii Today.

DOH investigates three Big Island COVID clusters. Three COVID-19 clusters have been investigated on the Big Island in the past 14 days, according to a weekly cluster report issued Thursday by the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.


Hotly debated housing bill passes council. Measure requires fast-tracked projects to have at least 75% affordable units. Maui News.

New homes to be sold at near cost on Maui.
Local real estate developer Peter Savio unveiled plans Thursday for 81 townhomes and single-family homes on condominium land lots exclusively for Maui residents who have more or less moderate incomes. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Rep. Kahele tours Kaua‘i, meets nonprofits, talks proposed Radar system. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele spent the past week on Kaua‘i, analyzing coastal erosion along the Wailua corridor, touring Hanalei and meeting with nonprofits and officials, including walking through the site of a proposed missile-defense radar at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands near Kekaha. Garden Island.

Gayagas named deputy county engineer.
Mayor Derek Kawakami announced the appointment of Boyd Gayagas as deputy county engineer in the Department of Public Works. Garden Island.

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