Thursday, May 13, 2021

Gas prices increase, vaccine passport program problematic, Maui condos falling into the ocean, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hilo gas station on May 12, 2021 ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii gas price second highest amid mainland disruption. Hawaii’s geographic isolation protected consumers from gasoline shortages in many southeastern states caused by the forced shutdown of a massive pipeline that lasted five days and began reopening Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

With inter-island vaccine passport set up, state now turns attention to trans-Pacific travel. Without an automated method for verifying with local vaccine providers, the cards are individually checked by screeners. Gov. David Ige hopes that will be fixed by June 1, potentially opening up vaccine passports for residents traveling from the mainland. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii employers can mandate a coronavirus vaccine, workers can request an exemption. A Hawaii attorney says employers can mandate a COVID-19 shot but need to be careful to allow exemptions, especially under the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization. KHON2.

As part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief program, the state announced $4 million in grants will be available to help Hawaii’s education system recover from the pandemic. Gov. David Ige said the grants are aimed to fund initiatives to help students, families and educators who have been impacted by COVID. Hawaii News Now.

Training Underway in Remote Ready Hawaiʻi Pilot Program. Training is underway for the first cohort of the Remote Ready Hawaiʻi Pilot Program, which matches unemployed residents with remote work offered by companies outside the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ex-Hawaii CEO, Martin Kao, pleads not guilty to loan fraud. Martin Kao, who was CEO of Martin Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Navatek LLC, is charged with bank fraud and money laundering. Authorities say he defrauded banks of more than $12.8 million through the Paycheck Protection Program. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Rated 'Mostly Closed' in 50-State Analysis of Police Misconduct Record Laws. In an analysis of public record laws in all 50 states, Hawai‘i received the rating "Mostly Closed." The 50-state list was based on an analysis of statutes and court opinions as well as interviews with experts. Associated Press.

‘Golden Week’ comes and goes as Japan visitors face COVID hurdles when traveling to Hawaii. More than a third of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, but in Japan, fewer than 3% of people have had their first shot. Hawaii News Now.

Southwest Airlines to more than double its Hawaii trans-­Pacific service. The Dallas-based carrier currently operates 16 round trips daily between Hawaii and the mainland. Its summer schedule, due out today, increases trans-­Pacific offerings to 37 round trips, including direct flights between Las Vegas and Hawaii’s four major islands. Star-Advertiser.

School-based vaccine clinics step up outreach as younger kids start to roll up their sleeves. At Nanakuli High & Intermediate on Wednesday, about 40 people arrived and rolled up their sleeves. The school is one of several around the state serving as community vaccine clinics. Hawaii News Now.

May 12, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 47 Cases (30 O‘ahu, 8 Maui, 1 Hawai‘i Island, 8 Out-of-State); 1 Death. Maui Now.


Problems piling up for the Honolulu rail project. When the too-narrow wheels on the city’s trains and too-wide track finally fit properly, it’s going to be critical to get trains running to Aloha Stadium as soon as possible or face a whole new series of costs and delays, the head of the rail project said. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rail Chief Says Ridership Projections Have Dropped. Rail authority CEO Lori Kahikina provided no details, but said she believes public interest in riding the train is still high. Civil Beat.

Police arrest suspect in alleged arson at Supreme Court building
. Honolulu police arrested a homeless man in connection with Monday’s fire at Aliiolani Hale which houses the Hawaii Supreme Court in downtown Honolulu. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Bill Proposes Funding The Removal of Ha‘iku Stairs. The Honolulu City Council advanced a bill that would fund $1 million to the Division of Urban Forestry to remove the Haʻiku Stairs, commonly known as Stairway to Heaven. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ambassador wants public disclosure in shooting of Lindani Myeni.
South Africa’s ambassador to the United States requested the return of her deceased citizen’s wedding ring, clothes and mobile phone and called on Honolulu, U.S. officials and departments across the country to be more transparent about police shootings and how race relations affect law enforcement practices. Star-Advertiser.

Kealoha ‘Mailbox Case’ co-conspirator asks to remain free while he pursues appeal. Just weeks away from his June 1 date to self-surrender at a mainland prison, Kealoha mailbox co-conspirator Derek Hahn wants a judge to let him stay in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

State, city step in to protect Niu Valley archaeological site.
State and city officials have taken action to protect historic Hawaiian archaeological features on a hillside residential lot being redeveloped in Niu Valley. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Rainbow Rangers moves into full services for animal control contract. Nine months after being awarded the contract, Hawaii Rainbow Rangers has finally transitioned into conducting full animal control services in Hawaii County. West Hawaii Today.

Five-story, six-unit condomium proposed on Alii Drive. An Alii Drive landowner is proposing to construct a five-story condominium on a vacant lot about a quarter-mile north of the thoroughfare’s intersection with Royal Poinciana Drive in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.


A proposal to save almost a dozen properties from falling into the ocean in west Maui is getting pushback from the community. Layers of sand bags are now helping to stabilize several structures along the coastline in Kahana. Hawaii News Now.

Panel OKs next step for Wailea luxury condo plans. Despite lengthy community testimony calling for a more in-depth study, the Maui Planning Commission voted Tuesday to accept the final environmental assessment for a 57-unit luxury condominium project proposed for Wailea. Maui News.

Median Sales Price for Single Family Home on Maui Increased to $983,500 in April. April 2021 was another strong month for home sales on Maui, with the median sales price for a single home increasing 30.3 percent from a year ago to $983,500 and for condominium homes the median sales price increased 15.4 percent from a year ago to $695,000. Maui Now.


Iwi discovered during cesspool conversion. Last week, while switching a cesspool over to a septic tank, an inadvertent discovery of iwi kupuna on Weke Road occurred. Garden Island.

Kapa‘a, Wailua road resurfacing scheduled. Lane closures are scheduled for portions of Wailua and Kapa‘a May 13 to May 25. Garden Island.

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