Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Green very popular in poll, 63% vaccinated, facial recognition comes to Honolulu airport, lumber prices more than double, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
An apparently exhausted Lt. Gov. Green on July 29, 2020

Hawaii Voters Really, Really Like Lt. Gov. Josh Green. But Gov. David Ige gets low marks as does Speaker Scott Saiki, the Legislature and former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Of those surveyed in the latest Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll, 63% said they had a positive view of Josh Green, who has all but declared his intention to succeed the term-limited David Ige next year. Civil Beat.

How major bills in Hawaii fared at the Capitol in 2021. The 31st state Legislature adjourned Thursday and forwarded over 200 bills to Gov. David Ige, including ones that would make it illegal to capture or kill sharks, require state departments to identify facilities that are vulnerable to sea level rise and allow advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions. Star-Advertiser.

Historic, divisive state land lease extensions pending. A highly divided Legislature recently passed a heavily contested bill that would let tenants on state-owned public land maintain leases for roughly a century, up from 65 years, without competition. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmaker apologizes for words ‘reported out of context’. Under fire for what one Native Hawaiian group described as hate speech, Hawaii island state Sen. Lorraine Inouye issued an apology for comments she made in a television news interview and pledged to consult with Hawaiian cultural practitioners to help educate her on related issues. Star-Advertiser.

Bringing Back The Pork: Case, Kahele Make Their Pitch For $57 Million. Earmarks were banned in 2011 after a series of scandals involving congressionally directed spending. Now Congress has decided to bring the process back with more transparency. Civil Beat.

Ed Case Revives Ambitious Pacific Island Foreign Policy Bill. The bill would authorize $1 billion in aid to Pacific Island nations and boost trade, diplomatic and military relations across the region. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric to End Moratorium on Disconnections for Nonpayment. The moratorium, established about a year ago due to financial hardships inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to end on May 31. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lumber prices more than double.
The cost of building a new home in Hawaii has jumped during the pandemic, largely because of the huge increase in lumber prices. KITV4.

Zippy's offering cash incentives for new hires. Some businesses hard-pressed for new hires during the pandemic are offering certain incentivesPopular restaurant, Zippy's, launched a new recruitment bonus program offering up to $3,000 cash for those looking to fill manager spots, or up to $500 for other positions. KITV4.

As Demand Wanes, Hawaii Reduces Its COVID-19 Vaccine Order For The First Time. The slowdown comes as Hawaii reached a milestone, with nearly 63% of the 16-and-older population fully vaccinated as of Tuesday. Civil Beat.

May 4, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: 80 Cases (60 O‘ahu, 11 Maui, 2 Hawai‘i Island, 1 Kaua‘i, 6 Out-of-State). Maui Now.

Oahu

Homeless concerns growing in Chinatown. Four months into the administration of Mayor Rick Blangiardi and hopes are dimming that any meaningful and quick change is coming to Chinatown to reduce homelessness in Honolulu’s oldest neighborhood. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

City Prosecutor Steve Alm On Tackling Crime, Police Investigations. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm just marked 100 days in office. Hawaii Public Radio.

Facial recognition technology goes live at Honolulu’s airport as part of federal program. Simplified Arrival for International Arrivals to Begin at Honolulu's Airport. Honolulu will be the latest U.S. city to use facial biometrics to scan international arrivals. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Access gate at a popular West Oahu spot to reopen after lengthy closure. After being closed for more than year, the DLNR announced the Keawa’ula Section of Kaena State Park will be reopening this weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Skydiving gets 6-month extension at Dillingham airfield. Oahu’s only skydiving operations can continue to operate at Dillingham Airfield at least until Dec. 31 under an extension granted by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

City Pays $365,000 To Motorist In Crash With HPD. Police initially said the driver hit the police car. But witnesses disputed that. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Perruso says farmland infamous for chop shop, shooting, trafficking still marred in crime. There are calls for change as concern grows over a large piece of land in Wahiawa that some say is once again becoming a hotbed for crime. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Another reprieve for Van Pernis: Council members balk at taking the unprecedented step of removal. A bare majority of County Council members remained unwilling Tuesday to take the unprecedented step of removing a sitting planning commissioner, and instead by a 5-4 vote deferred Mayor Mitch Roth’s request until August. West Hawaii Today.

Le updates council on launch of Kilauea recovery housing buyout program
and next steps to be taken. More than 100 people have submitted applications for Hawaii County to buy their lava-damaged properties in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Post-Arrival COVID-19 Testing Soft Launch Begins at Kahului Airport. Maui County’s new post-arrival testing program for unvaccinated trans-Pacific arrivals from the continental US debuted Tuesday with hundreds of travelers undergoing rapid COVID-19 testing at Kahului Airport. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

War Memorial Complex Facilities to be Closed to General Public, May 21-22 for Graduations. War Memorial Complex facilities will be closed to the general public on May 21 and May 22 for graduation ceremonies hosted by Baldwin and Maui high schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai to move into modified Tier 3 after spike in COVID-19 cases. If approved by Gov. David Ige, the amendments will cut indoor social gatherings to five people from 10 in Tier 3, although outdoor gatherings will be expanded to 25 people from 10. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. KITV4.

Reaching out to the houseless of Lydgate. The park is set to shutter at the end of May to its current houseless residents, who have been able to shelter in place for over a year. Garden Island.

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