Thursday, May 6, 2021

Most oppose costly Honolulu rail project in poll, Maui ex-cop pleads guilty in sex-for-perjury case, American Rescue Plan funds on the way, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


courtesy HART
Honolulu rail route as planned, courtesy HART

Majority oppose rail project in poll
. The largest public works project in Hawaii history is opposed by 53% of registered voters on Oahu, with just 34% expressing support for Honolulu rail. The numbers are similar when voters living on the neighbor islands are factored in — 50% and 35%, respectively. Civil Beat.

HART's interim CEO believes parts of Honolulu rail line can open by December. According to HART, since construction started more than 10 years ago, only 60 percent of the 20 mile system sits complete. The portion of the Honolulu Rail Transit Project from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium could be open and operating as early as December. KITV4.

HART spent nearly $300K for laptops — most of which aren’t being used. Back in September when the second stay-at-home order was still in place, the rail authority paid $293,000 to purchase about 200 Dell laptops. But months later, most of the computers are still sitting in their unopened boxes at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s downtown office. Hawaii News Now.


Federal program will provide low-income Hawaii residents with broadband subsidies. Low-income Hawaii residents will be eligible to receive federal subsidies for internet service and the purchase of new laptops, desktops and tablets beginning May 12 under a federal program aimed at helping households struggling to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Senate Announces Appointment of New Majority Leader and Committee Changes. Following the retirement of former Senator Leader J. Kalani English on May 1, 2021, the Hawaiʻi State Senate on Wednesday announced the appointment of Senator Dru Kanuha (District 3 – Kona and Kaʻū) as the new Senate Majority Leader. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

More than 20,000 Hawaii hotel jobs could be lost despite travel demand.
Hawaii hotels are getting ready for a strong summer — but travel demand won’t be enough to get all employees back to work. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public high schools to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students 16 and up. The Department of Education is working with all the medical providers to stage the vaccination clinics, including HPH, Queens Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Adventist Health Castle and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

May 5, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 64 Cases (40 O‘ahu, 8 Maui, 2 Hawai‘i Island, 6 Kaua‘i, 8 Out-of-State); 1 Death. Maui Now.


Honolulu to stay in Tier 3 as it waits for Gov. David Ige’s decisions on modifications to reopening plan. The less-restrictive Tier 3 allows social gatherings of up to 10 people, lets bars and restaurants seat groups of up to 10 people and lets gyms operate at 50%. Outdoor weddings of up to 100 people are permitted and outdoor sports have been able to resume. Star-Advertiser.

Rade Vanic, an assistant police chief with 21 years of service, unanimous choice for interim police chief. Rade Vanic, an assistant police chief with 21 years of service spanning every division of the department, was unanimously selected by the Honolulu Police Commission to serve as interim chief starting June 1. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Approved Council Bill Incentivizes Affordable Rental Developments. Bill 1 gives a grant to developers developing smaller projects or upgrading their buildings for affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

Regulator approves $1.3 billion addition to Ward Village. Directors of the Hawaii Community Development Authority board gave the go-ahead for Howard Hughes Corp. to produce 1,243 homes between two very different towers at its expanding master-planned Ward Village community. Star-Advertiser.

City: Personal information belonging to some Oahu rent relief applicants mishandled
. The city says six confirmation emails were sent to the wrong applicants. The program, which launched last month, is currently managing a total of 12,000 applications. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Humane Society breaks ground in West Oahu. The Hawaiian Humane Society on Wednesday morning held a groundbreaking celebration and blessing for a second campus in Ewa Beach intended to serve the West Oahu community. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Roth budget tops $609M: No-new-taxes plan relies on property values, grants. Bolstered by rising property values, an increase in grants and more money left over than anticipated, Mayor Mitch Roth on Wednesday released a $609.1 million no-new-taxes budget, a 3.9% increase over this year. West Hawaii Today.

Cost estimate of Hawaiian Acres road plan raises eyebrows. A road improvement plan that could cost Hawaiian Acres residents close to $1 billion shocked County Council members during a committee hearing Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Historic Hawaii valley site of controversial parking lot, residential subdivision proposal. Pololu Valley is a pristine area on the Big Island’s northern coast, where King Kamehameha is said to have spent time as a child. KHON2.

Kona man acquitted of attempted murder of police officer. The jury found Shannon Kaleolani Ke guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, petty misdemeanors, third-degree assault which is a misdemeanor and first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, a class C felony with a maximum term of five years incarceration. West Hawaii Today.


Guilty Plea: Former Maui Cop Offered To Sabotage Case In Exchange For Sexual Relationship. The former officer could go to prison for offering to perjure himself in exchange for sex, the DOJ said. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

County’s post-travel testing launches with over 400 swabs. Travelers say they don’t mind extra step; variant strains are focus for officials. Maui News.

A Maui Farmer’s Dream: Where Food, Not Fences, Separates The Homes. Facing a shortage of affordable agricultural land, a Maui farmer is forging unique partnerships with high-end homeowners to grow food in their yards. Civil Beat.


$14M in federal funds coming. The county should be receiving its first share of American Rescue Plan funds by May 10, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz reported Wednesday. Garden Island.

Food boxes go out despite COVID-19 precautions. Food boxes go out despite COVID-19 precautions. Despite the precautionary safety measures generated by the recent uptick in new cases of COVID-19, the Lili‘uokalani Trust coordinated the delivery of 400 U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families food boxes to families from the Westside to the North Shore Tuesday afternoon. Garden Island.

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