Friday, May 7, 2021

Investigation reveals Sens. Inouye, Akaka votes undermined Native Hawaiian land program, teachers to get $2,200 bonus, Aloha Stadium to be demolished, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Polynesian Voyaging license plate

Gov. David Ige OKs commemorative license plates for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Special license plates featuring the Hokule‘a will be hitting the road this summer. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. owes Hawaiians millions of dollars worth of land, Congress helped make sure the debt wasn’t paid. In the 1990s, Hawaii’s two elder statesmen — U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka — were at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the U.S. compensated Native Hawaiians for ancestral lands taken from them over the years. But an investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica has found that those same senators voted several times each to support must-pass legislation that included provisions undermining efforts to repay millions of dollars in land debt to Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

How the deals approved by Congress bypassed thousands of Hawaiians waiting for homes. An investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica found that the U.S. government over the past decade has transferred nearly 40 parcels of land in Hawaii to private parties, bypassing a process that normally would give Hawaiians priority access to those lands. Star-Advertiser.

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Legislature cuts University of Hawaii-Manoa’s operating budget by nearly 14%. Legislators have chopped the general funds operating budget for the University of Hawaii at Manoa by 13.8% for the fiscal year that starts July 1, a major blow that could be hard to absorb. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public workers union unsatisfied with proposed $2,200 bonus. Public school teachers in Hawaii could be getting a $2,200 bonus. That is not sitting well with Hawaii’s largest public workers union, however. KHON2.

Opening date in limbo for Hawaii State Hospital’s new facility over labor issues. A long-awaited secure facility for court-appointed mental patients is ready to open, but a labor dispute is putting opening day in limbo. KHON2.

Voters Split Over Recreational Marijuana. The Hawaii Legislature chose not to advance a bill this year to make pot legal, even as more states progress in the opposite direction. Civil Beat.

Vaccinated Hawaii residents can upload their information to Safe Travels portal starting Friday. That will allow them to travel inter-island without a COVID test starting Tuesday, May 11. KHON2.

May 6, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: 128 Cases (99 O‘ahu, 10 Maui, 10 Hawai‘i Island, 4 Kaua‘i, 5 Out-of-State); 1 Death. Maui Now.

Oahu

Oahu To Keep Current Pandemic Restrictions For At Least Four More Weeks. The state and county will be working together to figure out how to incorporate vaccination counts into the tier system, Blangiardi’s office said. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu’s rail project plagued with wheels too thin and tracks too wide. The trains built for Honolulu’s troubled rail project have wheels that are too narrow for the track, and solving the problem will lead to more issues or more delays. Star-Advertiser.

Say 'aloha' to the 46-year-old Aloha Stadium. On Thursday the state agency managing Aloha Stadium voted to approve demolishing the existing stadium before a new facility opens. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Kealoha victim says settlement talks with city collapsed after ‘slap in the face’ offers. Settlement talks between the Puana family and attorneys for the city have collapsed, leaving the victims of the Kealoha corruption scandal preparing for trial. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Offering $10 Million In Incentives To Affordable Housing Developers. The Honolulu mayor hopes the incentives spur private development of affordable homes. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu home sales surged in April. A rebound in Oahu’s housing market gained strength in April with a burst of sales driven by pent-up buyer demand and more homes listed for sale. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of Kakaako highrise ask state to intervene in dispute with developer. Residents in the Ke Kilohana affordable apartment complex in Kakaako are asking for the state’s help in their multi-million dollar dispute over maintenance fees. They blame developer Howard Hughes Corp. for a 50% increase in monthly maintenance costs, which they allege have made their condos no longer affordable under the guidelines set by the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Hawaii News Now.

51-year-old woman arrested, dozens of machines seized during illegal game room raid in Kalihi. More than a dozen gambling machines, cash, and drugs were seized during the bust. KITV4.

Longtime Administrator at Honolulu Museum of Art Relieved of Position.
Seasoned arts administrator Allison Wong has been relieved of her position as Deputy Director at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Commission approves special use permit for proposed Island Naturals retail center. A proposed new retail center in Hilo passed its first obstacle, despite concern from one resident about a drive-thru at a planned attached restaurant. Tribune-Herald.

County to cover tab for lifeguard services at Kua Bay, Hapuna. Hawaii County will find a way to cover the tab to maintain full lifeguard services at two state beach parks on the Big Island, despite state lawmakers halving the amount needed to contract the life-saving personnel. West Hawaii Today.

Olson Trust Purchases Pahala Shopping Center. The acquisition of the Pahala Shopping Center is central to a mission stated by the Olson Trust to help Hawai’i develop self-sustaining communities that can thrive into the future. Big Island Now.

Maui

Growing field interested in English’s Senate seat. Current and former state and county lawmakers and well-known community leaders are among a growing field of candidates likely to submit their names for consideration to fill the seat of recently retired state Sen. J. Kalani English. Maui News.

MPD employee tests positive. A Maui Police Department employee is isolating at home after police received confirmation Wednesday that the employee had tested positive for COVID-19, police said. Maui News.

Kauai

Gov. David Ige approves changes to Kauai’s tier chart. Gov. David Ige has approved the proposed changes to Kauai’s Business and Recreation Guidelines tier chart as the county moves into Tier 3. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. KITV4.

Texan to take over Liquor Control. The county Liquor Control Commission announced the selection of Leo Sandoval as the new director for the Department of Liquor Control. Garden Island.

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