Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Distance learning discontinued for Hawaii schoolchildren, Maui mayor seeks fewer tourists, Amazon buys Oahu property, harbor tax increase will hit consumers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Limited distance-learning options next fall for public school students. There will be no full distance-learning option for Hawaii public school students when classes begin Aug. 3, although schools may be able to accommodate requests from high-risk families on an individual case basis. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing DOE Superintendent Plans To Stay In Hawaii. Christina Kishimoto, the outgoing superintendent of Hawaii Department of Education schools, is exploring career avenues outside of educational administration and has no immediate plans to leave the Aloha State after her contract is up July 30, she said Monday. Civil Beat.

Survey: 84% of staff at long-term care facilities in Hawaii are fully vaccinated. There are nearly 50 long-term care facilities across the state, and experts say they’re setting the tone in the fight against COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

State harbor user fee going up, what does that mean for consumers? The state says the scheduled 3% tariff increase or “user fee” for activities such as port entry and vessel dockage goes into effect on July 1. KHON2.

Hawaii offshore wind farm development in doldrums. Hawaii has long been a national leader in solar energy production, but the state is lagging in a quest to reach a renewable-energy frontier that appeared to be on the horizon several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Broadband expansion programs advance.
Several programs aimed at improving broadband access statewide are steadily taking shape, a state official said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. government opens comment period for proposed recategorizing of endangered Hawaiian bird. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period for the proposed downlisting of the Hawaiian stilt, or ae‘o, from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Star-Advertiser.

James Campbell Co. retains new CEO, Donald E. Huffner Jr. Huffner, who will start Aug. 1, most recently headed a real estate investment and development firm in Florida. Star-Advertiser.

Some healthcare professionals in Hawaii are concerned about COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
Healthcare professionals are seeing a disturbing trend in the continued battle against COVID-19. 33 people have been admitted to healthcare facilities so far this month. KITV4.

Hawaii reports 22 new COVID cases; vaccination rate ticks up to 57.6%. Of the new cases, 13 were on Oahu, two on Hawaii Island, and two on Maui. There were also five residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Amazon purchases land on Oahu for Hawaii’s first distribution center. Amazon now owns the 14-acre stretch of land on Auiki Street, and it’s worth more than $76 million. The company says this investment will help with future network needs. KHON2.

HART's Lori Kahikina Talks Rail Progress, Calls Dillingham Utilities a 'Spaghetti Noodle Mess' e Honolulu rail project, planned to stretch from Kapolei to Ala Moana, is moving toward the critical final leg through Honolulu's urban core. Hawaii Public Radio.

City conducts surveys for feedback about Storm Water Master Plan. The City and County of Honolulu is now collecting input from the public as it develops a Storm Water Master Plan, designed to guide management, programs and investments for the next 50 years. Star-Advertiser.

Harsher penalties wanted for landlords, renters who house illegal gambling rooms. HPD says it's monitoring anywhere between 60 to 80 active game rooms, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. KITV4.

How Hawaii Schools Are Weaving Connections With Pacific Islander Students. A new arts pilot program at two Honolulu-area middle schools demonstrates how cultural programming can foster better ties. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Search to begin for new HR chief. Hawaii County is in search of a new Human Resources director after the resignation of Bill Brilhante, who leaves his post Thursday to work in his family’s business. West Hawaii Today.

VA audit finds upkeep at Hilo’s veterans cemeteries lacking, seeks review of all in state. In Hawaii County, Hilo’s two veterans cemeteries and West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery are maintained by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Manao sought on mooring plans for manta viewing sites. Public comment is being sought by the state on plans to install day-use mooring bouys at two popular manta ray diving sites off the Kona Coast. West Hawaii Today.


Maui mayor’s appeal to airlines: At least for now, please bring us fewer visitors. To combat overtourism and congestion at the airports, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking airline officials to reduce passenger capacity to the island. Hawaii News Now.

In historic decision, commission fundamentally changes water distribution system in West Maui. In a historic decision and ruling over water rights in West Maui, the distribution system that was controlled by sugar plantations for decades is finally changing. The Hawaii Commission on Water Resources Management came up with the plan to manage the Waihe’e River, Waiehu Stream, Wailuku River and Waikapu Stream. Hawaii News Now.

Retired Judge Rhonda Loo Installs MEO Board of Directors for 2021-22. At the first in-person, socially distanced board meeting since the pandemic began in late March 2020, the slate of officers was approved by the 21-member board. The officers for the upcoming fiscal year are: Bard Peterson, president; Carol Reimann, vice president; Adele Rugg, secretary; and Cliff Alakai, treasurer. Maui Now.

Supreme Court Decision Came Too Late For Maui Residents Fighting Housing Development. The ruling could have statewide implications, as it narrows the limits of what planning and zoning exemptions are permissible for a fast-track affordable housing development. Civil Beat.

County Joins Police in Removing 41 Vehicles Abandoned Near Kanahā in Kahului, Maui. The Maui Police Department and Maui County’s Department of Environmental Management’s Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division have joined forces to remove 41 abandoned vehicles from Amala Place roadsides near Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary and the County’s Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Kahului. Maui Now. KHON2.


DOH investigates 2 clusters. In the last two weeks, the state Department of Health has identified two active COVID-19 clusters on Kaua‘i, one associated with a restaurant and another a place of worship. Garden Island.

Hui to assume management of Ha‘ena State Park. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a one-year, revocable permit for the nonprofit Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana to oversee and manage a park-reservation system, including collecting both parking and entry fees as well as an integrated shuttle system that will reduce the number of cars that enter the park each day. Garden Island.


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