Monday, June 21, 2021

Ige rethinking COVID restrictions again, parents don't want to send their children back to school, Honolulu councilman's blackface video surfaces, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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The Race Is On To Book A Reservation At Hanauma Bay. As county parks implement online reservation websites, Hawaii is talking about creating a statewide system. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines to Resume Tahiti Service as State Opens Pre-Travel Testing to French Polynesia. Starting June 21, travelers from French Polynesia may bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 test from an approved testing partner. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Governor says he may lift all COVID restrictions earlier than planned. After defending his push to get to a 70% vaccination rate before lifting all COVID restrictions, Gov. David Ige suggested Thursday he may be changing his mind on the matter. Hawaii News Now.

Frustration Grows Among Hawaii Parents Who Aren’t Ready To Send Their Kids Back To Class. The DOE has mandated that all schools be fully open in the fall, but many families want their kids to still attend classes remotely. Civil Beat.

SNAP, FAP recipients have renewal requirements again. In keeping with federal requirements, the state Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division announced last week that, beginning July 1, the department will resume processing benefit renewals for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and Financial Assistance Programs. Garden Island.

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council considers steps to protect endangered shark. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, or Wespac, is scheduled this week to decide on potential rule changes that would prohibit the use of wire leaders in Hawaii’s largest fishery and replace them with monofilament nylon leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 69 additional cases. Sunday’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 44 new cases on Oahu, 10 on Maui, 13 on Hawaii Island and two on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.


DOJ Issues Target Letter To Former Honolulu Managing Director Amid Ongoing Corruption Probe. Roy Amemiya, who served as city managing director under former Mayor Kirk Caldwell, was already on notice when he received a subject letter last year. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Councilman’s Old Blackface Video Is Raising Concerns
. A 15-year-old comedy skit featuring Augie Tulba in blackface was recently posted on the politician’s Instagram page. Civil Beat.

Power Struggle: A Major Source Of Air Pollution On Oahu Is Also Keeping The Lights On. A new proposal to keep the electric plant operating is drawing strong opposition from clean-energy advocates. Civil Beat.

Homeless in shelters fewest in 10 years.
The 2021 Point-in-Time Count of people living in Oahu homeless shelters showed a significant decrease compared with previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting the amount of available shelter space, to account for social distancing. Star-Advertiser.

Crime falls during pandemic but Honolulu police, officials expect a surge as restrictions continue to ease. Crime in the time of COVID-19 decreased in nearly every category last year, but police, prosecutors and other officials worry about the use of weapons and a possible surge in crime as visitor numbers increase and COVID-19 restrictions ease. Star-Advertiser.

New ideas sought on how to revitalize Chinatown and Aala Park. A new approach is underway to crack down on crime in and around Chinatown and Aala Park — and then pump new and positive life into the area — beginning with a new way to document community ideas and then measure any results. Star-Advertiser.

UH Mānoa Closer to Redeveloping Atherton Building for Multi-Use Housing and Innovation Center. A plan to expand the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus by constructing a mixed-use student housing and innovation center at the intersection of University Avenue and Metcalf Street has moved forward. Hawaii Public Radio.

91 homes planned to be built on farmland in Kahuku. A local contractor has revived a more than decade-old effort to expand rural housing in Kahuku on agricultural land behind the community’s main residential subdivision. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools envisions phased redevelopment of Kapalama. Kamehameha Schools has set its sights on what can be seen as first steps to make 104 acres of largely contiguous Kapalama real estate, today dominated by industrial uses, a bit more like Kakaako, with high-rise housing and new retail mixed with light industrial business operations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sportscaster Robert Kekaula dies at 56, family confirms. Robert Kekaula, whose outsized personality and generosity made him one of Hawaii’s most recognizable personalities, died Saturday morning. He was 56. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Growing Big Island’s ag industry
: Ways and Means Committee chairman pushes leaders to create opportunities. Hawaii lawmakers want to grow and commercialize the Big Island’s agricultural industry to boost the economy, but more and better coordination among private, public and education sectors will be necessary to do so. Tribune-Herald.

Leeward Planning Commission at a crossroads: County Council scrutinizes Roth’s nominees. The spotlight has been on the membership of the Leeward Planning Commission lately, not because of actions they’ve taken, but because of who they are. West Hawaii Today.

KukuiOla homeless village yet to bring construction.
A homeless village first discussed in 2017 and expected to be completed in May has yet to begin construction. West Hawaii Today.

New fire chief responds to fatal police shooting on his street. Hawaii Fire Department Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to two fatal police-involved shootings in Hilo within a week — one June 13 in Wainaku and the second Friday at a vacant Kilauea Avenue home on Hilo’s southern outskirts. Tribune-Herald.

Room to heal: New building for cancer center, second cath lab among HHSC improvement projects. The expansion is just one of several capital improvement projects underway in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation’s East Hawaii Region, which includes HMC. Tribune-Herald.

Out of control: sudden shift in leadership raises concern within Hawaii Rainbow Rangers
. Weeks after transitioning into full services for Hawaii County’s animal control contract, abrupt changes have been made in leadership for the Hawaii Rainbow Rangers. West Hawaii Today.

Large earthquake could set off Mauna Loa Volcano, researchers say. Researchers at the University of Miami in Florida have published a paper that says Mauna Loa could be nearing its next eruption and that a magnitude-6 earthquake or greater could set it off. Star--Advertiser.


Maui Mayor Signs FY 2022 Budget Bill. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino signed the Fiscal 2022 Budget Bill on Friday, but raised questions about the document that was passed by the Maui County Council. He also returned, unsigned, a bill for pay raises in the Office of Council Services. Maui Now. Maui News.

Moratorium on visitor lodging advances. A hotly debated bill that would pause visitor accommodation development in West and South Maui in order to conduct studies on visitor impacts and updates to community plans passed first reading before the Maui County Council on Friday. Maui News.

Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Helps 250+ Maui Households. More than 250 households are receiving help from Maui County’s Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program. Residents have received more than $675,000 to make overdue rent and utility payments. Maui Now.


County sets aside $2.5M for housing. The money comes from the county’s cut of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and will pair with about $1.8 million in federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Garden Island.

Waimea 400 parcel discussion continues. The County of Kaua‘i Planning Department hosted its second Waimea 400 Master Plan conceptual alternatives community meeting virtually Thursday. Garden Island.

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