Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Land transferred to Native Hawaiians, Delta coronavirus variant detected, Hanabusa rail contract may be illegal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

Interior secretary lauds land transfer to Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The federal government is transferring 80 acres on Oahu, with the potential to provide homesteads for 200 to 400 Native Hawaiian families, to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Biden administration executives announced Monday. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Panel To Examine Audit Of Agribusiness Development Corp.
The appointed House committee members will also investigate the audit of the DLNR’s Special Land Development Fund. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige faces growing calls to veto bill eliminating an anti-tobacco trust fund. The fund has $43 million which goes toward smoking cessation programs and community interventions. Hawaii News Now.

Three armed F-22 fighters launched Sunday from Honolulu at request of FAA. Officials today would not disclose why three missile-armed Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 fighters were scrambled Sunday afternoon for an “irregular air patrol” requested by the Federal Aviation Administration. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gas utility to be sold for $514 million. The owner of Hawaii Gas announced Monday that it intends to sell the business to a private equity firm, giving the utility established in 1904 its fourth owner over the past two decades. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Interisland Travel Restrictions Ended in Hawai´i
. All restrictions on interisland travel throughout Hawai´i are set be lifted on Tuesday, June 15, marking the first time state residents and qualified visitors will be able to move between islands entirely unencumbered in more than a year. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Federal and state numbers on Hawaii vaccination rates have differed for months.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts Hawaii on the verge of freedom from the complicated county tier systems that govern activities, with 68.4% of the state population, or 968,008 people, receiving at least one dose of a vaccine.  State Department of Health data says that just 61% of the population, or 860,369 people, has received at least one shot. Star-Advertiser.

Delta coronavirus variant, which can cause more severe illness, detected in Hawaii. The Delta variant of the coronavirus, which can spread more easily and cause more severe illness, has been detected in Hawaii in a person who was fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

DOH Launches Healthy Hawaiʻi Strategic Plan and Unveils Vision for 2030. More than 200 stakeholders, advocates and visionaries across the state gathered virtually today to launch the Healthy Hawai‘i Strategic Plan 2030, a roadmap for improving the health of Hawai‘i residents by preventing and reducing chronic disease. Maui Now.

June 14, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 56 Cases. The confirmed cases included: 22 on O‘ahu (-1 probable); 13 on Maui (+1 probable); seven on Kaua‘i; four on Hawai‘i Island; and 10 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Emails Show HART Leaders Always Wanted To Hire Hanabusa As Consultant. Newly released documents confirm what many suspected: that the contract and its restrictive qualifications were written with the former congresswoman in mind. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Security camera footage shows exchange before Honolulu police shooting of Lindani Myeni. Video footage from a surveillance camera at the home where a 29-year-old South African man was shot and killed by police following a fight with officers captures him entering the home and then quickly leaving while apologizing to the couple who called police. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Honolulu Rent and Utility Relief Program expands eligibility to 80% of median income. A household of four at 80% of the area median income earns about $100,700 a year. In comparison, a household of four at 50% of the area median income makes $62,950 a year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Owner of Pearlridge Center files for bankruptcy, faces $3.5B debt. The owner of the popular Oahu mall said that the closure of retail stores and restaurants along with stay-at-home orders during the pandemic significantly impacted business. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Leeward Community College’s teacher education program gets national recognition. Leeward Community College is trying to tackle the teacher shortage by offering flexible, affordable paths into the profession that are designed for Hawaii’s working people. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Domestic violence claims 2 lives in Hilo police shootout. A Hilo family lost a grand­father and a son to a deadly cycle of domestic violence Sunday night when a 91-year-old man suffered an apparent heart attack while a 34-year-old felon with multiple convictions for household abuse died in a shootout with police officers responding to a call that he was assaulting his mother. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

50-year-old Chinese national indicted for conspiracy. A 50-year-old Chinese national was indicted Thursday on a single count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for allegedly stealing millions from the grass and seed company he worked for and hiding the money by investing in six Hawaii Island real estate projects. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Five HCCC inmates granted early release following outbreak. Nearly a dozen inmates at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center have filed motions for early release amid an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at the Hilo jail. Tribune-Herald.

County moving forward with ADA compliance project at Laaloa Bay Beach Park. The Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking a special management area use permit to allow for some $930,000 in improvements at the 0.43-acre site located off Alii Drive that’s also known as Magic Sands Beach Park. West Hawaii Today.


Maui’s Got A Brand New Ag Department. Now What? Voters in Maui County approved a charter amendment to create Hawaii’s first county-level agriculture department. Now organizers need to determine exactly what the agency will work on. Civil Beat.

Public Feedback Sought on Broadband Connectivity Issues in Maui County. Council Chair Alice L. Lee today announced a new survey to gather feedback from residents and businesses on broadband connectivity issues. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i Deciding What to Do With 417 Acres of Land Near Waimea. West Kauaʻi residents are envisioning a long-term plan for a 417-acre land parcel purchased by the county back in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hanalei access hours changed. The state Department of Transportation has modified the schedule for the single-lane public access to Kuhio Highway on either side of the Hanalei Bridge, effective last week. Garden Island.

Children among outbreak of new COVID-19 cases on Kauai. “Many of the new cases are children younger than 12-too young to be vaccinated,” Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said. “They became ill because of an unvaccinated, infected adult in their home. Being vaccinated protects you, and those in your home.” KHON2.

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