Thursday, June 3, 2021

Teachers to vote on contract, police commission nominee says no racism in Hawaii, two counties pass annual budgets, studying the sea, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Whale frolics off Hawaii Coast ©2021 All Hawaii News

NOAA Awards UH $210 Million To Host Institute for Marine & Atmospheric Research. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration selected the University of Hawai‘i to host a new Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, with the federal agency providing up to $210 million in funding over five years. Maui Now.

Hawaii Teacher Salaries Won’t Change If New Contract Is Approved.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association has reached a preliminary agreement with state officials on a new contract for the next two years, but it still must be approved by members. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Why Is It Still So Hard To Reach Hawaii’s Unemployment Office? The physical office is still closed and the agency is only two months into an 18-month technology overhaul. Civil Beat.

As mainland cities reopen, some question what’s holding Hawaii back. As tourist destinations on the mainland celebrate their reopening, Hawaii’s governor continues to push back against reducing business restrictions in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Survey finds changing attitudes in Hawaii regarding the pandemic. According to a statewide poll, most people think the coronavirus crisis is getting better and the government’s management of the situation is headed in the right direction. Star-Advertiser.

Shipments of COVID vaccines to Hawaii slow as demand drastically drops. The state Department of Health turned away more than half of its federal allotment of the Pfizer vaccine this week as demand for the shot continues to drop. Health officials say Neighbor Island hospitals won’t be getting any doses at all. That’s because they’re are having trouble getting rid of what they already have. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii counts 25 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 36,357. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island included 13 new cases on Oahu, 9 on Maui and 4 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council unanimously passes $2.92 billion budget.
The budget is about $10 million more than the one submitted to the City Council by Mayor Rick Blangiardi in March, which was $73 million less than the previous year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Police Commission nominee denies racism exists in Hawaii.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s second attempt to fill the final vacancy on the Honolulu Police Commission was met with near unanimous opposition Wednesday as opponents cited concerns about the nominee’s record as a police officer and his career in private security while the candidate said he does not believe racial discrimination exists in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

HPD says it will not release new information about two controversial fatal shootings. Honolulu's Interim Chief of Police Rade Vanic says HPD will not release new information about two controversial fatal shootings -- and that includes the identities of the officers involved.  KITV4.

HPD Officer At The Center Of A $1 Million Wrongful Death Settlement
Has A History Of Complaints. Cpl. Scott Valdez has faced criminal charges, which led to hung juries, two lawsuits that led to settlements and a Honolulu Police Commission complaint. Civil Beat.

In deposition, Louis Kealoha gets tearful when talking about wife’s manipulation. Kealoha also said his estranged wife, Katherine Kealoha, who is serving a 13-year prison term, manipulated him when she cheated on him with a firefighter from the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation tax revenue higher than expected. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization had forecast combined general excise and transit accommodation taxes of $55 million for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation in the first quarter. But the actual amount was $67 million. Star-Advertiser.

HART Asks The City To Borrow Up To $550 Million To Keep Rail Moving. The rail authority has also been borrowing on its own to cover its costs and pay its contractors. Civil Beat.

City Council approves first-ever Oahu climate action plan. Through the plan, the city said it is committing to a path to cut carbon pollution by an estimated 45% by 2025 and 60% by 2035. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kamehameha Schools receives Kakaako plan extension. Kamehameha Schools has received an extra 10 years to finish redeveloping 29 acres in Kakaako under a master plan amended by a state board Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Manoa Neighborhood Board voted Wednesday to support the public acquisition of Paradise Park land that’s up for sale. According to the listing, the 76-acre site is selling for $20 million. Hawaii News Now.

Rent, utility relief on hand to help Oahu residents during pandemic
. The City and County of Honolulu will reopen the Rental and Utility Relief Program to another 10,000 applicants Monday evening. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Seeking to steer stimulus: Council wants more say on American Rescue Plan.
Hawaii County has received its first installment of a $39 million federal stimulus package and County Council members are brimming with ideas on how to spend it. West Hawaii Today.

Board OKs decommissioning plan for Caltech observatory. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory is the first of five summit observatories scheduled for decommissioning in exchange for the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and ceased operations in 2015. Tribune-Herald.

Public Comment Sought on Proposed Use of Additional Grant Funds for Buyout Program
. The County of Hawai‘i is accepting public comment on a draft Substantial Amendment to its Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Action Plan. The public comment period runs June 2 through July 1. Big Island Now.

Healing the bay: Public asked to stay out of Kahaluu Bay for final days of spawning. The park’s closure has largely kept the bay’s waters clear of beachgoers and swimmers. Frustrations have been voiced, however, over the sight of surfers in the water. West Hawaii Today.

‘Love Island’ a boon for island: Largest production since 2008 starts shooting in July. “Love Island,” a dating reality show in which a group of singles gather at a tropical resort and compete to pair up with each other, will film its third season this summer in East Hawaii — and inject millions of dollars into the local economy. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Post Arrival Test to End on June 4. From the start of the program on May 4, through May 31, the program has tested 92,963 travelers.  Maui Now. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Alexander & Baldwin Under Scrutiny in Maui Water Rights Court Case. New information has emerged in a court battle over water on Maui, and it's prompting the state to reevaluate annual water permits issued to Hawaiʻi developer Alexander and Baldwin. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui News.

United Launches Kahului to New York Nonstop Flight, June 3. This is the airline’s only nonstop flight from Maui to the US mainland’s east coast. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council passes $243.3M FY22 operating budget. The budget plans no layoffs, furloughs or additional tax rate increases on residents and primarily focuses on deferred maintenance on bridges and the landfill, adds money toward housing and homeless initiatives and seeks wastewater solutions throughout the island. Garden Island.

Kauai beat COVID-19, but now faces a new challenge: Rebuilding its economy. Homeless people here on Hawaii’s northern island got an unusual invitation last year: Come set up camp at a spectacular beach, with showers, toilets and electricity, and meals delivered by the local food bank. Los Angeles Times.

6 arrested during efforts to close Lydgate camp. Six people were arrested, Wednesday as the county attempted to transition the Lydgate Beach Park out of its Shelter In Place camping permit program. Garden Island.



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