Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Ige to announce relaxed restrictions this week, Las Vegas captain tapped for Maui police chief, Honolulu council to vet pick for city auditor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy U>S. Navy
USS Daniel Inouye guided missile destroyer PC: U.S. Navy

New $1.5 billion-plus Navy destroyer USS Daniel Inouye heading for Hawaii. The Navy’s new “Go for Broke” destroyer named for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II hero and one of Hawaii’s most influential statesmen, is sailing to its new home port of Pearl Harbor and a Dec. 8 commissioning at Kilo Pier. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Combative auditor hearings cross midpoint, with weeks to go. As the hearings enter their fourth week, resuming today for sessions slated to continue for about three more weeks, there has been no clear testimony presented — in public, at least — of obvious wrongdoing by state Auditor Les Kondo or his office. Star-Advertiser.

Trailblazing CEO Connie Lau will pass the torch at Hawaiian Electric Industries. Connie Lau, the longtime president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., highest-paid female executive in the state, and a driving force behind the company’s move toward clean energy, is retiring at the end of this year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Sierra Club Hawaiʻi Director Marti Townsend steps down.
The environmental organization’s new director is Wayne Tanaka — an attorney, engineer, and environmental advocate. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

First Hearing Held On Proposed Hawaiian Homes Bill
. The federal legislation ensures long-term tenancy to beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and their successors, Kahele says, by reducing the successorship qualification of a lessee’s spouse, children, grandchildren and brothers or sisters from one quarter to one thirty-second Hawaiian. Big Island Video News.

Help wanted: Substitute teacher shortage stretches Hawaii public schools thin. The DOE said they are aware that in some rural areas, where there are general staffing shortages, it is challenging to secure substitutes. Some schools are taking it upon themselves to recruit educators. KHON2.

A+ program staffing shortage leaves hundreds of kids waiting and their parents scrambling
. At least 2,600 elementary school-age children — nearly 1,600 at the A+ program held at public schools on Oahu, served by YMCA of Honolulu, and 1,000 at schools on four islands, served by Kamaaina Kids — are on the waitlist in the current school year.  Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige expected to announce relaxed restrictions this week. As Covid-19 case counts continue to drop, Gov. David Ige plans to announce relaxed restrictions later this week, a spokesperson for the governor told KITV-4 Tuesday. KITV4.

Hope for eager UH football fans: Ige says he’s looking to ease some COVID rules soon
. In a one-on-one interview with Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, Gov. David Ige said he’s planning a slow return for UH spectators. He said he hopes to make an announcement with the four county mayors about easing rules by Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Pandemic Hardships Have Made Hawaii’s Nursing Shortage Even Worse. As nurses left the profession, bottlenecks in education made it hard to replace them. Civil Beat.

With enough vaccine supply, DOH offers Pfizer booster shots to any adult who is eligible. Officials said those who had their second Pfizer shot at least six months ago and who feels they are at risk because of certain health conditions or their job, are eligible for a third dose. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 91 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 80,414.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 53 new cases on Oahu, 12 on Maui, 15 on Hawaii Island, seven on Kauai and four Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu may soon have a new city auditor. The Honolulu City Council is expected to take up the nomination Wednesday of Arushi Kumar to head the office that conducts financial and performance evaluations of city departments, programs, activities and services. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oʻahu home prices continue hot streak, but there are signs of stabilization. The median price for a single-family home on Oʻahu rose to $1,050,000 in September. The median price for a condominium also rose last month to $480,000. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.

Old housing in Moiliili cleared for affordable midrise.
The blessing by Kahu Kordell Kekoa was part of a ceremonial groundbreaking for a 105-unit midrise apartment building on a site previously occupied by 26 residences in several low-rise apartments and one single-family home dating as far back as 1928. Star-Advertiser.

HART Effort To Hire Welders To Fix Rail Tracks Falls Flat. A recent effort by Honolulu rail officials to hire licensed welders who might help fix one of the transit system’s most basic problems, in which the train wheels don’t align properly with the track crossings, has come up empty. Civil Beat.

New UH COVID-19 prediction models show infection rates trending down.
In the latest report, scientists believe the Safe Access Oahu program that requires people to show their COVID-19 vaccination card or negative test result at most indoor spaces helped bring down case counts. KITV4.

Honolulu medical examiner's office using refrigerated containers for COVID-19 deaths. The medical examiner's office is also in the middle of a $5 million renovation to double its capacity, but construction is going to be another year and a half. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Friday announced the purchase of two commercial properties adjacent to its headquarters in Iwilei for $47 million. OHA intends to use the properties as a revenue generator and plans to keep Ross, Longs and PetSmart. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Ambitious audit plan set: Change orders, inventory, Fire Department, property taxes top list. An audit of contract change orders, property tax revenues, countywide inventory controls and performance of the Fire Department are among 13 projects slated this year by the county’s new auditor. West Hawaii Today.

Trailers could be allowed again at 5 transfer stations. At a Tuesday meeting of the County Council’s Regenerative Agriculture, Water, Energy and Environmental Management Committee, Ramzi Mansour, director of the Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management, said that five of the county’s 22 transfer stations could possibly be modified to once again allow people to use towable trailers to deposit waste. Tribune-Herald.


Las Vegas Police Captain Selected As Final Candidate For Maui Police Chief.
John Pelletier still needs to make it through pre-employment investigations before being appointed as the police chief. Civil Beat.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Charter Commission Votes for Greater Public Access and Transparency. The Maui Charter Commission last Thursday voted to advance several Charter amendment proposals that, if approved by voters in November 2022, aims to bring greater integrity and transparency to County government operations.  Maui Now.


Council mulls using eminent domain for affordable housing. The Kaua‘i County Council will vote today on whether the county will use eminent domain to acquire a 23.5-acre parcel of land in Kilauea. Garden Island.

KFCC installs new slate of officers.
Nancy Apalla of the Kaua‘i Filipino Community Council said the group that oversees the many Filipino groups on Kaua‘i cannot get stopped because of the COVID-19 virus. Garden Island.

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