Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Search for state schools superintendent stalls, 10-year-old handcuffed, arrested in school tiff, Sunshine Law changes surface, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Education
Acting Superintendent Keith Hayashi PC: DOE

Hawaii’s Search For A New School Chief Will Take Longer Than Expected. The state Board of Education plans to use local grant money to hire the National Association of State Boards of Education to help facilitate the search. Civil Beat.

Sinking test scores show pandemic impact on Hawaii students.
Learning across public schools in Hawaii plummeted during the pandemic. New test scores and screenings show huge losses in math and reading. KHON2.

OHA Has Lots Of Job Openings Amid A Controversial Restructuring. Meanwhile, some staffers have criticized a reorganization they say contributed to departures from the office. Civil Beat.

Trick-or-treating gets a green light this year as COVID-19 cases fall. Outdoor trick-or-treating has been greenlighted by federal and state health officials this year, a sign that life is starting to get back to normal after soaring COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer spurred heightened restrictions. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

A Key Part Of Hawaii’s Nursing Workforce Is Shrinking Fast.
Even before the pandemic, licensed practical nurses, who do much of the work at long-term care facilities, were calling it quits. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 117 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 54 new cases on Oahu, 29 on Hawaii Island, 13 each on Maui and Kauai, and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


ACLU urges reform after girl, 10, arrested at Waipahu school.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and a Honolulu attorney are calling for $500,000 in damages and new state policies managing how police and public school employees handle situations with students after the mother of a 10-year-old Black girl living with disabilities alleged officers used “excessive force” to handcuff, interrogate and arrest her daughter following a complaint from another parent. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

HPD faces new pressure to restrict powers of commander accused of harassment, retaliation.
Major Stephen Gerona is the subject of multiple officer complaints for alleged harassment, sexual harassment, retaliation and for creating a hostile work environment. Hawaii News Now.

Investigation Recovers $97K in Back Wages for 137 Restaurant Workers. GU Industrial & Business Corp. has operated Golden Coin restaurants and bake shops offering Filipino specialties and other food products since 1985. Based in Waipahu – home to the company’s headquarters, a banquet facility, and meat and poultry processing and bakery facilities – GU Industrial & Business Corp operates Golden Coin locations in ʻEwa Beach, Honolulu, Kalihi, Wahiawa and Wailuku. Maui Now.

Hundreds of burned cars removed from illegal junkyard on state farmland. It took several years to illegally stockpile an estimated 1,000 junked cars on state farm land in Poamoho. But it took about a week for private company working with the state to haul away the burned out vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A ‘common sense’ Halloween: Mayor says no county-specific rules on tap for Oct. 31. Mayor Mitch Roth said Monday that he will not issue any county-specific rules for Halloween, instead encouraging families to simply “use common sense” to avoid spreading COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

Sunshine Law changes in the works. There’s little detail, but County Council members will be asked Wednesday to approve a resolution asking the county to support changes to the Sunshine Law, the state law governing public meetings and public notice to the meetings. West Hawaii Today.

$58.7M customs facility complete at Kona International Airport.
Construction of a permanent Federal Inspection Services facility to allow for continued international arrivals beyond this year at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole has been completed under budget and ahead of schedule. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Electric to usher in more renewable energy options. On Friday, Hawaiian Electric filed a request for proposal to acquire new renewable energy projects, beginning the third phase of a greater renewable energy procurement project that will, when completed, generate up to 203 megawatts of clean power on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kona restaurant gets red placard for roach infestation. A Kailua-Kona restaurant was ordered to close after an inspector found roaches infesting the kitchen and food areas, evidence of active rodent infestation and other hazards, the state Department of Health said Monday. A red placard was issued to Kamana Indian Cuisine Restaurant in the Waterfront Row Shopping Center. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Maui Mayor Victorino says he learned of COVID-19 exposure via social media. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino tested negative for COVID-19 last weekend after meeting days earlier with three unvaccinated county residents, two of whom came down with the virus, his office said today. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Plans stall for Hawaii’s first eco-friendly cemetery on Maui.
A setback in an effort to create Hawaii’s first eco-friendly cemetery isn’t stopping Reverend Bodhi Be. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Small Farmers Can Apply for Grants Up to $25,000.
The $1.5 million Maui County-funded program is open to operating farms on less than 12 acres possessing a county business or state general excise license as of July 1, 2021, with preference given to women and Native Hawaiian farmers. Maui Now.


Kauai’s Special Election For Prosecutor Gets A Second Candidate. Shaylene Iseri filed nomination papers this week to campaign in a special election for county prosecutor, a seat vacated last month by Justin Kollar who had held the job for nearly a decade. Civil Beat.

County seeks nonprofit to manage North Shore Watershed Flood Mitigation sub-grants. The county is seeking a nonprofit organization to manage the distribution of over $7 million in sub-grants in funding that’s a result of the historic 2018 April floods. Garden Island.

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