Monday, November 29, 2021

Hawaii officials evaluate Omicron risk, Meadow Gold sued over marketing, Maui firm's no-locals hiring policy draws outcry, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay to require online payments for nonresidents
. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on Wednesday will begin requiring non-Hawaii residents, ages 13 and up, to confirm their reservations with an online fee. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Private Schools May Miss Out On Federal Covid Relief Funds. Gov. David Ige’s office increased the percentage of low-income students private schools must serve before they can participate in the program. Civil Beat.

Suit claims Meadow Gold is falsely marketing its mainland milk as a local product. A Hawaii food supplier has filed a federal lawsuit against Meadow Gold and its partner dairies, saying they are falsely marketing their mainland milk as a local product. Chad Buck, the head of the Hawaii Foodservice Alliance, says Meadow Gold’s milk is imported to Hawaii from California. Hawaii News Now.

Omicron variant a concern but no reason to ‘overreact’. Officials in Hawaii said there are no plans to tighten restrictions. They stress the Omicron variant hasn’t been detected in the islands. They also say while the mutation is a concern, Hawaii has a vaccination rate and low infection and hospitalization rates. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 169 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 107 new cases on Oahu, 22 on Hawaii island, 10 on Maui, 10 on Kauai and 20 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Oahu

Can The Hawaii Reapportionment Commission Solve This Political ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’? Residents have drafted proposed reapportionment plans ahead of a public comment period set to start Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Ambulance charges may increase on Oahu as city seeks to close budget gap. Top officials with the Honolulu Emergency Services Department say they are looking at more aggressive debt collection, charging for more services, such as treating people at the scene even if they aren’t transported in an ambulance, and potentially raising fees. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Vacation Rental Crackdown May Hurt The North Shore Surfing Scene.
Critics say the Blangiardi administration’s effort to control illegal rentals could cost legal short-term operators a bundle in higher taxes and fees. Civil Beat.

New $377 million car rental facility at Honolulu airport opens Wednesday.
A $377 million Honolulu Consolidated Rental Car Facility officially opens for business Wednesday to mark the completion of all major Honolulu projects in a $2.6 billion statewide airport modern­ization plan. Star-Advertiser.

New HART Report Floats Some Cheerier Budget Possibilities. Report by a committee of HART board members claims there may be hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue or cost savings to be had. Civil Beat.

Major Stephen Gerona denies violating Honolulu Police Department policies. An HPD major accused of intimidating and harassing subordinates says his accusers have weaponized HPD’s internal complaint process to avoid taking responsibility for casework because he flagged overtime abuse and standard of conduct violations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s first tiny home project for the homeless ready for residents.
The final touches are being applied to Hawaii’s first “kauhale” of 100-square-foot homes in Kalaeloa, providing permanent housing for some of Hawaii’s chronically homeless and most-troubled people living on the street and in shelters. Star-Advertiser.

Veteran Hawaii Journalist Bob Jones Dead At 85. His extensive career included work as a print reporter, foreign correspondent, TV anchor and columnist. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roth: New rules to take ‘a measured approach’.
As Mayor Mitch Roth prepares to take over as primary emergency rule maker for Hawaii County from Gov. David Ige, he and his rules committee are “trying to take a measured approach.” Tribune-Herald.

Monday meetings to showcase political maps
. New political boundaries for federal, state and county elective offices are almost complete, and today, Hawaii County residents have an opportunity to weigh in on all of them. West Hawaii Today.

New EA planned for sewer project
. The county is set to prepare another environmental assessment and work closely with the community before constructing a wastewater system to replace gang cesspools in Naalehu and Pahala, Environmental Management Director Ramzi Mansour said Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Recent studies show heavy vog can affect levels of rainfall. A study this year compared rainfall and sulfur dioxide emissions from Kīlauea from 1979 to 2017. This research shows what has been observed anecdotally for years is true — days with heavy vog have less rainfall around Kīlauea. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui Job Posting Seeking Mainlanders Over Locals Prompts Twitter Outcry. Where you’re born and raised isn’t a protected class in Hawaii’s fair employment law, but some say it’s unfair for employers to prefer mainland applicants. Civil Beat.

Senator DeCoite Releases Resources for Maui Residents Dealing with Deer Impacts. In collaboration with State and County agencies, Senator Lynn DeCoite (District 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe) is working to provide the public with information and resources on who to contact regarding axis deer issues. Maui Now. KITV4.

Kauai

County’s insurance premiums rising
. There are only three insurance carriers willing to underwrite the county, and costs are rising. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County ePlan down from Dec. 8 to Dec. 12. From midnight Dec. 8 until midnight Dec. 12, the county’s Building Permit Electronic Plan Review System (ePlan) will be down for maintenance, according to the county Department of Public Works Building Division. Garden Island.

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