Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Police punishment iffy, new Hilton tower planned for Waikiki, Kauai readies for polystyrene foam ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii police on parade ©2021 All Hawaii News

In Hawaii, Punishment For Bad Cops Often Doesn’t Stick. A Civil Beat review of more than 50 arbitration awards covering nearly three decades of misconduct found that arbitrators regularly reverse police chiefs’ disciplinary decisions. Overall, the records show that 65% of all cases that went before an arbitrator, an officer’s discipline was either reduced or overturned. Three out of four officers who were fired were eventually rehired through arbitration, oftentimes with back pay amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Civil Beat.

Hawaii law amended to allow electric vehicles to use HOV lanes regardless of passenger count. The Hawaii Department of Transportation today announced that the state law has been amended to allow electric vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes regardless of the number of people in the car. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii gets workforce digital literacy grant of up to $100,000 from the National Governors Association. Hawaii will receive a grant of up to $100,000 from the National Governors Association to create a plan and policies for developing digital skills and equity in the state’s workforce. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed Updates To Federal Fishing Law Target Wespac. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council’s lack of transparency and unabashed politicking has prompted an effort to curtail questionable behavior through legislation. Civil Beat.

Nov. 22 strike date set for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii workers. More than 1,800 Kaiser Permanente employees in Hawaii plan to go on strike amid contract negotiations with the health care provider. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii facing threat of another COVID-19 surge as cases soar across the globe. With a spike in COVID cases on the other side of the globe, the World Health Organization's warning Americans to stay alert. KITV4.

COVID ravaged the Pacific Islander community last year, but grassroots efforts helped turn the tide. Before the vaccine was available, Pacific Islanders made up about 25% of all of the infections in Hawaii ― even though they’re only 4% of the population. They now represent only about 8% of the cases. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 79 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 85,218.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 33 new cases on Oahu, 21 on Hawaii Island, five on Maui, 16 on Kauai and four Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu’s Battle Against Short-Term Rentals Begins Again. The Honolulu City Council will hear arguments for and against Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s proposal for short-term rental enforcement on Wednesday in what is shaping up to be another long and contentious debate on the issue. Civil Beat.

New Hilton hotel tower planned in Waikiki. Hilton Hawaiian Village plans to expand its footprint onto more of Ala Moana Boulevard with a new tower, adding 515 hotel rooms to what already is Waikiki’s largest resort property. Star-Advertiser.

Top Navy official raised concerns about multiple leaking valves at Red Hill, according to leaked email. The revelation about the temporary shutdown of Red Hill and concerns about the pipeline system come at a sensitive time for the Navy, which is trying to persuade DOH to issue it a five-year permit to continue operating its tank farm. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Lack of specialized welders delays rail.
The inability to find specialized welders to retrofit too-wide rail track crossings to close the gap between too-narrow train wheels will delay the handover of the troubled rail project to the city for testing, which was supposed to happen by end of the year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Violent imagery, threats cited in girl’s arrest. Honolulu police officers arrested a 10-year-old Black girl in January 2020 because she drew a picture of a girl pointing a gun and with a severed head at her feet, addressing it to two students with death threats, according to a letter released Tuesday by the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Solar projects ditched, delayed. Supply chain problems and other unfavorable circumstances have led to the cancellation of one Big Island large solar project and the delay of another, according to documents filed with state regulators. West Hawaii Today.

Eruption creates uptick in visitors: National park getting up to 2,500 people per day.  During the last “normal” year — 2017, when there was still liquid lava in the park, but no devastating lower Puna eruption or global pandemic to deter travelers — HVNP had about 2,700 visitors per day. Tribune-Herald.

County to Host Meeting on Community Development Block Grant Program. The County of Hawai‘i will host a virtual public meeting on its draft Action Plan addressing the use of $6.86 million in US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation funds. Big Island Now.


Maui Charter Commission Approves Four Planning Proposals. By a narrow margin, the Commission declined to adopt a proposal that would have enabled residents to enforce any provision of the general plan, which includes the Maui Island Plan and community plans, in the courts. Maui Now.

Maui hotels top pre-pandemic revenue numbers and rest of state in September. Maui County hotels in September bested other counties and even topped pre-pandemic revenue numbers despite having lower occupancy than its milestone year, according to a recent report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui News.

Mahi Pono Reaches Milestone of Planting 1 Millionth Tree in Less Than Three Years. Mahi Pono took over stewardship of 41,000 acres of former sugarcane land on Maui in 2018. The company’s vision is to revitalize the Central Maui plain with diversified agriculture that prioritizes food sustainability and reduces Hawai‘i’s reliance on imported food. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i ditching foam boxes, prepping for new law. Island eateries will no longer serve food in polystyrene containers beginning Jan. 1, when a county ordinance passed in 2020 finally takes effect. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i median home price continues at $1M. The median sale price of homes on Kaua‘i was around $1 million last month, with condos selling at a median price of $729,000, according to a new report generated by Hawai‘i independent real-estate firm Locations. Garden Island.

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