Friday, December 17, 2021

Hawaii high school students lagging behind, congressional delegation seeks Red Hill fix, Mauna Kea stewardship at issue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii graduates pre-COVID PC:Department of Education

Nearly 20% of Hawaii high school students not on track to graduate. Almost 20% of Hawaii’s high school students are not on track to graduate after being sent home to learn during the COVID pandemic. Educators said these students are disengaged and chronically absent. KHON2.


Hawaiʻi congressional delegation asks US House, Senate to tackle Navy's fouled water. Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation on Thursday asked House and Senate leaders to make sure the military spends whatever money it has available to address the contamination of Pearl Harbor drinking water by a Navy fuel storage facility that has leaked petroleum. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. 

Water system now meets guidelines, Navy says. The Navy announced Thursday that its most recent testing shows that its water system no longer has contamination levels above the state Department of Health’s “environmental action limit,” or the level at which the water is regarded as unsafe for human consumption.  Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Some In Pearl City Say Clean Water Run Through Navy Pipes Also Seems Tainted. The Board of Water Supply says its water is clean and safe, but it’s traveling through Navy pipes, and residents in Manana Housing are reporting problems. Civil Beat.

Oahu businesses deal with Red Hill water contamination crisis. About 15 food operators in the Pearl Harbor NEX Food Court are still temporarily shuttered while the Navy works to resolve water contamination caused by a jet fuel leak from its Red Hill underground fuel tanks. Star-Advertiser.


Corrections Commission Again Urges A Pause In Planning For A New Jail. After hearing that a new lockup could cost as much as $1 billion, members again ask the state to study alternatives. Civil Beat.

SHOPO Elections End In Shake-up For Union Leadership. Robert Cavaco was elected to be the state police union’s next president and will take over for Malcolm Lutu next month. Civil Beat.

State unemployment rate hits 20-month low of 6.0%. Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell in November to a 20-month low as the state’s labor market continued to improve despite an ongoing worker shortage. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department reports 14 omicron cases as averages continue to climb.
The state Department of Health’s latest variant report now lists 14 omicron variant cases on Oahu. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 395 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 295 new cases on Oahu, 55 on Hawaii Island, 26 on Maui, seven on Kauai, one on Molokai and 11 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Oʻahu Transit Services network slowly coming back online after cyberattack.
Honolulu’s Transportation Services Director Roger Morton says full services, such as the DaBus tracking app and the HandiVan’s mobile data terminal, should be back up in a matter of days. Hawaii Public Radio.

Priority #1 for Honolulu’s new fire chief: Filling upwards of 120 vacancies. Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Wednesday morning officially introduced Honolulu’s 35th fire chief: Kalani Hao. Hawaii News Now.

Hoyt Zia Stepping Down From The HART Board.
The retired Hawaiian Airlines executive joined the local oversight group in 2017 and saw rail’s ‘P3’ effort collapse. Civil Beat.

Data shows repairs to Koko Crater trail significantly reduced emergency rescue calls. An organization that helps maintain the popular Koko Crater trail said recent repairs to the stairs has cut emergency rescue calls by over half. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Regents get Maunakea update
: UH officials discuss streamlined structure for stewardship of the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

Contract For Kalanianaole Avenue Reconstruction Terminated. The County of  Hawaii
says it has made the decision to terminate Goodfellow Brother's contract for the reconstruction project. Big Island Video News.

Waimea Middle School cancels classes Friday amid nationwide threat of school shootings. Waimea Middle School has decided to cancel school today as a precautionary measure due to a nationwide social media rumor that school shootings will take place on Friday, Dec. 17. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Council to consider mayor’s veto of housing waitlist bill. Victorino worries about liability as measure would put county in charge of list. Maui News.

Mayor calls for more review of tax, sunscreen bills. Mayor Michael Victorino is asking for further review of two bills he recently signed into law that would offer tax relief to certain residents and ban nonmineral-based sunscreens in Maui County. Maui News.

County Issues Stop Work Order for Construction of Large Home in Nāpili, Maui.
The County of Maui issued a Stop Work Order to Nāpili Beach House, LLC, developer of a large single-family residence under construction in Nāpili. The home has been the subject of an ongoing dispute over its permits and size, as well as community concerns involving the height of the structure. Maui Now.

30 Acres of East Maui Coastline Protected at Makaʻalae. Hāna-based nonprofit community organization Ke Ao Hāliʻi (Save Hāna Coast), in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi, County of Maui, and Hawai‘i Land Trust, announce the purchase and protection of more than 30 acres at Makaʻalae along Maui’s Hāna coast. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i group files complaint against mayor, county, governor in federal district court
. A local group has filed a complaint in federal district court against the County of Kaua‘i, Mayor Derek Kawakami and Gov. David Ige, claiming the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 800,000 Americans to date “is a manufactured public-health event.” Garden Island.

Former litigant responds to Iseri’s claims that lawsuits were planned to derail 2012 election. A county employee, who settled a complaint against former Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri for $108,000 in 2016, has responded to Iseri’s allegations that multiple lawsuits brought against her office were intended to sabotage her failed 2012 reelection campaign. Garden Island.

Kaua’i County continues to lead in state unemployment. Kaua‘i unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% in November from 7.8% in October, according to the latest data from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Garden Island.

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