Thursday, January 27, 2022

Boosters not yet required for Safe Travels, Kahele mulls run for governor, ACLU sues over 10-year-old's arrest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Lackluster visitor arrivals trigger new concern for tourism-dependent businesses. Sunsets, surf and sand are still draws for visitors to Hawaii, but new statistics show their numbers are lower than usual for this time of year. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige updates emergency proclamation to include Safe Travels restrictions for cruise ships. Gov. David Ige has issued his latest COVID-19 emergency proclamation, which keeps current restrictions in place and adds cruise ship passengers to the list of travelers covered by Safe Travels Hawaii requirements. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Insiders Say U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele Considering A Run For Governor. If the first-term congressman actually enters the race, it will stir up an already crowded Democratic primary. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers consider transferring to OHA an estimated $638M of withheld public land trust revenues. Senate Bill 2021 proposes to help resolve the decades-old dispute over how much of the public land trust revenues should be directed toward the betterment of Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers propose more affordable rentals for middle-income families. Lawmakers in the House have introduced a bill that would put $150 million into the revolving fund for rental housing. But this time, the goal is to provide affordable rentals for middle-income families. KHON2.

Hawaii State Senate committees consider measure prohibiting underground fuel tanks near aquifer. The Senate Committees on Health and Agriculture and Environment held a hearing Wednesday afternoon to consider a bill that would prohibit the operation of and renewal of permits for underground fuel storage tanks within a half-mile of an aquifer. Star-Advertiser.

Bills aim to improve broadband accessibility. After Gov. David Ige on Monday announced his intention to invest $400 million to expand broadband access throughout the state, a host of broadband-related bills were introduced in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Electric to issue $2M in one-time bill credits to past-due customers. Hawaiian Electric will apply $2 million in bill credits for customers who have struggled to pay their electric bill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kōkua Fund Bill Credit Program will automatically provide a one-time credit of $90 to past-due balances for about 22,000 residential and business customers by Jan. 31.  Maui Now.

American Lung Association calls for more action against youth vaping and tobacco use. The American Lung Association is calling for more action from Hawaiʻi lawmakers this year, specifically in addressing flavored tobacco products and youth vaping. Hawaii Public Radio. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor Not Requiring Boosters Yet For Hawaii Travels. A third of Hawaii residents have already gotten a third vaccine shot. Civil Beat.

Already full, Hawaii hospitals brace for a possible surge in patients. Hawaii hospitalizations nearly hit a new high Wednesday, with about 2,400 patients getting treatment at facilities statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 2,050 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 1,441 new cases on Oahu, 150 on Hawaii Island, 317 on Maui, 99 on Kauai, five on Molokai nine on Lanai and 29 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

City Council advances short-term rental bill. The most notable change the Council is considering is increasing the minimum stay to three months from 30 days for short-term rentals without a special permit. Star-Advertiser.

Public input sought for revised Ala Wai flood project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City and County of Honolulu have scheduled public meetings before the release of a new project plan to reduce risk of catastrophic flooding in the Ala Wai watershed. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers propose thousands of affordable homes around a new Aloha Stadium. A state agency is close to narrowing a competition among developers to turn land around Aloha Stadium into a mixed-use community including around 3,000 homes, but state lawmakers are being asked to consider reserving the area for a tremendous amount of affordable housing instead. Star-Advertiser.

Community Concerned Navy’s Defueling Of Red Hill Isn’t Happening Fast Enough. Some city and state lawmakers are not counting on the health department order to protect Oahu’s drinking water. Civil Beat.

ACLU sues city, HPD, DOE over arrest of 10-year-old girl for offensive drawing. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the city, the state Department of Education and the Honolulu Police Department over the January 2020 arrest of a then-10-year-old girl at Honowai Elementary School. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

City looks to fill thousands of vacancies amid ongoing worker shortage. In order to provide the level of daily services Oahu residents need, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said the city needs to employ about 10,000 people. But it only has about 8,000. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Spectators allowed to attend OIA sporting events again starting Monday. Monday is the four-week mark since the league announced it was closing events to the public due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Chung proposes earmark for homelessness programs. Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung wants to earmark part of a luxury tax on second homes to be used to help those who don’t have a home at all. West Hawaii Today.

Public Utilities Commission suspends hearing after bioenergy firm files appeal.
Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC filed an emergency motion with the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday requesting an immediate stay of further proceedings by the state Public Utilities Commission until the Big Island company’s recent appeal to the high court can be resolved. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

State pitches $192M housing, civic center project for Kahului.
About 5 acres of state land in Kahului would be transformed into affordable and market-rate housing, along with a civic center for state office space, if state agencies get the green light on a $192 million project. Maui Now.

Maui County says it has the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the state. Maui County reported more than 7,000 new COVID cases over the last two weeks. Managing Director Sandy Baz says the county has the highest positivity rate in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Photo Animation App Maker Sues Competitor
. Plotagraph Inc. alleges the Israeli firm Lightricks has infringed on Plotagraph’s patents. Civil Beat.

That’s no typo. The price of a gallon of unleaded on Lanai hit $6.39 this week. Soaring gas prices have Neighbor Islands residents frustrated as they struggle to cover fuel costs. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Unemployment trending downward on Hawai’i, Kaua‘i still highest in state. Slowly but surely, Kaua’i residents are getting back to work. Garden Island.

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