Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Higher park fees sought, health care workers arrive, Kauai could get $1.9B missile radar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A steward directs traffic at Pololu lookout ©2022 All Hawaii News

Higher park fees sought for tourists in Hawaii. With tourism arrivals forecast to reach just below 10 million by the end of 2024 — and the state prohibited from limiting the number of visitors — some legislators feel pressure to expand parking and user fees at state parks designed to charge tourists for their impact on state lands. Star-Advertiser.

Biden's climate agenda is stalled in Congress. In Hawaii, one key part is going ahead. The federal Energy Information Administration estimates that 77% of Hawaii's power comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly oil and some coal. With a state deadline of getting the utility to 100% renewables by 2045, Hawaii will need to shut down oil and coal plants early. Hawaii Public Radio.

Broadband and telecommunications projects to benefit Hawaiian homestead families. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations recently announced two separate projects for beneficiaries. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

New incentives could come for teachers as staffing issues continue at Hawaii public schools. The DOE said it has hired nearly 2,000 teachers this school year. As of Jan. 11 there are nearly 4,000 substitute teachers available. KHON2.

Gambling Is Illegal In Hawaii. But Las Vegas Is Only A Plane Ride Away. Hawaii residents pump millions of dollars a year into southern Nevada’s economy. Would any of that money come home if Hawaii legalizes gambling? Civil Beat.

Menstrual Equity Measure Expected To Be On Legislative Agenda This Year. Advocates say providing free menstrual products in public schools is a health issue that needs to be addressed. Civil Beat.

Health care reinforcements begin arriving.
The first wave of health care personnel from abroad has arrived in Hawaii to help care for patients, just ahead of what some say is an expected peak in daily coronavirus cases this week. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Green touts ‘boosted or tested’ for Safe Travels. It’s time to require travelers to Hawaii to have a coronavirus booster shot or to be subject to pretravel testing or quarantine upon arrival, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Hawaii sees 4,700 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 174,586. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 3,679 new cases on Oahu, 254 on Hawaii island, 495 on Maui, 181 on Kauai, 23 on Molokai, five on Lanai and 63 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Kealoha settlement was rushed past Honolulu Police Commission. The private negotiations resulting in the $250,000 retirement settlement for former police Chief Louis Kealoha were handled by the city’s former corporation counsel and Police Commission chairman before the proposal was given to commissioners shortly before they voted on it, according to a former commissioner. Star-Advertiser.

Board gives positive review of Honolulu rail authority CEO, but staffing questions remain.
Members of the board of directors of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation generally praised the performance of Lori Kahikina as Interim CEO although Board Chair Colleen Hanabusa raised questions about staffing levels at the rail transit organization. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu nursing homes facing COVID-19 crisis. As more workers get infected or exposed to the virus, many residents are then being repeatedly isolated. KITV4.

Kamaaina investor sells Pagoda Hotel to another. A local investment company has bought the 12- story Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu from Hawaii developer Peter Savio. Star-Advertiser.

Gun Found at Honolulu Airport Makes TSA Top 10 List of 2021 Catches.
The firearm, built into a belt buckle ranked seventh on TSA’s list. According TSA oiffcials, A .22 caliber Derringer was found in the carry-on luggage of a person ticketed for travel to San Francisco International Airport. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Island

Council hopes to hear Roth’s legislative priorities today. With the legislative session kicking off Wednesday, the County Council has been eager to hear about Mayor Mitch Roth’s priorities for Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Paul Horner named CEO of Hawaiʻi Island's public access TV station. Horner replaces Connie Kiriu, who has been serving as interim CEO since April of last year. Previous CEO Stacy Higa stepped down after allegations surfaced that he diverted federal coronavirus relief funds to himself. Hawaii Public Radio.

Councilman criticized for social media post. A County Council member representing Puna received criticism on social media for a post appearing to downplay the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations. Tribune-Herald.

These Ka’u Kids Are Learning Outside Of The Classroom. When things were not looking great for students at Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School, the teachers took their lessons to the region’s roots — agriculture. Civil Beat.

Cleanup continues. The Big Island may have escaped major damage Saturday when a tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in Tonga reached Hawaii, but the event should serve as a reminder for newcomers and residents alike to be prepared for natural disasters. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui

Recently retired 2nd Circuit Court Chief Judge Bissen to run for Maui mayor. Prior to Bissen’s appointment as 2nd Circuit Court judge, he served as the interim director for the state Department of Public Safety and as the first deputy attorney general for the state, according to a biography on the state judiciary website. Maui Now.

Ban on spectators at Maui high school sporting events prompts pleas to reconsider. Thousands of Maui parents, including Maui County’s mayor, are asking Maui Interscholastic League officials to reconsider its latest policy which prohibits all spectators at all sporting events regardless of vaccination status. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Kauai residents raise concerns over planned $1.9 billion missile radar. Some are worried that the federal Missile Defense Agency’s proposal to build a $1.9 billion missile defense radar at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility could result in less access at productive fishing grounds. Star-Advertiser.

Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School goes remote. The move is due to a growing number of students, teachers and staff affected by COVID-19 isolation and quarantine requirements. Garden Island.

Entangled whale spotted off Kauai; authorities attempt to free it. Off Kauai, New drone video showed a giant whale entangled in marine debris. The mammal was seen about 300 feet off Brennecke’s Beach in Poipu. Hawaii News Now.


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