Monday, January 24, 2022

Ige to give final state of the state address today, Republicans continue to drop out of Legislature, $230M in bonds sold for airport improvements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu airport July 31, 2021 My Kailua Community Facebook page

Newly sold bonds will fund $230 million for essential airport projects in Hawaiʻi.  The Airports Division of the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation has sold new airports system revenue bonds to fund approximately $230 million of essential projects to modernize and expand air service facilities across the state.  Maui Now.

Pandemic Cloud Lingers As Ige Prepares His Final State Of The State Address. Hawaii was on the upswing for most of Ige’s two terms as governor, but his most recent speeches reflect more troubled times. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority shifting focus to a new type of visitor, aims to educate about the state. Tourism numbers are still below pre-COVID pandemic levels and for the first time, the Hawaii Tourism Authority has to make a budget request to the state legislature. KHON2.

State report: Single adult on Oahu needs to earn $18 an hour to cover basic needs. The Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts is scheduled to hear SB 2018 on Monday, the same day House leadership is expected to introduce its minimum wage bill. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Caucuses multiply in Hawaii, focusing on specific legislation. Three new caucuses are introducing bills in the 2022 legislative session, which began Wednesday, joining eight other formal caucuses and some informal ones that have been around for many years with like-minded lawmakers trying to get laws enacted by banding together. Star-Advertiser.

Rep. Val Okimoto To Seek Honolulu City Council Seat. Her departure would leave just two Republicans in the House, Rep. Lauren Matsumoto and Rep. Gene Ward. Kurt Fevella is the sole Republican in the Hawaii state Senate. Civil Beat.

Char: Number of state COVID cases ‘very concerning’. The state health director said she thinks “it’s a bit early” to say Hawaii’s surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant has plateaued. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii part of clinical trials for new Omicron-specific vaccine. Volunteers a 50-50 chance of getting the new Omicron vaccine being tested or a 4th dose of the current formula. KITV4.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,167 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 2,078 new cases on Oahu, 371 on Hawaii Island, 493 on Maui, 168 on Kauai, 10 on Molokai, 11 on Lanai, and 36 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

State has yet to release new rules cracking down on beach revetments.
Property owners are legally allowed to keep the emergency protections in place only temporarily, but state officials have allowed walls of sandbags to remain in front of some properties for years, and even decades, after issuing repeated approvals or losing track of them, an investigation in December 2020 by the Star-Advertiser and ProPublica found. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Roy Amemiya Wants City Documents To Fight His Conspiracy Indictment. The City Says No. The former Honolulu managing director’s public records request was rejected by city attorneys. Civil Beat.

City can also represent Honolulu officers in teen’s shooting. Honolulu attorneys may represent both the city and three police officers in a civil lawsuit by the family of a 16-year-old boy shot and killed by police, a judge ruled Friday in response to a motion by the teen’s relatives arguing the officers need to have their own lawyers to avoid conflicts of interest. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

West Oahu Reps Plan To Tackle Traffic, Tech And The Cost Of Living. Lawmakers want the public to weigh in this session on the bills that matter most to their communities. Civil Beat.

A deal to sell plots of land to Waialua farmers moves ahead. At a time when some of Hawaii’s most productive farm lands are making way for housing development, developer Peter Savio is acquiring the fee interest on 280-acres of agricultural land from owner Dole Plantation to help preserve agriculture. He’s dividing the land and selling individual lots of one to 10 acres to Dole’s tenants at little profit. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Navy water quality results to be made public faster, according to the Interagency Drinking Water System Team. Drinking water quality test results for the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam water system will be made public faster, according to news release today from the the Interagency Drinking Water System Team. Star-Advertiser.

Army breaks ground on new maintenance hangar at Wheeler Airfield.
The Army broke ground last week for a new maintenance facility at Wheeler Army Airfield that’s intended to begin replacing the 90-year-old facilities the service has relied on at the historic base. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

North Kona, South Kohala vacation rental hotspots. North Kona and South Kohala are home to about 80% of short-term vacation rentals on the island and 87% of complaints about STVRs registered countywide with the Planning Department. West Hawaii Today.

‘A quandary’ in Hilo: Frustration mounts for KIA lease holders seeking extensions from the DLNR. Nearly four years later, an attempt to revitalize the heart of Hilo has almost completely halted after sinking into a governmental morass. Tribune-Herald.

Council rejects contractor for Leeward Planning Commission. The County Council last week rejected its second nominee to the Leeward Planning Commission in six months, saying the candidate, Shane Vincent of Waimea, would bring too much of a developer perspective to the board. West Hawaii Today.

Phase of Kalanianā’ole Avenue Reconstruction in Hilo Pushed Back. The state Department of Transportation announced Saturday that the portion of the project from Kamehameha/Railroad Avenue to Kauhane Avenue is now expected to begin in April because of contract and supply availability issues.  Big Island Now.

Maui

Victorino, Bissen Dive In Early To Maui Mayor Race. The county’s voters will elect a mayor in November following the nonpartisan August primary. Civil Beat.

New law impacts some vacation rentals and Grand Wailea expansion. Moratorium pauses new visitor lodgings, but some may still be developed under bill’s exceptions. Under the new law, which went into effect on Jan. 7, new transient accommodations, such as hotels, timeshares, short-term rental homes and transient vacation rental units, are prohibited in all zoning districts on Maui. Maui News.

Maui ranked among top destinations on Expedia and Vrbo 2022 searches.
Maui, Hawaʻi is ranked the #2, 2022 destination based on trip searches on Vrbo and #5 based on trip searches on Expedia. Maui Now.

Hawaii’s Strictest Pandemic Policies Have Created A Lonely Existence For Kalaupapa’s Surviving ‘Outcasts’. Kalaupapa’s last living leprosy patients confront state-mandated social isolation policies that continue to prohibit visits by family and friends. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Tourism officials talk top priorities in 2022. Island tourism officials have a game plan for 2022, one year after the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority debuted county-by-county Destination Management Action Plans to address a changing visitor industry. Garden Island.

Run-up to KIUC board of directors election underway.
Three seats on the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s board of directors are up for grabs this March, and the run-up to the election is just beginning. Garden Island.


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