Friday, February 4, 2022

Hawaiian homestead bills advance, Legislature weighs fireworks, distracted driving, water cremation bills, flags at half-staff for former Kauai lawmaker, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Children play at a Hawaiian homestead camp in Keaukaha ©2022 All Hawaii News

Hawaiian homestead bills advance at state Legislature. A plan backed by most Hawaii lawmakers to give a historic sum of money to ramp up development of homesteads for potentially thousands of Native Hawaiians took two initial steps forward Thursday at the Legislature. Separate committees in the state House and Senate unanimously voted to advance a pair of bills aimed at delivering $600 million this year to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands so the agency can dramatically reduce an immense backlog of around 28,700 beneficiaries waiting for homesteads. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai’i lawmakers hearing seven bills about fireworks on Feb. 4.
To address the issues of illegal fireworks that disrupt and harm Hawaiʻi’s communities, the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce will be holding a hearing Friday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. to consider seven bills. Maui Now. KHON2.

Hawaii lawmakers consider changing fine for using your phone while driving. HB1692 was introduced by Rep. Henry J.C. Aquino (D) Waipahu, and he said that every person who violates this shall be subject to a fine that should be deposited into the state highway fund. KHON2.

Bills urge DLNR to recognize importance of game animals. House Bill 1872 and Senate Bills 2069 and 3299 urge the Department of Land and Natural Resources to recognize the value of game animals and birds as a sustainable resource and integrate local hunting and fishing industries into food security and sustainability programs. Tribune-Herald.

State Legislature weighs flavored tobacco ban.
Valerie Saiki remembers walking her son to school with a group of kids when a passing car filled the air with the smell of cotton candy-flavored e-cigarette smoke. Garden Island.

Measure to legalize water cremation in Hawaii moves forward. Despite strong opposition, a measure to legalize water cremation in Hawaii is moving forward. The bill in support of alkaline hydrolysis — using water to cremate bodies — just passed the state Health, Human Services and Homelessness Committee. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 3 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,532 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 953 new cases on Oahu, 205 on Hawaii Island, 138 on Maui, 170 on Kauai, seven on Molokai, 10 on Lanai and 49 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Health Officials Review Drinking Water Standards After Red Hill Fuel Crisis. Five years ago, the state health department increased the acceptable level of diesel in drinking water. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says that was a mistake. Civil Beat.

Army clarifies events in water flushing video circulating on social media. The U.S. Army clarified what's happening in a video circulating on social media that has raised alarm among some residents of the Aliamanu Military Reservation and Red Hill. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Feds Object To Requested Deposition Of Former Honolulu Budget Director.
Prosecutors question whether the former budget director has the “ability and competency to testify.” Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

In Niu Valley, residents and historians are upset that parts of historic walls along a ridge have been destroyed by a home construction project. The owners had the right permits and that’s led to finger pointing between government agencies. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal for affordable housing on shuttered Stadium Bowl-O-Drome’s location continues forward. DHHL and Stanford Carr Development released an environmental assessment, which includes 278 affordable units across 22 floors of livable space, seven townhomes as well as commercial space. KHON2.

The USS Michael Murphy returns home to Pearl Harbor after eight-month deployment. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Michael Murphy returned to its home port of Pearl Harbor on Thursday morning after an eight-month deployment. Star-Advertiser.

West Oahu region has large segment of registered medical cannabis patients. The growing West Oahu community now has its first medical cannabis dispensary with Thursday’s opening of Cure Oahu’s 2,200-square-foot facility in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Principal who received disturbing threats says DOE isn’t taking her safety seriously. A Hawaii middle school principal targeted with a series of disturbing threats of violence said the state isn’t doing enough to protect her, her family, and others at the school. Katherine Balatico is the principal at Stevenson Middle School in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ka‘u Coffee Farmers Grab Land — And Control Of Their Futures. Many are former sugarcane plantation workers who, when their employer went bust, started one of the most renowned coffee regions of the world. After years of uncertainty, dozens of Ka‘u coffee farmers are now buying the land they’ve worked for more than two decades. Civil Beat.

Laʻiʻōpua 2020 Appoints New Executive Director. Kawehi Inaba, founder of Mokulele Airlines and former Hawaiʻi County Research and Development director, will head the Kealakehe non-profit. Big Island Video News.


Maui mayor back to work after recovering from COVID-19. Victorino was diagnosed with the virus last Tuesday and returned to work the following Wednesday. He said on Thursday he still feels fatigue. Hawaii News Now.

Here’s How County Leaders Think Maui Can Get Tourism Under Control. In a 418-page report, a group outlined a dozen ways to prevent the island from being overrun with visitors. Civil Beat.

Measure would set weight limits, user fees for tourism-related vehicles on 2 Maui highways. House Bill 1632 would set these limitations – as well as user fees – for certain vehicles and tour operators on Hana and Haleakala highways. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council wants to secure East Maui water leases sought by Alexander & Baldwin. The Maui County Council wants to secure the long-term water leases for East Maui that are pending before the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Hawaii Public Radio.

Haleakala National Park to develop new distance-learning program in Hawaiian. A  team is developing a new distance-learning program in Hawaiian for Hale­akala National Park. The project is considered one of the first in the National Park Service to offer this level of virtual programming and in a language other than English. Star-Advertiser.


Flags to Fly Half-Staff in Memory of Former Kauaʻi State Legislator. U.S. and state flags throughout Hawaiʻi will fly at half-staff Friday, Feb. 4, to pay respect to a former Kauaʻi statesman. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Garden Island. KITV4.

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