Thursday, February 3, 2022

Judge denies Hawaiian Airlines employees request to stop vaccine mandate, Navy sues over Red Hill mandate, Schatz amasses $3.9M campaign war chest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Judge Denies Request By Hawaiian Airlines Employees To Halt Vaccine Mandate
. District Court Judge Jill Otake’s ruling did not dismiss the lawsuit brought by a group including pilots and flight attendants. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii rebounded 150% last year. Hawaii’s tourism industry attracted nearly 6.8 million visitors last year to post a 150% gain over the prior year. Star-Advertiser.

You need to protect it’: Lawmakers renew efforts to strengthen coffee labeling requirements. State lawmakers have renewed efforts to set tighter limits on using Hawaii location names to sell coffee. However, only one of five bills introduced this session aimed at protecting the $60 million industry has gained traction. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers Weighing Tougher Criminal Penalties For Assaults Of Retail Workers. Employees say they are scared of some customer reactions while enforcing Covid-19 health requirements. Civil Beat.

Hawaii bill looks to outlaw small complimentary toiletries at hotels. Lawmakers are looking at a bill that would do away with single-use plastic toiletries at hotels and instead encourage them to provide things like shampoo, conditioner, and soap in bulk dispensers. KHON2.

Hawaii Lawmakers Seek To Rein In Unpaid Internships. Students would largely be barred from working for free outside academic settings under a measure introduced in the state Senate. Civil Beat.

Project Reset: Lawmakers push for program that gives criminals a second chance. The Project Reset bill is moving through the legislature and aims to offer better opportunities for those in prison looking to put a reset on their life. KHON2.

Missing master keys lead to an expensive security fiasco at the state Capitol building. In an expensive security fiasco at the state Capitol, state lawmakers are spending $250,000 to change every lock in their offices because master keys have gone missing. Hawaii News Now.

Schatz Enjoys $3.9M Campaign War Chest For Senate Reelection. Sen. Mazie Hirono, who is not up until 2024, has more than $800,000 in cash on hand. Civil Beat.

Vicky Cayetano stepping aside from business responsibilities to focus on Hawaii governor’s race.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vicky Cayetano plans to step down as the head of Hawaii’s largest commercial laundry company to focus on her campaign, she told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

New NOAA satellite to monitor weather in Hawaii region. Officials say the GOES-T satellite and will focus on monitoring the western continental U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. They say it will provide fast, accurate data for tracking destructive wildfires, lightning, dense fog, and Pacific Ocean-based storm systems. KITV4.

New specialty license plate features Hokuleʻa. About 18,000 plates were made available for purchase at satellite city halls on Oahu, starting this week. According to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the plates are also available on Hawaii Island. They’ll be released in Kauai County on Monday, and in Maui County in March. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 10 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,177 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 775 new cases on Oahu, 74 on Hawaii Island, 179 on Maui, 68 on Kauai, seven on Molokai, six on Lanai and 68 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Feds take Hawaii to court over Red Hill defueling order. The federal government is taking Hawaii to court over its emergency order requiring the Navy to drain its massive, underground fuel tanks at Red Hill, filing appeals in state and federal courts on Wednesday that argue the state overstepped its authority when it tried to shutter the aging fuel farm that has contaminated Oahu’s groundwater. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Top EPA official visits Hawaiʻi to oversee Navy flushing process and ensure accurate water sampling. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's number two official arrived in Honolulu from Washington this week to see firsthand the cleanup of the fuel-tainted water at Red Hill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Police Department releases summary report on 2020 Hibiscus Drive killings. Two years after two Honolulu police officers responding to a 911 call of suspicious behavior were ambushed and killed by a sniper, the department released the official account of what happened that morning on Hibiscus Drive. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

State Approves 390-Unit Affordable Housing Development In Kapolei. A portion of the households would be set aside for family’s earning 140% of the area median income. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Campaign fundraising off to a slow start: Local candidates begin gearing up for the 2022 elections. The last half of 2021 was generally a sluggish period for local campaign fundraising, with the exception of two candidates seeking new offices. West Hawaii Today.

Bill aims to speed up lease extension approvals in Kanoelehua Industrial Area. With some Hilo business owners having a hard time getting their leases of state land extended, a bill in the state Legislature seeks to cut the Board of Land and Natural Resources out of the process entirely. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Police Commission suggests salary bump for Chief from $158,000 to $205,000. The Maui Police Commission voted unanimously to recommend a $47,000 bump in pay for the Maui Police Chief. The recommendation requests an increase in pay from the current $158,851 to $205,000 (+29%) as a new base salary. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Charter Commission holding public meeting Feb. 3 on updated draft report. The Maui Charter Commission is holding a virtual public meeting Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. to hear public testimony about revisions to the draft report, which has 40 proposed amendments to the County Charter that are under consideration for the November 2022 ballot. Maui Now.

State to investigate as Maui residents, mansion owner clash over shoreline access.
Cliff House draws community in solidarity over access dispute. A popular spot for swimming and cliff jumping, Hawea Point this weekend also became a meeting place for hundreds of people to stand together in solidarity against alleged actions by a neighboring mansion owner to control access to the area.  Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Maui’s Real Estate Market starts 2022 with new record median home price $1,160,000
. The Maui real estate market started the new year off with the median price for single-family homes rising to a record $1,160,000 – the previous high was set in June 2021 at $1,105,000. Maui Now.

Days after getting evictions, Lanai teachers are told they can stay in state-run housing. A big sigh of relief for some teachers on Lanai who were told they were being evicted from state-run housing. After several days of confusion and fear, state Department of Education officials said they can stay. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


OPA candidates Like and Iseri discuss policy ahead of election. With ballots for the county prosecutor special election sent out in the mail last week, candidates Rebecca Like and Shaylene Iseri took to the airwaves to share their vision for criminal justice on the island. Garden Island.

How This Kauai Community Is Benefiting From Hosting The Island’s Landfill. The west Kauai community has received more than $2 million through a benefits fund that residents have used for solar projects, youth sports and more. Civil Beat.

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