Monday, February 28, 2022

Navy secretary visits Oahu, Maui mayor repeals COVID emergency rules, Kauai elects Like prosecutor, Merrie Monarch hula fest is a go, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hula dancers at 2019 Merrie Monarch festival ©2022 All Hawaii News

Plan to ‘reimagine’ University of Hawaii is considered. First steps toward “reimagining” the whole 10- campus University of Hawaii system are underway, with a proposed new focus on luring and training more local residents to the fields in which the state most urgently needs workers, such as health care, education and technology. Star-Advertiser.

Senior Hawaii Teachers Inch Closer To Receiving Pay Raises.
Lawmakers are debating whether to fund pay increases for veteran teachers and hard-to-staff positions. Civil Beat.

Money piling up behind candidates in Hawaii gubernatorial race. Who becomes Hawaii’s next governor will be up to 300,000 to 400,000 or so voters later this year, but several hundred people and organizations really want to influence the decision. Star-Advertiser.

Two virtual currency bills pass final committee hearings. A pair of bills that would provide state regulatory support for “virtual currencies” successfully passed their final committee hearings in their respective chambers last week. Tribune-Herald.

Bill for Duke Kahanamoku license plate advances.
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, renowned as the father of modern surfing and Hawaii’s first Olympic swimming gold medalist, has been commemorated by a statue in Waikiki since 1990, the 100th anniversary of his birth. Star-Advertiser.

Dr. Richard Kelley, a significant figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, dies at 88. Dr. Richard Roy Kelley, who headed Outrigger Hotels and Resorts for decades and served as a significant figure in Hawaii’s tourism industry, has died at age 88. Hawaii News Now.

Military personnel, aircraft training starts. The U.S. Air Force’s 15th Wing and Hawaii Air National Guard are scheduled to conduct an exercise starting today and running through March 11 that is likely to attract public attention. Star-Advertiser.

Releases From Hawaii Prisons Slowed During Pandemic Despite Supreme Court Orders
. U.S. Department of Justice statistics show the state prison system released 30% fewer inmates in 2020 than the year before, the biggest decrease among the states. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency marks 2 years of COVID operations. Even before Hawaii officially documented its first case of the coronavirus on March 7, 2020, the state’s emergency response specialists had been tapped to follow news of the emerging pandemic and try to stay a step ahead of the virus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 229 new coronavirus infections, 4 additional deaths. The new cases include 133 on Oahu,  33 on Hawaii Island, 27 on Maui, 24 on Kauai, 3 on Lanai and o on Molokai, wioth 9 new cases of Hawaii residents out of state. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro visits Oahu to discuss water contamination crisis. U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro will wrap up his visit to Hawaii Monday as the service continues to work to resolve the months-long contamination of its water system that serves 93,000 people on Oahu, including military families, schools, businesses and civilians living in former military housing areas. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Scores A Win Against Big Oil In Climate Change Lawsuit. Out of over a dozen climate change cases filed nationwide, Honolulu’s case is leading the pack, attorneys say. Civil Beat.

More Problems Mount Along Honolulu Rail Track Crossings. The latest snafu, involving track gauge, raises questions about the crossings’ design as HART struggles to make their components fit together. Civil Beat.

HPD main station cellblock reopens after $4.2M renovation completed. The Honolulu Police Department opened its newly renovated cellblock Friday at its headquarters on Beretania Street. Hawaii News Now.

After lengthy inquiry, former principal of Hawaii School for Deaf and Blind to be reinstated. In 2019, the state Department of Education complex superintendent recommended that Angel Ramos, who was principal at the time, be demoted. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Green light for hula fest: Merrie Monarch competition set to return to pre-COVID glory. With COVID-19 case counts on the decline, the 59th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival will return to its customary schedule starting April 17. Tribune-Herald.

Sexual abuse suits against former Big Island priest settled.
The Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii has settled four civil lawsuits alleging a defrocked Big Island priest sexually molested teenage boys decades ago, according to court records. Tribune-Herald.

Work begins on HCCC expansion. Construction began last month on a long-planned and controversial new housing module at the Hilo jail. Tribune-Herald.

Waipiʻo Valley Road Closed To Visitors Under New Emergency Rule. As of Friday, February 25, the road is closed to visitors "as a precautionary safety measure and to further assess and mitigate the road’s conditions", officials say. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Maui

Mayor repealing Maui County Public Health Emergency Rules, effective March 1, 2022. All of Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules are being repealed, effective March 1, 2022, according to an announcement by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now. Maui News.

County looks to flip the switch on light pollution. Bill would update rules on lighting to help protect wildlife. A Maui County Council committee is considering a bill that would revise and update the county’s existing light ordinance. Maui News.

Cameron Center Installs Electric Charging Stations to Combat Climate Change. The new stations replace earlier versions installed and operated by the Hitachi Corporation in a pilot project on Maui to expand charging station availability. Maui Now.

Kauai

Like Prevails Over Iseri In Kauai Prosecutor Race. A political newcomer, Like is stepping into office at a time when the island is dealing with a rise in fentanyl abuse, a suicide problem and a longstanding lack of mental health and drug addiction resources. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Contentious cat feeding, abandoning bill heads to second reading. A bill prohibiting the feeding of feral cats on County of Kaua‘i-owned property passed out of committee last week, and will appear before the County Council for a final reading in two weeks’ time.  Garden Island.

Council discusses Hideaways access improvements. Two Kaua‘i County Council bills that passed first readings last Wednesday may appropriate up to $1.5 million to improve access to Hideaways, or Kaumumene Beach, in Princeville. Garden Island.

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