Thursday, February 17, 2022

State Capitol to reopen to the public soon, public schools continue mask mandate, Michelle Obama holds girls' roundtable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol ©2022 All Hawaii News

State House, Senate clash over when to reopen Capitol building to the public. Lawmakers Plan To Reopen Hawaii State Capitol To The Public On March 7. The House also intends to create a panel to review existing laws and propose ethics and campaign finance reforms. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s effort to lower the impaired driving limit is bolstered by a federal report. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Friday on Senate Bill 2096, which would drop the threshold for the crime of “operating a vehicle under the influence on an intoxicant” to a blood alcohol concentration of .05 grams per deciliter, down from the current standard of .08 g/dL. Star-Advertiser.

President Joe Biden granted Hawaiʻi’s request Tuesday for a disaster declaration
in the wake of severe storms that tore through parts of the state late last year. Biden approves federal disaster declaration in wake of severe December storm. A powerful Kona low weather system brought heavy rains, flooding, high winds and landslides to the state in December. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama leads roundtable in Hawaii with 8 girls from Oahu. Former First Lady Michelle Obama met with eight girls from Oahu for a roundtable conversation on Tuesday to learn more about their future aspirations and career goals. It was part of the first-ever Girls Opportunity Alliance roundtable discussion in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Despite changing policies elsewhere, Hawaii public schools are sticking to mask mandate. School districts around the country are dropping mask requirements. But Hawaii’s Education Department said there are no plans to change their masking policies. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 12 new coronavirus-related deaths, 203 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 153 new cases on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, 28 on Maui, nine on Kauai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Ethics Commission Rules Out Gift Disclosure For City Employees. However, the ethics commission is planning to propose that the Honolulu City Council consider lowering the cap on the value of gifts to $25. Civil Beat.

Killing in front of Kapolei police station sparks outrage.
A schizophrenic man with a lengthy arrest record allegedly beat a 48-year-old woman to death with a tree trunk in front of the Kapolei police station Tuesday evening, shortly after he was released pending investigation for attacking a police officer. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HPD Chief Disputes ‘Inaccurate’ SHOPO Patrol Staffing Criticism. Honolulu Police Department Interim Chief Rade Vanic pushed back Wednesday against what he described as false claims by the state’s police union that the department is endangering Oahu residents by failing to staff enough police patrols. Civil Beat.

HART board appointees declined to sign a confidentiality agreement that calls for ‘criminal penalties’ for violating the pact. Two members of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project have declined to sign a new confidentiality agreement that calls for “criminal penalties” for violating the agreement. Star-Advertiser.

Condominium owners request more time from City Council to comply with fire safety codes. Condominium owners are asking for more time and more oversight from the Honolulu City Council to comply with a law that requires them to install fire sprinklers or pass a life-safety evaluation test. Star-Advertiser.

Olomana Trail is one of Oahu’s most popular hikes. It’s also one of the most treacherous. The thrill of hiking to Oahu’s steepest peaks entices thousands to Olomana Trail. But many people who decide to make the trek have no idea what the hike entails. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Concerns over axed eco-resort at Hilo beach spark community engagement discussions. Plans have been axed for a proposed 36-unit luxury eco-resort fronting a popular Hilo beach on Hawaiʻi Island. Concerns over shoreline development near Chock’s Beach in Keaukaha are prompting discussions by residents in this small coastal community. Hawaii Public Radio.

Neighbors of Kona Brush Fire Say Homeless Camps Reason for Recent String of Blazes. Neighbors of the brush fire Wednesday in Kailua-Kona that closed two highways and evacuated multiple subdivisions said there have been several brush fires in the area recently that they believe are started in the nearby homeless camps that go unchecked. Big Island Now.

COVID-19 infections plummet: Four Big Island cases reported Wednesday, down from a high of 834 a month ago. New COVID-19 cases on the Big Island dropped to the single digits Wednesday for the first time since December as the omicron surge continues to weaken. Tribune-Herald.

Charges against BJ Penn dropped.
The state has dropped charges of DUI and reckless driving against former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

752-unit affordable housing project proposed in Waiehu. A 752-unit, 100-percent affordable housing project proposed in Waiehu could use roundabouts to calm traffic, include a transit center and be designed to fit the character of the area, the Maui Planning Commission recently suggested. Maui News.

Preliminary work announced for Kahekili Highway slope repair project. Topographic survey work and drilling of soil test borings for the Kahekili Highway slope repair project is now scheduled for Feb. 28 through March 9, 2022, in Kahakuloa. Maui Now.

Feds Propose Lifeline For 44 Endangered Species In Maui County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft recovery plan for imperiled plants and animals on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Civil Beat.

Kauai

KFD urges hiker safety, nine rescues in 2022.  In the wake of several rescues, the Kaua‘i Fire Department has taken to social media to advise the public about the dangers of hiking. Garden Island.

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