Monday, March 14, 2022

Coral more resilient than thought to climate change, federal plan to protect 50 Hawaii species, state to receive federal funds for online education, Hawaiian homelands, homelessness, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Researchers study Hawaii coral ©2022 All Hawaii News

Hawaiian Corals Show Surprising Resilience to Warming Oceans. A new study that included researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi is painting a more optimistic picture of how Hawaiian corals are faring in warmer, more acidic oceans. Big Island Now.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife drafts plan to protect 50 Hawaii endangered and threatened species. The Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office has published a draft recovery plan for 50 endangered species within the Hawaiian archipelago which covers 35 plants, 13 invertebrates and two birds. KITV4.

Hawaii schools to receive $72 million in federal funds for online learning. More than $72 million in federal COVID-19 assistance funds has been awarded to Hawaii public schools, and a handful of charter and private schools, to help close the “digital equity” gap suffered by students who don’t have a way to connect to the internet at home. Star-Advertiser.

Congress OKs record $22 million for Hawaiian Home Lands. Federal lawmakers have committed to a record funding appropriation for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Wide range of bills advance, stall at mid-point of Hawaii legislative session. State lawmakers halfway through the 60-day legislative session are poised to grant raises to public worker union members and infuse millions of dollars to help Native Hawaiians afford homes on their ancestral lands. Star-Advertiser.

These 5 Bills Could Be Game Changers For Hawaii Residents Struggling To Afford A Place To Live. Hawaii lawmakers have proposed bills steering hundreds of millions of state and federal dollars toward a range of housing solutions. Civil Beat.

Onishi pushes back on retirement fund bill. A bill that would establish a state-managed retirement fund program for employees might be dead on arrival unless proponents make fundamental changes to how it operates. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Seemed Poised To Adopt A Vape Flavor Ban. Then Came The Amendments. The amendments were necessary, Rep. Ryan Yamane said, and were in no way influenced by thousands in donations from tobacco companies and lobbyists. Civil Beat.

Ige Appoints Utilities Lawyer To Public Utilities Commission. Naomi Kuwaye’s experience includes representing a $16 billion energy company in a major case before the commission she will oversee if confirmed. Civil Beat.

Delay expected for national park air tour plans in Hawaii. Proposals to cap tour flights over Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakala national parks — or ban them altogether — are among the options being considered as two federal agencies work to draft mandated air tour management plans that are more than 20 years overdue. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Public workshops scheduled for Ala Wai flood risk abatement. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City and County of Honolulu are inviting the public to participate in the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management General Reevaluation Study in a series of virtual “miniworkshops” next month. Star-Advertiser.

After a community uproar, a crosswalk that was removed in Kakaako will be restored. On Saturday, House Speaker Scott Saiki was joined by other lawmakers, the Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Transportation Services at Kolowalu Park to announce that the crosswalk between Queen and Waimanu will be repainted, and a pedestrian refuge center will be installed. Hawaii News Now.

Upgrades, limits planned for popular Lanikai Pillbox Trail. A newly released 987-page draft environmental assessment describes proposed trail improvements and a management plan that includes capping the number of hikers through a permit or reservation system. Star-Advertiser.

Some Manoa residents raise concern over construction of kupuna housing project. The Lin Yee Chung Association wants to build 288 affordable rentals on preservation land to pay for much-needed maintenance at the Manoa Chinese Cemetery, which is more than 170 years old. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


‘What you know, not who you know’ County auditor says new controls should curb favoritism in county hiring. It took more than four years, but the county has finally implemented a whistleblower hotline, one of the recommendations of a scathing 2017 audit that found questionable hiring practices in county government. West Hawaii Today.

Kūkuiola and Village 9 Affordable Rental Community will benefit from the federal appropriation, officials say. $10 million in federal funding earmarked for Hawai‘i County will be used to build affordable housing and emergency shelter units for people experiencing homelessness in West Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

Next Bayfront Trails phase slated to be finished this year.
The trails project is a decade-long plan to build nearly six miles of public pedestrian trails connecting the Hilo Bayfront to Hilo Harbor, but after the first phase was completed in 2016, the second has yet to begin construction. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Five percent pay raises granted for county directors and deputies. The Maui County Salary Commission voted Friday to give county directors and deputy directors 5 percent raises, starting in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Maui News.

Maui helicopter, air operations tied to noise, livestock issues in draft resolutions. Citing noise complaints and livestock disruptions, two Maui County Council draft resolutions are asking the federal government to better manage aircraft operations in Maui County. Maui Now.

Retiring officers fear changes are lowering MPD standards.
Now-retired Assistant Chief Clyde Holokai, Capt. Ricky Uedoi and Lt. William Hankins said changes, including shortening the police recruit academy to five and a half months, are lowering standards and jeopardizing the safety of officers and the public. Maui News.

Community input sought to identify parcels for designation as Important Agricultural Lands. The Department of Planning seeks community review and comment on the initial steps to identify and map parcels that may be eligible for designation as Important Agricultural Lands under state law. Maui Now.

Kauai

Alleged Russian operative tried to lure elected Hawaii officials to Russia. A woman accused of working as a foreign operative in America used a Kauai County Council member and a nonprofit organization to try to lure government and military officials to meetings with high-ranking members of the Russian Federation. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz: $8.5M for Westside affordable senior housing.
Money has been secured for a new community center and affordable senior housing at the Lima Ola Community, an affordable-housing development in ‘Ele‘ele that will house more than 500 families. Garden Island.

Erosion-mitigation project for Wailua Beach gets CIP funding. The state Department of Transportation plan to rebuild the Wailua Beach shoreline using patented technology have gotten a shot in the arm. Garden Island.

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