Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Hawaii Safe Travels to end, mask mandate remains; Roth proposes 13.1% budget hike, Maui plastic foodware ban begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Ige to end Safe Travels but remains firm on indoor mask mandate.
Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program and other COVID-19 restrictions will end when the current pandemic-related emergency proclamation expires March 25. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii’s Economy Is Rebounding Faster Than Expected. Mainland visitor arrivals in 2021 came close to meeting Hawaii’s banner year in 2019, when the state hosted more than 10 million visitors. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

‘Stand for Hawaii’: Hawaii GOP rallies to kick off 2022 election season. Members of Hawaii’s Republican Party gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday morning to rally and kickoff the 2022 election year. New and returning candidates shared their beliefs and hopes for the republican party in Hawaii, which is a deep blue state. Hawaii News Now.

Plan To Commit $600 Million To Hawaiian Home Lands Development Advances. After receiving hundreds of testimonies in favor of the measure, a key lawmaker says she will review possible  amendments and act on the bill on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Bill Calls For Direct Aid To Families For Learning Expenses. Many families could use financial assistance to help defray the cost of extra educational support during the pandemic, according to a local nonprofit. Civil Beat.

Bill aims to combat feral chicken nuisance.
A bill to establish a five-year pilot program to combat feral chickens throughout the islands is moving through the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

‘Grab And Go’: How Officials Seized A Fifth Grader To Live With A Father She Barely Knew.
The case provides a rare glimpse of Hawaii officials’ immense power to remove children from their households, even without a court order. Civil Beat.

Public Libraries to Reopen Wednesdays. The Hawai‘i State Public Library System announced in a news release that public library branches will reopen on Wednesdays beginning March 2. The Wednesday closures were instituted in August 2021 because of the high infection rates of the Delta and Omicron variants. Big Island Now.

Honolulu biotech firm gets emergency clearance for COVID-19 tests. FDA approves emergency use for first rapid COVID-19 test developed in Hawaiʻi. Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO of Oceanit, says the company began working on a saliva spit test but switched to a shallow nasal swab for easier use. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV4.

Hawaii reports 118 COVID cases. The Hawaii Department of Health reports 118 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, March 1. There are 74 coronavirus cases on Oahu, 15 on the Big Island, nine on Kauai, 19 on Maui and one diagnosed out of state. KHON2.


Hundreds of misdemeanor cases are dismissed due to Hawaii Supreme Court ruling.  Hundreds of misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor cases on Oahu have been dismissed or thrown out since December due to a Hawaii Supreme Court decision. Now, the Office of the Public Defender is asking the Court to dismiss the case in which a teenager reported being sexually assaulted at Ala Moana Center. KITV4.

Navy says detections of carcinogen in Oahu water were result of lab error. A dozen samples collected from the Navy’s drinking water system in January that detected BCEE, a chemical that can increase the risk of cancer, were reported in error by a lab, according to the Navy, which said the results have now been reclassified as non-detects. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

State rejects Navy’s way to evaluate Red Hill.
The state Department of Health on Monday said the Navy is not in compliance with its Dec. 6 emergency order requiring it to empty its Red Hill fuel facility after determining the contractor hired by the Navy to do an assessment of the work was not in a “position to act independently.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department lifts ‘do not drink’ water advisory for Ford Island, Hale Moku and Hokulani. Residents of Ford Island, Hale Moku and Hokulani can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water, according to the Hawaii Department of Health, which lifted its drinking water advisory for those zones on the Navy’s water system Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

‘Waste of taxpayer money’: Some lawmakers oppose protecting coastal properties. Following the collapse of a beachfront property into the ocean on the North Shore, some lawmakers said the state should not protect the homes, but rather have them removed from the beach. Hawaii News Now.

Bill addresses concerns over visitor impacts at Sharks Cove and Pupukea tidepools. A bill arising from concerns about surging numbers of visitors to the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District on Oahu’s North Shore will be heard today by the state Senate Ways and Means Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth proposes $689.9M spending plan, a 13.1% increase.
Buoyed by rising property values from a robust real estate market, the annual budget proposed Tuesday by Mayor Mitch Roth comes in at $689.9 million, a 13.1% increase over the previous year. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Power Plant Is Under Scrutiny By Hawaii Utilities Regulators.
The Hu Honua Bioenergy plant has bogged down in complex regulatory and legal fights over the electricity costs and environmental concerns. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii County to hold hearing to discuss closure of Waipio Valley Access Road. A virtual meeting will be open to the public on March 9 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Getting back to ‘normal’: With COVID restrictions lifted, some East Hawaii businesses move quickly to restore capacity. With gathering sizes no longer limited on the Big Island, businesses are eager to return to normalcy but still face staffing woes. Tribune-Herald.


Mauiʻs plastic disposable foodware ban is now in effect. The ban was supposed to take effect in the new year, but implementation was postponed for two months amid COVID-related supply chain delays. Maui Now. KHON2.

Hale Makua moves forward with plans for rehab center.
Latest details for proposed $64.2M, 76,200-square-foot facility in Kahului have been released. Maui News.


Kawakami Announces Kauai Mayoral Reelection Bid. The county’s voters will elect a mayor in November following the nonpartisan August primary. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Hanalei River Bridge to see multi-million dollar repair. A project to repair and improve the Hanalei River bridge is set to be put out to bid in fall 2022 at an estimated cost of between $5 million and $10 million. Garden Island.

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