Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Homeless program could be extended, raw milk sales could be legalized, home prices top $1.1M median, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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A Pilot Program To Help Homeless People In Hawaii May Get Permanent Status. A state-funded program that has helped more than 1,300 homeless people transition into permanent housing but is due to expire next year may be extended through 2028, according to draft legislation being considered by the Hawaii Senate. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Supreme Court to hear reapportionment dispute today. Attorneys for the state Reapportionment Commission and a citizen coalition challenging its maps will square off today in oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court. West Hawaii Today.

Advisory panel: Hawaii tsunami warning center in need of ‘urgent’ overhaul. A government advisory panel said the nation’s tsunami warning system, including the one designed to protect Hawaii, is outdated and in need of major upgrades. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Home Lands survey shows half of respondents would trade their waitlist spot for $100K.
This comes as Hawaiʻi lawmakers consider legislation that could provide DHHL with $600 million to address the more than 28,000 Native Hawaiian beneficiaries on the waitlist. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Legislature Advances Bill To Legalize Sale Of Raw Milk Among Other Farm Measures. It’s the farthest the raw milk measure has made it in Hawaii despite the past six years of trying. Civil Beat.

Bill advances that aims to use the state's general fund to build preschools. On Monday, the Hawaii Senate Committee on Education heard House Bill 2000, HD1. The bill proposes to allocate an unspecified amount of money from the state's general fund to the school facilities authority for the construction of preschool facilities. KITV4.

State-sponsored retirement savings proposal advances at Capitol.  Senate Bill 3289 would create a state-sponsored payroll-deduction enrollment for qualified, private sector workers — whose employer may not offer a retirement plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bills banning flavored vaping products are debated. The battle over whether Hawaii should allow sales of flavored vaping products is once again up for debate at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Median sales price for a single-family home on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui is over $1.1M
. Kauaʻi reported the highest median sales price at $1.3 million — up from $940,000 in January. Hawaiʻi Island had the lowest median sales price at $515,000. Hawaii Public Radio.


New Honolulu revenue boosts Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s city budget. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s second annual State of the City address, slated to be delivered this morning, is expected to lay out top priorities that include more money for police and a focus on homelessness and affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

Dispute at core of corruption case, lawyers argue. The federal criminal case against three former top city officials is a disagreement between the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case and the city’s procedures for processing a $250,000 severance agreement for former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, according to defense attorneys. Star-Advertiser.

City workers exposed to COVID face deadline for seeking hazardous duty pay. Under their union contract, some city employees ― like lifeguards and Board of Water Supply employees ― can be eligible for a 15 or 25% pay boost for COVID-related hazard pay. But Honolulu firefighters and police have separate hazard pay rules that don’t include exposure to COVID. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea bill still alive in Senate. House Bill 2024 would establish the Mauna a Wakea Stewardship Authority that would take over management of all Maunakea lands above the 6,500-foot line and establish a 10-person board comprised of at least three Native Hawaiian members. Tribune-Herald.

The University of Hawaiʻi is seeking public feedback on its updated Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan. Along with the Master Plan and Administrative Rules, the management plan is one of the primary tools that guide the UH stewardship of Maunakea. Big Island Video News.

County offers home repair loans. The Office of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications to its Residential Repair Program. The RRP is a low-interest loan program available to eligible low-and moderate-income homeowners. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.


Paper applications to end as county launches automated permit system. Maui County will no longer take paper permit applications after March 28 as it prepares to launch a new automated planning and permit processing system on April 18. Maui News.

$23 million secured for realignment of Honoapiʻilani from Ukumehame to Launiupoko. The new earmark funding will be used to realign 4.5 miles of Honoapi‘ilani Highway from Ukumehame to Launiupoko to make it safer and more resilient to the impacts of coastal erosion and climate change.  Maui Now.

In-home audit offered to low income Maui families to trim energy bills. A program that aims to lower the power bills of low income Maui Island families through energy-saving home improvements is being offered through Maui Economic Opportunity. Maui Now.


Kawakami’s State of the County: Investing in Kaua‘i. Reflecting on his last three years in office, Mayor Derek Kawakami, in his fourth State of the County address on Monday, is offering a more-optimistic projection of the upcoming fiscal year and holding onto his past promises to keep the county on track with investing in services and maintenance. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai Quit Using Oil To Produce Most Of Its Electricity Years Ago. That’s Paying Off Now. Oil prices are surging due to the Russian invasion, but the island’s dwindling reliance on fossil fuels is helping to stabilize utility bills. Civil Beat.

51 Anahola lots going to Home Lands Beneficiaries. Surveying work was completed last week on an Anahola project that will soon provide land to 51 families on the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist. Garden Island.

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