Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Honolulu delays plastic, polystyrene ban, Maui hospital seeks more state aid, 'The Flash' actor Ezra Miller arrested in Hilo bar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu’s Ban On Plastic And Polystyrene Containers Is On Hold For 6 Months. Implementation of Honolulu’s ban on plastic and polystyrene containers is being further delayed after businesses said supply chain challenges are preventing them from complying. Civil Beat.

Bill To Ban Male Jail Guards From Strip Searching Female Inmates Advances. Senate Bill 2777 faces another hearing in the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers call on exploring a four-day work week
. Some lawmakers said a four-day work week may not be such a bad idea, and now there is a proposal to create a task force to explore this possibility. KHON2.

Citizen whale counts wrap up for 2022 season. This season’s totals for the three days were higher than last year’s and almost equivalent to 2019. The one-day volunteer counts provide a snapshot of humpback whale sightings and activity from the shoreline across multiple sites, as distinguished from deeper research into population trends. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Water use on Oahu continues rising.
Water use on Oahu has continued to increase since November, despite the Honolulu Board of Water Supply urging residents to implement conservation measures after a fuel leak at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility resulted in the closing of three municipal wells. Star-Advertiser.

$1B to defuel Red Hill in budget proposal. President Joe Biden included $1 billion to defuel the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in his annual budget proposal. This is on top of the hundreds of millions already directed toward dealing with the water contamination crisis. KHON2.

Punawai Hale hoping for full occupancy. Punawai Hale studio apartments hopes to finally fill its 20 units with once-homeless residents by the end of the month after opening in November 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Planning for new Oahu jail hits snag over state funding. Hawaii’s 50-member House of Representatives recently passed a state budget draft that rejects a request from Gov. David Ige to allocate $15 million for continued planning and procurement work to build a new Oahu Community Correctional Center in Halawa. Star-Advertiser.

City expands homeless outreach response team to Kailua. The city’s Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement units, or CORE, made contact with 10 unsheltered individuals living across Kailua last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

$600 million DHHL bill advances. A bill that would allocate $112 million to Big Island housing projects on Hawaiian Home Lands is still alive and moving through the Senate. Tribune-Herald.

‘The Flash’ actor Ezra Miller arrested at Hawaii Island bar. Actor Ezra Miller, who has prominent roles in the Justice League and Harry Potter “Fantastic Beasts” film franchises, was arrested for suspicion of disorderly conduct and harassment early Monday after allegedly becoming belligerent at Margarita Village on Silva Street. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui

Maui’s Private Hospital System Is In Need Of More State Aid.
The hospital group is expected to request a state subsidy increase for the first time since Kaiser took over five years ago. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente’s clinic in Kīhei reopens April 4. After being closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi’s clinic in Kīhei will reopen April 4. Maui Now.

College enrollment still trails pre-pandemic levels. There was a slight recovery in college-bound enrollment by Maui County’s 2021 graduating high school seniors compared to the previous graduating class, but efforts to continue higher education are still being hampered by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. Maui News.

Online public meeting to discuss South Maui budget priorities Wednesday. Hosted by Maui County Council Member Kelly Takaya King, a virtual town hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday will discuss South Maui budget priorities for fiscal year 2023. Maui Now.

Former Maui DWS employee says he was fired for pointing out contamination concerns. One year after filing a whistleblower lawsuit against Maui County, a former Department of Water Supply employee is still fighting for his job back. Ashley Hooks’ lawsuit claims he was retaliated against and unlawfully fired in 2020 after he alerted the state that Maui’s largest surface water treatment facility had been contaminated. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

DeCosta’s agriculture bills get pushback from local lawyer.
A trio of proposed bills that would eliminate tax exemptions for large-scale tree farms, orchards and wasteland was met with some resistance at a public hearing last week. Garden Island.

How cuts in state mental health care affect Kaua‘i. On Kaua‘i, one clinical psychologist, one social-service assistant and six human-service professionals were laid off as part of the 2020 cuts. Now, despite a state budget surplus, whether or not these positions will be restored remains an open question. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi County to temporarily suspend rental relief program during April. Kauaʻi County will temporarily suspend its rental relief program next month. But government officials will still be accepting new applications for assistance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers want Kauai’s Russian Fort Elizabeth to have a new name. Resolutions moving through the state Legislature urge the Board of Land and Natural Resources to restore the eastern shoreline of Kauai’s Waimea Valley, currently called Russian Fort Elizabeth Park, to its former Hawaiian name, Paulaula. Star-Advertiser.

 

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