Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Honolulu rail could stop short of Ala Moana Center, Hawaii Supreme Court mulls redistricting process, interim HPD chief withdraws candidacy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Authority for Rapid Transit
Current rail route PC:Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

New rail plan would end construction shy of Ala Moana Center. The new plan for the city’s troubled rail project would stop construction two stations short near the Circuit Court at South and Halekauwila streets in Kakaako and still receive the federal government’s final share of $1.55 billion in funding, or $744 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Supreme Court mulls reapportionment process. How much discretion the state Reapportionment Commission has in drawing political maps was a central theme Tuesday, when Hawaii Supreme Court justices grilled attorneys for the state and a citizen coalition challenging the maps. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers resistant to $1B for rainy day fund, but Ige remains ‘hopeful’ the money will be allocated. A $1 billion allocation to the state’s emergency fund proposed by Gov. David Ige might end up smaller than he hoped as it faces resistance in the Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Senate committee advances distracted driving bill. A bill that would increase the fine for using a mobile device while driving cleared its first Senate committee Tuesday after crossing over from the House. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community Health Centers To Split $23 Million In Federal Funding
. The newest round of funding follows over $40 million in federal dollars distributed to Hawaii’s 14 health centers during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Drugs In Hawaii Prisons: ‘We Are Swimming In Spice, And Nobody Cares’ Inmates and staff say use of synthetic cannabinoids in the state’s largest prison is rampant. The drugs have caused two deaths. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s longline community scrambles to outfish false killer whales. Those at the forefront of managing Hawaii’s deep-sea fishing industry are meeting this week in hopes of figuring out how to deal with their catch being seized off their lines. It’s one of the issues facing the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which oversees Hawaii’s longline vessels that bring in the ahi supply for the state and parts of the U.S. mainland. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Affordable housing, transportation and public safety at the forefront for Honolulu mayor. Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday ranked affordable housing, public safety and transportation among top priorities in his State of the City address. Star-Advertiser.

HPD’s interim chief withdraws from list of candidates for permanent job. Interim Honolulu Police Chief Rade Vanic has asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration for HPD’s next chief. Vanic reportedly told his five assistant chiefs Tuesday morning that he was not seeking the job permanently anymore and cited personal reasons. Hawaii News Now.

Navy orders ‘supplemental investigation’ of Red Hill. Commanders at the Pentagon determined that an investigation by the Hawaii­-based U.S. Pacific Fleet into contamination of the Navy’s water supply on Oahu “did not include a sufficient review” of previous spills from the Red Hill fuel farm — ordering a “supplemental investigation.” Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council measure would require permit, license for commercial drones at parks. The Honolulu City Council is introducing a bill that would create a process for television and film production crews to use drones at city parks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Laniakea parking might reopen this week, officials say. The parking area across the highway from the North Shore’s popular “Turtle Beach” might finally reopen following work scheduled for today through Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Owners of Former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Hotel Seeking State Money to Knock Burned Structure Down. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources told Big Island Now on Tuesday, March 15 that it will cost around $13.5 million to knock the structure down and it will make a request this session from the Legislature to fund the work. Big Island Now.

Hundreds turn out for Ho‘ike tickets: All 2,000 were snatched up by noon on Tuesday. Tickets for the 2022 Ho‘ike at the Merrie Monarch Festival sold out Tuesday in about four hours. Hundreds of people lined up at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in the morning to buy tickets for the Ho‘ike, a noncompetition exhibition of hula and dance from around the Pacific Rim. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Maui council urged to raise tax on second homes, short-term rentals to raise money for affordables. Maui County Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan outlines ways to create 5,000 affordable homes for residents below 120% over the next five years. Portions of the plan continue to be discussed in the Affordable Housing Committee. Maui Now.

Shortage of homes on Maui amplifies demand, spurs bidding wars, report says. Median price for homes over $1M in February, over $730K for condos. A shortage of homes available on the market continues to amplify the demand for Maui real estate, with economists saying that bidding wars are common even as home prices continue to rise. Maui News.

BlackSand Capital makes three-year commitment to affordable housing on Maui. BlackSand Capital has entered into a three-year commitment of $300,000 to House Maui, a Hawaiʻi Community Foundation initiative working to create a sustainable housing market for local families on Maui. Maui Now.

Maui business shares how it plans to help reduce the axis deer population. Lawmakers and community leaders continue to look for solutions to the axis deer overpopulation problem on Maui. One business that harvests and sells axis deer meat, Maui Nui Venison, released step three of its four-step plan for growth this month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

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.

Multi-agency effort may save Kaua‘i endemic plant from extinction.
A years-long project that may save an endangered Kaua‘i plant from extinction is about to take its next step, when recently collected DNA samples are sent to China for analysis. Garden Island.

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