Friday, March 4, 2022

Pain at the pump as Hawaii halts purchases of Russian crude oil, Native Hawaiians have uneasy relationship with military, new Marine regiment activates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii drivers brace for higher gas prices. According to AAA, gas prices in Honolulu hit an all-time high on Thursday, and a state energy expert said prices are only expected to climb as the global energy markets remain uncertain due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. KHON2.

Hawaii oil refinery suspends buying Russian crude oil. The owner of Hawaii’s oil refinery said Thursday that island consumers should not expect oil supply disruptions or significant price increases as a result of its decision to suspend purchases of Russian crude oil in response to the war in Ukraine. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Fuel in water deepens Native Hawaiians’ distrust of military. Using 2019 Census data, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs estimates that 3,439 Native Hawaiians across the United States serve in the armed forces, which is 0.8% of the total Native Hawaiian adult population in the U.S. Associated Press.

Marines activate first littoral regiment.
The Marine Corps has officially activated its first Marine Littoral Regiment as part of an ambitious restructuring of the service that’s starting in Hawaii. The new unit is set to be the blueprint for what Marine fighting units will look like in the future, with the emphasis on operations in island and coastal regions, particularly in the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

$600 million investment plan for Hawaiian homesteads advances. Pivotal Hawaii lawmakers have pushed ahead a monumental pledge by leaders in the Legislature to invest $600 million in the development of several thousand homesteads for Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Bill To Make Police Shooting Review Board Permanent Advances. The Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board will end in July if House Bill 1329 is not passed this legislative session. Civil Beat.

Board of Education Will Start Accepting Applications for School Superintendent. The appointed board approved a revised job description on Thursday after lengthy debate over whether to require a master’s degree for eligibility. Civil Beat.

Bill Would Allow Government Agencies To Reduce Their Newspaper Advertising. The measure would allow state and county governments to publish certain public notices on their web sites. Civil Beat.

March 3, 2022 COVID-19 update: 3 deaths, 314 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The confirmed cases included: 161 on O‘ahu (+37 probable); 14 on Hawai‘i Island (+10 probable); 29 on Maui (+13 probable); 21 on Kaua‘i (+2 probable); three on Molokaʻi; two on Lānaʻi; and 17 Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state (+5 probable). Maui Now.


Hawaii officials lift ‘do not drink’ water order for 3 more areas on Oahu. The Hawaii Department of Health today lifted its “no not drink” advisory for three more zones on the Navy’s water system, which includes McGrew, Halawa, Camp Smith and a portion of Aliamanu Military Reservation. The area includes more than 1,100 homes. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

With some schools still unable to use their tap water, BOE takes stand on Red Hill tanks. The Board of Education voted unanimously to support defueling the Red Hill tanks. Hawaii News Now.

City officials address spike in Oahu traffic fatalities.
Oahu is now on pace for 82 traffic fatalities this year, which would exceed its 48 fatalities last year, 54 in 2020 and 51 in 2019, and would be the most in the City and County of Honolulu since a reported 88 fatalities in 2006, according to the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Outdoor masking rule divides Kailua community. Confusion and division in the community over whether masks still should be worn outdoors at Hawaii public schools has led some parents at Mokapu Elementary School to launch a petition drive to end the requirement at their campus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kona Bay Hotel purchased for $21M.
A West Coast-based private equity firm recently purchased the iconic Kona Bay Hotel in the heart of Kailua Village. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i Air National Guard Training At Hilo Airport. Training exercise involving F-22 jets, C-17 and C-130 transport aircraft, will run from March 3 to 6. Big Island Video News.


Maui condos hit record high $730,500; median for homes at $1.1M. Maui condominium sales spiked to a new record of $730,500 last month — and almost half sold above list price, recent reports show.  Maui Now.

Final community meeting regarding possible use of Pioneer Mill Office.
The final community use planning meeting to discuss future possible uses of the Pioneer Mill office building will be held via zoom at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.  Maui Now.


DeCosta spearheads bills to streamline agricultural land-designation process. Councilmember Billy DeCosta introduced three bills last week that would sunset certain agricultural tax-relief programs, which he claims are outdated and potentially disadvantageous to Kaua‘i food farmers. Garden Island.

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