Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Slow travel trend seeks cultural experiences, Kauai Civil Air Patrol crash leaves two dead, omicron subvariant BA.2 spreads statewide, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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New 'slow travel' trend counters the fast-paced social media motivated visitor. A relatively new travel trend is countering the fast-paced, excitement-driven marketing of destinations. A local research firm says Hawaiʻi could benefit from this concept — called “slow travel.” Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii hotel occupancy starts soft, but momentum is building. Hawaii hotels kicked off the year with a softer start than expected, but this week’s endpoint for the state’s Safe Travels program is expected to help the industry slide into a more robust summer. Star-Advertiser.

Omicron subvariant BA.2 now present in all major Hawaii counties. The omicron subvariant, BA.2, now makes up approximately 13% of the variants circulating in Hawaii, according to the latest report from the state Department of Health State Laboratories Division. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature Passes Bill To Clear Up ‘Chaotic Situation’ In State Courts. A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling in December led to the dismissal of dozens of cases as well as confusion among judges over how to interpret it. Civil Beat.

Legislature advances bill giving counties more power to take private property. A bill giving counties the power to take private property where civil fines have accrued and sell it to clear up the debt has passed the state House and its first Senate committee. West Hawaii Today.

Coffee labeling bill headed to final Senate hearin
g. The measure would require coffee blend labels to disclose geographic and regional origins and percentage by weight of the blended coffees. It would also prohibit using geographic origins of coffee in labeling or advertising for roasted or instant coffee that contains less than a certain percentage of coffee by weight from that geographic origin, phased in to a minimum of 51%. West Hawaii Today.

Senate Panel Approves Governor’s Land Board Nominees. The new members will be dealing with a number of hot-button issues, including Mauna Kea management, military leases and  aquarium fishing. Civil Beat.

EPA offers 10 new low-emission school buses to Hawaiʻi public schools. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is granting Robert's Hawaiʻi School Bus $200,000 to replace 10 buses running on diesel fuel. The models from 2005 will be replaced with 2022 diesel buses. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

New rail route is just ‘first phase,’ Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says. The latest idea to end rail construction at Halekauwila and South streets would cost $9.8 billion and, if approved, assure three years of federal funding that would save about $100 million in financing costs, Mayor Rick Blangiardi said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

HART CEO Says She Won’t Accept Potential $25,000 Bonus. The executive director leading Honolulu’s struggling rail project now says that she will not accept a $25,000 bonus for her first year on the job, days before the board that oversees her was slated to vote on that award. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers considering regulatory shake-up of Aloha Stadium project. Hawaii senators are pushing to shake up control of an effort in progress to replace Aloha Stadium and redevelop 73 acres of state land around a new facility in Halawa. Star-Advertiser.

To slow ‘monster home’ construction, city revokes permit for Pacific Heights property. The city last year issued to permit to the owners of the home at 2761 Pacific Heights Road, but pulled it because the planned development apparently exceeded the square footage limits. Hawaii News Now.

The Navy Water Crisis Could Halt New Construction On Oahu. If the water system can’t take on new users, it would be “catastrophic,” a construction industry lobbyist said. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Mayor hopes HPD can fill hundreds of vacancies to increase police presence. Right now there are over 320 vacancies in the Honolulu Police Department. Hawaii News Now.

Former Hawaii News Now Director Is Blangiardi’s New Spokesman
. The mayor said the city did poorly last year “controlling the narrative.” He hopes a new communications director will change that. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Stewardship measure could imperil astronomy on Mauna Kea, University of Hawaii says. A controversial measure that would remove the University of Hawaii from its role as manager of the Mauna Kea summit will be heard in a public hearing this afternoon before a state Senate committee.  Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

County officials provide update on Puna roads cut off by 2018 eruption. Work to fully restore Pohoiki Road is now not expected to be completed until late 2025. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Maui

Save Maui trip money by camping in a rental? Council may put brakes on the growing practice. Rental vehicles with camping accessories can’t be used as visitor accommodations under a new proposal being considered by county lawmakers.  Maui Now.

State to pay $550K to family of inmate who hanged herself at Maui jail. The state has agreed to pay more than half a million dollars to the family of a Maui inmate. The lawsuit claims guards did nothing to prevent the mother of four from committing suicide back in 2017. Hawaii News Now.

Food hub grows beyond expectations. Nonprofit Maui Food Hub expanded operations and services after securing a new facility with warehouse partner SunFresh Hawaii LLC in Kahului last month. Organizers say this space doubles their previous capacity. Maui News. Maui Now.

Kauai

2 volunteer pilots killed in Civil Air Patrol crash. Two volunteers with the Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol were killed when their plane crashed Sunday afternoon a few thousand feet below the Kalalau Lookout on Kauai during a training exercise. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Rebecca Like swears in as Prosecuting Attorney. County of Kaua‘i Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca “Becky” Like was sworn into her position by Judge Randal Valenciano during a private ceremony in the Fifth Circuit Court. Garden Island.

Incumbents sweep KIUC board election. The makeup of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative board of directors will remain the same for another year, following KIUC’s annual board election concluded Saturday. Garden Island.

Omicron variant detected in wastewater.
The state Department of Health recently added testing wastewater samples on Kaua‘i to its various methods of monitoring variants, state DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office Deputy Director Lauren Guest said Monday. Garden Island.

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