Friday, March 25, 2022

State agricultural land may be transferred, Legislature mulls limiting governor's emergency powers, two counties gain, two lose population in census, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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 As Covid-19 Emergency Ends, Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Limits On Executive Power. Two measures that would give lawmakers the authority to end the governor’s emergency proclamations have advanced to their final committees in the House and Senate. Civil Beat.

Effort To Transfer State Agricultural Land Survives Latest Hurdle. Long-standing plans to transfer agricultural land from Hawaii’s land and resources agency to the Department of Agriculture encountered new difficulties this week in the Legislature. Civil Beat.

U.S. Census data shows losses and gains for Hawaii.
The Census Bureau estimated Oahu’s population at 1,000,890 as of July 1, down 1.2%, from the year-earlier figure. Hawaii County, the second most populous in the state, had an estimated 202,906 residents, an increase of 2,160, or 1.1%, according to Census data. Maui County’s population also declined over the 12- month period, by 434 residents to 164,221, down 0.3%. Kauai County saw its population grow by 253 residents to 73,454, an increase of 0.3%. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige extends COVID-19 food assistance spending. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation allowing federal funds to continue to flow to food assistance recipients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic national public health emergency, his office said Thursday. The proclamation allows $18 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits to go to recipients each month. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s COVID mandates set to end tonight. The face masks are coming off after 11:59 p.m. today, when Hawaii lifts its indoor mask mandate — but not everywhere. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Judge Rejects Amemiya Effort To Dismiss Conspiracy Charge. Former Honolulu managing director Roy Amemiya’s attempt to dismiss his federal conspiracy charge was denied by U.S District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Thursday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Masks will still be required on TheBus, TheHandi-Van after Friday. Riders will still need to wear masks at all times while onboard TheBus as well as TheHandi-Van after Friday under federal rules, according to the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Debate Over Who Should And Shouldn’t Be In Jail Is Tripping Up Plans For A New Oahu Facility. A leading Democrat is withholding funding for a new jail in Halawa, arguing officials won’t really know how large the jail should be until the bail reform debate is resolved. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Department of Health moves to long-term phase of remediating Red Hill water shaft. It’s been about a week since the Department of Health gave the all-clear for homes and businesses on the military’s water system. Experts are now dealing with the long-term phase of remediating the Red Hill water shaft. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Roth recounts challenges, accomplishments during first state of the county address. It was a trial by fire for Mayor Mitch Roth and his new administration in late 2020 when he took office during the midst of a global pandemic and uncertain economic times. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.

Audit of fire department identifies weaknesses.
A county audit of the Hawaii Fire Department reveals it’s beleaguered by a shortage of workers and resources.Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Mayor Outlines Plan For $1 Billion County Budget. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on Thursday released his proposed $1 billion budget for the next year, outlining how he plans to run Maui County and invest in new projects like repaving roads, boosting beach parking options for local residents and shoring up water systems to protect against natural disasters. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed agreement with Waikapu project earns committee’s support. A Maui County Council committee on Wednesday threw its support behind a proposed public-private partnership between the county and developers of Waikapu Country Town that would add more affordable housing in exchange for the developer’s required contribution toward a wastewater treatment plant and other traffic improvements. Maui News.

Hawaii cannabis industry expands with additional Maui dispensary, new edibles options.
Maui Grown Therapies on Friday will open its third medical cannabis dispensary, this one in Pukalani. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Maui County to resume in-vehicle road testing Monday, DMVL says. In-vehicle road testing will resume starting this Monday for learner’s permit holders seeking driver’s licenses for passenger vehicles, according to a county Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing announcement Wednesday. Maui Now. Maui News.

Kauai

Judge Rejects Plea Deal For Former Kauai Councilman Who Led Meth Ring. Arthur Brun changed his plea to guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors. But a judge rejected the deal, opening up the possibility of a trial. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Council begins FY23 budget discussions. The Kaua‘i County Council is poring over Kawakami’s March submittal which seeks a $260.2 million operating budget and $48.9 million capital improvement projects budget. Garden Island.


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