Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Shikada confirmed as attorney general, feds may allow shortened train route, COVID cases ticking up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Holly Shikada confirmed as top law enforcement officer. A 33-year veteran of the state Department of the Attorney General was confirmed by Hawaii senators Tuesday to stay on as the agency’s leader and top state law enforcement officer. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii COVID cases see upward trend 5 weeks in a row. For the past five weeks Hawaii has seen a steady increase in 7-day average daily case counts which is causing some Hawaii residents to continue wearing their masks despite the lifted mandate. KHON2.

Hawaii Tourism Plan Focuses On Marketing, Not Management. The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s $35 million tourism marketing and management contract will guide how the state presents itself to U.S. travelers. Civil Beat.

Pandemic continues to hurt Hawaii public school students’ grades, attendance. Pandemic gaps in academic grades worsened slightly in multiple areas during the second quarter of the school year, while problems with learning and attendance persisted, according to new state Department of Education data. Star-Advertiser.

Senate accused of ‘punitive’ funding plan for University of Hawaii. The state Senate’s budget proposal to give the University of Hawaii a $275 million funding increase comes with strings attached, including a $100,000 pay cut for the UH West Oahu chancellor and eliminating the positions of communications director and director of the Office of Equal Employment. Star-Advertiser.

Conservative Group Targets Kahele Over Possible Ethics Violations. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust says the congressman was clearly attending political events in Hawaii instead of casting votes in person in D.C. Civil Beat.

Oahu

HART head: Federal authorities appear receptive to ending rail project in Kakaako. A plan to pause rail construction at South Street rather than building to Ala Moana Center could be gaining traction with the federal government. Lori Kahikina, CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said she received a letter in December from Federal Transit Administration officials saying they were open to amending the Full Funding Grant Agreement, which calls for the rail to build 21 stations and 20 miles of guideway. Hawaii News Now.

The ‘Lost Tower’: Why Howard Hughes Has A Love-Hate Relationship With Rail. The city has spent several years and millions of dollars fighting the developer in court over land for rail. Now, the transit system might not reach the Hughes Kakaako properties. Civil Beat.

As part of long-term monitoring program, DOH reviews Navy water samples. In the wake of the Navy’s tainted water crisis, the state Department of Health is now reviewing water samples from the first month of a long-term monitoring program at Pearl Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

UH Manoa looks to upgrade security cameras. University of Hawaii at Manoa officials are looking to up security on campus which includes possibly installing a centralized security camera system for its Department of Public Safety. KHON2.

Honolulu tops national list for solar energy generation. For a third consecutive year, Honolulu tops a national survey for solar energy production per person. That’s according to the eighth annual Shining Cities report, released Tuesday from the advocacy group Environment America. Hawaii Public Radio.

City expands free COVID testing for Oahu residents amid continued demand. Honolulu airport COVID-19 testing site again open on Wednesdays. The City and County of Honolulu announced today it is reopening Wednesdays at its free COVID-19 testing program for all Oahu residents at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Tax breaks postponed: Council wants more information before voting on tax credit, assessment cap. With the specter of California’s Proposition 13 hanging over the room, the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday postponed a measure that would have capped increases in property values for most commercial classes. West Hawaii Today.

Fire chief ‘generally agrees’ with critiques of audit. After a less than glowing county audit of the Hawaii Fire Department last month, Fire Chief Kazuo Todd hopes to turn the department around over the next several years. Tribune-Herald.

A treasured gym’s looming demolition puts a rural Big Island community on edge.
A rural Big Island community is rallying to save a treasured piece of its history. The Papaaloa gym is set to be demolished soon. Hawaii News Now.

Expert: Night is Becoming Less Dark, And That’s Not a Good Thing. Members of the Hawai‘i County Council on Tuesday, April 19, heard about a valuable economic and cultural resource that is slowly disappearing on the Big Island — the darkness of night. Big Island Now.

Federal case against Big Island doctor goes to jury. A jury is deliberating the fate of Hawaii island doctor and brother of jailed former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, accused of writing opioid prescriptions for pills that were sold or traded for cocaine. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui

Maui County launched online planning and permitting system; no more paper applications. On April 18, Maui County launched MAPPS — Maui’s Automated Planning and Permitting System, a new web-based software designed to support planning and permit processing. Maui Now.

Community input sought on Lānaʻi Skate Park preliminary designs. The Department of Parks and Recreation is requesting community input on preliminary Lānaʻi Skate Park conceptual designs. These designs come from community input in an online survey in October 2021.  Maui Now.

Some gun enthusiasts fear new homes could threaten Maui’s only shooting range
. Some Maui gun owners fear the development of new homes could threaten the island’s only shooting range. Ukumehame Firing Range is the only legal public shooting range on the Valley Isle. Hawaii News Now.

County seeks input on resiliency hubs for disaster response. The Maui County Office of Climate Change, Resiliency and Sustainability will hold four community talk story sessions to discuss the formation of resiliency hubs aimed at responding to disasters in Maui County. Maui News.

Former Maui police officer enters guilty plea to attempted child enticement. A former Maui police officer pleaded guilty in federal court today to trying to lure a 13-year-old girl into a sexual relationship with promises of money and shopping trips. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kauai

The Beach House restaurant expansion sees opposition. The proposed expansion of The Beach House restaurant became the subject of debate at last week’s Planning Commission meeting, with many neighbors voicing their opposition to the idea. Garden Island.

Hurricane hardening happening at Kapa‘a school. Structures at Kapa‘a Middle School are months away from becoming community hurricane shelters. Garden Island.


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