Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tourist reservations required for Diamond Head, Hawaii has nation's highest hotel rates, Hawaii CEO pay rises 20%, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Diamond Head to require reservations for tourists. As part of efforts to reduce congestion and visitor impacts at the iconic Diamond Head State Monument, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will require out-of-state residents to make reservations to visit the popular site starting May 12. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Proposal for $300 tax rebate still alive in Legislature. A potential $300 tax rebate for most Hawaii taxpayers faces one final hurdle in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

New contracts give most Hawaii public union workers pay raises. At least 12 of the 15 collective bargaining units representing state and county workers in Hawaii have ratified contracts, according to information from the unions involved. Star-Advertiser.

The average childcare worker makes about $12 an hour. This bill aims to change that. State lawmakers are close to passing two measures aimed to addressing the shortage of qualified childcare workers. Hawaii News Now.

In another sign of economic rebound, average Hawaii CEO pay rose 20% last year. A Hawaii News Now review of company proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that the top executives of Hawaii’s largest publicly traded companies received an average pay increase of more than $750,000 in 2021. Their average take-home pay: $4.5 million. Hawaii News Now.

Ige’s Education Board Nominees Are A Step Closer To Confirmation. The full Senate must still vote to approve the two incumbents and three new members for a three year term. Civil Beat.

Bill to provide free period products at public schools advances.
Senate Bill 2821 would require the department of education and charter school commission to provide products such as tampons and pads at all school campuses. Members of the senate and house education committees met Friday to discuss a final version of the bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation would give landlords the OK to question tenants about assistance animals. Landlords and other property managers would be allowed to question the validity of assistance animals under a new bill passed by the state House and Senate on April 21. This would include therapy, comfort and other emotional support animals. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s Prison Oversight Commission Finally Gets A Staffer — 3 Years Later.
The lack of staff has effectively hobbled the work of the Hawaii Correctional Systems Oversight Commission. Civil Beat.

Waters: Hawaii Needs Congressional Rep In It For the Long Run. As one-term U.S. Rep Kai Kahele weighs a run for governor, Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters said Hawaii deserves a federal representative who will live and work in Washington, D.C. for the next 20 years. Civil Beat.

Alaska Airlines to suspend Anchorage-Hawaii nonstop flights during summer, fall. Alaska Airlines says its canceling nonstop flights between Anchorage and Honolulu during the summer and fall, primarily because of limited staffing. Associated Press.

Cruise ship on Hawaii-San Francisco trip suffers COVID-19 outbreak. The San Francisco Department of Public Health confirmed there were 143 passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the coronavirus during a round trip from San Francisco to Hawaii and back that ended April 11. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotels fetched nation’s highest daily rates in March. The occupancy rate at Hawaii hotels in March was fifth best among the nation’s top tourism markets for the first quarter in a strong rebound from 2021’s pandemic-­related downturn. Star-Advertiser.


HART board chair confident rail will get to Ala Moana. Colleen Hanabusa, chair of the Board of Directors for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said she still believed the train will ultimately run to Ala Moana Center and possibly even the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Hawaii Public Radio.

Another HPD commander prepares to leave as search for police chief drags on. There’s another major leadership change at the Honolulu Police Department as the search for a new chief drags on and crime is on the rise. The department’s third-in-command, acting Deputy Chief Lisa Mann, will retire June 1. Hawaii News Now.

With water restrictions possible, BWS eyes worsening drought with concern. With three public water wells shut down because of the Navy’s tainted water crisis, water restrictions this summer are a real possibility. And on Monday, Board of Water Supply members learned the weather is making the situation worse. Hawaii News Now.

Makiki man is convicted of trafficking underage girls. Marquis Green, who was 30 at the time of his crimes and claimed a Makiki address, was found guilty of two counts of sex trafficking, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of misdemeanor assault for trafficking a 15-year-old local girl in Waikiki in 2013, charging $150 per half-hour or $200 per hourlong encounter, according to court documents. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Amid progress in Chinatown, mayor hopes to focus revitalization efforts in Waikiki. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says the city is making progress in its effort to revitalize Chinatown ― and he’s hoping to turn his sights on Waikiki next. Hawaii News Now.

Schofield Barracks soldiers helped shape new Army policies for parents. Two Schofield Barracks soldiers played a key role in crafting reforms in how the Army handles pregnant soldiers and new parents. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Affordable housing measures advance to council. A pair of bills moving through the County Council will carve out 1% of property tax revenues each year and dedicate the money to an expanded range of programs to increase affordable housing. West Hawaii Today.

County, mayor sued over Waipi‘o road closure. A community organization has filed a lawsuit against the county, Mayor Mitch Roth and Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst, alleging the closure of Waipi‘o Valley Road to all but a handful of people is unlawful. Tribune-Herald.


Thousands Of Houses Are Empty On Maui.
Would Higher Taxes Change That?. An estimated 15,000 housing units — about 1 in 5 throughout all of Maui County — are vacant, according to 2020 census estimates. Civil Beat.

Maui lawmakers propose restrictions on vans, campers tourists are renting as lodging. There's a growing trend on Maui -- people are leasing out cars and campers for visitors to stay in. KITV4.

Major police bust on Maui fuels concerns about use of ‘ghost guns’.
The Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit and its Special Response Team raided a home in Kihei on Thursday morning and found crystal meth, fentanyl, heroine and other illegal drugs. They also discovered a 3D printer and parts needed to make ghost guns. Hawaii News Now.

409 citations, 41 warnings, and 2 arrests during MPD distracted driving campaign. The Maui Police Department’s Traffic Division issued a total of 195 citations for use of a mobile electronic device while driving during the department’s distracted driving awareness campaign last week. Maui Now.


Plan approved for Wi-Fi in parks. The County Council unanimously approved a request to receive and expend $50,000 in state funds for a program providing 24/7 public internet access at seven parks throughout the island. Garden Island.

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