Monday, May 23, 2022

Convention center leaking, first negative ads surface in gubernatorial race, Oahu care home shut down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Legislature denies Hawai‘i Convention Center $64 million needed for rooftop repairs. State legislators gave the Hawai‘i Convention Center less than a quarter of its $64 million request to fix a leaky rooftop terrace deck, which is creating hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and potentially costing the center new bookings. Star-Advertiser.

Limits on renewable energy could become Hawaii law. A bill passed by the Legislature earlier this month and awaiting action by Gov. David Ige aims to amend the state’s energy policy so that it prevents more than 66.67% of power being generated from all combined intermittent sources such as wind, waves and sun. Star-Advertiser.

Coalition criticizes Hawaii telehealth bill. A coalition of social workers, psychologists and other medical professionals is urging Gov. David Ige to veto a bill that could restrict telehealth appointments for mental health services, which soared during the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Disabled Voters Are Hoping To Improve Hawaii’s Elections Process This Year. A statewide panel as well as four county committees, all made up of people with disabilities, will begin making recommendations to county and state elections offices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to get up to $62 million for its small businesses. A state agency soon will sprinkle millions of dollars in seed capital around to Hawaii small businesses under a federally funded program aimed at job creation and economic recovery. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Bill would OK extensions on ag land leases. Farmers whose land leases are set to expire within the next 15 years will be able to apply for extensions under a bill passed this session by the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Green air, sea, ground transportation goals set by state with new bill. Senate Bill 3311 HD2 sets up the Hawaiʻi Clean Transportation Initiative, which establishes a goal in law to achieve zero-emissions, clean transportation throughout the state. Maui Now.

Loophole ruins ban on flavored tobacco, health advocates say. The latest version of House Bill 1570 would prohibit the sale or distribution of all flavored tobacco products, including those with menthol, in Hawaii starting Jan. 1. In addition, the bill prohibits the mislabeling of products as nicotine-free. Star-Advertiser.

Is It Time For Hawaii To Renegotiate Its Relationship With The Military? At Kahoolawe, Makua Valley, Pohakuloa and elsewhere, activists defending the interests of Hawaiians and the environment have protested the U.S. military for decades. Civil Beat.

First negative ads in race for governor air, but political experts think they’ll backfire. A newly formed Super PAC has begun running negative ads featuring the local comedy duo “Da Braddahs” attacking Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s credentials as a physician. Hawaii News Now.

Weddings in Hawaii rebounding after COVID slowdown. In the first quarter of 2022, the state Department of Health recorded 4,466 marriages, up 54% from 2,908 in the same three months of 2021, according to preliminary data, and not too far off from the 4,661 marriages in the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic hit. Star-Advertiser.

Rent prices continue to rise sharply across the state . The median price of renting a place to live in Hawaiʻi has climbed nearly 13% between 2019 and 2022, according to Stessa, an online property management platform that analyzed federal government data. Hawaii Public Radio.


Health Department shuts down Waipahu care home after patients found unattended. The Waipahu Community Care Foster Family Home has been ordered to shut down after health officials found that patients were left unattended, the Department of Health said. Star-Advertiser.

State to spend $26M to fix the aging Wahiawa Dam, acquire Lake Wilson. The state Legislature appropriated the money this session to repair the 116-year-old earthen dam and acquire its irrigation system. As part of that deal, Dole Food company will turn the 325-acre lake over to the state. Hawaii News Now.

Judge Says Lawsuit Against Department Of Agriculture Can Go Forward. Hooah Farms has been called a model for Oahu, but the owners want out of the Kahuku Agricultural Park, saying the park’s manager can’t be trusted. Civil Beat.

State lawsuit claims 2 brothers improperly profiting from public roads in Kakaako and Waikiki. The state Department of the Attorney General is suing brothers Calvert and Cedric Chun, who do business as the Kakaako Land Co., seeking reimbursement for alleged fraudulent collecting of money for the private use of public streets in Waikiki and Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

This New Downtown Driver Testing Site Has The Highest Failure Rate On Oahu. Driving instructors say traffic congestion and certain routes can make some testing sites more difficult than others. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Charter proposals seek to fine-tune mayor’s administration. Two council members are looking to fine-tune the structure of administrative offices to better respond to constituent concerns. West Hawaii Today.

Thousands of building permits set to expire next month. Nearly 7,000 Hawaii County building permits will expire at the end of the month. After the rollout last July of the county’s Electronic Processing and Information Center — a long-in-the-works online building permitting software — the county is now capable of enforcing expiration of permits under the county code. Tribune-Herald.

How A Wellness Company Is Saving Sandalwood On The Big Island. A former ranch in South Kona is being transformed from a grassland back to a native sandalwood forest by a Utah-based essential oils and aromatherapy company. Civil Beat.


Digital zoning map proposed to rezone 13 parcels consistent with their use. A proposed bill to adopt amendments to the Maui Digital Zoning Map for approximately 13 parcels that are currently zoned P-1, M-1, PK, R-2 and R-3 will be considered by the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee on Wednesday, May 25, at 1:30 p.m.  Maui Now.

Next phase of Lahaina bypass sidelined after dip in rental car funds. The Lahaina Bypass 1C project was scheduled for construction in federal fiscal year 2023 using $70 million of state funds from the rental car surcharge, which was reduced by the pandemic. Maui News.

Recently retired police lieutenant returns to department. A Maui Police Department lieutenant who retired more than eight months ago has been rehired and is being assigned to be acting captain of the Molokai Patrol Division. Maui News.


New Report Reveals How The Kauai Police Chief Found Himself In Trouble For Racist Remarks. A newly released investigative report into racist remarks by Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck provides new details about circumstances leading to the suspension of the chief in April 2021. Civil Beat.

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