Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Federal grants drive honeycreeper protection, mosquito control, climate study; hemp farmers fight red tape, Maui jail riot study still not released, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Janice Wei National Park Service
Apapane honeycreeper PC:Janice Wei National Park Service
Campaign to save Hawaiian honeycreepers gets funding boost. A multiagency campaign to save Hawaii’s imperiled honeycreepers got a significant shot in the arm Monday with the announcement of a $14 million influx of federal funds. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. KITV4.

$20M Federal Grant Supports State-wide Climate Resilience. The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Hawaiʻi’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research a five-year $20-million grant. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Garden Island.

Hawaiʻi receiving $14 million in federal funding to combat invasive mosquitoes. More than $14 million in federal funding from the US Department of the Interior will go to conservation programs to tackle invasive mosquitoes in the State of Hawaiʻi as a priority distribution from the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Package enacted last year. Maui Now.

Hemp Farmers Are Fed Up With Government Regulations Hampering The Industry’s Potential. After exhausting their savings and losing hope for more meaningful legislative relief, some hemp producers in Hawaii may ditch the crop altogether. Civil Beat.

Harsher penalties urged for car thieves. A bill that would double the maximum possible sentence for stealing a vehicle is only one of several crime bills currently under consideration by Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

Local government complaints office is dealt more work abuse amid pandemic. The state Office of the Ombudsman has welcomed complaints about state and county administrative agencies in Hawaii for over 50 years, but the past two have been extraordinary. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii has lowest monthly starting salaries: Study. WalletHub, a free credit score website, ranked cities based on different metrics like availability on entry level jobs, monthly average salary, annual job growth, workforce diversity, share of workers in poverty and more. KHON2.

Oahu

‘Water waste’ complaints quadruple as calls for conservation continue. Since the initial call went out March 9, after three well were shut down amid the Navy’s water contamination crisis, BWS officials say their phones have been ringing off the hook with residents reporting so-called water wasters. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu violent crime at 3-year high, Honolulu Police Department report finds. Homicides, robberies, assaults and rape cases on Oahu are at three-year highs, according to 2022 Honolulu Police Department counts through April, elevating concern among police and federal law enforcement officials using data and crime prevention tactics to contend with threats to public safety. Star-Advertiser.

Recipients reaching limits on assistance from Honolulu rent and utility program.
Honolulu Hale’s efforts to distribute upward of $225 million in pandemic- related federal funding through its Rental and Utility Relief Program have been underway for over a year — and recipients are now beginning to hit set limits for financial assistance. Star-Advertiser.

City and County of Honolulu expands COVID-19 testing as demand increases. The City and County of Honolulu will once again offer free COVID-19 testing for Oahu residents at its Mobile Lab at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport seven days a week, as demand for increases during the current rise in coronavirus cases. Star-Advertiser.

HART to receive $500,000 for environmental assessments along rail line. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will pay half a million dollars for Honolulu’s rail authority to conduct environmental assessments along the rail line. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii officials resume postponed aerial drop to eradicate coqui frogs in Waimanalo. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture Monday resumed plans to drop a citric acid solution over a remote mountain area of Waimanalo as part of efforts to eradicate invasive coqui frogs. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Supreme Court Orders Judge To Revist Sealed Case Dispute. The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest has asked Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang to unseal names of defendants in a case, restore a complaint the judge removed and lift a gag order imposed on the center. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Report: Hawaii County tops in construction hurdles.
It’s more difficult to get a construction project rolling in Hawaii County than anywhere else in the nation, according to a report released last month. West Hawaii Today.

County Council eyes tougher sunscreen law. A state law took effect last year that banned the sale of sunscreens that contain two specific chemicals, but a proposed Hawaii County law would go further and ban selling all sunscreens except those containing two different substances. Tribune-Herald.

This Stunning Big Island Valley Is Drawing Bigger Crowds — And Controversy. Pololu Valley, located along the North Kohala coast, is defined by forested cliffs that descend dramatically to a legendary black sand beach. Civil Beat.

Maui

Three years later, report on Maui jail riot still not released. More than three years after a riot that caused millions of dollars in damage, the Maui Community Correctional Center is set to undergo major repairs. But a final report on the incident has yet to be released to the public. KHON2.

Comments now accepted on latest listing of federal transportation projects for Maui. The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is now accepting public comments on its Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program Revision #5. Maui Now.

Maui Fair is canceled for a third year in a row
. That hasn’t happened since WWII. The fair won’t be coming to Maui this year — and that’s leaving many residents and vendors disappointed. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Community College celebrates in-person graduation. About 120 students elected to take the walk to receive their appropriate degrees or certificates from a specially created stage before an audience of several hundred people spread out over the area behind the Performing Arts Center. Garden Island.

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