Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hawaii throws away $22.5M in COVID test kits, $1B earmarked for housing programs, almost half of private-sector workers work remotely, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Nearly $1 billion in funding is pending approval to help struggling Hawaii families with housing. Nearly $1 billion in state housing funding — aimed to help the homeless, low-­income to working families, and Native Hawaiians — is ready to be approved this week in the final days of the legislative session, state House leaders announced Monday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Plans To Destroy Expired Covid Tests That Cost $22.5M. The state said the kits were bought for nursing homes and prisons in 2020 but were put in storage after the feds provided an easier-to-use version. Hawaii News Now.

Drinking Water At 72 Hawaii Schools To Be Tested For Lead. The water sampling will complete a process that began with more than 100 schools last year. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi is a leader in early education investment but not access or enrollment, report says. While the state is a leader in spending per child, it isn't in access or enrollment. The state ranked 44 out of 45 states surveyed in the U.S. because it only reached 2% of 4-year-olds across the Islands. Hawaii Public Radio.

State study shows nearly 50% of Hawaiʻi employees working remotely.
An estimated 42% of private-sector employees were working remotely as of August 2021, according to a report released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Hawaii Homeowners Must Tell Prospective Buyers If Sea Level Rise Threatens Their Property
. This week Hawaii became the first state to require real estate sellers to disclose to potential buyers if their property is threatened by sea level rise. Civil Beat.

Hannemann: Tourism won’t recover until next year. Hawaii is still a year away from a full return to prepandemic levels of tourism, according to Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging &Tourism Association. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council considering tax incentives for businesses along rail line.
In an effort to encourage private-sector development in neighborhoods along the rail line, the Honolulu City Council in considering a measure that would give tax credits for up to three decades to businesses that invest substantially in facility improvements and create scores of new jobs. Star-Advertiser.

No decision on criminal charges in alleged Honolulu police chase that injured 6. The trio of District 8 patrol officers accused in the case, Jake Bartolome, Erik Smith and Joshua Nahulu, remain on restricted duty and have had their police powers suspended, according to HPD, while the criminal and administrative investigations continue. Star-Advertiser.

Self-service DMV kiosks added to Salt Lake and Hawai‘i Kai. There are a total of eight of these self-service kiosks for renewing motor vehicle registrations at Safeway and Foodland stores on Oahu. KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ex-employee charges discrimination in Building Division. A former building inspector trainee is suing the county Department of Public Works, saying she was discriminated against and unlawfully terminated in retaliation after she reported what she saw as wrongdoing in the department. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo surgery center is in jeopardy of closing: Owners allege hospital is discouraging doctors from using the facility. Those connected to the Hilo Community Surgery Center point to a number of factors — including what they allege is pressure by Hilo Medical Center on its surgeons to not use the center for smaller procedures. Tribune-Herald.

Snowy conditions atop Mauna Kea force closure of road, visitor station. Located at an elevation of 9,200 feet, the station is reporting downright wintry conditions with ice and snow on the road, freezing temperatures and thunderstorms. Hawaii News Now. Big Island Video News.

Maui

As arrivals continue to rise, visitors spend more per trip. Lanai, Maui see highest spending totals per visitor in the state. Though Maui’s visitor numbers in March still trail pre-pandemic levels, people are spending more money per trip on the Valley Isle, according to a recent report. Maui News.

Landslides, road damage leaves portions of Piʻilani Hwy in East Maui impassable. Heavy rainfall in East Maui over night triggered landslides and roadway damage that have closed multiple sections of Piʻilani Highway between mile markers 19 in Kahikinui and mile marker 39 in Kīpahulu. Maui Now.

Kauai

Hawaiian Home Lands offers 51 vacant lots to Kauaʻi families.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has offered 51 residential vacant lots to Kauaʻi families. The lots are within the Pi‘ilani Mai Ke Kai Subdivision in Anahola. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislators call on state to look into emergency road, second bridge for Hanalei. Kuhio Highway, the only roadway in and out of Hanalei Town on Kaua'i, has been blocked off twice over the past four years, due to flooding and landslides. KITV4.

‘Anini Beach Park improvements meeting is Wednesday.
The county Department of Parks &Recreation and its consultant, Community Planning &Engineering Inc., will conduct a virtual public information meeting for proposed improvements to ‘Anini Beach Park on Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. The proposed improvements will evaluate the comfort stations, paths of travel, security gates, pavilions, camping sites, picnic tables, boat washdown area, and all parking areas. Garden Island.

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