Friday, May 20, 2022

Hayashi tapped for schools superintendent, Espinda found dead from self-inflicted gunshot, Honolulu police chief candidates vie for top spot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Interim Keith Hayashi chosen as Hawaii public schools superintendent. After an extraordinarily long and sometimes contentious state Board of Education meeting Thursday, former Waipahu High School Principal Keith Hayashi, who has been serving as state interim superintendent of Hawaii public schools since August, was selected from among three finalists to continue as the permanent state superintendent. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Nolan Espinda, former head of Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety, dies. Nolan Espinda, who retired as DPS director in 2020 amid criticism over the department’s handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in Hawaii prisons, was found dead at Kailua Beach of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii commits to clean transportation future. With the passing of Senate Bill 3311, the state would give itself a goal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions across all modes of transportation. It also would establish working groups consisting of both public and private stakeholders that would promote clean interisland transportation and electric vehicle adoption. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii electric-vehicle sales charged ahead in first quarter.
Hawaii made significant progress in the first quarter to distance itself from fossil fuels as the state reached double digits in electric vehicle registrations. Star-Advertiser.

$80 Million For Hawaiʻi Water Issues Passed By House Committee. The State of Hawaiʻi is “positioned to receive” $80 million for water and wastewater issues through federal legislation moving through the U.S. House. Big Island Video News.

Honolulu and Maui counties’ COVID-19 risk rank rises.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday bumped Honolulu and Maui counties from the yellow, medium-risk community level to the red, high-risk community level for COVID-19. Honolulu and Maui counties join Kauai County, which last week was classified as a high-risk community due to high case rates and limited hospital capacity. Hawaii County remains yellow. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Department says keiki ages 5-11 now eligible for COVID-19 boosters. The Hawaii Department of Health today said it is adopting guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending boosters for keiki ages 5 through 11. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Candidates for Honolulu Police chief participate in public forum. Repairing the Honolulu Police Department’s reputation, providing more information to the media, increasing patrol staffing, addressing officer wellness and stopping the surge of violent crime were among the issues addressed by the candidates during the 90-minute live forum televised Thursday night on PBS Hawaii’s “Insight” program. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HPD statistics reveal low closure rates especially for property crimes. A vast majority of criminal cases investigated by the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) do not result in an arrest. KITV4.

Number Of Homeless People Counted In Oahu Survey Drops 11%. Oahu saw a decrease overall in this year’s Point-in-Time Count of homeless people, with the number of people in shelters dropping 24% and the number of those unsheltered increasing by 0.4% compared with the count in 2020. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

HART Pays Nearly $1 Million To Compensate 24 Parties Short-Changed By Rail Relocation. The Honolulu agency overseeing rail construction has determined that its prior history of shoddy relocation payments ultimately short-changed 24 businesses and tenants displaced by the future rail line to the tune of $883,000. Civil Beat.

Waikiki Aquarium to require face masks in alignment with University of Hawaii policy. The Waikiki Aquarium said wearing face masks is once again required at its facility, effective immediately, in alignment with University of Hawaii policy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council takes first stab at budget. Hawaii County Council members seem to prefer a cautious approach to county spending, despite a budget windfall that has Mayor Mitch Roth proposing a $779.7 million spending plan, a 27.8% increase over the current year. West Hawaii Today.

UH regents OK amendments to Maunakea plan. The University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents on Thursday approved a supplement to UH’s management plan for Maunakea, despite potentially losing jurisdiction over the mountain before the end of the decade. Tribune-Herald.

Solutions sought to help protect Pololu Valley. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is working with Hawi community members to protect Pololu Valley from overuse. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

County mayoral candidates tackle South Maui issues. Five candidates have filed to run so far in crowded mayor’s race Climate change, cesspools and ocean pollution, and homelessness in South Maui are among the issues that Maui County mayoral candidates plan to tackle if elected. Maui News.

Kaiser mental health clinicians during Maui strike: ‘They pushed us to this’. Organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers that represents Hawai’i Kaiser’s 58 mental health providers, the demonstration is being called the Aloha State’s largest mental health strike. Maui Now.

Red placard issued to restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch issued a red placard and shut down China Bowl Asian Cuisine Restaurant, located at 2580 Kekaa Dr, #116, Lahaina on Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Council introduces bill expanding size of guest houses on Kaua‘i. A bill introduced at County Council on Wednesday would increase the maximum size of guest houses, a move intended to make a dent in the ongoing housing crisis on island. Garden Island.

No-cost health services return to Kauaʻi in June. The “Tropic Care” program is run by the state Department of Health’s Kauaʻi District Health Office, the County of Kauaʻi and the U.S. military. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

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