Monday, May 9, 2022

Ige plans to leave politics at term end, Kahele joins gubernatorial race, Tokuda aims for Congress, high school proms become COVID clusters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News
Kai Kahele ©2022 All Hawaii News

Gov. David Ige ending time in office on high note. There are still seven months left in his second term, but Gov. David Ige is ending his final legislative session on a high note, with historic levels of funding in many cases and a potential $500 million in savings for the next “rainy day.” Star-Advertiser.

Ige begins consideration of new bills at end of legislative session. Following the closure of the state Legislature on Thursday, Gov. David Ige remained coy over what will leave his desk signed or vetoed in the coming weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi legislators get a B-plus for their work this year, local public policy expert says
. While state lawmakers are congratulating themselves for infusing large funds into Native Hawaiian issues and raising the minimum wage, a local public policy expert says he would give their work a B-plus grade. Hawaii Public Radio.

Reflections on Hawaii’s ‘historic’ legislative session shine bright. It’s only 60 days long, but Hawaii’s legislative session this year was a monumental affair featuring some self-reform, historic spending and a return to in-person public participation, all largely in the wake of a bribery scandal, a budget deficit and peak coronavirus infections. Star-Advertiser.

Will Former Lawmakers’ Bribery Charges Lead To Broader Government Reform? The Legislature made some progress this year in increasing government transparency, but leading politicians say there is still much more work to be done. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige to lead Hawaii delegation to Japan.
Ige will be accompanied by First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige; Mike McCartney, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; John De Fries, president of the Hawaii Tourism Authority; George Kam, chair of the Hawaii Tourism Authority; and House Speaker Scott Saiki. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

It’s official: Kai Kahele leaving Congress for Hawaii governor’s race. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele ended months of speculation Saturday by announcing that he is running for governor in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Jill Tokuda makes congressional run official. Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda today plans to officially launch her candidacy for the congressional seat held by Rep. Kai Kahele after returning from Washington, D.C., where she protested in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building along with hundreds of other abortion rights supporters. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Tax rebate awaits governor’s approval. A potential $300 credit on most taxpayers’ 2021 tax returns is still alive, with the proposal awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature or veto. Tribune-Herald.

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

Officials Urge Caution After Covid Cases Are Linked To Proms. The Hawaii Department of Health confirmed several Covid and flu cases after high school proms on Oahu. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi to leave state on personal leave until Friday. Blangiardi is scheduled to return to Honolulu Friday evening. Managing Director Michael Formby will serve as acting mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell’s former chief of staff testifies before federal grand jury. The chief of staff to former Mayor Kirk Caldwell testified as a witness before a federal grand jury Thursday, a month after receiving a subpoena as part of an ongoing public corruption investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

Department of Health order requires plan and schedule for Red Hill defueling.
The DOH today issued the emergency order, which says that the Navy must provide it with its independent contractor’s assessment on the facility operations by May 15; a plan and schedule to defuel the storage tanks by June 30; and a plan for the closure of the facility by Nov. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Coalition aims to bring crime reduction programs to Waikiki. At a public-safety coalition meeting held last week, public- and private-sector officials responded to a call to beef up crime-fighting initiatives in Waikiki, where several high-profile violent crimes have put the community on alert. Star-Advertiser.

Owner of home that fell onto beach could face big fine. The owner, with the help of a contractor, pulled the home off the beach and stacked it atop pallets next to the lot’s main house, where it has awkwardly remained for weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Housing subsidies advance: Council likes the plan, just unsure how to pay for it. The County Council’s commitment to subsidize affordable housing was expanded last week to include moderate-income families making up to 120% of the average median income, meaning a family of three earning up to $92,520 annually could qualify for a two-bedroom home costing up to $539,000. West Hawaii Today.

The Food Basket plans to build agricultural park to help ease food insecurity, help isle businesses. The proposed four-component innovation park will allow The Food Basket to expand its ongoing efforts to promote the purchase and consumption of locally grown foods from a strategic location on a collaborative campus. Tribune-Herald.

Kohala ahupuaa to become living scientific laboratory. The ‘Iole Stewardship Center has been operating quietly for years on 2,400 acres of Kohala with the goal of restoring the land using the ancient wisdom of the Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Kau confirmed as water director for remainder of mayor’s term. Helene Kau was confirmed by the Maui County Council Friday as director of the county Department of Water Supply for the remainder of Mayor Michael Victorino’s current term, which ends this year. She served as deputy director under Jeffrey Pearson, who left for a state job. Maui News.

Bill setting rules for electric gun sellers in county passes. County facing litigation over delay in enacting law after electric gun sales legalized Jan. 1. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric May Have To Build A New Oil-Fired Power Plant On Maui. The shutdown of a spare parts supplier in Japan is threatening the ability of Maui’s electric utility to keep a series of 1980s generators firing. Civil Beat.

State funds to aid council efforts for Maalaea wastewater plan. Maui lawmakers have secured funds in the state budget to help move the Maalaea community away from its decadeslong reliance on injection wells, Rep. Angus McKelvey announced Friday. Maui News.

Kāʻeo residential project at Mākena set to start. The 47 acre project will consist of a 103-unit mixed-use community with 30 multi-family units, including 4 workforce housing units, 18 single-family cottages, 32 single-family custom lots, and 14 condominium units. There’s also approximately 27,300 square feet of commercial space planned, that is the home of a future Mākena Cultural & Heritage Center and public retail village. Maui Now.

Election-Year Scramble Looms As Veteran Hawaii Lawmakers Retire. Sen. Roz Baker, one of the Hawaii Senate’s longest-serving members, is retiring this year. Baker, who has represented parts of west and south Maui for more than three decades in both the Senate and the House, is one of Maui’s most seasoned politicians. Civil Beat.

Kauai

County grant recipients announced. The County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development announced the recipients of its Innovation Grants for fiscal year 2021-22. Garden Island.

PMRF site of ‘forever chemical’ release. The U.S. military has reported two releases of a toxic chemical in Hawai‘i in the past two years. Both incidents, the last of which occurred in February, were located at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua‘i’s Westside. Garden Island.

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