Friday, June 3, 2022

Native Hawaiians take over tourism marketing, state's 3 polluted beaches, 800 front-line workers out amid COVID surge, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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These 3 Hawaii Beaches Have Chronic Pollution Problems. Surfrider Foundation shares its top 10 list of popular U.S. beaches that fail to meet health standards for recreational users. Of the 8,532 water test results reported in 2021, 36% of the samples collected from Maliko Bay on Maui, 95% from Chocolates Surf Break on Oahu, and 100% from Nawiliwili on Kauai, failed to meet the state health standard for recreational waters. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau loses contract to Hawaiian nonprofit. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has awarded the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement its lucrative contract to market the state to U.S. visitors — a major blow to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which has held the job for years and was originally chosen to retain the post in a multiyear, $100 million deal. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. KHON2.

Native Hawaiians urge congressional committee to meet its trust obligation by opening more access to funding. Native Hawaiian leaders told U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs this week that more funding and program access is needed from Washington to better fulfill the government’s federal trust responsibility. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

State announces extension of digital currency innovation lab. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced a two-year extension of the Digital Currency Innovation Lab on Thursday. The pilot program is a joint effort to gauge public interest in crypto as well as ease entry into the marketplace, said the department. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

‘Big win for girls’: State to spend $60M to construct locker rooms for female athletes. In an effort to bring fairness to girls sports, the state Department of Education will receive more than $60 million over the next two years to build new locker facilities for female athletes. Hawaii News Now.

US Coast Guard ushers in ‘new era’ of operations with updated fleet of aircraft. The U.S. Coast Guard is welcoming a new fleet of aircraft to better serve Hawaii and the greater Pacific region. The military branch is recognizing the “end of an era” with an event celebrating the transition from the HC-130H aircraft to the HC-130J. Hawaii News Now.

Amid ongoing surge, more than 800 frontline caregivers in Hawaii out sick with COVID. Amid Hawaii’s ongoing COVID surge, some 800 frontline caregivers in Hawaii called out sick Thursday due to the virus, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii said. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 nearing final OK. State Department of Health officials have said vaccines for children ages 6 months up to 4 years may be authorized soon, and they are advising parents to ask their pediatricians whether they will offer the vaccine and be ready when they are available. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

More permit delays cause frustration at city planning department. Changes to the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting were supposed to expedite the process. But applicants said it’s taking longer than ever to get a permit — and they said multiple industries are suffering because of it. KHON2.

How to stop sand erosion on Waikīkī coastline? That’s the $2 billion question. Sea level rise and coastal erosion are making beach maintenance an ever more costly challenge. Hawaii Public Radio.

OSHA: ‘Disabled’ Red Hill Firefighting System Put Employees In Danger. The Navy said it turned off the automatic deployment of firefighting foam after a leak in the system. Civil Beat.

McCully-Mōʻiliʻili Library reopens after 2-year closure for repairs. Workers replaced the roof, installed a solar panel system, and repaired water damage throughout the library. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wooden swing removed at Sacred Falls State Park to discourage trespassing. State law enforcement officers have removed a wooden swing at the foot of the falls at Sacred Falls State Park, which has been closed to the public for more than 20 years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


No property tax relief: Council approves $785.3M spending plan. There will be no tax breaks for Hawaii County property owners this year, after the County Council on Thursday shot down attempts by three council members to divvy up for property owners a budget windfall stemming from a booming economy that sent property values skyrocketing. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Court Rules For State In Latest Aina Leʻa Decision. The United States District Court in the District of Hawai‘i has ruled in favor of the State of Hawaiʻi in a regulatory-taking lawsuit concerning the Villages at Aina Leʻa project in Waikōloa. Big Island Video News.

Big Island energy firm seeks Public Utilities Commission review. Honua Ola Bioenergy filed a motion Thursday for reconsideration, clarification and a further hearing with the state Public Utilities Commission in an attempt to reverse the agency’s 2-1 decision May 23 that rejected the company’s renewable energy project on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Ige talks return of Japanese visitors. Gov. David Ige said he’s expecting Japan Airlines to start service between Japan and Kona on Aug. 1. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Major outdoor lighting rules to protect Maui County seabirds move ahead. With widespread support from environmental groups, a Maui County measure meant to dim lights that can be lethal for Hawaiian seabirds advanced Wednesday. Maui Now.

Public scoping on proposed Kīpahulu Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area.
The proposed Kīpahulu CBSFA is from Kālepa Gulch in the southwest to Pua‘alu‘u Gulch in the northeast, and covers roughly 5.7 miles of coastline. Maui Now.

Maui Solar Panel Owners Can Get Cash Incentives For Upgrading Energy Storage. Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program can provide Maui customers with a one-time cash incentive and monthly bill credits. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Council approves $260.3M budget. It was a total increase of more than $40 million over the current budget (a $243.3 million operating budget and $24.8 million CIP tab), with the majority of the additional funds going towards CIP projects. Garden Island.

Endangered Blind Spiders And Ancient Burials Spur Angst Over Luxury Condo Project. No one knows for certain what all lies underground at a vacant parcel that’s being developed on Kauai. Civil Beat.

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