Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tourism funding threatened, staff shortages impact hospitality and travel, monster homes irk Honolulu, Maui residents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Janice Wei
Hawaii volcano at night PC: Janice Wei
Tourism funding again under threat. The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s future is uncertain again. Gov. David Ige has announced his intent to veto House Bill 1147 — the eleventh-­hour solution that state legislators cobbled together at the end of the session to save the agency’s $60 million annual budget. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lack of workers affecting hospitality and travel. Airlines and travel officials are expecting a busier Fourth of July weekend and summer travel season compared to last year, but the shortage of workers continues to be an issue. KHON2.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Visitor Spending Contributed $117 Million To Local Economy. The National Park Service says a new report finds 2021 spending supported 1,220 jobs mostly in lodging, recreation and transportation. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Anti-vape advocates, tobacco industry applaud Gov. Ige's plan to veto flavored product bill
. House Bill 1570 proposes banning flavored tobacco products, including menthol. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s small businesses grapple with rising costs, staffing shortages. National chains are better able to weather the current challenges — including ability to pay a rising minimum wage — than small mom-and-pop shops, according to Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Agriculture Board endorses plan to import millions of mosquitoes to save imperiled birds. The state Board of Agriculture on Tuesday gave the green light to the release of tens of millions of mosquitoes into the wild as part of a plan to help save Hawaii’s endangered forest birds. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Liquor Commission Run Amok? Bar Owners Complaints Are Leading To Change. Bar owners struggled amidst strict restrictions during the pandemic. Now they hope city officials can implement reforms to the Honolulu Liquor Commission. Civil Beat.

City says bacteria levels drop following treated wastewater discharge on West Oahu beaches. An undisclosed problem at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant last Thursday led to excessive discharge of treated wastewater along the Ewa coastline. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Neighbors react to city shutting down Kaimukī 'monster home.' But what's next? Earlier this month, the city's Department of Planning and Permitting revoked three building permits, and issued a stop work order for 3615 Sierra Drive. Officials say the project violates the city's land use ordinance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Staffing shortages a key factor in labor dispute at Hawaii’s largest hotel. Union contracts at the Hilton Hawaiian Village are set to expire in two days and union workers are asking for help to deal with the summer travel rush. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Fire Department welcomes new accelerant detection canine. Eve, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever, is Hawaii’s only accelerant detection canine, according to HFD. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu Hunters Oppose Contraception for Pigs. Pig hunters packed the Department of Land and Natural resources board room Tuesday to speak out against the use of birth control measures on wild animals. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Higher water rates coming down the pipe. Water customers should expect a double whammy on their bills starting Friday, when planned consumption and standby charge increases coincide with an increase in the fluctuating power purchase charge. West Hawaii Today.

Water restrictions could be eased this week. There’s good news for North Kona residents worrying about the area’s drinking water supply — water restrictions could be eased as early as the end of this week. West Hawaii Today.

Judge orders document in Ireland case to be unsealed. Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota on Tuesday ordered that one of two documents apparently related to post-conviction DNA testing performed in the Dana Ireland murder case be unsealed and made public. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Ag Department heads to be picked this week. Maui County’s new Agriculture Department director and deputy are expected to be announced this week by Mayor Michael Victorino as the deadline for the department to be established approaches on Friday. Maui News.

Resolution To Acquire Maui Monster House Passes Committee. The eminent domain resolution now moves to the full County Council for consideration at its July 15 meeting. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Funding, fencing on the horizon for farms, ranches hurt by axis deer. Solutions for feral ungulate control are slowly but surely taking shape as axis deer populations rapidly grow and create havoc for Maui County farmers and ranchers. Maui News.

Kauai

COVID puts damper on Kaua‘i fireworks shows. The U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility is returning with its first fireworks show since the onset of the pandemic. But due to COVID concerns, it will only be open to U.S. Department of Defense ID cardholders and their guests. Garden Island.

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