Friday, July 15, 2022

Green leads campaign money race, Honolulu extends rent relief, former Hawaii County employee heads to court in affordable housing scam, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Vicky Cayetano Turns To Self-Funding For Her Gubernatorial Campaign. Lt. Gov. Josh Green raised $1.47 million in the first six months of this year, vastly outpacing his opponents including U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. Civil Beat.

House Speaker Scott Saiki Rakes In Money From Well-Known Donors In House District 25 Race
. In the most recent reporting period, which covers campaign activity from Jan. 1 through June 30, Saiki raised $118,126, bringing his total raised for this election cycle to $255,718. Iwamoto’s  fundraising fell far short of her opponent’s, bringing in about $36,000 this reporting period. Civil Beat.

Medical aid in dying gaining more acceptance in Hawaii, report finds. A growing number of patients and physicians are participating in Hawaii’s medical-aid-in-dying program, but delays in the eligibility process continue to present challenges for terminally ill patients in their final days, according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education approves superintendent’s $240,000 annual contract. The formal contract officially making Keith Hayashi the next state superintendent of Hawaii’s massive public school system was approved Thursday by the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Has $200 Million To Spend on Pre-K. Who Gets The Money? Final language in the new law leaves an open question about whether private as well as public facilities are eligible for the funding. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hospitals participate in RIMPAC disaster drills. As part of this year’s iteration of the biennial Exercise Rim of the Pacific, local hospitals are teaming up with the military to practice responding to a large-scale humanitarian disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Hurricane Darby weakens, expected to pass south of islands. As of 5 a.m. Friday, Darby was located about 610 miles east-southeast of Hilo or 810 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. It was moving west near 16 mph. As Hurricane Darby continues to be monitored, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is taking precautions to provide support for counties. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

City Rental and Utility Relief to be extended by $31 million. The city is extending the Rental and Utility Relief Program by using $31 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds in hopes of providing more assistance to Oahu renters. Star-Advertiser.

Cracks In Concrete Columns Could Be Honolulu Rail’s Next Big Problem, HART Says. City contractors have advised that no passengers be allowed on seven station platforms until they have a better grasp of the issue, rail officials said. Civil Beat.

Live-work-shop? The city wants to make it easier to build condos at shopping malls. The city’s Department of Planning and Permitting wants to make it easier for malls to do that and is proposing a change to the city’s Land Use Ordinance. Hawaii News Now.

HOLO card registration urged after defective cards issued, Honolulu DTS says. Honolulu transportation officials are asking HOLO card users to register their cards online in order to suss out less than 100 defective cards that were recently issued. KITV4.

City looks to replace vendor for Waikiki pavilion plagued by homelessness. In December, city crews cleared the pavilions along the shoreline to lease them out to vendors. However, all but one are up and running today. KITV4.

Heads up, gamers! Your library card will soon get you into the state’s first public esports hub. Your library card will soon get you access to the state’s first public esports hub. The lab was unveiled at the Waipahu Public Library on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Former county employee charged in affordable housing credit scheme. A former employee of the county Office of Housing and Community Development is set to enter a plea Monday in federal court on charges he took almost $2 million in bribes and kickbacks to influence affordable housing projects in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now.

Police jurisdiction challenge rejected again. A lawsuit claiming that the chiefs of police for the Big Island, Maui and Honolulu violated the law during the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protests has been dismissed once again, this time by the Hawaii Supreme Court. Tribune-Herald.

Survey IDs deficiencies in Big Isle health care.
Psychiatry and mental health counseling are the Big Island’s two most needed types of health care, according to an islandwide survey completed in March by Community First Hawaii, a nonprofit with a goal of improving access to health care throughout the state. Tribune-Herald.

900 acres of ʻōhiʻa were cut down in 1985. Here's how the trees are making a comeback in Kalapana. Nearly 40 years ago, a tract of pristine ʻōhiʻa forest in Kalapana on Hawaiʻi Island was cut down. The trees were reduced to wood chips for a proposed biomass energy project. Now the trees are making a comeback — and battling it out for dominance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kona-grown seaweed helping reduce cattle methane emissions. An agricultural technology company located at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is growing seaweed in an effort to reduce cattle methane emissions around the world. West Hawaii Today.

Maui


Here’s Who’s Pulling In The Most Cash In The Maui Mayor’s Race. So far, most of that money is still pouring into the campaign of former Judge Richard Bissen, who is among six others trying to oust Mayor Michael Victorino, according to the latest campaign spending reports filed Thursday. Bissen raised almost $272,000 in the period spanning from April 26 to June 30, topping the other contenders by tens of thousands of dollars. Victorino raised $91,000 in his bid to serve a second four-year term. Civil Beat.

Council to consider homeowner exemption bills for principal home, long-term rental. Bills proposing homeowner exemptions from real property tax are up for first reading at the Maui County Council’s meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, Council Vice Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced. Maui News.

Committee backs probe of two county departments. Maui County Council members moved one step further on Wednesday in greenlighting a formal investigation into two county departments over approvals for a large controversial home in Napili that has angered community members and spurred calls for an investigation. Maui News.

AEI Housing Center: “Maui’s sky-high home prices are a self-inflicted wound”. Maui’s record home prices and the impacts that have resulted in displaced residents, are not unique, but there are potential solutions, according to a researcher from a public policy think tank on the mainland. Maui Now.

New shuttle takes Maui residents to Wailuku performance venues. Maui residents can catch a free ride to performance art Wailuku venues starting Thursday, July 14. Da Artsy Bee shuttle service begins in the Maui Lani Safeway parking lot and drops off guests in front of the theater. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Kauai

DOT Backpedals On Kauai Airport Expansion Following Public Outrage. State transportation officials have decided to abandon a proposal to add three new gates at Lihue Airport after considering community pushback and the ongoing effort by other government agencies to rein in Kauai’s staggering tourism growth. Civil Beat.

Environmentalists file suit over pollution concerns at busy Kauai harbor. Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law organization, filed the federal Clean Water Act lawsuit on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation and Na Kiai Kai. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Support Team exercise at Kaua‘i Community College. Reports of gunshots broke a quiet Thursday morning at the Kaua‘i Community College. That was the scenario of the full-scale weapons of mass destruction exercise that pretty much shut down the Puhi campus as county, state agencies, and other emergency response partners took over the situation with the Hawai‘i National Guard 93rd Civil Support Team. Garden Island.

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