Monday, July 11, 2022

Hawaii voters favor new telescope on Mauna Kea, sour on rail, state police created, worker shortage continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Mauna Kea telescopes ©2022 All Hawaii News
Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Rail Remains Unpopular But Support For TMT Is Solid. Three years after mass protests on Mauna Kea over the Thirty Meter Telescope project, supporters still outnumber opponents by a 2-to-1 margin. After a decade of rail drama including years of delays and colossal cost overruns, public opinion on rail hasn’t changed much: Voters today are just as sour on the project as when the entire ordeal began, according to the new poll data. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Approval Ratings Improve for Ige, Slip For Green.
Kai Kahele does not fare well with voters while the rest of the delegation remains relatively popular. Rick Blangiardi is well-liked. The Legislature not so much. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

New law creates state police force. Gov. David Ige on Friday signed House Bill 2171 into law as Act 278, creating a new state Department of Law Enforcement and converting the Department of Public Safety into the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Should Hawaii’s Next Lt. Gov. Take The Lead On Solving The State’s Housing Crisis? How the top Democrats in the race approach housing issues also demonstrates how they might operate if elected to office. Civil Beat.

Ige Intends To Veto Healthy Soils Program. Advocates Say That’s Misguided. Gov. David Ige wants to nix the program because there is a soil survey in the works. But supporters say it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Civil Beat.

Veto Looms For Hawaii Tour Helicopter Bill That Would Collect Data On Flights. The bill would set up a task force to make recommendations on restricting tour flights but Gov. David Ige says it’s the federal government’s jurisdiction. Civil Beat.

Bill Expanding Hawaii Computer Science Education Is Facing A Veto. Different interpretations of a key provision in Senate Bill 2142 are likely to lead Gov. David Ige to reject the measure. The bill requires the University of Hawaii College of Education to create more pathways for teachers to teach computer science at the elementary and secondary level, while also providing $1 million in scholarships to coax educators to develop expertise in the subject area. Civil Beat.

Easing of restrictions returns Kiwi travelers to Hawaii.
The New Zealand tourism market has returned to Hawaii after a two-year, COVID-19-related hiatus. Star-Advertiser.

Deep-sea mining noise pollution will stretch hundreds of miles. A study on underwater noise pollution from seabed mining operations found that noise from one mine alone could travel approximately 500 kilometers (roughly 311 miles) in gentle weather conditions, which could affect the understudied species that live in the deep sea—the largest habitat on Earth. There could also be cumulative impacts where multiple mines operate, according to the study. Maui Now.

New initiative to provide easier access to Japanese American internment records in Hawaiʻi . The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi is working on a new project that will provide easier access to records about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Study: Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Vaccination Rates Affected by Trust Levels. A new University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa study explains vaccine hesitancy among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and researchers say the findings could provide a foundation for communication strategies for other health policies beyond the pandemic. Big Island Now.


Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him. Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him. Former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro’s unwillingness to cooperate in a federal investigation of his former deputy, Katherine Kealoha, likely led authorities to turn their attention to allegations that he conspired with the executives of an engineering firm to frame a former employee for felony theft, according to an attorney familiar with the investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Help Wanted: Honolulu Needs 3,000 Workers For City Jobs. The city’s high job vacancy rate is leaving residents waiting for services, as city officials scramble to try to hire new people in a tight labor market. Civil Beat.

Legislation introduced that urges DOE to end mask mandate in schools. Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi introduced Resolution 22- 165 that urges the Hawaii Department of Education to end its mask mandate for public schools. KITV4.

Civil rights advocate once again challenges state House speaker in primary race. The race is happening on a changing playing field. The district from downtown Honolulu to McKinley and Kakaako has grown from semi-industrial area to a growing high rise residential area. Hawaii News Now.

Open City Council races see many newcomers seeking office. With only one incumbent seeking reelection in the four Honolulu City Council races in this year’s election, ballots for the Aug. 13 primary will be crowded with newcomers to the political scene. Star-Advertiser.

Union: Tentative agreement between Hilton, workers reached. The new two-year agreement reportedly includes improved wages, benefits and reinstatement of daily room cleaning and other services, according to the union. Hawaii News Now.

Assets School opens student screening center with $378K in federal money. The private Assets School has opened a center to make student screening for learning disabilities and differences more widely accessible to the public, funded with $378,000 from the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County gears up for primary election: Lack of elections administrator won’t slow the process
. Hawaii County hasn’t had a chief election officer since longtime Elections Division Administrator Pat Nakamoto retired Dec. 31. West Hawaii Today.

New building department fails to reach ballot. A proposed charter amendment creating a Building Department will not appear on the November ballot, after the County Council last week killed the measure. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly 200 teachers needed: High cost of Big Island housing makes it hard to recruit. As of June 13, the DOE reports Hawaii County had approximately 196 classroom teacher vacancies: 41 for the Hilo-Waiakea complex area, 50 for the Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa complex area, and 105 for the Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena complex. Tribune-Herald.


Fast-track process on horizon for 752-unit Waiehu project. Developers’ next steps for a proposed 752-unit affordable housing project in Waiehu will be to apply for the county’s fast-track process, according to a consultant for the project. Maui News.

Even with changes, attorneys still raise issue with lighting bill. Even with more changes and exemptions granted, county attorneys still see issues with a bill intended to cut outdoor light pollution and protect native Hawaiian seabirds. Maui News.

Charter amendments up for second reading. Proposals call for Maui Nui water system, more planning commissions. A proposed charter amendment which proponents hope will allow residents to have more of a say in water issues will be up for second and final reading by the Maui County Council on July 15. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center leads the state in Heart and Stroke Quality Care. The Heart Failure Gold Plus and Stroke Gold Plus awards recognize MMMC’s demonstrated excellence and commitment to current, research-based guidelines for the treatment of heart disease and stroke. Maui Now.


Kauai visitors give back by volunteering in regenerative tourism programs. A new study, which surveyed 463 Kauai residents, found that regenerative tourism programs like this one make the tourism industry and tourists more attractive to residents and could play a key role in helping Hawaii’s visitor industry recover from the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency exercises are on this week. County, state and other emergency responders will continue joint training and exercises on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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