Friday, July 1, 2022

Ige signs digital equity, broadband bills, Red Hill report recounts 'cascading' failures, new look at Hawaii gun laws following Supreme Court ruling, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Gov. David Ige signs bills to expand ‘digital equity’ but slashes $200 million for broadband growth. A planned $200 million investment in Hawaii broadband access using federal funds got axed Thursday by Gov. David Ige as he signed four bills aimed at improving “digital equity” among local communities. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Supreme Court says gun cases in several states, including Hawaii, deserve a new look. The Supreme Court said today that gun cases involving restrictions in Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Maryland deserve a new look following its major decision in a gun case last week. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Ige Appoints New PUC Chairman. Leodoloff “Leo” R. Asuncion, Jr., will replace outgoing Public Utilities Chairman Jay Griffin at the helm of the regulatory agency. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

$118,000 recovered for Hawaii restaurant workers forced to share tips with managers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that D.K. Restaurant Group, which operates Sansei Seafood Restaurants and Sushi Bars in Kapalua, Kihei and Waikoloa and D.K. Steak House in Honolulu, had forced servers to share their tips with managers. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Caution urged over Fourth of July due to Hawaii’s high-level status for COVID-19 risks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today kept all four major Hawaii counties classified as orange, high-level communities for COVID-19 impacts. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Long list of failures caused Red Hill leak, Navy investigation finds. An alarming list of operational and leadership failures, communication breakdowns and cavalier attitudes toward oversight at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility contributed to two leaks in 2021 that ultimately contaminated the Navy’s drinking water system with jet fuel, according to a long-awaited investigation released Thursday by the Navy. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Pentagon releases 2-year plan to drain Red Hill fuel tanks. The Pentagon expects it will take at least two years to safely defuel the 20 massive tanks at its underground Red Hill fuel storage facility, according to a five-phase plan released Thursday by the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Redistricting Pits Like-Minded Friends Against Each Other. After a decade serving neighboring House districts, Gregg Takayama and Roy Takumi vie for their new shared seat. Civil Beat.

City fined $116,000 for safety violations after worker’s death at sewage plant. A newly-released state investigation raises questions about whether the death of a Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant worker could have been prevented. Hawaii News Now.

State pledges July Fourth enforcement at Kaneohe Sandbar to avoid ‘free for all’. With the Fourth of July weekend coming up, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is reminding the public about gatherings at Ahu O Laka, also known as the Kaneohe Sandbar. Alcohol is prohibited at the location on the three-day weekend and so is unpermitted commercial activity. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hu Honua Bioenergy appeals to Hawaii Supreme Court after rejection of biomass plant. Honua Ola Bioenergy filed an appeal Wednesday with the Hawaii Supreme Court to reverse a state Public Utilities Commission decision rejecting its plans to open a biomass plant on Hawaii Island. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Condo Owners Navigate Troubled Finances. An unexpected financial mess at the Elima Lani condo complex in Waikoloa Village leaves some property owners miffed and perplexed. Civil Beat.

Maui

51.3 acres acquired in West Maui for County Park. The County of Maui has acquired 51.3 acres in West Maui for a purchase price of $2 million from Maui Land & Pineapple Co. for development of a County park, Mayor Michael Victorino announced today. Maui Now.

Bill may allow more veterans on disability to get tax relief. Some property tax relief could be coming for Maui County residents and severely disabled veterans as a County Council committee unanimously advanced two bills for tax relief to the full council on Wednesday. Maui News.

Takakura sworn in as new Deputy Director at Maui Department of Planning. Maui’s Jacky Takakura was sworn into office on Wednesday as deputy director of the Department of Planning, County officials announced. She succeeds Jordan Hart, who has moved to chief of the department’s Zoning Administration & Enforcement Division. Maui Now. Maui News.

Amid extreme drought, Maui residents prohibited from non-essential use of water.
Upcountry and West Maui residents have been banned starting Thursday from using non-essential water, said officials. That means no washing vehicles or watering lawns until further notice. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

COVID Update: Another death, KCCC quarantine solution. Kaua‘i saw its fifth covid death in as many weeks, as a man in his 40s succumbed to the virus while hospitalized. After sitting unused for nearly a year, the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center’s temporary medical isolation housing unit is finally operational (at least partially). Garden Island.

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