Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Masks to become optional in Hawaii public schools, Ige vetoes 28 bills, state AG issues new guidance to relax gun laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Indoor masking optional at Hawaii public schools starting Aug. 1. Indoor masking will become optional in Hawaii’s 257 regular public schools effective Aug. 1 — a change eliciting praise from people who feel masking harms students, and criticism from other parents and some doctors who predict an increased risk of COVID-19 for children and school employees. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige vetoes 28 bills from original list of 30
. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday sent legislative leaders a list of 28 bills — from the original 30 on his June 27 “intent to veto” list — including one aimed at reforming Hawaii’s foster care system that Ige called unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Attorney general issues new guidance for state to ease gun permit laws in wake of SCOTUS ruling. Hawaii is set to relax some of the toughest permit laws in the nation in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling. Hawaii’s Attorney General Holly Shikada said the decision means that the state will need to make it easier to apply for a permit to carry guns in public. Hawaii News Now.

Democratic candidates for Hawaii governor face off in KITV4's Debate Night
. Homelessness, high taxes, and tourism - were some of the issues debated tonight by Hawaii's gubernatorial candidates during a three hour special hosted by KITV4. The three frontrunners on the Democratic ticket for governor, Vicky Cayetano, Josh Green, and Kai Kahele, engaged in their own debate. KITV4.

Hawaii GOP gubernatorial candidates debate ahead of election. Some of Hawaii’s top Republican gubernatorial candidates faced off Tuesday evening in a live debate in which they mostly fell along political party lines on national issues, including abortion and gun rights, and often had overlapping ideas about local issues such as affordable housing and the Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Crypto Super PAC Launches Ad Campaign In Support Of Patrick Branco In CD2 Race. Federal records show that Web3 Forward, which backs Democrats for Congress, has spent more than $100,000 on advertising in the Hawaii race. Civil Beat.

RIMPAC back at full force showcasing training, partnership. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, and more than 25,000 military personnel have been in and around Hawaiʻi the last couple of weeks for this year’s Rim of the Pacific maritime exercises. Hawaii Public Radio.

Software snafu affects government employees’ health benefits. The state agency that administers health insurance benefits for thousands of state and county workers in Hawaii is experiencing problems with the rollout of new benefits administration software. Tribune-Herald.

Kaiser Hawaii under scrutiny for lack in behavioral health. A national organization focused on improving the quality of health care has determined that Kaiser Permanente’s health plans in Hawaii need to improve and has put them under “corrective action” for failing to meet national quality standards. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Judge postpones corruption trial of ex-city prosecutor, 4 alleged co-conspirators. Former city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is accused of accepting $45,000 in campaign contributions from Honolulu businessman Dennis Mitsunaga, his company employees and relatives. Federal authorities said in exchange, Kaneshiro filed criminal charges against a former Mitsunaga employee who had sued the company over being fired. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City’s high job vacancies prompts audit. The Honolulu City Council unanimously approved a resolution directing the city’s auditor to look into the hiring practices of the human resources department. KHON2.

Honolulu Rail Whistleblower: Tracks, Wheels A Maintenance Nightmare And Potential Safety Issue. A  track consultant pressed HART officials for two years for the rail agency to make key changes that would make the system safer and more operable. They dismissed him in February. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail project is exploring alternatives to Pearl Highlands parking garage.
The Pearl Highlands parking garage has been paused due to exorbitant costs. It was supposed to create spaces for central Oʻahu residents who want to take the train into urban Honolulu. Hawaii Public Radio.

With no ridership rebound in sight, city bus system plans route changes. More than two years after the start of the pandemic, ridership on the city bus is still only about half of what it was. According to the city’s Department of Transportation Services TheBus currently has about 115,000 daily riders. That’s down from 195,000 prior to the pandemic ― a 41% decline. Hawaii News Now.

Judge: Man left homeless after wrongful prosecution can seek another civil claim against city.
An Oahu man left homeless after being jailed and wrongfully prosecuted for drug crimes is celebrating another legal victory. A federal judge says Sefo Fatai’s malicious prosecution claim against the city can move to trial. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Pohue Bay preserved: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park adds 16,000 acres.
The Trust for Public Land officially transferred ownership and stewardship of Pohue Bay to the National Park Service on Tuesday, preserving the area’s unique natural and cultural resources from development. West Hawaii Today. Associated Press. Big Island Video News.

Council members displeased with Waianuenue Ave road project. County Council members are frustrated that the repair work on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo does not appear to conform with their expectations. Tribune-Herald.

$15M Waiaka Bridge replacement project expected to start next summer. The project, which also includes realigning Kawaihae and Kohala Mountain roads and installing a roundabout at their intersection, is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, should construction get underway as planned in summer 2023. West Hawaii Today.

Olson Trust drops lawsuit against Naniloa’s top brass. The Edmund C. Olson Trust has withdrawn its lawsuit against two co-owners of the Grand Naniloa Hotel. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Central Maui Transit hub could be ready by year’s end. The Central Maui Transit hub that will replace the one at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center may be up and running by the end of this year, a county official said on Monday. The $2 million bus hub is located off Vevau Street near Kane Street, across from the old Sears store. Maui News.

Another Waiehu affordable housing project moves ahead — this one plans 752 units. Another affordable housing project is advancing in Waiehu, and this time the developer is pitching 752 units in a proposal called Waiehu Residential Community.  Maui Now.

Hotel Wailea earns No. 1 ranking in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui is ranked No. 3; Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui  is No. 5; Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi, Lānaʻi is No. 10; Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui is No. 18; and Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui rounds out the list at No. 20. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai District Health Office to conduct survey on COVID-19 response
. The Kauai District Health Office is conducting another survey this month to assess the community’s perception of its COVID-19 response efforts and current emergency preparedness level. Star-Advertiser.

Wainiha to Hā’ena residents asked to conserve water.
The Department of Water is asking residents in Wainiha to Hā’ena to conserve water until further notice due to an electrical power outage affecting water system facilities.  KHON2.

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