Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Too hot for humpbacks? Ige signs affordable housing bills, Honolulu historic homes could lose tax break, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback whales may avoid Hawaii due to climate change, study shows. The findings of a new paper by researchers at the University of Hawaii and the Pacific Whale Foundation suggest that the whales may one day avoid the relatively shallow ocean around the Hawaiian islands because the waters will be too warm. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii national park sites attracted 4 million visitors in 2021, study finds. Nearly 4 million people visited Hawaii’s eight national park units in 2021, spending an estimated $438 million in local communities across the state, according to a National Park Service report. Star-Advertiser.

Water conservation top of mind for some hotels, tourism businesses.
Drought conditions in the islands are expected to worsen this summer, concerning water supply officials. Residents have been asked to conserve water. But what about visitors? Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Ige signs bills to fund affordable housing and ʻOhana Zones. Gov. David Ige signed three bills on Friday relating to affordable housing. The new measures will support the Ohana Zones and First-To-Work programs. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

Second all-mail election offers some changes. Elections are coming up, and ballots can be cast just weeks from now in the 2022 primary. There are lots of changes this year. KHON2.

Redrawn districts present choices for voters. Many Hawaii residents will get a new representative in the state Legislature later this year — even if their current representative is running for reelection and wins. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s GOP primary candidates test the party’s values. The overall mood of the Hawaii Republican Party in 2022 likely will be revealed through the Aug. 13 primary election when voters have a choice of a diverse slate of candidates who appeal to distinctly different tastes. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele gets key union backing, Lt. Gov. Josh Green adds to long list. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele received a needed endorsement in his gubernatorial bid Thursday from the United Public Workers union, while opponent Lt. Gov. Josh Green simultaneously was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, adding to Green’s long list of support from Hawaii labor unions. Star-Advertiser.

Schools wrestle with effects of Supreme Court ruling on coach’s prayer. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a high school football coach in Washington state had a constitutional right to pray at the 50-yard line after games has provoked strong reactions and left public school officials in Hawaii and across the nation struggling to discern how it might affect policies and religious acts on campuses and at school-related activities. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Law Center Goes To Court To Make Prison Covid-19 Reports Public. The state refuses to release the health care monitoring reports, saying they are confidential under the terms of a federal court settlement. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Property tax incentives for historic homes reexamined. The Honolulu City Council might take a look at modifying the historic homes property tax exemption to increase the minimum tax payment or possibly remove the exemption altogether. Star-Advertiser.

HART Mum On Where Pivotal ‘Mauka Shift’ Approvals Stand. It’s not clear why HART is moving ahead before confirming which environmental approvals are needed and how long they might take. Civil Beat.

Fuel Spewed ‘Full Blast’ Into Red Hill Tunnel In November. As fuel rained down, creating a virtual river on the concrete floor of a Red Hill facility tunnel in November, the worker who accidentally triggered the leak found himself powerless to stop it. Civil Beat.

Officer who led Army’s Red Hill response is promoted to general. Col. Phillip “Cain” Baker, the 25th Infantry Division’s deputy commander for support, was promoted to brigadier general Friday in a small ceremony at the Schofield Barracks attended by family and friends. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian ‘Occupied Forces’ Group Ousted From Kunia Property By Police.
The squatters had taken over the private property nine months ago claiming they had title under laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Civil Beat.

Former federal ACO agrees to pay $100K to settle sex assault lawsuit. A former prison guard at the Federal Detention Center has agreed to pay $100,000 to two former female inmates who alleged he sexually assaulted them. Hawaii News Now.

Building damage estimated to be over $1.1M to historic Boyd-Irwin Estate with ties to Hawaiian royalty. The Honolulu Fire Department has determined the building fire that consumed the historic Boyd-Irwin Estate in Maunawili last month is estimated to have caused more than $1.137 million in damage. Star-Advertiser.

Makaha Valley Resort sold to South Korean company, KH Group at $20.7 million. A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved a sale of 644 acres in Makaha Valley, positioning a South Korean company to develop the property previously slated for a resort featuring a golf course designed by Tiger Woods. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Feedback sought about EA for HVNP recovery effort. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opened a comment period for community feedback about an environmental assessment for its proposed disaster recovery project to repair damage caused by the 2018 volcanic eruption and summit collapse on Kilauea volcano. Tribune-Herald.

Vacation rental rules remain unclear: County continues enforcement while awaiting ICA opinion. Hawaii County continues to enforce its prohibition against short-term vacation rentals in the state agricultural district despite a Kona judge’s ruling that the state doesn’t disallow that use as the county has claimed. West Hawaii Today.

County poised to award PONC grants.
Improvements at Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden top the list of awards to nonprofits the administration is recommending for the use of property tax funds earmarked for the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Long-Awaited Maui Ag Department Set To Be Finally Up And Running This Week. The director of Maui’s newly launched county department of agriculture is expected to be announced on Wednesday following an almost two-year wait. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui County Council Races: ‘Crucial’ Election May Bring A Political Shake-Up. The council’s progressive majority may change in an election where cost of living and the economy top the list of concerns. Civil Beat.

MPO mulls flexing federal funds to buy new buses. Public comments on the revised Federal Fiscal Year 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program is now being accepted by Maui MPO — the transportation planning agency for the island of Maui — through Friday. Maui News.

Maui’s top public health official wants an apology from state lawmakers. Dr. Lorrin Pang says it time for his critics to say they are sorry. Pang faced major backlash last year when he did not condemn controversial COVID-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Brun distributor gets 2 years in prison
. After a 20-year prison sentence was imposed on former Kaua‘i County Councilmember turned meth dealer Arthur Brun this May, the court has begun mopping up the cases of his 11 co-conspirators. Garden Island.

Hanapepe native Fujii to get Medal of Honor Tuesday. Specialist Five Dennis M. Fujii of Hawai‘i is one of four people who will receive the Medal of Honor on July 5 from President Joseph R. Biden Jr., states a June 27 release from the White House. Garden Island. KITV4.

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