Friday, July 29, 2022

Tourism spending up, Katherine Kealoha wants out, gas prices drop, school starts Monday, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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On a black sand beach in Hawaii ©2022 All Hawaii News
 Hawaii visitor count drops but spending exceeds pre-pandemic levels U.S. arrivals to Hawaii softened in June. Arrivals from Hawaii’s top market for visitors — the U.S. West — were up 10% compared with June 2019, but they were down 4.5% from June 2021, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism reported Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii hotels finish fiscal year strong, lead nation in key revenue measures.
Hotels in the islands ended the 2021-2022 fiscal year with another strong month in June. Hotel revenues aren't only surpassing 2019 numbers — they're leading the nation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii drivers start to see some relief at the pump. The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Hawaii is now $5.48, down about 11 cents from last week, AAA Hawaii reports. Hawaii News Now.

Conservationists see gains, but still struggle to find long-term funding  Hawaiʻi has made great strides in protecting its natural resources. For instance, 10 watershed partnership organizations now work to maintain over 2 million acres — nearly half of the state's total land area — across five islands.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Campaign finance deadline missed by 30 Hawaii candidates, incumbents. Some 30 political candidates — including incumbents — failed to file mandatory financial disclosure statements by Monday’s deadline and will be fined $50 ahead of the Aug. 13 party primary elections, according to the state Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Suspected Russian spy from Kapolei held without bail; investigators find coded messages, invisible ink kit. A U.S. defense contractor and his wife charged with fraudulently living for decades under the stolen identities of two dead infants told family they were going into the witness protection program before abruptly abandoning their house and leaving Texas about 40 years ago, a federal prosecutor said today. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Ahead of new school year, educators are hopeful, anxious ― and ready to make up for lost time. Teachers hope that more than ever, this school year will focus on learning. Educators and staff members are back on campus prepping for the new school year, which starts Monday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Monkeypox Misconceptions: The virus isn’t only an LGBTQ+ concern, officials say. Gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals have been labeled “high risk” when it comes to catching monkeypox because a number of cases have been linked back to those social circles. However ,the DOH says the virus is not solely a sexually transmitted disease and can infect anyone. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Target date for new Aloha Stadium is now 2026
. The money is now available, but construction of the new Aloha Stadium in Halawa won’t start until at least a year from now. Star-Advertiser.

Public weighs in on new plan to control flooding in the Ala Wai watershed. The City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is trying again on plans to prevent major storm flooding from the Ala Wai watershed into Waikiki. The Corps presented seven preliminary plans, which included 51 different flood management measures, at a meeting Thursday night at the Ala Wai Golf Course Club. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha requests release from custody. In a letter to District Court, Katherine Kealoha requested that she be released from custody for ineffective counsel. KHON2.

Despite worsening drought, water use decreasing on Oahu. The good news is that water consumption is down 5% on Oahu, according to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and it appears likely that mandatory water restrictions will not be necessary this summer. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announces restart of city’s outdoor dining program. Bill 27 which was unanimously approved by the Honolulu City Council earlier this month, allows restaurants to apply for a one-year permit to operate dining service on the sidewalk directly outside of its storefront. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

TheBus Is Trying To Recover Riders Lost During The Pandemic.
Why Not Cut Fares? A sustained fare cut isn’t part of a campaign next month to boost ridership. City transportation leaders say the move could hurt Oahu’s existing bus service. Civil Beat.

Former Makiki Community Library to be revamped as a community center. The former library building at Makiki District Park will be renovated to be a community center. The Makiki Community Library has been closed since 2018. Hawaii Public Radio.

Nonprofit purchase deal protects Paiko Ridge in perpetuity. A large swath of Paiko Ridge in East Honolulu will now be protected from development, thanks to a deal brokered by Livable Hawaii Kai Hui to purchase the land from its owner. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Strong June for tourism: 157,443 visited Big Island last month, despite surging prices. After years of COVID-induced stagnation, Hawaii visitor rates have all but recovered, with June arrivals nearly matching prepandemic numbers. Tribune-Herald.

State extends deadline for Mauna Kea panel. Gov. David Ige and leadership from the state Senate and House of Representatives have extended the application deadline for seats on the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority to Aug. 8. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Board to discuss UH teaching telescope planned for Halepohaku. A planned installation for an educational telescope at Halepohaku on Maunakea is on schedule to be completed some time in 2024. Tribune-Herald.

Police, fire unaware of any emergencies missed due to telecommunications outage. While data is still being collected on any 911 calls that were missed— and how many individuals may have been affected — police said that they were unaware of any emergency situations that were missed due to fiber optic issues. West Hawaii Today.

Pilot Whistleblower Hotlines up and Running to Report Suspected Fraud. Keeping government accountable includes having policies and procedures in place to allow tips and complaints to be made and follow-up investigations and audits to happen, when warranted, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Big Island Now.

Candidates Seeking Big Island House Seat Differ On Style, Campaign Fundraising. Incumbent Chris Todd and his opponent, Shannon Matson, have a lot in common but there are some things that set them apart. Civil Beat.

IRONMAN To Return To Kona in 2023 With Two-Day Format. Race organizers today announced that the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon will continue with a two-day format in Kailua-Kona, on October 12 & 14. This year, for the first time in the 40-plus year history of the event, and a pandemic-related hiatus from Kona, the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will take place over two days in Kona on October 6 & 8. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Journal article documents sunscreen runoff from beach showers in Hawaiʻi as an environmental threat. In advance of Maui County’s ban on reef-damaging chemical sunscreens taking effect on Oct. 1 of this year, Councilmember Kelly Takaya King announced she and Councilmember Tamara Paltin have co-authored a scientific journal article documenting that sunscreen washed off at beach showers in Hawai‘i pollutes the environment at levels that pose a threat to shore and marine ecosystems. Maui Now.

County-state agreement opens door for more public parking at popular Keawakapu Beach
. Beach flare-ups over parking may cool off with a new plan to put in more public stalls at popular Keawakapu in South Maui. Maui Now.

Three federal earmarks for Maui County advance out of US Senate Appropriations Committee.
Proposed federal earmarks for three Maui County projects, including $11 million for the Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art planned for Wailuku town, have successfully moved out of the US Senate Appropriations Committee. Other earmarks include $1.4 million to help Maui County renovate the former GTE Hawaiian Tel Building for the County’s Emergency Operations Center and $180,000 for Maui Police Department’s project to expand radio communications in West Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Two Brun associates sentenced. As former county council member turned drug kingpin Arthur Brun awaits transfer to a mainland prison, associates Steven Keli‘ikuli and Orlando Manguchei were sentenced to prison terms this week. Garden Island.

A host of candidates at Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce mayor’s lunch. This is an election year, and the audience boasted a host of candidates for various offices. Garden Island.

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