Friday, August 19, 2022

Natatorium renovation mulled, wrongful death lawsuit filed by Zuckerberg employee's family, $500M contract for Honolulu rail utility work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

City preparing design documents to renovate storied Waikiki Natatorium. Will the iconic Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium ever reopen to the public? After closing down due to water quality and safety issues 43 years ago, the storied landmark now sits dilapidated with crumbling concrete and chipped paint. KITV4.

Two deputy superintendents added to lead Hawaii public school strategy and operations. The state Board of Education today approved the creation and appointments for two new deputy superintendent positions, despite concerns raised by Hawaii’s teachers union and others about worsening bureaucracy at the top of the state’s public school system. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii board receives first draft of strategic plan for 2023-2029. A first-draft outline of a new strategic plan for the University of Hawaii system calls for providing education to a bigger chunk of the islands’ population, eliminating the state’s shortages of teachers and other high- demand workers, and improving equity for Native Hawaiian students and employees among its numerous goals. Star-Advertiser.

Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct discusses legislative term limits. At a Wednesday meeting, the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct heard from several state lawmakers and the public on the legislative process in its mission to make recommendations on topics from lobbying to campaign finance laws. Hawaii Public Radio.

State water commission considers ability to act during emergency situations. Hawaiʻi has faced drought conditions and potential water shortages this summer. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Commission on Water Resource Management has been monitoring rainfall across the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Condo Fees Are Among Nation’s Highest. And They’re Squeezing The Middle Class. For many middle class home owners, maintenance fees can be almost as high as a mortgage. Civil Beat.

Oahu

New $500 Million Contract May Finally Solve Honolulu Rail’s Utility Woes. Rail officials tried to get this work done under a prior contract. They say this new deal will finally solve one of the project’s biggest obstacles. Honolulu rail officials this week awarded a nearly half-billion dollar contract that they hope will finally overcome one of the project’s biggest hurdles: relocating the maze of utility lines that run above and below Dillingham Boulevard. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Retirement ceremony foreshadows end of coal power era on Oahu. Gov. David Ige, several state lawmakers and city representatives participated in a retirement ceremony outside the AES Corp. coal-fired plant, which has been Oahu’s largest single generator of electricity for 30 years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

More seats approved for University of Hawaii field. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a $30 million plan that includes expanding the seating capacity of the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex to nearly 17,000 in time for the start of the 2023 football season. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

NOAA plans to relocate monk seal pup Koalani after weaning. Federal wildlife officials this afternoon announced a decision to relocate Hawaiian monk seal pup Koalani from Kaimana Beach in Waikiki to a more remote Oahu shoreline after he has weaned. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

A little tax relief for kupuna. Property taxes should take a slightly smaller bite from older property owners and those with lower-valued homes starting this time next year, thanks to a bill unanimously passed Wednesday by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Foes blast PGV plan. A public meeting about a plan to increase power production at Puna Geothermal Venture attracted nearly universal criticism from attendees Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hele-On awarded funds for zero-emissions fleet, capital improvements
. The county will procure six fuel cell electric buses and support hydrogen charging infrastructure through the Low or No Emissions grant program. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui Seabirds Still Face Danger From Bright Lights. The case against the Grand Wailea resort is headed for trial in April unless a settlement emerges. Civil Beat.

Crucial tasks ahead for new Department of Agriculture. County hammers out duties that include promoting local food, curbing theft, developing workforce. Maui News.

Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization taking applications for executive director. The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is now accepting applications to fill the role of executive director as Lauren Armstrong, who’s headed the organization since 2016, moves on to another job. Maui News.

Kūlanihākoʻi High School is approved as new Kīhei campus name. Kūlanihākoʻi High School is now the official name of the campus currently under construction in Kīhei, Maui, following today’s approval by the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education. Maui Now.

Maui to procure 11 new buses thanks to competitive federal grant. The County of Maui will procure four battery electric buses, as well as three commuter and four microtransit-type buses, and prepare the infrastructure needed to transition its fleet to electric buses by the year 2035. Maui Now.

Kauai

Councilors hope bill incentivizes mainland investors to rent long-term. The Kaua‘i County Council passed a bill Wednesday that introducers view as a step toward equity and balance within the Kaua‘i property tax system. Garden Island.

Zuckerberg company implicated in wrongful death lawsuit. Rodney Medeiros was working a 12-hour shift as a security guard at the Kaua‘i ranch owned by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan when he died of a heart attack three years ago. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

State Tourism Officials Visit Kauai To Pitch Progress: ‘We’re Not Your Grandfather’s HTA’. Tourism, historically subject to little restraint, faces growing controls. But stressed-out residents say it’s not enough. Civil Beat.

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