Monday, September 19, 2022

Legislature to consider legalizing recreational cannabis, state campaign commission investigates Kahele, Cayetano, Maui auditing Choy contracts, Honolulu mulls increasing density, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Plan to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Hawaii takes shape. The most comprehensive strategy yet to legalize adult recreational cannabis use in Hawaii is being prepared for state lawmakers ahead of next year’s legislative session starting four months from now. Star-Advertiser.

This New Dairy Owner Says Local Cows Can Bring Down Hawaii’s Milk Prices. Bahman Sadeghi, chief executive of Meadow Gold Dairies, which Sadeghi acquired in 2020, has a long-range goal of bringing back Hawaii’s dairy industry. He reckons that by producing milk locally, Meadow Gold can lower the price of a gallon of milk by 20%. Civil Beat.

Council to consider fishing rules in marine monument. Possible changes to fishing regulations within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument could allow cultural fishing practices, although such changes are also viewed as “harmful” to Native Hawaiian traditions. Star-Advertiser.

State blames shrinking enrollment at public schools on declining birth rate, outmigration. Hawaii public schools lost nearly 3,000 students this school year compared to the year before, according to new enrollment figures released Friday. It’s the fourth school year with declining enrollment. Hawaii News Now.

Kai Kahele, Vicky Cayetano are subjects of campaign spending complaints. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele and business entrepreneur Vicky Cayetano are the subjects of separate investigations by the state Campaign Spending Commission related to their unsuccessful campaigns to become Hawaii’s next governor. Star-Advertiser.

It’s Tough To Win An Election As An Independent Candidate In Hawaii. This year, two nonpartisan candidates in partisan races have advanced to the general election. They’re approaching it with different expectations. Civil Beat.

A dozen protesters show up at elections meeting to find it being conducted via Zoom. About a dozen people showed up at the state Elections Office hoping to speak to commissioners in person but were disappointed to find the meeting was on Zoom. They say it’s another reason they don’t trust the current voting process. Hawaii News Now.

‘A game of chicken’: Inter-island fare war takes off between Hawaiian, Southwest airlines. Hawaiian Airlines and its latest competitor, Southwest, are engaged in an air fare battle, and flyers may be taking advantage. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Increasing Waikiki building height and density might be on table for first time in half century. A movement is underway to increase building height and density in the Waikiki Special District for the first time in about 50 years to allow smaller parcels to be turned into affordable housing and make the district more resilient to climate change and sea-level rise. Star-Advertiser.

City to open free wound clinic to address needs of homeless. The city plans to open a free wound-care clinic in Chinatown in November to primarily serve the homeless. The clinic would be the first official collaboration between the city and the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Homeless Outreach &Medical Education, or H.O.M.E., program. Star-Advertiser.

HART Leaders Are Concerned That Feds Still Haven’t Approved Rail’s Recovery Plan
. More than three months have passed since the city submitted its latest plan to rescue rail, and the Federal Transit Administration has yet to approve it. Civil Beat.

Toilet paper shortage causes major clogging at public parks. It’s the end of a roll for Oʻahu parks’ toilet paper shortage. The hygiene product company Veritiv secured a more steady supply of toilet paper for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Niu Valley Middle School on Oahu cools new building without AC. The new building uses no AC to keep students and teachers cool, instead relying on a unique design and purposeful positioning to create “passive ventilation.” It is the state’s first public school building specially created to harness and maximize Hawaii’s signature tradewinds. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Search for police chief continues. Hawaii County Police Commission members have yet to learn the names of applicants or the number of people who applied to be the next leader of the Hawaii Police Department. West Hawaii Today.

Road Block Planned Sept. 19 To Protest Updated Rules for Waipiʻo Valley Road. Waipiʻo Valley kūpuna, farmers, ʻohana and their supporters plan to block the 1.5-mile road that leads to the black sand beach and agricultural community on Monday in protest of Hawaiʻi County’s updated rules that allow some four-wheel drive vehicles to use the road that is dangerous and in need of repair. Big Island Now.

Deadline to submit comment on proposed investment in TMT near. Both critics and supporters of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are calling on the public to share their thoughts on the project. At stake is $800 million, as the National Science Foundation (NSF) decides whether to invest in the controversial telescope. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Study finds high levels of staph in soil around Hilo Bay. High concentrations of harmful bacteria lurk in the Hilo watershed, according to a study by University of Hawaii researchers. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

HMC faced with overcrowding despite low COVID numbers. There are currently seven COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Hawaii Medical Center. Of those seven, two are in the ICU, a number slightly above average. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

County to audit contracts awarded to Choy’s companies. Mayor Michael Victorino is ordering an audit of all no-bid contracts awarded to companies owned by Milton Choy, a Honolulu businessman who was recently charged with providing more than $2 million in bribes to a former Maui County official to influence wastewater contracts. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

First South Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting announced. The South Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Lokelani Intermediate School cafeteria at 1401 Līloa Drive, Kīhei. The event kicks off the next phase of the South Maui Community Plan update. Maui Now.

West Maui Taxpayers hold candidates night, Oct. 13. The West Maui Taxpayers Association is holding a “General Candidates Night” at the Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Maui Now.

Kauai

Federal funding at stake for elderly plans. The county Agency on Elderly Affairs is reminding the public to participate in two surveys that will help assess the needs of the county’s aging population. Garden Island.

Ni‘ihau High and Elementary is the state’s smallest school. Enrollment at Hawai‘i’s public and charter schools for the 2022-23 school year decreased to 168,634 students, compared with an enrollment of 171,600 students at the start of last school year — a difference of 1.7%. Garden Island.

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