Monday, October 17, 2022

Grim forecast for coral reefs, congressional ethics office calls for Kahele investigation, attorney general seeks to stop auction of Queen Liliuokalani articles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Half of all coral reefs could face permanent effects of climate change. Half of the world’s coral reefs could no longer be suitable for marine life by 2035. That’s according to the latest University of Hawaiʻi research looking into the worst-case scenarios of climate change on reef ecosystems. Hawaii Public Radio.Kauai Now.

Congressional Ethics Watchdog Calls For Ethics Investigation Into Kahele. No details were released about the allegations the Hawaii congressman might be facing, but his proxy voting record and ties to Hawaiian Airlines have drawn scrutiny. The Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent watchdog charged with investigating allegations of misconduct against House members and their staff, has called for an official inquiry into U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. Civil Beat.

Governor Candidates On The Environment: Sharp Contrasts And A Little Overlap. Republican Duke Aiona emphasizes lower energy costs, while Democrat Josh Green stresses renewable and sustainable sources. Civil Beat.

Jill Tokuda Looks Like A Shoo-In For Congress. What Would She Do? The question is whether the former state senator, a Democrat, can be effective, especially as a first-term lawmaker in a House that’s expected to be in GOP control. Civil Beat.

State moves to block auction of items related to overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The state Department of the Attorney General has put the British auction house Bonhams on notice. At issue are items dating back to the Hawaiian monarchy overthrow that the state maintains belong to Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Why Hawaii’s Language Access Office Is Having Trouble ‘Fulfilling Its Mission’ The state auditor says OLA “remains a partially formed organization” some 16 years after its establishment. Advocates say that’s keeping non-English speakers from getting much-needed services. Civil Beat.

Menstrual product distribution still uneven in Hawaii schools.
Full statewide implementation of the “menstrual equity” state legislation is turning out to be a more complex and delicate undertaking than even some lawmakers and education officials expected. Star-Advertiser.

GET medical exemption sought: Group says move would make state ‘a more attractive place for doctors’. In an effort to make health care more affordable and alleviate the state’s physician shortage, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii launched a petition urging the Hawaii Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET. Tribune-Herald.

As RSV cases rise, more people are hospitalized compared to COVID surges
. Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus — also known as RSV — are increasing in Hawaiʻi and 32 other states. There are other respiratory illnesses spreading as well, including rhinovirus and coronavirus. Hawaii Public Radio.

A deficit of mental health: Pandemic isn’t solely to blame, experts say; politics also a factor. Some  health care providers in Hawaii think the reason for the increase isn’t just the pandemic, citing a variety of symptoms such as stress, political conflict, work staffing shortages, insurance issues and because there’s less of a stigma for those who seek mental health services. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Robberies, weapon crimes rise on Oahu as other major categories fall. Weapon violations, robberies and assaults are on the rise in Honolulu while other major crime categories have fallen off, compared with 2021, according to Hono­lulu police statistics obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Star-Advertiser.

Power struggle festers over Aloha Stadium redevelopment. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, claims that his agency is now in charge of redeveloping Aloha Stadium following more than a decade of work by the Stadium Authority, private consultants, state lawmakers and the state Department of Accounting and General Services. Star-Advertiser.

State wants to drop permit rules for employees of Waikiki ocean activity companies.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking to repeal rules that require surf instructors, outrigger canoe captains and other individuals who operate in Waikiki waters to obtain a state permit certifying they have the necessary skills and training, citing liability concerns and lack of “resources or expertise to continue conducting the testing and approval process.” Star-Advertiser.

Oahu voters to decide how to use city land conservation fund.
Proposed City Charter amendment No. 3 on the general election ballot asks if 5% of the fund should be expended to operate and maintain those acquired lands. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Ballot Proposal Would Make City Council Services Office A Permanent Agency. The office that performs many legislative duties for the council, including researching and drafting bills and resolutions, may finally get equal status with other agencies. Civil Beat.

Lawyer For Mitsunaga Firm Pleads Not Guilty To Bribing Kaneshiro. A lawyer for an engineering firm whose CEO is accused of bribing Honolulu’s prosecuting attorney pleaded not guilty on Friday to participating in the alleged scheme. Civil Beat.

Navy officials said repairs to a broken 36-inch water main at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam are still at least a week out. Iroquois Point Elementary to remain closed as repairs continue to military water system. Main breaks to the Navy’s water system Friday has left about 90,000 customers under a boil water advisory. Some customers have low water pressure while others have no water at all. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Plan to house the homeless living outside Waianae Boat Harbor. The Pu'uhonua O Wai'anae Farm Village is continuing their fight to end homelessness on Oahu. Village leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony on a project for the dozens of houseless people who called the Waianae Boat Harbor home for years. They will rehome approximately 250 people living in tents – many who are kupuna, and working families with children. KITV4.

Homelessness on public recreation land on Oʻahu an ongoing problem with few solutions. Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources say there’s a long list of challenges and few solutions when it comes to homeless individuals who have taken up residence at O‘ahu’s Sand Island State Recreation Area. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Garden Island.

LGBTQ+ tourism is thriving in Hawaii.
The National Gay Flag Football League’s Gay Bowl XXII Hawaii 2022 Flag Football Tournament, the largest LGBTQ+ event ever held in Honolulu, helped this year’s Honolulu Pride parade surpass the 2019 event, which was the state’s largest parade that year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Issues Message On Mauna Loa Activity. The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense said it is closely monitoring the situation, in coordination with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Estate, family seek answers in killing of Boy Scout. Court documents filed on behalf of the estate of the 11-year-old Boy Scout who was killed Aug. 28 when a firearm accidentally was discharged said the gun was an “AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle.” Tribune-Herald.

Ready, set, vote! Ballots are expected to be mailed Wednesday and arrive in Big Island mailboxes shortly after that as the nation counts down to the Nov. 8 general election. West Hawaii Today.
https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2022/10/15/hawaii-news/ready-set-vote/

‘The Most Important Decision’: Hawaii Police Commission Ponders Criteria For New Chief. With the hiring process set to begin Oct. 24, the police union is urging the commission to use the opportunity to pursue more ambitious goals. Civil Beat.

Bill would increase solar water heater tax credit. A bill increasing the tax credit for eligible homeowners who install a solar water heater will be heard Tuesday by the County Council Finance Committee. Bill 227 would increase the tax credit from $300 to $400 for owners of single-family dwellings, ohanas, farm dwellings and duplexes. West Hawaii Today.

Hāpuna Beach Park And Cabins Closed. A major water break has been reported at Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area, and the park & cabin area are closed. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Sparks fly in contentious debate as Maui mayoral candidates vie for votes. In a debate Saturday night organized by Akaku Maui Community Media, incumbent Mayor Mike Victorino defended his record while retired Judge Richard Bissen accused Victorino of being a passive mayor. Hawaii News Now.

Bissen gets Carpenter’s Union endorsement; Victorino endorsed by HSTA; Kama Talk Story. Campaign updates from Maui County. Maui Now.

County to launch energy cost-savings program. Project to install more efficient lighting, sinks and other equipment. Maui County is embarking on a multimillion-dollar project with an international company in hopes of realizing $73 million in energy and water conservation cost during the first phase. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Dockless vehicles and parking ambassador program to be discussed in committee. The Maui Council’s Infrastructure and Transportation Committee on Monday will discuss a bill prohibiting a commercial system of short-term rentals of dockless vehicles, and a separate bill authorizing the implementation of a parking ambassador program.  Maui Now.

Pulelehua developer to prioritize affordable units in first phase of West Maui project. Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that the Maui County Council is in receipt of Bill 152, that will help to subsidize shovel-ready development of 100 affordable units in Pulelehua, planned for West Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i mayoral candidates answer questions on drug treatment center, housing, evictions. The Garden Island spoke to mayoral candidates Derek Kawakami and Michael Roven Poai last week on some of the major issues facing the county. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i council candidates make their closing statements. The Garden Island asked the 14 County Council candidates to submit closing statements ahead of the mailing of ballots on Oct. 19. Twelve responded. Garden Island.

What are the Kaua‘i county ballot proposals? Along with picking their elected representatives, voters will have the chance to decide on the fate of four ballot proposals this election season. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Hawaiian sea cucumbers being cultivated for export and fishpond restoration on Kauaʻi.
Kaua‘i Sea Farm, a commercial aquaculture business at the ancient Nomilo fishpond in Kalāheo. has partnered with the O‘ahu nonprofit Pacific American Foundation to cultivate loli as a high-value export product. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

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