Monday, October 31, 2022

Hawaii tries to balance public access and safety, two vacancies on state Supreme Court, most elementary schools test positive for lead, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii’s public offices are not so public. Visiting state government offices can be hard these days in Hawaii, where security guards, discouraging signs, locked doors and cordoned-off public parking are impeding access to services and information. Star-Advertiser.

‘We are not immune’: Pelosi attack prompts talk of political violence in Hawaii.
Hawaii political leaders and experts say we are not immune to the rhetoric that can lead to violence. Hawaii News Now.

Majority of Hawaii elementary schools test positive for lead in drinking water. Three-quarters of Hawaii’s public elementary schools have tested positive for high lead levels in at least one sink or drinking water fountain, according to extensive testing recently completed by state health officials as part of a nationwide push to reduce childhood exposure to the heavy metal that can cause permanent developmental disabilities. Star-Advertiser.

Another Vacancy Posted For Hawaii Supreme Court.
Associate Justice Paula Nakayama turns 70 next October, the age by which all Hawaii judges and justices must step down. Earlier this month the Judicial Selection Commission announced another vacancy on the high court. Associate Justice Michael Wilson turns 70 in April. Civil Beat.

Report: State law successfully limited evictions during COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, the vast majority of the mediation sessions that stemmed from the law ended with the tenants remaining in their homes. Tribune-Herald.

Public is invited to give feedback on University of Hawaii tuition hikes. University of Hawaii students, parents, faculty and staff, and the public, are invited to five public meetings to provide feedback on a proposed tuition schedule for 2023 to 2027. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

University of Hawaiʻi project aims to address wage disparity in early education. Low wages are the biggest contributor to the state's early educator shortage. That shortage means fewer children can go to preschool. Hawaii Public Radio.

Respiratory viruses pose triple threat in Hawaii. Health care workers are bracing for a triple threat ahead of winter: with the beginning of flu season, rising cases of respiratory syncytial virus and continuation of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Oahu

Report details strategies for receding beaches and the threat of sea level rise. A report released this week by a community working group lays out the growing catastrophe Oahu’s North Shore will face in the coming decades amid accelerated sea level rise, while providing a framework for policymakers to devise immediate and incremental strategies for adapting to environmental realities. Star-Advertiser.

Charter change aims to diversify Planning Commission. Oahu voters now have the chance to decide whether to amend the Honolulu City Charter to require that four of the nine members of the Planning Commission have certain expertise requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Private Security Will Handle Patrols Along Honolulu’s Future Rail Line. The model for how to handle transit security varies from place to place. Honolulu considered using HPD but went a different route. Civil Beat.

Windward community at odds over popular beach park overnight stays. Unlike many beach parks on O’ahu that have limited hours of public access, Kailua Beach Park is open 24/7, except for its parking lot that closes at 10 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to extend areas for short term rentals in Ko'olina area. Rand Eastwood, property management owner in Ko’olina said this is where the demand is in the vacation industry especially after the city removed 10,000 unpermitted vacation units. KITV4.

Here’s What Happened When Lawyers For A Condo Association Tried To Collect Their Fees. Porter McGuire Kiakona now faces $475,000 in damages for violating debt collection laws in a case that started with a $150 fine against a dog owner. Civil Beat.

Crying Fowl In Downtown Honolulu: ‘Chickens Are Wandering Around Like They Own The Place’. Crowing roosters and squawking chickens are invading urban Honolulu, leaving residents sleepless, exhausted and angry. Civil Beat.

Fishpond predators astonish University of Hawaii researchers.
UH scientists conducted a study on fish caught at Heeia Fishpond in Kaneohe. The information was published last month in the journal Aquaculture, Fish and Fisheries. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

TAT sweetens county budget. Hawaii County’s new tax on hotels and short-term rentals helped sweeten county coffers to an extent unseen in previous years. West Hawaii Today.

Council to consider exemptions for Waikoloa affordable housing project.
Developers of the proposed Hoomalu at Waikoloa affordable housing project are asking the county to exempt them from three development requirements as a way to help keep the units affordable. West Hawaii Today.

Mortar round, grenades cleared from Waimea area during ordnance search. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found eight hand grenades and a mortar round in and near Waimea this year while clearing unexploded ordnance from the former Waikoloa Maneuver Area. Tribune-Herald.

'High tensions’ at Hilo jail because of lack of services, overcrowding. Weeks after a scathing report was released about conditions at the Hawaii County Correctional Center, some improvements have been made. Hawaii News Now.

What is the mysterious bright light off Hiloʻs east coast? The bright lights belong to the Norseman II, a former fishing boat that is now a survey vessel. It is carrying field scientists from Region 9 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who are conducting monitoring work in a study area that includes an ocean dredged material disposal site several miles offshore of the Hilo coast, according to oceanographer Allan Ota. Kauai Now.

Maui

Hotel moratorium close to ending. Maui County Council members are one step away from ending the temporary visitor lodging moratorium, but are also seeking to keep the cap on transient vacation rentals at existing levels. Maui News.

Axis deer management is topic of Monday’s council committee meeting. The Infrastructure and Transportation Committee will meet Monday at 9 a.m. to discuss potential solutions and updates regarding axis deer management in Maui County. Maui Now.

Community budget meetings on Lānaʻi and in Lahaina. The last community budget meetings for Fiscal Year 2024, hosted by Mayor Michael Victorino and his administration, are set for Lānaʻi at the Hale Kupuna O’Lānaʻi, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, starting at 3:30 p.m., and at the Lahaina West Maui Kaunoa Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Maui Now.

Riot, COVID prompt changes at jail facility in Wailuku. During a media tour of the jail Thursday, Major Manny Labasan and acting Warden Liane Endo discussed changes prompted by the March 11, 2019, riot as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui News.

Maui labor market crisis directly tied to housing . Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, said that as of 2017, Maui was 14,000 housing units behind meeting the island’s rental housing needs. Hawaii Public Radio.

1,600 people attend Maui County Senior Fair. The first in-person Maui County Senior Fair since 2019 on Saturday, Oct. 29, drew about 1,600 people to the War Memorial Gym, where they ate local food, met candidates for office, listened to George Kahumoku Jr. and got their flu and COVID-19 boosters. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first, state-sanctioned tour since the onset of the pandemic, jail representatives Friday led The Garden Island through the facility, which now features an remodeled parking lot and front office, 42 new security cameras and a new sallyport for prisoner intake. Garden Island.

DOW wins national water award. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the county Department of Water with a 2022 WaterSense Excellence Award for their dedication to helping consumers and businesses save water through conservation awareness and educational outreach. Garden Island.

Credit union acquires Otsuka Building. A deeply rooted financial institution plans on expanding its presence on the island following the purchase of a historic building in north Kapa‘a. Garden Island.


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