Monday, November 21, 2022

Insurance policy to help repair reefs after storms, Ige leaves state with $2.6B budget surplus, Kauai issues open carry gun permit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Insurance policy unveiled for Hawaii reef repair. The Nature Conservancy is expected to announce today the purchase of a novel insurance policy that will cover up to $2 million in repairs to Hawaii’s coral reefs in 2023 following damage from a hurricane or powerful tropical storm. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Closes Out His Tenure With A Record-Setting Surplus Of More Than $2.6 Billion.
The surplus for fiscal year 2022 is double the previous year, and leaves Josh Green’s incoming administration with ample funding to pursue his initiatives. Civil Beat.

Hawaii police union seeks 25% COVID-19 hazard pay differential. The union for police officers in Hawaii has filed four separate grievances challenging the denial of hazard pay amounting to a 25% pay differential for the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and March of this year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Judges Were Trained To Run Better Child Welfare Hearings. Their Performance Plummeted. Since 2012, the Hawaii Judiciary has been working with a national council to improve the quality of hearings in family court, where proceedings can lead to momentous decisions such as whether parents lose custody of their children forever. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaiʻi 6-Year Strategic Plan Approved. The University says the UH System Strategic Plan 2023–2029 – Hawaiʻi’s University for Today and Tomorrow “will guide the state’s only public higher education system and includes vision and mission statements, foundational principles and four imperatives with metrics to measure success.” Big Island Video News.

Topic of housing solution conference: Lessons Hawaii can learn from Finland. A conference hosted by Partners in Care, Bridging the Gap, and Hawaii Housing Affordability Coalition takes a different approach to tackling housing in Hawaii. Organizers said the Saturday event includes various forums and workshops on how Hawaii can adopt a “Housing First” approach to provide housing for all. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Navy a no-show at Red Hill remediation roundtable so far. The Navy has yet to sign on to a roundtable convened by state and federal environmental regulators to share information and chart an action plan for remediating fuel contamination caused by the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Marines look to pull water out of the air to support operations. At Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, the newly formed 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment is experimenting with new technologies to keep troops hydrated as they operate across far-flung islands and coastlines. Star-Advertiser.

The Miske Files: The FBI Is Investigating One Of Its Own. An FBI investigator was targeted by two search warrants as part of an ongoing criminal probe linked to the federal criminal charges against former Honolulu business owner Michael J. Miske Jr., who prosecutors allege controlled and directed a sprawling racketeering organization for most of the past two decades. Civil Beat.

City’s work to remove Haiku Stairs delayed. The fate of a long-closed metal staircase up a mountain ridge in Kaneohe that attracts trespassers to the spectacular, and at one time legally accessible, Stairway to Heaven hike remains uncertain more than a year after Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Honolulu City Council committed to its removal. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore project gets OK to be built on stilts. A mile up the North Shore from where a house fell into the ocean in February, a new oceanfront development just received special approval from the county government. Star-Advertiser.

State rejects temporary barrier for North Shore homeowner. The state agency tasked with protecting Hawaii’s public beaches and coastal ecosystems says it can’t support a request from a Sunset Beach homeowner who dumped concrete onto the public beach to now install a temporary barrier, such as a so-called burrito, to protect his homes. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii food banks struggle to provide for growing need. With the holidays approaching, Hawaii food banks are still scrambling to meet the needs of families as household budgets take a hit from inflation. Star-Advertiser.

Update on Straub nurses contract negotiations. Nurses at Straub Hospital plans to picket on Tuesday. As they continue to head into work at Straub Medical Center, they head into what some may call a not so ideal scenario. The nurses have been working without a contract since November 1st. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Pool of police chief candidates narrowed down to 21. The Hawaii County Police Commission met Thursday to address the selection of a new chief, but the panel isn’t any closer to choosing the new head of the island’s law enforcement following Paul Ferriera’s retirement on Sept. 1. West Hawaii Today.

HPD officers undergo Crisis Intervention Team training. About 20 Hawaii Police Department officers underwent a 40-hour training program in Hilo this past week aimed at de-escalating the potential for danger in encounters with people experiencing mental health or addiction problems. Tribune-Herald.

Public invited to briefing about proposed update to vacation rental regulations. The proposed update will be introduced in January 2023 by Hawai‘i County Council members Ashley Kierkiewicz and Heather Kimball, who will host the Nov. 21 meeting via Zoom from 5:30-6:30 p.m. To participate, community members must register for a unique Zoom login. Big Island Now.

Hilo mall lease extension in limbo. The extension, which if granted to the mall, a subsidiary of Brookfield Properties, would extend the lease of 39 acres of Hawaiian homes land in Hilo from its current end date of Sept. 30, 2042, to Sept. 30, 2082. Tribune-Herald.

Kuakini subdivision pits Hawaiian families against each other. One family’s attempt to subdivide a 5.29-acre parcel off Kuakini Highway has escalated into a battle with longtime Native Hawaiian inhabitants of the area. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Reports shed light on complaints against MPD chief. Police Chief John Pelletier likely violated the Maui County Violence in the Workplace policy by “yelling and swearing” during a meeting with a Maui Police Department business administrator, who left in tears, according to an investigation into allegations that Pelletier and others violated county policies. Maui News.

Legality of large Maui homeless sweep to be decided by high state court. Several residents of the Pu’uhonua O Kanaha encampment near Kanaha Beach Park sued Maui county, claiming they were denied due process and their constitutional rights were violated when officials seized and destroyed their property. Hawaii News Now.

Maui marine protection and research center proposed. The nonprofit associated with the Maui Ocean Center is proposing the construction of a four-story, $12 million building that would house a sea turtle hospital, coral nursery, research laboratories and classrooms on the aquarium’s property in Maalaea. Star-Advertiser.

UH Maui College Offers Free CNA Trainings across Maui County.
The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is offering free training for individuals residing on Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, and Maui (including Hāna in East Maui) to become Certified Nurse Aides during the spring 2023 semester. Classes run from Jan. 9 to May 12, and involve both online and in-person instruction. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Police Department issues open carry permit under new guidelines
. After they revised their permitting process in response to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in State of New York v. Bruen, the Kaua‘i Police Department has begun issuing new open carry permits. Garden Island.

$90K in grants aim to make a 'big impact' for Kauaʻi farming education and longevity. Mālama Kauaʻi has partnered with the county's Office of Economic Development to distribute $90,000 in grants to support and expand locally produced food. Hawaii Public Radio.

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