Thursday, December 22, 2022

Federal funds to Hawaii more than double, Kahele bill would lower blood quantum for home lands, COVID cases, deaths remain steady, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Health Experts: Flooding, Sea Level Rise Could Release Chemicals At Hundreds Of Hawaii Sites. Rising seas and increased flooding could eventually release, spread and mix together a host of chemicals contaminating more than 800 sites across Hawaii, exposing the public to more potential health risks linked to climate change, local health experts warned lawmakers on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi projected to receive over $500M in federal funds for military, housing and more
. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Wednesday that he has secured more than $530 million for Hawaiʻi in congressionally directed spending — an increase of more than double than last fiscal year's amount. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Kahele Introduces Bill Lowering Blood Quantum For Home Lands.
In the waning days of the current lame-duck congressional session, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele introduced a bill to lower the blood quantum for successors of Hawaiian Home Lands lessees, making it easier for those on homesteads to pass their land leases and homes on to their children or spouses. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Maui Now. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke sees both sides of how to build the state budget. Before she was lieutenant governor, Sylvia Luke served as the state House of Representatives Finance Committee chair, dealing intimately with the state’s budget. Hawaii Public Radio.

Could bolstering public preschool create more affordable housing? That’s the hope Hawaii’s education system is moving on two major goals: Finding classrooms for thousands of new preschool children and building more housing to attract and keep teachers. Now, there’s an effort to fulfill both challenges ― in the same buildings. Hawaii News Now.

What to know about the upcoming 32nd Hawaiʻi State Legislature session. The deadlines for the 2023 Regular Session have been established and the legislative calendar has been published.  Big Island Now.

Hawaii hotel occupancy decline signals continued slowdown
. About 30% of Hawaii’s hotel rooms were unoccupied in November — giving credence to the slowdown Hawaii’s hoteliers begin anticipating from late summer.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Air CEO apologizes to frustrated passengers as strong winter storm threatens more delays. Travelers in Hawaii and nationally are encountering mounting delays and cancelations in the wake of a winter storm that impacted the state and as a “bomb cyclone” threatens extreme cold across much of the mainland. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawai‘i reports 1,189 Covid cases, 10 deaths. The new cases bring the state's total to 371,103. The statewide test positivity rate is 5.9% The state death toll rose to 1,758. KHON2. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Shelter dog finds a home after Gov. Josh Green’s news conference.  In less than 72 hours, Sweetie the poi dog went from a kennel at the Hawaiian Humane Society to putting her paws on the desk of Gov. Josh Green to finding her forever home after she was adopted Wednesday by a family with two excited children. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Police Department looks to expand 3-day workweek. The three days a week, 12 hours a day work schedule is returning to the Hono­lulu Police Department in the summer following a nine-month pilot project that showed increased patrol staffing and improved morale, Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan told police commissioners Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

EPA Proposes New Red Hill Settlement With Navy To Protect Drinking Water. The Navy already had a regulatory agreement with the EPA when it contaminated the water last year, but little progress had been made.  Civil Beat. KITV4.

Waikiki fisheries area will be closed in 2023. The management area encompasses the nearshore waters between the Ewa wall of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if it’s beyond 500 yards. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Massive Kalihi home under construction draws flurry of complaints ― and new city scrutiny. The city says it plans to issue notices of violations to the owners of a massive home in Kalihi that includes eight bedrooms, four kitchens and two wet bars. Hawaii News Now.

Houseless camps on Oahu endure winter storms, as advocates try to help. Large rocks and whatever items are available, that's what those living off of Farrington Highway have been using to try to secure tents and belongings from the heavy winds. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council delays forming Hilo business group. A proposed Business Improvement District for Hilo was kicked down the road Wednesday after the Hawaii County Council voted to postpone the matter until March. Tribune-Herald.


Investigation Into Maui Monster House Dies In Committee. A Maui County Council committee investigating why a developer was allowed to illegally build a monster house in Napili has effectively ended the probe, saying the lone bid to handle the matter was too expensive. Civil Beat.

Visitor arrivals still hovered below pre-pandemic levels in October. Visitor arrivals to Maui in October still did not reach pre-pandemic levels, but spending did increase nearly 14 percent from October 2019. Maui News.


Millions in federal dollars coming. A federal spending bill will channel more than $500 million to the state of Hawai‘i, with millions of dollars designated for programs and projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i activists talk trash, recyclables, as island’s only landfill maxes out. At current rates, the landfill, located in Kekaha on Kaua‘i’s West Side, will reach maximum capacity by January 2027 – just five years from now. Kauai Now.

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