Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Money for small farms, university system as new year begins, illegal fireworks spark anger, new Maui Mayor Bissen pledges fiscal restraint, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Small-scale Hawaii agriculture receives $2.7M boost. The state Department of Agriculture  last week announced distribution of grants under the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

UH to receive big funding boost from 2023 federal budget. The University of Hawaii will get a big boost from the federal government through the omnibus budget bill for fiscal 2023 that was recently signed into law by President Joe Biden, according to U.S. Rep. Ed Case.  Star-Advertiser.

Departing Land Board chair sought ‘balance.’ Instead, some saw bias.  There is more conflict ahead for the Department of Land and Natural Resources — with a controversial new appointee taking over this week. Outgoing Chair Suzanne Case’s eight-year tenure included many battles, which now await her successor. Hawaii News Now.

Hold on to those balloons! Raft of new laws kick in Sunday. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated,” and the state Legislature is attempting to do just that with a bevy of new laws focused on ethics and other issues. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Kauai Now. KITV4.

Data Shows Hawaii Shippers Are Regularly Breaking Speed Limits In Sensitive Whale Zones. Matson and Pasha Hawaii are ignoring calls to slow down. But other major shippers have heeded requests to protect endangered whales. Civil Beat.

Kai Kahele to return to full-time job at Hawaiian Airlines. Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda will replace Kahele when the Congress begins its 2023 session on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Big Island Video News.

Abigail Kawananakoa to lie in state at Iolani Palace.  The late Abigail Kawananakoa, the Campbell Estate heiress who was considered by many a princess for her royal heritage, will lie in state Jan. 22 at Iolani Palace. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu residents reeling from steep property value increases.
The increased assessments come as the City and County of Honolulu looks to come up with more cash for public service employees and after residential buying surged, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council on Tuesday to take oaths for new year. Councilmember Tommy Waters of District IV was re-elected and will renew his oath. Meanwhile, Councilmembers-elect Matt Weyer of District II, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam of District VI and Val Okimoto of District VIII will take their initial oath of office to begin their terms. KHON2.

Everyone agrees Oahu’s fireworks ban isn’t working, but there’s little agreement on a fix. After a loud and dangerous start to the new year, lawmakers and residents are calling for changes to fireworks laws. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu EMS reports long list of fireworks-related injuries in ‘brutal’ start to new year. Oahu first responders reported one of the busiest starts to the new year in recent memory, with at least eight people seriously injured by illegal fireworks. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit: State Failed To Help Severely Disabled Boy. A Kaneohe family is suing state education and health officials for failing to place their son, who has serious behavioral issues, in intensive treatment.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

The Big Island Is Confronting A Big Problem With Fentanyl. One person dies every 11 days on the island from a drug overdose. A growing majority of those deaths involve the powerful, synthetic opioid fentanyl. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Attempts To Curb Short-Term Rentals. Two County Council members say their proposed legislation is aimed at helping to ease Hawaii island’s housing crisis for residents. Civil Beat.

Council to consider excess, unspent gas taxes. The Finance Committee is set to vote on appropriating $859,913 in excess fuel tax revenues collected over the past two years and reappropriating $1.519 million in lapsed fuel tax funds. West Hawaii Today.

Smoother travels ahead: Resurfacing planned for Hina Lani Street; work starts Jan. 18. Some 1.9 miles of the 3.6-mile roadway that connects Queen Kaahumanu and Mamalahoa highways is set to be resurfaced as part of the project that recently got the green light from the Hawaii County Department of Public Works with the issuance of a notice to proceed on Dec. 5, 2022, to contractor Grace Pacific. West Hawaii Today.


Bissen’s inaugural address calls for sensible spending, embraces traditional knowledge.  Maui’s new Mayor Richard Bissen called for sensible spending, explained his stance as a nonpartisan, and embraced traditional knowledge in his inaugural address on Monday evening at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Inauguration Day In Maui County: ‘Ready To Go To Work’. The County Council is down a member while the Hawaii Supreme Court considers an election challenge. Maui County’s new mayor and council formally took office on Monday in front of a packed audience of local residents and state dignitaries who turned out on the New Year’s Day holiday for the ceremonies. Civil Beat. Maui News. Maui Now.

Hawaiʻi Department of Health gives Maui food truck Green Placard following cleanup.  The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch has issued a green placard to Thai Mee Up Kula 2 food truck and has allowed the food truck to reopen to the public after a followup inspection on Friday. Maui Now.


Visitor spending surges in November. The allure of the Garden Island in the post-pandemic era can be measured in a lot of ways, but none more telling than the number of people who flocked to Kauai and the money spent during their visits through November of 2022. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Jerry Jona is new KCCC warden. Jerry Jona will be the new warden at the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center, effective Jan. 3, the state Department of Public Safety announced on Friday afternoon. Garden Island.

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