Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Senate 'bullies' create chaos, Hawaii ranked worst state for doctors, Red Hill families drank fuel and antifreeze, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate ‘Bullies’ Are Creating Chaos At The Capitol This Year. Donovan Dela Cruz and Michelle Kidani have taken political strong-arming to an alarming level as they work to control business and financial issues, their colleagues say.  Two powerful state senators are pressuring colleagues to derail confirmation of Scott Glenn to lead the Hawaii Office of Planning and Sustainable Development. Civil Beat.

Future of DBEDT confirmation up to nominee. The troubled Cabinet nomination of the head of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism is up to acting Director Chris Sadayasu to decide whether he wants to take his confirmation vote to the full 25-member Senate. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Republicans Don’t Get Many Bills Passed, But They’re Playing A Long Game. The minority caucus agrees it needs more members to get things done, but there is disagreement on how to get there. Civil Beat.

‘Misleading’ macadamia nut products prompt legislation in Hawaii. A kamaaina company that claims to be the biggest seller of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts has collided at the Legislature with local macadamia producers over whether Hawaii-branded products containing foreign macadamias should say so. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers consider bill that will allow counselors to file restraining orders for minors. A bill to let trained professionals petition for restraining orders on behalf of minors is now being discussed in the Hawaii state house. Senate Bill 45 includes counselors and other mental health professionals. KITV4.

State's newest homelessness coordinator pitches idea for  ĽOhana Zone incentives. The state's homelessness coordinator wants  ĽOhana Zone developments to get the same exemptions as affordable housing projects. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teacher Housing Has Been Only In Rural Areas, But That Could Change. Proposed legislation would fund a pilot program with locations in urban Oahu. Civil Beat.

Amid ongoing physician shortage, Hawaii ranked worst state for doctors. Analysts from the financial planning website WalletHub looked at all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and evaluated several factors across two key dimensions: “opportunity and competition” and “medical environment.” When it came to opportunity and competition, Hawaii ranked dead last. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. in ‘better place’ since pandemic, CDC director says during Hawaii visit. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to become more nimble as a result of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Not Just Fuel: Red Hill Families Drank Antifreeze Too, Lawsuit Says. The Pearl Harbor area residents who drank and showered in fuel-tainted water in 2021 were also exposed to antifreeze, which the Navy used as a fuel additive, according to an amended lawsuit complaint filed on Monday.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Board of Water Supply confirms trace amounts of PFAS were found in Waipio well. The state's Board of Water Supply announced Friday that trace amounts of perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, were found in the Waipio Heights Wells Pumping Station last month during a routine test. Hawaii Public Radio.

Health, safety concerns raised over homeless at State Library. A growing homeless encampment by the Hawaii State Library is raising concerns with library users and nearby residents. They’re calling on the state to do a better job in cleaning the area. KHON2.

A New Recipe: This Program Puts Oahu Inmates In College Cooking Courses. Kapiolani Community College has offered courses to women at the Women's Community Correctional Facility since 2008. Civil Beat.

Keeaumoku Street safety in the works. Under the Honolulu “Complete Streets” program, the city Department of Transportation Services proposes a project along Keeaumoku Street — from Kapiolani Boulevard to Wilder Avenue — to include protected bicycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and pedestrian-­crossing improvements. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii AG: Imprisoned Prison Guard Shouldn’t Get His Job Back. The state says the labor board exceeded its authority and made a "clearly erroneous" decision regarding Jonathan Taum. The Hawaii Attorney General’s Office is appealing a decision by the state labor board that requires that a corrections sergeant who is serving a federal prison term be reinstated with back pay to his job at the Hilo jail. Civil Beat.

Funding requests for the Big Isle’s hospitals slashed. Gov. Josh Green requested that $50 million from the state budget be used to expand Hilo Medical Center, but when the House released its initial budget on Thursday, the amount was cut in half to $25 million. Tribune-Herald.

Progress on Hilo sewage plant. A plan to renovate the decrepit Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant is now a two-part project. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting On Waikoloa Road Project Set For March 30. The pavement removal/replacement project is scheduled to begin in May 2023 and run through April 2024. Big Island Video News.


Want to fix the food system? Maui’s Polipoli Farms aims to help local farmers do just that. Lehia Apana recently won a $10,000 grant from Dove Chocolate to help grow her food hub project.  Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple announces leadership transition. Maui Land & Pineapple announced today the appointment of Race Randle as CEO and Scot Sellers as Chairman, effective April 1, 2023. Maui Now.

Repairs underway for historic church damaged by storm. Ke‘anae Congregational Church has been closed due to safety hazards since 2021. Maui News.


Wilcox earns national patient safety award.
The Wilcox Medical Center received the Healthgrades 2023 Patient Safety Excellence Award that places Wilcox among the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals nationwide, as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading marketplace connecting patients and providers. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i DOCARE presence nearly doubles as 41 new officers commissioned. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources significantly bolstered its ranks on Monday, as 41 new Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers were deployed for their first assignments Garden Island. Kauai Now.

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