Friday, May 12, 2023

Hawaii economy avoids recession, state marks end of COVID-19 emergency, state sued over Maui mosquito release plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii economy still OK despite weaknesses. Positive expectations outweigh negative ones in a new Hawaii economic forecast where rising personal income and construction offset a small decline in visitor spending and higher unemployment to help the state avoid a recession in 2024. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii leaders mark end to COVID-19 emergency. State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble spoke Thursday about the ending of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency at the Department of Health.  Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Board Of Education To Consider Computer Science As A Graduation Requirement. Legislators say the move would help students get lucrative jobs in STEM fields. Computer science is on the way to becoming a new graduation requirement in Hawaii by the end of this decade as state legislators seek new ways to encourage homegrown technical skills. Civil Beat.

As fentanyl-tainted drugs proliferate, Hawaii sees record number of overdose deaths
and a disturbing trend. Narcotics claimed 320 lives last year in Hawaii, making 2022 the most deadly year on record, according to newly-released figures from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Governor considering permanent protections for journalists. Gov. Josh Green is considering whether to sign a bill that would bring back and make permanent protections that would keep reporters from being forced to disclose confidential information or sources in state court. Star-Advertiser.

Capitol reflecting pools receive $33.5M for ongoing repairs. The Legislature approved funding for planning, design and construction for rehabilitation of the reflecting pools around the Capitol. Critics said the project doesn’t reflect the community’s needs. KHON2.

Circulating survey that seeks input on imaginary Gabbard-Hirono contest raises eyebrows. Both Hirono and Gabbard dismissed the survey. Hawaii News Now.


Annual count of homeless records slight rise on Oahu.
The results of the Oahu Point in Time count, taken in January, tallied 4,028 homeless people, of whom 59% were unsheltered and 41% were sheltered. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii keiki summer programs scrambling to fill job openings. Officials for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation’s Summer Fun program and the YMCA of Honolulu say the staffing situation isn’t nearly as dire as a year ago, when they were ramping up after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty of openings. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Nearly 90% Of Hanauma Bay Could Be Underwater By 2030.
Researchers say the nature preserve is facing significant threats from climate change. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Red Light Safety cameras see huge reduction in red light runners.
  The Red Light Safety Cameras are working. That’s according to Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

HVO reports summit inflation, elevated earthquake activity at Kilauea. Restlessness at the summit of Kilauea volcano does not necessarily indicate an imminent eruption, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi Island police officers authorized to use pickup trucks while on duty. Effective immediately, Hawaiʻi Island police officers are authorized to use pickup trucks with an open bed as subsidized police vehicles.  Big Island Now.

Puna reacts to cash shortage for full Pohiki Ramp dredge. Puna residents were ambivalent Wednesday about news the state will not dredge the entire beach blocking the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Hawaiʻi Unites sues DLNR over mosquito suppression plan to save native birds. A local environmental nonprofit has sued the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Land and Natural Resources over its mosquito suppression plan to reduce avian malaria at Haleakalā National Park. Hawaii Public Radio.

80-unit housing project seeks funds to stay afloat. A housing developer is seeking a $10.6 million subsidy from the county to keep an already-approved 100 percent affordable workforce project in Waikapu afloat. Maui News.

Gate To Kawakui Beach On Molokai Is Open Again — For Now.
Access was restricted by Kaluakoi Outfitters for months on the Molokai Ranch property. Civil Beat.

98th Maui Fair postponed again, community must wait another year
. While the tradition of a Maui Fair is timeless, holding the 98th Maui Fair must wait for another year, organizers announced today.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i County Council supports mosquito biocontrol to protect honeycreepers. The Kaua‘i County Council approved a resolution supporting biological control efforts to protect endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers from mosquito-borne disease. Garden Island.

Feds: Kaua‘i company owes workers $97K for overtime and travel. A Kaua‘i cleaning service has been hit with its second labor violation in less than a decade after federal investigators determined they failed to pay nearly $50,000 in workers’ overtime wages and travel expenses over a three-year period. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Department of Water’s quality reports now available. The Department of Water’s 2023 Water Quality Reports, covering the period of Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, are now available on the Department’s website at Kauai Now.

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