Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Legislature passes anti-nepotism bill but exempts itself, Honolulu police use of force rises, mystery balloon not from China, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State lawmakers pass anti-nepotism bill — but it doesn’t apply to them. The law would bar any state employee from making employment decisions about a family or household member or contracting decisions involving a company owned or controlled by family. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii could become first state to offer debt repayment to all medical professionals. Hawaii may be the first state in the country to offer to pay student debt for every eligible health professional in the state. Over the last 10 years, the Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program has helped about 90 people working in nonprofit, government and rural health care with their student loans. Hawaii News Now.

Green’s First Veto Override: A Condo Bill That Could Increase The Cost Of Housing. Besides the Senate override, lawmakers in both chambers worked through numerous bills Tuesday, including some dealing with taxes and guns. Civil Beat.

Governor Green In Los Angeles For Global Conference.
Governor Josh Green, M.D. travelled to Los Angeles, California, to attend the 26th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference, an event that brings together leaders from around the globe to tackle critical issues facing society. Big Island Video News.

Your Hawaii Home Insurance Rates Have Probably Gone Up
. Here’s Why. The reasons are numerous, including rising construction costs, leaking pipes and Florida’s Hurricane Ian. But there are ways to reduce your premiums. Hawaii Business magazine.

Balloon recently spotted off Hawaii not a threat, military says.  The Air Force sent fighter jets Friday to respond to a mysterious balloon that flew through Hawaii’s airspace, but officials say they don’t think the object poses a threat either to civilian aircraft or national security. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.  Garden Island.

Humpback Whales Are ‘Remarkably Resilient’ Even Amid Climate Crisis, New Study Shows. When a researcher first went to study whales from the air, he worried for their future. His recent findings make him hopeful. Civil Beat.


HPD’s use of force is rare, but increasing, UH study finds. The police officers union panned a University of Hawaii study that showed use-of-force incidents involving Honolulu Police Department officers increased from 706 in 2010 to 2,646 in 2021 while police leadership and commissioners continued to review the findings. Star-Advertiser.

Transit ordinance to also include rules for rail riders. After years of construction delays, the Honolulu Rail is expected to welcome passengers starting in July, the Honolulu City Council is working on passing new public transit rules to also include the rail. KHON2.

Community, lawmakers and Marines clash on use of Puʻuloa Range Training Facility. Long before houses and schools popped up in the area, the U.S. Marine Corps has utilized the Puʻuloa Range Training Facility in Leeward Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tests reveal wetlands at Bellows littered with toxic waste, triggering environmental concerns. An investigation is underway at Bellows Air Force Base after tests revealed a wetlands area that was once a shooting range is now littered with lead and other contaminates. Hawaii News Now.

Labor department charges Honolulu sushi restaurant $102K for overtime violations. Imanas Tei, located near the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, failed to pay 10 chefs who worked over 40 hours in a workweek, according to the department's Wage and Hour Division. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Integrated Climate Action Plan Released. The plan outlines the County's strategy to combat global climate change and bolster the resiliency on the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

$30 million set aside for Highway 130. Puna’s primary traffic corridor will be widened thanks to a $30 million allocation in the state budget. Tribune-Herald.

Planned $15 million Kohala health clinic gets architect. WhiteSpace Architects is planning to break ground on the 24,000-square-foot Hāmākua-Kohala Health Rural Health, Wellness and Teaching Center in mid-2024. Big Island Now.

Big Isle marks 5 years after Kilauea eruption. Leilani Estates, ground zero for the 2018 eruption, continues to attract buyers despite its recent history. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Arrivals to Maui in March topped pre-pandemic levels. A rising influx of tourism dollars and the return of international travel strengthened Hawaii’s economy in March, with Maui seeing more visitors than it did prior to the pandemic, according to preliminary visitor statistics released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui News.

Salvage begins of grounded vessel near culturally significant birthing stone in Lahiana. Salvage of the grounded vessel, Kuuipo, began today with the placement of large sandbags between the boat and the Hauola stone (birthing stone), located less than eight-feet away. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Molokai family urges MPD to release body camera footage following officer involved shooting. The family of a Molokai man shot and killed by police on Sunday demands answers from the Maui Police Department. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i visitor spending surged in March. The state Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism continued to see high increases in visitor spending on Kaua‘i — and throughout the state — according to its most recent monthly report. Garden Island.

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