Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Tourism authority pushes ahead without funding, antisemitism on the rise, leaders unite over Red Hill cleanup, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Visitor marketing contracts worth $70M move forward despite tourism authority’s budget crisis. Hawaii Tourism Authority prepares to award contracts. Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority are moving ahead with major industry marketing and management contracts after months of uncertainty at the Legislature over the agency’s funding and future existence. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Judiciary chairs pleased with ethics measures passed during session. The Hawaiʻi State Legislature attempted to make sweeping ethics reforms this session after two former lawmakers faced federal corruption charges, but a handful of measures died behind closed doors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Legislators Have Long Been Loath To Tackle The Issue Of Cockfighting. Hawaii is just one of eight states that considers cockfighting a misdemeanor act of animal cruelty instead of a felony. Civil Beat.

State OKs number of low-income tax breaks. Certain tax credits for certain low-income families are set to double or more under a tax plan passed by the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Little Fire Ant Program Gets Funding, But It May Be Too Late For Eradication. The Hawaii Ant Lab was cut off from the majority of its funds in 2021. This year, the Legislature gave it $500,000. Civil Beat.

Antisemitism is on the rise in Hawaii. An audit released by the Anti-Defamation League in March of recently reported antisemitic incidents in the U.S. showed that like much of the country, Hawaii has seen an increase in antisemitism.  Spectrum News.

Hawaii COVID-19 exposure notification app to shut down. The AlohaSafe Alert app, Hawaii’s free state-approved COVID-19 exposure notification system, will shut down on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii leaders unite over long-term Red Hill cleanup. Top state and local leaders gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to sign on to a “unified statement” that calls for an overarching policy governing the cleanup of the area surrounding the Navy’s Red Hill underground fuel facility, where there have been dozens of fuel leaks over the decades as well as spills of firefighting foam containing dangerous chemicals. Star-Advertiser.

Electricity Rate Shock Hits City Hall Too. Honolulu’s municipal electricity bills have skyrocketed in the past year, placing more pressure on an already tight operating budget.  Civil Beat.

New push to close popular Waikiki beach two hours earlier than normal.
Waikiki residents are asking the city to change the overnight closure hours for Kuhio Beach from 2 a.m. to midnight. On Tuesday Night, Waikiki’s Neighborhood Board unanimously passed a resolution asking the city to change the closing time. Hawaii News Now.

Prison reform advocates outraged over $10M allocated for new OCCC. Overcrowding and dilapidated conditions are some of the main reasons why public safety officials are advocating for a new Oahu Community Correctional Center. Hawaii News Now.

Marine Corps shooting range targeted by state lawmakers as calls for relocation grow. The Marine Corps says it doesn’t plan to move its century-old shooting range in Ewa Beach, despite mounting pressure from state lawmakers and residents. Hawaii News Now.

Bill would set up street parking program. A Honolulu City Council bill would make permanent a program designed to give more street parking access to Oahu residents. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii’s first medical respite receives first units.  The first of 12 units for Hawaii’s medical respite kauhale arrived Tuesday across the street from The Queen’s Medical Center in the mauka section of the state Department of Health parking lot, steps away from the Governor’s Mansion. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

City acquires Wahiawa property for special needs housing. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi today announced the city’s acquisition of the property at 360 California Ave., the former location of Hope Treatment Services in Wahiawa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Future Hilo Skate Park cleared for development. The site that will be the future location for the Hilo Skate Park is being cleared and fenced off by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Draft plan looks to boost energy at PGV. Puna residents will get another chance to weigh in on a plan to boost Puna Geothermal Venture’s energy output. Tribune-Herald.

No Fair! EK Fernandez, the family run business who brought the fair to outer islands for more than 30 years confirmed Tuesday that the much anticipated event will not be gracing our island this year, or for any time in the foreseeable future. West Hawaii Today.


Dip in home sales continues in Maui County. Median home prices at $1.1M in April, slightly down from a year ago. Maui News.

Bishop Larry Silva to bless sculpture on Maui honoring Saint Damien. Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu, will bless a bronze image entitled Father Damien, created by Maui-based sculptor Dale Zarella in honor of Saint Damien, the Belgian priest who volunteered to care for patients exiled to Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i County Council to vote on Coco Palms resolution to prioritize public access, uses. The resolution introduced by councilmember Felicia Cowden cites the great historical and cultural significance of the derelict resort in Wailuā, which was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i Police Chief Raybuck eyes department reorganization. Chief Todd Raybuck appeared before the Kaua‘i County Council on May 3, where he announced his intention to reorganize the department in hopes of improving efficiency. Garden Island.

Blessing held for ‘Ele‘ele housing project. Footprints of the first few buildings of the Lima Ola Supportive Housing Project were already in place as sprinkles from the rain over the Kalaheo plateau kept the red dust in check on Tuesday morning in ‘Ele‘ele. Garden Island.

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