Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tourist tracking app proposed, militant Hawaiian sovereignty member sentenced for threats against government officials, DOE returns millions not used for local food programs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Tourist tracking app could be part of Hawaii visitor management plan. Hawaii hosts about 10 million visitors a year, and they often tend to go to the same locations — so crowds and traffic can make the experience unpleasant. But lawmakers and the CNHA, which one the destination stewardship contract from the Hawaii Tourism Authority say a smart phone app could be the key. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii DOE Has Returned Millions Of Dollars That Could Have Bought Local Food.
Hawaii's congressional delegation wants to know why the money it fights for is not being used by the Department of Education. The Department of Education has blamed miscommunication as the reason it failed to use $650,000 in federal money meant to assist schools in buying local food. In 2022 the DOE handed back just over $1.1 million in federal funds allocated under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a program designed to feed and educate children about their food. Civil Beat.

Man who threatened government officials gets 37 months.
A 44-year-old man found guilty of posting social media threats to behead then-Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Waianae Small Boat Harbor master following a dispute over nonpayment of $30,000 in mooring fees by the leader of a militant Hawaiian sovereignty group was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison Tuesday morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Green signs bills to regulate domestic abuse interventions, restraining orders. Green signed two bills on Friday that would amend referral requirements for restraining orders to only when alleged child abuse allegations arise and would require court-ordered interventions, or anger management, for certain criminal offenders. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sustainable aviation fuel produced in Hawaiʻi expected by 2025. Since about half of the state's petroleum use comes from aviation, local companies Pono Pacific and Par Hawaiʻi plan to collaborate on a Hawaiʻi-based sustainable airplane fuel. Hawaii Public Radio.

New invasive species imperils Hawai‘i’s aquatic ecosystem.
A multi-agency working group has discovered a new invasive species off Hawai‘i’s coastline that threatens to upend the island chain’s marine ecosystem by outcompeting and suffocating its coral reefs. Garden Island.

Where have all the workers gone? Hawaii’s chief economist explains. “Now hiring” signs are now a common sight around Oahu and Maui. Hawaii News Now.


Plan for new Oahu jail gets partial, delayed funding
. Hawaii lawmakers included $10 million in their budget bill for the state Department of Public Safety to continue planning and design work on a replacement for Oahu Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

‘180 Degrees’ Different: Former HPD Chief Louis Kealoha Is Telling His Side Of The Story. A soon-to-be released book by a former TV reporter asks readers to view a notorious corruption scandal through a new lens. Civil Beat.

‘What should the public expect?’ Concerns over access to rail station sparks action. The first phase of the Honolulu rail system will take passengers from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, but a stop along the way is raising concerns among the community. KHON2.

Military Team Seeks To Drain 100M Gallons Of Fuel From Red Hill Without ‘A Single Drop’
Leaking. Amid pressure to act quickly, the Joint Task Force says it's preparing for worst-case scenarios and proceeding with caution. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Outrigger expands again, purchases Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel. Outrigger Hospitality Group announced Tuesday that it is acquiring the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel — its sixth beach resort purchase over the past two years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo nursing home says it is clear of active COVID cases. The 252-bed nursing home recently suffered from an outbreak that was reported to the Hawaii Department of Health in early April, with 93 cases, including 76 residents and 17 staff. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Island nonprofit loses funding for housing mediation program. The West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center on Hawaiʻi Island received a state grant for a new restorative justice program but won’t get funding renewed for its popular landlord-tenant mediation program.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Gymnastic reprieve. In a July 2021 Special Permit Application, Kona Aerial Gymnastic Team Inc. submitted documentation stating the use of an existing agricultural warehouse structure located off Hualalai Road, approximately 700 feet east from its intersection with Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway for gymnastics classes and fitness training, which is currently ongoing in violation of the parcel’s zoning. West Hawaii Today.

DLNR IDs women cited for illegally feeding Waikoloa feral cats. The Department of Land and Natural Resources on Tuesday released the names of the two women cited by state conservation officers April 18 during a protest by feral cat activists at Queens’ Marketplace Shopping Center. Tribune-Herald.

Roundabout slated for Hilo: Work on project could start in 2025. The long-anticipated project would reconfigure the intersection between Bayfront Highway, Kamehameha Avenue and Waianuenue Avenue in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion at the northern entrance into town. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.


Maui County May Buy The Lanai Passenger Ferry. The privately owned ferry service is a critical mode of transportation for the island's 3,000 residents. A ferry service that’s a vital link for Lanai residents traveling to and from Maui for work and medical appointments may sell its assets, creating uncertainty about the future of travel on the tiny island. Civil Beat.

April’s hotel occupancy, revenue down from 2022.
Occupancy at the county’s hotels was at 65.4 percent in April, 6.8 percentage points lower than the 72.2 percent occupancy seen at the same time in 2022, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report released last week.  Maui News.

Nexamp to update community on proposed shared solar project, Lipoa Solar. Nexamp will share information about its Community Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) shared solar project proposed to be built mauka of Pi’ilani Highway in Kīhei above the Maui Research and Technology Park. Maui Now.

Rockfall threat shuts down portion of key highway on Maui.   A small portion of Hana Highway will be closed for up to one month, Maui County officials announced Tuesday. This comes after recent rockfall damaged the road in Kipahulu and smashed through the windshield of a car. Hawaii News Now.


Liquor license renewals due June 30.  The deadline to renew liquor licenses for Fiscal Year 2023-24 is on June 30 at 4:30 p.m., according to the Kaua‘i Department of Liquor Control. Kauai Now.

Now that rats are eradicated at Palmyra Atoll, seabird ‘discotheques,’ decoys result in chick. A tiny grey-backed tern chick has been observed at Palmyra Atoll, validating that seabird attraction efforts are working, according to The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i and Palmyra. Kauai Now.

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