Showing posts with label 2022 elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2022 elections. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2022

Hawaii kids rank low in survey, Maui advances bill to let people sleep in their cars, Oahu power bills rise as HEI earnings up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii children at play ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii ranks low in Kids Count national report. With school back in session and primary elections around the corner, advocates hope to see more investment in Hawaii’s children who, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book released today, rank in the lowest third of states when it comes to education and economic well-being. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s readiness for possible school shooting might be lagging.
Many Hawaii schools and colleges have launched unprecedented efforts to prevent and prepare for an active shooter on campus as mass shootings and targeted school violence have risen to historic high levels in the United States. Star-Advertiser.

900 Hawaii school employees get violence-prevention training. With school shootings rising across the nation, the chief of the U.S. Secret Service center that is trying to stop targeted attacks on schools has a message for Hawaii: The Aloha State is not immune. Such violence can happen here. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Education considering requiring ‘run, hide, fight’ training. While a few dozen Hawaii public schools so far have received “run, hide, fight” training for responding to an active shooter on campus, demand is rising, and the state Department of Education is considering changing from providing it to schools on request to making it required. Star-Advertiser.

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement wants to bring change to the visitor industry.
Why is the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement fighting to keep a tourism award that would allow it to manage Hawaii tourism, while shaping how United States travelers view the state? Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii GOP Candidates Say They Just Want To Give Voters A Choice. Of the 10 Republican candidates on the ballot for a federal race, only state Rep. Bob McDermott has any meaningful political experience. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Industries reported second-quarter earnings of $53 million. Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (HE) on Monday reported second-quarter earnings of $53 million. The Honolulu-based company said it had profit of 48 cents per share. Associated Press.

Here’s What Climate Advocates Hope To See In Hawaii’s Next Governor. The state needs to dramatically cut its carbon emissions in the next eight years to hit its climate goals. That will require bold leadership, advocates say. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Oahu, Your Electric Bill Is About To Go Up. Oahu households can expect to see their monthly electricity bills increase by about 7% when Hawaiian Electric Co. shuts down the state’s last remaining coal-fired power plant on Sept. 1 and replaces it with another fossil fuel source: oil. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Navy divers describe conditions within the contaminated Red Hill well and how the mission affected them. For three months members of the Pearl Harbor-based Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One worked inside the Navy’s contaminated Red Hill water well, becoming unlikely front-line responders to the crisis. Star-Advertiser.

After worrisome findings, UH task force calls for more testing of Navy tap water. University of Hawaii scientists are finally talking about their data ― showing what appears to be jet fuel still in the Navy’s tap water ― and are calling for more tests. Hawaii News Now.

2 well-known politicians face off in Democratic race for seat representing Aiea, Pearl City. Senate District 16 stretches from Halawa to Aiea and all the way down to Pearl City. And now the incumbent senator for the area is facing off against a longtime City Council member. Hawaii News Now.

‘It’s A Nightmare’: Feral Pig Population Explosion Rattles East Honolulu Neighborhood. Aina Haina, an affluent residential neighborhood on Oahu’s southeastern shore, wedged between Waialae/Kahala and Hawaii Kai, is trying to fend off an invasion of pigs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Public meetings for TMT environmental review to begin. The National Science Foundation will hold four meetings on consecutive nights Tuesday through Friday to hear the public’s views on what alternatives and environmental impacts should be studied when it conducts its proposed environmental impact statement. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island Deputy Prosecutor Ordered To Stop Alleged Harassment. A judge has summoned Randall Winston “Bew” Albright to appear in court and answer complaints that he’s been allegedly intimidating his neighbor. Civil Beat.

 Consultant hired to help fix EPIC. Hawaii County has hired a consultant to troubleshoot its building permit process in hopes of streamlining a critical government function analysts have called the most cumbersome in the nation. West Hawaii Today.

Affordable housing eyed for Waimea. Parker Ranch is exploring developing more affordable housing on the 175-year-old ranch’s lands in the coming years. West Hawaii Today.

Votes trickling in with one week left: Here’s what you need to know. With about a week left to vote on national, state and local races, a little more than 11% of the 112,630 Hawaii Island ballots mailed out have already been returned, and 19% of the 739,000 mailed ballots statewide, according to election officials. West Hawaii Today.

Three vie for House District 3 seat. Three candidates are vying for control of a newly formed House district that includes part of Hilo, Waiakea, Keaukaha and Keaau. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Bill to allow people to sleep in their vehicles in Maui County parking lots advances. Maui County Council on Friday voted unanimously to approve the bill on first reading. Bill 108 now advances to the second and final reading at full council. Maui Now.

Mayor proposes to buy former ʻIao Valley Lodge from Hawaiʻi Nature Center for $1.5M. Mayor Michael Victorino transmitted a proposal to the Maui County Council to purchase the acreage and the structure that was the former ʻĪao Valley Lodge in ʻĪao Valley for $1.5 million from the Hawaiʻi Nature Center. Maui Now.

Bilingual government issue on Maui ballot. A Maui County Charter amendment proposal slated to go before voters on the Nov. 8 general election ballot asks whether the county should establish a “Department of Oiwi Resources” as well as initiate bilingual government operations. Star-Advertiser.

Maui managed retreat fund would come to rescue when infrastructure falls into ocean. West Maui has nine condo complexes at risk of falling into the ocean. Maui Now.

Maui County Council Advances Investigation Into Developer’s Monster House. The Maui County Council voted on Friday to authorize the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committe to investigate how and why the Victorino administration allowed a controversial monster house to be built in Napili. Civil Beat.

Three compete in closely watched Democratic primary for Senate District 7. Senate District 7. In what is arguably one of the most closely watched races this election cycle, incumbent Sen. Lynn DeCoite will defend her seat against two Democratic primary challengers, Walter Ritte and Leo Caires. All three candidates hope to represent Senate District 7, which covers East Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. Maui News.

Kauai

Kawakami outspends competition in mayor’s race. Mayor Derek Kawakami has spent more than 10 times the funds on his re-election campaign than all three of his opponents combined, financial disclosures show. Garden Island.

Third-party audit critical of county’s Roads Division. An audit conducted by Spire Hawai‘i LLP reported that the county Department of Public Works Roads Division did not have “the necessary and qualified staff” to perform maintenance projects it is responsible for. Garden Island.

Friday, August 5, 2022

RIMPAC wraps up war games, super PAC spends millions in LG race, petroleum found in Moanalua well, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Sea Hunter crewless vessel arrives at Pearl Harborfor 2022 RIMPAC PC:U.S. Navy
Month-long RIMPAC exercises wrap up in waters off Hawaii. RIMPAC concluded Thursday after over a month of war games that united militaries from around the world. RIMPAC’s 2022 return was super-sized, after a smaller 2020 version during the onset of COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

This Hawaii Super PAC Is Spending Millions To Defeat One Political Opponent This Year. Be Change Now has launched an aggressive campaign attacking lieutenant governor candidate Rep. Sylvia Luke. Be Change Now, a super PAC funded by contractors who do business with the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, is spending more than $2 million this year supporting Ikaika Anderson’s run for lieutenant governor with radio, digital and newspaper ads, according to recently filed campaign spending reports. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Meet the GOP candidates looking to flip Hawaii's U.S. House seats. The 1st Congressional District hasn't been in GOP hands in over decade, when it was briefly represented by Rep. Charles Djou.  And the 2nd District has never been represented by a Republican since its creation. KITV4.

Crowded field vying for seats on OHA Board of Trustees. Eighteen candidates are vying for six seats in the primary election for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees, including a retired state senator, a former star University of Hawaii football player and all six incumbents. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's gay leaders take steps to educate, vaccinate their community against monkeypox. Monkeypox can infect anyone, but the majority of cases in the US outbreak have been among men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men and people who identify as transgender. KITV4.

Oahu

Board of Water Supply detects petroleum contamination in Moanalua monitoring well. The Honolulu Board of Water supply says it has detected petroleum-related chemicals in a monitoring well in Moanalua Valley, elevating concerns that fuel contamination from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility is traveling through the aquifer and putting a major source of drinking water for southern Oahu at risk. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Efforts ramp up to reduce crime in Waikiki. A new crime-reduction program called “Safe and Sound Waikiki” is kicking off in the neighborhood where a rash of high-profile violent crimes, including a recent sword attack at a Kalakaua Avenue 7-Eleven, has sharpened community concerns. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said the multiagency program is based on the already established “Weed and Seed” program, which seeks to “weed out” criminals from a particular district and then “seed” communities by investing in social and economic revitalization. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Won’t Charge SWAT Officer Who Killed Kakaako Man. The department concluded that officers last year did everything they could to de-escalate a tense barricade situation. After an almost yearlong investigation, the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determined that the SWAT officer who shot and killed a man in his Kakaako apartment was justified in his actions and will not be charged. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo hospital sees surge in patients: Several factors push it well above capacity. HMC on Thursday reported 13 holds in the Emergency Department, 13 patients in the overflow areas, and 37 patients waitlisted for beds elsewhere. Waitlisted means they are looking for a long-term space to obtain care outside of their homes and HMC. Tribune-Herald.

Crews to soon begin process of dismantling observatory. Caltech Submillimeter Observatory Director Sunil Golwawa said the complete removal of the observatory — the first of five to be removed in exchange for the planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope — should be finished by the end of the year, with deconstruction of the building itself beginning before the end of summer. Tribune-Herald.

2,695 and counting: Hawaii Wildlife Center marks 10 years of saving native birds and bats.
Around 150 different bird and bat species have been seen at the hospital, including 27 rare species. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Money Is Flowing Into Maui County Races As The Primary Election Nears. Developers, real estate investors and business interests are pouring contributions into local campaigns. In the month before voting started for the Aug. 13 primary election, recent campaign finance data shows that almost $282,000 flowed into the campaigns of candidates trying to lead Maui County’s $1 billion government. Civil Beat.

Annalisa M. Bernard appointed to fill judicial position in Maui’s Second Circuit Court. Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald today appointed Annalisa M. Bernard to fill a judicial position in the District Court of the Second Circuit in Maui County. Maui Now.

Maui County home sales cool in June; single-family home median sales price at $1.1 million. Maui County home sales fell by more than 50% for condos and 20% for single-family houses last month, as rising mortgage rates and record-high sales prices pushed out buyers. Maui Now. Maui News.

Monkeypox case on Maui brings Hawaii’s total to 12. The state Department of Health on Thursday announced an additional case of monkeypox in a Maui resident who traveled outside of the state, bringing the number of cases in Hawaii to 12. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2.

Kauai

Broken X-Rays lead to long wait times, high stress at Lihu‘e Airport. Faulty X-ray machines at Lihu‘e Airport led to long waits and high tensions this past week. Contracted security manager Charlie Iona estimated that at certain points wait times were two hours. Garden Island.

COVID continues downtrend on Kauaʻi. Kaua‘i’s test positivity rate was 17.3% — higher than the state average of 13.8%. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

University of Hawaii continues mask mandate, tensions rise in Congressional District 2 race, Honolulu short 3k workers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
University of Hawaii-Hilo ©2022 All Hawaii News
University Of Hawaii To Maintain Indoor Mask Mandate For Now. The university said officials will revisit the decision in mid-September after consulting with the state Department of Health on Covid guidelines. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

University of Hawaii workforce training, tuition subsidy aided by $16 million grant. The University of Hawaii Community Colleges are working toward a sustainable workforce training system by establishing the Resilient Hawaii: Good Jobs Challenge initiative to train participants to obtain work certifications nearly free of cost. Star-Advertiser.

Cayetano Continues To Pump Money Into Her Campaign As Her Fundraising Falls Short. Honolulu businesswoman Vicky Cayetano continued to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars of her own money into her campaign for governor last month, and has now loaned her campaign a total of $2.235 million in an effort to keep up with the well-funded apparent frontrunner in the race for Hawaii governor, Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Civil Beat.

Hawaii congressional candidates Jill Tokuda and Patrick Branco clash in forum. Hawaii’s two top candidates seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele in Congress accused each other Wednesday of spreading falsehoods in their competitive effort to get elected. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

AOC Campaign Sets Up PAC In Hawaii. The New York congresswoman is backing Congressman Kai Kahele for Hawaii governor. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign registered a noncandidate committee in Hawaii Wednesday afternoon. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Department of Health’s COVID-19 wastewater monitoring program hit by delays. The Hawaii Department of Health’s long-awaited COVID-19 wastewater monitoring program is still a work in progress nearly halfway through the summer as the department deals with staffing challenges. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Health reports 3,689 new infections, 21 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, declined to 13.8% compared to 15.7% reported the previous week, representing tests performed between July 16 to Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Is Short 3,000 Workers. That’s Because It Takes 6 Months To Hire Anybody. The city’s long-time failure to establish a system for tracking and measuring hiring performance is at the core of its problems, a consultant found. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu sees ambulance closures as struggles mount to staff emergency services. EMS couldn't staff 21 ambulance shifts over the weekend, as it struggles to recruit and retain personnel. Four ambulances were closed on both Friday and Saturday morning. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Ballot processing begins amid heightened oversight. The first full day of mail-in ballot processing began Wednesday at the state Capitol for the first 79,000 Oahu ballots mailed in amid heightened security and scrutiny. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi: Concrete Cracking Could Push Honolulu Rail’s Opening To Next Year. Consultants and structural engineers are still assessing just how serious the cracking is in the piers that support several West Oahu stations. Civil Beat.

Amid concerning increase in pedestrian fatalities, city ramps up traffic safety efforts. Honolulu police, city transportation officials and the mayor waved signs at a busy Kalihi intersection to mark Pedestrian Safety Month in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

In wake of recent monk seal attack, state steps up efforts to protect the endangered species. The DLNR announced Wednesday it will be enforcing a 50-yard cordon around Hawaiian monk seal Rocky and her pup at Kaimana Beach. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island

Board OKs teaching telescope. The University of Hawaii’s Maunakea Management Board has approved plans for the installation of a new educational telescope at Halepohaku. Tribune-Herald.

‘A shining example’: Miloli‘i becomes state’s second official Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area. The Miloli‘i CBSFA will protect and conserve fish populations and their habitats, by combining traditional Hawaiian fishing practices with modern approaches to conservation, according to state officials. West Hawaii Today.

House lots eyed for Honokaa: Zoning approval sought for two new subdivisions with parcels for 40 homes. Developers are seeking permits for a new affordable housing development in Honokaa scheduled to open in 2027. Tribune-Herald.

Friendly Place lease renewed: Council approves homeless shelter lease after receiving more information. After being provided the data they requested, County Council members Wednesday were feeling a little more friendly toward the Friendly Place homeless shelter and approved extending its $10-a-year no-bid lease for up to four more years. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

County Council District 6: Four farmers, ranchers vie to represent sprawling rural district. With Chairwoman Maile David term-limited, the nonpartisan County Council District 6 seat is up for grabs, and four candidates have set their sights on filling it. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Council committee votes to reject lawsuit from Don Guzman. After testifiers recounted traumatic stories, a Maui County Council committee on Tuesday voted against taking action on a lawsuit by the county’s former prosecuting attorney who was fired over workplace violence.  Maui Now.

Maui County receives high bond ratings. Fitch Global Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings have assigned ratings of AA+ (stable outlook), Aa1 (stable outlook), and AA+ (stable outlook), respectively to Maui County’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2022, Mayor Michael Victorino announced Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui Memorial doctors in ER are upset over alleged mismanagement. A group of emergency room doctors at Maui Memorial Medical Center are seeking to oust a California-based firm that took over management of the emergency department in 2018, laying out a long list of allegations against the company, Emergent Medical Associates, in a letter to the board of directors that oversees the hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Maui airport officials seek heat relief for long security lines. For the past month-and-a-half, long lines of travelers have snaked out of Kahului Airport’s security checkpoint, enduring hours-long waits in the hot midday sun. The cause: bigger planes, a busier flight schedule and too few security lanes. Star-Advertiser.

The Community Is Mobilizing Again To Buy Molokai Ranch. Will It Work? On development-weary Molokai, where boarded-up resorts, restaurants and theaters recall a foreign investor’s abandoned crusade to remodel a moribund pineapple plantation town into a lucrative tourist destination, a decades-old quest to overthrow corporate interests that control a third of the island is gaining new momentum. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Affordable housing voted down. Voters will not have the chance to decide on an affordable housing measure this fall, after the Kauaʻi County Council voted against putting it on the ballot on Wednesday. Resolution 2022-22 would have amended the County Charter to designate at least 2% of real property tax revenues each year to an affordable housing fund. Garden Island.

KCC looks to get head start returning to school. The first day of the fall semester at the Kaua‘i Community College is Aug. 22, and Hanana Kainoa Kula wanted to give students entering the college a head start, as well as a final push to get students who are still sitting on the fence. Garden Island.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Public schools, polling places open today, mudslinging defines political races, Honolulu parks advise bring your own toilet paper, battle continues over tourism contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Testing elections counting machines in Hawaii ©2022 All Hawaii News
Voter service centers prepare to welcome those who want to cast their ballot in person. Most voters will opt to use mail-in ballots for the primary election, but in-person voting will also be available starting Monday. On Saturday morning, state election officials tested the vote counting system that will be used at each service center. Hawaii News Now.

New era of negative campaigning begins in Hawaii. The window for last-minute negative attack campaigns has opened wider with mail-in ballots arriving weeks before the Aug. 13 primary and Nov. 8 general elections, an update to the old political tactic of making allegations just before election day.  Star-Advertiser.

Jewish leaders condemn Kahele campaign’s use of ‘Mr. Men’ meme, saying it resembles Hitler. An already heated Democratic gubernatorial primary now includes an allegation of hate speech. Members of the local Jewish community say Congressman Kai Kahele’s campaign should apologize for using a caricature they said resembles Adolf Hitler. Hawaii News Now.

All 3 Top Candidates For Hawaii Governor Have Lucrative Side Jobs.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green has a business through which he contracts his services as an emergency room physician. U.S. Rep Kai Kahele receives income for his work as a Hawaiian Airlines pilot and the Hawaii National Guard and receives an income from real estate properties he owns in Tennessee. Businesswoman Vicky Cayetano started United Laundry Service and still maintains an ownership interest in the business’ parent company. Civil Beat.

By Land And Space: How GOP Candidates For Governor Plan To Diversify Hawaii’s Economy. Duke Aiona eyes opportunities in the space industry, while Gary Cordery and Heidi Tsuneyoshi want more funding for farmers. Civil Beat.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs 2022 election: Here's what to expect
. Six of the nine seats on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees are up for election this year. This includes three at-large seats and one seat each for Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Authority predetermined procurement for U.S. tourism award, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau says. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is alleging that the Hawaii Tourism Authority violated state procurement law by running an unfair process that predetermined that re-solicitation for its largest piece of business, the U.S. brand management and global support services contract, should go to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Star-Advertiser.

Cruise ship COVID reporting program ending. The recent discontinuation of a program by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that tracked COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships and reported findings to the public has no effect on how state agencies deal with the virus on cruise ships. Tribune-Herald.

What to know about masking, other pandemic procedures in Hawaii public schools. Masking is now optional indoors and outdoors in Hawaii public schools, so for the first time in a year, whether a student should wear a mask on campus will be left for each family to decide. However, state schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi says that in keeping with state Health Department guidance, masks are still “highly encouraged,” especially while community levels of COVID-19 are high now across most of the state. Star-Advertiser.

Teachers union pushing for better air ventilation to help prevent spread of COVID. With masks optional for Hawaii public and charter schools starting fall semester, ventilation will play a key role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms. Tribune-Herald.

Kalima case lawyers calculate damages for Native Hawaiians in $328M settlement with the state. Damages are being calculated for more than 2,700 Native Hawaiians in the Kalima case — a class-action lawsuit filed by Native Hawaiians waiting for homestead land. Now, lawyers for the claimants are working to ensure the $328 million settlement approved by the state gets to those who deserve it. Hawaii Public Radio.

New law restores $1M for immigrant resource centers in Hawaiʻi. A bill introduced by the Filipino Caucus and signed into law earlier this month by Gov. David Ige allocated $1 million to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Office of Community Services to restore the centers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii gas prices stay stubbornly high amid major national decline. Nationally, the decrease was 61 cents as of Friday compared with a month earlier, and eight states led by Ohio had drops of 70 cents to 82 cents. Hawaii’s decline was 11 cents, while the next smallest decrease was 30 cents for Idaho. Star-Advertiser.

New York firm gets PUC’s OK to buy Hawaii Gas.
The state’s only franchised gas utility and largest propane distributor has a new owner after a New York-based infrastructure fund manager received approval from the state Public Utilities Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Latin America takes on growing RIMPAC role. At this year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise, Latin America’s interests in the Pacific have taken on new significance. For the first time in the history of the biennial exercise, every country on South America’s Pacific Coast has sent serv­ice members to participate. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. Honolulu Parks Are Experiencing A Shortage. Honolulu officials warned they may have to close some public bathrooms in city parks due to a shortage in industrial toilet paper rolls. The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation called on park-goers to bring their own toilet paper until the problem can be solved. Civil Beat.

Wealthy beachfront homeowners turn to the courts to avoid Hawaii environmental laws. When heavy surf threatened their home in Mokuleia in the winter of 2006-07, Elizabeth and Mike Dailey ignored state environmental laws and stacked large boulders along the beach, creating a formidable seawall. The Daileys’ case is among the state’s longest running seawall enforcement cases and highlights how wealthy beachfront property owners have been able to evade state laws aimed at protecting public beaches. Star-Advertiser.

Battle For Central Oahu Senate Seat Pits Incumbent Against Well-Known City Councilman. Rivals Brandon Elefante and Sen. Bennette Misalucha agree major concerns facing District 16 are public safety, housing and homelessness. Civil Beat.

Waianae House Race Highlights The Democratic Party’s Power In Hawaii. Former Rep. Jo Jordan and Rep. Cedric Gates are facing off against each other for the fifth election in a row, vying to represent Waianae, Makaha and Makua in West Oahu. Their rivalry has a history. Civil Beat.

Efforts underway to get a more accurate count of feral cats, reduce concentrated populations. Just about all of us have seen feral cats on Oahu and on the neighbor islands, but exactly how many of them are there? There have been estimates, but those estimates are likely to be wrong. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill would add EV stations: Councilwoman says lack of charging options an obstacle to EV ownership. Big Island property developers may be required to add electric vehicle charging stations to their parking lots under a bill to be introduced Tuesday to the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Senate District 4: Democrat Tim Richards and Republican Nicholas Tancheff will square off in the general election. There are two candidates on the ballot for the vacant District 4 state Senate seat, but they’re not running against each other. At least, not yet. West Hawaii Today.

House District 6
: 3 Democrats, one Republican, line up for newly created House district. There’s a new House district in town, and four candidates have lined up to compete for it. Running for the seat are Democratic candidates Ilya Barannikov, Kirstin Kahaloa and Lono Mack. The winner of the Aug. 13 primary will square off with Republican candidate Jonathan Kennealy in the general election. West Hawaii Today.

‘An unfortunate event’. An estimated 4,500 internet and 16,000 voice customers in West Hawaii were affected on Tuesday when a Hawaiian Telcom fiber-optic cable was severed in Waikoloa. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Three Maui County mayor candidates see tourism management as a platform priority.
Three candidates for Maui County mayor unveiled Saturday what they would do to manage tourism during a time when the islands have reopened to near-record numbers of visitors. Maui Now.

Primary to whittle down packed field for Kahului seat on council. In the second-most crowded race of the Maui County primary election, seven individuals compete for the Kahului residency seat: Cara Flores, incumbent Council Member Tasha Kama, Carol Lee Kamekona, Buddy James Nobriga, Tina Pedro, Jason “Jack” Schwartz and Keoni Watanabe. Maui News.

Should Maui County Take Over Water Long Controlled By Private Companies? Voters will have a say in whether the county should create new water authorities charged with managing the island’s most precious natural resource. Civil Beat.

Committee to consider updated zoning map. A bill to adopt amendments to the Maui Digital Zoning Map for 13 parcels will be considered by the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Maui News.

County sees 41% increase in stolen cars this year. Some residents raise concerns over burned cars off Piihana Road. Maui News.

Rehab of Kahoolawe continues. The effort to return Kaho'olawe to its nature state continues. There's been nearly 20 years of renovation, since the military finished cleaning up munition on the island from when it was a firing range. KITV4.

Kauai

Kaua‘i visitors are spending more than they were pre-pandemic. Kaua‘i has been outpacing the state in terms of tourism recovery. Hawai‘i as a whole was only at 89% of its June 2019 visitor level, with a total of 842,927 visitors in June 2022. Garden Island.

Only bon dance on the island draws huge crowd. The pau-hana time came, the rain clouds that welcomed Friday parted, and the people came to Puhi to enjoy the bon odori experience of food, games and, of course, the bon odori. Garden Island.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

DHHL official anticipates up to 6k Hawaiian homesteads with new money, COVID deaths rise, Green attacked by opponents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaiian homestead ©2022 All Hawaii News
DHHL official: New funding could result in up to 6K homesteads. Between 3,000 and 6,000 new homestead lots could be developed with $600 million allocated to the Department of Hawaii Home Lands this year. Tribune-Herald.

Public weighs in on government reform in Hawaii. A 5-month-old commission aiming to improve conduct standards for Hawaii government officials finished an initial set of public meetings Wednesday as it moves closer to producing a much-anticipated report by the end of this year. Star-Advertiser.

Ethics Reform: Leading Democrats Endorse Term Limits For State Lawmakers. Josh Green and Vicky Cayetano both want to limit members of the state House to four terms, and members of the Senate to two terms. Both Vicky Cayetano and Lt. Gov. Josh Green say term limits for state lawmakers is the most urgently needed government reform proposal in Hawaii, but admit it won’t be easy to put term limits into place. Civil Beat.

Cayetano and Kahele team up to question Green’s finances. In a rare joint news conference, Vicky Cayetano and Congressman Kai Kahele questioned Lt. Governor Green’s earnings from his LLC’s. KHON2.

Hawaii congressional candidate accused of using ‘shameless’ tactic to woo dark money ads. A candidate for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District is being accused of using a new tactic to attract so-called “dark money” advertising by mainland Political Action Committees. It’s illegal for candidates to directly collaborate with independent PACs, but experts and his opponent say Patrick Branco is openly soliciting for mainland advertising and dictating what the ads should say. Hawaii News Now.

Rep. Ed Case facing primary challenge from progressive opponent. Sergio Alcubilla, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines as a child and later became a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, decided to challenge U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D-HI01) for the 1st District seat after Case expressed opposition to part of the Build Back Better bill supported by the Biden administration. KITV4.

Hawaii Schools Are Struggling To Get Seniors To Apply For College Financial Aid. Efforts to increase the number of high school students in Hawaii who apply for financial aid for college have been significantly hampered by the pandemic as schools and advocacy groups struggle to reach families virtually and some students feel mounting pressure to get a job after graduation. Civil Beat.

Use of fake urine on the rise in Hawaii workplace drug testing. Positive tests for marijuana during workplace drug screenings have increased since Hawaii’s medical dispensaries began operating in 2017, and recent lab data indicates that more people are turning to fake urine to avoid detection of cannabis, as well as other drugs. Star-Advertiser.

Despite mounting hardships at hospitals, Hawaii nursing programs see a rise in interest. Despite years of COVID stresses and staffing shortages, student nursing programs in Hawaii are seeing a surprising trend ― a rise in interest. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 treatments available to prevent serious illness. Health officials are reminding the public that therapeutics are available to Hawaii residents as BA.5, a more transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19, gains a foothold in the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i reports 23 additional Covid deaths, over 4,000 new cases in past week. There are 2,719 coronavirus cases on O‘ahu, 542 on the Big Island, 176 on Kaua‘i, five on Lanai, 527 on Maui, 11 on Moloka‘i, and 95 diagnosed out of state. That compares to 4,329 cases and 13 additional deaths in the previous week. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Candidates For Honolulu’s District 6 Vow To Tackle Housing, Corruption And Crime. Community and family ties run deep for the seven candidates vying to represent downtown Honolulu and its surrounding urban areas. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi’s only coal-fired power plant receives final shipment of coal. Hawaiʻi’s only coal-fired power plant received its final shipment of coal on Wednesday. The AES Hawaiʻi power plant, the largest single source of electricity on Oʻahu, is set to end operations in September after three decades of use. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

NIMBY worsening Hawaii’s housing crisis. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s office said they’re working on it, but it will also need the support of folks in wealthy communities. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Taxpayers could save tens of millions on replacement cesspool agreement.
Hawaii County taxpayers are expected to save tens of millions of dollars on downsized plans for sewer treatment systems in Naalehu and Pahala. The consent agreement between the county and the EPA signed last week not only gives the county more time to get into compliance, but also allows it to consider four alternatives to the massive former projects. West Hawaii Today.

HVNP officials get feedback on planned improvements. Members of the public were mostly quiet during a public meeting Wednesday about plans to build new facilities and infrastructure, including a roundabout, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

$15M NELHA project clears environmental hurdle. The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is moving forward with an estimated $15 million project that will expand the campus’s research village and create a shoreline visitor education center. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

First-time candidate tops council races in donations. First-time political candidate Nohe U’u-Hodgins bested all primary election candidates for the Maui County Council in terms of fundraising, netting around $63,000 since she filed for office on May 13. Maui News.

Maui Emergency Management Agency urges residents to sign up for new alert system. The County of Maui’s mass notification system is transitioning to a new service provider, and is urging residents to sign up for the new system. Maui Now.

Kahului Airport sees some of its longest lines; Maui residents wonder if relief is in sight. In recent months, TSA lines for those without PreCheck are among the longest Kahului Airport has seen, and some residents are wondering if this is the new normal. Maui Now.

Kauai

More than half of Kaua‘i went without medical care, survey shows. More than half of Kaua‘i residents (51%) cut back on medical care or medicine this past year because they were short on money, according to the Access to Care survey released this week by the nonprofit Community First. Garden Island.

Hamada is interim Kaua‘i school leader. Tuesday, most of the state Department of Education educators returned to their classrooms in accordance with the DOE school calendar. Garden Island.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Woman escapes fine in monk seal encounter, big raises for veteran teachers, new charges in affordable housing credit scam, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 

Swimmer attacked by monk seal won’t be fined. State officials Monday said they will not fine a woman whose close encounter with an endangered Hawaiian monk seal mother left her with injuries Sunday morning in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Feds ask judge to dismiss lawsuit questioning validity of dolphin swim ban. Federal officials have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit contesting the validity of a rule banning swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins. West Hawaii Today.

High inflation is top issue for Hawaii voters. More than two-thirds of Hawaii voters have altered their household spending due to high inflation, and half want a state gas tax suspension, new Hawaii Poll results suggest. Star-Advertiser.

Majority of Hawaii voters think homelessness has increased. A majority of Hawaii voters participating in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll indicate they have seen no improvement in homelessness in the islands, with 67% saying the problem has gotten worse over the past 12 months. Star-Advertiser.

Diversifying The Economy: Governor Contenders Would Boost Ag, Small Business. Vicky Cayetano wants a permanent 50% excise tax cut for small businesses, while Josh Green is proposing new government subsidies to support Hawaii agriculture. Civil Beat.

Top candidates for governor differ on specifics, but agree housing crisis must be addressed. The leading Democratic candidates for governor agree the housing crisis — with its low inventory and burdensome regulations — isn’t solvable overnight. But they do support some immediate measures and all support some form of a housing emergency declaration. Hawaii News Now.

Newcomers Are Leading In Campaign Donations For OHA Elections. Will It Matter? A prominent Thirty Meter Telescope supporter and attorney emerged as the leader in the field in campaign donations for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees race. But political observers say incumbents have the advantage of name recognition so traditionally have not needed to raise as much. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teacher salary change in Hawaii sparks ‘unretirements’. Salaries are being raised by $7,700 to $26,000 for those thousands of educators for whom salary “step movements” occasionally have been held back by the state in economically lean years.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

UH receives record $505M in extramural funding. The University of Hawaii has topped half a billion dollars in outside funding for the first time in its history, officials announced Thursday. The 10-campus system hit a record $505 million in fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30. Hawaii News Now.

Ige travels to Idaho to attend governors’ conference, lead roundtable discussion. Issues such as land use, rural healthcare, wildfire events, cyber security, transportation and droughts will be discussed at the event. Hawaii News Now.

Ige’s about-face on air tour bill creates challenges for industry. The measure, which became law as Act 311 upon Ige’s signature July 12, also establishes the Air, Noise and Safety Task Force. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Will Create A New Office Dealing With Trauma. The Office of Wellness and Resiliency will be temporarily housed in the governor’s office. A new state agency tasked with helping people who deal with childhood trauma and other mental health issues will soon be up and running. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaii Department of Health to begin taking vaccine appointments for those at high risk of catching monkeypox. The Hawaii Department of Health today announced monkeypox vaccination appointments will be available starting Wednesday for adult residents at higher risk of monkeypox infection or severe illness. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oahu

Rail project satisfies audit recommendations. The current administration overseeing the city’s troubled rail project satisfactorily addressed nine recommendations made by the city auditor dating back to 2019 to control cost overruns, delays and other issues, according to a report released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

To help reduce backlog, Ala Moana Satellite City Hall to offer passport services. For the first time, passport applications can be processed at Ala Moana Satellite City Hall. It’s part of a pilot program to help reduce application backlog. The new service will begin in August and will only be available by appointment-only. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Housing case broadens: Two Hilo attorneys, Pahoa businessman charged. Federal court documents outlining charges against two Hilo attorneys and a Pahoa businessman claim the trio, and a county official who has already pleaded to wrongdoing, fraudulently obtained almost $11 million in land and affordable housing credits over a six-year-plus period — without building any affordable housing. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Inaba seeks audit of housing credits at issue in federal probe. Amid a growing corruption scandal, North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba believes the county’s use of affordable housing credits deserves a deeper look, and he’s sponsored a resolution asking the county auditor to do just that. West Hawaii Today.

Land board OK’s updates to Maunakea plan. A Hawaiian activist on Friday said she plans to seek a contested case hearing after the Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve updates to the University of Hawaii’s Maunakea management plan. Tribune-Herald.

NELHA Innovation Center, Visitor Center Posts Final EA. A new Innovation Center for NELHA, and Hale Wawaloli Visitor Center for the Hawaiʻi Ocean Science and Technology Park, are planned for the Kona shoreline. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Negotiations begin with new developer of Lānaʻi Solar project. Hawaiian Electric has selected a new developer, DG Development & Acquisition, LLC, to build and maintain Lānaʻi Solar, the largest utility-scale renewable energy project on Lāna‘i and the island’s first to offer the shared solar program. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

With ballot boxes set up, Kaua‘i voters can make their primary election decisions. With ballots mailed out Friday and drop boxes set up throughout the island Monday, Kaua‘i residents can now make election choices that will shape policy on the most-important issues of the day, from housing to COVID-19. Garden Island.

Input sought on Mahelona new master plan. Last Thursday, a crowd of approximately 50 people who live in the surrounding area attended a special meeting organized by state Rep. Nadine Nakamura at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital’s auditorium to discuss the new master plan for the 34-acre Mahelona campus. Garden Island.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Green strong in gubernatorial race, voters favor legal marijuana, split on legalizing gambling, mama monk seal attacks swimmer, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Approvals still high for Josh Green in Hawaii governor’s race. Registered Democratic voters continue to give Lt. Gov. Josh Green high approval ratings and overwhelmingly said they will vote for him in his run to become Hawaii’s next governor. Green would receive 55% of Democratic Primary votes if the election were held “today,” according to the results of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lieutenant governor’s race deadlocked. State House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke led the poll with 21%, followed by 19% for former mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya and 18% for former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson. Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, trailed with only 4%. Star-Advertiser.

Voters give Ige and Biden approval boost, Hawaii Poll shows. Ige received a 41% approval rating in January compared with 44% this month, according to the results of the latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Majority in Hawaii oppose people packing firearms in public, poll finds. Most Hawaii residents disagree with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that supports the right to carry a gun in public, while 25% say the state needs stricter firearm regulations, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii voters support legalizing recreational cannabis, but split on legalizing gambling. A majority of Hawaii residents favor legalizing recreational cannabis to increase tax revenue for the state but are split about legalizing gambling for the same reason, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s latest Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable Housing: Top Democrats See ‘Emergency’ But Differ On How To Build Faster. Vicky Cayetano wants to work with the Legislature to declare a state of emergency in housing, while Josh Green wants to push ahead with 42,000 stalled units. Civil Beat.

Cost Of Living: Here’s How Top Democratic Candidates Say They Could Help. Lt. Gov. Josh Green wants to eliminate the state excise tax on food and medicine and impose a new fee on tourists to shift some of the state tax burden to visitors. Vicky Cayetano is ready to entertain the idea of capping rent increases as a way to provide relief to residents who are struggling with the sky-high cost of living. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Emergency SNAP benefits extended in Hawaii. Gov. David Ige has extended a COVID-19-­related emergency period for additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in Hawaii, citing a still-­significant need to address food insecurity in the state. Star-Advertiser.

More Help Is Coming For Hawaii’s Homeless Youth. Act 130, recently signed into law, establishes the Safe Spaces for Youth Pilot Program under the Department of Human Services. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi to get $20M in additional federal funds to keep keiki fed. The funding, some of which was authorized in the Keeping Kids Fed Act that Senator Hirono helped pass in both the House and Senate before it was signed into law last month, is meant to help Hawaiʻi address supply chain issues and food inflation in its school meal programs. Maui Now.

Hawaii Will Soon Have A Women’s Court In An Effort To Reduce Recidivism. Advocates hope the three-year pilot program will prevent more women from being incarcerated and re-entering the criminal justice system. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Woman is injured while swimming near nursing monk seal. The incident occurred near a roped-off section of beach that the seal, known as Rocky, has been occupying with the pup since giving birth two weeks ago.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Can The Dems Finally Take Ewa Beach Away From The GOP? With their incumbent vacating his seat to run for U.S. Senate, voters in Ewa Beach and Iroquois Point–-- one of only four Republican House districts in Hawaii – will decide this November whether to keep District 40 Republican or to vote in a Democrat for the first time in a decade. Civil Beat.

Housing and crime dominate Honolulu City Council District 6 election. District 6 covers Downtown through Nuuanu and Kalihi Valley, and the seat is currently held by Council member Carol Fukunaga, who has reached her term limit and is running for a state Senate seat in District 11. Star-Advertiser.

Case pending before Hawaiʻi Supreme Court to look at Kealoha legal fees. The City and County of Honolulu continues to fight a 2019 decision by the Honolulu Police Commission to pay for former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha's criminal defense. Hawaii Public Radio.

Engineers give the public a chance to comment on proposals to manage Ala Wai Canal. The latest effort to prevent a Waikiki flooding disaster linked to the Ala Wai Canal is set to advance this week as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gives the public a chance to comment on its preliminary work. Star-Advertiser.

Misdemeanor probe into Honolulu police union leadership forwarded to state Attorney General. Honolulu police have forwarded the findings of a misdemeanor extortion investigation to the state Department of the Attorney General, which will decide whether to charge the president and vice president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers. Star-Advertiser.

Your drone is interfering with Hawaii emergencies. In April 2020, the Honolulu Fire Department used drones to enforce then Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s COVID-19 stay-at-home and work-at-home order at beaches around Oahu. The drones played an audio message telling people not to gather or sit on the beach. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Big Island lawmakers react to campaign fundraiser ban. Coronavirus pandemic protocols, a bribery scandal and debate over a bill to make fundraisers illegal during the legislative session all combined this year to keep Big Island lawmakers from holding the Honolulu fundraisers that historically added big boosts to their reelection campaigns. West Hawaii Today.

No fares till 2025: Hele-On to remain free for an additional two years under bill. Some $1.87 million in American Rescue Plan funding has been allocated to the Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency for operations and lost passenger fares through Dec. 31, 2025, agency administrator John Andoh told the county Finance Committee Tuesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Tiny houses at NAS Pool being relocated, repurposed. More than a year after serving as an emergency shelter for the homeless during the coronavirus epidemic, 31 of 32 micro-housing units once dubbed Hale Hanakahi are being moved from the parking lot at the NAS Pool in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

ADA improvements ready to begin at NAS Swimming Pool. t appears that long-awaited construction on court-ordered Americans With Disabilities Act improvements at the NAS Swimming Pool near Hilo International Airport is set to begin. Tribune-Herald.

Vision For New Puna Learning Center Campus Pictured In EA. The Final Environmental Assessment illustrates the proposed construction of six new buildings over four phases at the Pāhoa campus. Big Island Video News.

Keauhou development on hold for cultural review. Developers of a planned 65-lot single home project on 11 acres in Kapalaalaea were given an extra assignment Thursday, as the Leeward Planning Commission deferred the oft-delayed project until an updated cultural impact assessment could be produced. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Eight candidates battle for mayor in the most crowded county race. The Maui News is featuring the profiles and platforms of candidates in the lead-up to the Aug. 13 primary election. Maui News.

Kauai


Improvements to homeless shelter will accommodate more people. The improvements project, headed by Keith Suga and Michael Rita of Pacific Concrete Coring and Cutting, eliminated six independent, aging and problematic septic systems and connects the KEO facility to the municipal wastewater system, reducing future maintenance costs and protecting groundwater integrity. Garden Island.

Alternative wastewater treatment system workshop Thursday in Hanalei. Ridge to Reefs and Wastewater Alternatives and Innovations are hosting a workshop on a nature-based wastewater treatment system Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Hale Halawai ‘Ohana O Hanalei. Garden Island.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Tourism group seeks mandatory culture training for workers, hospitals ask for emergency proclamation to import staff, candidates for governor, lieutenant showcased in debates, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pounding poi ©2022 All Hawaii News
Charting A New Course For Tourism In Hawaii. Among other changes, the head of a leading Hawaii tourism association is calling for mandatory certification in Native Hawaiian culture for all hospitality industry employees. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s jobless rate ticks up amid rebound in tourism. More would-be workers poured into Hawaii’s labor market in June — so much so that they pushed up the state unemployment rate for the first time in 21 months amid a recovering local economy. Star-Advertiser.

Leading Democratic, GOP candidates for governor spar in HNN Super Debate. With time running out to change voters’ minds before the primary election, leading candidates for governor and lieutenant governor duked it out in the HNN Super Debate on Thursday as they laid out their plans for tackling big issues facing the state, from the cost of living to climate change. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

On crowded debate stage, LG candidates looked for opportunities to shine. The leading Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor Thursday were hoping their debate stage performances translated into name recognition ― and votes in the primary election. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii scores a record total of research funding. The University of Hawaii amassed $505 million in research funding in fiscal year 2022, topping the half-billion-dollar mark for the first time in its history. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitals ask for emergency proclamation. Officials say the staffing shortage at hospitals and nursing homes has reached a critical point. The industry has asked the governor to declare an emergency proclamation to bring in mainland workers as soon as possible. KHON2.

Omicron subvariants BA.4, BA.5 now make up 47% of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, DOH says. Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 together now make up 47% of the COVID-19 variants circulating in Hawaii, according to the state Health Department’s latest variant report. Star-Advertiser.

‘You Don’t Need To Suffer’: Doctors Predict More Use Of Covid Treatments In Hawaii. The two approved oral antiviral treatments for Covid must be taken within five days of the onset of symptoms. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Oahu

Oʻahu takes a closer look at its energy usage with new law. Honolulu City Council Bill 22 will require property owners to report their total energy and water consumption every year. Mayor Blangiardi signed it into law Wednesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oʻahu homeowners have 2 more months to apply for a property tax exemption. Taxpayers must own and occupy the property as their primary residence. Hawaii Public Radio.

Panel discussion on Red Hill water crisis offers new questions ― but few answers.  In a panel discussion Thursday in Waikiki, key stakeholders in the Red Hill fuel spill crisis raised new questions about the extent of the contamination and whether Oahu’s drinking water has been irreparably harmed. Hawaii News Now.

How The Story Of The ‘Army’ That Illegally Took Over A Kunia Property Is Playing On Social Media. Arrested earlier this month, members of the group claim they own the land as heirs of Native Hawaiians who got land grants during the Great Mahele in 1848. Civil Beat.

Former manager of Chinatown apartment files racial discrimination lawsuit. The former resident manager of Winston Hale in Honolulu’s Chinatown is suing Hawaiʻi Affordable Properties Incorporated for racial discrimination. Hawaii Public Radio.

Local 5 members approve 2-year agreement with Hilton. Union negotiates with other major hotels. 1,800 union members employed by the Hilton Hawaiian Village have a new two-year contract after 99% of members approved the hotel's proposal on Wednesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH West Oahu’s accreditation is affirmed for 8 more years. The University of Hawaii West Oahu has been granted another eight years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. But while the college was applauded by the panel for promoting Hawaiian culture and serving the unique needs of the Leeward Oahu community, it also is being required to produce stronger plans for growth. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Seeks Applicants To Serve On New Mauna Kea Governing Authority. New panel members would oversee the astronomy district on Mauna Kea’s summit. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

County gets more time, EPA solicits comments on Pahala, Naalehu wastewater treatment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it is accepting comments on a proposed revision to the consent order requiring Hawaii County to close five decades-old gang cesspools in Pahala and Naalehu. Tribune-Herald.

Leeward Planning Commission gives Bolton neighbors legal standing. A group of owners of condos surrounding a North Kona rock-crushing operation now have standing in a future contested case hearing over whether the work being done there exceeds what was allowed by a permit application that was subsequently withdrawn by the applicant. West Hawaii Today.

Developer of Proposed Ali‘i Drive Subdivision Asked to do More Diligence Before Commission Can Sign off. The Leeward Planning Commission deferred on Thursday, July 21, voting on Hawai‘i One Investors LLC’s proposal until the developer can update the property’s cultural impact assessment to ensure the land’s history isn’t destroyed and neighbors and decedents of the area are satisfied on that front. Big Island Now.

Country Club lessee to surrender permit. The former Country Club Condominium Hotel could fall under new management this year after the Board of Land and Natural Resources decides whether to open requests for new lessees for the property. Tribune-Herald.

Wildfire scorches estimated 600 acres within Pohakuloa Training Area. A wildfire that broke out Thursday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has scorched hundreds of acres. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maui

Who’s Bankrolling The Campaigns In The Race For Maui Mayor. Since the start of this year, political donors have poured almost $600,000 into the campaigns of candidates vying to become Maui County’s next mayor. Civil Beat.

Project aims to restore gulch, buffer runoff. Work to reestablish the riparian corridor — the natural flora and fauna along waterways — in Keokea Gulch within Hapapa watershed is underway to buffer runoff into streams and the North Kihei coastline. Maui News.

US Department of Labor recovers $290,000 for 95 food truck workers on Maui. The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found violations by a single enterprise consisting of five corporations: Da Nani Pirates LLC, Da Nani Pirates Lahaina LLC, Maui Poke LLC, Maui Burgers LLC and Aloha Thai Fusion LLC. Maui Now.

Maui County’s unemployment rate up to 4.9% in June. Maui County’s unemployment rate in June of 2022 was 4.9%, up from 4.2% in May, and down from 8.3% at the same time last year. Maui Now.

Kauai

Rice Street Business Association gets AARP grant. Three organizations across the state — including the Rice Street Business Association — are recipients of 2022 AARP Community Challenge grants totaling $49,500, part of $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i COVID case counts rising. COVID-19 case counts were on the rise last week. And it’s not just here, but across the state, Managing Director Mike Dahilig said during the county’s weekly update on the COVID-19 situation on Thursday. Garden Island.