Showing posts with label Attorney General Clare Connors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attorney General Clare Connors. Show all posts

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Governor cancels Veterans Day ceremony, Connors acting governor in Ige's, Green's absence, missing girl's adoptive parents charged with her murder, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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2017 Veterans Day parade in Hilo ©2021 All Hawaii News

Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony has been canceled.
Due to the limiting factors associated with the pandemic, the State Department of Defense in conjunction with the State Office of Veteran's Services has canceled the Governor's Veterans Day Ceremony. KITV4.

Josh Green Raises Money On Mainland For Hawaii Governor’s Race. His absence leaves Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors to fill in as acting governor while Gov. David Ige is in Scotland. Civil Beat.

HTA October COVID-19 Visitor Satisfaction Study: 81% Rate Hawai‘i Trips as Excellent. Nearly all (94%) of the visitors who were polled in this latest study were fully vaccinated, with one in three travelers indicating they had postponed their trip to Hawaiʻi or waited to visit until the vaccination exemption was in place.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Sues State’s Largest Oil Refiner For Alleged Unpaid Taxes. The State of Hawaii has sued the state’s largest oil refiner, alleging the company relied on a flawed interpretation of state tax law to skirt paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes annually for an unknown number of years. The whistleblower suit against Par Hawaii could have repercussions for other companies operating in Hawaii’s foreign trade zones. Civil Beat.

Questionable Spending And Lax Oversight By Wespac Of Secretive Fisheries Fund
. Federal investigators questioned one out of every $6 the regional fishery council spent over the past decade and documented inappropriate procurement practices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 142 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 69 new cases on Oahu, 28 on Hawaii Island, 13 on Maui, 17 on Kauai one on Lanai, and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Short-term rental bill advances despite confusion.
The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would alter the rules for short-term rentals, notably increasing the minimum stay to six months from 30 days for short-term rentals without a special permit. Star-Advertiser.

Adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua arrested for murder in connection with her disappearance. Honolulu police say that the adoptive parents of 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, also known as Ariel Sellers, killed her sometime around mid-August and reported her missing a month later. Both parents were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of second-­degree murder and charged as part of an FBI and Honolulu police investigation into the child’s disappearance. Both are being held without bail. Authorities have not recovered her body, but continue to search the Kalua’s Waimanalo property. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Department of Education finds no bias in how girl’s arrest was handled. The state Department of Education has not found any evidence of bias or wrongdoing by its employees after they called police, who then arrested a 10-year-old Black girl on a campus for allegedly drawing a picture featuring a gun and death threats above the names of students. Star-Advertiser.

Stream contaminated by runoff containing high amounts of drinking alcohol. The state Health Department is now investigating the spill from a storm pipe next the the H-2 Freeway. The state Department of Transportation, which owns the pipe, told the DOH that the spill came from Paradise Beverages, which owns a warehouse across the freeway from the spill site. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

EPA fines Hawaii County for failure to complete wastewater treatment facility design by deadline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it has fined the County of Hawaii $28,500 for its failure to meet a deadline to complete the design of the Pahala Wastewater Treatment Facility. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hawaiʻi Island Coastal Vulnerability Takes Global Stage.
Hawaiʻi island was recently highlighted on the global stage at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.


MFD seeks new tanker to meet Upcountry demand. The Maui Fire Department is proposing a new fire tanker in Kula to assist with the growing number of calls Upcountry, help with response time and water resources and combat the increase in wildfires in the Kahikinui and Kaupo areas. Maui News.

Acting Gov. Connors Declares Disaster Emergency Relief Period for Maui Drought.
Acting Gov. Clare Connors has signed a proclamation that provides relief to Maui County, which has suffered under drought conditions since March 2019. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Former Kauai Councilman Pleads Guilty To Leading Meth Ring. Former Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he led a methamphetamine ring supplied by the United Samoan Organization, a gang that operates in and out of the Hawaii prison system. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i allows bars, gyms to choose new policies. Effective Friday, high-risk businesses — including bars, restaurants and gyms — can institute their own COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy for entry to reopen to 100% indoor capacity, according to a new county policy. Garden Island.

Kauai Homeowners Worry About ‘Black Slime’ Health Risks. Residents say they feel trapped in new homes plagued by a mysterious water problem that they fear could be making them sick. Civil Beat.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Hawaii Supreme Court strikes down 'gut and replace' practice, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approves Connor as U.S. Attorney, $800M could come to Thirty Meter Telescope following new report, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Supreme Court ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii Supreme Court strikes down ‘gut and replace’ legislative lawmaking practice. The state Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the legislative lawmaking practice known as “gut and replace,” ruling that the Legislature is required to hold three separate hearings in both the House and the Senate after a bill no longer resembles its original intent. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

Senate Judiciary approves Clare Connors as U.S. attorney for Hawaii. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Clare Connors to be the next U.S. attorney for Hawaii. The nomination now goes to the full Senate. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

The DOE Hopes A New Campaign Will Help Recruit Teachers To Hawaii. The goal isn’t only getting teachers to the islands but also persuading them to stay by providing mentors and facts about the high cost of living. Civil Beat.

Wespac’s Fight Against Marine Monuments Is All About Protecting The Fishing Industry. The council’s leaders have done everything they can to stop presidents from creating monuments in the Pacific. Members of Congress have put forward a way to curb the lobbying. Civil Beat.

Advocates: Court Deal A Win For Endangered ‘I‘iwi Bird. The deal announced in U.S. District Court on Thursday comes after the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit to compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate that critical ‘i‘iwi habitat. Civil Beat.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. doubles profit amid improving economy. Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc. on Thursday reported earning $6.5 million in the July-September period, up from $3.2 million in the same quarter of 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Will proof of COVID vaccination be required for young children in Hawaii? 
Now that COVID vaccines for kids aged five to 11 are available, the governor’s office said the focus is on getting them vaccinated. Then, proof of vaccination for this age bracket will follow, but there is no timeline or plan on when that will happen. KHON2.

Impact of new federal COVID-19 vaccine rule not as severe in Hawaii.
The emergency rule announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration applies to private employers with at least 100 workers, and will require these businesses to ensure all employees on the job either are fully vaccinated or get tested at least weekly and wear a face covering at work. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 13 new coronavirus-related deaths, 112 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 57 new cases on Oahu, 28 on Hawaii Island, 18 on Maui, 7 on Kauai and two Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Issues New Proposal To Crack Down On Short-Term Rentals. Under the new bill, some people will be allowed to stay in short-term vacation units for less than 180 days, including full-time students and temporary medical workers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu to open driver licensing centers on Saturdays to help ease backlog. The city is opening two busy driver licensing centers on Saturdays through the end of the year to accommodate the backlog of customers needing services. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Trace levels of contaminants detected in two Oahu drinking water sources. State health officials said trace levels of contaminants have been detected in water samples collected at two Oahu drinking water sources, but remain safe to drink. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV4.

West Oʻahu residents and visitors have more care options during a medical emergency.
Starting this week, West O‘ahu residents and visitors will have more options when they have a medical emergency. An ambulance can take a patient to the Straub Kapolei Clinic and Urgent Care Center at Ka Makana Ali‘i if suitable. Hawaii Public Radio.

COVID vaccine for pets coming soon; Honolulu zoo waiting on permits for experimental shot. The death of the 13-year-old African male lion Ekundu at the Honolulu Zoo in mid-October has some people asking when the COVID vaccine will be available for their animals. KHON2.

Large cruise ship from Los Angeles to dock at Honolulu Harbor.
The state Department of Transportation said the Royal Princess will dock on Saturday and depart on Sunday to refuel and for provisions. The ship is coming from Los Angeles and has 177 crew members on board — all of whom are vaccinated. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Thirty Meter Telescope gets juice from federal report recommending additional funds. The Thirty Meter Telescope scored a significant victory Thursday when a federal report ranked the proposed cutting-edge observatory and its U.S.-led cousin, the Giant Magellan Telescope, planned for Chile, among its top priorities for U.S. government funding. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Could take ‘four or five years’ for TMT to receive funding. Despite a strong recommendation that the federal government provide funding to the Thirty Meter Telescope, it likely will take at least “four or five years” before that project receives the money. Tribune-Herald.


Housing list to prioritize locals draws concerns. An affordable housing list aimed at getting more local people into homes and giving priority to longer-term Maui residents is drawing concern from the development community and the county department that would potentially oversee it. Maui News.

The Anatomy of a Land Development: How a Housing Proposal in Waiehu Came About. The Waiehu project, a partnership between the California-based Highridge Costa and Maui Economic Opportunity, will consist of 120 multi-family residential units, housed in 13 two-story buildings, including 28 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedroom units, and 32 three-bedroom units, as well as a 3,477 square foot non-profit building, a 3,231 square foot clubhouse, landscaping, and related improvements. Maui Now.

Maui Public Health Rules to be Revised in Accordance with Ige’s Executive Order. Governor David Ige’s office has asked Mayor Michael Victorino to amend his recent request to revise Maui County’s emergency public health rules to conform with the Governor’s Executive Order #21-08 announced yesterday, that will go into effect on Nov. 12. Maui Now.

Traffic debate grows over multi-lane roundabout to be built on busy Maui highway. Plans are underway for the state’s first multiple-lane roundabout. It will be located at the entrance of the new Kihei High School on Piilani Highway in South Maui. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i County Council moves cesspool bill forward. A county program to utilize over $1 million in forgivable loans to covert or close existing cesspools is one step closer to becoming law. Garden Island.

DLNR calls on riders to stop illegally driving, biking through state land on Kauai. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued a warning to dirt bike and ATV riders who have been racing through state land on Kauai. Officials said riders have been illegally driving and biking in the the area between Kokee State Park and Kekaha on both sides of Highway 552. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Symposium will dive into mysteries of humpback whales. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will hold its first-ever research symposium today and Friday, one month after Kaua‘i boaters spied the first whales of the season off the Na Pali Coast. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hawaii recovery slow, drastic changes in Honolulu redistricting, lava buyout program expands, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


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Hawaiian Airlines at HNL ©2021 All Hawaii News

Despite Momentum, Hawaiian Airlines Forecast Signals Slow Recovery. In a sign of the challenge Hawaii tourism companies face recovering from the Covid-19 travel drought, Hawaiian Airlines said Tuesday it expects revenue to be down 32% to 37% during the last three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Nominations of female judges to Hawaii Circuit Court applauded. Leaders of the state Senate’s Women’s Caucus today applauded Gov. David Ige’s nominations of four women to Hawaii’s Circuit Courts. A fifth woman also has been nominated by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. Star-Advertiser.

Thirty Meter Telescope protesters oppose Biden’s U.S. attorney pick for Hawaii. Some Native Hawaiians are objecting to President Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. attorney for Hawaii, saying Clare Connors treated dozens of elders like criminals when her office prosecuted them for blocking a road while protesting the construction of a telescope in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Chemical Shortages Are Hitting Hawaii From Pools To Breweries. Supply chain snafus caused by the pandemic have pinched chemical supplies, leaving the city and businesses scrambling for alternatives or ways to get by with less. Civil Beat.

Central Pacific Bank triples earnings. Central Pacific Bank more than tripled its net income in the third quarter, increased its dividend and repurchased more of its shares as it continued to distance itself from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees 74 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 83,522. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 36 new cases on Oahu, 19 on Hawaii Island, two on Maui, 12 on Kauai and five Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


New City Council district map drastically moves neighborhoods. The Honolulu Reapportionment Committee on Tuesday night selected a map that would would drastically change the voter makeup of Council districts beginning in 2022. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Human error, not aging Red Hill tanks, caused May fuel spill, Navy says. The U.S. Navy has concluded that a May 6 spill at its Red Hill underground fuel farm was due to a control room operator’s failure to follow correct procedures. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

The Sierra Club wants transparency, emails, answers about recent Navy fuel leaks and Red Hill.
The Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi has filed a public records complaint with the state Department of Health after learning of an email trail it believes could change the outcome of a contested case hearing for the U.S. Navy’s permit to operate the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility. Hawaii Public Radio.

City Council wants to hike traffic fines to raise money for Honolulu Police Department. Currently, money collected from the fines goes to the state, all of it. Council members are looking to raise the fines in order for the city to get some of that. KHON2.
Initial phase of a three-tower senior housing project in Liliha-Palama will break ground in 2022. A state agency has committed to finance the first of three affordable senior housing towers planned on the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s outdated Liliha­-Palama administrative campus. Star-Advertiser.

5 Honolulu Police Department officers unjustly shot and killed car theft suspect, complaint alleges. The family of a 30-year-old man who was shot and killed by plainclothes police officers at a gas station in Kapolei in 2019 is suing the Honolulu Police Department for negligence and wrongful death. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Water power charges to increase. An increase in electric rates is leading to the highest power cost surcharge on county water bills in at least two years, with the Water Board on Tuesday approving a 16% hike in the power cost charge. West Hawaii Today.

Phase 2 of lava buyout program set to begin. Owners of secondary residences that were isolated, damaged or destroyed during the 2018 Kilauea eruption will be able to apply next week for the county to buy their properties. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


Marine Institute has Documented 201 Sick, Injured or Dead Sea Turtles So Far This Year. The Maui Ocean Center’s Marine Institute has documented 201 sick, injured or dead sea turtles on Maui so far this year. According to the organization, 89% of the incidents involved turtles with injuries from fishing gear interactions. Maui Now.

Upcountry water shortage ends, but drought remains. A nearly four-month-long water shortage declaration for Upcountry came to an end due to recent rainfall, though many areas across Maui County are still experiencing severe drought and concerns over enforcement of water restrictions remain. Maui Now.

GoFundMe Account Set Up for Repairs of StoneWave Skate Park in Pā‘ia. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise about $8,000 for fence restoration and repairs of the StoneWave Skate Park, a part of the Pāʻia Youth & Cultural Center. Maui Now.


Controversial Seacliff development deferred again. A wave of resident testimony on the potential cultural and ecological impacts of a development within the gated Seacliff Plantation subdivision has caused the Planning Commission to defer any decision on the application until December. Garden Island.

Temporary Waimea skatepark expected to be up by next summer. The Kaua‘i Planning Department is planning to set up a temporary ramp and halfpipe at the Waimea Athletic Field. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Connors nominated as U.S. attorney, swimming with spinner dolphins banned, coronavirus delta variant proves deadly, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors
Biden nominates Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors to serve as U.S. attorney. State Attorney General Clare Connors was one of nine nominees announced Tuesday by Biden’s White House. Connors, who has served as attorney general since 2019, now starts the U.S. Senate confirmation process. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. KITV4.

US Bans Swimming With Hawaiʻi's Nocturnal Spinner Dolphins. U.S. regulators on Tuesday banned swimming with Hawaii's spinner dolphins to protect the nocturnal animals from people seeking close encounters with the playful species. Associated Press. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

The Counties Are in Different Stages of Creating Their Own Hotel Room Tax Increases. Hawaiʻi's four counties are in different stages of approving their increases to the transient accommodations tax to make up for lost revenue after the state stopped allocating its statewide tax. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hirono Lobbies For Missile Defense Radar During Hearing On Afghanistan. Sen. Mazie Hirono grilled military leaders Tuesday about what the Defense Department will do with money and troops freed up by the end of America’s longest war, asking specifically about a $1.9 billion missile defense radar that has been planned for Hawaii. Civil Beat.

State embracing ‘shared solar’ energy farms on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands land. Hawaiian Electric, the largest utility in Hawaii, is trying to add 235 megawatts of community solar projects on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii island under a plan awaiting state Public Utilities Commission consideration, following approval for 8 megawatts. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 delta variant proves deadly in Hawaii. About half of all the COVID-19 cases reported in Hawaii have occurred since early July, when the delta variant, which now accounts for nearly all cases, began to take hold.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees 240 new coronavirus cases, surpasses 2M vaccine doses administered. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 193 new cases on Oahu, 12 on Maui, 24 on Hawaii island, 8 on Kauai and three Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Over 160 Oahu businesses violate new COVID-19 mandates. As Safe Access O‘ahu mandates stretch into their third week, over 160 Oahu business operators have been cited, warned or been arrested for alleged violations of new COVID-19 requirements that include proof of tests or vaccinations for both employees and customers. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu restaurants seeing drop in sales after proof of vaccination mandate. Hawaii Restaurant Association Executive Director Sheryl Matsuoka said she has heard from members who are seeing revenue cut in half compared to 2019. KHON2.

Oahu Commission Approves Three Maps. Now The Public Gets A Say. The public will soon be able to provide input on what Honolulu’s political boundaries should look like after the Oahu Reapportionment Commission on Tuesday approved three district maps for consideration. Civil Beat.

Years Before Indictments, Honolulu Permitting Department Was Warned About Corrupt Culture. A city watchdog had raised red flags for years about potential corruption in Honolulu’s planning and permitting department. In the decade before federal investigators charged five permitting employees for bribery, the Honolulu Ethics Commission warned the Department of Planning and Permitting about questionable behavior by staff and lax oversight that could lead to abuses of power. Civil Beat.

State senator calls for investigation of Honolulu Police Department Major Stephen Gerona. A state senator called Tuesday for the removal of the Honolulu police officer in charge of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division, alleging that Maj. Stephen Gerona continues to bully and harass subordinates despite repeated complaints, disciplinary actions and his role in lawsuits costing the city more than $1.6 million. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Faced With Unwieldy Voting Rules, Honolulu Rail Board Simply Scrapped Them. For four years, after the Legislature added seats, the rail board required eight ‘yes’ votes to pass measures, but recently decided it needs only six. Civil Beat.

Large wildfire reveals toxic junkyard on state land that was supposed to be used for farming
. A large wildfire in Central Oahu on Monday exposed the illegal activities Pat Mackin and others have been warning state and law enforcement officials about for years. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

A public meeting about the decommissioning of a Maunakea telescope went quietly on Tuesday. Jim Hayes, president of Planning Solutions Inc., which was consultant for the environmental assessment, said Caltech will hire an archaeological and cultural monitor, vetted by the state Historic Preservation Division, to observe the process and ensure that no cultural sites are disturbed throughout the project. Tribune-Herald.

EA supports Pahoa library: All three potential sites for a public facility found suitable. The final environmental assessment was published last week for a public library in Pahoa. The document has a finding of no significant impact to the environment regardless of which site among the top three identified in the document is chosen for construction of the facility. Tribune-Herald.

The next venture: Construction begins on Matsuyama Commercial Center. The Matsuyama Commercial Center project is being built on a 1.36-acre parcel off Kaiminani Drive, near the northern entrance to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority on the makai side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Fire Chief Ventura and Deputy Chief Fujioka Sworn In. Brad Ventura was sworn into office as the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety’s new Chief, and Gavin Fujioka was sworn in a as Deputy Chief today during a ceremony hosted by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino today. Maui Now.

100% affordable rental project pitched for Waiehu. $33.5M Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua would develop 120 units on MEO land. The $33.5 million project, called Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua Affordable Housing Community, would be developed with Hale Mahaolu and units would be rented to adults of all ages who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income. Maui News.


6 years later, Coco Palms permits still alive. While concerns for traffic, climate change and shoreline setbacks were brought up in regards to the Coco Palms property during Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, there was little commissioners could do as representatives gave their annual status update on the demolition and progress of the ill-fated resort. Garden Island.

Teachers plead for safer conditions. Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School teachers lined the sidewalk outside of their Puhi campus Tuesday morning 6 feet apart, wearing masks, modeling a safety precaution that is all-but-impossible inside their full classrooms. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Legislature mulls sunscreen ban, magic mushrooms, recreational marijuana, gambling, bestiality and more, Big Pharma fine could boost state budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Rinsing off baby at Kona beach ©2021 All Hawaii News

 Bill adds new ingredients to state’s sunscreen ban. HB 102, HD 1, which seeks to amend Section 342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding avobenzone and octocrylene to the list of banned ingredients, has been making its way through the state House of Representatives and is scheduled to be heard today by the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Court’s Massive $834 Million Fine Against Drug Makers Could Boost State Budget.
The penalty would go directly to the state’s general fund, but not until all legal appeals are exhausted, which could drag on for two years or even longer, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said at a press conference Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Bill could help Hawaii’s tenant-landlord dispute backlog. Hawaii’s court systems have been slowly returning to service since December, but a tsunami of cases are on the horizon once the state’s moratorium on evictions eventually ends. KHON2.

Beefing Over Control Of Hawaii’s Meat Processing Industry. A bill scheduled to be heard Wednesday targets an investor who has gained control of 70% of Hawaii’s meat processing capacity. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Advances Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana. Another bill approved by the committee would decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Permitted In Hawaii?
A bill before the Legislature would remove psilocybin from the federal register of Schedule I drugs. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Bill outlawing animal sexual abuse gains traction in Legislature. A bill that would make sexually assaulting an animal a felony is moving through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Home Lands gambling bill debate pushed to Thursday. A key Senate committee postponed decision-making until Thursday on whether to allow a controversial gambling bill that would allow the possibility for generating revenue for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands through some form of legalized gaming — and break Hawaii’s prohibition on any form of legal gambling. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Clamping Down On Gov’s Emergency Powers. Hawaii isn’t the only state worried that a governor’s emergency orders are in need of better oversight. Civil Beat.

Youth vaping rates keep rising in Hawaii.
More Hawaii high school students are trying vaping and getting hooked, with the rate of daily vaping more than doubling over two years, while use of alcohol and cigarettes is dropping. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Deadly winter weather delays COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Hawaii.
Efforts to further curtail the spread of the virus in Hawaii hit a snag this week, as state health officials reported that a record-breaking winter storm on the mainland that left millions without power and resulted in at least 20 deaths had delayed some shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to the islands. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Vaccination Hesitation: How the Lack of Access Affects Trust from the Pacific Islander Community. Hawaii’s Pacific Islander communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not clear if they are actually receiving the vaccine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lab reporting issue leads to Tuesday's low COVID-19 case count. Hawaii health officials reported 17 new COVID-19 infections statewide on Tuesday, an undercount due to a laboratory reporting error. The 17 cases recorded Tuesday included 13 on Oahu, three on Maui, and one resident diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Low case numbers move Honolulu closer to Tier 3. Honolulu, for the first time, is expected to hit its metrics today for moving into the less restrictive Tier 3 of the city’s COVID-19 Reopening Framework from the current Tier 2. Star-Advertiser.

2 Louisiana residents accused of bribing Honolulu airport screener with $3,000 to bypass quarantine. The state Department of the Attorney General charged two Louisiana residents with bribing airport screeners in an attempt to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory Safe Travels rules after arriving Friday at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State officials begin to clear ‘literal potpourri of useless junk’ from Waimainalo site. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the site, formerly home to Dragon Garden—Hawaii Bonsai Cultural Center, may take several weeks to clear out. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Bill to let OHA build Kakaako Makai condos advances. The on-and-off battle over development of Kakaako Makai has flared up again as state lawmakers consider the latest measures aimed at allowing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to put residential housing in the oceanfront region of urban Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island At 43.4 Percent Renewable Energy.
Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up nearly 10 percent this year, as the company says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years. Big Island Video News.

Puna roads update given: Administration provides tentative estimates for restoration of Pohoiki Road, Highway 137. Parts of Pohoiki Road which have been buried in lava for nearly three years finally might be excavated later this year, county officials estimate. Tribune-Herald.


Hospital workers call for fair raises. Maui Health System workers are calling for fairer raises in the face of a proposed 0 percent increase in pay over the first year of their new contract. Maui News.

O‘ahu Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Travel Quarantine. Daniel Gildenbrand, 24, was arrested on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, after arriving on Maui without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and no approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Housekeeping measure triggers closer look at county code. The Kaua‘i County Council recently received a two-decade-old bill affecting public access. Garden Island.

Small businesses band together. Last week, more than 50 frustrated business owners gathered at the Olympic Cafe in Kapa‘a to discuss ways to keep their businesses open. Garden Island.