Showing posts with label inflation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inflation. Show all posts

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Happy Hawaii, panel mulls legislative term limits, state tops national ranking for COVID response, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hula dancer ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii May Not Be The Richest State, But It Is One Of The Happiest. The bad news: Hawaii has a large percentage of people living close to the edge. The good news: they tend to be happier here than their peers elsewhere. Civil Beat.

Panel discusses proposals for legislative term limits. A panel created by the state House of Representatives to recommend reforms after two former lawmakers admitted taking bribes discussed proposals to establish term limits for legislators at a meeting Wednesday. Associated Press. KHON2.

Political Newcomer Sergio Alcubilla Is Seeking To Oust US Rep. Ed Case. Alcubilla admits his candidacy is a long shot, but he’s hoping his stance on social spending will propel him in the Democratic primary. Civil Beat.

Duke Aiona announces gubernatorial run. James “Duke” Aiona, a former Circuit Court judge who served as lieutenant governor, announced Wednesday his latest run to become governor as a Republican. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii's main staple -- rice -- could eat up more of the family budget. The cost of rice is now at a 12-month high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That means the price of a 25 pound bag of rice here has jumped $2 over the past six months -- putting a big dent into the wallets of many local families. KITV4.

Marine ecologist warns deep-sea mining will hurt fishing. A marine ecology researcher told a panel sponsored by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on Wednesday that deep-sea mining will have a negative impact on Pacific fisheries. Douglas McCauley, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said seabed mining claims have been staked by nations and private contractors in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii tops national ranking for COVID-19 response. Hawaii has ranked first in the nation for its management of the COVID-19 pandemic, faring much better than other states on metrics such as pandemic-related deaths, vaccination rates and strains on hospital resources, according to an assessment by the Commonwealth Fund, which focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of the country’s health care system and improving access to care. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Health reports 7,199 new infections, 9 coronavirus-related deaths.
The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, decreased to 18.9% from 19.2% reported last week. It is the first decrease in the positivity rate reported after two-and-a-half months of consecutive increases. Star-Advertiser.


Another $1.1 billion sought to address Red Hill. The tab for the Navy’s Red Hill calamity could double to $2.2 billion, which includes estimated costs for repairing the fuel facility so that it can be safely drained, remediating the environment and reimbursing service members and their family members who were displaced last year when jet fuel contaminated their drinking water, among other costs. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii consumers are seeing higher costs, but there is some hope for relief as Honolulu sees a dip in inflation. Oahu’s rolling 12-month inflation rate ticked down in May to 7.0% from the prior 12-month measurement of 7.5% in March, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Star-Advertiser.

In effort to save lives, Honolulu firefighters to add opioid overdose reversal drug to their trucks. Honolulu firefighters will soon be joining the list of first responders who can administer Narcan, a a medicine that can instantly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Hawaii News Now.

2 LGBTQ businesses add new claims to their legal challenge against Liquor Commission. Two businesses that filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Honolulu Liquor Commission have added new claims to their legal challenge. Hawaii News Now.

Communities post ‘Free Stores’ around Oahu. Pick up or drop off free plants, books and canned goods at a ‘free store’ in a local neighborhood. The community is helping each other by setting up these free stores in 16 neighborhoods around the island. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Final death knell for tax relief this year. The public said it wanted it, the administration said the county could afford it, but there will be no property tax relief this year, after the County Council on Wednesday couldn’t agree on either of two competing proposals. West Hawaii Today.

Bill to ban most sunscreens passes. All but two kinds of sunscreen will be banned on the Big Island under a bill passed Wednesday by the County Council. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Council passes resolution supporting gun control. The Hawaii County administration on Wednesday collectively urged U.S. lawmakers to pass gun safety measures. Tribune-Herald.

UH Hilo receiving nearly $6M for college prep program. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded four grants to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hiloʻs Upward Bound program over the next five years. Hawaii Public Radio.


Maui residents may get to vote on creating an East Maui Community Water Authority. The Maui County Council is considering whether a question should be added to the ballot this November for voters to decide on creating a local water authority in East Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui police chief addresses union survey showing low morale. Chief John Pelletier pointed out that his team is working to address many of the issues outlined by the SHOPO survey. He quoted the Harvard Business Review’s assessment that organizational change takes five to seven years to properly complete. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Maui News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Wedding business seeks approvals to use Makena property. A longtime Maui wedding business that operated at a Makena property for 25 years without permits secured one of several required approvals Tuesday to legally hold events and weddings at the private property. Maui News.


Lawmakers mull charter amendment on affordable housing. Resolution No. 2022-22 introduced at council Wednesday proposes an amendment to the county charter that would allocate at least 2% of property-tax revenues each year to a housing-development fund, a step that proponents hope can put a dent in the ongoing affordable-housing crisis. Garden Island.

Corals left ‘baking in the sun’ at ‘Anini Beach. Hanalei Marine Biologist Terry Lilley said Wednesday that king tides were having a negative effect at ‘Anini Beach Park. Garden Island.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Prices rise, workers quit, food stamps increase in Hawaii economy, COVID-19 wastewater monitoring to start this summer, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Shoppers and strollers in Waikiki ©2022 All Hawaii News
Why Businesses Are Passing Their Rising Costs On To Consumers. The price of groceries rose almost 12% in March compared with the same month a year ago, while gasoline prices increased almost 40%. Civil Beat.

A Record Number of Hawai‘i Workers Quit Their Jobs in 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data shows that 222,000 local employees had voluntarily resigned. In September alone, about 38,000 people quit – 6.6% of the local workforce and the highest rate for that month in the nation. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Amid growing need, extra food stamp benefits extended to end of May
. According to the Department of Human Services, nearly 200,000 people in Hawaii rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. State officials say it is a 36% increase from prior to the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Bill would expedite farmland transfers. While two state agencies continue to vie over management of about 100,000 acres of state land set aside for agriculture, lawmakers are pushing a bill to expedite the transfer of those lands to support local farming and ranching. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers still practicing gut-and-replace surgery on bills
. The Hawaii Supreme Court laid down a precedent-setting November ruling that invalidated a 2018 law stemming from a gut-and-replace maneuver, designating certain aspects of the practice as unconstitutional. Yet at least two examples of bills that could easily be considered an affront to the court’s decision popped up recently at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Authority is operating on an extremely tight deadline to award its largest contract to supply destination management services and promote Hawaii to the U.S. market, the state’s most important visitor source market. Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has always had HTA’s top contract and is expected to bid for the next one. Star-Advertiser.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs might get more of what it’s owed from the state of Hawaii.
A bill that the House of Representatives approved unanimously Tuesday would raise an annual sum the state pays OHA to $21.5 million, up from $15.1 million, as another interim effort to satisfy a state obligation rooted in Hawaii’s Constitution. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schools could soon offer free menstrual products. State legislators are close to passing Senate Bill 2821, which would appropriate about $1 million to the Department of Education to provide menstrual pads and tampons because many students can’t afford them. Hawaii News Now.

Bills target abandoned cars: ‘Big penalty’ sought for those who leave the vehicles. House Bills 1411 through 1414 propose harsher penalties for owners of derelict vehicles that could generate millions of dollars for the state per year. Tribune-Herald.

Monitoring for COVID-19 in Hawaii wastewater expected to start this summer. A growing number of studies show the value of wastewater monitoring not only as an early detection system for trends in coronavirus cases in a community, but for the presence of variants such as BA.2. and other potential mutations on the horizon. Star-Advertiser.

COVID cases likely three times more than reported. During a livestream on Friday, infectious disease expert and Senior Fellow in the Research Program at East-West Center on Oahu Dr. Tim Brown speculated cases could be underreported “by about a factor of three.” Tribune-Herald.


Ikaika Anderson’s Honolulu City Council resignation raises questions in lieutenant governor race. Ikaika Anderson is prepared to explain to voters why he resigned his Windward City Council seat in 2020 saying he wanted to focus on caring for his Waimanalo grandparents who raised him, but ended up working for a mason’s union job that he left after nine months. Star-Advertiser.

Public weighs in on Ala Wai flood-control proposals. Under consideration is dredging the canal, adding raised walls along its banks and adding earthen/silt berms to divert floodwaters into Ala Wai Park, the golf course and neighboring school grounds, partially restoring the area’s former wetlands and kalo paddies. Star-Advertiser.

Coming back from a crime at nonprofit ʻŌlelo Community Media. Roger McKeaugue joined ʻŌlelo Community Media in April 2021 as head of the nonprofit at a delicate time. In the previous month, a former vice president had pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling money from the organization, including CARES Act funding. Hanalei Apioalani was sentenced to 46 months in prison. Hawaii Public Radio.

Developer of Hawaii Ocean Plaza gives update on project. The city of Honolulu has cited a development project for not taking care of its build site along Kapiolani Boulevard. The complaint involves the homeless visiting a two story building on the property, overgrown weeds and a broken fence. This comes as the developer missed key deadlines for permits. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bugs still being worked out of EPIC: Some building permits still stuck in the system. Hawaii County continues to work the bugs out of its online building permit system, but some testifiers to the county Cost of Government Commission aren’t convinced it’s happening fast enough. West Hawaii Today.

Council to view presentation on ‘dark sky’ initiatives. Hawaii County could save money and attract tourists by reducing light pollution, according to a presentation by a Big Island activist to be heard this week by the County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Ige releases $1.5M for Puako sewer plans. A long-anticipated project to improve water quality and protect the coral reef by replacing cesspools at Puako with a sewer system is finally moving forward with the announcement Friday that Gov. David Ige has released $1.5 million to get the design work started. West Hawaii Today.

Honokaa cockfight draws hundreds: Alleged organizer arrested; 21 chickens killed. According to a Tribune-Herald search of previous stories and media releases by the Hawaii Police Department, the last time a cockfighting arrest ended up with criminal charges on the Big Island was on March 30, 2019, also in Honokaa. Tribune-Herald.


Months after social host law took effect, no citations issued. Questions surround enforcement of law, which police chief calls ‘unconstitutional’. No citations have been issued under a county law holding adult hosts accountable for underage drinking at house parties on Maui, more than six months since the measure was implemented. Maui News.

Kama plans two changes to county’s Taser rules, slated to be heard Friday. Council Member Tasha Kama in a news release said that the planned changes include consolidating the county’s administrative responsibilities for electric gun dealer licensing and clarifying the business insurance requirements for electric gun sellers. Maui Now.

Cleaning This Polluted Maui Harbor Requires Money, Land And Oysters. The County Council will vote on whether to approve $9.5 million for a state-of-the art wastewater treatment plant in Maalaea. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Maui airport sees faster processing, fewer disorderlies in wake of Safe Travels. The leader of Maui district airports said Kahului Airport processing times and disorderly traveler incidents have subsided since Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels program was lifted three weeks ago.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i legislators return donations tied to bribery figure
. Following a February bribery scandal, some Kaua‘i lawmakers have made moves to distance themselves from money tied to the central figure in the case. Garden Island.

Owner reunited with stolen canoe on Kauai after weeks-long search. A canoe stolen on Kauai in early April has been found and returned to its rightful owner. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Vicky Cayetano weighs gubernatorial bid, Hawaii prices climb, Ige speaks out against harassing monk seals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Hawaii News Now
Vicky Cayetano PC:Hawaii News Now from video

Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano weighs bid for governor. Former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano is considering a run for governor next year to bring a “fresh perspective” to the position.
 Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. Civil Beat.

Hawaii residents feel the burden of rising prices as pent-up demand drives up costs. The latest local data from May showed inflation in Honolulu at a rate of 3.8%. Hawaii News Now.

Other States Have Tough Police Standards Boards. Hawaii’s Is Still Struggling. Almost every other state has professional staff and funding dedicated to overseeing law enforcement. Hawaii has neither. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige warns that visitors who touch Hawaiian monk seals ‘will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law’. The widely circulated videos of the two visitors touching monk seals have angered many Hawaii residents. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the recent incidents. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Several state bills protecting resources signed into law. The 2021 legislative session has ended with nearly a dozen new laws protecting natural and cultural resources in the state. Tribune-Herald.

The Rev. Bob Nakata, a former Hawaii legislator, was advocate for the needy.
The Rev. Bob Nakata, who served single terms in both the state House and Senate and helped lead the fight for affordable housing on Oahu, died Monday at the age of 80 after suffering a stroke two years ago.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii astronomers ‘frustrated’ by wild speculation about ‘Oumuamua. There is still much that scientists do not know about ‘Oumuamua, the interstellar object that was discovered passing through our solar system in 2017. But most agree that it probably isn’t the work of aliens. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii sees 48 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 38,653. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 25 new cases on Oahu, seven on Maui, six on Hawaii Island, two on Kauai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu's pedestrian plan will be finalized soon.
Have an idea of how to make your walk safer? Let the City and County of Honolulu know, because it will soon finalize its "pedestrian plan". KITV4.

Navy request for 5-year permit to operate underground Red Hill fuel tanks raises red flags. State environmental regulators said this week that the Navy has not proved it can safely operate its underground Red Hill fuel tanks, which in recent years have been the subject of mounting concerns over leaks and groundwater contamination. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Fire truck goes up in flames. A fire truck from Pohakuloa Training Area caught fire Wednesday morning on Saddle Road. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Brush Fire Burns In North Hawaiʻi, Closes Kawaihae Road. A brush fire lit up the sky in North Hawaiʻi late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, and forced the closure of Kawaihae Road. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Removal of Invasive Vegetation to Temporarily Close Historic Park. The park is slated to be closed on Monday, July 26. Big Island Now.


Proposal looks to change council districts, election of members. Commission to begin vetting changes to County Charter. Proposals that would redraw Maui County Council districts and alter the way members are elected are among dozens of potential changes to local government that the Maui Charter Commission will vet over the next six months. Maui News.

New Long-Term Rental Exemption and Classification in Effect Jan. 1. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, real property occupied as a long-term rental, with a signed contract to lease for 12 consecutive months or longer to the same tenant, may qualify an owner for an exemption of up to $200,000. Maui Now.

Councilmember Says Upcountry Maui Water Restrictions Not Related to Resorts. Drought conditions on Maui have led county officials to declare a water conservation alert for Upcountry residents, sparking some controversy among those who thought nearby hotels should be asked to conserve water as well. Hawaii Public Radio.

FONSI Filed for Proposed Hale Pilina Family Affordable Rental Housing Project in Kahului. A Final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact determination was made for the Hale Pilina Family Affordable Rental Housing Project proposed for development in Kahului, Maui. Maui Now.

Lanai May Finally Get An Affordable Housing Project. It Might Even Get 2. Two affordable housing projects proposed by Maui County and Pulama Lanai could boost the island’s low-income housing stock for the first time in nearly three decades. Civil Beat.


Wailua wastewater effluent exceedance in effect. The county Department of Public Works Wastewater Management Division advised that a wastewater effluent exceedance occurred Tuesday at the Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant. The measured enterococci level has exceeded the permitted limit. Garden Island.

Vehicle-disposal-fee waiver in effect until Aug. 2
. Residents may continue to waive junk-car-disposal fees if proper paperwork is presented to the Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration division. Garden Island.