Showing posts with label minimum wage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minimum wage. Show all posts

Friday, December 29, 2023

Hawaii tourism's slow return, minimum wage hike, new gun laws kick in Monday, Lahaina restaurant workers get $600 gift cards, four inmates indicted in OCC beating death, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii up slightly, but spending drops.  Some 731,233 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in November, up just 0.3% from November 2022. Star-Advertiser.

In encouraging sign for tourism, Japanese visitor arrivals to Hawaii on the rise. Just under 63,000 Japanese tourists arrived in Hawaii last month, which is a 142% increase from November 2022. Arrivals are still not quite at pre-COVID levels, but, spending is seeing an increase. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Minimum Wage To Increase To $14 On Monday.  The increase is required under a 2022 law that incrementally increases the wage to $16 per hour on Jan. 1, 2026, and to $18 per hour on Jan. 1, 2028. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Kaleo Manuel Became A Cause Celebre For Maui Water. Now He’s Leaving The State Water Commission Without Saying Why. The deputy water commissioner told one state lawmaker he didn't want to be 'an obstacle.'  Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.


Oahu gun owners frustrated over new firearm law. The Honolulu Police Department has not certified any instructors yet, therefore it will be impossible to get a permit. KITV4.

City releases ‘Complete Streets’ report. Honolulu has released its 2023 “Complete Streets” progress report, which details finished and ongoing projects underway for people walking, biking and accessing transit on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Attorney Michael Green sued for alleged sexual harassment.
A former client of attorney Michael Jay Green filed a “Jane Doe” lawsuit against him and his law firm alleging he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted her. Star-Advertiser.

Four inmates indicted in OCCC beating death.
An Oahu grand jury indicted four Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates for manslaughter in the death of inmate Christopher Vaefaga, 36. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

NOAA surveying shoreline in case whale calf spotted around Waikiki comes back. Honolulu Ocean Safety and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responded to a call Wednesday afternoon to a humpback whale calf that was separated from its mother. The calf was spotted swimming very close to shore at Fort DeRussy Beach. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

New Firearm Permitting Law Takes Effect Starting 2024. The Hawaiʻi Police Department detailed the changes to the application form in a Thursday news release. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i County’s top leadership to get pay raises for first time in 5 years.
  Officials  will receive a 22.44% inflation adjustment increase starting Jan. 1 and a 5% pay raise in July. Big Island Now.

County seeks to fill Community Development Plan Action Committees. The County of Hawaiʻi seeks applicants for its Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committees for Kona and Puna.  Big Island Now.


New rules on Maui Police Department’s concealed carry weapon policy go into effect. Any concealed carry weapons license applications submitted before January 1, 2024, but are pending approval will not be subject to the new rules. Maui Now.

Thousands of Lahaina restaurant workers to receive $600 prepaid debit cards.  Thousands of Lahaina restaurant workers are scheduled to receive financial aid in the form of $600 prepaid debit cards following a fundraiser by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Hawaii Public Radio.

Parents And Teachers Say Schools Must Do More To Help Those Still Traumatized By Lahaina Fire.
Campuses have expanded their mental health resources, but some people say the response has been inadequate. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Disaster Recovery Center hours to change Tuesday.
The Lahaina Disaster Recovery Center will have shorter hours next year, starting Tuesday, Jan. 2, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Survivor shares video of his dramatic Lahaina escape in bid to share a powerful message. Nearly five months after the Maui wildfires killed at least 100 people, a Lahaina man is sharing dramatic videos of his escape. Hawaii News Now.


County seeks approval for ‘Waimea 400’ affordable housing.
As the County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency works to obtain land use and environmental approvals for a new affordable housing development on the island’s westside, the agency is asking members of the public to weigh in on plans for the future project. Garden Island.

Home sales hold steady, price eases. A weary housing market showed a spark of life in the penultimate month of 2023, as sales of single-family homes were on par with the same period a year earlier on the island of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Party official wants hearing on new Supreme Court justice's ties to super PAC, new assistant superintendent named to manage school money, another lawsuit in Maui fire aftermath, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Public Hearing Sought On New Supreme Court Justice’s Ties to Super PAC. A state Democratic Party official wants the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold another hearing on Vladimir Devens because the Supreme Court designate did not disclose his involvement with the Pacific Resource Partnership’s political action committee. Civil Beat.

After Spending Debacle, DOE Appoints New Assistant Superintendent To Oversee School Facilities. The Hawaii Department of Education has a new official responsible for overseeing campus facilities as it struggles to handle millions of dollars in capital improvement project funds.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Prison Chief Wants Department Changes To Bring ‘Paradigm Shift’. Tommy Johnson will become the director of Corrections and Rehabilitation after the Public Safety Department is dissolved on Monday. Civil Beat.

Minimum wage to increase to $14 on Jan. 1. Act 114 incrementally increases the minimum wage to $16 per hour Jan. 1, 2026, and to $18 per hour Jan. 1, 2028. Big Island Now. KITV4.

Food insecurity rises in Hawaii amid increasing costs. A new study from nonprofit Hunger Free America found that 137,000 people across the state lived in food-insecure households between 2020 and 2022 — including 14.7% of children, 8.3% of employed adults and 4.4% of older residents. Star-Advertiser.


Feds back effort to make Honolulu streets safer. Under the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program, a $1.67 million grant to the city’s Department of Transportation Services will allow for the study of alternate roadway configurations and improvements to pedestrian safety on Beretania Street, Kapiolani Boulevard and Wilder Avenue as well as on South King, Young, Piikoi and Kaheka streets, the city says. Star-Advertiser.

Task force seizes 17 more tons of fireworks. The Illegal Fireworks Task Force, operated under the state Department of Law Enforcement, seized about 17 tons of illegal fireworks at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday from a shipping container that falsely declared its contents as “other items,” the DLE announced in a news release. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

State looks for new contractor to remove Falls of Clyde from Honolulu Harbor.
The state transportation department will try again to get a third party to remove the worn-down Falls of Clyde ship from Honolulu Harbor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monster waves roll into Oahu’s North Shore,
creating dangerous conditions in the water and on shore. Honolulu Ocean Safety says they’ve got all hands on deck Wednesday with dangerous conditions across the North Shore, including powerful shore breaks and strong rip currents. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Cell tower raises concerns
: Proposed project in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates would be located near Kahuku Park. At a Dec. 7 meeting of the Windward Planning Commission, Ocean View resident Colleen Conifer successfully petitioned for a contested case against a plan by Renegade Towers LLC to build a telecommunication facility — including a 150-tall cell tower and an equipment storage space — on a 4,994-square-foot portion of a parcel roughly 700 feet from Kahuku Park at the intersection of Paradise Circle Makai and Keaka Parkway. Tribune-Herald.

Federal plan limits number of helicopter tours in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. It's expected that there will be nearly 10,000 fewer helicopter and air tours a year at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on Hawaiʻi Island under a new plan from the federal government. Hawaii Public Radio.


Kula residents sue Maui utilities over damage caused by wildfire. Dozens of Kula residents, represented by law firm Singleton Schreiber, have filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Maui Electric Co., claiming that the utilities are responsible for the Kula fire. Star-Advertiser.

Petition garners 5,287 signatures against use of Olowalu as a fire debris disposal site. The petition from a family on Olowalu Village Road says even temporary storage of these substances from the Aug. 8 wildfires “poses great risk of causing irreversible damage to soil, water, air, the ocean and people.” Maui Now.

Hundreds protest in Olowalu against proposed dump site for toxic fire debris
. West Maui families are protesting in opposition to a proposed dump site for toxic fire debris south of Lahaina. Hawaii News Now.

$900K to market Maui to ‘respectful’ Canadian visitors. Tourism officials said visitors to Maui from Canada accounted for almost 8% of arrivals before Tuesday, Aug. 8. KHON2.


County seeks approval for ‘Waimea 400’ affordable housing. County seeks approval for ‘Waimea 400’ affordable housing.  As the County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency works to obtain land use and environmental approvals for a new affordable housing development on the island’s westside, the agency is asking members of the public to weigh in on plans for the future project. Garden Island.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Legislature mulls minimum wage, clean elections, gambling junket tax, other bills; state ponders Mauna Kea chemical spill, Maui school must build pedestrian overpass, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bill for local minimum wages introduced in state Legislature. A bill that would allow counties in Hawaiʻi to set local minimum wages by ordinance, as long as those wages are higher than the state minimum wage, has been introduced at the state Legislature. Maui Now. KITV4.

‘Clean elections’ bill gains support.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed unanimously a bill to establish a comprehensive public financing system for political candidates running for state and county offices who agree to abide by campaign fundraising and expenditure guidelines. Tribune-Herald.

Love to gamble? Lawmakers want to tax those junkets to the 9th Island. That quick junket to the Ninth Island — or any other gambling location — could cost you a lot more under a proposal moving in the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

New bill proposes an outright ban to riding in truck beds.
Should the law prohibit people from riding in the back of pickup trucks? A new bill moving through the Legislature raises safety concerns around the issue, as traffic fatalities continue to rise. KHON2.

Blinding headlights to be regulated by new bill. To improve road safety, a bill to require proper headlight beam height is being proposed.  KHON2.

Hawaii Legislature Proposes More Aid For Kupuna Housing.
Lawmakers want to create a new rental subsidy program targeted at those 62 years and older. Civil Beat.

Various criminal acts would be subject to fines instead of arrests
. A bill aimed at curbing overcrowding in Hawaii’s jails has cleared its first legislative hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

Bill looks to install photovoltaic panels over school playgrounds. Not only would the move shield children from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, installing the solar arrays would also help offset electricity costs for the department, according to House Bill 896. West Hawaii Today.

Why Blind Students Struggle To Get Braille Textbooks On Time. Legislators are considering a bill that would force public schools to provide timely instructional material. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Is Short Medical Workers.
Are Interstate Compacts The Solution?. A string of bills allowing the state to join different industry compacts will be heard in the Senate on Friday, with lawmakers hoping that their passage will expand medical access. Civil Beat.


Council committee advances DPP director nominee. The Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Planning and the Economy voted unanimously Thursday to advance Dawn Takeuchi Apuna toward leading the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Waiahole Valley residents on Oahu fear mass eviction. A rural Windward Oahu community where physical standoffs occurred five decades ago between a private landlord and tenants is once again the scene of intense discord over rent, though this time the landlord is the state. Star-Advertiser.

Application process opens for ‘affordable’ units in Kuilei Place. Situated on a 3.15-acre site currently occupied by low-rise rentals near the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Mahiai Street, the project will receive upward of $12.3 million in exemptions and waivers for city permitting, plan reviews, fire, storm drain and public works fees. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators take another run at lifting residential ban on Kakaʻako Makai. Lawmakers are considering a bill to allow the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to build housing units in Kakaʻako, makai of Ala Moana Boulevard. However, a 17-year-old ban on residential development in the area is still in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

Autopsy: South African rugby player killed by Honolulu police had CTE. A Black former professional rugby player from South Africa shot by police months after moving to Hawaii suffered from a degenerative brain disease often found in American football players and other athletes subjected to repeated head trauma, autopsy results show. Associated Press.

Sea Life Park Facelift Moves Ahead. The Honolulu City Council is moving toward approval of a major facelift and refurbishment of a popular marine life entertainment center on a spectacular land parcel on eastern Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State mulls next steps following incident at Maunakea telescope. The scope and impact of a chemical leak last month at a Maunakea observatory remain unclear, according to University of Hawaii officials. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii preschool at center of contentious dispute with state closes its doors. An unlicensed preschool in Hilo ordered to close last fall, partly over lead concerns, is now shut down for good. Staff at Kalamapii Playschool are moving out after the facility’s lease was terminated. Hawaii News Now.

Final EA On Miloliʻi Beach Park Project Published. The Miloliʻi Beach Park Accessibility Improvement Project will bring the pavilion and other park amenities into ADA compliance. Big Island Video News.

Two Big Island resorts among top 15 in country by U.S. News & World Report. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island was ranked No. 6 on the latest “Best Hotels in the USA” list by U.S. News & World Report.  Big Island Now.


New Maui High School: Opening Date Uncertain After DOE Agrees To Build Overpass. The construction project will likely take years to complete, further delaying the school's opening. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

‘Welcome to Paia, Do Not Feed the Hippies’ sign doesn’t reflect the town, residents say
. While some got a laugh out of a new Pāʻia road sign that mocks hippies, longtime area residents said it’s derogatory and divisive during a time when the historic town needs help. Maui Now.


Affordable housing nonprofit buys Hoku Foods building in Kapa‘a.  The affordable housing nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living has bought the Hoku Building in Kapa‘a, which features 14 apartments and Hoku Foods Natural Market. Garden Island.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay set to open Wednesday.  After nearly three years of renovations, the former St. Regis Princeville Resort is reopening under a new luxury hotel brand focused on sustainability and local ties. Garden Island.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Minimum wage hike put into place, tourists spend more but visit less, gun laws take shape, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pay Raise Activated for Minimum Wage Workers in Hawaii. Starting Saturday, Hawaii's minimum wage will increase from 10 dollars and 10 cents, to 12 dollars an hour. That will amount to a near 300 dollar monthly increase for minimum wage workers. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Local tourism businesses reliant on Japanese market continue to tread water.
Japan is set to relax more restrictions for inbound and outbound travelers on Oct. 11, but some businesses aren’t banking on an influx of visitors just yet. Industry watchers say Japan’s yen has dropped to its lowest in nearly three decades and that's a problem. Hawaii Public Radio.

Spending soars, but arrivals lag behind 2019 level. Visitor spending in Hawaii is soaring, though arrivals have continued to lag behind pre-pandemic counts and could see further slowdowns given the possibility of a U.S. recession and ongoing global economic challenges. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s attorney general declines to prosecute SHOPO leadership.
The state Department of the Attorney General has declined to charge two leaders of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers with misdemeanor extortion in connection with allegations contained in a civil suit filed by an ousted board member. Star-Advertiser.

In a dangerous trend, aircraft in Hawaii are increasingly being targeted with laser lights. Aviation officials confirm there are more laser strikes happening in Hawaii per capita than anywhere else in the country. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiser Mental Health Workers Not Backing Down From Demands For Better Patient Care.
The union and health care provider will try to meet again next week to negotiate an agreement. Civil Beat.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi proposes banning guns in schools, parks and other locations. In preparation for the issuance of permits for Honolulu citizens to carry guns in public, Mayor Rick Blangiardi said today he is proposing prohibiting firearms in schools, government buildings, parks, voting locations, and public transportation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Navy Releases Another 1,000 Gallons Of Raw Sewage Into Pearl Harbor. The leak comes as community members are increasingly critical of the military’s treatment of Hawaii’s environment. More than 1,000 gallons of wastewater spilled into Pearl Harbor on Thursday from a 12-inch wastewater line that broke, the Navy announced Thursday afternoon. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

More than 100 repairs to pipelines at Red Hill fuel facility are needed. A new military assessment has identified 153 repairs that need to be made to the pipelines at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in order to safely defuel it. That’s on top of 43 critical repairs identified five months ago by Simpson, Gumpertz &Heger, a third-party contractor, only five of which have since been completed. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Recently completed UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy building finally in full use.
Shortly after the award-winning Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy building at the University of Hawaii at Hilo was honored with a blessing ceremony in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing many students to miss out on the innovative new structure. Tribune-Herald.

Tensions remain high over ocean access at Waipio Valley.
10 days after the mayor reopened Waipio Valley Road on a limited basis, no one seems to be happy about how it’s working. Hawaii News Now.


Hotly debated Maui County affordable housing sales price guidelines approved.
Despite objections from local for-sale affordable housing developers and Maui County’s administration, rules that establish new affordable housing sales price guidelines narrowly passed second and final reading Tuesday at Maui County Council. Maui Now.

Maui County public schools get more than $5.8M to support low-income communities. Hawai‘i K-12 schools will receive $58,193,270 in new federal funding for the 2022-2023 school year to support programs aimed at helping educate students in low-income communities. Maui Now.

Mexican consulate to visit MEO to process passports, documents.
The Mexican Consulate returns to Maui Economic Opportunity for the second time this year from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1 and 2, to process passports, voter credentials, and other documents by appointment. Maui Now. Maui News.

Labor Dispute Spurs Media Union To File Complaint Against The Maui News.
The unfair labor practices claim alleges that union members were not allowed to observe contract talks. Civil Beat.


Kauaʻi Mayor Signs Bill To Increase Benefits to Farmers. Kauaʻi County Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami signed a bill on Monday that updates the county’s Agricultural Dedication program to provide increased benefits to farmers and lessen the burdensome red tape. Kauai Now.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hotel worker, nurse shortage persists, Honolulu backs off Sherwood Forest development plan, 'alarming' spike in ghost guns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Travel demand creating historic opportunities for Hawaii hotel employees, but labor shortage persists. Hawaii hotels are looking to fill thousands of jobs statewide as the hospitality industry, one of Hawaii’s top economic drivers, continues a recovery this year that’s projected to surpass 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Amid severe shortage of nurses, Hawaii nursing schools reject 100s of qualified applicants. While Hawaii’s hospitals grapple with a dire shortage of nurses, nursing schools across the state are rejecting hundreds of qualified applicants. The reason: There aren’t enough instructors to teach them. Hawaii News Now.

Minimum-wage increase coming Oct. 1. Hawai‘i’s minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour on Oct. 1, and then will go up by $2 every other year until it reaches $18 per hour on Jan. 1, 2028. Garden Island.

A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling has inmates in legal limbo — held behind bars even though their charges are no longer valid. Prosecutors grapple with ‘impossible’ situation after serious criminal charges against scores are invalidated. On Oahu alone, prosecutors have identified 160 people who were charged with serious crimes by criminal complaints whose cases now have to go before a grand jury for an indictment. Hawaii News Now.

Federal agencies report alarming spike in illegal ghost guns, attachments on Hawaii streets. Federal agents are sounding the alarm about illegally obtained ghost guns and other gun parts they’re finding in Hawaii homes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public schools: White teachers, Hawaiian students. For the 2020-2021 school year, there were 174,704 students attending Hawaii public schools, according to the annual report published by the State of Hawaii Department of Education. There were also 11,627 public school teachers. KHON2.

DLNR looking for volunteers for habitat restoration project at Kure Atoll. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for a six-month habitat restoration program at the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii, venture fund join to boost state’s growth. Mana Up, an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaii-based products, said Wednesday it is partnering with Bank of Hawaii to boost the success of Hawaii entrepreneurs in an effort to diversify the local economy. Star-Advertiser.

Shidler donates $1 million to UH’s law school. Business leader Jay H. Shidler has donated $1 million in cash to the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii to establish the Dean’s Innovation Fund, encouraging legal education that keeps pace with today’s fast-changing business landscape. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii health officials report 1,343 new COVID-19 infections, 10 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, increased slightly to 6.7% compared with 6.4% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Start of rail ridership hinges on damage, repairs to pillars. The severity of damage from hairline cracks on pillars that hold up the rail system’s overhead tracks could delay the launch of paid ridership expected early next year, the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said. Star-Advertiser.

A Major Overhaul Of Honolulu Land-Use Rules Has Been Quietly Advancing. Now, Some Say Not So Fast. The wide-ranging bill would change zoning rules for thousands of Oahu properties. But it has gone largely unnoticed until now. Civil Beat.

City agrees to cease controversial Waimanalo development project. A three-year battle to redevelop Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is now on hold indefinitely. The Blangiardi administration confirmed Wednesday a settlement with the Friends of Sherwood Forest and closed its Special Management Area Permit. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Neighborhood Parking Zones Are Still Not Being Set Up. Here’s Why. Oahu residents covet neighborhood street parking, but a pilot study to manage and restrict those spaces has been stuck in limbo for five years. Civil Beat.

Fatal ambulance fire linked to oxygen device. Preliminary findings from the investigation into a fatal ambulance fire in Kailua point to a portable oxygen regulator as the cause of the August incident. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Homeless roadmap: Permanent housing, detoxification lead priority list. Providing permanent housing with support systems and treating substance abuse problems in homeless individuals are the two top priorities for the use of some $10 million annually the county has devoted to homeless programs. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County Hires New Solid Waste Division Chief. The County announced Michael Rivera has been hired to head the Department of Environmental Management's Solid Waste Division, replacning acting chief Michael Kaha. Big Island Video News.

State agencies fail to find proof of reported big cat on Big Island. In August, a Holualoa man anonymously reported seeing a wildcat near his property, taking some blurry photographs of the animal before it scampered away. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui mayor, council move to acquire Lahaina Crossroads after tenants face eviction. After longtime residents, including kupuna on fixed incomes, spoke out about looming evictions at one of the last affordable apartment rentals left in Lahaina, county leaders are making moves to purchase the 20-unit Lahaina Crossroads, located building blocks away from Front Street. Maui Now.

Fishermen Spot First Humpback Whale of the Season off South Maui. It is the earliest sighting of the beloved mammals in the past 24 years. Maui Now.


Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Sponsors International Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday
. Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i is sponsoring a marine-debris cleanup at Nukoli‘i Beach on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of global International Coastal Cleanup Day. All are encouraged to attend. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Ige signs minimum wage hike, income tax rebate, Health and Education departments negotiate mask rules, new Honolulu police chief tackling burglary spree, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Office of the Governor
Ige signs minimum wage bill June 22, 2022. PC: Governor's Office
Hawaii minimum wage increase, tax rebate bills become law. Ige signed a bill that will increase Hawaii’s hourly minimum wage to $12 on Oct. 1 from $10.10, and be followed by three more step-ups through 2028. Ige also signed a separate piece of legislation Wednesday, Senate Bill 514, that will deliver $100 or $300 cash rebates to individual tax filers depending on their income, likely beginning in August via direct bank deposit or check. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lawmakers call for Hawaii to join others in dropping state gas tax. State lawmakers call for Hawaii to join others in dropping state gas tax following President Biden’s proposal on Wednesday. President Biden called on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months. Hawaii News Now.

State to distribute $80M to childcare providers grappling with shortages, costs. After more than two years of struggling with lower enrollment and staff shortages, Hawaii’s childcare providers are getting some much-needed relief. Hawaii News Now.

DOE, DOH in talks about school masking requirement. Indoor masking remains mandatory for public schools during summer programs, but discussions are underway between the Department of Education and the Department of Health regarding the upcoming fall semester. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases leveling off, but masking still urged. Although the daily averages of new COVID-19 cases are on the decline in Hawaii, health officials are warning the public that levels are still high enough to warrant indoor masking. The state’s average positivity rate also dropped to 17.1% compared with 18.9% reported June 15, according to DOH, marking the second consecutive weekly decline.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department reports 5,482 new infections, 15 coronavirus-related deaths. The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 5,482 new COVID-19 infections over the past week, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic past the 300,000 mark to 303,333 cases. DOH also reported 15 more deaths, bringing the state’s coronavirus-related death toll to 1,489. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu police investigating burglaries at 24 businesses. Honolulu police are investigating a series of 24 burglaries of businesses in four separate patrol districts since the end of April that detectives believe are being committed by the same crew of crooks, Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan told Honolulu police commissioners Wednesday afternoon. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Honolulu Police Program Aimed At Beefing Up Staffing Will Stay For Now. HPD’s new chief, Joe Logan, said he needs more time to assess the 3/12 program’s effectiveness amid a department staffing shortage. Civil Beat.

Community-driven shopping center breaks ground in Kapolei. Ho‘omaka Marketplace, a community-­driven shopping center where ground lease proceeds will benefit Native Hawaiians in the Kapolei Homestead Community, broke ground Wednesday morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Live skunk captured at Honolulu Harbor. Stevedores saw the young, male skunk on the dock and used a fishing net to capture the animal. Agricultural inspectors from the DOA picked up the animal at around 7:30 a.m. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki Aquarium bids aloha to its giant clam. The Waikiki Aquarium announced today that its beloved giant clam, or Tridacna gigas, died of suspected natural causes on Tuesday. The clam was believed to be the oldest of its species in captivity worldwide. It was more than 40 years old. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

She Took Her Fight For Her Grandson Public. A Hawaii Judge Said She Went Too Far. Big Island resident Deborah Goodwin says she had no choice but to speak to a reporter and file a lawsuit about her case because the confidential system had treated her unfairly. It backfired. Civil Beat.

NTSB: Helicopter crash that injured 6 caused by tail boom breaking off aircraft. A tour helicopter crash in Ka‘u that injured six people was caused by the tail boom of the aircraft separating from the fuselage at the point of attachment, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

ADA compliance project underway at Richardson park. The Department of Parks and Recreation has closed a portion of Richardson Ocean Park to improve access to the beach and comply with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Tribune-Herald.


County to consider next steps for criticized Napili project. Two Maui County Council committees will consider the county’s next steps — including the possibility of eminent domain — for a large controversial home in Napili that has drawn scrutiny for several months over its approval process and status. Maui News.

Maui Humane Society holding open houses about fostering dogs, cats and critters. The Maui Humane Society is teaming up with national nonprofit Petco Love and Skechers to focus on the fun in fostering pets, which is lifesaving and especially critical during the busy summer months. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i politicians keep funds tied to latest bribery case. Mayor Derek Kawakami and Senate President Ron Kouchi said they won't return campaign contributions from Honolulu businessman Dennis Mitsunaga, who was arrested last week on federal bribery charges. Garden Island.

Keiki and Junior Lifeguard program sold out. The week-long Keiki and Junior Lifeguard program demonstrates ocean awareness and lifesaving skills led by the instruction crew from the Ocean Safety Bureau. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Hawaii residents prefer to keep their masks on, wave of bills sent to governor, state leads the nation in building permit delays, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo Farmers Market ©2022 All Hawaii News

Survey: Support strong among Hawaii residents for continued mask-wearing for travel, other activities. More than half of Hawaii residents recently surveyed said they would still wear a face mask even if there are no COVID-19-related mandates requiring them to do so, according to SMS Hawaii, a market research and consulting company. Star-Advertiser.

HiPAM model shows possible surge in COVID-19 cases in every county. The Hawaii Pandemic Applied Modeling (HiPAM) workgroup has released its two-week COVID-19 forecast for all Hawaii counties. The forecast shows the weekly average positivity rate is on the rise. Plus, cases are spreading at a greater rate than what is being reported due to many residents taking at-home tests. KITV4.

Wave of bills that could become law sent to Gov. David Ige. Legislators sent about 250 bills to Gov. David Ige for consideration, including an $8.7 billion state operating budget engorged by a record revenue increase and a personal income tax refund bill. Also included were highly divisive measures to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage and restructure management of Mauna Kea, where astronomy is under fire. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lawmakers Pass Ban On Flavored E-Cigarettes Despite Intense Opposition. Hawaii’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes will land on the governor’s desk, having survived a rollercoaster legislative session that saw the bill near death on multiple occasions. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lawmakers approve changes to cash bail system.
A proposal approved by state lawmakers on Tuesday is raising concerns that Hawaii’s crime rate could go even higher. A bail reform bill sent to the governor for approval would allow those arrested for non-violent crimes, including felonies, to be released without having to pay bail. KHON2.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs on cusp of ceded-land revenue boost. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs stands to receive a lot more proceeds from the state’s public land trust, including $64 million retroactively, under a bill sent to Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Bill targeting plastic microbeads passes. Senate Bill 2290, which passed final reading Tuesday, would prohibit the manufacture of products containing microbeads — plastic particles less than 1 millimeter wide — beginning in July, and would ban their sale beginning next year. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i’s Building Permit Delays Top the Nation, Study Shows. A recent publication by Hawaiʻi economists found the state to be the most heavily regulated in the nation when it comes to homebuilding and that the average delay in issuing building permits is three times longer than the sample average. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Interest in Rep. Kai Kahele’s congressional seat grows. Several isle politicians have filed federal election papers to run for Kahele’s seat in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary, including Council Chair Tommy Waters, state Rep. Patrick Branco (D, Kailua-Kaneohe) and former state Sen. Jill Tokuda. Star-Advertiser.


Council considering stricter term limits for city elected officials. The Honolulu City Council is considering proposed charter amendments that would impose stricter term limits for Council members, the mayor and the prosecuting attorney, closing off a provision that has allowed some to hold office for more than eight years. Star-Advertiser.

Effort to unionize first Starbucks store in Hawaii fails. Employees at the Mililani Town Center Starbucks voted 8 to 7 Monday against joining the roughly 50 locations nationwide that have unionized. Associated Press.

Lawmakers appropriate $14M for state Lab plagued by leaky roof, mold problems
. State lawmakers Tuesday appropriated $14 million for the state Department of Health’s laboratory in Pearl City, which critics say has fallen into disrepair. Hawaii News Now.

A Mysterious Lawsuit Is Raising Concerns Over The Public’s Right To See Court Records. In an unusual example of government censorship, a state court judge has issued a gag order preventing a public interest lawyer from sharing details of a case that the lawyer says the judge improperly sealed. Civil Beat.

Hit by supply chain issues, Ted’s Bakery to take their pies off the grocery shelves. Ted’s Bakery announced Tuesday that by the end of this month, you’ll only be able to get their famous pies at their Sunset Beach Bakery on Oahu’s North Shore. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Tax relief unlikely: Council told tax cuts unlikely. There will be no property tax credit for homeowners this year, and in fact, there’s very little chance property owners in any tax category will see their tax bills go down, following advice Tuesday from the county Corporation Counsel and Finance Department director. West Hawaii Today.

Permit request for satellite receiver project withdrawn.
The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics submitted to the Windward Planning Commission a request for a special permit to build an array of 10 satellite dishes on a one-half acre rural lot in the sparsely populated area of Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald.

Preserving Kohala: BLNR approves subgrant of funding for trust to purchase Mahukona acreage. Hundreds of acres in North Kohala, rich in cultural sites and once slated for development, have been approved for purchase to be preserved and protected. Tribune-Herald.

Waipiʻo Valley Road To Close To All Traffic, May 9 to 13. The County of Hawaiʻi is requesting that all Waipiʻo residents plan for the temporary road closure accordingly. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Former Judge Bissen Is Top Fundraiser In Race For Maui Mayor. Former Judge Richard Bissen leads the Maui mayoral field with more than $176,000 in fundraising so far this year, according to new reports filed Monday with the state Campaign Spending Commission. Civil Beat.

Survey: Over half of employees in Maui County worked remotely during pandemic. Over half of Maui County workers transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are still at their home desks, a survey of more than 300 businesses and nearly 1,000 employees in Maui County has found. Maui News.


$600M bill will help fund Hanapepe DHHL project. A historic amount of funding for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands means more Native Hawaiians getting off the waitlist and into new homesteads on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Minimum wage hike, income tax rebate, tourism funding, coffee labeling, flavored vape ban on the table as Legislature enters final week, military tracks Russian vessel off Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved

Bill to raise Hawaiʻi's minimum wage to $18 by 2028 passes out of conference committee. The bill that left committee raises the state’s current $10.10 base pay to $18 in January 2028, two years behind what passed out of the House earlier in April. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Hawaii lawmakers approve payments of up to $300 for taxpayers, their dependents.
Under a rare rebate program approved by lawmakers Friday, taxpayers earning less than $100,000 annually and their dependents could each receive a $300 payment. Those earning more than $100,000 could get a rebate of $100. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers keep tourism agency funding alive. Lawmakers kept the Hawaii Tourism Authority alive by amending House Bill 1147, originally a capital improvements bill, just after Friday’s deadline for fiscal bills. Star-Advertiser.

Coffee labeling study ‘still a win’. Funding for an independent study of the economic impact of potential changes to Hawaii’s coffee labeling requirements is set for a vote by the state House and Senate. West Hawaii Today.

Flavored Vape Ban Looms in Hawaii. A bill that would ban flavored vape products aims to protect children, but those in the industry say it would kill their business. KITV4.

In wake of 6-year-old’s horrific death, lawmakers approve bill aimed at bolstering child welfare system.
State lawmakers have approved a measure aimed at significantly strengthening Hawaii’s child welfare system — including by expanding investigative powers — following the death of 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, whose foster parents have been charged with her murder. Hawaii News Now.

Military tracks Russian vessel near Hawaii. The United States military is tracking a Russian vessel near Hawaii’s waters, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. KHON2.

Waters, Tokuda File FEC Paperwork For US House Race.
While Kai Kahele has not officially announced that he is leaving Congress to run for governor, efforts to replace him in Washington, D.C., are building. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sees neighbor island path to governorship. Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell calls himself “the underdog” in the three-way race for governor in the August Democratic primary but sees a path to victory through the neighbor islands, despite his unpopularity after serving two terms and eight years at Honolulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Education Board Narrows Down Finalists For Superintendent Position. The search for a new public school chief in Hawaii is one step closer. The state Board of Education unveiled on its website Friday the three finalists for the superintendent position at the Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Local students face strict COVID rules for year-end events. Hawaiʻi public schools are enforcing pandemic restrictions that go beyond recommendations from state and federal health officials. Hawaii Public Radio.

State to pay $6.7 million in personal injury claims. The deaths of three people and injuries sustained by others in eight separate incidents are expected to cost the state $6.7 million this year. Star-Advertiser.

This Mental Health Team Hopes To Help Hawaii’s Farmers Help Themselves. Professor Thao Le discusses the experiences of researchers at the University of Hawaii who have been canvassing the ranching and farming community to find the state of its mental health. Civil Beat.


North Shore beachfront homes threatened by erosion continue to sell. Beginning today those selling coastal properties will also have to disclose the risks of sea level rise under a new mandatory disclosure law passed by the Legislature.  Star-Advertiser.

How Honolulu’s Push For More Housing Sparks Opposition From Rival Interests. Housing is an abstract goal, but the concrete reality usually sparks opposition from advocates for farmland or the environment or those simply worried about urban woes. Civil Beat.

Despite indictment in federal probe, BWS board member declines to step down. More than four months after being arrested and charged in connection with the ongoing Kealoha corruption probe, Max Sword hasn’t stepped down from the Board of Water Supply’s board of directors ― and has no plans to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki community on alert after violent attacks. Waikiki is on edge after three violent attacks in three weeks, the most recent befalling a visitor in the heart of the state’s top tourism district. Star-Advertiser.

Lack of progress in Waikiki crime cases highlights challenges. Community frustration is mounting over law enforcement’s handling of two recent high-profile Waikiki violent crimes, which highlight the system’s challenges in holding criminals accountable. Star-Advertiser.

Daily Ridership Would Drop By Thousands If The Honolulu Rail Line Ends At Civic Center
. An average of 119,600 people were originally expected to board the trains each weekday, but that will drop to 84,000 daily riders with the shorter route. Civil Beat.

Ala Moana Boulevard pedestrian bridge construction to begin. A $17.8 million project to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako is scheduled to begin today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi still considering restoring access to first responder radio.
More than two months after the city removed first responder radio traffic from public radio waves, the city administration is still deciding whether to restore access to communications that Honolulu police officials argue must be concealed to help preserve public security and safety. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Gas taxes go unspent: Council to reappropriate excess funds. Hawaii County’s fuel tax revenues have been coming in higher than expected, and in some cases, faster than the county can spend them. Even as the County Council is set to vote Wednesday on Resolution 363 giving drivers a break by knocking 10 cents a gallon off the current rate, a council committee Tuesday will vote on a bill to reappropriate $2.5 million left unspent between 2016 and 2020. West Hawaii Today.

A new shooting range for Big Island? Bill would establish group to research locations, designs. A long-awaited public shooting facility could be coming to Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Battle over renaming Hilo High Gym continues. A concurrent resolution in the state Legislature “urging” the School Community Council to rename the gym after coaches Albert and Lawrence Manliguis was deferred last week by the Senate Committee on Education. Tribune-Herald.

2,400 acres in Kohala gifted to Hawaii Community Foundation as part of stewardship center. Micah Kane, CEO and President of the Hawaii Community Foundation, said the focus of the research center in Kohala is to develop sustainability solutions for energy, water, and food. Hawaii News Now.


Nearly $1.07B county budget proposal advances. Budget committee chairperson says funds needed for pandemic-deferred county projects.  Hoping to tackle projects delayed by the pandemic, a Maui County Council committee is proposing a nearly $1.07 billion county budget for fiscal year 2023, just slightly higher than the almost $1.05 billion “record-setting” budget proposed by Mayor Michael Victorino in March. Maui News.

$41M homestead project envisions centers for culture, food, education. A $41 million project that would build space for education, community events, business and culture is being proposed under the Keokea Homestead Farm Lots Association’s master plan. Maui News.

Costs estimated at $500K to renovate vacant Molokai home into fire station. A $300,000 three-bedroom home purchased by Maui County in Ualapue will serve as the new fire station on Molokai’s East End. Maui News.

UH campuses host graduation ceremonies; UH Maui College slated for May 14. An in-person ceremony will be held on campus, with no spectator limit. Multiple satellite photo booths and lei stations will be made available throughout the parking lot. There will also be a livestream of the ceremony. Maui Now.


Kalalau camping permits available for residents. Beginning Tuesday, May 3, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks will issue a limited number of overnight permits for camping in Kalalau Valley in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, for Kaua‘i residents only. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Conference committee proposes record $8.7B state budget, minimum wage hike still undecided, Hawaii transitioning from pandemic emergency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Lay Out A Record-Setting $8.7 Billion State Budget.
House and Senate negotiators also gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a $6 billion construction budget that funds new schools on Maui and Oahu. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Friday deadline looms for Hawaii lawmakers to raise minimum wage. Supporters rallied in events across the islands to urge lawmakers to agree on a final version by Friday. If they do not agree on terms, the measure will be killed. The sticking point has been how much the raises will be and how fast they will be implemented. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Cash Bail Reform. A measure to let people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors go free without bail will be put to a final vote in the House and Senate next week. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers adopt resolution apologizing for ban on Hawaiian language in schools. The state Legislature has adopted a resolution that apologizes to Native Hawaiians for a law that effectively banned the use of the Hawaiian language in schools. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Diminishes the Power of Non-Compete Clauses. An employment attorney says the ruling, which follows a national trend, should persuade business owners and employers to review non-compete agreements.  Hawaii Business Magazine.

Mounting speculation about a Kahele run for governor triggers ‘grand chess game’. Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele isn’t talking about it, but there’s growing anticipation that he’ll run for governor ― and he hasn’t denied it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii transitioning from COVID-19 emergency, but pandemic continues. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s response to COVID-19 is transitioning from an emergency mode to public health management. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawai‘i records 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,370 new infections. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 9.1%, up from 7.1% last week. It is the sixth week in a row that DOH has recorded an increase in the positivity rate. Star-Advertiser.


$96 million federal grant to replace Mokapu Elementary. The state is receiving a $96 million federal grant to help replace Mokapu Elementary School because of “capacity and facility condition deficiencies,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii announced this week. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutor declines to charge HPD corporal following domestic violence arrest in Kaneohe
. Cpl. Roland Masao Kam, 49, was arrested April 17 on suspicion of misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member, second- degree unlawful imprisonment and interference with reporting an emergency or crime, according to the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Officers Involved In Makaha Crash Want Public-Paid Attorneys. A contested case hearing will be held to determine if two HPD officers accused of causing a serious crash will get a city-funded legal defense. Civil Beat.

One less candidate in the running for the next Honolulu police chief. The next step will be three days of testing, which starts on May 9. The commission expects to pick the next chief by June. KITV4.

Inside The ‘Frantic’ Push To Shorten Rail And Keep Its Federal Funding. Project officials stress that they’re still fully committed to getting rail to Ala Moana, but it’s still not clear financially how that would happen. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Meeting about PTA lease extension draws mostly opponents. The U.S. Army found few supporters at a Monday public discussion about whether part of the Pohakuloa Training Area should remain under Army control. Tribune-Herald.

Thirty Meter Telescope Project Names New Executive Director. Robert P. Kirshner succeeds Edward C. Stone as executive director of TIO, or TMT International Observatory LLC. Big Island Video News.


Panel pulls requirement for N. Kīhei affordable housing project so it can move ahead. Saying that a much-needed affordable housing project in North Kīhei shouldn’t be held up over county roadway requirements, Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday morning voted to pull the condition, allowing Hale Kaiola to move full-steam ahead. Maui Now. Maui News.

Maui hospital system still reliant on funds from government. Maui Memorial Medical Center and its health care affiliates in Kula and on Lanai continue to struggle financially six years after the state turned over the cash-strapped hospital system to Kaiser Permanente in a bid to save the state tens of millions of dollars annually. Star-Advertiser.

‘We Cannot Afford To Be Careless’: Lahaina Residents Want More Water Oversight. Locals are asking state regulators to do more to protect the supply of water for future generations. Civil Beat.


State grants $230M for Kaua‘i capital projects. The state budget that was approved Wednesday by a conference committee made up of representatives from both houses appropriated a historic $230 million for capital improvement projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

New Wainiha center design addresses community concerns
. Planners unveiled the Wainiha Community Resilience Center’s final design Wednesday, reviewing changes made since preliminaries were presented to the public two years ago. Garden Island.