Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Native Hawaiian agency seeks to build casino on Oahu, first COVID-19 vaccines administered, Diamond Head to reopen Thursday, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Diamond Head State Monument ©2020 All Hawaii News

Diamond Head State Monument to reopen Thursday. The Diamond Head State Monument is slated to reopen to the public Thursday after a nine-month closure with significant changes that include occupancy limits on the popular hiking trail. Star-Advertiser.

Diamond Head Monument To Reopen To Visitors. The popular state attraction has been closed for nine months due to COVID-19. Civil Beat.

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On ‘momentous’ day, state’s first COVID-19 vaccines administered to local healthcare workers. A doctor who’s witnessed firsthand the pain COVID-19 has inflicted on hundreds of Hawaii families was given a dose of hope Tuesday: the first coronavirus vaccine administered in the state. Hawaii News Now.

Health Care Workers Get Hawaii’s First COVID-19 Shots. After months of working with coronavirus patients, health workers at the Queen’s Medical System said they were grateful for what will be a new layer of protection against the infectious respiratory disease. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 unit doctor is first to receive coronavirus vaccine in Hawaii. Five people with the Queen's Medical Center were the first in Hawaii to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. KITV4.

Queen’s doctor becomes first person in Hawaii to get Pfizer vaccine since approval for emergency use. After months of endless infections, mounting deaths and economic collapse, Hawaii residents may finally see the light at the end of an agonizing tunnel. Star-Advertiser.

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Director of state's Office of Early Learning expects to have all its pre-K schools reopen to in person learning. On Tuesday the Director of the state's office of early learning said it expects to have all of their pre-K schools reopen to in person learning starting next month. KITV4.

Public preschool options in Hawaii vary during pandemic. About 85% of the public preschool classrooms overseen by the Executive Office on Early Learning are offering in-person instruction, but Head Start preschool programs and charter school ones are still largely remote. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers discuss future of child care, early childhood education. Administrators of the state’s early childhood education and subsidized child care programs told lawmakers Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to scale back services for the time being. Tribune-Herald.

Pandemic alters students’ early-learning
. On Tuesday, the state House held a virtual meeting to discuss how early-learning programs in Hawai’i have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

Schools Provide A Critical Safety Net For Kids. Can They Do That Via Zoom? Youth advocates and school staff worry students are not getting the proper counseling or basic social services available in a regular school setting. Civil Beat.

Public school educators are fighting to block the state’s furlough plan. The Board of Education has a meeting on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

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Time Almost Out For Hawaii To Spend Federal Pandemic Relief Funds. Hawaii likely has just a few remaining days to make use of emergency pandemic relief funds awarded to Hawaii by the federal government in March when Congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Act. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Researchers: Hawaii Renters Will Need Help Throughout 2021. Researchers at the University of Hawaii estimate several thousand more renters will be paying over 30% of their income on rent next year. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 15: 57 New COVID-19 Cases. Health officials reported 57 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 35 on Oahu, 10 on the Big Island, eight on Maui, and four Hawaii residents who were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.

Oahu

DHHL considers proposal to build casino in Kapolei. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands dropped a bombshell on its website late Tuesday, floating the idea of building a casino on trust land in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

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Louis Kealoha ordered to repay $250K settlement, though city unlikely to ever see it. A circuit court judge has ordered former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha to repay the $250,000 the Honolulu Police Commission gave him to retire in 2017, before he was indicted on federal corruption charges. Hawaii News Now.

Louis Kealoha Ordered To Pay Back His $250,000 Retirement Settlement. In addition to restitution, Louis Kealoha will have to pay the city back for his severance. Civil Beat.

Former HPD chief Louis Kealoha ordered to pay back severance. Former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha is headed to federal prison next spring, and he has to pay $250,000 to the city. KHON2.

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Rail project faces new leadership Thursday. The city’s troubled rail project is pivoting to an uncertain “Plan B” to complete the final 4.16-mile push to Ala Moana while looking at the possibility of new leadership Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku football coach Maui Kahalepuna, 43, dies after battling COVID-19. The Kahuku community is mourning the death of an assistant football coach, and beloved community member. KHON2.

Unexpected Delay in Honolulu’s “City Card" Program. The $500 cards are valid from 12/7-12/27 but were not sent out last week due to an "unexpected delay," according to a spokesperson with the City's Office of Economic Revitalization.  KITV4.

Hilton Hawaiian Village reopens as isle tourism slowly recovers. The reopening of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, the state’s largest hotel property, and the start of COVID­­-19 vaccinations in Hawaii are major milestones on the still long and winding road to tourism recovery. Star-Advertiser.

These parklets will be taking over some street parking stalls in Kaimuki. There will be a few less spaces to street park in Kaimuki in an effort to help boost business for area shops and restaurants. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Spike in auto thefts, burglaries during pandemic. While some businesses have shuttered and others have suffered downturns during the coronavirus pandemic, the old adage “crime never takes a holiday” is holding true. Tribune-Herald.

‘Heroes and Helpers’; Gift distribution event serves more than 60 keiki. This year’s focus was primarily keiki and youth from the Ka‘u District and was based on COVID-19 affected needs. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Judge dismisses Bank of America suit against county.
County mulls legal action over lender’s decades-old $150M home loan promise. A federal judge on Monday dismissed a Bank of America lawsuit against the County of Maui, paving the way for the county to pursue possible claims against the banking giant over a decades-old $150 million home loan promise to Native Hawaiians and others that allegedly went unmet. Maui News.

Business ‘getting better’ for some Paia merchants.
Local shops and eateries in Paia town that were shuttered for weeks to months at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are starting to show some promise, with a few managers staying positive with the recent boost in tourism. Maui News.

Oregon Man Arrested on Maui for Alleged Quarantine Violation. Police say they were investigating a separate incident, when they found the man had left his listed residence, in violation of his quarantine. Maui Now.

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Live Skunk Found and Captured at Kahului Pier on Maui. The skunk was spotted roaming around in the container yard early in the morning and was reported to harbor security by a biologist surveying for stranded sea bird fledglings. Maui Now.

Live skunk found roaming at Kahului pier. A live skunk was found in a maritime container at a Kahului pier today, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture reported. Star-Advertiser.

Live Skunk Found in Maui. A live skunk was found and captured this morning at a maritime container yard at Pier 1 in Kahului, Maui. Big Island Now.

Kauai


Skate park renovations expected done next week. With two weeks to go, Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Center’s executive director and Kaua‘i Skatepark Foundation’s lead advocate are confident that the Kapa‘a skate park’s resurfacing project will be done earlier than the expected deadline. Garden Island.

Kalalau opens to hikers, volunteers work to keep trail clear. The Friends of Kalalau trail, a group of volunteers, made their repairs and maintenance on the first two miles of Kalalau trail, which starts at the Ha‘ena State Park. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ige shares budget-balancing plan, Hawaiian Airlines scales back mainland service proposal, teachers and state strike back-to-school distancing deal, Molokai vacation rental owners sue over limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii pandemic reopening navigator
How This Special Legislative Committee Has Worked To Keep Hawaii’s Economy Afloat. The House COVID committee has drawn on the expertise and clout of its members to work behind the scenes and help the Ige administration work through the state’s biggest challenges. Civil Beat.

Governor details how he plans to shore up $2.3B budget shortfall. With tourism at a standstill and other sectors of the state’s economy just hobbling along, Hawaii is facing a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall that the governor says he plans to shore up with a big loan from the US Treasury and budget cuts to state agencies. It’s the first time Gov. David Ige has offered specifics on how he plans to address the shortfall. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines to scale back plans to resume service. Reinstating several North America routes remain on hold but its current schedule stays on track. KITV4.

More military contracts could aid Hawaii economy. The federal government inked about $2.3 billion in defense contracts in Hawaii in 2019, with about $1.3 billion going to local businesses, an official with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

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Most Hawaii parents want kids in school at least part time, survey shows. About 70% of families report that their children learned “much less” or “somewhat less” when public school campuses were closed last quarter to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, new survey results show. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Department of Education and teachers’ union agree on six feet of separation in classrooms. Hawaii’s public schools and the teachers’ union have agreed that students desks will be spaced six feet apart in classrooms in the new academic year, with anything less requiring a special exception. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOE, Teachers Union Agree To 6-Feet Spacing Rule. The teachers union and DOE came to an agreement that 6 feet of spacing in classrooms will be the norm, with anything less than that requiring a contract exception. Civil Beat.

Teachers union, DOE agree to keep students farther apart this fall. The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state Department of Education reached an agreement on physical distancing in classrooms as schools prepare to start the new academic year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Funding cut for pre-K program leaves families scrambling for care. State lawmakers cut the funding for seven positions at campuses involved in the Executive Office on Early Learning's Public Prekindergarten Program for at-risk and underserved families. Hawaii News Now.

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June bankruptcies in Hawaii surged amid COVID crisis. The anticipated increase in Hawaii bankruptcies finally might be emerging as the state’s extended tourism lockdown and severe unemployment crisis take their toll. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s massive unemployed population dependent on soon-expiring federal assistance. Nearly 250,000 Hawaii residents remain out of work, and will have their $600 weekly unemployment insurance payment from the federal government expire on July 31. KHON2.

Securitas is hiring, and they’re hosting a virtual job fair. While many in Hawaii face unemployment, few companies are looking to hire. One of those companies is Securitas. They’re hosting a virtual job fair Wednesday and Thursday for interested applicants. Available are more than hundred officer positions statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Number of Hawaii visitor arrivals sinks to lowest level since June. The tourists keep coming even though the state still hasn’t officially reopened Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Residents snub reopening for tourism, survey finds. A majority of Hawaii residents oppose reopening tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released this week. Star-Advertiser.

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Lawmakers question whether more contact tracers are needed as more cases linked to clusters found. On Tuesday, 22 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) officials say many cases are tied to clusters. KHON2.

Hawaii inmate Tests Positive For COVID-19. The defendant and any exposed staff at the federal facility are in quarantine for 14 days. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 14: 22 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The quarantine remains in place for all incoming travelers, but schools are still on schedule to open next month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Updates: 22 New Cases Today. The Hawai’i Health Department reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 today. Nineteen cases are reported on Oahu, and three are on Hawaii Island. The number of deaths remains at 22. Hawaii Public Radio.

To date, Oahu has recorded 960 positive tests, followed by Maui County with 135 cases, Hawaii County with 105 and Kauai County with 43. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Oahu bars, restaurants not allowed to serve liquor after midnight. Oahu bars and restaurants on Tuesday were ordered to stop serving liquor after midnight effective immediately in response to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, city officials said. Star-Advertiser.

To slow spread of COVID-19, Oahu bars will now have to stop serving alcohol at midnight. Effective immediately, the sale and consumption of alcohol at Oahu bars after midnight is prohibited as part of new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

New mandate forces bars to stop serving alcohol at midnight in Honolulu. With cases increasing every day, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is looking at ways to curb the spread of the virus. KHON2.

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Clusters blamed as Hawaii sees 22 new coronavirus cases. A pau hana gathering among construction workers, workplace training at Hawaiian Airlines, exercise in indoor gyms, birthday parties, barbecues and other social gatherings are to blame for a surge in coronavirus cases, particularly on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns grow over schools reopening after infection at summer fun program. A 6-year-old attending a summer fun program in Aiea tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, raising concerns about Hawaii schools reopening in just a few weeks. Hawaii News Now.

Kym Marcos Pine says her top priority as mayor would be putting tourism in its place. Kym Marcos Pine has a vision for Oahu with far less tourism and far more homegrown jobs. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Traveling Physician at Ka‘ū Hospital Tests Positive for COVID-19. Lt. Governor Josh Green confirmed Tuesday to Big Island Now that a traveling doctor hired at Ka‘ū Hospital and Rural Health Clinic tested positive for the coronavirus last week. A town hall featuring Green and Mayor Harry Kim was held in Pahala Monday night to assuage the fears of the community there. Big Island Now.

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Lee Loy amendment to fix ‘lame’ requirement of permits for window AC units. In the wake of a Department of Public Works press release that drew scorn when it was re-posted on Mayor Harry Kim’s official Facebook page, Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy has written an amendment to the construction code clarifying that building permits are not required to install a window air conditioning unit. West Hawaii Today.

County Considers Dropping Permit Requirement For Window-Mounted Air Conditioners. The Hawaiʻi County Council will consider amending the construction code at an upcoming meeting, following a social media stir over the permit requirement. Big Island Video News.

Portable, Window-Mounted Residential Air-Conditioning Units Exempt From Permit Requirements. An amendment is coming to legislation that will develop the framework for Hawai‘i County’s updated construction code. Big Island Now.

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New physician assistant program could boost Big Isle health care. A physician assistant program from Washington will expand to West Hawaii this fall, but ultimately will improve access to medical care throughout Hawaii Island and the state. Tribune-Herald.

Free Financial Navigator Service Tackles COVID-19 Troubles. The County of Hawaiʻi has partnered with the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to help resident navigate COVID-related financial issues. Big Island Video News.

Maui


Old UHMC Dorms Repurposed for Emergency Housing Project. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. Maui Now.

Emergency Housing Project in Kahului blessed on Tuesday. Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. KITV4.

Kauai

Discounts bringing locals out. With the local economy hit hard by the nearly-100% drop in visitors since the spring, local businesses are offering discounts as a gesture to the community in a time of apprehension. Garden Island.

Free emergency water containers. There are two more days when people have the opportunity to get free emergency water containers from the county Department of Water — today at the Waimea High School grab-and-go meal site, and Thursday at the Kapa‘a High School grab-and-go meal site. Garden Island.

Molokai

Molokai Vacation Rental Owners File Lawsuit To Lift Restrictions. A vacation rental association and four homeowners have filed a federal lawsuit against the county of Maui claiming their rights have been violated by restrictions placed on short-term vacation rentals on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Hawaii Public Radio.

Property owners sue over Molokai rental ban action. Permits set to expire at end of year; owners look to get them reinstated. Maui News.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ige, legislative leaders announce minimum wage hikes in affordability package, bomb scare at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Big Island has about half the doctors it needs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Hawaii Legislature
Hawaii Gov. David Ige, legislative leaders press conference PC:Hawaii Legislature
Minimum Wage, Preschool, Housing Top Rare Legislative Platform. In an unusual display of pre-session unity, top state officials and business leaders have largely agreed on a plan aimed at bringing down Hawaii’s high cost of living. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers and Ige back bills for housing and tax relief and for working families. In a sharp break with political tradition, Gov. David Ige joined leaders from the state House and Senate at a news conference Tuesday to announce a complex package of tax relief, affordable-housing plans and a preschool development program, all designed to provide cost-of-living relief to Hawaii’s low-income and working-class residents. Star-Advertiser.

Governor, lawmakers announce legislative package aimed at easing Hawaii’s cost of living. Governor David Ige and leaders from both chambers of the state legislature announced a major deal Tuesday that will see an increase in the state’s minimum wage, among other measures. Hawaii News Now.

‘A good first step’. Hawaii House and Senate leaders, with the support of Gov. David Ige, on Tuesday unveiled a long list of measures to boost housing, early childhood education and incomes with a particular focus on alleviating the struggles of Hawaii’s working families and poor. Associated Press.

‘Cycle of poverty’ targeted: Lawmakers, Ige unveil legislative package that aims to make Hawaii more affordable. As the Hawaii Legislature gears up for the 2020 session, leaders from the state House and Senate, along with Gov. David Ige, announced on Tuesday a legislation package to tackle critical economic issues that have long-plagued Hawaii’s residents: income inequality, affordable housing and early education. Tribune-Herald.

Governor Ige unveils legislative package aimed at tackling income inequality, raising minimum wage. Joined by state senators and the House of Representatives, Governor David Ige made public a plan that he hopes will take center stage at the upcoming legislative session. KITV4.

Governor Ige along with leaders from the state house and senate unveiled a package of economic bills. This is the first joint house and senate legislative bill package since 2004. KHON2.

What Will Be The Defining Issue Of The 2020 Legislature? Problems abound but no single issue appears to have yet united Hawaii lawmakers as the opening of the 2020 legislative session approaches on Wednesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Leaders Back An Ambitious Plan To Rapidly Expand Preschool. The immediate goal of the five-year plan is to increase the number of pre-K classrooms in the state by 100 a year. Civil Beat.

Teacher pay differential plan comes under fire by lawmakers. A bold move by the schools superintendent and Board of Education to give a big boost in pay to teachers in hard-to-staff positions — even before lawmakers appropriated the funds — came under fire Tuesday at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Farmers ask for funding to fight pasture pest threatening Hawaii’s third largest commodity. The beef and milk industry brought in $43 million to Hawaii in 2017. However, many of the fields where those cattle graze are losing grass and ranchers aren't even sure how to stop it. Hawaii News Now.

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Joint Pearl Harbor Hickam (Nimitz Gate) reopened after an overnight bomb scare. Joint Pearl Harbor Hickam security forces reopened the Nimitz gate just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, after an overnight bomb scare. KHON2.

Lockdown lifted at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after security scare. A security scare closed the gates at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam late Tuesday into early Wednesday. Officials said around 10:30 p.m., security forces responded to a vehicle at Nimitz Gate that did not have authorized access to the base. Hawaii News Now.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam gates are back open following reports of an alleged bomb threat. Officials say, a car that did not have authorized access drove up to the base around 10:30 Tuesday night. KITV4.

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Powerful Hawaii defensive radar is delayed. A more than $1 billion missile defense radar for Hawaii has been significantly delayed, with Native Hawaiian cultural concerns emerging at one possible site on Kuaokala Ridge at Kaena Point and community worries about overdevelopment at two other candidate sites at Kahuku Training Area. Star-Advertiser.

Legal group to analyze spike of deadly officer-involved shootings around Hawaii. A recent rash of fatal officer-involved shootings is prompting a group at the University of Hawaii Law School to review the deadly trend. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Educator Mandado Announces Run For City Council. The race to replace a term-limited councilman now has three candidates. Civil Beat.

Under proposal, 3 urban schools would see dramatic redevelopment. With huge maintenance backlogs and obsolete school facilities, public schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is considering an ambitious redevelopment and modernization of three schools in urban Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki Health opens a new homeless shelter in Moiliili. Waikiki Health, which operates Kakaako’s Next Step Shelter, began welcoming formerly homeless tenants this week into a three-story shelter it now operates in Moiliili. Star-Advertiser.

Transportation crews receive tons of asphalt to mend state roadways on Oahu. State Department of Transportation crews Monday delivered two to three tons of asphalt patch material to maintenance base yards to continue patching potholes on state roads around Oahu through the rest of the week. Star-Advertiser.

An off-leash dog park is coming to Central Oahu. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the makai end of the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. Hawaii News Now.

Central Oahu leaders joined city officials Tuesday to break ground on a 12,800-square-foot off-leash dog park at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Doctor levels critically short. The state’s southernmost island is short 230 doctors — or 44% — of the 528 physicians demanded by the population as of November, a University of Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project report submitted earlier this month to the 2020 Legislature shows. West Hawaii Today.

Waste plan meetings set for next week. The newest iteration of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, which is required to be updated every 10 years, was unveiled in December and makes 82 recommendations for changes to the county’s waste management system. Tribune-Herald.

Crews continue snow removal, erosion repair on Maunakea Access Road. Crews continued to work Tuesday to repair and clear the Maunakea Access Road, which has been closed to the public since Friday because of the first snowfall of the decade. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Lawmaker priorities include schools, jail, highways. Maui County lawmakers hope this session to fund the first stages of the relocation of Maui Community Correctional Center, to get the ball rolling on long-promised school improvement projects and to tackle climate and environmental concerns. Maui News.

Maui Efforts Creating Replicable Ways To Recycle And Reduce Waste. Organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club are active in addressing broad environmental issues at the local level, including on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Drifting ‘ghost net’ threatens island sea life and reefs. Mariners, pilots or people near the ocean are being asked to be on the lookout for a massive “ghost net” that was spotted two weeks ago off Maui and might remain a threat to humpback whales and other sea life. Star-Advertiser.

Officials, Nonprofits Seek Ghost Net Drifting Along ʻAuʻau Channel. A ghost net that was located about a mile west of Molokini in December has not been recovered yet. Maui Now.

Kauai

Annual PMRF albatross project turns up nothing. Pacific Missile Range Facility Air Operations department, the PMRF Environmental Program and US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services enlisted volunteers for the annual PMRF Laysan albatross egg sweep on Saturday. Garden Island.

Erosion worries rising. A foundation left over from a 2017 project to remove the Kapaa Beach Park pavilion is now cracked in half and falling into the surf after weekend waves and weather caused damage on the east side. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hawaii could take $452M hit in Trump cuts, plastic ban advances, UH jobs on the line in budget cuts, Honolulu grapples with vacation rentals, how to pay for education, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Quonset huts at Pohakuloa Training Area ©2019 All Hawaii News
Isle projects in Trump’s cross-hairs. The Pentagon on Monday identified $12.9 billion in military construction funding — including $452 million for projects in Hawaii — that could be tapped to help build President Donald Trump’s southern border wall. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii weighs first-in-nation plastic bans at restaurants. Hawaii would be the first state in the U.S. to ban most plastics at restaurants under legislation that aims to cut down on waste that pollutes the ocean. Associated Press.

Survey supports more funds for public schools, but how to do it remains a question. There’s support for greater investment in Hawaii’s public schools, according to a new survey commissioned by HawaiiKidsCAN. Hawaii News Now.

The Battle Over Preschool Puts Hawaii Governor On The Hot Seat. Gov. David Ige’s remarks suggest he believes the statewide school administration, not the office delegated to bolster early learning programs, should be in charge. Civil Beat.

Proposed cuts could ‘devastate’ University of Hawaii, officials say. A Senate proposal to slash the University of Hawaii’s budget and eliminate 220 faculty and staff positions is sparking outrage at the university and a flood of calls and emails to the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of UH jobs on the line with proposed budget cuts. UH administrators hope to work with legislators to save jobs. KITV.

Proposed legislation would provide funds to open more mobile clinics for Hawaii's homeless. Project Vision Hawaii has seven mobile units statewide that provide medical and hygiene services for the homeless. KITV.

Oahu

Council panel moves vacation rental bill. A bill allowing up to 4,000 new bed-and-breakfast permits to be issued while at the same time strengthening enforcement of residential vacation rentals moved out of the City Council Planning Committee on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

The new hire charged with reining in HART’s budget is being paid $85,000 a month. Five months after he was ousted as the head of a Canadian rail project, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has hired veteran rail executive Paul Giannelia. Hawaii News Now.

City to pay $5.25M in firefighter suit. The city has agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a federal negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed over the death of Honolulu firefighter Cliff Rigsbee. Star-Advertiser.

Unused vehicles raise spending concerns at EMS. Some workers have complained about specialized vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which have never been used. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Harry Kim wants more flexibility so he can stretch the general excise tax farther across the county budget. And, so far, the state Legislature is going along. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Farmers Market clears a permit hurdle. The county Planning Department approved one of three permits required to erect permanent canopies over Hilo Farmers Market. Tribune-Herald.

Abandoned vehicle disposal costly to county in West Hawaii. Abandoned vehicles are more than eyesores, traffic hazards and general nuisances to the county and the taxpayer. They’re also big business. West Hawaii Today.

After Half Century, Endangered Seabird Found On Mauna Kea Again. During the 46th annual meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group on Kauai, Bret Nainoa Mossman with the University of Hawaii at Hilo presented the first documentation of the 'ua'u, or Pterodroma sandwichensis, on Mauna Kea since 1963. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Meetings will be held next month in all Maui County community plan areas on the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, chair of the council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee, announced today. Maui Now.

New Maui Housing Director Announcement Due This Week. Interim Housing and Human Concerns Director William Spence completed his temporary appointment in the department on Friday. Maui Now.

Transportation options in South Maui and a road user charge system will be the topic of presentations at the Kihei Community Association’s meeting on Tuesday. Maui News.

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Maui Community Correctional Center assessing riot damage. The Department of Public Safety released photos Monday of the damage caused by inmates during the riot at Maui Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

Armed Perimeter Remains at Maui Jail, Mood Has “Calmed”. Maui Now.

A week after a riot at MCCC, crews are still working to clean up the mess. On Monday, the state released new images from inside MCCC. Hawaii News Now.

The maintenance staff at the Maui Community Correctional Center continue to clean up and repair the damage left behind by last week's riot. KHON2.

The median sales price for single-family homes and condominiums in Maui County spiked in February while the number of sales and inventory continued to decline. Maui News.

Kauai

Police look to improve efficiency. The Kauai Police Department on Monday launched its Online Crime Reporting System, offering the public a new way to submit a police report. Garden Island.

Kauai Police Department Launches New Online Crime Reporting System. The new website aims to make filing a non-emergency police report easier and more convenient for residents. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ige seeks statewide pre-K, higher minimum wage, larger county TAT share, condos on state land in State of the State address, vacation rental crackdown on two islands, homeless count begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy governor's office
Gov. David Ige 2019 State of the State address PC:Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige announced two of the boldest initiatives of his administration Tuesday by proposing to restructure as much as half of the state’s public elementary schools to accommodate state-funded preschools, and to lease out state lands for condominium developments. Star-Advertiser.

Governor's State of the State: Pre-K, Condos on State Land and TAT Back to Counties. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige: ‘The Future Is Personal.' Hawaii’s governor calls for a statewide preschool system and more hotel tax revenue for the counties. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige laid out Tuesday what he called a road map for creating universal public preschool in Hawaii throughout several decades. The second-term governor introduced his idea during his State of the State address at the Capitol. Associated Press.

In his fifth State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. David Ige outlined an ambitious agenda for his second term, pledging to dramatically expand the state-funded preschool program, increase the inventory of affordable housing and bring the minimum wage in the islands “closer to a living wage.” Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii's minimum wage boosted to $15 an hour and our public schools restructured! Those are some of the key proposals from Governor David Ige's 5th State of the State address. KHON2.

About half of elementary schools in Hawaii still have sixth grade classrooms. The governor is proposing to change that as part of a bid to significantly bolster preschool offerings in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

DOE on board with Ige's public Pre-K plan. During Tuesday's State of the State address, Governor Ige proposed restructuring Hawaii's public schools, including implementing access to public per-kindergarten. KITV.

Full text of Gov. David Ige's 2019 State of the State address here.

Hear Governor Ige's Full 2019 State of State Address. Audio link. Hawaii Public Radio.

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Hawaii Energy Office — And Other Programs — May Face The Budget Ax. Money for several programs will be eliminated from a current House budget bill as lawmakers press the fiscal reset button and ask agencies to justify their funding. Civil Beat.

You’ve heard a lot about a ‘living wage.’ Here’s what that actually means in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

New proposal seeks to increase punishments for drunk drivers. Representative Chris Lee is proposing harsher punishments for people convicted with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or who have had their licenses revoked by the Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office for drunk driving. KHON2.

More than a dozen proposed laws relating to marijuana or cannabis products were or will be introduced in the state House and Senate, ranging from a proposed expansion of the conditions legally treatable by medical cannabis to a total decriminalization of cannabis for personal recreational use. Tribune-Herald.

A legislative package consisting of a total of 10 bills and one resolution in each chamber has been introduced by the Women’s Legislative Caucus to address a series of issues facing women in Hawaii. Maui News.

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The first night of the annual Point in Time Count, a nationwide homeless census that will determine whether Hawaii continues to lead the country with the highest per capita rate of homelessness, began Tuesday night. Star-Advertiser.

An army of volunteers hit the streets across the state Tuesday night to take part in a statewide count of Hawaii’s homeless population. Hawaii News Now.

New questions about natural disasters, domestic violence on Point in Time Count Survey. Volunteers take to the streets to count Hawaii's homeless in the the annual Point in Time Count. KITV.

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Food stamp program’s funding is in doubt. Most of the 160,000 Hawaii residents dependent on government food stamps received benefits Sunday to last them until March. Star-Advertiser.

Bail Reform Could Get Serious Consideration From Legislature. A task force proposed reducing the number of pretrial inmates who remain incarcerated because they can’t afford the bail amount. Civil Beat.

The government shutdown creating public safety concerns at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. KHON2.

Hawaii hotel occupancy fell slightly in 2018, but revenue continued to climb as higher room rates made up for the fewer filled rooms. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is the worst state in the nation to drive in, according to a study released today by personal finance website, WalletHub. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Planning Committee holds up vacation rental bills. Action on seven bills establishing rules for bed-and-breakfast and transient vacation units were postponed Tuesday by the City Council Planning Committee after more than 2-1/2 hours of testimony. Star-Advertiser.

City Council debates fate of Oahu's short term rentals. The Honolulu City Planning Committee heard seven bills that would drastically change the fees, fines and enforcement of thousands of Oahu's short rental housing units. KITV.

A better Kalihi; Governor David Ige briefly mentions this in Tuesday's state of the state address. Ige wants to revitalize the neighborhood, and the first step would be to move the jail. KHON2.

An aging east Honolulu marine loading dock that’s integral to several commercial boating operations has collapsed. Hawaii News Now.

Scientists Surprised To Find Endangered Seabirds On Oahu. The critically endangered Newell’s shearwater and Hawaiian petrel were thought to be living almost exclusively on Kauai. Civil Beat.

A medical office building is expected to rise near a senior-living complex in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Lower federal taxes help Territorial double earnings. Star-Advertiser.

‘Dog’ and Beth Chapman closing Da Kine Bail Bonds. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Vacation rental rules to be unveiled soon. West Hawaii Today.

Waikapuna Top Open Space Priority For 2018. Big Island Video News.

County nixes purchase of parcels inundated by lava during 2018 eruption. Tribune-Herald.

South Kona farmers grow wise to little fire ants. West Hawaii Today.

The former Safeway space at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo soon will have a new tenant. A lease was signed with Tractor Supply Co., confirmed mall management this week. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Altres is offering temporary jobs to furloughed workers. Same-day pay option available for people impacted by federal shutdown. Maui News.

VA meeting scheduled on Thursday. Maui News.

Kauai


The Garden Island asked Kauai’s legislators for their reactions to Gov. David Ige’s State of the State address on Tuesday. Garden Island.

Families impacted by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history are able to get food packages on Thursdays for a month starting Thursday through Feb. 21. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Legislative negotiators agree on $10M for preschools, bluefin tuna at risk, Martin pulls papers for Honolulu mayor, rail could mean more new schools, Maui named top island in the world, Oahu elementary school named for Inouye, igloos for homeless, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii House
Budget conference committee, courtesy Hawaii House
State Senate and House lawmakers began working out their differences on more than 300 bills today.  A high priority this session was homelessness and affordable housing. Hawaii Public Radio.

House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to provide $10 million for Preschool Open Doors, which is expected to help 1,500 at-risk kids access an early education program for low-income families. It was the most significant of many budget decisions that House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke and Senate Ways and Means Chair Jill Tokuda announced Tuesday in a packed conference room at the Capitol. Civil Beat.

Legislative leaders want to boost funding for a program that helps fund preschool for children from low-income families, and say they’ve agreed to increase the budget for the Preschool Open Doors to $10 million. Associated Press.

The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers’ favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97 percent from its historic levels. Associated Press.

Last year nearly a quarter of middle school students in Hawaii said they had seriously considered suicide, according to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Civil Beat.

At a recent press conference to show support for bills to help the homeless and provide affordable housing, state Sen. President Ron Kouchi quoted from scripture. Civil Beat.

Chevron Hawaii’s gas stations will be rebranded to Texaco once the sale of the company’s Hawaii assets closes later this year to New York’s One Rock Capital Partners LP, a spokesperson for One Rock Capital said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The answer to “will he or won’t he” took a new turn Tuesday when Ernie Martin pulled papers to run for mayor of Honolulu. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Education anticipates future residential development along the city’s rail line in urban Honolulu will bring with it an additional 10,200 students to area public schools, far exceeding existing capacity and requiring several new schools from Kalihi to Ala Moana. Star-Advertiser.

The state could be saddled with some big school construction costs in coming decades if current housing and population growth predictions hold true for a 4-mile swath of urban Honolulu, according to a Department of Education report. Civil Beat.

A new Department of Education report says approximately 39,000 new residential units will be built between Kalihi and Ala Moana and that could bring in about 10,000 new students to the district. KHON2.

A month after approving a $4.7 million payment to settle two lawsuits filed by one current and two former Honolulu police officers who alleged discrimination, the Honolulu City Council is being asked to approve more money for attorneys’ fees. Star-Advertiser.

Plans to allow two managed homeless encampments on Oahu are moving forward, while the city also plans to build a hygiene center for the homeless. Hawaii News Now.

The City and County of Honolulu has denied a $180,000 grant to Mental Health Kokua Activity Center, a non-profit organization that serves severely mentally ill people in downtown Honolulu and Chinatown. Civil Beat.

Red Hill’s First Assembly of God church wants to erect a dozen igloo-­shaped domes from Alaska to create a “shelter village” somewhere in town for about 40 homeless people. Star-Advertiser.

Officials at an Oahu high school were negligent in not preventing an alleged rape between two special-education students, a lawyer told jurors Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Board of Education approved the renaming of Hale Kula Elementary School to Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School during its meeting on Tuesday. KITV4.

Hawaii

After hearing from supporters and critics of embattled Mayor Billy Kenoi, it was the Hawaii County Council’s silence that spoke the loudest Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

More than two dozen people showed up Tuesday evening to speak their minds on a proposed one-half percent general excise tax increase, with all but one opposed to the idea. West Hawaii Today.

A plan to create a 306-unit multiple family residential development just mauka of the popular Kahalu’u Bay goes before the Leeward Planning Commission this week. Big Island Video News.

After months of uncertainty, plans to build the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy’s long awaited permanent building are finally moving forward. The University of Hawaii on Monday awarded the project to Isemoto Contracting Co. for $31.3 million. Tribune-Herald.

BJ Penn told a mixed martial arts podcast Monday night that allegations of sexual assault that put his plans for a return to fighting on hold “definitely hurt my heart.” Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui is Nō Ka ʻOi once again. The island of Maui was just ranked the Top Island in the World and the Top Island in the US by the travel planning and booking website TripAdvisor. Maui Now.

Developers of a 1,500-home Olowalu development, which has been a decade in the making, have withdrawn their plans in a victory for those who opposed the project as inappropriate for the West Maui area. Maui News.

Developers have withdrawn plans to build 1,500 homes in a west Maui community, a decision that comes months after state officials rejected the project's environmental assessment. Associated Press.

Designs for the final phase of the long-awaited North Shore Greenway - a 7-mile pedestrian and bike-friendly pathway between Kahului and Paia - are "90 percent done," and the project could go out to bid by summer and be completed next year, county Department of Public Works engineers said. Maui News.

The Maui Young Democrats invites the public to attend their Upcountry County Council debate on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at the Pukalani Community Center. Maui Now.

Kauai

Bills covering smoking in a motor vehicle, homestays and vending on county-owned property are slated to go before the Kauai County Council on Wednesday. Garden Island.

The final report on pesticide use by agribusiness on Kauai is in the works. Garden Island.

State Rep. Dee Morikawa has a list of projects she wants done in her district. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ige withdraws Ching DLNR nomination, House passes $25.7B budget, NextEra wants Hawaiian Electric sale fast-tracked, De-Occupy Honolulu awarded $80k in police raids, Obama friend buys Magnum P.I. home, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Senate majority
Red shirts in Senate gallery against Ching nomination, courtesy Hawaii Senate Majority
After nearly two months of "grueling" scrutiny and relentless vocal opposition, Carleton Ching's high-profile and ill-fated nomination to head one of the most important state agencies in Hawaii was pulled Wednesday just moments before the Senate was to vote on it. Star-Advertiser.

Senators’ 11th-Hour Decisions Doomed Ching Nomination. UPDATE: Gov. David Ige withdrew his controversial nomination for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources when it became clear the votes weren't there for confirmation. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has withdrawn his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The governor informed the Senate of his decision Wednesday. Associated Press.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Wednesday withdrew his nomination of Castle & Cooke Hawaii executive Carleton Ching to be the next head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Pacific Business News.

Governor David Ige withdrew his controversial nomination for chair of the State Board of Land and Natural Resources today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ige and Ching
Moments before the Hawaii State Senate was set to begin voting Wednesday on Governor David Ige's controversial nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ige withdrew his nomination. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has withdrawn his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. KITV4.

It’s back to the drawing board for Gov. David Ige as he decides who will lead the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Ige withdrew his nomination for Carleton Ching Wednesday, just days after he said he was standing by his controversial pick. KHON2.

Eight lessons from the Carleton Ching nomination. Governor Ige instigated a political crisis by nominating a developer's lobbyist to watch over Hawaii's natural resources. Hawaii Independent.

Opinions from local representatives and conservation groups were split after Gov. David Ige on Wednesday withdrew his nomination of Carleton Ching to lead Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. Garden Island.

The state House of Representatives on Wednesday forwarded to the Senate a $13.3 billion general fund budget for the next two fiscal years. The spending plan calls for a $6.5 billion budget in fiscal 2016, which begins July 1, and $6.8 billion in fiscal 2017. Star-Advertiser.

The House voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of its draft of the overall state budget, a $25.7 billion spending plan for the next two years. The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Jill Tokuda, will take up House Bill 500 and make whatever changes it sees fit before sending it to the full Senate for its approval. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature in Session? Time to Raise Campaign Money! Reps. Luke, Johanson, Nakashima and Nishimoto will be at Mandalay Wednesday night passing the hat for re-election. Civil Beat.

The public may get to see the financial disclosures statements of certain state board members a year earlier than expected. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission agreed Wednesday to send a memo out to board members later this week letting them know that their financial disclosure statements for 2014 will be released if they file a short-form report this year. Civil Beat.

A bill to restore $6 million in funding for Hawaii's state preschool subsidy program is still moving through the state Legislature. Senate Bill 64, which has crossed over to the state House of Representatives, would restore funding for the Preschool Open Doors program for the next two fiscal years. Pacific Business News.

Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. wants the state to move fast on approval of its proposed $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries and has objected to a suggestion the decision be delayed until June 3, 2016. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

De-Occupy Honolulu Lawyers Awarded $80,000 in Fees, Expenses. The court ruling stems from HPD raids in Thomas Square in 2012, where protestors and property was seized. Civil Beat.

A company with ties to a close friend of President Barack Obama has bought a historic oceanfront mansion in Waimanalo used as a setting for the 1980s TV detective show "Magnum, P.I." Star-Advertiser.

Moanalua Gardens will start charging entrance fees to help offset maintenance and operational costs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

More than 100 shoppers lined the outside of Malama Market on Wednesday in Pahoa in anticipation of the grocery store’s grand reopening. It’s been an inconvenient three months since the market closed its doors in response to the approach of the June 27 lava flow, they said, and the reopening is an important sign that life in Pahoa could be returning to normal. Tribune-Herald.

Attorney Brian DeLima is requesting funds for private legal counsel to represent Jody Buddemeyer, the Hawaii Police Department officer who authorities say struck and killed a Michigan man riding his bicycle in South Kohala. Tribune-Herald.

Kailua-Kona keiki will soon have new digs in which to practice their flips, pops and slides. Two Hawaii County Council members dipped into their district contingency funds Wednesday to give a planned skate park a $50,000 boost. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Now has learned that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui terminated a worker with the Makawao branch after discovering that she had posted unauthorized video of children sending messages to convicted murderer Jodi Arias on social media.

A Maui County Council committee has recommended changing the name of Iao Stream to Wailuku River. Maui News.

A bill making its way through the state Legislature would overturn a long-standing law that prohibits all commercial activity on or around Kahoolawe. Maui News.

Kauai

State Department of Transportation officials say commuters traveling through Wailua and Kapaa may have to wait a little longer before larger projects to improve congestion along Kuhio Highway come to fruition. Garden Island.

That grumbling isn’t from an empty stomach. Some local parents say they aren’t happy that the price of Hawaii school lunches could increase in the fall semester. Garden Island.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tulsi reveals future husband, failed preschool ballot measure resurrected as Senate bill, Kauai tour boat strikes humpback whale, Edward Snowden speech a hit, religious groups at national parks, Honolulu stables in uproar, 3 in running for Maui House seat, more government and politics news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2015 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hotel pool party © 2015 All Hawaii News
Hawaii's hotel industry finished 2014 with a new total hotel revenue record of $5.4 billion. The statewide hotel industry had the nation's second-highest average daily room rate. While Hawaii's 2014 occupancy rate only grew 0.05 percent year-over-year to 77 percent, it ranked fifth best in the nation behind New York, San Francisco/ San Mateo, Los Angeles/ Long Beach and the Miami/Hia­leah markets. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard has broken her silence on who she will be tying the knot with. The 33-year-old congress woman will marry 26-year-old Abraham Williams. Williams is a cinematographer and has known Gabbard since before they started dating in April. Hawaii News Now.

Things to watch at state Legislature this week. Associated Press.

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, spoke at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live Saturday, via a video link from Moscow, Russia. Civil Beat.

Lisa Wong was impressed Saturday by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who appeared live in Hawaii via a video link from Moscow. Wong was among some 800 attendees at the sold-out Davis Levin First Amendment Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Star-Advertiser.

A bill to establish a statewide pre-kindergarten program -- a program that failed on the ballot in 2014 -- passed through the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Senate Bill 844 would set up a $33 million program to establish pre-K offerings at public and charter schools that would be administered by the Executive Office on Early Learning. Civil Beat.

Researchers at a biotech company co-founded by a medical student from Hawaii have taken human fetal kidneys that would have been discarded and transplanted them into rats, where they thrived. Their ultimate goal is to grow such organs in animals and make them available to children and adults who need lifesaving transplants but can't get them because of the shortage of donated organs. Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would that would waive college tuition for high school students in dual credit programs was approved by the Senate Committee on Education on Friday afternoon. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii State Senate has hired Jill Kuramoto to be its new communications director. Kuramoto, who replaces Thelma Dreyer, starts the job Feb. 23. Civil Beat.

Is Carleton Ching the Man to Protect Hawaii’s Public Lands? Important issues are ahead for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and some of them are likely to involve the company that currently employs the nominee to head the agency. Civil Beat.

The Hawaii Medical Service Association, Blue Zones LLC, and Healthways, Inc. selected three Hawaii communities on the Big Island and Oahu as the state's first Blue Zones project demonstration communities. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

The statewide board of doctors in charge of reviewing driver's license applications for disabled and elderly drivers has been unable to fill four of its five seats, preventing more than 100 would-be drivers on Oahu from getting their licenses for the last six months. Star-Advertiser.

Where does state Rep. Calvin Say actually live? It’s a question that’s been debated for years, both informally among concerned citizens and formally before judges and county boards in Honolulu. Now there’s a new effort underway — believed to be the first of its kind in Hawaii — to settle the matter. Civil Beat.

New pact will guide use of city stables. A horse enthusiast who runs a concession fears for the future of the equestrian center. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii

A Jehovah’s Witness group is taking its message to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, leaving at least one regular park-goer dissatisfied with park policy. West Hawaii Today.

A number of smaller film projects continue to take advantage of Hawaii Island’s world-class vistas and renowned hospitality. A total of 68 productions received Hawaii County film permits and reported $8.7 million in expenditures here in 2014, according to Hawaii County Film Commissioner Ilihia Gionson. Tribune-Herald.

Cindy Evans, D-North Kona, Kohala, has introduced a bill that would appropriate $200,000 for lifeguarding services at the increasingly popular and often dangerous North Kona beach. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island lawmakers are hopeful a renewed push to establish medical marijuana dispensaries will clear the hurdles this time around. West Hawaii Today.

Isle coffee farmers raising tiny bugs to attack pesky coffee borer beetle. West Hawaii Today.

The state’s largest health insurer announced the start of a new effort Friday to improve the health of East and North Hawaii residents. Tribune-Herald.

Maui
The Maui County Democratic Party’s Council Nominating Committee today narrowed the list of candidates for the vacant District 13 House seat to three finalists today. The finalists include Lori Buchanan of Molokaʻi, Lynn DeCoite of Molokai, and Lucienne De Naie of Huelo on Maui. Maui Now.

Three candidates touted their experience in infrastructure, farming and community work as they were nominated Saturday to replace District 13 state Rep. Mele Carroll. Maui News.

Babes Against Biotech is urging Maui Democrats not to select a local farmer for Mele Carroll’s vacant seat in the Hawaii House of Representatives. The anti-GMO group posted on its Facebook page Friday a plea to the party’s District 13 selection committee tasked with selecting three candidates to replace Carroll, who resigned Feb. 1 for health reasons. Civil Beat.

Lack of permits and licenses could mean the end for Loiloa. Maui News.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday accepted and approved a hearing officer's report that recommended withdrawing several parcels of land from state forest reserves on Maui, including nearly 400 acres owned by Hana Ranch. Maui News.

Hui O Na Wai Eha members staged a rally Friday afternoon at the Wailuku Stream Bridge to protest what the group's vice president said has been a failure to comply with or to enforce last year's mediated settlement to return diverted water to the stream. Maui News.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui has completed a three-year, $70 million renovation project to create a "luxurious vacation experience for guests" of the 22-acre Wailea resort. Maui News.

Kauai

Major changes including a new visitor center could be on the horizon for the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. On Thursday, the refuge released its Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan which details its vision for the area and potential management priorities for the next 15 years. Garden Island.

A boat struck an adult humpback whale Thursday morning along Kauai’s South Shore while heading out on a snorkeling tour. Garden Island.

Five new positions in the Kauai Fire Department’s Ocean Safety Bureau allowed for several promotions within the department. Garden Island.