Showing posts with label school lunches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school lunches. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2023

Tough questions ahead for DLNR nominee Dawn Chang, advocates want free school lunches for all, dozens of albatross eggs destroyed by pigs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

DLNR Nominee Dawn Chang Faces Tough Questions About Her Past Work. Native Hawaiians are split on her nomination to lead one of the state's largest and most impactful agencies.  A groundswell of opposition is growing among local conservationists and some prominent Native Hawaiians who want to see Gov. Josh Green withdraw Dawn Chang, a former deputy state attorney general and private consultant, as his nominee to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.

Suspending laws is a recurring tactic in Hawaii to shelter homeless.  An emergency order focused on homelessness allows Gov. Josh Green to bypass more than two dozen state laws in areas that include contract procurement, land use and environmental review in order to speed efforts to shelter people living on sidewalks, in beach parks and other places not fit for human habitation. Star-Advertiser.

Bills would expand fees to access Hawaii state parks, trails.
Visitor “green fees” are already in limited use at state parks — most notably at the popular Diamond Head State Monument — but there’s renewed interest in the state Legislature this session to expand the concept to generate revenue to help protect Hawaii’s environment.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Legislature: Inside The Push To Make School Meals Free In Hawaii. Hawaii lawmakers are weighing multiple proposals to address the gap between the number of students who are currently eligible for free school meals and the number of students who actually need them. Civil Beat.

Hawaii women lawmakers push bills for working mothers, abuse survivors. More than two dozen women state lawmakers make up the bipartisan Women’s Legislative Caucus and this session, their bill package aims to help working mothers and survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse. Hawaii News Now.

Assortment of Hawaii bills aim to curb illegal fireworks. Nearly two dozen bills have been introduced this legislative session in an effort to crack down on illegal fireworks, with proposals to create task forces, increase fines and boost inspections of shipping containers. Star-Advertiser.

Pair of bills aims to benefit neighbor islands in OHA trustee voting. The Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee has approved a set of measures that would change the way Hawaiʻi residents elect trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Satellite study shows subtle signs of climate change in Hawaii. Researchers have examined satellite images of Hawaii over four decades and concluded the islands have endured significant “browning,” or declines in vegetation health. Star-Advertiser.

Humpback whales plentiful during first count of the season.  The threat of bad weather didn’t deter volunteers on four islands from grabbing their binoculars and logbooks Saturday to observe and document humpback whale behavior in the first of three coordinated whale counts in 2023. Star-Advertiser.

How Pearl Harbor Became ‘The Nation’s Chief Pacific Outpost’. As early as 1907, more than three decades before the pivotal events that catapulted the United States into World War II, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole believed Hawaii was in serious danger of attack by Japan and that the islands were being left defenseless. Civil Beat.

Hawaii workplace deaths decreased in 2022. Three workers died on the job in Hawaii in 2022, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Bill proposes the state acquire Sunset Beach lots hit by erosion. Nearly two dozen oceanfront properties along Sunset Beach on Oahu’s famed North Shore would be condemned under a bill proposed this year by state Sen. Chris Lee that seeks to save the beach from being lost to erosion. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Homeowners Are Shocked At New Property Tax Bills.
Here’s Something That Could Help. Several states have so-called "Truth-in-Taxation" laws designed to mitigate the sharp property tax increases like the ones Honolulu homeowners are facing. Civil Beat.

Waiahole families facing huge rent hikes as farmers fight to keep local agriculture alive. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation says the proposed rates are well below market value and tenants need to pay their fair share to maintain the valley. KITV4.

Winter wave contests help sustain Oahu’s businesses, services. The North Shore’s economy is riding as high as the big winter waves as a number of surfing competitions from the “Eddie” to the World Surf League’s opening championship tournaments bolster interest in the region, leading to residual opportunities for a financial boom. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island energy plant case heads to high court again. Honua Ola Bioenergy’s tireless effort to begin producing renewable energy for Hawaii island enters another chapter Tuesday when the Hawaii Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the company’s latest appeal to vacate a state Public Utilities Commission’s decision that denied the company’s power purchase agreement with a Hawaiian Electric subsidiary. Star-Advertiser.

Puna roads EA expected soon: County ready to push forward with work. After a year of waiting, the next step in the restoration of Puna roads severed by the 2018 Kilauea eruption is nearly complete. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Avenue rehabilitation set for this spring. A 2-year-long project to improve Kilauea Avenue in Hilo is expected to begin this spring. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers considering $250,000 settlement in case stemming from sexual assaults at Kona school. The state Department of Education is set to pay a quarter-million-dollar settlement in a 2021 case brought by a Big Island family alleging the agency failed to protect a female student from repeated sexual assault on a public school campus. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Community Hospital seeks $20M for repairs. On the west side of Hawaii island, Kona Community Hospital serves a growing population in a facility that’s almost 50 years old but desperately seeks funding for much-needed repairs, according to its leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Alice Lee Is Chosen To Lead The Maui County Council As Chair. After a rocky start to the new term, the Maui County Council now has all nine members seated and, for the second time this month, a new council chair. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Multiple Molokaʻi schools will be closed Monday due to severe weather. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education’s five public schools on Moloka‘i will be closed for students and staff on Monday, Jan. 30, due to impacts from severe weather.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County sees largest vacation rental supply, occupancy, average rates in state. Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply, occupancy and average daily rates of all four counties last month, according to a recent state report. Maui Now.

Community-based solar projects offer energy independence to Molokaʻi renters.  The savings offered by community solar could make all the difference for folks on Molokaʻi, where energy costs are the second highest in the state, outranked only by Lānaʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Kawakami back from mayors’ conference.
  Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to participate in the U.S. Conference of Mayors 91st Winter Meeting. Garden Island.

A State Abortion Coordinator? Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Overcoming Barriers To Access. A Kauai doctor's lawsuit recently helped expand access. But there are still plenty of hurdles, particularly on the neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

DLNR to commission 42 new officers in Hawai‘i, nearly doubling staff on Kaua‘i. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement will add 42 recruits to its ranks in March, increasing the division’s staff by 50 percent and nearly doubling its presence on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Albatross rescued after pigs destroy 60+ eggs at nesting site. The Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauaʻi reported that 64 mōlī eggs were “crushed or eaten by pigs on Nihokū, beginning on Dec. 22. Maui Now. Kauai Now.

Sperm whale carcass washes up on Kauaʻi beach, prompts agency response. Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources say the cause of death of the 56-foot-long whale is under investigation, and won’t likely be determined for some time. Maui Now. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Help protect Kaua‘i’s birds by keeping cats inside. In an effort to cultivate the importance of cats belonging indoors, the Kaua‘i Humane Society is partnering with Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture to offer a variety of incentives and educational opportunities to the community. Kauai Now.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hawaii shutting down, issuing stay at home orders, 14-day quarantine for arrivals, some say state isn't doing enough to protect against COVID-19, news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki surfers ©2020 All Hawaii News
Oahu, Maui issue stay-at-home orders in ‘extraordinary’ push to stop spread of virus. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued an emergency “stay at home” order Sunday for Oahu, saying only employees who deliver essential services — from health care to banking to groceries, gas and car repair — should be leaving the house every day to report to work. Later Sunday, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino followed suit — and the governor said he was conferring with the state Attorney General’s Office to issue a statewide “stay at home” mandate. Hawaii News Now.

As the number of coronavirus cases in Hawaii climbs to 56, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui Mayor Michael Victorino are ordering residents to stay at home and work at home if they aren't essential workers, following the lead of San Francisco and other jurisdictions. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu, Maui mayors issued stay-at-home orders to flatten coronavirus curve. The majority of Hawaii’s population was ordered to stay at home until April 30 to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as the mayors of the City and County of Honolulu and Maui County ordered non-essential workers to work from home for the next five-and-a-half weeks, and Gov. David Ige said Hawaii is headed for a statewide stay-at-home order. Pacific Business News.

As Honolulu, Maui Order “Stay At Home”, Big Island Awaits Mayor Kim. On Sunday, the mayors of the City and County of Honolulu and the County of Maui issued stay-at-home, work-at-home orders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of which has already upended life in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

'Close the state down’: Critics question Ige’s approach to coronavirus. After Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino issued stay-at-home orders for residents, Gov. David Ige said he plans to issue a statewide plan after a legal review. Hawaii News Now.

=====

14-day quarantine to begin Thursday for arrivals to Hawaii. In the state’s toughest measure yet in battling the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. David Ige on Saturday ordered residents and visitors returning to Hawaii to undergo a 14-day quarantine starting Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii to quarantine all arrivals to the state for 14 days. Hawaii’s governor has instituted a mandatory 14-day self quarantine starting Thursday of all people traveling to the state as part of efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus. Associated Press.

Quarantine order starts Thursday for people entering Hawaii. Gov. David Ige on Saturday afternoon announced a 14-day quarantine mandate for visitors and residents arriving to Hawaii via all modes of travel effective Thursday until further notice. Maui News.

Here’s What The Governor Can Do In An Emergency. The Emergency Management Act expands the governor’s powers during a crisis. Civil Beat.

Kahele, Gabbard Expresses Concern Over Governor’s Proclamation. Hilo State Senator Kai Kahele implored Governor David Ige to take further action immediately, as a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine begins Thursday for all arrivals into Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

=====

Hawaiian Airlines to cease most flights. As the state’s visitor industry moves quickly toward protective hibernation, Hawaiian Airlines announced Sunday that it will suspend most of its long-haul passenger service and reduce its schedule of flights to the neighbor islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines Will Suspend Most Long-Haul Service Starting Thursday. The airline, which is Hawaii’s largest private employer, faces uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines, in preparation for a 14-day government quarantine order for all Hawaii arrivals set to begin Thursday, announced Sunday it will maintain its regular flight schedule through Wednesday to allow guests to return home and to accommodate the repatriation of aircraft before finalizing significant reductions of its domestic and international passenger network. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian to Suspend Most Long-Haul Passenger Service. Hawaiian Airlines will sideline most of its long-haul passenger service in response to a 14-day, state-ordered quarantine for all arrivals beginning Thursday, March 26. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Air to suspend most N. America, international flights, some interisland routes. In the wake of Gov. David Ige’s travel quarantine mandate, Hawaiian Airlines announced Sunday that it will suspend most of its North America and international routes beginning Thursday and cut some of its Neighbor Island routes starting Wednesday. Maui News.

=====

8 new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, officials say. Eight more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Hawaii — including another child — bringing the state cases to 56, the state Department of Health said today. Star-Advertiser.

8 New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health said the total case numbers rose to 56, including six new cases on Oahu and two on Maui. Civil Beat.
https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/03/8-new-coronavirus-cases-reported-in-hawaii/

Blood Bank of Hawaii Calls for Donations as COVID-19 Creates Nationwide Shortage. Hawai‘i’s blood supply is dropping fast as concern over the spread of COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of nearly 30 blood drives that had been scheduled through May. Hawaii Business.

38 Hawaii public schools to kick off free Grab-and-Go Meals on March 23. Stop by one of the designated schools to pick up a grab-and-go meal for each child present in the car. KHON2.

Your Child Care Center May Still Be Open. As coronavirus cases rise in the state, child care centers emerge as an “essential function” for front-line workers. Civil Beat.

What stores offer senior shopping hours in Hawaii? To protect a high-risk group from exposure to COVID-19, stores around the state are starting to offer special hours dedicated to seniors and those with chronic conditions. KITV4.

Hawaii Prosecutors Retool Policies To Avoid Filling Up Jails During Pandemic. One prosecutor — Justin Kollar of Kauai — has signed on to a national initiative to release some low level offenders not considered a threat to the community. Civil Beat.

Walk-In Voting Canceled For Hawaii Democratic Primary. The party will add another round of mailed balloting for the April 4 presidential contest, but details are still being finalized. Civil Beat.

Is Climate Change Affecting The Spread Of Disease? A warming climate could negatively impact Hawaii residents’ ability to fight off diseases like the flu and COVID-19, and will enable the spread of more ailments. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issues stay at home, work from home order. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today issued a “stay at home, work from home order” for Oahu effective Monday at 4:30 p.m. through April 30 in an attempt to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Orders ‘Stay At Home, Work From Home’ For All Oahu. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed an emergency order on Sunday requiring all Oahu residents and visitors to stay home except for essential activities. Civil Beat.

Stay at home, work from home order announced for Oahu. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that he signed an emergency order which involves Oahu residents to stay at home and work from home. KHON2.

=====

Norwegian Jewel cruise passengers will disembark in Honolulu on Monday for ship repairs. Hawaii officials and Norwegian Cruise Line will transport the nearly 2,000 passengers to chartered flights in isolation to avoid public contact amid ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus. KITV4.

Cruise ship passengers to go directly to airport. A Norwegian Cruise Line ship will begin offloading its 2,000 passengers at Honolulu Harbor today after initially being denied permission to do so because of the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Norwegian Jewel docked in Honolulu, passengers will disembark to airport. Another cruise ship is seen docked in Honolulu. The Norwegian Jewel arrived Sunday afternoon. KHON2.

=====

Disney, Four Seasons hotels at Hawaii's Ko Olina Resort's to close due to coronavirus. Ko Olina Resort — including the Four Seasons Resort Oahu, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and the Ko Olina Golf Club — will close to the public on Tuesday because of the coronavirus, which will put more than 2,500 employees out of work for an unspecified amount of time. Pacific Business News.

Tripler has dealt with at least 4 known cases of COVID-19. So far, officials have reported at least four cases tied to or treated by Tripler Army Medical Center staff. Hawaii News Now.

Owners of abutting Honolulu buildings remain locked in a renovation dispute. Two historic downtown Honolulu office buildings could use some social distancing on Queen Emma Street. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Green to address County Council: Council to hear COVID-19 update Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Josh Green is scheduled to address the Hawaii County Council during a teleconference Wednesday that includes a question-and-answer session with council members. West Hawaii Today.

Council seeks lockdown: Resolutions ask Ige, Kim to ‘push the pause’ button amid COVID-19 scare. Shut it down already, the County Council urged Gov. David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim in a pair of nonbinding resolutions approved unanimously Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Volcano businesses hope current problems won’t mirror 2018 struggles. As Big Island tourism struggles during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Volcano businesses are hoping to avoid a repeat of their problems during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Claim that TMT needs performance bond alive on appeal. Foes of the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope are appealing to Hawaii’s appellate court in hopes of overturning a lower court rejection of their argument that the project requires a substantial security bond before starting construction. Star-Advertiser.

Kona Coffee Farmers Favor 100% Labeling Rule. These farmers want the Kona name to be reserved only for 100% Kona coffee. Hawaii Business.

Maui

Maui ‘stay at home and work from home’ order starts Wednesday. Mayor Michael Victorino issued Sunday afternoon a “stay home and work from home” emergency order for all residents and visitors in Maui County — effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday until April 30 — amid efforts to flatten the coronavirus curve. Maui News.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino issues stay at home, work from home order. Victorino said critical services will still continue and everyone will still be able to get groceries and other essential products. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Stay-At-Home Order, Effective March 25 to April 30. Mayor Michael Victorino announced an update to Public Health Emergency Rules ordering those in Maui County to stay at home and work from home, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Maui Now.

Maui mayor outlines what’s essential and not essential in stay-at-home order. A “stay-at-home” order issued for Maui will go into effect on Wednesday, Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

More COVID-19 rules ‘likely’. Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, in consultation with Governor David Ige and the mayors of the other islands, is expected to refine Kaua‘i’s response to the COVID-19 during announcements that will be released, today. Garden Island.

Mayor On Curfew — ‘I’m Willing To Be Criticized For Overreacting’. Derek Kawakami, frustrated by the tourist influx, imposed a curfew for the island. Civil Beat.

Curfew takes effect with no violations. The people on Kaua‘i responded positively to the mayor-mandated curfew that took effect on Friday. Garden Island.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hawaii to start quarantining airport arrivals, first legislator tests positive as COVID-19 cases climb to 26, criticism mounts against state, local leaders, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian airlines at Honolulu airport ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hawaii airports planning to mandate 14-day home quarantine for incoming residents and visitors. Hawaii airports will begin mandating a 14-day quarantine for both residents and visitors coming to the islands, according to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Star-Advertiser.

The State plans to quarantine everyone coming to Hawaii for 14 days. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green wants to implement a 14-day quarantine for both residents and visitors coming into the islands. KHON2.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green adds pressure to secure visitor arrivals. He wants to suspend all non-essential travel to the state through April 30. Hawaii News Now.

Petition fighting for mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors to Hawaii gains support. Maui COVID-19 Facts, a group that wants a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers to Hawaii is quickly gaining support. The group sent a petition to Governor Ige on Thursday, showing the number of signatures nearly doubled overnight, with more than 10,000 signatures. KITV4.

MIT Researcher: Honolulu Airport Wasn’t A Virus ‘Super-Spreader’ This Time. The author of a study on Honolulu’s unique potential to spread contagion says we’re lucky the coronavirus moved west out of China, not east toward the islands. Civil Beat.

=====

Hawaii now has 26 cases of coronavirus. A television star and lawmaker are among the 10 most recent people in Hawaii to contract the coronavirus, which jumped to 26 from two cases in just one week. Star-Advertiser.

New coronavirus cases to the state include lawmaker, actor and medical center employee. The Hawaii Heath Department said all of the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases here in Hawaii are travel related. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Update: 26 Cases Reported Statewide. There remains only one reported confirmed case of COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island, health officials say. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i Confirms 10 New COVID-19 Cases Thursday. Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson announced 10 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i as of 1:20 p.m. Thursday. Big Island Now.

DOH emphasizes social distancing. Ten more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Hawaii — eight on Oahu and two on Maui — bringing the total to 26, state health officials said. Tribune-Herald.

DOH Testing in Hawaii For COVID-19 Remains Deliberately Narrow. Lt. Gov. Josh Green slammed the pace of the state Department of Health’s screening program as a “total fail.” Civil Beat.

Why Hawaii Is Not Fully Prepared To Care For Surge In Coronavirus Patients. In less than a week, the number of cases of coronavirus in Hawaii increased from 2 to 16. Are Hawaii’s hospitals fully prepared for the influx of coronavirus patients? Two studies say no. Hawaii Public Radio.

=====

House Speaker Scott Saiki urges Gov. David Ige to ‘shut down’ the state for 15 days. House Speaker Scott Saiki is describing the handling of the pandemic thus far as “utterly chaotic,” and is urging Gov. David Ige to shut down the state and have residents shelter in place for the next 15 days. Star-Advertiser.

House speaker ‘implores’ governor to institute immediate statewide shutdown for 15 days. House Speaker Scott Saiki is calling on the governor to institute an immediate statewide shutdown for 15 days, requiring people to shelter in their homes or hotel rooms to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Saiki To Ige: State’s Handling Of COVID-19 ‘Has Been Chaotic’. The Hawaii House speaker urges the governor to order “an immediate statewide shutdown” of the state for the next 15 days. Civil Beat.

House Speaker Says State Response 'Utterly Chaotic,' Wants 15-Day State Shutdown. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii House Speaker Calls For State Shutdown, Shelter In Place. Calling the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic "utterly chaotic" with "mass confusion among the public", House Speaker Scott Saiki called on the Governor to take immediate action. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii’s newly created Special Senate Committee on COVID-19 held its first meeting Thursday, as the state Department of Health confirmed six new cases of COVID-19. Garden Island.

=====

Sen. Nishihara in quarantine as Legislature closes indefinitely. Just hours after he was notified he tested positive for the new coronavirus, state Sen. Clarence Nishihara found himself confined Thursday to a bedroom in his Waipahu home without even a TV to pass the time. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Senator Tests Positive For Coronavirus. Health officials screened as many as 70 lawmakers and staff after Sen. Clarence Nishihara tested positive. Civil Beat.

State Capitol building closes after senator tests positive for coronavirus. The state Capitol building is closed following news that state Sen. Clarence Nishihara tested positive Thursday for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

=====

Hawaii’s public schools will start offering grab-and-go meals for kids Monday. Two dozen public schools across the state will begin serving grab-and-go breakfast and lunches Monday to help students who might otherwise miss meals during the extended three-week spring break. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Will Offer Meals Outside Some Cafeterias While Schools Are Closed. Many students depend on school meals to keep from going hungry. Civil Beat.

=====

University of Hawai‘i cancels graduation. The University of Hawai‘i is canceling the traditional commencement ceremonies, said University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner during a meeting of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents at the Honolulu Community College via teleconferencing. Garden Island.

University of Hawai‘i Commencement Ceremonies Canceled. Calling it a “difficult decision,” University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner announced the cancellation of all traditional commencement ceremonies at all 10 campuses in the US system, including the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College in Kahului. Maui Now.

=====

Unemployment online system crashes from onslaught of claims. The overload in unemployment claims, which have been steadily rising as COVID-19 concerns clamp down on Hawaii’s economy, caused a misleading reported drop in Wednesday’s activity. Star-Advertiser.

State Labor Department apologizes, explains solutions for lagging website. Officials say an overload of claims being filed online caused the problem. KHON2.

Hawaii Unemployment Claims Skyrocket As Coronavirus Crisis Continues. Thousands of people are trying to apply for unemployment insurance as Hawaii’s tourism and service industries tumble. Civil Beat.

Hilo, and Now Honolulu, Dodge Influx of Cruise Ship Passengers. Big Island residents are breathing a sigh of relief after state authorities canceled a cruise ship’s emergency plans to unload hundreds of its passengers at Hilo Harbor. State transportation officials say the Holland America Line vessel is now set to arrive in Honolulu Friday, but none of its more than 800 passengers will be allowed off. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

City pulls lifeguards from Oahu beaches. Residents and visitors swam at their own risk at Oahu beaches Thursday after city officials instructed lifeguards not to go to their observation tower stations over concerns that they could be exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Unauthorized vendors fill a gap left by departing city beach concessions. Despite Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s announcement Wednesday that the city’s parks would be closed the next day, there were at least 100 tourists enjoying Kuhio Beach Park on Thursday morning, according to Dave Carvalho of the city concession Pacific Island Beach Boys, who was waiting to hear whether the city Department of Enterprise Serv­ices would order his concession to close that day. Star-Advertiser.

A major Waikiki hotel closes its doors to encourage visitors to return home safely. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Hale Koa Hotel, but the Waikiki resort — which caters to military families — decided to close its doors Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Twin-tower Keeaumoku project wins Council OK. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday gave the green light to a twin-tower condominium project that is expected to add nearly 1,000 more residential units to the Keeaumoku Street area. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Inouye in isolation; Big Isle senators react after Nishihara tests positive for COVID-19. State Sen. Lorraine Inouye of Hilo said she was tested Thursday for the COVID-19 coronavirus and will remain in isolation in Honolulu until she receives the test results. Tribune-Herald.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing comes to Kona on Monday. The 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. effort is being undertaken by Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s COVID Task Force with help from the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation and Ironman Foundation. West Hawaii Today.

Feeding the hungry: Food Basket seeks monetary donations, paper bags, volunteers. The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank, is seeking the community’s help as they face uncertain times providing food for our island’s hungry as the coronavirus pandemic continues. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim’s Plan Poses Serious Health Risks, Scientists Say. Kim’s plan also contrasts starkly with the policies soon to be enacted by mayors on every other major island — as O‘ahu and Maui will mandate social distancing practices for all restaurants, bars and related businesses, and Kaua‘i will enforce a 9 p.m. curfew indefinitely. Big Island Now.

Maui

Mayor Victorino Announces Public Health Emergency Rules for Maui County. Mayor Michael Victorino announced a number of Public Health Emergency Rules effective as of 7:45 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, directed toward limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions, such as travel to and from work and medical appointments. Maui Now.

Emergency rules take effect Friday. County to require closures of certain businesses; road to Hana for local traffic. Maui News.

Online fees waived for water, trash, property taxes. Credit card and transaction fees for online payments for real property taxes, trash pickup and water bills are being waived, and a Molokai and Lanai COVID-19 update will be livestreamed Friday, Maui County said. Maui News.

Maui Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Expected to Launch Early Next Week. Preparations are underway to ready the War Memorial Gymnasium parking lot in Wailuku as Maui’s drive-through testing site for COVID-19. Maui Now.

2 new Maui cases are residents who returned from Europe. Two Maui residents who traveled back from Europe together were among the 10 new cases reported in Hawaii on Thursday, according to county and state officials. Maui News.

Kauai

Mail it in or make an appointment. Most county offices are closing to the public due to COVID-19 spread-prevention techniques. Garden Island.

Utility disconnections suspended. Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative and Hawai‘i Gas have both suspended service disconnections for Hawai‘i residents in response to anticipated economic hardships for members and customers. Garden Island.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Iolani Palace vandalized, Kauai cuts budget rather than raise taxes, Maui Mayor Arakawa announces Lt. Gov. bid, DLNR raises rents, Big Island man had 91 dogs, Molokai library celebrates 80 years, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Iolani Palace © 2017 All Hawaii News
A man is in custody for allegedly vandalizing three historic doors at Iolani Palace and a glass door at the state Capitol building Sunday, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Hawaii News Now.

A 57-year-old man has been arrested after Iolani Palace and the Hawaii State Capitol were vandalized. KHON2.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is wasting time and money by conducting a review of more than two dozen federally protected areas — including Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the Pacific Remote Islands — to determine whether they should be abolished or their boundaries restricted, according to a letter sent to Zinke on Thursday and signed by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and 85 other House Democrats. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has pledged to forgo campaign contributions from political action committees, commonly known as PACs, joining just a handful of other members of Congress who have recently rejected the money from special interest groups. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has increased rents on nearly 300 month-to-month land permits by as much as 27 percent to account for its failure to adjust prices for years despite a 2005 board policy calling for regular reviews. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable housing and homelessness are two of the toughest problems Hawaii faces. A new non-profit is aiming the resources of homebuilders at these challenges. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s incoming education chief says she’s a school reformer who is committed to narrowing achievement gaps — though she’s also garnered some criticism in districts she’s led in the past. Tribune-Herald.

When Hawaii’s public school students return to classes in the fall, the program that serves up chicken burgers, pizza and nachos onto their lunch trays each day will have undergone a few changes. Tribune-Herald.

Kamehameha program celebrates 50 years of sharing Hawaiian culture with kids. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Valuable but largely underused land along Honolulu’s urban waterfront is being readied for development again by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and this time a controversial element of residential use is not being sought. Star-Advertiser.

A City Council committee last week deferred a bill that would require periodic inspections and mandatory corrective action for unsafe conditions at commercial buildings, condominiums and apartments three stories or higher — a measure introduced in the wake of a fatal Ala Moana Center accident in which a railing collapsed. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu-based Nobscot CEO Beth Carvin launched a new social media platform on Tuesday called JamBios. Pacific Business News.

Martin Pahinui, son of famed Hawaiian musician Gabby Pahinui and a musician, vocalist, and Hoku Award-winning recording artist, died today at his home in Waimanalo, his family said. He was 65. Star-Advertiser.

Slack key guitarist, vocalist and musician Martin Pahinui died in his home Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer, according to family. KITV.

Hawaii Island

If Hu Honua Bioenergy’s long-delayed biomass power plant were to go online by the end of 2018, Hawaii Electric Light Company’s ratepayers would see increases in their electricity bills, according to an analysis HELCO filed Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission of a proposed power purchase agreement. Tribune-Herald.

After about eight years of planning, a mixed-use development along Komohana Street is closer to becoming a reality. Tribune-Herald.

A research and education center to be constructed about a mile north of the Puu Waawaa cinder cone moved a step forward this week with the publication of a finding of no significant environmental impact. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii State Department of Education and the University of Hawaii signed a memorandum of understanding with Maunakea Observatories to form an official working group for the Maunakea Scholars program. Pacific Business News.

Owner of 91 dogs praises Humane Society’s efforts to rescue animals. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits, said Friday that he intends to seek the lieutenant governor’s seat in 2018. Maui News.

Maui County officials are baffled that state lawmakers decided to end limited liability immunity for county lifeguards, which “opens the floodgates” to personal injury lawsuits, a Maui County Council member said last week. Maui News.

Principal construction began last week on turning the former 310-room Makena Beach & Golf Resort into 50 condominium units and other structures that will be part of the Makena Golf & Beach Club, a the private beachfront community. Maui News.

Entrance fees to Haleakala National Park will be increasing Thursday to cover costs of improvements at the park. Maui News.

Warrant issued for ex-Potty Boot Camp operator in Hawaii. Associated Press.

A pilot program on Maui looks to use goats to manage weeds on the shoulders of some State Highways. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

When the Kauai County Council meets Wednesday, it is expected to approve the operating and Capital Improvement Projects budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. submitted a $204 million budget in March. But when he submitted his supplemental budget on May 5, it reflected a $600,000 decrease, bringing it to $203.5 million. Garden Island.

Planning for a full-time Charter Review Commission is under way. Garden Island.

Nakamura reflects on first session as legislator. Garden Island.

Fisher named Kauai program director for The Nature Conservancy. Garden Island.

Molokai

The Molokai Public Library celebrated 80 years of service to the community at a ceremony held on the front lawn Saturday. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Public input sought on Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument, fewer mainland homeless moving to Oahu, free school lunch program expands, state retirement fund improving, Maui mulls polystyrene foam container ban, firearm purchases rise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument
The Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument is under review by the Department of the Interior, and the public will be able submit comments. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System achieved its best investment return in nearly three years last quarter and hit an all-time high in assets to further the state’s efforts in whittling down a $12.44 billion shortfall. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of community college students in Hawaii will be able to attend school for free in the fall under a new scholarship program appropriated funding in the two-year, $28 billion state budget lawmakers approved last week. Tribune-Herald.

This upcoming school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education will expand a U.S. Department of Agriculture free meal program, called the Community Eligibility Provision, from 30 public schools to a total of 52 across the state. KHON2.

Some Hawaii public school students who have a negative balance in their lunch accounts may receive a grace period for having insufficient funds. Garden Island.

Lawmakers drastically lower the blood quantum requirements to pass on Hawaiian Homestead leases. KITV.

Shirlene DelaCruz Ostrov, a military veteran and small business owner, is in the running to become the next chair of the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

The number of mumps infections has risen by three as of today as the state records its highest number of cases in at least a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Advocates: New fees, laws stemming tide of homeless from mainland. While service providers are still seeing fresh faces daily, the overall number of people showing up on Oahu and quickly ending up homeless is going down. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is in discussions with a group trying to raise money for a public-private partnership that would establish and maintain a 1-acre playground at the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Regional Park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Inaction On Replacing Jail Is A Victory For Justice Reformers. The failure by lawmakers to agree on a plan to replace the overcrowded Oahu Community Correctional Center buys more time to study broader reforms. Civil Beat.

Dozens of Hilton janitors are expecting to receive more than $1.1 million in unpaid wages from Hawaii Care and Cleaning, a contractor for the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Civil Beat.

Dog owners on the Windward side of Oahu say they've been asking for a dog park for more than a decade. This week, Honolulu City Council will consider a resolution to finally establish the island's sixth "off-leash" dog park. KITV.

The city is asking for just under $3 million to fix up exhibits at the Honolulu Zoo some of which are deteriorating at a faster pace than expected. KHON2.

Expansion at Ko Olina fuels tourism boom and boosts businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Tesla Motors will open its third retail store on Oahu this week. Pacific Business News.

Saks Fifth Avenue said Monday that its second Hawaii Saks Off 5th store will open on Thursday at Ala Moana Center. Pacific Business News.

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. reduced its first-quarter loss from a year ago using proceeds from a previously reported sale of a Waikiki building in which the company owned a 5 percent stake. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A Hawaii County councilwoman representing Puna wants local government to admit it has historically discriminated against her district, as well as the district of Ka`u, and to move in the direction of addressing the issue. Big Island Video News.

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding out who painted graffiti on rocks within a protected area on one of Hawaii’s most revered mountains. Associated Press.

Graffiti discovered on one of Hawaii’s most revered mountains last month was geared toward protesting the military testing at Pohakuloa Training Area, officials speculated Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Some county services in West Hawaii were impacted after overhead lines were damaged at Kawaihae Harbor. Big Island Video News.

Lava boat tour operators peppered U.S. Coast Guard officials with questions and comments during a public meeting held Monday evening in Hilo regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Country Club golf course going private. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A proposed ban on polystyrene food containers is stirring up a fierce debate on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

An environmental impact statement preparation notice has been prepared for a project to reconfigure Kaanapali Golf Course properties owned by the State of Hawaii Employees Retirement System. Maui News.

Firearms registrations take big jump over previous year. Maui News.

Kauai

Firearm sales on Kauai soar. Dealers report steady stream of customers. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Legislature begins conference committees, homeless efforts stall, few use cesspool replacement tax credit, Kauai water agreement restores stream, Maui audit shows post office demolition errors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Sen. J. Kalani English
Legislative conference committee, courtesy Sen. J. Kalani English
The Legislature’s critical conference committee period kicked off Tuesday at the Capitol with Hawaii lawmakers making earnest statements about how they have found a lot to agree on when it comes to the state’s $28 billion budget. Civil Beat.

The traditional Hawaiian value “hookipa” prompted state lawmakers to push a resolution to make Hawaii a sanctuary state, honoring Hawaii’s history as a home to a diverse group of immigrants who dramatically shaped the island state’s economy and culture. Associated Press.

Homelessness: A Lot Of Talk But No ‘Game-Changer’ At The Legislature. Some bills are still alive, with their fate to be decided in conference committees. Civil Beat.

There's nearly 90,000 cesspools across Hawaii, and many could be polluting our groundwater. That fact prompted the state to offer tax-credits to home-owners to clean up and clear out their sewage, but very few have switched to safer septic systems. KITV.

A new poll sheds light on some of the most controversial issues facing the state, and shows opinions aren't as divided as some might think. Hawaii News Now.

The Department of Education closed out 19 employee misconduct investigations during the first three months of the year, resulting in six terminations and five resignations or retirements in lieu of termination, according to data shared Tuesday with the state school board. Star-Advertiser.

New school lunch program emphasizes fresh local fare made from scratch. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines said a shift in the wind blew it off course in February and resulted in the worst monthly on-time performance in more than a decade. Star-Advertiser.

Federal legislation to improve tsunami detection and climate forecasting, long championed by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Commentary: The United Public Workers, the union which represents some 13,000 state and county blue collar workers, including about 1,200 prison guards, believes the Department of Public Safety is violating the state constitution and state law by refusing to promote prison guards into supervisory positions if they have been suspended from their jobs within the previous two years. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The Honolulu Police Commission said late this afternoon that it had received 38 applications for police chief, roughly 25 to 30 percent of them from out-of-state candidates. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens are applying to be the next chief of the embattled Honolulu Police Department. Associated Press.

Under a new lease deal, the Missouri memorial will stay in Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

As sit-lie ban expands, businesses wonder: Where will volatile homeless camp go next? Hawaii News Now.

Waimanalo Gym Closure Leaves A Town Feeling Sidelined. Residents are frustrated by the long wait to start a $3.12 million repair job on the damaged gym, which was a “safe haven” for kids. Civil Beat.

Manoa residents want their rough roads fixed, and some would rather not wait for the city to get around to fixing them. They’re offering to do the work themselves. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co.’s time-of-use program, which makes energy use cheaper during the day and more expensive at night, is proving popular among retirees. Star-Advertiser.

PacRim Marketing Group, one of the largest public relations firms in Hawaii, is rebranding following its acquisition by Vector, Inc., a Tokyo-based communications firm. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Substance abuse programs, elderly transportation, domestic violence and Native Hawaiian health care took top billing Tuesday as a Hawaii County Council panel recommended disbursing $1.5 million to 85 community nonprofits. West Hawaii Today.

Kolekole Park has been closed due to lead levels in excess of safe amounts, according to Mayor Harry Kim’s office. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Medical Center received a top grade from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group — a leading proponent of patient safety. Tribune-Herald.

Veterans troubled over newly tapped director of Hawaii VA health system. West Hawaii Today.

Moanike‘ala Akaka, longtime Hawaiian activist and advocate, former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and a founding mother of the renaissance of Hawaiian language and culture in the 1970s, died Saturday at Hospice of Hilo Pohai Malama Facility after a monthslong battle with cancer. She was 72. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


A 47-page audit was released today by the Maui Office of the County Auditor on the demolition of the Old Wailuku Post Office. Maui Now.

Another 6 megawatts — enough for possibly 850 residential rooftop photovoltaic systems — will become available for hookup to the grid on Maui, according to Maui Electric Co. Maui News.

VIDEO: Support Waiehu Golf Course Rally. Maui Now.

Controlling snail and slug populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease, health and agricultural experts said Monday evening during a meeting at the Haiku Community Center. Maui News.

The new California owners of the Safeway and Longs Drugs-anchored Lahaina Cannery Mall on Maui plan to spend $18 million to renovate the 15-acre mall that will include nearly doubling the size of the Safeway store, the company said Tuesday. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

In a move all sides are calling historic, the Hawaii State Water Commission on Tuesday approved a mediated settlement that restores tens of millions of gallons of water a day to the Waimea River on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

In what’s being dubbed a “historic” agreement, groups representing cultural, environmental, agricultural and development interests have reached a settlement in a longstanding dispute over the diversion of millions of gallons of water on the west side of Kauai. Civil Beat.

After more than 100 years, water is being returned to the Waimea River. Garden Island.

Access and safety at Kee were among the top concerns at the Hanalei School Cafeteria on Tuesday, as community members gathered to hear updates about the Hanakapiai Bridge project and the Haena State Park Master Plan. Garden Island.

The state has cited a 39-year-old Lihue man after he allegedly tried to pry open the shell of a live Hawaiian green sea turtle using a knife and rock. Star-Advertiser.

Two gardeners said they were evicted from Kalihiwai Community Garden because they refused to sign a contract they claim didn’t match their original agreement. Garden Island.

Lanai

Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of Oracle Corp. and majority owner of the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, is looking for someone to run the operations of the 21 resort residential properties he purchased three years ago near the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Pacific Business News.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ige declares time out for Thirty Meter Telescope, Nature Conservancy director named DLNR chair, Maui mayor proposes electricity takeover, Honolulu rail tax clears committee, lawmakers mull marijuana dispensaries, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Mauna Kea telescope protesters file photo courtesy Occupy Hilo Media
Protesters on Mauna Kea welcomed a weeklong moratorium on construction of the world's largest telescope Tuesday but said they aren't letting their guard down and will continue to keep vigil at the 9,200-foot level. Star-Advertiser.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea is on hold for at least a week as protests over the $1.4 billion project continue to mount. Hawaii Gov. David Ige told reporters Tuesday that there will be a “timeout” to facilitate a dialogue. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that the nonprofit corporation behind the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea agreed to his request for a weeklong halt of construction. The stand down came five days after law enforcement officials arrested 31 people who participated in an ongoing protest of the $1.4 billion project. Tribune Herald.

Hawai‘i Governor David Ige has announced a week-long "time out" for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Governor Ige says he came to this decision after speaking with major stakeholders in the project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor David Ige announced at a press conference Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea will ‘pause' for a week. He's hoping the next seven days will ease tensions and increase dialogue between stakeholders over the construction of the thirty meter telescope. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop one of the most sacred sites for native Hawaiians would come to a halt, at least temporarily. Ige characterized the one-week pause in construction as a “timeout.” KITV4.

In a seemingly abrupt about-face after the first major controversy of his administration, Gov. David Ige nominated longtime conservationist Suzanne Case on Tuesday as the new chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources — a selection that quickly won praise from members of the state's environmental community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige has appointed Suzanne Case to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, ending weeks of speculation. The governor withdrew his previous nominee, Carleton Ching, three weeks ago amid mounting public opposition over his ties to developers and lack of experience for a job that requires leading a department comprised of 10 divisions and nearly 900 employees. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday nominated Suzanne Case, the longtime head of The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources after withdrawing his first nomination, Castle & Cooke Hawaii executive Carleton Ching, due to backlash from environmental groups. Pacific Business News.

Today Governor David Ige announced his new nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources (subject to confirmation by the Senate), Suzanne Case, and the widespread opposition to Ige’s previous choice, developer-lobbyist Carleton Ching, is calling the choice a win for Hawaii. Hawaii Independent.

Governor David Ige on Tuesday announced his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday his nomination to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources and his choices for the Board of Education. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige on Tuesday appointed a banking executive and two former public-school educators to the state Board of Education. Ige named Lance Mizumoto, president and chief banking officer of Central Pacific Bank, to the board along with longtime Kauai educator Margaret Cox and former teacher Hubert Minn. Star-Advertiser.

Spending by special interest groups lobbying lawmakers during the first part of the current legislative session is running well below last year’s pace, according to reports filed last week with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The more than 200 interest groups with registered lobbyists reported spending a total of $832,808 during the period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Civil Beat.

Student lunch prices will to go up by 25 cents in the fall to $2.75 for high-schoolers and to $2.50 for elementary and intermediate students, the first price increases since 2011. Breakfast prices will go up by 10 cents to $1.10 and $1.20 for elementary and secondary students, respectively. Department of Education officials cited increases in food and labor costs, which have pushed up meal expenses by more than 17 percent in the last five years. The move is expected to raise an additional $1.7 million a year for the food services branch. Star-Advertiser.

A state House bill attempting to create a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system throughout Hawaii will be reviewed by its final committees today. House Bill 321 establishes a system of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state and puts limits on the amount that can be purchased. The legislation also prohibits counties from enacting zoning regulations that prevent the use of land for licensed dispensaries. West Hawaii Today.

More than 4,000 charge cards under the pCard program are in the hands of government workers, ranging from secretaries to department heads and politicians. But the oversight of the pCards is left largely to individual agencies — something that the state auditor raised questions about when examining the program in 2010. Star-Advertiser.

Aiming to reduce the 55 million gallons of raw sewage that enters the ground daily — and makes its way into Hawaii’s drinking water — state lawmakers are pressing forward with a bill that would ease the financial pain of converting to modern waste disposal systems. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii legislators’ efforts to address the state’s affordable housing crisis may barely make a dent in the huge demand for homes. Civil Beat.

In June, former Governor Linda Lingle begins her new job as COO for Illinois. As for Hawaii politics, Lingle believes the Republican Party will eventually cut into Democratic dominance, the way it did when she was GOP chair and then governor. Hawaii News Now.

A new report says foreign students studying in Hawaii are contributing hundreds of millions to the state's economy. The report released Tuesday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism says foreign students made a direct economic impact of more than $205 million during the current school year. Associated Press.

Oahu

The Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday voted to extend a 0.5 percent General Excise Tax surcharge for Honolulu’s rail project another five years beyond its Dec. 31, 2022 expiration. The vote on House Bill 134 indicates that lawmakers are supportive of helping the city complete it’s $6 billion driverless commuter rail project despite cost overruns and questions of lax oversight. Civil Beat.

Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu announced his resignation on Tuesday following his second DUI arrest over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro has accepted the resignation of Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Karamatsu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Tuesday announced upcoming flight plans for the remainder of April through May 7. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Mayor Alan Arakawa wants to explore the possibilities of making Maui Electric Co. a public utility, one that could even compete against Florida-based Next-Era Energy Inc., which is seeking Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to acquire MECO's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries. Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric and NextEra held the first in a series of public meetings. Two meetings were held on Maui on Tuesday. Senior leaders and other employees from both NextEra and Hawaiian Electric were on hand to talk about how they plan to increase renewable energy and lower customer bills. NextEra says it wants input from the community. KHON2.

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries will host a series of open house meetings statewide to acquaint the public with NextEra and share details on the upcoming merger between the two energy companies. Maui Now.

The Makawao Fourth of July Parade plans to carry on, unchanged, with its longtime parade organizer vowing Tuesday night to "dig my heels in" against the state Department of Defense. Maui News.

Kauai

A contractor has been hired to remove a sailboat that ran aground in a secluded area on a reef at Moloaa Bay April 1. Garden Island.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has hired a contractor to remove a 55-foot sailboat that ran aground off Kauai earlier this month. The department says it's expected to cost $185,000 to remove the Kikimo from the reef at Moloaa Bay. Associated Press.

Just how famous are Kauai’s chickens? Enough for the New York Times to write a lengthy report about them. Garden Island.

Molokai

Maui County Council members took a first step Tuesday toward providing a government subsidy to keep the Molokai ferry afloat, but it remains to be seen whether it will be too little too late. Maui News.