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Locally Owned, Locally Committed Since 1955
6,924 people became newly homeless on Oʻahu in 2019
That number erased the 616 homeless people per month, on average, who were placed into “permanent housing” across all islands.“You have new people falling into homelessness every day,” said Scott Morishige, the state’s homeless coordinator. “As much as we’re concentrating on the chronically homeless, those with the highest level of need, there are also new people coming into the system.” Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Hawaiʻi is falling seriously short on census job applicants
The U.S. Census Bureau is urging Hawaiʻi residents to apply for jobs in an effort to ensure every state resident is counted in its 2020 survey. The agency has met only 53% of its statewide recruiting goal. The need is especially great in Maui and Kauaʻi counties where the Census Bureau has hit only about 39% of its recruiting goal. Civil Beat.
Guidelines proposed for stun gun legalization
Hawaiʻi’s law tightly restricting possession of electric “stun guns” is being challenged in court as an alleged infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights, and state Attorney General Clare Connors is now proposing lawmakers strike it from the law books and adopt a new system to regulate privately owned electric guns such as Tasers. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
After 106 traffic deaths last year, lawmakers push for drastic changes to roadway laws
Several initiatives have already been introduced during the new legislative session to help reduce the number of fatalities. Those measures include cameras that capture drivers running red lights, and zero-tolerance for policies for drinking and driving. Hawaii News Now.
Hawaiʻi medicaid changes may leave patients with fewer insurance choices
In an unprecedented move, the Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services is downsizing the number of Medicaid insurance company contracts it will offer. The consolidation move is intended to relieve the burden of billing processes for many insurance plans. But it will also limit the number of insurance plan choices Medicaid patients will have, especially on neighbor islands. Civil Beat.
Case continues quest to change Jones Act
A trio of bills introduced Dec. 19 by U.S. Rep. Ed Case seeking to exempt Hawaiʻi from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 — better known as the Jones Act — haven’t yet been scheduled for committee hearings, but the veteran lawmaker remains undeterred in his effort to change the 100-year-old law. Tribune-Herald.
Number of vacation rental units is shrinking
The number of residential vacation rentals on Oʻahu continues to fall, according to the latest monthly Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority study released. That suggests the city’s contentious new law cracking down on enforcement of illegal short-term rentals may be having the impact intended. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
HAWAII BUSINESS This Week: East Meets West Conference 2020
Blue Startups, the startup accelerator hosting the conference on Jan. 30-31, chooses the topics based on what’s trending and relevant to markets in Asia, Hawai‘i and the U.S. Mainland… read more.
Legal battle over e-signatures pursued amid effort to impeach Honolulu prosecutor
Those wanting Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro impeached have taken their case to a federal judge. Friday, attorney Keith Kiuchi filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to weigh in on the city’s rejection of electronic signatures, based on the federal E-sign Act. Hawaii News Now.
What was once just a vision for Oʻahu’s homeless is now a thriving community
Kahauiki opened in January 2018 and just reached its 2-year anniversary. The Institute for Human Services hosted a Wellness Day for Kahauiki Village residents with various booths and services. Hawaii News Now.
Board of Water Supply looking to unload Haiku Stairs
The Board of Water Supply, current owner and manager of the Haiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, just released a roughly 4,300-page study about the stairs. “Due to mounting security costs and liability concerns, BWS is proposing to take down Haiku Stairs,” part of the study reads. KITV4.
Hibiscus Drive homeowner wants to rebuild
One week after a fire and shooting in a quiet Diamond Head neighborhood left four people dead, including two Honolulu police officers, numerous onlookers visited the street, some to pay respects and others to get a glimpse of the destruction. At least one couple who lost everything said they would rebuild and not let the shooter triumph. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kalihi Elementary is cutting back single-use plastics thanks to a cafeteria upgrade
More than 500 volunteers worked together to improve the campus of Kalihi Elementary on Saturday. They improved the cafeteria with new fans, a dishwasher and a new coat of paint. The principal said that because of the new dishwasher, they’ll use metal utensils for students starting next week which will significantly reduce the amount single-use plastics they go through. Hawaii News Now.