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Hawaii GOP chair resigns

Shirleen Ostrov has resigned over her support for QAnon followers.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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2.1.2021
TOP STORIES
Hawai‘i GOP chair resigns following backlash over tweets defending QAnon followers
The party announced late Sunday that Shirlene Ostrov resigned after four years as chair. The four Republican minority members are split 2-2 on who should represent the chamber. Hawaii News Now. Civil Beat.

Telework bill among measures backed by the Women’s Legislative Caucus
Government workers will have greater flexibility over their work schedules under a bill that would require all state departments to come up with telework and alternative work schedule policies. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.

“Overpayment” reviews causing latest delays to state jobless benefits
The state’s labor department is still struggling to pay out more complex unemployment insurance claims. Officials say the main holdup involves discrepancies between the wages reported by claimants and their former employers. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

State Health Department is mum on former epidemiologist’s departure
The department says that Dr. Sarah Park, criticized for her leadership during the pandemic, left the department on the last day of 2020. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i’s electricity costs are highest in the nation, but tax credit extension could help
The cost stems from the state’s reliance on oil, which fuels 72% of electricity production. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says the current 26% federal tax credit on solar installations, set to expire at the end of 2020, was extended until 2022, and will help reduce electricity costs. KHON2.

Can you make money being a farmer in Hawai‘i?
Hawai‘i now imports about 85% of its food, and much of what farmers produce is for export — seed crops, coffee and macadamia nuts. But some farmers are learning how to turn a profit while producing food for the local market. Civil Beat.

Some expectant mothers in Hawai‘i are steering clear of hospitals 
Midwives say they’ve been so busy during the pandemic that they’ve sometimes had to turn away clients. Civil Beat.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Build a Talent Bench that is Robust and Deep
The nature of today’s workplace and workforce is rapidly changing. The jobs employees are doing today may not require the same skills five years from now. Here are four key actions companies should consider… read more.
OʻAHU
Honolulu mayor considers easing restrictions to revitalize economy
Rick Blangiardi is hoping to loosen restrictions on bars, restaurants and outdoor youth sports. But under the current tier system, moving to Tier 4 requires that average positive cases  stay below 20 for two weeks. Hawaii News Now.

The HPD is sued for withholding overtime data
Honolulu Civil Beat filed a lawsuit Friday to get data from the Honolulu Police Department on the amount of overtime each officer has worked in the past five years. This data is routinely shared with the public in other cities, says the news organization’s attorney. Civil Beat.

State seeks innovative ways to finance and build new OCCC
Officials are asking construction contractors, financiers and investors around the world for ideas about how to pay for and build a new O‘ahu Community Correctional Center. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

DOCARE Academy’s first cohort of graduates is ready to serve
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has added 12 new conservation and resource enforcement officers to its team, the result of a new collaboration with Honolulu Community College. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

North Shore wind farm settlement offers added funding, protections for endangered species
The operator of the Kawailoa Wind Farm in the hills above Waimea Bay has agreed to pay for greater protections for endangered species as part of a contested case hearing settlement announced Friday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
5 Steps to Planning a Retirement Timeline

Retirement planning is challenging, but these tips for creating a timeline can help your savings stay on track at every stage of your life… read more.

HAWAIʻI ISLAND
Appellate court affirms police presence on Mauna Kea
The state Intermediate Court of Appeals said last week that Hawai‘i County Police Chief Paul Ferreira had the legal authority to request police officers from other counties for help during the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protests. The opinion upholds a ruling by Third Circuit Court Judge Henry Nakamoto. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i Police Department agrees to identify officers fired, suspended for misconduct
A day after stating the department would not comply with Act 47, the county has changed its stance and will submit officers’ names. West Hawaii Today.

Proposed capital improvements measure includes bond funding for HMC expansion
A proposed expansion of Hilo Medical Center is a capital improvement priority for one local legislator. Tribune-Herald.

Bill would let luxury property owners send tax money to either county or charity
The tax, approved last year, collects $13.60 on every thousand dollars worth of residential property valued over $2 million. West Hawaii Today.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
5 Tips for a Small Business to Secure a Loan

At some point in the life cycle of a business, most small business owners will need to apply for a loan. Here are five tips to increase your chances of successfully securing a business loan...read more.
MAUI COUNTY
Harbor Lights cluster is now “stabilized”
After nearly a month of rising COVID-19 cases at the  condominium complex in Kahului, health officials say cases are now “trending down.” Just two positive cases were reported last week, putting the total count at 106. Maui News.

County considers purchase of Maui News property
Maui County is eyeing the purchase of a 6.3-acre parcel that includes The Maui News offices in Wailuku. Maui News.

KAUAʻI
Council passes enhanced shoreline-setback ordinance
But the county Planning Department still isn’t satisfied with new additions to the ordinance that were recently passed by the Kaua‘i County Council. Garden Island.

County requests modifications to proposed Westside beach access bill
A hearing notice proposing a pilot permit program at Polihale State Park and Kekaha Beach Park to allow for beach driving was the first time the County of Kaua‘i had heard of the proposal. Garden Island.

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