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Hawaii’s summer tourism


Hawaii’s summer tourism number are looking promising.

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

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Hawai‘i’s summer tourism season is looking promising
The economy is poised for a significant recovery over the next six months, as pent-up demand for travel coincides with vaccinations on the Mainland and an expected new wave of federal stimulus money in March. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige again withholds funding for corrections oversight staff
Two years ago, the Legislature passed what was hailed as a major reform: It placed the Department of Public Safety, which oversees jails and prisons, under the oversight of a five-member commission. But the group still lacks a salaried administrator to lead those efforts, and likely won’t have one anytime soon. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

House committee advances bill to dissolve the Agribusiness Development Corporation
The 27-year-old entity was created to develop economically viable farms and fill the void created by the closure of plantations. But a recent state audit found it has made little progress. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Bill to reduce blood-alcohol threshold for drunk-driving violations is up for vote
Senate Bill 754 would reduce the blood-alcohol content level for being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant from 0.08% to 0.05%. West Hawaii Today.

Bills that would place limit on emergency beach sandbags are shelved
Oceanfront property owners can continue using sandbags and heavy tarps on O‘ahu’s North Shore, the west side of Maui, and elsewhere — despite warnings from beach protection advocates and scientists that shoreline hardening is as damaging as seawalls. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kenji Price: An uncertain future for a Republican in deep blue Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i’s outgoing U.S. attorney is an up and coming conservative. Some key Republicans are hoping he can help lead the local GOP to more solid political footing in Hawai‘i, where it is struggling. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawai‘i’s acting state epidemiologist calls for reopening public schools
Dr. Sarah Kemble says public schools should resume in-person classes, citing the need for education, health, social, emotional and physical support. She also said kids can return safely with universal mask use, hygiene and keeping them in cohorts. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Preschools see declines in enrollment and available seats 
Private pre-K programs lost $7 million in tuition as fewer families are sending children to school, according to the Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools. In addition, an early childhood survey found that 25% of 824 licensed child care providers in the state have been forced to close. Civil Beat.

Click here to view the profiles of the winners and finalists of the annual Hawaii Venture Capital Association awards.
The Best of Startup Paradise 2021
Many of Hawai‘i’s startups are not only surviving the pandemic but are continuing to move ahead, gaining customers and investors, innovating and diversifying. Here are the profiles of the winners and finalists of the 2021 Hawaii Venture Capital Association awards… read more.
$70M secured for Honolulu rail project in new federal relief bill
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz helped acquire the funding, which will pay for some of the city’s rail costs and make up for a drop in tax revenue during the past tumultuous year. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Report recommends no salary increases for Honolulu’s top officials
The mayor and City Council members won’t be getting salary increases, according to a report presented by a Honolulu Salary Commission group. The mayor’s position last received a 3.5% increase in 2019, bringing the current salary to $186,432. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In internal video, Honolulu police chief says 263 officers abused overtime policy
Susan Ballard said out of the 263 officers who violated policy, four cases were turned over to the state Attorney General’s Office for criminal investigation. However, those cases were declined. Hawaii News Now.

City wants to move forward with safety-improvement projects atop Koko Crater
Among the slated projects are removing World War II-era bunkers, tunnels and vents, which the city says are filled with hazardous debris. But community members worry the changes will ruin the iconic views. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DOH advises public to avoid Kailua Bay after large discharges of wastewater
The Department of Health directed the city to post warning signs at Kailua Bay for possible large amounts of bacteria in the water near the wastewater treatment plant. Hawaii News Now.

Chief evangelist for Canva, Guy Kawasaki

Talk Story with Canva’s Chief Evangelist

Born and raised in Kalihi Valley, marketing guru Guy Kawasaki went from law school dropout to working for some of the biggest names in tech: Apple, Google and Wikipedia. He’s now the chief evangelist for Canva, a popular Sydney-based graphic design platform… read more.

Redistricting commission lacks data to redraw maps
A commission that redraws County Council district boundary lines every 10 years plans to meet Monday, but the numbers it needs to make decisions have been delayed. West Hawaii Today.

Restoration of the Pohoiki boat ramp could take months, or even years
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources received updates on three possible restoration options that vary in time and cost. Located between Hilo and Miloli‘i, the boat ramp closed in May 2018 after the Kīlauea eruption and became landlocked by a black sand and cobblestone beach. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island couple is fined $272K for illegal aquarium fishing
The Board of Land and Natural Resources voted unanimously to impose the highest possible fine to send a message about illegally collecting tropical fish. The incident happened in Kona on Sept. 15. Hawaii News Now. West Hawaii Today.

Photo: Getty Images
Local Tech Expert Explains Today’s Unprecedented IT Challenges

Hawai‘i’s huge increase in people working from home has created IT challenges for local businesses. We’re seeing an unprecedented black swan event where everybody is at home using the internet all the time. Our infrastructure was never built for more.
Mayor Victorino considers additional restrictions after variant, more clusters found 
The Department of Health reported 75 new COVID-19 cases in Maui County, including 31 that dated back to Nov. 9 and 19 from the Maui Community Correctional Center cluster. A variant that spread widely in California has been associated with the recent uptick on Maui. KITV4. Maui News.

Maui High School welcomes back staff, 650 students
Maui High is one of many on the island to transition to a blended learning format, mixing both in-person and online instruction. Maui News.

Weather hampers whale counters
On Saturday, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and the Pacific Whale Foundation conducted the second of three coordinated whale counts for 2021, but visibility declined in the later morning hours. Garden Island.

DHHL seeks input on its 2022 General Plan
The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is seeking beneficiary input as part of its update process. Garden Island.

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