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Pay raises for lawmakers

The pay hike was authorized two years ago, but critics now question that idea during our current economic crisis.

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

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3.23.2021
TOP STORIES
Pay raises for lawmakers over the next year are raising eyebrows
The hikes were approved two years ago, but critics now question the optics of getting raises during an economic crisis. They would boost lawmakers’ pay from $62,604 to $70,584 effective Jan. 1, and from $70,104 to $79,044 for the House Speaker and Senate President. Civil Beat.

Did unions’ lack of support spell trouble for school superintendent?
The school chief and union leaders frequently locked horns over how to deal with the pandemic. Some education insiders said while union opposition was damaging, it was not as simple as unions just throwing their weight around. Civil Beat.

Economic recovery prospects are rosy with billions in federal aid coming to Hawai‘i
The value of all goods and services produced statewide, known as the gross domestic product, could return to pre-pandemic levels by the second or third quarter of next year, economist Carl Bonham told lawmakers yesterday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Targeted messaging is needed to overcome vaccine hesitancy, UH study finds
According to surveys, 55% of adults 18 and older said they will “definitely” or “probably” get shots, while 12% indicated they will “definitely not” or “probably not” get vaccinated, compared with 17% in the U.S. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Legislators defer measure relating to Safe Travels program
A bill that would allow Gov. David Ige to impose a statewide COVID-19 travel restriction plan stalled Monday and is likely dead. Tribune-Herald.

Immigration reform efforts in Congress offer hope to Hawai‘i “Dreamers”
U.S. Rep. Ed Case estimates there are between 300 and 400 DACA recipients in Hawai‘i. But the bill passed last week in the House to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i is seeing a boom of spring break vacationers
The state says more than 28,000 people arrived in the Islands this past Saturday, nearly matching the pre-pandemic average for March. Hawaii News Now.

State quietly makes changes to vaccine registration process for most employers
As of now, the only agency the DOH continues to line up appointments for is the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association. Everyone else needs to connect with a vaccine provider directly. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
9 Ways to Retain Your Employees
We all know it’s much easier and cheaper to keep a good employee than to find and train a new one, but getting workers to stay is hard. Here are strategies that local companies can use to retain their employees… read more.
OʻAHU
40 police officers rattle peaceful protest at Kapi‘olani Park 
Videos posted online show 400-500 protesters calling for calm as officers descended. Many became agitated by what appeared to be an unwarranted police presence that escalated into two arrests. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

HPD’s embattled chief denies reports of low morale, promises better communication
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard is now promising more transparency and openness after a months-long pause in public statements. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Plea agreement details how Miske allegedly ordered a chemical attack on rival nightclub
Ashlin Akau said she was recruited by an associate of Michael J. Miske Jr. to take part in the Ginza Night Club attack. She pleaded guilty to pouring the toxic chemical chloropicrin onto the dance floor on a Saturday night in March 2017. Civil Beat.

Hopes dwindle for more clarity in HART board votes
Confusion about voting rules for members of the board that oversees the city’s troubled rail project remains unresolved after bills that attempted to provide clarity appear to be dead this legislative session. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Students at ‘Aikahi Elementary are returning to campuses under new CDC guidelines
Precisely a year after Hawai‘i public schools switched to distance learning, nearly the entire student body at ‘Aikahi Elementary School flocked back to campus Monday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

SPONSORED BY AMERICAN RED CROSS HAWAII
March is Red Cross Month

Here in Hawaii, we respond to an emergency every four to seven days. March is Red Cross Month and this year’s theme of “Help Can’t Wait” seems particularly relevant. On March 20, 15 Red Cross Heroes from our Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa will be honored at a special virtual event… read more.

HAWAIʻI ISLAND
Hilo Medical Center opens early vaccine registration for people ages 50 to 65
The hospital will begin processing sign-ups this week for appointments at upcoming mass vaccination clinics planned for April 3 and 24 at Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

KTA Super Stores will host its own large-scale vaccination clinic on Friday
The grocery chain hopes to administer 1,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Vaccine pre-registration opens at Kona Community Hospital
On Monday, KCH began accepting pre-registration applications for individuals aged 50 years and older who would like to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Big Island Now.

Banyan Drive proposals to be selected next month
An announcement is expected in April on proposal selections, including for the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel and Country Club Condominium Hotel. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Teachers, parents and students call for Ke Kula ‘O ‘Ehunuikaimalino principal’s ouster
The protesters say Makala Pa‘akaula, who came to the school in July 2020, needs to go to save Hawaiian immersion education in West Hawai‘i. West Hawaii Today.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

For a Honolulu woman who is a senior executive in her firm, sexual harassment during a business gathering was a shattering event – one that still causes her voice to waver though it happened two years ago..read more.
MAUI COUNTY
189 citations issued in mask enforcement effort
The Maui Police Department issued the citations over a two-week period for violation of public health rules. Maui Now.

2 students and 2 employees have tested positive at Maui County public schools
All were in the Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex, which has seen 54 cases since June 26, according to the state Department of Health. Maui News.

Outbreak at Maui jail compounded by staffing shortages, contagious variant
After nearly two months of trying to contain the virus, the Maui Community Correctional Center has started to see a significant drop in COVID-19 cases. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Micro-grants awarded to 105 small farms 
Maui County’s $2.5 million Agricultural Micro Grants Program, administered by Maui Economic Opportunity, helped farmers purchase tractors, erect fencing and sheds, and establish an online presence. Maui Now.

KAUAʻI
King Kamehameha celebrations have been cancelled
The King Kamehameha Celebration Commission announced the cancellation of parade events statewide due to the pandemic. Garden Island.

County seeks to adopt micro-chipping program for pets
A one-time $20 micro-chipping cost may soon replace biennial licensing fees for cats and dogs on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

New Kaua‘i program encourages visitors to participate in beach cleanups
Guests who vacation at The Cliffs at Princeville are now encouraged to do beach cleanups while they enjoy the sun and surf. It’s part of the resort’s commitment to Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i’s Ocean Friendly Visitors Program. Hawaii News Now.

MARCH 2021 ISSUE
Dive into some of our latest features!
20 For the Next 20 Cohort
The Best of Startup Paradise
Construction Industry Still a Bright Spot for Hawaiʻi Economy During Pandemic
How Hawaiʻi’s Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Humans
      
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