Five Honolulu Planning Department employees face indictments for bribery.

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Today's Hawaii News - Hawaii Business Magazine
3.31.2021
TOP STORIES
Five Honolulu Planning Department employees indicted for bribery
Federal prosecutors say city workers accepted tens of thousands of dollars to fast track permits and provide other special treatment. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

State officials won’t release unemployment office budget
As state House leaders finalized their version of the biennial budget last week, they announced they had appropriated $105 million to Hawai‘i’s labor department to tackle thousands of unpaid unemployment claims and a call center so overwhelmed that some residents have tried for months to get through to an agent without success. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

A bill that would provide rent relief to businesses advances in state Legislature
If House Bill 1324 is passed, it would create a grant program for landowners to provide relief to their commercial tenants. Using federal money, the state would allow eligible business tenants to qualify for the lesser of 3% of 2019 taxable rent or three months of full rent. Hawaii News Now.

House panel suspends state Rep. Sharon Har DUI inquiry
A special committee in the House of Representatives set up to investigate state Rep. Sharon Har’s arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in February is suspending its proceedings until charges in the criminal case are resolved. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Most visitors would recommend going to the Hawaiian islands if quarantine lifted
Hawai‘i has seen a travel resurgence since spring break travelers began appearing. The seven-day average of trans-Pacific travelers was 20,330 as another 19,491 travelers flew into Hawai‘i on Monday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawai‘i moving forward using coronavirus vaccine passport for travel
The passport could come in the form of an app or be as simple as the vaccination card people receive after being vaccinated. Lt. Gov. Josh Green says the state is ultimately looking to work with a local company called First Vitals to create an app that shows proof of vaccination. KHON2.

Army gets long-range missiles to guard against China
Far-reaching “precision fires” are the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority under its biggest change in 40 years and as it seeks new capability by fiscal 2023, including its first hypersonic weapon and a missile that can hit targets up to 930 miles away. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov Josh Green: Hawai‘i still on track for July herd immunity
He predicts that 1.7 million vaccine doses will be administered by then and roughly 80 percent of the state’s population will be inoculated. KITV4.
25% of eligible population in each county received at least 1 dose of vaccine. Hawaii News Now.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Large Companies That Made the 2021 Best Places to Work List
Hawaii Business Magazine partners with the Best Companies Group to create the list each year. This week, we celebrate 71 companies that earned spots on 2021’s Hawai‘i’s Best Places to Work, the local gold standard for employee engagement. See which Large Companies made the list. Click here to view the updated list!
OʻAHU
Ban on disposable plastic food utensils and single-use bags starts Thursday in Honolulu
Disposable, plastic-free service ware may be provided only by request, or in a self-service area or dispenser. These and other provisions represent the first phase of implementation for the Disposable Food Ware Ordinance, originally slated to take effect Jan. 1 but postponed for 90 days due to pandemic hardships on businesses and to allow for public education. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Violent crimes are happening around O‘ahu, yet HPD is failing to provide crucial info
There was another high-profile murder in Honolulu this week — and once again, there was a lack of communication from the Honolulu Police Department in sharing crucial information. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiser Permanente opens mass vaccination clinic at Kapolei movie theater
People were lining up at Kapolei’s Consolidated Theatres on Tuesday, March 30, not for movie tickets but for a COVID-19 shot. Kaiser is expecting to serve 2,000 people every day. KHON2.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
5 Steps to Stress-Test Your Business Strategy

A business strategy maps out where your business is heading and what its priorities should be. However, what if your assumptions about the future of your industry are wrong or your ability to execute in that industry are no longer valid? Strategy expert Charlotte Brown offers these steps for small businesses… read more.

HAWAIʻI ISLAND
3 isle schools to get capital improvement funds
Gov. David Ige on Tuesday announced the release of more than $165 million in CIP money to fund critical infrastructure projects. Tribune-Herald.

Bill would partially restore lifeguard funding
House Bill 200, HD 1, would restore $735,000 of the $1.45 million in general funds for contracting with the counties to provide lifeguard services on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island that were cut in Gov. David Ige’s proposed Fiscal Biennium Budget 2021-23. As written, the draft has the counties covering the other half. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Orchards LP sues Hawaiian Host affiliate over debt
Hawai‘i’s largest macadamia nut farm has sued an affiliate of Hawaiian Host Group over unpaid nut deliveries two months after investors saved the local candy and snack maker from potential bankruptcy. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

New Malama Market Pahoa opens today
At 35,000 square feet, Malama Market’s new location is more than three times larger than its previous location down the road. The new store provided 60 new jobs for residents, bringing the total number of employees to 130. Tribune-Herald.

HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Register to Watch the 2021 Best Places to Work: Online Reveal

Making the list anytime is incredible, but especially in the midst of a pandemic. Join us Friday, April 2 at 4 p.m. as we host an online party from Dave & Buster’s in Honolulu to honor all of the Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi. We will also announce the Most Family-Friendly and Healthiest Companies that made the list. Register today!
MAUI COUNTY
Inmate injured in 2019 riot sues state, cites overcrowding
The court complaint says the inmate count at the jail was 40 percent over capacity for a safe level of housing. The complaint alleges that the state hadn’t dealt with the severe overcrowding and poor conditions in a timely manner, preventing Kevin Lifoifoi from protecting himself by avoiding the attack. Maui News.

Transport of inmates to court may resume with cluster ‘under control’
Maui Community Correctional Center and court officials are discussing resuming the transport of inmates to court “now that the virus spread has been mitigated” at the Wailuku jail, a state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman said Monday. Maui News.

KAUAʻI
KFD and KPD take budget, positions cuts in FY 22 proposal
The county was recently tasked with balancing core services and operations with a tighter belt, and proposed a $243-million operating budget and $24.3-million capital improvement projects budget, with no position layoffs. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i wants to reopen beaches to tourists. That could put homeless back on the streets
Homeless campers must leave ‘Anini Beach Park, a popular tourist destination, and Anahola Beach Park, by Wednesday. Evictions at Lucy Wright Beach Park, Lydgate Beach Park and Salt Pond Beach Park are planned over the next three months.
Civil Beat

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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