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Hawaii State News

House speaker Scott Shirai’s agenda is raising questions.

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

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Accessed on 20 April 2021, 2031 UTC, Post 22,742.

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House Speaker Scott Saiki’s high-profile agenda is raising questions
Saiki has empowered the House to be a much-needed political player this year, pushing hard to move his agenda forward but politically clobbering people who displease him. Concerns about his methods and ultimate goal are growing. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers reach agreement on a new 2-year state budget
House and Senate lawmakers have earmarked state and federal funds that will be used to repay more than $1 billion the state borrowed during the pandemic. They said Monday there are no furloughs or layoffs planned. Civil Beat.

State board members are violating law, Office of Hawaiian Affairs says
Hawai‘i lawmakers are poised to pass legislation that would remove members of some of the state’s most powerful boards and commissions if they fail to complete training in Native Hawaiian rights and public­ trust responsibilities, as required by law. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Fate of remaining broadband-related bills to be decided by conference committee
Only two bills seeking to improve broadband coverage in Hawai‘i remain alive in the state Legislature, despite increased awareness of the issue. Tribune-Herald.

Vaccine passport program could be announced today
Gov. David Ige hinted that an official announcement would be made today concerning when fully vaccinated inter-island travelers will be allowed to bypass testing and quarantine restrictions. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Hawai‘i attorney general joins coalition to stop the sale of fake vaccination cards
Clare E. Connors has joined 42 attorneys general to call on OfferUp, an online mobile marketplace, to act immediately to prevent fraudulent or blank COVID-19 vaccine cards from being sold on its platform. KHON2.

Demand for vaccines starts to dwindle on Neighbor Islands
While O‘ahu just opened vaccines to people 16 and up on Monday, the rest of the state expanded eligibility in early April. Health officials say the sense of urgency is starting to subside and warn that Hawai‘i is only half way to reaching herd immunity. Hawaii News Now.


Inter-Island Solar Supply: Small Biz Editor’s Choice Award winner for Green Business
Inter-Island Solar Supply started 46 years ago as a supplier of solar hot water equipment but has since expanded to also sell solar PV panels, residential gas water heaters, water filtration systems and other equipment to Hawaiʻi contractors and builders… read more.
Family of drowned 5-year-old boy settles case against Mid-Pacific Institute for $7.2 million
The family of the boy, who drowned during a school field trip, hopes the settlement will improve safety measures for children. It was reached after 15 months of litigation and with a jury trial set for later this year. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Search for next Honolulu police chief begins behind closed doors
The Honolulu Police Commission went into executive session yesterday, as it starts the process of naming an interim successor to Susan Ballard and beginning a nationwide search for her replacement. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

ACLU seeks further review of 2 fatal Honolulu Police Department shootings
The shootings of two allegedly unarmed suspects this month were unjustified and racially motivated, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i and attorneys representing one of the victims said Monday. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

State awarded money to a bidder that missed a deadline, then took it back
The Department of Health says “crossed wires” led it to initially award $2 million to Sand Island Treatment Center, which delivers substance abuse services. Now the state has decided the award was a mistake and rescinded it. Civil Beat.

Input sought for development around Aloha Stadium
State officials want help in determining how 78 acres around Aloha Stadium can best become a new mixed-use community produced in partnership with a private developer. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


Working well from home

If your employees are working remotely, you can help keep them engaged and productive with these tools and tips to enhance their wellbeing while working from home… read more.

Oral arguments start this week in Honua Ola case
The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday in Honua Ola Bioenergy’s appeal. The company wants the Public Utilities Commission to vacate its 2020 decision that nullified an amended power-purchase agreement between the Pepe‘ekeo power plant and Hawaiian Electric Co. Tribune-Herald.

UH Hilo investigates sugarcane for jet fuel
Researchers at the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management are looking at varieties of sugarcane to convert into high-performance jet fuel. Big Island Video News.

TMT construction is on hold, but production of telescope’s components moves ahead
Officials had hoped to resume work on Mauna Kea this spring but say pandemic-related travel and safety challenges are stalling work. Hawaii News Now.


My Job: Cleaning Up After Disasters and Tragedies

Adam Ah Sue had been working as a hotel concierge, but says he got tired of the mundane work he did every day. “In 2008, I was living in California when my mom called me crying because her house flooded,” Ah Sue more.
Maui fire chief set to retire on July 1
Fire Chief David Thyne announced his plans to retire after a 33-year career rising through the ranks at the Maui Fire Department. Maui News.

Another beach party on Maui sparks outrage
About 150 people gathered Saturday at Po‘olenalena Beach Park, which the event promoter says was respectful and safe. Maui Police Department reported that the crowd dispersed when officers arrived. Hawaii News Now.

Queen Kaʻahumanu Center struggles as foreclosure case is litigated
Maui’s biggest and once thriving mall is struggling for survival after the U.S. Bank filed for foreclosure on Nov. 12, 2020. Maui Now.

Police chief receives 5-day suspension for mocking Asians
The Kaua‘i Police Department said in a statement that Chief Todd Raybuck will be suspended without pay from April 26 to 30 for violating county policy. He will also be required to complete anti-discrimination and cultural sensitivity training. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Kaua‘i is working on a vaccine passport in coordination with the state
Mayor Derek Kawakami made the announcement on Monday, saying the plan would exempt vaccinated travelers from pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements. Garden Island.

Retail shops on farmland get approval to operate
Kaua‘i amended its zoning rules last week to allow farmers to set up retail stores on agricultural land without a permit. Civil Beat.

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Russ Roberts

Retired News director of Pacific Radio Group Radio Stations on Hawaii-the Big Island. I have more than 40 years of broadcast experience, including positons at KTUH-FM (UH-Manoa), KPOI-FM (Honolulu). KHLO-AM (Hilo), KKBG-FM (KBIG-FM)(Hilo/Kona), KAPA-FM (Hilo-Kona). Native-FM (Hilo-Kona), and ESPN Hawaii (Hilo-Kona). Former University of Hawaii-Hilo librarian. Retired Air Force Officer. Amatuer (Ham) Radio operator since 1977 (currently holds the Amateur Extra Class License from the FCC-KH6JRM).... Can read, write, and speak Russian. Retired on 30 September 2011, but still maintains a Hawaii Island News Blog.

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