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UH Budget Cuts

Proposed UH budget cuts will have serious economic impact throughout the state.

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

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Accessed on 24 May 2021, 2318 UTC, Post 22,935.

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UH budget cuts to reverberate throughout Hawai‘i’s economy, says UHERO study
An economic impact study released yesterday suggests the $90 million cut in state general funds for UH over the next two fiscal years — made by lawmakers under pressure to reduce spending — could sap around $650 million from the local economy. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Hawaiian Telcom lands a $25M no-bid state broadband contract, raising questions
Gov. David Ige’s administration awarded the contract to Hawaiian Telcom after the company submitted an unsolicited proposal. Competitors say the move is questionable because Ige worked for Hawaiian Telcom for 18 years and received campaign contributions from them. Civil Beat.

Senate bill would make it harder to scrutinize government contract awards, critics say
State officials say Senate Bill 1329 would speed up the procurement process by making it harder for losing bidders to stall public projects, but others worry it would make legitimate bid appeals unaffordable by removing the bond cap. Civil Beat.

Foreclosure, utility moratoriums ending soon
While many residents have had a reprieve from making payments, disconnection moratoriums for regulated utilities in Hawai‘i end May 31, while federal foreclosure moratoriums end June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i food prices continue to rise
Prices increased by as much as 50% for some items. A spokesperson for wholesale distributor Y. Hata & Co. said the problem is extreme pressure on the supply chain, which can’t keep up with post-pandemic demands. KITV4.

Governor’s ban on surf events holds up permits for keiki competitions
Event organizers have spent weeks lobbying to reverse the restriction, which was implemented after a COVID-19 outbreak halted a professional World Surf League event last December. KITV4.

Pentagon wants to move 94 “unknown” remains from Punchbowl to the USS Arizona
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said it has talked with the Navy about taking the unprecedented step of placing the remains back in the sunken Pearl Harbor battleship, rather than returning them to families. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i is the only state requiring and spending millions on COVID-19 testing
The state is spending about $38 million to fund one year of its Safe Travels airport screening program and is making plans to spend an additional $22 million, even though most U.S. destinations have dropped nearly all restrictions. Star-Advertiser.

Reinventing a Local Tradition: Businesses Helping Each Other
During the first eight months of the pandemic, David Oyadomari says he helped 120 small businesses survive. In fact, many went from the brink of failure to renewed success. He says he did it by building most of them into networks that supported each other … read more.
Honolulu police don’t always turn on their body cams, prompting calls for change
Currently, HPD considers it a minor offense when officers fail to activate their body-worn cameras. But some Honolulu police commissioners argue that harsher penalties should be given to officers who fail to record encounters with the public. Civil Beat.

First weekend spectators allowed at outdoor sporting events on O‘ahu
Many young athletes say it feels good to hear their family’s cheering and clapping once again. KHON2.

Companies Partner With Schools to Grow Needed Workforce

Schools and businesses are partnering in unprecedented ways to develop the state’s future workforce. Learn how companies are driving the creation of workforce training programs in high schools and colleges to meet their needs for workers today and tomorrow… read more.

Council member Holeka Inaba wants to cut tourism promotion costs
Should the county continue pumping money into promoting tourism when people come anyway? The County Council has started to tackle that question as it looks to trim expenses from its $609 million budget. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i County is likely to increase size limits on social gatherings soon
Gatherings of up to 10 people indoors, and 25 outdoors, are currently permitted. The county’s communications director says Mayor Mitch Roth is expected to increase those limits before his emergency proclamation expires on June 10. KITV4.

Change orders on Hilo repaving project irk council members
Cost estimates for a road repaving project have ballooned from $7.4 million to $12 million, prompting the council Finance Committee to ask the Department of Public Works to give them more accurate estimates. West Hawaii Today.

State legislator Chris Todd is named Vikings head coach
Hilo High School’s athletic director announced on Sunday that Todd has been hired as head football coach. Tribune-Herald.

How New, Agile Networks of People Are Helping Hawai‘i

Networks are forming around common goals, interests and principles. Members of these networks are coming together to help people in need, kick-start the economy and pave the road to a sustainable more.
$842.6M budget on verge of approval
The council’s budget is about $13 million more than Mayor Michael Victorino’s version, and includes an operational budget of $683.2 million and a capital improvements project budget of $159.4 million. Maui Now.

Complaints about noise, trespassing spur bill for zipline permits
The Maui County Council is considering a bill that would require a conditional permit for canopy tour, zipline and bungee jumping operations, as well as prohibit waterfall rappelling, in county agricultural districts. Maui News.

Maui Police Commission: Former chief had “room for improvement”
The commission decided in closed-door meetings earlier this year that Tivoli Faaumu, the former police chief, earned a “C” grade for his job performance in 2020. His previous evaluations were also conducted out of the public eye. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i returns to least-restrictive Tier 4 today
Cases remained below an average of two per day for two consecutive weeks, allowing the tier change. Gatherings of up to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors are now permitted. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Water management plan pleases taro farmers
Last week, the state’s Commission on Water Resource Management, part of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, approved a measurable in-stream flow standard of 4 million gallons per day. Garden Island.

Ha‘ena DLNR projects receive recognition
The Ha‘ena State Park Master Plan and the restoration of the Allerton caretaker’s cottage and Montgomery house were selected for Preservation Honor Awards from the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation. Garden Island.

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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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