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Another sign of economic recovery:  Average Hawaii CEO pay rose 20% in 2021.

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Today's Hawaii News
In another sign of economic rebound, average Hawai‘i CEO pay rose 20% last year
A Hawaii News Now review of company proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that the top executives of Hawai‘i’s largest publicly traded companies received an average pay increase of more than $750,000 in 2021. Their average take-home pay: $4.5 million. Hawaii News Now.

Diamond Head to require reservations for tourists
As part of efforts to reduce congestion and visitor impacts at the iconic Diamond Head State Monument, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will require out-of-state residents to make reservations to visit the popular site starting May 12. The new policy doesn’t affect Hawai‘i residents, who can enter by showing an ID. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Supreme Court diminishes the power of non-compete clauses
Bryan Andaya, an employment attorney, says the ruling, which follows a national trend, should persuade business owners and employers to review non-compete agreements. Andaya will conduct an online seminar – “Are Non-Compete Agreements Dead in Hawaii?” – live on April 27; the event will be replayed on May 5. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Proposal for $300 tax rebate still alive in Legislature
The bill would give taxpayers earning less than $100,000 a year a $300 tax rebate for their 2022 taxes. Taxpayers earning over $100,000 a year would receive a $100 rebate. Tribune-Herald.

New contracts give most Hawai‘i public union workers pay raises
At least 12 of the 15 collective bargaining units representing state and county workers in Hawai‘i have ratified contracts, according to information from the unions involved. Star-Advertiser.

The average childcare worker makes about $12 an hour. This bill aims to change that
State lawmakers are close to passing two measures aimed to addressing the shortage of qualified childcare workers. One of the bills would create a child care compensation pilot to increase wages. Another would create a child care registry of information about workers, including length of experience, wages and benefits. Hawaii News Now.

Bill to provide free period products at public schools advances
Senate Bill 2821 would require the department of education and charter school commission to provide products such as tampons and pads at all school campuses. Members of the senate and house education committees met Friday to discuss a final version of the bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation would give landlords the OK to question tenants about assistance animals
Landlords and other property managers would be allowed to question the validity of assistance animals under a new bill passed by the state House and Senate on April 21. This would include therapy, comfort and other emotional support animals. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i’s prison oversight commission finally gets a staffer — 3 years later
The five-member commission was created by the Legislature in 2019, but has been hamstrung ever since because it has no staff. It is tasked with moving Hawai‘i’s prisons and jails to a “rehabilitative and therapeutic model” of corrections. Civil Beat.

Waters: Hawai‘i needs Congressional Rep in it for the long run
As one-term U.S. Rep Kai Kahele weighs a run for governor, Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters said Hawai‘i deserves a federal representative who will live and work in Washington, D.C. for the next 20 years. Waters is considering a run for Hawai‘i’s second congressional district if Kahele does run for governor. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i hotels fetched nation’s highest daily rates in March
The occupancy rate at Hawai‘i hotels in March was fifth best among the nation’s top tourism markets for the first quarter in a strong rebound from 2021’s pandemic-­related downturn. March occupancy rose to 75.2% statewide — 32.2 percentage points higher than March 2021, when statewide hotel occupancy was 43% and most hotels across the state were operating well below profitability. Star-Advertiser.

From left to right: Kyle and Emi Suzuki. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino
Sumida Farms: 2022 SmallBiz Editor’s Choice Award Winner – Agriculture
In 2018, Emi Suzuki and her husband set out a nine-year timeline to slowly take over Sumida Farms. But when the farm’s leader, Suzuki’s aunt Barbara Sumida, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2020, Suzuki took charge immediately… read more.
HART board chair confident rail will get to Ala Moana
Colleen Hanabusa, chair of the Board of Directors for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, said she still believed the train will ultimately run to Ala Moana Center and possibly even UH Mānoa. Hawaii Public Radio.

Another HPD commander prepares to leave as search for police chief drags on
There’s another major leadership change at the Honolulu Police Department as the search for a new chief drags on and crime is on the rise. The department’s third-in-command, acting Deputy Chief Lisa Mann, will retire June 1. Hawaii News Now.

With water restrictions possible, BWS eyes worsening drought with concern
With three public water wells shut down because of the Navy’s tainted water crisis, water restrictions this summer are a real possibility. And on Monday, Board of Water Supply members learned the weather is making the situation worse. Hawaii News Now.

Makiki man is convicted of trafficking underage girls
Marquis Green, who was 30 at the time of his crimes and claimed a Makiki address, was found guilty of two counts of sex trafficking, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of misdemeanor assault for trafficking a 15-year-old local girl in Waikīkī in 2013, charging $150 per half-hour or $200 per hourlong encounter, according to court documents. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News NowKITV4.

Amid progress in Chinatown, mayor hopes to focus revitalization efforts in Waikīkī
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says the city is making progress in its effort to revitalize Chinatown ― and he’s hoping to turn his sights on Waikīkī next. The city revived the Weed and Seed program last summer to tackle crime in Chinatown, ramping up police presence and increasing funding for Chinatown through the American Rescue Plan. Hawaii News Now.

Schofield Barracks soldiers helped shape new Army policies for parents
Two Schofield Barracks soldiers played a key role in crafting reforms in how the Army handles pregnant soldiers and new parents. The changes incorporate a variety of things such as  health and wellness guidance to improve quality of life, promote flexibility, and allow soldiers to safely continue their duties while taking care of their families. The policy grew out of a white paper written by several serving Army moms.  Star-Advertiser.


NAIOP Hawaii’s Kukulu Hale Awards Put the Spotlight on Hawaii’s CRE Industry, May 6

Join NAIOP Hawaii at the Royal Hawaiian Monarch Room on Friday, May 6, for the 25th Annual Kukulu Hale Awards – a fun, ‘50s Flashback-themed celebration of this year’s award-winning CRE projects and special awardees, including Castle & Cooke Hawaii, 2022 Developer of the Year… read more.

Affordable housing measures advance to council
A pair of bills moving through the County Council will carve out 1% of property tax revenues each year and dedicate the money to an expanded range of programs to increase affordable housing. West Hawaii Today.

County, mayor sued over Waipi‘o road closure
A community organization has filed a lawsuit against the county, Mayor Mitch Roth and Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst, alleging the closure of Waipi‘o Valley Road to all but a handful of people is unlawful. On Feb. 25, Roth issued a traffic emergency zone declaration closing Waipi‘o Valley Road to all but residents, landowners and farmers in the valley for safety reasons.

Covid concerns made outdoor dining many people’s preferred option in 2021. | Picture and all graphics courtesy of Food Gurus Hawaii
Love Roller Coasters? Then Join the Local Restaurant Business

2021 was a wild ride of exhilarating ups and terrifying downs, unexpected twists and turns, and high supply and labor costs. The forecast for 2022 is better: more customers plus growth in takeout and more.
Thousands of houses are empty on Maui. Would higher taxes change that?
An estimated 15,000 housing units — about 1 in 5 throughout all of Maui County — are vacant, according to 2020 census estimates. Raising taxes on short-term rentals and properties valued at $3 million or more that aren’t used as primary residences would be a way to boost funding for affordable housing projects and desperately needed upgrades to roads, sewers and water systems. Civil Beat.

Maui lawmakers propose restrictions on vans campers and tourists are renting as lodging
There’s a growing trend on Maui — people are leasing out cars and campers for visitors to stay in. State law dictates people are not allowed to sleep in their cars in public areas where camping is not permitted, but a county official said it’s not widely enforced because of Maui’s homeless problem. KITV4.

Major police bust on Maui fuels concerns about use of ‘ghost guns’
The Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit and its Special Response Team raided a home in Kīhei on Thursday morning and found crystal meth, fentanyl, heroine and other illegal drugs. They also discovered a 3D printer and parts needed to make ghost guns. Hawaii News Now.

Plan approved for Wi-Fi in parks
The County Council unanimously approved a request to receive and expend $50,000 in state funds for a program providing 24/7 public internet access at seven parks throughout the island. The IT Department estimates that the project will be completed within a year. Garden Island.
Click here to get your copy of Hawaii Business' April 2022 issue!
Dive into some of our latest features!
Hawaiʻi’s Best Places to Work 2022
The Gender Pay Gap Had Narrowed in Hawai‘i. Then the Pandemic Arrived.
O‘ahu’s Mobility Hubs Will Make Ditching the Car More Attractive
5 Steps to Get Employees Excited about a Worthy Cause
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