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Humpback whales may avoid Hawaii because of climate change.

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

Accessed on 05 July 2022, 2100 UTC.

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Today's Hawaii News
Humpback whales may avoid Hawai‘i due to climate change, study shows
The findings of a new paper by researchers at the University of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Whale Foundation suggest that the whales may one day avoid the relatively shallow ocean around the Hawaiian islands because the waters will be too warm. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i national park sites attracted 4 million visitors in 2021, study finds
Nearly 4 million people visited Hawai‘i’s eight national park units in 2021, spending an estimated $438 million in local communities across the state, according to a National Park Service report. Star-Advertiser.

Water conservation top of mind for some hotels, tourism businesses
Drier conditions, the continuing impact of the Red Hill fuel leak and high use could pose challenges supplying water to urban Honolulu and Waikīkī this summer, according to the Board of Water Supply. Outrigger is one of several hotels in the state participating in a public-private collective promoting the adoption of green business practices. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Ige signs bills to fund affordable housing and ʻOhana Zones
Gov. David Ige signed three bills on Friday relating to affordable housing. The new measures will support the ‘Ohana Zones and First-To-Work programs. Hawaii Public RadioBig Island Video News.

Second all-mail election offers some changes
Registered voters can track their ballots from start to finish. Last election in 2020, you could track whether your ballot was received. This time, the elections office has a system where people can sign up for alerts to know when their ballot was created and when they should expect it in the mail. KHON2.

Redrawn districts present choices for voters
Many Hawai‘i residents will get a new representative in the state Legislature later this year — even if their current representative is running for reelection and wins. That’s because reapportionment for all 51 House and 25 Senate districts finalized in January has shifted numerous district boundaries so that some voters in many neighborhoods now reside in a different electoral district. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i’s GOP primary candidates test the party’s values
The overall mood of the Hawai‘i Republican Party in 2022 likely will be revealed through the Aug. 13 primary election when voters have a choice of a diverse slate of candidates who appeal to distinctly different tastes. 10 candidates are running to move on to the Nov. 8 general election race for Hawai‘i’s next governor against the Democratic Party nominee. Star-Advertiser.

Schools wrestle with effects of Supreme Court ruling on coach’s prayer
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a high school football coach in Washington state had a constitutional right to pray at the 50-yard line after games has provoked strong reactions and left public school officials in Hawai‘i and across the nation struggling to discern how it might affect policies and religious acts on campuses and at school-related activities. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Law Center goes to court to make prison Covid-19 reports public
The state refuses to release the health care monitoring reports, saying they are confidential under the terms of a federal court settlement. Civil Beat.

Click here to register for this year's Leadership Conference!
Sharpen your Negotiation Skills at the Leadership Conference
This year’s Leadership Conference will feature Columbia Business School professor Malia Mason, who will share about the Art and Science of Negotiation. Malia will lead participants through an interactive, role-play exercise that sharpens your bargaining expertise. Register Now!
Property tax incentives for historic homes reexamined
The Honolulu City Council might take a look at modifying the historic homes property tax exemption to increase the minimum tax payment or possibly remove the exemption altogether. Most owners of historic homes get a break on their property taxes, paying the minimum $300. Star-Advertiser.

HART mum on where pivotal ‘mauka shift’ approvals stand
Honolulu’s rail agency is proceeding with what it calls the “mauka shift,” a key change to its utility-relocation plan along Dillingham Boulevard that could finally solve one of the biggest challenges affecting the project. However, rail officials won’t say where things stand on the environmental approvals needed to make that change happen. Civil Beat.

Fuel spewed ‘full blast’ into Red Hill tunnel in November
As fuel rained down, creating a virtual river on the concrete floor of a Red Hill facility tunnel in November, the worker who accidentally triggered the leak found himself powerless to stop it. Civil Beat.

Officer who led Army’s Red Hill response is promoted to general
Col. Phillip “Cain” Baker, the 25th Infantry Division’s deputy commander for support, was promoted to brigadier general Friday in a small ceremony at the Schofield Barracks attended by family and friends. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian ‘occupied forces’ group ousted from Kunia property by police
The squatters had taken over the private property nine months ago claiming they had title under laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The disputed land was part of 203 acres in Kunia, purchased in May 2018 for $8 million by Guyland LLC, wholly owned by California real estate investor Guy Fong, who quickly began developing the 38-lot Ekaha Lands agricultural subdivision. Civil Beat.

Former federal ACO agrees to pay $100K to settle sex assault lawsuit
A former prison guard at the Federal Detention Center has agreed to pay $100,000 to two former female inmates who alleged he sexually assaulted them. Hawaii News Now.

Building damage estimated to be over $1.1M to historic Boyd-Irwin Estate with ties to Hawaiian royalty
The Honolulu Fire Department has determined the building fire that consumed the historic Boyd-Irwin Estate in Maunawili last month is estimated to have caused more than $1.137 million in damage. Star-Advertiser.

Makaha Valley Resort sold to South Korean company, KH Group at $20.7 million
A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved a sale of 644 acres in Makaha Valley, positioning a South Korean company to develop the property previously slated for a resort featuring a golf course designed by Tiger Woods. Star-Advertiser.

Photo: courtesy of HDS

HDS Prioritizes Local Service and Community Impact

Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) commemorates 60 years of healthy smiles and local roots by continuing efforts to improve oral health across the state. As Hawaii’s leading dental benefits provider, HDS and its charitable arm, the HDS Foundation, play a key role in the funding and development of programs that prevent oral disease, increase access to dental care, and provide oral health education to the community… read more.

Feedback sought about Environmental Assesment for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park recovery effort
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has opened a comment period for community feedback about an environmental assessment for its proposed disaster recovery project to repair damage caused by the 2018 volcanic eruption and summit collapse on Kīlauea volcano. Tribune-Herald.

Vacation rental rules remain unclear: County continues enforcement while awaiting ICA opinion
Hawai‘i County continues to enforce its prohibition against short-term vacation rentals in the state agricultural district despite a Kona judge’s ruling that the state doesn’t disallow that use as the county has claimed. West Hawaii Today.

County poised to award PONC grants
Improvements at Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden top the list of awards to nonprofits the administration is recommending for the use of property tax funds earmarked for the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission. The County Council Finance Committee will consider the list of nine projects totaling $709,761. West Hawaii Today.

Aura Reyes of Ka Po‘e o Kaka‘ako. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino
Why Rent Relief in Hawai‘i Became a National Model

The government program helped over 13,000 households. One reason it succeeded may have been that people who had experienced housing instability had a seat at the decision-making more.
Long-awaited Maui ag department set to be finally up and running this week
The agency, which launched officially on Friday, has been in the works since November 2020, when Maui County residents voted to implement it. Island residents were concerned over food security, over-dependence on tourism and the decline in agricultural production across the state. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui County Council races: ‘Crucial’ election may bring a political shake-up
The council’s progressive majority may change in an election where cost of living and the economy top the list of concerns. All nine seats are up for reelection this year, and two longtime council members are leaving to run for mayor. Civil Beat.

MPO mulls flexing federal funds to buy new buses
The changes from the previous revised Transportation Improvement Program includes flexing $5 million of Federal Highway Administration funds to the Federal Transit Administration for the purchase of buses on Maui, as well as adding the West Maui Greenway shared use path to the TIP to facilitate design and construction funds for the project. Maui News.

Maui’s top public health official wants an apology from state lawmakers
Dr. Lorrin Pang says it time for his critics to say they are sorry. Pang faced major backlash last year when he did not condemn controversial Covid-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Hawaii News Now.

Brun distributor gets 2 years in prison
After a 20-year prison sentence was imposed on former Kaua‘i County Councilmember turned meth dealer Arthur Brun this May, the court has begun mopping up the cases of his 11 co-conspirators. Garden Island.

Hanapepe native Fujii to get Medal of Honor Tuesday
Specialist Five Dennis M. Fujii of Hawai‘i is one of four people who will receive the Medal of Honor on July 5 from President Joe Biden. Fujii, a Hanapepe native, also received the Distinguished Service Cross while fighting North Vietnamese soldiers and coordinating U.S. airstrikes and artillery for two days while defending a South Vietnamese base during Feb. 1971. Garden Island. KITV4.

Click here to get your copy of Hawaii Business' June/July 2022 issue!
Dive into some of our latest features!
ADUs Seemed Like a Simple Solution to Hawai‘i’s Housing Crisis
The Fundamentals of Land Court, Hawai‘i’s Legal “Enigma”
Why Rent Relief in Hawai‘i Became a National Model
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