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Hawaii’s down-ballot contests are expected to be close.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 07 November 2022, 1957 UTC.

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Today's Hawaii News
Hawai‘i’s down-ballot contests are expected to be close races in this election
Voters will be able to cast consequential votes in Tuesday’s general election, even if many ballots lack competitive races for topmost offices. The director of the UH Public Policy Center says county council members can impact residents more than the governor or state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

The new governor will have some hard decisions on crime and punishment
Something has to be done about Hawai‘i’s overcrowded and run-down jails, or the courts may finally force the state to act. While Josh Green and Duke Aiona both support replacing the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center, they are vague on how they would go about it. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority warns against adding extra fees for tourists
HTA President John De Fries says a $50 fee on visitors to offset their environmental impact — a policy proposed by gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Josh Green — could backfire, especially as tourists already pay heavy state and county transient accommodations taxes. Tribune-Herald.

With Gov. Ige leaving office, some think recreational pot legalization is inevitable
Although marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in Hawai‘i since 2016, recreational use is not, even as other states lower their restrictions. Tribune-Herald.

Despite many potential cases, Hawai‘i lags in Medicaid fraud and abuse prosecutions
The state has a huge population of people on Medicaid, but the law enforcement unit responsible for finding theft from the program and abuse of its patients has the lowest rate of charging crimes in the nation. Hawaii News Now.

Parents who face losing their kids say court-appointed attorneys don’t do enough
An in-depth review found that parents almost never win on appeal, and that the appellate court finds procedural flaws in half the cases. Overall, the system often falls short of the rigorous defense needed to regain custody. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i state laboratory reclaims full certification after losing it 3 years ago
The Department of Health Laboratories Division in Pearl City has regained certification for testing drinking water samples by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after improvements were made to the facility. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric ordered to revamp power rate structure
In a landmark order, the state Public Utilities Commission has ordered the company to transform its existing power rate structure into one that better acknowledges the growing use of renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Photo: courtesy of the University of Hawaii
A UH Incubator Aims to Take Ideas to Market
HITIDE helps faculty, staff and students commercialize their research and innovations. How about a $5,000 space satellite? The Office of Innovation and Commercialization launched it this year to give faculty, staff and students insights into how to commercialize and spread their innovation and research….. read more.
Two socially conservative candidates vie to represent Kapolei’s House district
In West O‘ahu, longtime Democratic Rep. Sharon Har faces Republican Party Vice Chair Diamond Garcia in perhaps her toughest competition yet. Civil Beat.

Honolulu struggles to revise gun laws after Supreme Court decision
Honolulu is the only county in the state that hasn’t yet finalized new concealed-carry gun rules, leading to a backlog in permit applications. Civil Beat.

Police found guilty in Kealoha case fail to overturn convictions
Two former Honolulu police officers who were convicted for their roles in a conspiracy to frame an innocent man were unsuccessful in their appeals to reverse their findings of guilt. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

O‘ahu’s construction pipeline for hotel properties extends beyond Waikīkī
More than a dozen new hotel developments are in the planning or construction phases, and some are being built in downtown Honolulu and Chinatown, near the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and in West O‘ahu. Star-Advertiser.

Home sales on O‘ahu fall 42% 
October sales of existing single-­family homes suffered their biggest drop so far this year as fear of recession, rising mortgage rates, high home prices and stubbornly high consumer prices gave some buyers pause. Star-Advertiser.

Photo: courtesy of Kamehameha Schools

Working Together for a Common Goal

With a regulatory process that can take years, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has partnered with other ali’i trusts, such as Kamehameha Schools to advance its mission….. read more.

County government looking for workers, with nearly a quarter of positions unfilled
Job stability. Competitive pay. Good benefits and retirement package. Strong union protection. It wasn’t that long ago that county jobs were considered plum positions, subject to intense competition. But not anymore. West Hawaii Today.

More than a thousand Big Island students held back
The number of students repeating grades more than doubled, from 407 during the 2020-21 school year to 1,045 students in 2021-22. Tribune-Herald.

Waiākea flood reduction project moves forward
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and county Department of Public Works aim to reduce flooding risks in residential areas near the Waiākea and Palai streams. Hawai‘i Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

Big Island home sales drop in third quarter
The real estate market is feeling the effects of global uncertainty, with home sales dropping islandwide. Tribune-Herald.

Click here to learn why Hawaii Dental Service supports Hawaii Business' Wahine Forum
Hawaii Dental Service Believes in the Resilience of Women

Diane Paloma, President and CEO of Hawaii Dental Service, shares the importance of connection, inspiration and empowerment during these times of upheaval. HDS encourages us to be our truest self, live well, and smile more. Watch the video!
Maui enacts “point-in-time freeze” on transient vacation rentals and camper vans
In an ongoing effort to manage tourism, the Maui County Council passed Bill 159 with a series of amendments that effectively caps transient accommodations and regulates camper van rentals on public property. Maui Now.

With election around corner, Bissen again tops contributions
Maui County mayoral candidate Richard Bissen Jr. continued to fetch an abundance of campaign contributions, with nearly $100,000 raised during the latest reporting period leading up to tomorrow’s general election. Maui News.

Maui County acquires 1.4 acres in ʻĪao Valley from Hawaiʻi Nature Center
The $1.5 million property will be leased to Ke Kula ʻo Piʻilani, which currently uses the site for Hawaiian immersion education. Maui Now. Maui News.

Kaua‘i elections: Turnout lagging, council incumbents spend big
Kaua‘i County Elections Administrator said election turnout was 23% as of last week, compared with 27% statewide. Meanwhile, Incumbent council member KipuKai Kuali‘i spent the most on his reelection campaign, at $38,514. Garden Island.

Community group hopes to buy Coco Palms from Utah owners, who plan a 350-room hotel
I Ola Wailuanui has launched a grassroots fundraising campaign to purchase the derelict property and build a Hawaiian cultural and educational center on the site instead. Kauai Now.

Click here to get your copy of Hawaii Business' October 2022 issue!
Dive into some of our latest features!
Child Care Is a Labor of Love (Translation: It Doesn’t Pay a Living Wage)
“It’s Always Different”: 5 Child Care Providers Share Their Challenges and Joys
The Reality of Abortion in Hawai‘i
These 5 Women Are Changing the Face of Real Estate Development
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Russ Roberts (Hawaii Science Digest)