Anti-Gun Bills Expected
Hawaii population continues to dwindle
UHERO: Effects of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Hawai‘i
PUC Chair James Griffin to Step Down
Curbing emergency power
SA Editorial: … when the “emergency” authority extends months and years, it is reasonable to have guardrails on authority in place.
Lawmakers considered but ultimately shelved a proposal to limit the authority in the 2021 session. But House and Senate leaders are resolving to pick up the issue again, to provide a means for legislators to cancel an executive order by the governor, in whole or in part.
To do that, each chamber of the Legislature would have to vote for the change by a two-thirds vote. It makes sense to raise the bar that high. If a governor is abusing authority, or a specific restriction has worn out its welcome, it should be possible to get a sizable majority on board for an override.
For example, Ige’s suspension of the state Sunshine Law, governing public meetings, was defensible at the outset, due to widespread uncertainty over convening remote sessions when the state was in lockdown.
In relatively short order, however public agencies and the people they served had managed to adapt, and there was every reason to end the suspension, in the interest of open government.
House Speaker Scott Saiki said lawmakers cited problems and public confusion when, for example, state and county policies were in conflict. A way to rectify that would help.
“I would hope that we can use that at a time when an order has gone on for too long and is creating confusion,” he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii webcast….
read … Curbing emergency power
Public schools are in-person, but COVID is keeping hundreds of students away
HNN: … Farrington High School said it has been able to cover for staff, but it has a lot of empty desks.
“Tuesday or Wednesday ... 29% of our kids were out,” said Farrington High School Principal Al Carganilla. “We’re a big school, this is quite a significant number.”…
“This is probably one of the hardest weeks for our admin team here at Radford High School,” said Principal James Sunday.
“I know that it does get frustrating when your child comes home and they say I was in the cafeteria today again,” Sunday said. “Or, I had a security person watching our classroom or administrator watching our classroom today. But we are trying.”
He said 80 out of the school’s 1,200 students are out for COVID-related issues….
CB: Hawaii Schools Scramble To Cope With Teacher And Student Absences
read … Public schools are in-person, but COVID is keeping hundreds of students away
Hawaii public school officials report 1,800+ teacher absences; Chaminade joins shift to virtual classes
SA: … In public schools, 1,812 teachers were absent today, or approximately 14% of 12,800 teachers statewide, according to state Department of Education data.
The absences were roughly 13% higher than the 1,600 state Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi reported Wednesday, and about 39% higher than approximately 1,300 teachers DOE said were typically out in December before the latest surge….
Of 1,543 positions that needed substitute teachers, 1,101, or about 71%, were filled today, while 442 teacher absences went uncovered by substitutes. The DOE said no substitute teacher was required for 269 absences.
Hayashi reiterated his commitment to maintaining full, in-person instruction across the state’s 257-school system in a memo to schools today.
“While we hope for a speedy recovery for those affected, our focus continues to remain on our mitigation strategies: getting vaccinated and boosted, staying home when sick, wearing a mask and washing our hands,” Hayashi wrote. “Although making adjustments and modifications this school year has not been easy, being able to keep our schools open is a testament to your commitment to our students.”…
read … 1,800+ teacher absences
Navy wants to release millions of gallons of treated water a day from tainted well into Halawa Stream
HNN: … The Navy told lawmakers Thursday and then the state’s Commission on Water Resource Management Friday about its plan to filter millions of gallons of water from the Red Hill shaft each day.
The treated water would then be released into the stream.
During Thursday’s tour of the Red Hill shaft, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele and other lawmakers saw a construction zone with eight granular activated carbon filters and the Navy’s plan to “remediate the Red Hill well to protect the aquifer.”
The Navy is building the industrial filtering system and massive pipes to flush up to five million gallons of water per day, which it hopes to release into Halawa stream.
“After pulling water from deeper in the well below any contamination that may be floating in the surface, run it through the GACS ... to discharge to Halawa Stream and we are working through a plan through Department of Health and Water Commission staff as well to be protective of the stream,” said Travis Hilton, of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific….
HNN: Water Commission stands by state’s order for Navy to drain Red Hill fuel facility
read … Navy wants to release millions of gallons of treated water a day from tainted well into Halawa Stream
Ige Proposes Statewide Law Enforcement Agency
CB: … Gov. David Ige’s administration wants to create a new statewide police agency that would allow its officers to investigate crimes and enforce laws independently from county police departments, state officials said Friday.
The proposal, which may be introduced this legislative session, would split the state Department of Public Safety into two separate departments. One department would oversee the state’s correctional system, while the other would consolidate state officers under a new Department of Law Enforcement.
That new agency would include the state deputy sheriffs, who are now under the public safety department, and investigators from the state Attorney General’s office, Holly Shikida, the new AG, told state lawmakers.
State officers who oversee harbors and airports may also be moved into this new agency, Shikida said….
In 2019, the Legislative Reference Bureau produced a report looking at that issue. “Joining Forces? Potential Consolidation of State Law Enforcement Duties In Hawaii” found that state law enforcement agencies couldn’t reach a consensus on whether to consolidate….
read … Hawaii Proposes Statewide Law Enforcement Agency
Next Big Fat UH Buyout: Todd Graham Allegedly Called Hawaii A ‘Third World Country’ Because The Vending Machines Didn’t Have Dr. Pepper
DC: … Hawaii State Senate meeting in regards to “Budget and cost related to coaching staff contracts,” and “Issues relating to the transfer of players,” according to an announcement from the state Senate Ways and Means and Higher Education Committees….
read … Buyout
Corona Virus News: