FSM to Become Chinese Logistics Hub?
City accepts full allotment of 312 Emergency Housing Vouchers from HUD
DHHL Summary of 2021 Legislative Proposals
COVID Construction 2020 Sets New Record
PBN: … Despite the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down tourism and other industries last year, Hawaii’s construction industry had its best year of the last two decades, according to a tally of construction activity in the Islands.
There was $5.66 billion in construction activity statewide in 2020, according to data provided by the Pacific Resource Partnership, more than the $5.57 billion in 2018 and $5.56 billion in 2016.
Among the Islands, Oahu had its second-best year, after 2016, with $3.84 billion in activity, followed by Kauai, where there was $369 million in construction activity in 2020, the third-best year after 2006 and 2008.
Hawaii Island’s $723 million in activity was better than the five previous years but well off the high of $886 million in 2005. Likewise, the $729 million in activity on Maui was far off the $1.04 billion in activity in 2006….
PBN: Timing crucial as construction costs skyrocket
read … Hawaii construction still going after strong 2020
Hawaii Tourism Authority monitoring 'extreme growth' of visitors to the islands
KITV: … A recent survey found nearly 80% of Americans are ready to travel again.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has been monitoring what it calls "extreme growth" of visitors locally. In January, about 74,000 people flew into the state.
That number rose to more than 484,000 arrivals last month, and it's expected to continue rising into the summer months….
read … Hawaii Tourism Authority monitoring 'extreme growth' of visitors to the islands
Hawaii governor weighing whether to decriminalize emergency rule-breaking to a costly ticket
KHON: … Penalizing emergency rule violators could be as easy as giving a parking ticket under a bill awaiting Hawaii Gov. David Ige.
But what happens to the tens of thousands of cases involving people who faced criminal charges in the pandemic? …
Nearly 100,000 people were caught and ticketed — some arrested — for violating emergency rules since March 2020. It ranged from not wearing masks to violating quarantine or stay-at-home orders.
“They’re all misdemeanors,” said State Public Defender James Tabe, “and just to put in perspective, the year before, there were only 20,000 criminal petty misdemeanor cases. So you can see it just was out of control last year, or continues to be out of control.”
Lawmakers this session passed SB540 to reduce emergency order violations to a suggested $200 infraction, or a price set by the governor and counties, with no threat of a criminal record or going to jail….
read … Hawaii governor weighing whether to decriminalize emergency rule-breaking to a costly ticket
Ballard Refusing to Return Blangiardi Phone Calls
KITV: … Mayor Blangiardi on Wednesday said he's "disappointed" in the Chief because she hasn't returned calls he started placing nearly a month ago. The Mayor wants a briefing of two officer-involved shootings that occurred in a span of ten days in April….
Chief Ballard's last day is June 1. Mayor Blangiardi said he does not expect correspondence from her prior to then.
"Since her [retirement] announcement, we've had no communication ... I've already moved on," Blangiardi told KITV4.
(Question: Is Blangiardi hearing from Interim Chief Rade Vanic? It sounds like this is only a way to dig at Ballard, not an attempt to get info on shootings.)
Mayor Blangiardi has publicly stated that he'd like to have a significant role in choosing the next Chief of Police.
When asked what the most important question he'll pose to candidates, he said:
"I want to talk to them first and foremost about how they see the future of policing and what they intend to do with the shortage of man power we have ... we have now over 300 openings [in HPD]."
Mayor Blangiardi confirmed Wednesday the search for the next Police Chief will include candidates from within HPD and (pretend to include other candidates) from departments around the country. …
read … 'It's Disappointing.' Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi Wants Answers from HPD
Civil Beat Law Center Sues Prosecutor For Release Of Sykap Shooting Video
CB: … Seven weeks after Iremamber Sykap, a 16-year-old Micronesian boy, was shot and killed by Honolulu police, officials still have not released body camera footage of the shooting and preceding vehicle pursuit.
Now The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, a nonprofit that advocates for government transparency, is suing the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office in hopes of making the videos public….
read … Civil Beat Law Center Sues Prosecutor For Release Of Sykap Shooting Video
SHOPO Resists Body Cams for CRU, Plainclothes
KHON: … The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) says it plans to eventually provide cameras for plainclothes officers…. .
The union for police officers, SHOPO, says part of the problem is that plainclothes officers need to be able to blend in, so they will need body cameras that allow them to do that.
The officers involved in the shooting on Tuesday, May 25, were part of the Crime Reduction Unit and were there to serve two felony bench warrants to Dion Kitzmiller. HPD says he showed them a firearm, drove off and hit several cars before turning the gun towards approaching officers. ….
read … Honolulu police plan to equip plainclothes officers with bodycams, union says it’s not that easy
Faced with ‘use it or lose it’ deadline, tourism authority allocates funding
HNN: … The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s board has allocated more than $12 million that it would have been forced to return to the state.
The money comes from the tourism special fund, which the state legislature voted to end.
“The tourism special fund is set to sunset as of Dec. 31. As of Jan. 1, it would no longer exist,” HTA Chief Administrative Officer Keith Regan told board members Thursday….
“In essence, anything not encumbered by June 30 would eventually revert and be swept into the general fund of the state of Hawaii,” Regan added.
The funding includes $1.5 million for a reservation program for state parks and trails, $2 million for agri-tourism, cultural tourism and nature tourism, and $1 million to increase Hawaiian language and culture at Hawaii airports.
There’s also $500,000 to increase the number of Aloha Ambassadors in Waikiki for the expected summer visitor surge....
SA: Hawaii Tourism Authority rushes to keep from losing $18M in special funds
read … Faced with ‘use it or lose it’ deadline, tourism authority allocates funding
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