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Thursday, September 29, 2022
September 29, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:37 PM :: 1178 Views

Biden Hosts Pacific Islands Summit In Washington

Skin Cancer News: Maui Sunscreen Ban goes into Effect October 1

Coast Guard Busts Illegal Fireworks Shipments at Honolulu Harbor

Department of Defense Submits Additional Supplement to the Red Hill Defueling Plan

More delay, financial shortfall in store for revamped Aloha Stadium redevelopment plan, officials say

SA: … Aloha Stadium manager Ryan Andrews and Chris Kinimaka, public works administrator with the state Department of Accounting and General Services, suggested Wednesday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program that Ige’s recent decision to move in a new direction with the project is misguided and won’t accelerate production of a new stadium in Halawa as the governor intends.

Andrews said he doesn’t know what specific changes Ige wants to make to the public-private partnership plan for replacing 47-year-old Aloha Stadium, but that altering well-developed existing procurement work won’t achieve the goal faster….

Kinimaka said that just between the end of last year and June, the estimated cost to replace Aloha Stadium has surged by $50 million….

Andrews also expressed concern that not having a private developer help finance a new stadium would lead to a scaled-back facility.

Ige’s chief of staff, Linda Chu Takayama, last week instructed DAGS via email not to proceed with issuing two requests for proposals seeking bids from developers to replace the stadium…“Please consider tying up any loose ends from your side,” Takayama’s email said in part to DAGS Director Curt Otaguro….

Kinimaka previously said NASED’s takeover by DBEDT was a surprise like “a lightning bolt out of the blue,” and on Wednesday she said the NASED team is disappointed that it wasn’t consulted about taking the project in a new direction.

“We are disappointed that we weren’t part of that because of the knowledge base and the partnerships that we bring,” she said. “We could easily help advise them, but we are out of the picture.”

Another concern, raised by Andrews, was whether DBEDT’s new direction will alter the scope of NASED to a degree that isn’t supported by Halawa community stakeholders who have been engaged in planning work for three years…. 

HNN: Ige’s plan to redevelop Aloha Stadium without public-private partnership gets chilly reception  

SA: Future of new Aloha Stadium remains unclear as state officials offer conflicting views

read … More delay, financial shortfall in store for revamped Aloha Stadium redevelopment plan, officials say

FTA has not yet approved HART’s revised proposal for $9.8 billion in construction costs

SA Editorial: … The biggest nail-biter may be that the FTA has not yet approved HART’s revised proposal for $9.8 billion in construction costs; the route, originally connecting East Kapolei with Ala Moana Center, now would end almost 1-1/2 miles short at Halekauwila and South streets, the Civic Center stop.

This is not evidently too worrisome, though, to HART Chief Executive Officer Lori Kahikina, who said she has seen no real signal from FTA that any of this is a deal-breaker. In response to an email inquiry from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board, Kahikina said HART is “working hand in hand with FTA, meeting weekly, to keep the process moving toward approval of the plan.

“FTA is on board with the proposed truncated scope of the system, and I’m confident we’ll come to an agreement soon on any outstanding issues they may have,” she said. As a basis for the confidence, she added that the federal agency has recommended that HART begin drafting an amended agreement, which HART staff is now working on….

the system is in the midst of a rigorous, 90-day trial-run phase in which any bugs can be worked out before responsibility for operations is turned over to the city Department of Transportation Services. The city still has to show it’s ready to take over, but approaching that milepost is significant.

Of course, there are also many reasons why this is a huge hold-your-breath moment. Among the unknowns making the average observer understandably nervous is the realization that cracks discovered in guideway pillars in 2018 have grown larger and could be a bigger cause for concern. This won’t be clear until the structural engineers studying the issue present their findings, but that verdict should be just around the corner….

read … Bated breath for huge rail decisions

Special Session: New Maunakea board could be confirmed sooner than expected

HTH: … While legislators cannot call a special session specifically to confirm the nominees for the Stewardship and Oversight Authority, state statutes require that, in the event of a special session, the Legislature is mandated to take up standing matters of appointments to boards and commissions.

Consequently, should the Legislature decide to hold a special session on the Obrero verdict, the Senate will also hold confirmation hearings for the board members as well.

Without the special session, the Senate is not expected to hold confirmation hearings about the Maunakea board until the next full legislative session, which begins in January…. 

September 22, 2022: Consider TMT changes to lessen impact on Native Hawaiians, EPA urges

read … New Maunakea board could be confirmed sooner than expected

As Defense Secretary arrives on Oahu, families sickened by fuel-tainted water demand help

HNN: …  “They have to be made whole.” ….

SA Column: Mr. Defense Secretary, add water advocates to task force 

HNN: Some call it ‘appalling’ Defense Secretary not meeting with families over Red Hill

read … As Defense Secretary arrives on Oahu, families sickened by fuel-tainted water demand help

SHOPO Deploys Survey of Kauai police officers designed to Remove ‘Outsider’ Chief

HNN: … A new survey of Kauai’s SHOPO chapter found low morale, lack of communication within the department, low staffing, and poor work conditions among police officers.

In the survey, officers said they’re unhappy with their work conditions and leadership at the police department.

KPD Chief Todd Raybuck says the department has hired 52 new officers in the last three years and staffing now stands at nearly 90%. He also said he’s interested in working with SHOPO to address officer concerns….

TGI: SHOPO survey shows low morale in Kaua‘i Police Department

read … Survey of Kauai police officers finds low morale, concerns over working conditions

Hawaii health officials add reinfections to COVID case count, boosting state’s tally by nearly 11k

SA: … The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 12,755 more COVID-19 cases over the week, including 10,995 reinfection cases dating back to September 2020.

Health officials said, starting today, they are including reinfections on the state’s COVID-19 data dashboard. They said reinfections, once rare, now account for about 10% of new confirmed cases.

Before today, the case count only represented the number of unique individuals whose positive tests had been reported, and a person who tested positive multiple times was counted once….

Reinfections were counted as long as the second case happened at least 90 days after the first. Multiple positive tests within a 90-day period were counted only once. Health Department officials also said the number of reinfections is likely an undercount, given the increased use of home test kits.

The added reinfections count brings Hawaii’s total COVID case count to 355,959.

Additionally, the 12,755 figure includes about 800 historic cases that were added as the data was cleaned up, officials said….

There were also seven more deaths reported over the week, bringing Hawaii’s COVID-related death toll to 1,686, health officials said today….

DOH says reinfections will also be counted in the 7-day average daily case count, which will result in higher average daily case counts than under the previous data reporting method.

Hawaii’s average daily case count today was reported at 164, higher than 148 reported Sept. 28….

SA: Kokua Line: Where can I get Moderna bivalent booster shot?

DOH NEWS RELEASE: COVID-19 REINFECTION RATE RISING

read … Hawaii health officials add reinfections to COVID case count, boosting state’s tally by nearly 11k

Panel to consider bill to curb rezoning time extensions

HTH: … A bill that would require full County Council approval for time extensions of rezoning applications on Hawaii Island will be considered by the Windward Planning Commission next week.

Bill 194, proposed by North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba, aims to address a common complaint among residents that developers’ rezoning applications, once approved, receive time extensions….

As proposed, Bill 194 would clarify that the County Council must approve extensions requested once the time in the original council-approved rezoning ordinance has run out.

The bill changes the zoning ordinance to include specific language prohibiting administrative extensions: “Unless specifically authorized by the council, extensions of time to satisfy conditions may not be allowed by the director.”….

According to a background and recommendation report from Planning Director Zendo Kern, since the 1980s it’s been the practice of planning directors to add the current standard “administrative time extension” condition to change of zone ordinance recommendations that gives the department head the authority to grant a one-time, administrative time extension provided that the applicant, successor, or assigns is able to justify the need for the additional time by providing a request….

HTH: Hawaii County Planning Commission supports bill requiring rezoning extensions be approved by council

read … Panel to consider bill to curb rezoning time extensions

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