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State agencies in an uproar as budget eliminates hundreds of positions
The budget that passed last week in the House used federal stimulus funds to plug a massive hole, but it wasn’t enough. So House leaders eliminated 800 government positions classified as vacant and tapped $150 million in unspent special funds. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers advance capital gains tax increase
A proposal to jack up the top rates for state capital gains taxes on businesses and wealthier individuals cleared an important hurdle Monday by winning unanimous approval in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Civil Beat.

Labor director asks lawmakers for millions to expand unemployment services
The director in charge of the overwhelmed unemployment office is asking the state for more than $100 million to hire 250 agents, help pay rent for facilities and set up a system for personal appointments. Hawaii News Now.

"What about us?": Retailers struggle to find their way through the pandemic
While hotels and restaurants have suffered enormous job losses, so have retailers. The state had 10,000 fewer retail trade jobs at the end of 2020 than it had in 2019, according to the UH Economic Research Organization. And Hawai‘i’s nascent economic recovery is leaving many retailers out. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i’s private schools see enrollment drop more than 20% for preschoolers
Overall enrollment in private schools rose slightly for kindergarten through 12th grade but dropped by more than 20% for preschools, according to a report by the Hawai‘i Association of Independent Schools. Civil Beat.

With Love’s Bakery closure a day away, its brand will live on
Portland-based Franz Family Bakery, also known as United States Bakery, announced Monday that it has acquired a license to produce the Love’s-branded items on the Mainland for Hawai‘i. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green warns of surge if people let down their guard
Hawai‘i risks seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases if people start holding large gatherings, warns Green. As of now, the majority of infections are among people ages 18 to 44. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.
Thanks to mass vaccinations, seniors 65 and older now have the lowest rate in the state. KITV4.

Click here to view the BPTW list-makers for Medium Companies!
Medium Companies That Made This Year's Best Places to Work List
All of these companies face two tests: a confidential survey of their employees, which accounts for 75% of each company’s score, and an extensive questionnaire on company benefits and policies. Today we release the list of medium companies that made the Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi list. 
Click here to view the list!
Honolulu to receive half of its $365 million federal funds by early May
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said that the city can use the funds from the new stimulus package to make up for lost tax revenue, which last year’s CARES Act did not allow for. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers want new group to determine future of OHA Kaka‘ako Makai
But the Office of Hawaiian Affairs says it does not plan to cooperate with the group if two resolutions pass the Legislature. Sylvia Hussey, OHA’s CEO, told lawmakers on Monday that participating in discussions would only set OHA back since the 2012 deal should have settled the land claims. Civil Beat.

Turtle Bay Resort to reopen July 1  
The North Shore resort is still closed to guests, but the 450 construction workers readying the property for a summer reopening are a sign that better times are coming for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

$1,000 a day to rent a car? Low supply, surging demand are pushing up prices
Rental cars are a hot commodity in Honolulu. If you can reserve one ― and that’s not guaranteed ― prepare to pay top dollar. Hawaii News Now.

UH to reopen campus next fall with more classes offered in-person
The university announced Monday that it will be reopening its campus and amenities next fall, and it will be slowly transitioning students back to the classroom. KHON2.

The design of the ceiling and columns in the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas lobby evokes the concept of the hīnaʻi, or fish-catching baskets, which were once used to capture small fish and shrimp. In the same way, the resort is able to capture stories told by kūpuna and pass these on to the next generation. | Photo: courtesy of WCIT Architecture
Cultivating Authenticity in Design
What makes the places in which we live, work and play here in Hawaii irreplicable anywhere else in the world? WCIT Architecture highlights a few ways you can integrate our islands and culture into your own space... read more.
Nā Leo TV president to be placed on leave following federal plea deal
Stacy Higa, CEO and president of the public-access cable TV nonprofit, was placed on leave after a former associate alleged in federal court that he and Higa were involved in a scheme to fraudulently funnel federal coronavirus relief funds to the nonprofit. Tribune-Herald.

Nishimoto leaves Department of Public Works
Just four months into his four-year term, Mayor Mitch Roth has lost his first top official, with Merrick Nishimoto leaving his position as deputy director. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i County considers changes to post-travel testing program
Citing mounting costs, a modified COVID-19 testing system for arriving passengers is in the works on the Big Island, the only county that still tests people upon arrival. Hawaii News Now.

East Hawai‘i a "hot spot" for new virus cases
According to data from the state Department of Health, 41 new cases have been reported in Hilo over the past 14 days, while only 25 new cases have been reported in Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.
Time: Wednesday, 9:04 A.M. | Location: Min Plastics & Supply Inc. | Photographer: Aaron Yoshino
Three Generations in Plastics

Max Infiel uses a flame torch to polish the edges of a protective barrier – one of the many orders for sneeze guards and partitions that Min Plastics & Supply received in 2020. “Our customers have brought us this far. We couldn’t have made it without local support..read more.
$11M in economic relief coming to 5 airports in Maui County
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Airports Division received authorization for $11,098,912 to be distributed to five county airports. Maui Now.

Mokulele Airlines completes Maui terminal renovation
A blessing was held to mark the completion of a long-awaited facelift of its Kahului Commuter Terminal on Maui. Maui Now.

Visitors to Maui hit post-pandemic high in February
Maui had 92,608 visitors in February, according to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s latest report. The numbers have been climbing steadily since the state relaxed trans-Pacific travel rules on Oct. 15. Maui News.
Kaua‘i County expands vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and up
The expansion is a major step forward as the county prepares to rejoin the Safe Travels program for trans-Pacific visitors. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

The county is behind on landfill closing costs
The estimated closing costs are about $26.2 million but the county only has $15.4 million saved, according to the acting head of the Solid Waste Management Division. Garden Island.

Former educator arrested for child exploitation is scheduled for hearings in April 
Victor Aguilar, 65, a former educator and JROTC instructor at Waimea High School, made his first court appearance via phone from the Honolulu Federal Detention Center on Monday.  He was arrested last week on two counts of exploitation of a child under the age of 18. Garden Island.

Click here to get your copy of Hawaii Business' March 2021 issue!
Dive into some of our latest features!
20 For the Next 20 Cohort
The Best of Startup Paradise

Construction Industry Still a Bright Spot for Hawaiʻi Economy During Pandemic
How Hawaiʻi’s Light Pollution Affects Wildlife and Humans
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