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4.5.2021
 
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New CDC guidance paves the way for Hawai‘i to implement "vaccine passports"
The federal agency said it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to travel without testing or quarantine, giving Hawai‘i the green light to modify its travel program. But key details, including how to verify vaccinations, must be worked out, said Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Parents say "so far, so good" as schools push toward full reopening
Schools had to get creative to accommodate more in-person students while maintaining safety protocols. In-person learning now underway at many elementary schools offers a preview of what the “new normal” may look like. Civil Beat.

DOE still waiting on funds, approval to address pandemic-related learning loss
The department is required to use 20% of its allotted American Rescue Plan funds, or about $78 million, to mitigate learning loss. An initial grant was received on March 24, and the remainder will be released after the U.S. Department of Education approves the state plan. KITV4.

Hawai‘i lawmakers poised to revise program that allows police to seize cash and cars
Law enforcement agencies argue that the state’s civil asset forfeiture program is an important tool for deterring crime. But critics, including public defenders and civil liberties advocates, say the program is ripe for abuse. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Two police reform bills progress in Legislature
Though many bills failed to gain traction, at least two measures still have a chance to become law. House Bill 250 would make sexual assault by an officer a second- or third-degree offense, and Senate Bill 726 would ban no-knock warrants in Hawai‘i. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i data landscape: Antiquated infrastructure, widespread distrust
A report released last week by the Hawaii Data Collaborative found the challenges go beyond infrastructure, technology and manpower, and extend to the culture — including a lack of trust among people who engage with data. Civil Beat.

State unemployment office to offer help via phone or video appointment
Starting today, claimants can sign up for an appointment to speak directly with unemployment staff. KITV4.

Consumer aid, vaccines keep state bankruptcies declining
Bankruptcies in March declined 4.3% from the prior year, from 141 to 135, according to data released by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawai‘i. First-quarter filings are down 20%, from 398 to 318. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

 
 
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HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Best Places to Work List: Ranked
71 companies of all sizes worked hard and thoughtfully to support their employees. In return, each company got a loyal and enthusiastic workforce. See which companies are the Most Family Friendly and Healthiest Companies, and the first, second, and third Best Places to Work in Hawaiʻi in the Small, Medium and Large Categories... 
read more.
 
OʻAHU
 
HPD Chief Susan Ballard is up for review this week. Is she still up to the job?
Four years ago, she was praised for righting a department in turmoil. Now under fire from critics, Ballard faces a new assessment from the Honolulu Police Commission. Civil Beat.
Watchdog groups are calling the chief’s personal purchases from vendors awarded CARES Act funds a conflict of interest. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mulls registering, regulating short-term vacation rentals
On Tuesday, the city Department of Planning and Permitting will hold a public hearing on draft rules to regulate and register short-term rentals on O‘ahu, potentially bringing clarity to a contentious issue. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

UH study offers ways Honolulu can adapt to rising ocean waters
Coastal flooding in Honolulu threatens to force 13,300 people from their homes and inflict $12.9 billion in losses. A new report details how to adapt to rising tides along the south shore, from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Embattled hotel and condo project near Ala Moana Center hits another major snag
In March 2018, the Honolulu City Council approved plans for a a 400-foot-tall condo and hotel project, Hawai‘i Ocean Plaza, as long as the builder got the necessary permits within two years. That deadline was extended another year, which ended last week. Hawaii News Now.

Remote working for Honolulu employees is here to stay 
More than a year after most companies sent office employees home to work remotely, many continue to do so, even as vaccinations are well under way. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

 
 
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The UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy’s dramatic roof forms and patterned façade blend traditional references to the organic lava flows of Pele with the structured sequencing and geometries of contemporary science and medicine. | Photo: courtesy of WCIT Architecture
 
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HAWAIʻI ISLAND
 
County has been without an auditor for five months
A County Council subcommittee searching for an auditor has narrowed the list to two Mainland candidates. West Hawaii Today.

Councilman calls for county to curb climbing insurance costs in Puna
Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder will introduce a resolution on Tuesday urging the Department of Finance to investigate options to lower home insurance premiums in Lava Zones 1 and 2. Tribune-Herald.

Airport hotel bond bill would provide up to $50M in funding
A bill to issue up to $50 million in revenue bonds for a planned hotel at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport continues to make it through the Legislature for a final hearing. West Hawaii Today.

Vaccinating the homeless: Clinics in Hilo, Kona slated for April 14
HOPE Services Hawai‘i will work with West Hawai‘i Community Health Center and Bay Clinic to help vaccinate the Big Island’s homeless population. Tribune-Herald.
 
How do you create a flextime program that works for your company?
 
HAWAII BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Ask the Expert: Flextime

I know flextime is a powerful way to attract and retain working mothers, but how do I create a program that works for our company? Read more.
 
MAUI COUNTY
 
Maui Health expands vaccine registration to all residents 16 and older 
Starting Monday, April 5, Maui Health will be accepting registrations for residents 16 and up. Maui Now.

Want to rent a car on Maui? It’ll cost you.
High demand and short supply are triggering exorbitant prices for rental cars, and creating a boon for locally owned rental companies. Maui News.
 
KAUAʻI
 
Budget proposal increases funding to manage feral cat populations
The county allocated $50,000 to feral cat control for the current fiscal year, but the budget for the upcoming fiscal year proposes $120,000 in funding. Garden Island.
 
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MARCH 2021 ISSUE
 
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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