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Dark clouds are looming over Hawai‘i even as the economy appears to be improving
Economic experts say many people are worse off than they were before the pandemic and a lower unemployment rate is simply masking deeper problems. Civil Beat.

Official in charge of Hawai‘i's COVID-19 contact tracing resigns
Emily Roberson, an epidemiologist, was hired last year to revamp Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo said that Roberson left her position April 1. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i closer to declaring a ‘climate emergency’
The latest version of Senate Concurrent Resolution 44 would declare a climate emergency and request an “emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate.” The resolution was passed by the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i expects to meet Biden's new goal of offering vaccines to all adults by April 19
The state remains in 1c of its vaccine campaign, restricting shots to people 60 and older and certain essential workers, although those rules are still being applied only on O‘ahu. Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i counties widened the eligibility pool Monday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

CDC finds spread among youth sports, Hawai‘i pediatrician says play on
While the Rainbow Warriors are regularly tested for COVID-19, youth sports in Hawai‘i are generally not. KHON2.
Entire UH football team heads to quarantine following eight positive tests. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

UH grad student becomes first Pacific Islander to reach ocean’s deepest point
Nicole Yamase, who is a PhD candidate with the Marine Biology Graduate Program, dove to the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific Ocean, in a 224-foot research submersible called “The Challenger Deep.” KHON2.

Here's how Hawai‘i's new state budget is shaping up
With just a few weeks left in session, both the House and Senate plan to bail out Hawai‘i employers and pass some tax increases. Civil Beat.

Transition to 10-digit dialing to begin on April 24
April 24 through Oct. 23, 2021 is a permissive dialing period when 10-digit dialing is encouraged but seven-digit calls will still go through. Beginning on Oct. 24, 2021 callers in Hawai‘i must dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) or local calls will be not be completed. Maui Now.

Illustration by: Amy Ngo; Getty images
How New, Agile Networks of People Are Helping Hawai‘i
Pandemic and protest. Recession and rioting. The first half of 2020 pulled no punches. Hawai‘i dodged the worst of the pandemic, and we haven’t yet had any riots, but the situation is dire... 
read more.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi makes request to change O‘ahu’s tier criteria
Blangiardi on Tuesday said he sent a request to Gov. David Ige asking that the criteria for Tier 3 be increased to a seven-day average case count of 50 to 100, which is what it currently is for Tier 2. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.
Business owners say they are disappointed in the lack of clarity surrounding COVID guidelines. Hawaii News Now.

Public reviews proposed rules for short-term rentals
A public hearing Tuesday on the city’s plan to give permits to about 1,700 O‘ahu homeowners to operate bed-and-breakfast units raised the question of whether the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting can be trusted to distribute the permits fairly. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Home prices on O‘ahu surge closer to $1 million median
O‘ahu’s housing market had another breakout month in March with a record $950,000 single-family home median sale price and an eye-popping number of condominium sales. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

City starts fixing Kaka‘ako streets owned by state
Two oversize city pothole patching crews descended on perhaps the worst streets in Kaka‘ako on Tuesday to smooth over a problem that has vexed area residents and business owners for several years. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

State crews clear out more than 30 homeless camps at Diamond Head
DLNR worked with case workers from the Institute for Human Services, the City T.E.A.M. Work Hawaii program and UH social work students to assist in outreach and notification to homeless individuals prior to the clean-up. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Click here to watch the interview!
Charles Kaneshiro Discusses Resilience & Recovery for the Architecture Industry
In this interview, they discuss how the architecture, construction, and engineering industry approaches resilience towards climate change... read more.
Council Planning Committee postpones action on ouster of commissioner
Mark Van Pernis was called rude, crusty, insulting, confrontational and condescending, among other adjectives, during a grueling three-hour Tuesday evening session of a County Council panel that ended with a recommendation to not immediately remove him from the powerful Leeward Planning Commission.
West Hawaii Today.

Plan calls for 6 low-income housing projects to begin this year
The county will spend nearly $6 million in federal funds on six low-income housing projects this year, according to an action plan presented to a County Council committee.

USA Women’s Water Polo Team donates lane course, valued at $5,500, to county
A gift from the USA Women’s Water Polo Team could result in the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation implementing a youth water polo program on the Big Island.
West Hawaii Today.

Resolution for lava zone insurance study gets lukewarm support
One insurance provider, the Hawaii Property Insurance Association, offers coverage to new clients, which allows HPIA to set its prices high. Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder said he hopes his resolution can allow Hawai‘i County to explore potential ways to stabilize insurance rates within those lava zones.

West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery slated for expansion
The state budget includes $500,000 in general obligation bonds from the state and $4.4 million in authorized federal funds set aside for a total of $4.9 million over a two year period.
West Hawaii Today.
Photo: Thinkstock
5 Steps to Position Yourself As An Agent Of Change

If you have good ideas that you want implemented at your workplace, executive coach Wendy Nakamura offers these ways to position yourself as an agent of change..read more.
Maui County population could decline with job losses
Maui and Kaua‘i lost more than 20 percent of their jobs last year — the highest in the state, according to UHERO data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, people have been relocating, said Carl Bonham, UHERO executive director.
Maui News.

Bills would reserve half of all beach parking for residents, tack on parking fees for visitors
County Council Vice-Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez said she envisions a beach parking program where resident vehicles will get stickers or another identification to allow access, or where parking fee machines are added, similar to Ahihi-Kina’u, that scan Hawai‘i driver’s licenses and print tickets for dashboard display. Enforcement would be funded by nonresident parking fees. Maui News.

Moloka‘i librarian goes above and beyond for students
Moloka‘i High School's Diane Mokuau was one of two librarians nationwide to receive the 2021 School Librarian of the Year Award, which is presented by School Library Journal and sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs. Maui News.

Cowden fined $500 for ethics violations
A 2019 county Board of Ethics complaint alleged that Councilwoman Felicia Cowden had used her role and position as a councilmember to secure the benefit of an expense-paid trip to attend a conference in Vologda, Russia and for having county staff use council letterhead to urge others to attend the conference.
Garden Island.

Timbers embraces community throughout pandemic
Timbers Kaua‘i at Hokuala’s corporate responsibility includes giving back to the local community through ongoing partnerships with Sustainable Coastlines Kaua‘i for continued support to keep beaches and coastlines clean, and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust to preserve the island’s most special places, including coastal lands, cultural landscapes, watersheds and scenic vistas.
Garden Island.

Kōke‘e Nature Trail trampled Easter weekend
On Easter weekend, three unidentified groups hosted egg hunts and other events along the trail. The result was devastating for the native plants, according to Chris Faye, executive director of Hui o Laka, a nonprofit that operates the Koke‘e Museum.
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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