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Friday, June 11, 2021
June 11, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:58 PM :: 2042 Views

Kamehameha: The Founding of the Hawaiian Kingdom

O‘ahu moves into Tier 4 allowing larger group sizes outdoors and improved operations

Public Hearing for Red Light Cam Rules

Case and Kahele Announce $1.18 Million In Federal Grant Awards To 12 Native Hawaiian Organizations

State of Hawaii Veterans Summit 

Another Hawaii Couple Indicted in Sovereignty-Related Tax Fraud Scheme

Honolulu inflation heating up as prices have risen over the past year

SA: … The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data Thursday showing costs for goods and services in Honolulu rose 3.8% over 12 months through May, driven largely by the price of gasoline and used cars.

Honolulu’s consumer price index over the past 10 years has ranged from 1% to 3.7% and averaged 2% for the decade. The last time the annual figure was over 3.8% was in 2008 at 4.3%.

However, the rise in Honolulu’s consumer price index was below a 5% increase nationally that represented the highest 12-month U.S. gain since 2008.

Prices in Honolulu over the period rose the most for gas and for used cars and trucks, which soared 34.7% and 29.2%, respectively.

Costs also rose 2.6% for electricity, 2.7% for housing, 1.2% for food, 3.6% for new cars and 4.1% for education and communication.

The only major category with a decrease was apparel, where prices slipped 1%, the report showed.

BLS also reported that Honolulu’s consumer price index, a general measure of inflation, rose 2.1% between March and May….

read … Honolulu inflation heating up as prices have risen over the past year

Lumber shortage woes: Prices through the roof causes delays for Hawaii projects

KHON: … The Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA) says prices are up 400% when compared to the same time in 2020….

“It’s a lead time problem where an item might take me four to eight weeks in normal times. Now it’s taking me 12 to 16 weeks for materials to show up,” said HLPA president Mark Schwinn….

Experts are hopeful that prices will stabilize in the coming months, but the market will not return to pre-pandemic days anytime soon…..

read … Lumber shortage woes: Prices through the roof causes delays for Hawaii projects

Taxi companies lose certificates: Pandemic thins cab ranks even as demand grows

HTH: … “Bradley Hollister, dba Paradise Taxi!” “Luana Limousine, dba Laura’s Taxi!” “Shaka Taxi!” “Kelly Does Kona LLC, dba World’s Coolest Cab!”

One by one, their names were called out in the mostly empty auditorium. The few members in the audience looked at each other, shook their heads and occasionally spoke up.

“Oh, he moved to the mainland,” said one of the survivors.

“They closed permanently,” came the answer to another name.

On it went during Thursday’s meeting of the Transportation Commission. It continued until 50 names of taxicab companies were called out. Of those, 44 taxi owners’ certificates were revoked on the spot, either because they hadn’t operated as common carriers transporting passengers in the past 30 days or they’d let their taxi certificates expire without renewing them, and they weren’t present to plead their case.

Owners of the six companies granted a reprieve Thursday had various reasons for not being current on their licenses. Several said they’d tried to renew, but the office for the Mass Transit Agency was closed because of coronavirus precautions, or their renewals and payments were returned to them without explanation….

read … Taxi companies lose certificates: Pandemic thins cab ranks even as demand grows

DHHL Gets Minimum of $30M for Broadband Infrastructure

BI: … By law the entities eligible to apply for a Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program grant include: Tribal Governments; Tribal Colleges and Universities; the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on behalf of the Native Hawaiian Community, including Native Hawaiian Education Programs; Tribal organizations; and Alaska Native Corporations…

NTIA will make up to $980,000,000 available for federal assistance under the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. Not less than 3% of the total amount of program funding, or $30,000,000, will be allocated to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on behalf of the Native Hawaiian Community. NTIA will allocate up to $500,000 to each of the Federally Recognized Tribes delineated by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. The $30,000,000 and $500,000 allocations are not funding caps for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands or for Federally Recognized Tribes, respectively, but rather are intended to ensure that program funding is equitably distributed by NTIA to all eligible entities….

read … $1 Billion for Broadband Infrastructure on Tribal Lands

City and County of Honolulu still accepting applications for rental and utility relief program

SA: … The City and County of Honolulu is still accepting applications for its Rental and Utility Relief Program this month. It is the first time since the program began in April that the city did not exceeded the maximum amount of applications within a few hours.

The city began accepting up to 10,000 applications Monday evening, and as of Thursday there were still 4,000 applications available….

The increased capacity to 10,000 applications was meant to allow the portal to stay open longer and relieve people’s anxiety about having to apply immediately, an office spokesman said.

The first round in April accepted 8,000 applications and closed in four hours. The second round accepted only 4,000 applications and closed in less than 30 minutes….

Honolulu launched the program in early April to distribute $114 million in federal COVID relief for rent and utilities by the end of the year.

In the past two months, the city approved $23 million worth of relief for about 3,200 households. Out of the 12,000 applications that were submitted, about 6,000 were not processed, the common reasons being that they were duplicates or requests for mortgage help, which does not qualify under the program.

A total of 777 applications were declined due to potential fraud, applicants not responding to requests for more information or incorrect information.

read … City and County of Honolulu still accepting applications for rental and utility relief program

This church is housing the homeless ― and cultivating hope ― on a Waianae farm

HNN: … There’s a farm in Waianae that isn’t your typical agriculture operation. It’s run by a church whose calling is housing Hawaii’s homeless and cultivating hope….

For years, Waianae Cedar Farm has provided people refuge from the street.

Headed up by Hawaii Cedar Church, it started as place folks could pitch a tent in exchange for working on the farm. But through donations the church’s vision evolved.

Residents now sleep in 8-by-10-foot sheds.

“It came with a bed and a dresser,” said Orita. “Rent is $120 a month for couples but you can work it off on the farm.”…

Forty-three of the farm’s 51 units are currently occupied. Residents are from across Oahu.

It’s a mission led by the church’s pastor, who spent his childhood homeless in Korea….

SA: Kalihi pastor, Duk Whan Kim, is teaching farming, self-help and providing tiny homes at Waianae farm

read … This church is housing the homeless ― and cultivating hope ― on a Waianae farm

Afghans to be Evacuated via Guam?

CB: … The U.S. military is more than halfway through its withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is set to be complete by no later than September. But many who fought in that war are worried about leaving behind thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States as interpreters and in other roles.

In April, several lawmakers in Congress formed the bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group to expedite the process of bringing their Afghan allies to America. Last month, several veteran groups from across the political spectrum sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting an evacuation effort.

One popular solution is the so-called Guam option — airlifting the Afghans to the Pacific island territory to provide a safe location to screen applicants for resettlement across the country….

read … Veterans Say ‘Guam Option’ Is The Last Chance To Save Afghans Who Helped The US

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