Hawaii’s tourism industry relies on repeat visitors and the number of arrivals could decline based on visitor responses to a recent survey. 4.1% of West Coast visitors and 6.6% of East Coast visitors are unlikely to return for a vacation in the next five years and the cost of a Hawaii vacation is the primary reason, and wanting to go someplace new ranked second. An individual spends $700 more on a Hawaii vacation today than in 2019. Expected August visitors is off by 10% and 25% fewer visitors arrived this summer than in 2019.
A fire code violation contributed to releasing over 19,000 gallons of fuel oil making its way into the Navy’s Red Hill drinking water system. The contractor installed PVC piping instead of steel piping throughout the fire suppression system and replaced only a small portion of the piping in 2017 when the error was discovered to save money. A worker crashed the passenger cart train into the pipe, cracking one of the PVC valves. A report cited a long list of operational, maintenance, and management failures that contributed to the disaster.
Petroleum found in a water quality monitoring well raises the concern that the contamination is migrating to other sources of Oahu’s water supply. The migration is headed in a direction that officials did not expect and has placed Oahu’s southern neighborhoods at risk of shortages.
Hawaiian hospitals urged Governor David Ige to establish an emergency proclamation suspending Hawaii’s licensing laws to relieve the shortage of nurses and physicians. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) has been struggling with staffing shortages of its own resulting in processing delays of up to three months. The continued need to use emergency proclamations to support basic operations should be a concern for Ige and the legislature, yet he had no comment on the licensing issue. Hawaii is one of four states that requires out-of-state practitioners to be licensed by the state before they can start working. Other states offer temporary licenses issued within one to three business days.
The National Science review launched a full environmental review of the Thirty Meter Telescope project that could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to the islands. The leading funder of scientific research will hold a series of meetings from August 9th through August 12th to engage the public regarding the effects of TMT. The opponents are not moved by the gesture and will oppose any efforts to add another telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. While the review appears to be a positive step forward, the fund could cut off U.S. involvement in the project at any time. You can learn more about TMT by clicking the link below: