Friday, May 11, 2018

State lawmakers tour lava zone as they mull special session, Ige seeks presidential disaster declaration for entire state, overnight rumbles predict more volcanic activity, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Sen. Kai Kahele
Hawaii lawmakers tour Kilauea lava flow PC: Sen. Kai Kahele
Gov. David Ige asked President Donald Trump to declare the state of Hawaii a major disaster area Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

White House, Hawaii In Contact Concerning Eruption. Big Island Video News.

Kilauea volcano is threatening to blow its top in coming days or weeks after sputtering lava for a week, forcing about 2,000 people to evacuate, destroying two dozen homes and threatening a geothermal plant. Associated Press.

Dozens of quakes overnight signal more lava outbreaks are 'likely'. Hawaii News Now.

Volcanic activity pauses along East Rift Zone, but more lava outbreaks expected. KHON2.

===== More volcano news at Hawaii Island category below =====

Gov. David Ige has signed a bill setting aside $125 million for flood recovery efforts on Kauai and Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state's request for federal funding after historic flooding destroyed parts of Kauai and Oahu. KHON2.

Hawaii's request for aid on Kauai was denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. KITV.

State Director of Health Dr. Virginia “Ginny” Pressler has announced her retirement, effective June 1, according to a statement released today by Gov. David Ige.  Star-Advertiser.

Virginia Pressler will retire on June 1 from her post as director of the Hawaii state Department of Health, a post she’s held since late 2014, Gov. David Ige’s office said Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s commercial swordfish fleet has been shut down for the rest of the year following a court order aimed at protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Swordfish Industry Shut Down To Protect Endangered Turtles. Environmental groups have been trying to restrict the taking of turtles by longliners for the past six years. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's longline fishing industry will have to stop fishing for swordfish because of court agreement designed to protect loggerhead sea turtles. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s earnings jumped 17.7 percent in the first quarter even as the holding company’s utility shifted $9 million worth of tax reform net benefits to customers. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Access to the USS Arizona Memorial is again suspended until further notice, to “address the structural integrity of the facility.” Star-Advertiser.

Structural concerns mean visitors won't be able to disembark onto Arizona Memorial. Hawaii News Now.

An Oahu grand jury has indicted Randall Saito for escape and theft six months after he walked out of the Hawaii State Hospital and flew to California. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito has been indicted by a Honolulu Grand Jury on one count of Escape in the Second Degree and four counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree. KHON2.

Efforts to control a holiday 'floatilla' event has led to a civil rights complaint against the state Land Department. Hawaii News Now.

Concerned Citizens: Homeless Sweeps in Kakaako Don't Work. Hawaii Public Radio.

A federal jury found the owner and operator of a business that provides speech language therapy primarily to children of military service members guilty Thursday of multiple counts of wire fraud, identity theft and lying to receive payment of services that were never provided. Star-Advertiser.

For Tourists Only: This Hawaii Wedding Venue Won’t Host Locals. Some wedding venues only accept destination weddings to limit the number of guests and the effect on neighbors. Civil Beat.

Students, alumni and visitors of Hawaii Pacific University added $423.1 million in income to Oahu's economy for fiscal year 2015-16, according to an economic impact study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International. Pacific Business News.

The Hawaii State Department of Education held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new East Kapolei Middle School on Thursday. KHON2.

Retired Kailua auto dealer Mike McKenna, who appeared in newspaper and TV ads with his beloved golden retriever Hana Girl, has died. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lower Puna waited for Pele to make her next move Thursday after going more than 24 hours without seeing magma surface. Tribune-Herald.

The pentane at Puna Geothermal Venture has been removed, but Civil Defense officials remain concerned about another hidden hazard. Tribune-Herald.

More than 200 people showed up at Pahoa High and Intermediate School on Thursday night to receive updates on Kilauea’s eruption. Star-Advertiser.

7 pm Eruption Update – Flyover Of Leilani Estates. Big Island Video News.

HVO: All 15 Fissures Have Paused. The eruption has destroyed at least 25 homes, and lava has covered more than 100 acres of land. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is now closed until further notice. The gates closed at 10 pm Thursday night. Big Island Video News.

Amid ongoing eruptions, Big Island faces a daunting new problem: A housing crisis. Hawaii News Now.

When a lava evacuee returned home to get his belongings, he found a man inside. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County police charged a 29-year-old Pahoa man Thursday with burglary in connection with the suspected looting of homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision, which was under a mandatory evacuation order due to a lava eruption. Star-Advertiser.

Volcanic ash may contaminate the water supply for families with catchment systems. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Officials Need To Back Off When It Comes To Media Access To Hazardous Scenes. The disaster in Puna is dangerous, but the public has a right to know all that is going on — without government control. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Mayor Kim still the man to rely on during a crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Friends of former Mayor Billy Kenoi have planned a “worldwide prayer gathering” for noon Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Dairy in Ookala has continued to discharge wastewater this week. Tribune-Herald.

The County Council made quick work Wednesday approving a $30.5 million bond issue for park improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

A lawsuit was filed Thursday against the builders of the Front Street Apartments and the state housing agency to challenge the developer’s attempt to convert the complex to market-rate units before the end of its 50-year commitment to keep rents affordable for low-income tenants. Maui News.

Southern Connector Road Between Honoapiilani and Lahaina Bypass Opens Today. Maui Now.

Improvements continue at both ends of the Lahaina bypass, to be referred to for the time being as Route 3000, the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday. Maui News.

Several Maui residents Thursday expressed support for the embattled Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief executive officer, whose performance is being evaluated following a scathing state audit over use of funds. Maui News.

The Economic Development Administration will award $210,000 to the University of Hawaii for the Maui Food Innovation Center, which is used by agribusiness and food entrepreneurs to develop and manufacture products. Maui Now.

Kauai

Repairing Storm Damage Is A Chance To Solve Tourist Congestion. Fixing Kuhio Highway will be costly and complicated, but may provide impetus for a long-term plan limiting daily visitors in the area. Civil Beat.

More Victims Of The Kauai Flood — Tourist Vacation Rentals. Kauai County had already cracked down on hundreds of remote visitor rentals. The flood might have doomed many more. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, 32-year-old Bronson Nakaahiki of Kekaha was arrested for allegedly slicing a green sea turtle’s throat and harvesting its meat on Kekaha Beach. Garden Island.