Friday, December 2, 2022

Green names Cabinet appointees, Hawaii only state with $5 gas, blue-ribbon panel has 31 anti-corruption proposals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov.-Elect Josh Green’s Cabinet Will Have Many Familiar Faces. Gov.-elect Josh Green on Thursday announced the names of 20 Cabinet-level appointees, including many who led state agencies during Gov. David Ige’s tenure. Green, who has been lieutenant governor for four years, is to be sworn in as governor at noon Monday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

These are Josh Green’s 5 big priorities for his first 100 days in office. Green discussed what changes he plans to make in his first 100 days in office. The first is to take immediate action on Hawaii’s housing crisis. Green says if necessary he’ll use emergency powers to adjust some of the processes that are obstructing the ability to build housing. Hawaii News Now.

‘A Deep Moral Crisis’: Commission Proposes ‘Bold’ Reforms In Government. Commission members urged the public to pay close attention to what the Hawaii Legislature does with the 31 proposals intended to combat corruption, ethical issues and more. A blue-ribbon panel tasked with identifying ways to better Hawaii government is calling for sweeping reforms to restore public trust in government. The suggested reforms include enhancing investigation and prosecution of fraud, providing more openness and transparency, curbing the influence of money to lawmakers and limiting their time in office. Civil Beat.

Expectations for Hawaii’s economy stay level. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released a new quarterly forecast for the local economy earlier this week, and anticipates no change from its previous projection for 2023 and 2024 made in August. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Garden Island.

AAA: Hawaiʻi only state with gas price averaging more than $5 a gallon. Hawaiʻi gas prices remained in a holding pattern even while all other Western states experienced weekly price dips of 20 cents or more, according to the AAA Hawaiʻi Weekend Gas Watch. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s State Board Of Education Draft Plan Includes Higher Reading and Math Goals. BOE board members highlighted a need for higher basic academic achievement for all students, and more support for minorities and English learners. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Navy plan approved by health department following foam leak at Red Hill. The state Department of Health has approved a Navy Sampling and Analysis Plan following the leak of 1,100 gallons of concentrated fire suppressant into the ground at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill defueling on pause while Navy cleans up toxic fire suppressant spill. Defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility remains on pause as the Navy cleans up a separate toxic spill from earlier this week. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Red light camera initiative moves forward despite backlash. There will be 10 red light cameras installed at various Honolulu intersections by March as a part of the state Department of Transportation's red light safety program. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

County creates ‘Traffic Hazard Mitigation Route’ for lava viewing. Via the route, which was unveiled today, drivers can enter the Old Saddle Road directly across from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area. From there, drivers can travel the 4.5-mile stretch of road until it rejoins with the Daniel K. Inouye Highway just before Puʻuhuluhulu near the Maunakea Access Road. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hāmākua Bridge Reopens Closed Lane In Case Lava Cuts Saddle. The second lane over Nanue Bridge at mile marker 18.5 on Hawaii Belt Road has been reopened, after a closure due to emergency repairs. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Climate scientists at Maunaloa Observatory are 'pursuing all options' to get back on site. The eight scientists and technicians who work at the Maunaloa Observatory collecting climate data are grateful to be out of harm’s way of the lava flow. They say they are anxious to return to the facility though no one knows when it will be safe to do so.  Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

For many Hawaiians, lava flows are a time to honor, reflect
. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. Associated Press.

Maui

Another Former Maui County Official Has Been Charged With Accepting Bribes. Federal authorities announced Thursday that another former Maui County environmental management official has been charged with accepting bribes as part of a long-running corruption scheme involving Honolulu businessman Milton Choy. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Citing Water Crisis, Maui Makes Fodor’s List Of Places To Not Visit Next Year. The travel publication listed the island among regions “suffering from water crises.” Civil Beat.

Lanai Runway Expansion Hits A Nerve Over ‘Two-Tiered’ Travel. The upgrade would allow bigger private jets to fly to Lanai nonstop from the mainland. Lanai Airport’s existing 5,000-foot runway isn’t long enough for some heavier jets to land. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Mayor Kawakami lays out priorities for next term at his inauguration. Kawakami, entering his second term as mayor, laid out the goals for the next four years of his administration: “Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.” Garden Island.

Mayor Kawakami, Kauaʻi County Council sworn into office at inauguration ceremony. The 2022-2024 Kaua‘i County Council members include Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Council Vice Chair KipuKai Kuali‘i, Addison Bulosan, Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., Felicia Cowden, Bill DeCosta and Luke A. Evslin. Kauai Now. KHON2.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Mauna Loa lava flows slow, Red Hill leaks again an issue, state Supreme Court hands victory to Native Hawaiians in land battle, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mauna Loa Fssure 3 on Nov. 30, 2022 PC:USGS
Lava slows on Mauna Loa, but busy highway vulnerable. On the third day of Mauna Loa’s historic eruption, lava began to slow down, spread out and inflate as it entered the relatively flat saddle region of Hawaii Island. Next stop: one of the Big Island’s busiest highways. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Mauna Loa eruption update website. USGS.

How The Fight For Tribal Rights In North Carolina Could Reshape Native Hawaiian Housing. Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz is trying to cut a last minute deal that could bring tens of millions of dollars in new funding to the islands for Native Hawaiian housing. Civil Beat.

Federal grant will pave way for rural internet. Nearly $5.6 million in federal funding is designed to provide the first phase of high-speed internet access to “unserved and underserved” communities such as Native Hawaiian homesteads, Lanai and Molokai to create an “internet for all,” Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hurricane season comes to a quiet end. Hurricane Darby was the only tropical cyclone to enter the Central Pacific during the 2022 hurricane season, which ran from June 1 to Nov. 30. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Health Department to receive $14M for public health programs. The funding is part of the newly developed Public Health Infrastructure Grant Program, which is supported in part by the American Rescue Plan. Star-Advertiser.

Triple threat: COVID, RSV, flu circulating this holiday season. On Wednesday the state Department of Health reported the state’s seven- day average of new COVID- 19 cases at 137 — a dip from 149 reported on Nov. 23. The state’s average positivity rate, however, increased to 6.3% compared with 5.5% the previous week. Star-Advertiser.

Nov. 24-30, 2022 COVID-19 update: 5 deaths, 1,012 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health reported 1,012 new COVID-19 cases for the week of Nov. 24-30, 2022. This is well below the last peak of 8,924 new infections reported during the week of May 19-25, 2022. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Navy says it still doesn’t know cause of latest Red Hill leak. The Navy continues to conduct cleanup operations at its Red Hill fuel facility where an estimated 1,100 gallons of concentrated fire suppressant containing hazardous chemicals was released into the ground. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City hires contractor to evaluate Koko Head shooting range amid lead concerns. The city and the Honolulu Police Department are issuing a $55,000 emergency contract to Kramer One — a Scottsdale, Ariz. architectural and planning firm specializing in firing ranges — to evaluate and review the range, which has been closed since September. Hawaii News Now.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs renames 30 acre land in Kakaʻako. Hakuone — which translates to “sands of creation” — is the new name for a 30 acre swath of industrial land in Kakaʻako owned by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sinkhole fix complicated by ‘a lot of unknowns’. A sinkhole in Kakaako that led city officials to close the intersection at Halekauwila and Cooke streets in October is months away from a fix. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Planning ahead: Officials, utilities, transportation companies look to lava flow for clues. Daniel K. Inouye Highway, known to many government officials as DKI and the locals as Saddle Road, is more than just a strip of pavement nearly bisecting the island. It’s a lifeline, carrying workers, goods and even trash from one side of the island to the other. West Hawaii Today.

Ironman to split venues in 2023. Under the new format, the women will race Oct. 14, 2023, in Kailua-Kona. The the men’s race date and location outside of Hawaii is still being evaluated and expected to be announced in January 2023. For 2024, the men and women would exchange locations, meaning the men would race in Kona while the women would travel elsewhere for the grueling 140.6-mile triathlon. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Supreme Court hands win to Kauaʻula Valley kuleana family; case continues on Maui. The Hawai’i Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to Keʻeaumoku Kapu and his family regarding his claims to a kuleana parcel that his house sits on in Kauaʻula Valley, but the case is not over as it returns to the Circuit Court on Maui.  Maui Now.

Ke Ao Hāli’i receives $100,000 grant to support Native Hawaiians in Hāna. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded Ke Ao Hāli‘i a $100,000 grant over two years to manage more than 90 acres of coastal land south of Hāna town that has been recently returned to community ownership and stewardship. Maui Now.

Public informational meetings set for the Honoapiʻilani Highway improvement project. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will host two virtual and one in-person public informational meetings, to discuss the Honoapiʻilani Highway Improvement project, from Pāpalaua Beach Park to Launiupoko. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i drug treatment center lawsuit tossed as former operator faces legal challenge. At a hearing in Lihu‘e Circuit Court on Tuesday, Chief Judge Randal Valenciano tossed out the lawsuit from Hope Treatment Services over the county’s termination of its contract to operate the embattled adolescent drug treatment center. Garden Island.

County launches online liquor license application platform. The Kaua‘i Department of Liquor Control has launched a new online licensing platform meant to improve the application experience and decrease processing times for new liquor license applications. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mauna Loa eruption inches toward Saddle Road, Honolulu City Council advances gun limits law, mayor vetoes Waikiki noise bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Mauna Loa looms behind Hilo Town ©2022 All Hawaii News
Mauna Loa eruption continues, creating spectacle from afar. Mauna Loa’s first eruption in nearly 40 years marked its second day Tuesday with lava continuing to march across the mountain’s remote northeast rift zone toward Hawaii island’s saddle region. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Associated Press. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Mauna Loa eruption update website. USGS.

Resolving tourism marketing dispute will fall to incoming governor. Incoming Gov. Josh Green says he will broker a deal to end the dispute over how to market tourism to Hawaii. That’s despite the Ige Administrations last-ditch effort to have the contracts rebid. Hawaii News Now.

Japan tourism falling behind expectations. Visitors from Japan to Hawaii are only about 18% recovered from pre-­pandemic times, sparking concern that what was once the islands’ largest international market will drag down the state’s tourism economy into 2023. Star-Advertiser.

After-School Programs Have More Funding But Staffing And Enrollment Remain Challenges. Beneficial after-school programs received millions in pandemic-relief funding, but more than 1,000 Oahu families are still waitlisted because of staffing shortages. Civil Beat.

State Board of Education framing early multiyear strategic plan. An early version of a new strategic plan to steer Hawaii’s mammoth public school system for the next five years or longer has been drafted and will be discussed Thursday at a special meeting of the state Board of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Climate Change Experts Are Taking Lessons From Indigenous Knowledge. As the effects of climate change intensify, researchers and leaders in the Pacific say they’re increasingly looking to Indigenous knowledge to help face the growing crisis. A climate-related training for a United Nations delegation this week at Chaminade University will largely focus on such Indigenous-based approaches. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Bill on gun-free areas on Oahu passes first reading. The first reading of a city bill detailing where firearms cannot be carried on Oahu drew opposition Tuesday from those who believe there should be no restrictions for law-abiding firearm owners who want to carry a gun in public. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Blangiardi vetoes Waikīkī noise amplification bill. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has vetoed a bill that would have limited amplified noise in Waikīkī, according to a Nov. 22 letter to the City Council. Hawaii Public Radio.

1,100 gallons of toxic foam spilled at Red Hill. About 1,100 gallons of toxic fire suppressant was spilled Tuesday at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility, an incident that state Department of Health officials described as “egregious.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island


USDA awards $750K to Hawaiʻi Island farm for veteran support. A farm in Hilo will receive more than $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a pilot program helping military veterans. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘A big pat on the back’: Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary receives prestigious award. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries recently presented to Three Ring its annual Outstanding Sanctuary Award to recognize excellence in humane and responsible animal care; professionalism and ethics; organizational sustainability; public engagement; and contributions to, and leadership within, the sanctuary field. Hawaii’s only accredited animal sanctuary was selected from more than 200 GFAS-certified sanctuaries worldwide for this honor. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County Alleges This TV News Reporter Crossed A Line In Covering A Case Of Police Misconduct. Maui County has subpoenaed Hawaii News Now’s chief investigative reporter Lynn Kawano as part of a case involving a former police officer previously convicted for a child sex offense. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit seeks to void race results, hold new election. A candidate and 30 voters have filed a complaint with the Hawaii Supreme Court asking that the results of the Maui County Council’s Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu residency seat race be voided and a new election be held over alleged violations of duties and state law by the county clerk, including improperly notifying those with deficient return envelopes. Maui News.

Kauai

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands opens new Kaua‘i office. The state Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands held a blessing, dedication and opening ceremony on Monday for its new Kaua‘i district office in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Mauna Loa spurts lava 100-200 feet into air, Kahele investigated for allegedly campaigning on U.S. taxpayers' dime, DOJ seeks 4-year sentence for Hawaii Proud Boys founder, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

Mauna Loa eruption Nov. 28, 2022 PC:USGS
No danger yet as Mauna Loa lava flows on the Big Island. Instead of flowing quickly to South Kona, which has happened before, lava from the world’s largest volcano erupted from its Mokuaweoweo summit caldera at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, then migrated Monday to a northeast flank through three fissures, each between 1 and 2 miles long, where red lava spurted as high as 100 to 200 feet into the air. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Mauna Loa Eruption Webpage. USGS.

Pohakuloa Training Area Closely Monitoring Mauna Loa Eruption.
The U.S. Army says there are no troops on the ground training at PTA, and there is no immediate threat from the eruption to PTA personnel, structures, or training areas. Big Island Video News.

New Mauna Loa Eruption Reopens A Costly Old Issue: Why Is Building Allowed In Risky Lava Zones? Lava from the Mauna Loa eruption was apparently headed away from homes in the volcano’s southwest rift zone Monday, offering at least a temporary reprieve to property owners in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates and other areas that are most at risk. But the new eruption reopens old questions about where development should be allowed, and under what conditions. Civil Beat.

Officials hope Mauna Loa eruption mirrors 1984 event. Although it’s been nearly four decades since Mauna Loa came to life, the current eruption so far has a familiar 1984 feel to it. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians see special significance in Mauna Loa erupting on La Kuokoa. On Monday, Hawaiians celebrated La Kuokoa, also known as Hawaiian Independence Day. And some see Mauna Loa erupting on this day is a sign of a revival. Hawaii News Now.

Tourism officials monitoring Mauna Loa eruption. Hawaii tourism officials spent most of Monday telling travelers not to alter their plans to come to Hawaii, saying it was too soon to know how the Mauna Loa Volcano eruption would affect demand. Star-Advertiser.

Mauna Loa eruption expected to trigger winter tourism boost for Hawaii Island. With Mauna Loa erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years, Hawaii Island businesses are already expecting to see lava lovers flocking this winter season. Hawaii News Now.

DOH: Mauna Loa eruption may affect air quality across the state. Hawaii Department of Health officials are advising the public to be prepared for possible impacts on air quality as a result of the Mauna Loa eruption. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State’s top U.S. tourism contract stalls again. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, in his role as head of the purchasing agency for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, told the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Monday that HTA’s U.S. tourism contract is likely headed for a third round of procurement. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Economic Chief: Start Over On The State’s Big Tourism Marketing Contract. Mike McCartney, director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, wants the two organizations who have been fighting over the $34 million contract to split the job. Civil Beat.

Kai Kahele Faces Ethics Probe For Allegedly Misusing Social Media During Campaign. The Hawaii congressman is accused of misusing official resources for political purposes while running for governor. He was also cleared of wrongdoing related to his side job with Hawaiian Airlines. Civil Beat.

DOJ Seeks 4-Year Prison Sentence For Hawaii Proud Boys Founder. Nicholas Ochs claimed he was a journalist when he breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 with a mob of pro-Trump supporters. Prosecutors say he was a high-ranking official within the extremist organization who promoted violence. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council To Take First Look At Sensitive Places Gun Bill As Public Weighs In. The Honolulu City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to consider Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s proposed legislation to protect sensitive places where carrying concealed firearms will be restricted. Civil Beat.

Board adopts emergency plan for Oahu water shortages. The board overseeing Oahu’s municipal water system adopted a plan Monday for responding to water shortages in the event of an emergency, such as a severe drought, damage to infrastructure or water contamination as in the case of 2021’s Red Hill disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Waikīkī beaches continue to erode year-round, researchers say. Geospatial analyst Anna Mikkelsen has been studying Waikīkī’s shoreline since 2018 to see if there are any patterns to the erosion. Hawaii Public Radio.

After another fatal fall, city posts ominous sign at one of Oahu’s most dangerous hikes. Less than a month after a hiker fell to his death at Olomana trail, a new sign with an ominous message was posted at the trail head. The message ― written in red ― says six people have fallen to their deaths after hiking past the first peak. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


Hawaii Island schools are open; DOE says it’s closely monitoring eruption impacts. All schools on Hawaii Island remain open as Mauna Loa’s eruption poses no immediate threat to residents and neighborhoods. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i police to equip 40 sergeants with body-worn cameras. Forty patrol sergeants will be outfitted with the Axon Body 2 camera — the same used by patrol officers since late 2020 — with no additional budgetary costs. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Maui

State plans to launch study on highway realignment. Public input sought ahead of environmental impact statement processImprovements to a highly traversed coastal highway are being forged by the state Department of Transportation to mitigate the impacts of shoreline erosion between Ukumehame to Launiupoko. Maui News.

Visitors to Maui down, but spending up in October and YTD. There were 228,071 visitors to Maui in October 2022 compared to 238,043 visitors (-4.2%) in October 2019, down -4.2%, according to new data released by the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i county repairs Nawiliwili parking lot damaged by high surf. The Department of Parks and Recreation announced Monday that a portion of the parking lot at Nawiliwili Park fronting Kalapaki Bay in Lihu‘e, will be closed starting Tuesday for repairs due to damage caused by the high surf over the weekend. Garden Island. Kauai Now.


Monday, November 28, 2022

Mauna Loa volcano erupts, Honolulu landfill plans rejected, Maui voters sue, seek to overturn election, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Mauna Loa begins to erupt: Ashfall advisory posted, shelters open in Ka‘u, Kona; no immediate threat to nearby communities. Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island is erupting with lava flows at the summit region visible from Kona, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Sunday night. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Official Mauna Loa Eruption Webpage. USGS.

Hawaiian Independence Day celebrated Monday. Lā Kūʻokoʻa is observed annually on Nov. 28. It was on that day in 1843 that Hawaiʻi was formally recognized as an independent nation by other world powers, including England, France and the United States of America. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

‘I Worked Very Hard’: Hawaii Gov. David Ige Looks Back At 8 Years Leading The State. The Hawaii governor gets mixed reviews from other top state officials on how well he governed. Ige thinks he did just fine. Civil Beat.

First lady Dawn Amano-Ige’s work is not done. Even though Dawn Amano-Ige, the first lady to Hawaii’s outgoing governor, insists that she doesn’t know yet whether she really will seek an elected office herself someday, she already possesses that statesman’s ability to delicately deflect a news reporter’s questions with aplomb. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Rep. Ed Case Looks Ahead To A Divided Congress In 2023. Case says he’s hopeful he’ll be able to navigate the political split even in the minority, but he’s concerned about the anti-democratic leanings of some of his GOP colleagues. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Gov.-elect Josh Green’s staff has diverse skill sets. Gov.-elect Josh Green has staffed his office with a diverse group of women with backgrounds in government and the private sector, including a new Cabinet-­level position focused on workforce and affordable housing, homelessness and social service policies. Star-Advertiser.

Optimism high for progress with Hawaii affordable housing. The political will and millions of dollars of funding are in place, leading to high hopes for the upcoming legislative session that Hawaii will see real progress in developing badly needed affordable housing for kupuna, working families, Native Hawaiians and young people — all who could use encouragement to stay home. Star-Advertiser.

GET Petition effort finds support.
A petition urging the state Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET, has collected more than 1,100 signatures, according to Joe Kent, vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Farmers Struggle As Worldwide Macadamia Market Goes Nuts. Ad campaigns and DNA testing seek to drive buyers toward real Hawaiian macadamias. Hawaii’s most iconic macadamia nut brands are significantly scaling back their purchases of Hawaii-grown nuts. Instead, shipping records indicate, South Africa and Kenya have become big suppliers. Civil Beat.

South Korean navy training group arrives in Hawaii. The Republic of Korea navy’s cruise training task group arrived Friday at Pearl Harbor for five days of classes and cultural events for sailors and the South Korean navy’s future leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

BWS chief blocks mayor’s landfill request over aquifer concerns. Honolulu Board of Water Supply Manager and Chief Engineer Ernie Lau has rejected Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s request to locate the city’s next solid-­waste landfill in an area where a chemical leak might foul the island’s water resources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gun permit ruling sides with ‘homesick’ Navy officer. A U.S. Navy officer stationed in Hawaii cannot be denied a firearms permit solely because he sought counseling for feeling depressed and homesick, a federal judge ruled. Associated Press.

Mayor Blangiardi to move forward with historic preservation panel. Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced his intent to staff the Oahu Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, three decades after the City Council created it without filling its ranks. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hitachi: Two Trains Hit Each Other At Low Speed During Rail Yard Exercise. Two of Honolulu’s driverless trains knocked together in what’s known as a “hard coupling” during what rail officials said was a routine maintenance exercise Monday at the Pearl City rail yard. Civil Beat.

Oneula irrigation project prompts criticism. The city plans to reconstruct the irrigation system at Oneula Beach Park in Ewa Beach, but community members say funds should instead go toward a new comfort station. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors Roll The Dice On New Enforcement Measures Targeting Illegal Gambling Rooms. Increased criminal penalties are intended to give investigators an ace up their sleeve in their efforts to stifle the operations and the anti-social activity that can accompany them. Civil Beat.

2 Oahu schools fight for survival as enrollment shrinks
. Waiahole and Ka‘a‘awa each are just over one-fifth the size of the average Hawaii elementary school of about 485 students, according the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Homeward Bound: Hawaii Program Flies Homeless People To The Mainland.
The Institute for Human Services’ relocation program has served nearly 600 people experiencing homelessness on Oahu since 2015. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Rental regulations: New rules — and fees — proposed for hosted and non-hosted transient rentals. A proposed revamp of the county’s vacation rental law includes registration — for the first time — of hosted accommodations and new regulations and fees for both hosted and non-hosted rentals. It also paves the way for the creation of vacation nodes, where new short-term rentals could crop up in areas they’re currently banned. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Defrauding Covid-19 Relief Programs. Carey Mills is the first person sentenced for Covid-19 fraud in Hawaii and must pay $957,575 in restitution to the Small Business Administration. Civil Beat.

Waipiʻo Valley Road Closure Advisory Committee Being Formed.
Mayor Mitch Roth has announced that he will stand up a Mayor's Advisory Committee for Waipiʻo Valley's Emergency Road Closure, with diverse public representation. Big Island Video News.

Native Hawaiians are still waiting for the military to remove unexploded bombs.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the remediation effort, has been plagued by shoddy work and multiple regulatory disputes. Star-Advertiser.

$14.4M bond funding approved for Kaloko Heights affordable housing.
The county could be posting the paperwork as early as this week to sell $14.4 million in bonds to provide sewer service to a 100-unit affordable housing project at Kaloko Heights. West Hawaii Today.

No easy fix for complaints about homeless. Hawaii County agencies, the police department and business associations all seem to be waiting for one another to propose solutions to alleviate complaints about the homeless on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

From homeless to a Big Island police officer; Hope Services provided ‘break’ his family needed. In 2016, Damien Grace was working two jobs, at Safelite Auto Glass and at Foodland in Hilo doing security, desperately trying to support his wife and five young children, including an 8-month-old. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui Lawsuit Seeks New County Council Election For Wailuku. The lawsuit alleges that hundreds of uncounted ballots could have swayed the outcome of a race decided by 513 votes. A lawsuit filed Friday with the Hawaii Supreme Court by more than 30 Maui County voters, including a candidate for office, is asking for a new election for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu seat on the County Council, alleging that “irregularities and mistakes” meant that more than 800 voters weren’t given proper notice that their ballots weren’t being counted. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui has the largest vacation rental supply in Hawaiʻi with 211,900 available unit nights.
Vacation rentals across Hawaiʻi reported increases in supply, demand, and average daily rate, with lower occupancy in October 2022 compared to October 2021. Maui Now. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i county council votes in new leadership. In a Wednesday meeting, the new Kaua‘i County Council tapped member-elect Mel Rapozo to serve as chair for the next two years. Garden Island.

Public invited to attend inauguration of Kaua’i Mayor and County Council on Dec. 1. The public is invited to attend the inauguration of Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and the Kaua‘i County Council at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1. Kauai Now.

October: Strong hotel revenue, occupancy. A banner month for passenger counts at Lihu‘e Airport proved fruitful for the local hotel industry, which put up strong revenue and occupancy numbers in October. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Green appoints first staffers, Bezos donates $7.5M to Oahu and Maui homeless efforts, new women's dorm coming to Maui jail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Governor-elect Green appoints 8 women to key positions in his administration. Hawaiʻi Governor-elect Josh Green announced Tuesday evening the appointments of eight “strong women” to his administration. They include chief of staff, Brooke Wilson, who had served in the same position when he was Hawaiʻi’s lieutenant governor. Big Island Now. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Josh Green Names Longtime Advocate To Be New Hawaii Housing Chief.
Some two weeks before he is due to be sworn in, Gov.-elect Josh Green said Tuesday that longtime advocate Nani Medeiros will be the state’s new housing chief as his new Cabinet starts to take shape. Civil Beat.

Jeff Bezos donates $7.5M to fight homelessness in Hawaii. Two Hawaii nonprofits have received a total of $7.5 million in grants from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Day 1 Families Fund. On Oahu, Family Promise of Hawaii received $2.5 million — the largest private grant the organization has ever received. Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Maui’s largest homeless shelter provider, received a $5 million grant. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Space Force establishes its first regional command in Hawaii. The newest branch of the U.S. military opened its first regional command Tuesday in Hawaii: U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Thanksgiving travel bustling, but Hawaii eyeing weak festive season. The holiday rush is back this year with travelers nationwide expected to catch planes for Thanksgiving and the festive season in numbers not seen in years — although Hawaii’s visitor industry reports that fewer visitors are headed here for vacations. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

Discussion progresses on UH tuition increase. The University of Hawaiʻi will hold two more meetings to discuss raising tuition for both residents and non residents at three of its campuses. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Gov.-elect Green, Mayor Blangiardi team up on housing push. Gov.-elect Josh Green and Mayor Rick Blangiardi on Tuesday asked the owners of thousands of illegal Oahu rental units to help ease the island’s affordable housing and homeless crises by renting to local families instead of tourists as both named new housing directors to lead state and city housing efforts. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu to get new affordable housing chief. State Finance Director Craig Hirai will be joining the city of Honolulu in a new position known as chief of affordable housing policy and strategy, it was announced today. Star-Advertiser.

With a long local waitlist, ‘portability’ of Section 8 vouchers from other states draws concern. Anton Krucky, director of Community Services for the city, said there are currently 532 people on Oahu that are waiting for a Section 8 voucher. Hawaii News Now.

Rules for concealed-carry weapon license are finalized. Honolulu police will process applications and likely issue a first batch of concealed-carry weapon licenses before the City Council votes on legislation that outlines where guns can and cannot be carried on Oahu, police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan confirmed Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hundreds Of Honolulu Residential High Rises Fail To Meet ‘Acceptable’ Fire Safety Standards. A new report on the results of comprehensive safety evaluations was recently shared with the Honolulu City Council. Very few high rises have fire sprinkler systems. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Top cop search down to 5. The number of candidates in the running to become Hawaii County’s top cop is down to five. Charisse Correa, secretary for the Hawaii County Police Commission,  said Tuesday the commission is “seeking permission right now to unmask their names.” Tribune-Herald.

Solar projects to benefit low- and moderate-income electric customers. A trio of solar projects slated for West Hawaii will be the first on Hawaii Island to offer Hawaiian Electric’s shared solar program. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority will host two meetings next week on the Big Island. Through a pair of public meetings, HTA will present the agency’s progress in fulfilling the goals of its Destination Management Action Plan for the Big Island, which it released in early 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor Renovations Begin Next Week. The boat ramp will remain open during the work, which includes new asphalt pavement, drainage improvements, and new, solar powered streetlights. Big Island Video News.

Maui

New women’s dorm at MCCC is expected to help alleviate overcrowding at the Maui jail. The state Department of Public Safety held a ceremonial groundbreaking today to mark the start of construction of a new medium security housing structure for female inmates at the Maui Community Correctional Center. Maui Now.

DOH approves third medical cannabis retail dispensary for Pono Life Sciences on Maui. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has issued a formal notice to proceed to retail to Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC (PONO LIFE MAUI) after it passed a final on-site inspection for its third retail facility on the Valley Isle. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Electric selects 3 solar projects on Maui to benefit low/moderate income customers. The program, which also is known as community-based renewable energy or CBRE, also is for customers who are unable to install privately-owned rooftop solar. Maui Now.

Kauai

Millions released for Kaua‘i improvement projects. Outgoing Gov. David Ige announced on Monday the release of $392 million in funds for capital improvement projects, including millions for a range of projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

DMV customers encouraged to make appointments. In a move aimed at providing more efficient service through the holiday season, the county Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging customers to make an appointment. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

 IBEW union boss found guilty of embezzlement, HPD faces backlog of 600 concealed carry applications, Blangiardi hires collection agency to enforce short-term vacation rental laws, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former union boss of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 1260 Brian Ahakuelo convicted of wire fraud, embezzlement. The former business manager of a Hawaii labor union accused by federal prosecutors of rigging a vote to raise dues and using members’ money to fund his family’s opulent lifestyle — including a multimonth excursion to Las Vegas — was found guilty on all counts Monday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

One-third of Hawaii homeless and evictions are kupuna.
A new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by AARP has estimated that Hawaii has 5,116 homeless adults — about one-third of whom are kupuna 55 years or older. Star-Advertiser.

Flu, RSV cases on the rise.
Virus season hit Hawaii early this year, with cases of flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, increasing in October and November. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

HPD to begin processing concealed carry permits after approval of new gun rules.
The Honolulu Police Department will start processing permits for civilians to carry concealed firearms starting Monday, but applicants facing a daunting list of requirements to get approved. There are already 600 permit applications pending, according to the department. Hawaii News Now.

City to ramp up enforcement of fines for illegal Oahu vacation rentals.
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi put owners and operators of illegal vacation rentals on notice Monday that the city is hiring a collection agency to handle the fines —up to $10,000 per day. Star-Advertiser.

‘Red Hill clinic’ set up for Oahu families affected by crisis
. One year after jet fuel from the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility contaminated the service’s Oahu water system, which serves 93,000 people, military officials say they are pushing to remove the fuel from the site and take care of those whose health has been affected. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Transparency at HPD questioned after rising violent crime stats kept out of Waikiki safety summit talk.
If you attended the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association’s Waikiki Safety Summit last week you might have left with an entirely different impression of crime in the state’s no. 1 tourist destination. Hawaii News Now.

Some Honolulu Neighborhood Boards Are Looking For New In-Person Meeting Spots. Board members are confused about why. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Nonprofit To Begin Dredging Of Loko Ea Fishpond. The sediment drawn from the bottom will be used to rebuild banks that have eroded over the decades, according to the organization. Civil Beat.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park holds reopening ceremony in Chinatown. A reopening ceremony was held Monday at Chinatown’s Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park after it had been closed for renovations since November 2019. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County to partner with two ‘mentor’ cities to explore hydrogen energy opportunities. Hawaii County is partnering with cities in California and Japan to develop hydrogen energy technology as the state transitions toward carbon neutrality. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Sent At Least 10 Foster Children To An Abusive Home At The Center Of A Drug Ring. At least a decade ago, Hawaii Child Welfare Services starting sending foster children to live in the Hilo home of Yvonne and Paul Caitano. Civil Beat.

Kaloko property in ‘zoning limbo’ gets another chance. A 21-acre Kaloko Drive parcel that had been approved for rezoning 24 years ago got a new lease on life recently, when the Leeward Planning Commission agreed to a five-year time extension for the new owners to complete the conditions of the rezoning. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui's homeless solutions committee outlines critical plans for leadership.
The volunteer-based Commission on Healing Solutions for Homelessness on Maui has been operational for about 18 months, but most of that time has been spent without leadership and a place to meet that would keep in compliance with Sunshine Laws. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui County led Hawai’i in revenue per available rooms at $344 for October 2022. Hawai‘i hotels statewide reported stronger revenue per available room (RevPAR), and average daily rate (ADR) and occupancy rate in October 2022 compared to October 2021. Maui Now.

Kauai

Home sales slow in October. A steep rise in mortgage interest rates over the last year continued to wreak havoc with housing markets across the country, including Kaua‘i, where home sales slowed to a crawl in the first full month of fall. Garden Island.

County offices to be closed for Thanksgiving. Regular business hours for county offices and services will resume Nov. 25. Kauai Now.