Thursday, May 31, 2018

Prepping for RimPac, lava forces more evacuations, election signup deadline nears, $220M Honolulu airport addition planned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Air Times Network
Leaving Rumut, Malaysia, for RimPac. The Air Times Network
The Navy said Wednesday that 26 nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in this summer’s big Rim of the Pacific exercises June 27 to Aug. 2, mainly in in Hawaii but also in Southern California. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Pacific Command, the oldest and largest of the military’s major commands, officially received a name change Wednesday, reflecting evolving priorities, including a “great power” competition with China. Star-Advertiser.

Pentagon Salutes US-India Ties With Pacific Command Name Change. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announces the change at Pearl Harbor as he welcomes a new commander. Civil Beat.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. announced on Wednesday that he officially submitted his nomination for the Lt. Governor seat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Is Short On Poll Workers As The Primary Approaches. The state is trying to fill almost 3,000 one-day positions for the Aug. 11 primary, and it’s only about halfway there. Star-Advertiser.

The deadline to file nomination papers to appear on the 2018 Election ballot is Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. Maui Now.

Hawaii tour company to pay $570k to settle sexual harassment suit. KHON2.

State takes first step toward lucrative hemp industry with new research program. Hawaii News Now.


Winner Of Governor’s Race Will Have Stronger Hand In Rail Project. Colleen Hanabusa and David Ige have played varying roles in moving the project forward, while Clayton Hee wants to curtail construction. Civil Beat.

Ex-police chief, wife plead not guilty to financial, obstruction charges. Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday to financial and obstruction charges. Hawaii News Now.

New Indictment Against Kealohas Focuses on Bank Fraud, Identify Theft. Defense attorneys had wrongly hoped federal prosecutors were dropping conspiracy charges involving an alleged mailbox theft. Civil Beat.

The state Department of Transportation broke ground Wednesday on a $220 million, two-level Mauka Concourse at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to begin the next phase of Hawaii’s airport modernization plan. Star-Advertiser

$220M Airport Modernization Project Launched. The next phase of the long-awaited airport modernization project was launched on Oahu today. Star-Advertiser.

First look at new Mauka Concourse at Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu.  KHON

State officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the Mauka Concourse on Wednesday morning, marking a new step in a series of renovations at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Hawaii News Now.

The new operator of the Kuhio Beach concession stands that provide surf lessons, board rentals, umbrellas, chairs and canoe rides has encountered resistance from opponents since opening Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo said it is looking to hire up to 200 workers for its new store at Ala Moana Center, slated to open this fall. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura said she believes Gov. David Ige can make it easier for Lower Puna residents displaced by the Kilauea eruption to find emergency housing by issuing two executive orders and allowing “ohana zones.” Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Harry Kim signed a second supplementary emergency proclamation on Thursday due to to the ongoing Kilauea eruption. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim Announces Change in Emergency Procedure. Big Island Now.

A shortage of rental housing in East Hawaii has become part of the ongoing crisis caused by the lava from Kilauea volcano, which has destroyed homes and forced hundreds of lower Puna residents to evacuate. Tribune-Herald.

Police launched a dramatic house-to-house evacuation of the Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots subdivisions in Puna early Wednesday morning as fast-moving lava threatened the last route out for residents of those communities, but the flow slowed later in the day without blocking the coastal highway. Star-Advertiser

Nearly four weeks after eruptions started in lower Puna, lava has wiped out at least 75 homes, active flows continue to cover major thoroughfares and threaten properties, and the volcanic activity still shows no signs of stopping. Hawaii News Now.

The Latest: Kilauea Eruption Update. KITV.

Lava Speeds Up And Forces More Evacuations As Despair Grows. More refugees are likely headed for the Pahoa Community Center, where hundreds already reside. Some have been there for weeks. Civil Beat.

Kapoho area under evacuation, lava approaching Beach Road. KHON2.

Bulldozers began digging their way through lava rock on Chain of Craters Road on Wednesday as molten rock continued to threaten the “Four Corners” area in Kapoho. Tribune-Herald.

Goodfellow Bros. Inc. began work on Wednesday to clear nearly a mile of solidified lava to prepare an evacuation route through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the event the only highway leading from the coast is cut off by the latest eruption of Kilauea volcano. Pacific Business News.

The Pride of America canceled its Wednesday visit to Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Despite vog, half-Ironman race on Kohala Coast will go ahead. Star-Advertiser.

Explosive eruptions at Halemaumau Crater have overwhelmed Ka'u neighborhoods on the Big Island for weeks, and residents in the area say more needs to be done to inform them about how the emissions are affecting them. Hawaii News Now.

Lava scientists’ drone guides lost resident through jungle. Star-Advertiser.

Stranded Leilani Estates Man Instructed to “Follow the Drone to Safety”. Maui Now.

An eleventh-hour escape from a lava-doomed home was more sedate than might be expected, recounted a Leilani Estates resident who was rescued by emergency responders Sunday night. Tribune-Herald.


Council gives final approval to fiscal 2019 county budget. The Maui County Council approved a $758.3 million county budget for fiscal 2019 on Tuesday. Maui News.

Maui Professor Selected for 2018 Omidyar Fellows Program. Maui Now.


North Shore seeks balance between locals, tourists. Residents on Kauai’s North Shore don’t want life to go back to the way it was before the April floods. Garden Island.

Kauai County rolls out updates on transportation, garbage collection for residents affected by severe flooding. Hawaii News Now.

Tiny homes tucked into backyards of existing houses could be the answer to Hawaii’s housing crisis. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gawkers cited as lava marches on, defense secretary warns China to halt military buildup, Ige signs gay 'conversion therapy' ban, flood money for Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy of USGS
Lava fountains PC:USGS See 'Hawaii Island' category for full volcano update
Gov. David Ige signed SB270 into law, which prohibits therapists from offering “sexual orientation change efforts” or “conversion therapy” to patients under the age of 18. Maui Now.

The U.S. will continue to confront China’s militarization of manmade islands in the South China Sea, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today in Honolulu, arguing that Beijing hasn’t abided by its promise not to put weapons on the Spratly Islands. Associated Press.

Defense Secretary Mattis arrives in Honolulu for change at U.S. Pacific Command. Hawaii News Now.

SHOPO has endorsed Ernie Martin in the Democratic primary race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines is debuting nonstop daily service starting Thursday between Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Long Beach Airport. Star-Advertiser.

AirAsia to increase flight frequency from Honolulu to Malaysia via Japan. Pacific Business News.


A 200-year-old carving of the war god Ku has returned home to Hawaii after spending untold years abroad and in the hands of private collectors. Associated Press.

The State Department of Health is fining the developer of the exclusive Olomana Heights project in Kailua $28,000 over allegations of illegal storm water discharges. Hawaii News Now.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa announced today that it ranked 306 out of 18,000 universities worldwide in the 2018–19 Center for World University Rankings, the largest academic ranking of global universities. Star-Advertiser.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is now ranked within the top 1.7% of universities worldwide according to the latest academic ranking of global universities. Maui Now.

A long-lost World War II aviator soon will be going back to his family for burial after his remains were recovered in 2016 from mountainous terrain near Kahuku Point, and he was positively identified. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lava Crosses Highway 132, Destroys 400 Utility Poles. Power to some areas has been knocked out for the foreseeable future. Associated Press.

Lava from fissure 8 severs Highway 132, knocks out power, further isolates lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

On a day when new Hawaii island communities lost a major highway, electricity and cell service because of expanding lava flows, Mayor Harry Kim told a gathering that included many of those affected that they will get through this ordeal. Star-Advertiser.

Eruption Meeting – Mayor Harry Kim. The mayor said a restricted area will be established in sections of Leilani Estates. No one will be allowed in, according to a new policy. Big Island Video News.

Puna residents air concerns over housing, overnight curfews amid ongoing eruptions. Hawaii News Now.

Lava flows are threatening several wells at the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, after earlier cutting off the primary access road to the facility. Hawaii News Now.

Making a bad situation worse: Lava evacuees are running into rental scams. Hawaii News Now.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is cracking down on lava gawkers who violate closures in disaster areas associated with the current eruption of Kilauea. Star-Advertiser.

Three cited by DLNR for lava-related offenses. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward anyone who violates closures in the disaster area associated with the current eruption of Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

A New York state couple was cited after bypassing a security checkpoint in attempts to view an active lava flow Monday evening, state officials confirmed Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Air quality reaches ‘unhealthy’ levels in Kona. Hualalai was shrouded in vog as air quality reached “unhealthy” levels for some West Hawaii residents Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Incandescent Blocks Expelled from Volcano, Land Along Crater Rim. Maui Now

The recent eruptions at Kilauea’s east rift zone have sent fine strands of volcanic glass, also known as Pele’s hair, over Pahoa. Hawaii News Now.

The Pride of America resumes its weekly Wednesday visit to Kailua-Kona today. Tribune-Herald.


Coastal hazards specialist Tara Owens will talk about the impacts of sea level rise at a Maui County Council Planning Committee meeting Thursday. Maui News.

Vietnam War Monument unveiled on Memorial Day. Maui News.


The Hawaii Board of Agriculture on Tuesday approved parameters for emergency low-interest agricultural loans for farmers suffering damage due to the heavy rain and flooding on Kauai and Oahu in April and the current eruption phase at Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island. Garden Island.

It’s been nearly six weeks since Kauai was hit by record flooding. And the recovery continues to be a slow process. Hawaii Public Radio.

Roy Saito has called Kauai home for several decades, but over the years, he’s seen a lot of changes on the island, and that’s why he decided to run for County Council. Garden Island.

Starbucks holds racial-bias training for employees. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hawaii Democrats turn less liberal, lava forces more evacuations, taro shortage looming, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

photo by Abe Rakov
Hawaii state Democratic convention PC: Abe Rakov
Hawaii’s Democrats elected lobbyist Kealii Lopez as their new chairwoman for the next two years Sunday, dealing a blow to the more liberal or “progressive” wing of the party. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Future Is At Stake, Hanabusa Tells State Democratic Convention. On the event’s second and final day, delegates replace chairman Tim Vandeveer with Kealii Lopez. Civil Beat.

Ige Takes Shots At Trump To Fire Up Audience At Democratic Convention. Facing an uphill battle for re-election, the governor repeatedly stated, “We can be proud as Democrats,” as two-day event began. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award more than $3 million to medical training and early childhood development programs on Oahu and Maui. Pacific Business News.


The developer of Kapiolani Residence held a topping-off ceremony for its $200 million, 45-story condominium at 1631 Kapiolani Blvd. as it took another step closer to delivering 292 affordable units to expectant owners. Star-Advertiser.

Crews continue to repair an 8 inch pipe in Pearl City that caused a water main break around 2 p.m. Monday. KITV.

Hawaii Island

A fast-moving lava flow was advancing on several streets in the Leilani Estates subdivision on Monday night, just a day after lava destroyed at least 10 homes in the area, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said. Hawaii News Now.

One day after emergency personnel raced door to door Sunday night telling residents in a Hawaii island community about an onrush of lava, the county’s disaster management boss delivered a new message for people who refused to heed a previous call to get out. That message on Monday: Please be more prepared to flee at any moment’s notice. Star-Advertiser.

The county’s Civil Defense chief said despite a door-to-door effort Sunday night to warn Leilani Estates residents to evacuate immediately during a lava threat that ended up destroying 10 homes, not all were receptive. Tribune-Herald.

Lava from Fissure 8 is advancing on Nohea and Kupono Streets north of Leilani Street, and there is a lava fountain on Moku Street. Anyone in the area, from Pomaikai east, needs to leave now, civil defense says. Big Island Video News.

Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has had it all over the past three weeks: molten rock shooting toward the sky, lava oozing from the ground and ash clouds rising miles into the air. You can also add "vog" to the mix. Associated Press.

Halemaumau Crater has grown exponentially, from 12 acres just a few weeks ago to more than 90 acres today. KHON2.

As dramatic changes are occurring on the floor of Halemaumau crater, and as explosive events are expected to continue, scientists are learning more about the activity at the summit of Kilauea Volcano. Big Island Video News.

USGS scientists relocate to UH Hilo as summit explosions continue. KHON2.

Hawaii County’s Fire Department is one of the key first responder organizations working overtime in lower Puna. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lanipuna Gardens resident claims being stranded for almost 12 days, surrounded by lava. KITV.

Relief is on the way for Big Island residents irked by the accumulation of abandoned vehicles along rural roadways. West Hawaii Today.


A 280-acre light industrial and commercial park in Pulehunui that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources hopes will generate revenue for its programs is moving forward, after the project’s draft environmental impact statement was released last week. Maui News.

State Representative Troy Hashimoto will host a Lawmakers Listen town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Iao Intermediate School in room J-204 for the residents of District 8 (Wailuku, Waipaku, Waihee), and any other interested community members. Maui Now.

The County of Maui Real Property Assessment Division recently won the prestigious International Association of Assessing Officers Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration. Maui News.


The state is moving forward on plans to limit the number of daily visitors to the popular Haena State Park on Kauai’s north shore. Star-Advertiser.

Farmers on Kauai say the state should brace for a shortage of its taro crop after record-breaking rains flooded their fields. Associated Press.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hawaii officials fear impact of canceled North Korea summit, lava flows continue to impress, Gabbard most popular Hawaii politician in poll, new indictment in Honolulu police corruption case, money flows to Kauai, Maui has #1 beach, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

USGS map. See Hawaii Island category below for latest lava news
Canceled N. Korea summit may leave Hawaii vulnerable to attack. President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to cancel his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was more than just a blow to peace in the Korean Peninsula. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Poll: Tulsi Gabbard Is Hawaii’s Most Popular Politician. Only former President Obama gets higher marks than the Hawaii congresswoman. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Seem Ready For A Constitutional Convention. A solid majority of those surveyed support the idea of holding the first such event in 40 years. Civil Beat.

April is a traditionally off-peak travel month, however, Hawaii hotels statewide reported solid increases in revenue per available room, average daily rate and room occupancy, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report issued by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

After seven years of growing Hawaii auto sales, the state could see a decline this year. New-vehicle registrations in the state fell 4.3 percent in the first quarter and are projected to drop in 2018. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is co-sponsoring a bill to suspend newly imposed tariffs on Canadian newsprint that is driving up business costs for domestic newspapers, book publishers and commercial printers. Star-Advertiser.

Beachgoers are being advised of elevated bacteria levels at three beaches across the state. Hawaii News Now.


A federal grand jury returned a new indictment today against retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

A second superseding indictment against Honolulu's ex-police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife offers new details on the bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and obstruction charges against them. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Cop Fired For Domestic Violence Gets His Job Back. But a labor board panel has temporarily blocked Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard’s effort to release information explaining the decision. Civil Beat.

Police union blocks release of details about officer's contentious reinstatement. Hawaii News Now.

Bill 30: Buy Rail "Remnant" Properties. The Honolulu Rail Transit Project is scheduled to start construction on the final city center segment through downtown Honolulu next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Fate Of Popular Swimming Cove In Kahala Remains Uncertain. A rocky breakwater creates a unique attraction known as Cromwell’s, but it’s been a liability for owners of an oceanfront museum. Civil Beat.

Two Honolulu-based commercial fishing companies have been ordered to pay civil fines after they discharged oily bilge waste into the Pacific Ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Elevated walkways connecting condominium towers in Kakaako were a state vision decades ago. Now the developer of the biggest master-planned community in the area wants to put some in place. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lava From Kilauea Enters Ocean From Three Flows. The U.S. Marine Corps sends two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters to help if more evacuations become necessary. Associated Press.

A third lava flow was entering the ocean in Lower Puna, the latest hitting the water between Pohoiki Bay and Mac­Kenzie State Park, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Blue flames from methane vents surprise scientists. Associated Press.

No sign of increase or decrease in amount of lava; ash plumes persist. Three weeks into the lower Puna eruption, volcanic activity remains high but stable along Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. Tribune-Herald.

Spectacular, but destructive, lava fountains were active in the northeast section of Leilani Estates on Wednesday. The fissures were producing huge ponds of lava and feeding flows that were covering roads in the Puna subdivision. Big Island Video News.

Kilauea volcano’s ongoing eruption is destroying or damaging farms through the air, on the ground and from beneath the Earth’s surface. Civil Beat.

At least six separate fissures are erupting in lower Puna, pumping out an incredible 40 to 60 cubic feet of lava per second, spewing fountains of lava into the air and creating flows that are cascading into the sea some three miles downslope. Hawaii News Now.

NASA uses powerful instruments to help monitor eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Lava, Loss of PGV Capacity Create Electricity Challenges. Hawaii Public Radio.

Puna family still in shock; others hold on, hoping they’ll be spared. Eruptions from Kilauea Volcano have displaced thousands of Puna residents, devoured at least 50 structures and threatened dozens of others in its path. Star-Advertiser.

Another Eruption at Kilauea's Summit Sends Ash 10,000 Feet High. Hawaii Public Radio.

With one highway severed and another one threatened, officials continue to be frank about the possibility of lava flows isolating residents in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

With regular explosive bursts at Kilauea’s summit, ash continues to drift over Pahala, covering everything in a fine layer of charcoal-colored dust. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii mayor Harry Kim giving back to the community since 1977. KITV.

The state Department of Transportation on Thursday began its scheduled inspection of Wailuku Bridge, known as the Singing Bridge, in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that includes $3 million to protect Hawaii coffee and maintain agriculture research facilities in Hilo, as well as $32 million to support agricultural inspection stations in airports. Pacific Business News.

With a ceremonial passing of the colors, outgoing Lt. Col. Christopher M. Marquez relinquished command of Pohakuloa Training Area to Lt. Col. Loreto V. Borce Jr. West Hawaii Today.

Mass Transit's cash handling process was inadequate and ineffective to ensure that revenue is properly controlled and deposits are timely and accurate, the auditor found. Big Island Video News.


Kapalua is Dr. Beach’s No. 1 pick. A crescent-shaped beach on Maui got the top slot Thursday on the list of best beaches issued annually by a Florida professor known as Dr. Beach. Associated Press.

Maui County hotels defy usual April doldrums. Higher average daily room rates and revenue reported. Maui News.

Telescope protester’s trial put on hold. Motion filed in Hawaiian seeking dismissal for lack of a speedy trial. Maui News.


As parts of Kauai continue to rebuild from last month’s record rain and flooding, county officials estimate they will need an initial $31.2 million for 90 road, bridge and park repair projects. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of Wainiha and Haena gathered as a community Thursday to discuss what kind of future they envision for Kauai's north shore as the island continues to rebuild. Garden Island.

More than a hundred people gathered in downtown Honolulu Thursday night to raise money for flood victims on Kauai. KHON2.

Gov. David Ige spent Thursday morning learning about the impacts of April’s flooding on the North Shore. Garden Island.

Hawaii has committed to boosting coastal fisheries, and a new study identifies east Kauai as one of the highest-potential fisheries for population recovery. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blue flames the latest show from Kilauea volcano as National Guard prepares for air evacuations, Pentagon withdraws China's RIMPAC invite, slightly more active hurricane season predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Blue flames from burning methane are the latest natural phenomena being seen at the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Associated Press.

A blue-burning flame of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street during the overnight hours in Puna just before midnight on May 22, 2018. Tribune-Herald.

National Guard prepares for air evacuations if lava cuts off key Puna highway. An air evacuation of the portions of Lower Puna that are threatened by the Kilauea volcano eruption could be accomplished within four hours if that becomes necessary because of damage to ground transportation routes, according to Hawaii Army National Guard commander Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara. Star-Advertiser.

Number of structures claimed by lava rises to 50 as eruptions continue. Hawaii News Now.

Officials Expect New Lava Flow to Enter Ocean. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kilauea Volcano on the Island of Hawaii, though best known for its frequent quiet eruptions of lava flows, has erupted explosively many times in its history—most recently in 2011. USGS Report.


The Pentagon on Wednesday withdrew an invitation to China to participate in a major Pacific naval exercise, citing Beijing’s “continued militarization” of the South China Sea, adding another irritant to relations between the two nations as they jostle over trade and North Korea. Tribune News.

Forecasters Predict Central Pacific Could See Up To 6 Hurricanes This Season. Weak El Nino conditions — water warming on the surface of the ocean along the equator — could make the next few months stormier. Associated Press.

Forecasters are calling for normal to above-normal tropical cyclone activity within the Central Pacific this hurricane season. West Hawaii Today.

Hurricane Season in Hawaii officially starts next month and forecasters are expecting above normal activity. Hawaii Public Radio.


Decision Delayed On Hawaii Legislator’s Alleged Campaign Violations. Rep. Kaniela Ing faces more than $15,000 in fines for 31 counts connected to prior campaigns. Civil Beat.

The state Campaign Spending Commission this morning postponed hearing a complaint against state Rep. Kaniela Ing until next month. Star-Advertiser.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration today to ban two  chemicals from sunscreens and other personal care products that they say are killing precious coral and damaging reefs. Maui Now.


The city plans to erase seven crosswalks along busy South King Street. Hawaii News Now.

Ride-hailing apps face price caps under City Council plan. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Despite Kilauea’s worsening volcanic activity, May visitor arrivals are up 25 percent over last year on Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser.

The County is once again distributing free masks for ash protection at various locations, today through Friday. Big Island Video News.

No water restriction yet: New deep well starts pumping in North Kona as 4 remain offline. West Hawaii Today.


The Maui Police Department is the first in the state to be equipped and trained to use a nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Maui News.

A Makena family’s request to continue holding weddings on its property is headed to the Maui County Council after the Maui Planning Commission recommended approval of an after-the-fact permit Tuesday. Maui News.


Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. signed a second emergency proclamation on Wednesday, effectively extending the order prohibiting the operation of vacation rentals in flood-affected areas. Hawaii News Now.

Kahiliholo Road in Kilauea has collapsed after being damaged by Kauai’s April floods, and has created a dam, blocking the waterfall along Kuhio Highway, just before the Kalihiwai River. Garden Island.

The County of Kauai Recycling Office announced a free electronic waste recycling event for residents and businesses set for Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Anaina Hou Community Park behind Kauai Mini Golf in Kilauea. Garden Island.

Geothermal plant 'essentially safe' from lava inundation, Kim leads Chin for Congress in poll, state halts Manoa Stream plan after protests, volcano burns Big Island budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Janice Wei
Lava spatter from Kilauea volcano PC: Janice Wei
Geothermal plant declared ‘essentially safe’. A geothermal well field next to a volcanic rift that is fountaining lava was declared “essentially safe” Tuesday after measures were taken to prevent uncontrolled releases of underground fluids and gases. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige and the state’s Civil Defense chief expressed confidence Tuesday that the risk of a hydrogen sulfide release at Puna Geothermal Venture has been mitigated as lava creeps onto its property. Tribune-Herald.

State and county officials, including Governor David Ige and Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Tom Travis, told a room full of anxious Puna residents that they have managed to plug up the 11th and final well on the Puna Geothermal Venture property, as lava from the lower East Rift Zone eruption nears. Big Island Video News.

Officials Monitoring Lava Flows and Air Quality; PGV "Essentially Safe". Hawaii Public Radio.

Lava continues to inch toward Puna Geothermal Venture's plant, but officials said Tuesday that efforts to quench or plug all 11 wells at the site were successful and that the risk of hazardous gases being released into the community if lava is low. Hawaii News Now.

Former Hawaii Geothermal site destroyed by lava; PGV says risk of of hydrogen sulfide release ‘minimal’. Tribune-Herald.

"Highly active" eruptions won't let up in lower Puna, where residents whose lives have been upended for nearly three weeks are now facing an increasingly dangerous and multi-faceted threat: Rivers of lava threatening homes and creeping closer toward a geothermal plant, eruptions spitting out elevated emissions, and flows cascading into the ocean and creating clouds of toxic gas, steam and tiny slivers of glass. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat Poll: Kim Leads Chin In Race For Congress. Fukumoto and Ing show strength among younger voters, many of whom remain undecided. Civil Beat.


A proposal to give the mayor the power to hire and fire Honolulu’s police chief was killed Tuesday by a City Council committee. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Won’t Get Power To Hire Or Fire Honolulu Police Chief. Councilman Ikaika Anderson pulls back his proposals to shake up how the city selects police and fire chiefs and commissions. Civil Beat.

The Case Of A Honolulu Cop Fired For Domestic Violence Is About To Go Public. Darren Cachola, a former HPD sergeant, could get his job back four years after he was caught on tape beating his girlfriend inside a Honolulu restaurant. Civil Beat.

City files class-action suit against service members with abandoned cars. In an effort to speed up its ability to dispose of current and future vehicles abandoned by military service members, the city filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to consolidate required hearings for the owners into one case. Star-Advertiser.

Manoa Professors Raise A Stink About Sludge Pits — And Get Results. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources officials say they will postpone a stream dredging plan in Manoa to confer with residents. Civil Beat.

Under pressure from outraged Manoa residents, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources agreed to place a controversial dredging and tree cutting project on hold. Hawaii News Now.

Plans to make improvements to Manoa Stream were put on pause Tuesday after residents in the area voiced their concerns. KHON2.

Campers migrate daily from Kakaako sidewalks to Mother Waldron Park. Star-Advertiser.

Would New Uber And Lyft Rules Hit West Side Drivers Hardest? A lot of drivers live on the Leeward Coast, where incomes are generally lower and driving distances are longer. Civil Beat.

About 82,500 gallons of sewage was spilled in a ditch at the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant on Tuesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

About 82,500 gallons of wastewater discharged today at the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Aikahi near Kailua Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council members stood firm Tuesday that they’re not ready to raise taxes to plug a $7 million hole in the budget that county officials attribute to an ongoing volcanic emergency in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

On Tuesday, the Hawaii County Council dove into the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but there are already deep concerns over how the eruption in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea, only two weeks old, will impact revenues. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia but is continuing his work, Managing Director Wil Okabe said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

After 'lava bomb' hit him, Big Island man feared for his life. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii island man injured by what officials called a lava bomb spoke from his hospital bed Tuesday. KHON2.

Some residents of areas untouched by lava remain despite call to evacuate. Tribune-Herald.

Masks to protect against ashfall to be distributed on Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

From tourism to farming, many industries are taking a big hit because of the eruption. The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce says hotels, bed and breakfasts, and tour operators are seeing a 50 percent drop in business. KHON2.

The arrow-shaped Mauna Lani Bay Hotel &Bungalows, a Hawaii island fixture for nearly four decades, will close this fall for a $100 million renovation triggering temporary layoffs for about 400 employees. Star-Advertiser.


Central Kihei residents can expect intermittent water service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday while contractors work on a waterline tie-in, the Department of Water Supply announced. Maui News.

Stranded hikers are airlifted from Bamboo Forest trail. Maui News.


The county’s operating budget and capital improvement projects budget were approved by the Kauai County Council during a committee meeting Tuesday, and a bill offering a real property tax exemption to home owners who install automatic fire suppression systems was moved to the full council. Garden Island.

Kapaa resident Nelson Mukai, 54, has thrown his hat into the race for Kauai County Council. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lava nears geothermal plant, Ige closes Hanabusa's lead in poll, teachers union backs Gabbard's opponent, tight race for lieutenant governor, Big Island taxes could increase to pay for volcano response, Section 8 housing opens on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Active lava flow from Kilauea volcano PC:USGS
Workers at the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant found themselves in a race against nature Monday as they attempted to seal off a particularly troublesome, deep geothermal well while lava from Kilauea Volcano advanced from the south to a point uncomfortably close to the well pad area. Star-Advertiser.

As lava breached the southern boundary of Puna Geothermal Venture on Monday, the head of a task force created to mitigate potential hazards at the power plant said efforts were underway to neutralize the last “active” well on the property. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Lava Flows Reach Site Of Geothermal Plant. A naturally occurring berm has so far halted the flow’s advance, but officials warn if the lava does hit the plant’s underground wells it could trigger the release of poisonous gases. Civil Beat.

As active lava begins to encroach on the Puna Geothermal Venture property, officials are working to finish quenching, and hopefully plugging, wells on the site. Big Island Video News.

Lava flow enters Puna Geothermal Venture power plant on Hawaii's Big Island as authorities attempt to kill active wells (Video). Pacific Business News.

Vigorous lava flows continue to cascade into the ocean in lower Puna, creating large plumes of "laze" — clouds of toxic gas, steam and tiny glass particles — that could force nearby residents to evacuate at a moment's notice, authorities warned Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Explosions continue at the summit of Kilauea, prompting authorities to warn area residents about the threat of ashfall. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that a new explosive eruption at Kilauea summit at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday. KHON2.


Civil Beat Poll: Hanabusa Leads Ige By 6 As Primary Draws Closer. The congresswoman had a narrower gap than earlier polls showed but the governor is still in trouble. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Poll: Carvalho Ahead In Lieutenant Governor Race. It’s a close contest in a crowded field, with many voters still undecided. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Teachers Union Backs Gabbard Opponent For Congress. In its endorsement of challenger Sherry Campagna, the union sharply criticized Gabbard’s human rights record because of her stance on Syria. Civil Beat.

State Supreme Court upholds use tax. CompUSA had challenged the state’s use tax as unconstitutional since it applies only to out-of-state sellers. Star-Advertiser.

A key Domestic Violence bill failed to pass in the State Legislature this session and supporters want to know why. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii has a shortfall of nearly 30,000 licensed child care slots, according to a study by Child Care Aware of America. Pacific Business News.


State reopens section 8 housing waitlist for the first time in 4 years. The voucher program waitlist for section 8 housing on Oahu will be opened next month for the first time in more than 4 years. Hawaii News Now.

The City and County of Honolulu is opening the wait list for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. KHON2.

A company trying to build what would be the third wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore has obtained its last discretionary state approval after a contentious proceeding and almost five years of work. Star-Advertiser.

Dozens of trees in Manoa to get the ax as part of stream dredging project. Hawaii News Now.

University of Hawaii leadership is resurrecting efforts to recombine the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management School with the Shidler College of Business Administration, a move that has been heavily debated over the last decade. Star-Advertiser.

Scientists are waiting for lab results to help determine what caused the recent death of three Hawaiian monk seals on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Property tax hikes could be back on the table, as county expenses increase even as property values erode, thanks to lava inundation in Puna. West Hawaii Today.

Lava prompts election officials to mail absentee voting applications. Tribune-Herald.

Cruise ship Pride of America cancels Hawaii Island visits for second week. West Hawaii Today.

Puna farmers affected by the volcanic activity on Hawaii Island were set to meet Monday night to learn about the assistance programs that are being available to them lava damages their crops – and their bottom line. Hawaii News Now.

Poverty, illness compound problems for Puna community. Star-Advertiser.

Volcanic emissions drive up ER visits on Hawaii Island. Hawaii News Now.

As the Kilauea eruption continues to make national headlines, organizers of the Ironman are urging triathletes not to cancel their travel plans. Hawaii News Now.

Prosecutor talks challenges law enforcement faces. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County’s jobless rate dropped to 2 percent in April, the same as the state’s overall rate, a record low, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Maui News.


Medical marijuana is now available for the first time on Kauai. The new dispensary in Kapaa opened Monday and is called Have a Heart, operated by Green Aloha Ltd. Garden Island.

Flood, volcano ‘postpone’ popular Taste of Hawaii. Garden Island.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New hazards as lava enters ocean, Ige, Hirono, visit Big Island, Akaka memorialized, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lava flow snakes to the sea PC: USGS
 Lava from active fissures near the Leilani Estates subdivision has completed a nearly 4-mile crawl to the coast of Hawaii Island and is pouring into the ocean at two separate points. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige returned to the Big Island on Sunday for an update about the emergency situation in lower Puna after lava from Kilauea volcano crossed Highway 137 and entered the ocean Saturday night. Tribune-Herald.

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, Sen. Mazie K. Hirono visited with Hawaii Island residents who have been displaced by volcanic activity in lower Puna. Big Island Now.


The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka was remembered Saturday not only as a national political figure but as a devoted father, a man of musical talent and a person of deep spirituality.  Star-Advertiser.

'An amazing life': Hundreds gather to say aloha to the late Sen. Dan Akaka. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds gather for US Senator Daniel K. Akaka's celebration of life at Kawaihao Church. KHON2.

The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka was memorialized Friday at the state Captiol in Honolulu, where was scheduled to lie in state for 24 hours. Pacific Business News.

SLIDESHOW: Hawaii Bids A Final Aloha To Sen. Daniel Akaka. Civil Beat.

Flooding renews interest in climate-change planning. Recent flooding in East Oahu and North Kauai, which sustained an estimated $20 million in damage, not including homes and businesses, has provided a glimpse of what climate change could look like and could add to the sense of urgency across the state. Star-Advertiser.


State bans swimming at Haseko lagoon. The water quality of a 52-acre basin at Hoakalei Resort residences in Ewa Beach is better than at popular swimming spots including Magic Island, Lanikai and Ko Olina. Star-Advertiser.

Work on beach groin awaits state funding. The crumbling Royal Hawaiian groin, between the Waikiki Sheraton and Royal Hawaiian hotels, is all that is keeping a prime section of Hawaii’s most visited beach from being swept away. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s Vanishing Crosswalks: Why The City Is Taking Them Out. The city has removed 34 crosswalks since September 2016, despite protests from some neighborhood groups. Civil Beat.

Lime said it is temporarily suspending its electric scooter-sharing service in Honolulu on Friday, following the city’s announcement that the company is in violation of state and city laws for failing to register the scooters as mopeds. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed a bill Friday that would have prohibited the administration from implementing bulb-outs, essentially curbside extensions, at five Chinatown locations. Star-Advertiser.

Several dozen people lined the sidewalk near the Duke Kahanamoku statue in Waikiki Saturday to protest the city’s awarding of a contract to run concession stands offering surf lessons and outrigger canoe rides to a new vendor, ousting a longtime business providing beachboy services. Star-Advertiser.

United Airlines Resists Honolulu Workers’ Effort To Unionize. Most employees in the Honolulu catering department are from islands in Micronesia and rely on flight benefits to go home. Civil Beat.

Three monk seals mysteriously die on Oahu. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Early morning eruption belches more ash from Kilauea. Star-Advertiser.

Explosions continue at the summit of Kilauea, prompting warnings about the threat of ashfall that could reach nearby communities. Hawaii News Now.

On Sunday the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a new Kilauea Volcano air quality warning — this time about “laze,” short for lava haze. Star-Advertiser.

“Laze,” the noxious, potentially deadly gas caused by hot lava hitting the ocean, could have a potentially widespread effect in lower Puna, according to a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory official. Tribune-Herald.

A volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten rock flowing into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury. Associated Press.

Volcano enters ocean, causes new health hazard of "laze". KITV.

The idea that Kilauea is normally a docile volcano that erupts lava flows has been altered due to recent research, scientists say. Big Island Video News.

Two-story lava wall cuts off parts of Highway 137, impacting thousands. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable rents will bring some Lower Puna residents back home. Star-Advertiser.

Three weeks after Mayor Harry Kim suffered his fifth heart attack, he’s moved behind the scenes but remains unapologetic about a comment he made during his last public appearance Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Kohala Councilman Tim Richards is attempting something that rarely happens in Hawaii County government — he wants to lower taxes. West Hawaii Today.

Kohala Councilman Tim Richards wants to zero out Mass Transit’s general fund budget, leaving county officials wondering how they will keep the buses running at all, much less on time. West Hawaii Today.


Gov. David Ige will be the third speaker in the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center Leadership Series of talks on June 9. Maui News.

Affordable housing is topic of forum. Maui News.

The state Department of Taxation reports that a Maui physician was arrested on Thursday for alleged tax violations. Maui Now.


Kauai’s first medical marijuana dispensary got the green light Friday to begin sales on the Garden Isle. Star-Advertiser.

The Quest To Rebuild An Old Russian Fort On Kauai — And Meet Putin. But a UH archaeologist says the Russian presence was minimal — and any plan should focus on the fort’s place in Native Hawaiian history. Civil Beat.

Staff, board sought for new school. Garden Island.


Friendly Isle residents cope with seed company closure. Loss of 78 Molokai jobs equivalent to nearly 2,500 on Maui, over 14,000 on Oahu. Maui News.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Commentary: The public has a right to tsunami inundation maps

wikipedia commons
1946 Hilo Bay tsunami PC: Wikipedia Commons
Tsunami maps drawn by scientists or tsunami maps drawn by the government?

I chose the former. And you should, too.

I am almost at the end of a more than four-year wait for copies of Hawaii Island's tsunami inundation maps, after the state Office of Information practices on May 10 overturned the then state Department of Defense's denial of the records. The opinion, No. 18-02, has not yet been posted online.

UPDATED June 10, 2018: Opinion No. 18-02 can be found here.

Almost at the end of the wait, that is, unless the state Emergency Management Agency decides to request reconsideration or appeal. The agency has until May 24 to ask OIP for reconsideration; it has until June 9 to appeal to circuit court.

The state argued an exemption under the state Uniform Information Practices Act that the records must be confidential in order to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function. Releasing the maps, state officials said, would only "confuse" people. I argued there is no confusion exemption in the UIPA, and the public has the right to see maps purchased with their tax dollars.

The county uses the scientists' inundation maps to create evacuation maps, which are made public.

"The requested documents are used for the development of emergency management and/or emergency response plans, which include instructions to help ensure the safety of the public. The disclosure of the tsunami inundation maps, which are not disclosed to the public, but are used to help establish tsunami evacuation zones, would endanger the life and/or physical safety of members of the public who may be confused by the difference between the inundation limits and the tsunami evacuation Lines developed by the county," the state argued.

OIP said that's not enough reason to withhold the maps. All of the other states bordering the Pacific Ocean publish the maps online, OIP said in its opinion.

Here's how California does it. The state even allows the public to download the spatial data, so they can make their own maps.

"OIP understands the tsunami inundation maps to be essentially factual, representing the current scientific understanding of how a tsunami would affect the area mapped, whereas the tsunami evacuation zone maps represent a governmental policy decision as to what portions of the area mapped should be evacuated in the face of a tsunami warning," OIP said in its opinion.

"CDD's argument that, in essence, the public cannot safely possess such factual information about the likely horizontal measurement of the path of a tsunami, contradicts the purposes of the UIPA," the opinion added.

I wanted the maps in order to compare what scientists thought were critical inundation areas to what the government ultimately created as evacuation zones.

I'm not saying our own government would do this, but I can imagine a scenario where an important official or major campaign donor could be left out of a zone. A slight wiggle of the map lines here or there could translate into millions more dollars in property resale value or thousands less in property insurance.

The most common conflicts of interest in local government happen when officeholders face a vote on real property/land use issues that affect their own holdings, according to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics program in Government Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Bottom line, the public has the right to compare the two maps. With the current volcano and earthquake emergency on the Big Island, it's more important now than ever that we know where inundation zones are.

Major mahalos to the nonprofit Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest and its director, Brian Black, for helping me with this appeal. The Law Center, incidentally, is the 2018 winner of the Big Island Press Club's Torch of Light award, given to an individual or entity who brightens the public’s right to know.

Government records belong to the public, not the government. We have a right to know.