Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Inspector General report urges changes to Hawaii's missile alert system, high surf, high seas spur Honolulu action, two election lawsuits filed over close votes, humpback whale no-shows cause concern, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii missile alert info session ©2018 All Hawaii News
Missile alert report urges FEMA to make vendors change software. The report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General urges FEMA to require that software used by local authorities to access and operate the emergency alert system include features such as the ability to preview or cancel alerts. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii False Missile Alert: New Problems Found In Federal Warning System. A recent inspector general report highlights shortcomings in FEMA’s oversight of the emergency warning system. Civil Beat.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has recommended changes to the nation’s emergency alert system after Hawaii officials in January mistakenly warned the public about an incoming ballistic missile. Associated Press.

Read full inspector general emergency alert system report here.


New Tax System Targets Cash Economy. The state’s Tax System Modernization or TSM will cost $60 million when completed. Rollout 4 was launched earlier this month to enable electronic filing for individual income tax returns. Hawaii Public Radio.

From school custodian to the sole Republican in the state Senate. For Kurt Fevella, the results of the general election are still sinking in. The former school janitor is now hiring staff for his office, as the newly elected lone Republican in the Hawaii state Senate. Hawaii News Now.

Every vote counts, but not all get counted. Thousands of votes statewide were invalidated, mostly on Oahu, and most affected voters won't necessarily know if theirs was counted. KHON2.

Black Market Babies. The Republic of the Marshall Islands, a string of low-lying coral atolls halfway between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea, had no law governing international adoptions in the 1990s. Hawaii quickly turned into a hub for what American judges and newspapers widely described as “black market adoptions.” The flow of babies soon spread to other states. Civil Beat.

Hawaii AG Demands Civil Rights Protections for Transgender People. Attorney General Russell A. Suzuki joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general urging the Trump Administration to abandon efforts to adopt a definition of “sex” that would exclude transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from the protections of federal civil rights laws. Maui Now.

Clues sought for decline in Hawaii humpback whale sightings. Researchers are gathering to compare clues on the reasons behind a significant decline in the number of sightings of North Pacific humpback whales in their traditional breeding grounds in waters around Hawaii. Associated Press.

Auction brings more broadband funds to Hawaii’s rural areas. Hawaiian Telcom will receive more than $18 million to deploy broadband in approximately 4,000 new areas across our state over the next six years. These areas include parts of Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Kohala, Laupahoehoe, Orchidland and Pepeekeo on Hawaii island; parts of Haiku, Hana and Olowalu on Maui; parts of Kaunakakai and Ualapue on Molokai; part of Lanai City; parts of Hanapepe, Kekaha, Kilauea, Kokee and Waimea on Kauai; and parts of Kahuku and Malaekahana on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Sears to sell off most of its Hawaii stores. Sears Holdings Corp. listed four Hawaii outlets — at Pearlridge Center, Windward Mall, Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo and an appliance store at Ala Moana Center — among 505 of the company’s most profitable locations to be sold or auctioned off as part of its bankruptcy, according to court documents. Star-Advertiser.

Retail giant Sears announced Monday that its putting four of its Hawaii stores on the auction block. Hawaii News Now.

SBA opening disaster loan centers this week on Maui, Hawaii's Big Island. The U.S. Small Business Administration will open disaster loan outreach centers on the Big Island and Maui on Tuesday to help Hawaii businesses apply for low-interest loans to recover from damage caused by the floods and wildfires that occurred during Hurricane Lane in August. Pacific Business News.


The city is taking steps to prepare for the significant impacts of global climate change, but moving the route of Honolulu’s rail line more inland is not one of them, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

‘Perhaps we retreat:’ City predicts major changes as Hawaii faces coastal erosion. Following the release of a new national climate assessment, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell predicted Friday that Hawaii will see major changes in infrastructure as ocean levels rise in the decades ahead. Hawaii News Now.

City and County of Honolulu to take action on climate change. KHON2.

North Shore Beach Erosion 45-foot waves pound island. A powerful northwest swell pounded the islands Monday, bringing to some northwest-facing locations towering waves between 35 and 45 feet. Star-Advertiser.

'Nuts’: Monster waves pummel Oahu’s North Shore, trigger safety warnings. Monster surf topping out at 45 feet rolled into Oahu’s North Shore on Monday, triggering safety warnings and keeping lifeguards busy. Hawaii News Now.


Two Losing Candidates Ask For Election Recounts. City Council candidate Tommy Waters and state Sen. Matt LoPresti both lost their races by razor-thin margins. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council candidate Tommy Waters, who lost to incumbent Councilman Trevor Ozawa by 22 votes in the general election, wants the Hawaii Supreme Court to either declare him the winner, order a recount of the votes or to demand that the results be invalidated and a new election be held. Star-Advertiser.

Police Security Cameras May Soon Blanket Waikiki. Tourism officials believe heightened surveillance will make visitors feel safer, but the Hawaii ACLU says it poses “grave concerns” for privacy. Civil Beat.

HPD Wants Inflatable Tents In City Parks For Temporary Use By The Homeless. Police have a $3 million plan to create “lift zones” in Honolulu parks, where the homeless can sleep in inflatable tents and receive services when shelters fill up. Civil Beat.

City launches unclutter street gutters initiative. The city is trying to get residents to take responsibility for their neighborhood's storm drains. KHON2.

The Board of Water Supply is taking a second shot at generating additional revenue by pursuing the redevelopment of part of its Beretania Street site. Hawaii News Now.

Nan Inc. wins $267M contract to expand Oahu sewage plant. The City and County of Honolulu has awarded Nan Inc. a $267 million contract to expand the secondary treatment system at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant in in Ewa. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

County Council names Chung chairman. Aaron Chung, a longtime councilman from Hilo, will be the new County Council chairman under an organization plan filed Monday. West Hawaii Today.

A new Hawaii County Council Chair, County Clerk, and Council Committee leadership has been nominated as the next council prepares to take office. Big Island Video News.

Hurricane Lane Disaster Recovery Center Opens Tuesday In Hilo. The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a temporary Disaster Recovery Center in Hilo at the Hawaii County Building, from November 27 to December 6. Big Island Video News.

What to name fissure no. 8? A state board is taking up the issue. The Hawaii Board of Geographic Names meets Wednesday to discuss a plan to review potential new name proposals for Kilauea volcano’s features, including fissure no. 8 in Leilani Estates. Hawaii News Now.

After gathering more than a third of a million pounds of oceanborne waste from Hawaii shores, one marine waste cleanup program will continue its work for a third year. Tribune-Herald.

Over the last week, a scabies outbreak has run rampant through the ranks of Kona Community Hospital, sidelining several employees. And hospital officials say more cases are likely to appear. West Hawaii Today.

County seeks bids for Alii Drive culvert replacement project. A contractor is being sought to replace a rapidly deteriorating culvert on Alii Drive. West Hawaii Today.


Hearings begin to update Maui island water plan. Twenty-year blueprint helps guide the management of water resources. Maui is working to update its 20-year plan for islandwide water uses at a time when major decisions by the state’s water panel are slowly restoring streams in the wake of big sugar. Maui News.

County of Maui DPR announces closure of Baldwin Beach Park all day Tuesday. Major flooding has resulted from high surf and has caused safety concerns to the County facility. KITV.

The Lanai Community Health Center has launched a more user-friendly website. Maui News.


Meeting set today on council chair selection. A meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. today at the Historic County Building for the members elected to the Kauai County Council for the term commencing Dec. 3 to discuss their organizational structure for the 2018-2020 council term. Garden Island.

Settlement likely in civil suit. A tentative settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit filed against the Kauai County Police Department by the family of a 19-year-old Hanapepe man killed by a speeding police cruiser, according to court documents and a county spokesperson. Garden Island.

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