Friday, May 31, 2019

Interior secretary tours Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Caldwell prioritizes climate change, Ige visits Kauai, iwi discovered during sewer work, Grand Wailea’s $91.5M expansion hits opposition, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

USGS HVO Scientist in Charge Tina Neal (left) and Dept. of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (center) and USGS HVO scientist Matt Patrick. (DOI Photo/Tami A. Heilemann)
The United States Secretary of the Interior got a firsthand look at the damages and dramatic changes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that were brought about by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Big Island Video News.

Interior secretary visits national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on Thursday inspected some of the damage that was caused by earthquakes at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during last year’s Kilauea Volcano eruption, and said there are steps the federal government can take to expedite repairs. Star-Advertiser.

Bernhardt shares recovery options, says decision on long-term solution for HVO still ‘months away’. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory To Stay On Hawaii Island, Hirono Says. Big Island Video News.

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Visitor arrivals climb 7% while spending dips more than 6%. April marked the sixth month in a row that more visitors came to Hawaii than the previous year, while creating less economic benefit. Star-Advertiser.

April Tourism Revenue Declines Despite More Visitors. On Oahu, spending dipped in April despite 494,192 visitors. Civil Beat.

The Challenges Of Finding Hawaii’s Next Generation Of Teachers. As the number of new teachers coming out of local colleges decline, the state Department of Education hopes “teacher academies” and other strategies will ignite new interest in the profession. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Why Is Every Legislative Session Shrouded In Political Mystery? Politics in Hawaii is full of mystery, but not good mystery. Hawaii’s mysteries are not engaging whodunits. They are obscurities and opacities that bewilder us and make us cynical. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Caldwell’s speech gets mixed reaction. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s decision to focus on climate change and his newly minted O‘ahu Resiliency Strategy during his seventh State of the City address Thursday night won favorable remarks from some key individuals — but also some skepticism. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Unveils Tax Plans To Increase Affordable Housing. The Honolulu mayor wants the City Council to consider a new vacancy tax and an increase in the property tax for certain high-end parcels. Civil Beat.

The mayor says he supports a ‘vacancy fee.’ Here’s what that means. In his State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposed a “vacancy fee” for residences that remain empty for most of the year. Hawaii News Now.

"We Are in a Crisis Period" Honolulu Mayor Says of Climate Change. Caldwell used the June 1st start of hurricane season to launch the city’s climate resilience strategy, which he called the issue of our time. Hawaii Public Radio.

In 7th State of the City, mayor focuses on threat of ‘climate crisis’. Honolulu’s homeless crisis and its beleaguered rail project took something of a backseat Thursday at the mayor’s seventh State of the City address, which instead pivoted toward a looming but not yet present crisis: Climate change. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor focused on climate in 7th State of the City address. Resilience he says is where our economy meets the environment. KITV.

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City Council questions payment of Louis Kealoha’s legal fees. It’s likely the Hawaii Judiciary will decide whether Honolulu taxpayers will pay the tab for former Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s defense in the high-profile federal conspiracy case now unfolding in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Targets Decision To Pay For Louis Kealoha’s Legal Defense. A council committee wants to file a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn a Honolulu Police Commission decision. Civil Beat.

Council Committee Challenges City Funding of Kealoha's Defense. Hawaii Public Radio.

Katherine Kealoha allegedly didn’t reveal conflict. Katherine Kealoha allegedly didn’t reveal conflict. Star-Advertiser.

KEALOHA TRIAL: FBI video specialist testifies on what was recovered from video of mailbox theft. KHON2.

Testimony in Kealoha corruption trial surrounds surveillance footage of alleged mailbox theft. More witnesses took the stand on Day 6 of the Kealoha Corruption Trial. KITV.

State launches misconduct investigation after deputy sheriff’s testimony in Kealoha trial. The state Department of Public Safety is investigating a deputy sheriff for possible misconduct after he admitted in federal court that he used state resources to do favors for Katherine Kealoha, a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

State agency investigating Katherine Kealoha’s meeting with uncle. The state Department of Public Safety says it is “obligated and committed to thoroughly investigate” the actions of a deputy sheriff who testified in U.S. District Court that he arranged to have inmates meet family members at state court even though the inmates were not scheduled to be in court. Star-Advertiser.

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City Council Urges Mayor to Stop Waimanalo Beach Park Project. The city is building baseball fields, a playground, and more parking stalls for park goers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Neighbors oppose planned affordable housing project in Maili, citing infrastructure concerns. Neighbors of a proposed affordable housing project in Maili gathered Thursday to voice their concerns about possible infrastructure and traffic associated with the development, saying their rural road can’t handle a project that will house about 200 people. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless campers remain at Kakaako park despite numerous enforcement efforts. Homeless campers have found reasons to stay at Kaka­ako Gateway parks despite various efforts from the city, state and private organizations to move the homeless away from that area. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood board election draws more than 18,000 voters. Results of Honolulu’s neighborhood board elections were certified by the Neighborhood Commission Wednesday and were posted on the commission’s website this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Results Announced In Oahu Neighborhood Board Elections. There are 435 seats on 33 boards islandwide, but there were no candidates for 29 of the positions. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Iwi discovered in lava tube at Lono Kona project. Iwi kupuna, or human remains, were discovered in a lava tube broken into by contractors digging sewer lines for the Lono Kona project in a neighborhood residents call “Hamburger Hill.” West Hawaii Today.

Dairy looks to sell remaining cows, remove lagoons. Big Island Dairy will remain on the Ookala property it is leasing from the state until all remaining cows have been sold and removed, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Kona pool repair cost lower than expected. A contractor has been hired to repair the Kona Community Aquatic Center, but county officials say the county pool facility will remain closed through the summer. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Grand Wailea’s $91.5M expansion hits opposition. Residents cite concerns over burials, growing tourism, sea level rise. Maui News.

Homeless Encampments at Kanaha Cleared. The County of Maui departments of Parks and Recreation, Environmental Management, Public Works and Housing and Human Concerns collaborated with the Maui Police Department to address homeless encampments and public health/safety concerns Thursday morning at Kanaha Beach Park. Maui Now.

Maui Events Included in OHA Grant Funding. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced the selection of 22 community events that will receive a total of $100,000 from OHA’s Ahahui Grants Program. Maui Now.

Kauai

Ige sounds off. Gov. David Ige, speaking before about 300 people at the Koloa Landing Resort, outlined some thoughts for about 25 minutes before taking questions. Garden Island.

Highway reopening pushed back. The reopening of Kuhio Highway west of Hanalei, originally scheduled for June 13, has been pushed back again, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Garden Island.

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