Friday, February 28, 2020

Kauai councilman indicted for drug trafficking, ICBM interceptors planned, lava response blasted, coronavirus testing coming, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Facebook live screen grab
Epidemiologist Sarah Park, Gov. David Ige, Danette Tomiyasu, Facebook live screengrab
Hawaii Given Green Light To Set Up Local Coronavirus Testing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given Hawaii the go-ahead to start preparing for coronavirus testing locally, a process that could begin as early as next week. Hawaii Public Radio.

State aims to start coronavirus testing next week. Hawaii could begin testing for COVID-19 as early as next week, state epidemiologist Sarah Park said Thursday during a Facebook Live stream with Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

Testing for coronavirus to begin soon in Hawaii; 80 are ‘self-monitoring’ statewide. The CDC has given the green light to the state’s laboratory to start testing for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Local Testing For COVID-19 Possible as Early as Next Week. There are three components to COVID-19 test kits, all of which have arrived in Hawai‘i, according to a Department of Health report. Big Island Now.

CDC widens coronavirus screening scope; state may test next week. The CDC and Hawaii Department of Health are making a significant expansion to their COVID-19 lookout for sick people with travel connections beyond just China. KHON2.

Hawaii virus funding request grows to $10.5M. Key state senators Thursday added to Gov. David Ige’s $7.215 million funding request to prepare Hawaii for a potential outbreak of the new coronavirus, bringing the total amount to $10.568 million. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Update: Hawaii Pushes $10.5M In Emergency Funding. An emergency appropriation of over $10.5 million has been inserted in a senate bill for prevention and mitigation of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. Big Island Video News.

Senate Advances Ige’s Request for $10M in Emergency Funds for COVID-19. The Hawai‘i Senate Ways and Means Committee today advanced a bill to provide Governor David Ige’s request for an emergency appropriation of $10,568,750 to the Hawai‘i Departments of Health and Defense for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Maui Now.

Hawaii authorities weigh measures such as canceling gatherings and shutting schools. State officials are deliberating when to pull the trigger on “social distancing measures” such as canceling public gatherings, closing schools and working remotely in the likely case of a coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s visitor industry making plans to mitigate coronavirus risks. The number of visitors to Hawaii increased in January, but the new coronavirus caused a drop in arrivals from the Asia-Pacific, most notably from China and Korea. Star-Advertiser.

Quarantined isle couples say workers are ‘over-protected’. Two couples from Hawaii being quarantined at a military base in California for the new coronavirus say workers who give them their meals or take their temperature never touch them directly and always wear gloves, a face mask and a long face shield — making them “over-protected". Star-Advertiser.


Commentary: Petty politics playing into COVID-19 readiness. Star-Advertiser.

Commentary: How ‘Offloading’ Landed Ige, Caldwell In The Political Dumps. Both the mayor and the governor have been masters at palming off toxic problems like rail and TMT on others. Now that’s coming to haunt them. Civil Beat.


Hawaii lawmakers pass ban on large-capacity rifle magazines. House lawmakers gave preliminary approval Thursday to a ban on rifle magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets and to restrictions on who is allowed to buy ammunition in Hawaii, steps that would tighten what are already some of the most strict firearm laws in the nation. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers consider lengthy extension to statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse. A bill moving through the state House would allow victims of childhood sex abuse 50 years after they turn 18 to decide if they want to pursue a claim. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers To Take Pay Cut If Minimum Wage Isn’t $15. Sen. Ruderman and Rep. Wildberger pledge to give $4,000 in salary to charity unless their colleagues don’t raise the hourly pay beyond $13. Civil Beat.


Hawaii to get ICBM interceptors. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said Hawaii is on track within about a year to receive interceptor missiles for North Korean threats — a declaration that marks a dramatic change in the state’s defensive posture. Star-Advertiser.

‘Hot bargaining’ brings in president of national flight attendants union for Hawaiian Airlines contract talks. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA sent its union president to Hawaii Thursday to intervene in protracted bargaining between Hawaiian Airlines management and flight attendants. Star-Advertiser.

Parks fees increases proposed. State Parks officials are proposing increases to parks-related fees, including upping camping and cabin charges for all users and modifying entrance and parking fees for nonresidents, in an effort to bolster revenue. West Hawaii Today.


2020 started out with a bang for Hawaii tourism, but the industry isn’t celebrating. Hawaii saw a big boost in visitor arrivals and spending in January, new figures show. But the increases are likely to be short-lived as fears about a global outbreak of coronavirus grow. Hawaii News Now.

HTA Reports Visitor Stats for January. Tourism brought in more money across the state in the year’s first month as compared with January 2019. Big Island Now.


Council committee moves out Energy Code bill. Oahu builders will have to make a certain number of parking stalls ready for electric vehicle charging and install solar hot water heaters in new residences under a major energy conservation bill poised for a final vote of the Honolulu City Council next month. Star-Advertiser.

Rate Commission seeks feedback on rail and bus fares. The Honolulu Rate Commission is requesting input and testimony from members of the public on the future policies and rates for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project once the system begins operations. KITV4.

Fire engulfs surfboard storage rack next to Waikiki police substation. Honolulu firefighters responded to a fire Thursday night that burned the surfboard rack between the police substation in Waikiki and the Diamond Wing of the Moana Surfrider Hotel. Star-Advertiser.

Arson investigation underway after blaze destroys surfboards, damages hotel in Waikiki. An arson investigation is now underway after a two-alarm blaze destroyed a surfboard rack and dozens of surfboards and damaged a nearby hotel late Thursday, Honolulu police said. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Report finds failures in county’s lava response. Hawaii County has released a report largely critical of its own response to the monthslong eruption of Kilauea volcano in 2018 — in which Halema‘uma‘u crater threw ash 30,000 feet into the air, lava destroyed a 716 homes and structures in lower Puna, and hundreds of residents were displaced. Tribune-Herald.

San Buenaventura acused of ethics violation. A group of Puna residents has filed an ethics complaint against a state representative for allegedly supporting a grant for a nonprofit that lacks its necessary permits. Tribune-Herald.

Banyan Drive Redevelopment Update. An agency tasked with overseeing the redevelopment of the Banyan Drive resort area voted to support a measure that would lead to its own demise. Big Island Video News.

Coast Guard Helps Transport Monk Seal To Kona Rehab. A monk seal named Pōhaku got a special lift from Oʻahu to Kona aboard a U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules last week. Big Island Video News.


Maui tourism not as dependent on Far East visitors. Local visitor industry could do well if the coronavirus stays away from Hawaii, Mainland. Barring a widespread coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii or the U.S. Mainland, Maui’s tourism industry still could have a “strong year,” a top University of Hawaii economist said Wednesday amid rising global fears over the economic impacts of the growing pandemic. Maui News.

“Shelter in Place” LIFTED at ‘Iao Intermediate School. Police have lifted the “shelter in place” that was in effect earlier at ʻĪao Intermediate School.  The action was taken at around 12:03 p.m., and lifted at 12:31 p.m.  Police have not yet released details about the reason for the shelter, which is a term used to describe a type of “lockdown” situation. Maui Now.

Students at 'Iao Intermediate sheltering in classrooms while MPD investigates written anonymous threat. Earlier Thursday, the school was placed under lockdown but was later lifted. KITV4.


Kauai councilman indicted for drug trafficking. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday alleges Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun is the leader of a drug trafficking ring tied to a gang that operates in and out of the state prison system. Star-Advertiser.

Arthur Brun arrested in drug trafficking bust. County Councilmember Arthur Brun and 11 other people were arrested Thursday and charged with operating a huge methamphetamine distribution ring on Kaua‘i, including allegedly procuring an unlicensed firearm for one of the codefendants. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Councilmember Arrested In Drug Sweep Involving Meth Sales. Kauaʻi County Council member Arthur Brun is among 12 individuals arrested by Kauaʻi police and federal law enforcement officials today as part of an islandwide drug sweep. Hawaii Public Radio.

Authorities allege Kauai councilman headed up large drug trafficking ring. A Kauai councilman is charged with drug trafficking, obstruction and firearms charges in connection with a months-long investigation that also netted 11 other arrests. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai Councilman Arthur Brun indicted for federal drug offenses after sting operation. More legal trouble for Kauai Councilman Arthur Brun, who’s now been indicted for federal drug offenses. KHON2.

Massive drug sweep lands 12 in jail, including a Kaua'i County councilmember. The long-term investigation helped to establish and identify Kaua'i's major players in promoting and distributing dangerous narcotics. KITV4.

Kauai County Councilman Charged In Federal Meth Probe. Arthur Brun and 11 other people were indicted as suspects in a “major drug trafficking organization.” Associated Press.

Kaua‘i Drug Sweep Nets 12 Arrests, Councilmember Brun Arrested. Kaua‘i Councilmember Arthur Brun is among a dozen defendants arrested and charged following an islandwide drug bust. Maui Now.


eWIC moving to other islands. Following the successful launch of an electronic benefit transfer card on Kaua‘i, the state Department of Health will now extend the benefit to Women, Infants and Children program participants on Tuesday, March 3, making access to healthy food more convenient and to ensure children have a healthy start in life. Garden Island.

Housing project breaks ground in Lihu‘e. The groundbreaking and blessing ceremony of the county and Women In Need Ohana Zne project was held on Pua Loke Street Thursday morning. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ige seeks $7.2M for coronavirus measures, House briefing set; court rules against Maui streetlight project; Ballard pleads for gun limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

All Hawaii News
Hawaii Gov. David Ige
Gov. Ige asks lawmakers for $7.2 million to cope with coronavirus. Gov. David Ige has asked lawmakers to earmark $7.21 million for the next four months to support state efforts to cope with the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

State takes proactive approach with virus, prepares for worst.  At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. David Ige and other state administrators announced they will be switching the state’s response to the global COVID-19 outbreak from one of containment to one of mitigation. Tribune-Herald.

State approval now required before doctors can flag possible COVID-19. The state is changing its coronavirus protocol, making doctors first consult with a state investigator and getting approval before filling out a “Patient Under Investigation” form and collecting specimens. KHON2.

Hawai‘i House Committee Plans Briefing on COVID-19. State Representative John M. Mizuno will hold a Legislative Briefing on the COVID-19 illness in March. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Air Suspends Service To South Korea, Delta Reduces Flights. Hawaiian Airlines announced Wednesday that it is suspending its flights to South Korea starting March 2 and extending to April 30 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in that country. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines suspending service to South Korea due to spike in coronavirus cases. Hawaiian Airlines said today it will temporarily suspend its five-times-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu and Seoul because of the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines To Suspend Service To South Korea. The carrier cites rapid rise in coronavirus cases and declining demand. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines suspending service to South Korea’s Incheon International Airport citing decline in demand, increase in coronavirus cases. KHON2.

COVID-19 triggers canceled flights, DOH warnings. Wednesday, Hawaiian Airlines announced it would be suspending flights from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu to Incheon International Airport in South Korea from March 1 through April 30, citing a spike on COVID-19 cases in South Korea. Garden Island.

COVID-19 Travel Concerns Rise In Hawaii. State Senator Kai Kahele shared some thoughts on the state's readiness in case of an outbreak in Hawaiʻi, while Rep. Gabbard wants to suspend flights from Japan and South Korea. Big Island Video News.

Gabbard calls for suspension of Japan, South Korea flights amid coronavirus fears. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling for a suspension of flights to Hawaii from South Korea and Japan amid growing concerns about the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

If coronavirus impacts schools, here’s what the DOE is planning to do. The Hawaii Department of Education said in the event there is a confirmed coronavirus case at one of its nearly 300 schools, it would follow the guidance of the state Department of Health. However, some parents aren't convinced it is enough to keep their children safe. Hawaii News Now.

Officials: Prepare for coronavirus threat, but don’t ‘panic buy’. Amid growing fears about a potential outbreak of the coronavirus in the US, public health officials nationally and locally are urging people to prepare. Hawaii News Now.

Worries over panic buying arise as some supply shelves at stores empty out. Supplies were flying off the shelves Wednesday, with some shoppers taking pictures of empty shelves at stores across Oahu. KHON2.

Isle residents stock up on supplies. Shoppers were loading up on supplies Wednesday at Sam’s Club on Keeaumoku Street. Among the items sold out were toilet paper, hand sanitizer and water. Star-Advertiser.

Some shoppers stocking up on food and water amidst concerns over COVID-19. Cart after cart, a parade of shoppers filling their trunks to the brim. KITV4.


House committee proposes $4.9B, 2-year state construction budget. House lawmakers released a draft construction budget for next year that features an increase in funding for a number of major highway projects as well as for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

Finance Committee Approves Billions in CIP Funding. The House Finance Committee on Wednesday approved Capital Improvement Project Funding for 2020. Big Island Now.


HPD chief Ballard pushes for new gun limits. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard made a public pitch on Wednesday for proposals to ban rifle magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, and for new restrictions on the sale of ammunition in advance of key floor votes scheduled for today on a package of firearms bills. Star-Advertiser.

Police chief makes public plea to lawmakers ahead of votes on tougher gun control measures. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard publicly pleaded for lawmakers to approve controversial gun control measures ahead of key floor votes in both the House and Senate set for Thursday. Hawaii News Now.


State Lawmakers Consider Measure To Protect Sports Officials From Threats, Abuse. State lawmakers are weighing a measure that would make verbally threatening to harm a sports official a Class C felony instead of a misdemeanor. Hawaii Public Radio.

Vacation Rentals Continue To Decline On Oahu, Surge On Neighbor Islands. The latest data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority shows the number of short-term vacation rentals on Oahu continued to decline, while Maui and Kauai saw substantial increases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Congressional leaders are considering ways to make the nation’s primary fisheries management law more effective as the planet warms. Hawaii’s $100 million tuna industry was the latest focal point for members of Congress trying to decide how to improve the main federal law governing the management of U.S. coastal waters. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Might Get A New State Holiday. Hawaiian Recognition Day would be held the Friday after Thanksgiving. Civil Beat.


City officials bump up cost of rail operations contract. The city will pay $918 million to Hitachi Rail International to operate and maintain the city’s rail line for its first 13-1/4 years under an agreement reached last week by the Caldwell administration and the vendor. Star-Advertiser.

Rail operation, maintenance cost will be $69-million a year city says. The city says the cost does not take into account the revenue collected from fares, but officials do not believe it will generate a lot of income in the beginning when rail services start. KHON2.

City Leaders Unveil Most – But Not All – Of Future Rail Operations Costs. The new 13-year, $918 million deal with Hitachi is nearly $100 million more than the one signed in 2011. It will cover just over half of the costs to run the rail system. Civil Beat.

Cost for rail operations revealed. Honolulu's Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed rail's first operating contract. KITV4.


Former House Speaker Eyes Open Honolulu City Council Seat. Candidates are already lining up to replace longtime Rep. Calvin Say but there’s still time for more. Civil Beat.

Esther Kiaaina Eyes Windward City Council Seat. Incumbent Ikaika Anderson is prevented from seeking another term. Civil Beat.


Frustration over Waikiki crime prompts town hall meeting to find solutions. People fed up with rising crime in Waikiki, including several recent murders, urged officials at a town hall meeting Wednesday to take action to improve the neighborhood for tourists and residents alike. Star-Advertiser.

Opening reception of Honolulu Festival canceled; other events still on. Fears over coronavirus have led to the cancellation of a kickoff reception for a major event happening in Honolulu. But in the bigger picture, events for the Honolulu Festival are still on. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

PGV restart pushed back to second half of 2020. Ormat Technologies Inc. is continuing its efforts to resume operation of Puna Geothermal Venture, company leaders said Wednesday during a fourth-quarter and 2019 year-end earnings update. Tribune-Herald.

E-waste recycling program in jeopardy. Hawaii County’s e-waste program is drastically over budget and may have to be halted if more funding isn’t found soon, local contractor Mr. K’s Recycle and Redemption Center told the Environmental Management Commission on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

CIP budget includes more than $140M for Big Island projects. Funding for two major Hawaii Island road projects is among more than $4.9 billion in capital improvement projects funds approved Wednesday by the state House Committee on Finance. West Hawaii Today.

Document details Kolekole park improvements. A draft environmental assessment was published Monday for accessibility improvements the county has planned at Kolekole Beach Park. Tribune-Herald.


Court: County streetlight project violated state environmental law. Groups filed suit over fixtures, saying they posed threat to wildlife. Wildlife advocates who sued Maui County over harmful streetlights earned a partial victory Monday after an environmental court judge ruled that the county violated state law by failing to conduct an environmental review before installing the fixtures. Maui News.

Environmental Court Rules Against County for Maui LED Streetlight Project. An environmental court ruled Monday that the Maui County Department of Public Works violated state law by failing to conduct environmental review for a streetlights project that plaintiffs said “threatens harm to Maui’s imperiled seabirds and sea turtles.” Maui Now.

53 luxury home sites being proposed for Makena property. A roughly 28-acre Makena lot that had a 500-room hotel in the works will instead be converted to 53 residential lots under a proposal by its new landowners. Maui News.

New Hotel Planned at Old Maui Palms Site in Kahului. Plans are currently underway for a multimillion dollar project to build a new budget hotel where the old Maui Palms hotel once stood along Kahului Harbor. Maui Now.


Mother of missing kids waives extradition from Kauai to Idaho after judge denies bail reduction. The Madision County, Idaho, prosecutor is extraditing Lori Vallow to face charges on two felony counts of desertion and nonsupport of dependent children under age 18, criminal solicitation to commit a crime, resisting arrest and criminal contempt of court. Star-Advertiser.

Vallow heading back to Idaho. Lori Vallow is going back to Idaho to face two felony counts of child abandonment. Garden Island.

Lori Vallow Waives Extradition, $5 Mil Bail Maintained. An Idaho woman has decided not to fight extradition and will return voluntarily to the mainland to face charges of desertion in relation to her two missing children. Big Island Now.

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge reopens. The county Department of Public Works announced that repairs to the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge have been completed and the bridge is once again open to the public. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Health Department urges 14-day emergency kit in event of coronavirus, Honolulu residents sour on quality of life, Puna boat ramp gets startup funds, coral reef health threatened, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii coral reef with wrasse ©2020 All Hawaii News
Ominous conclusion of UH study: The world’s coral reefs could be gone by 2100. The scientists projected that over the next two decades, a staggering 70% to 90% will disappear because of rising ocean temperatures and acidity. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii officials urge preparing 14-day emergency kit in case of coronavirus outbreak. Hawaii health officials are urging the public to prepare for a future outbreak of COVID-19, which has infected nearly 80,000 people across the globe and killed at least 2,700. Star-Advertiser.

State: Residents should have emergency supplies on hand in case of coronavirus outbreak. The state is urging residents to take steps now to prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus to Hawaii, including by having a 14-day kit of emergency supplies at home. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Health warning families to prepare for coronavirus. The Hawaii Department of Health said the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat to Hawaii is low at this time, but they’re asking families to start making plans now in case the coronavirus makes its way to Hawaii in the future. KHON2.

Hawaii doctors flagged 8 for coronavirus symptoms; none tested. Hawaii doctors have alerted the Department of Health at least 8 times about patients they thought could have coronavirus, but none of them were tested. KHON2.


Bill To Expand Preschool Access Clears Key House Committees. The measure to give Hawaii’s families more affordable preschool and childcare options is now primed for a full House vote. Civil Beat.

Minimum wage boost advances: Rate would go from $10.10 per hour to $13 by 2024. Legislators in the state House Labor and Public Employment Committee and Finance Committee on Friday recommended House Bill 2541 be passed with amendments. Tribune-Herald.


Proposed Crackdown On Vaping Advances At The Legislature. Four bills that would prohibit sales of flavored vaping products are moving through the state House and Senate chambers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Joins Multi-State Investigation of Juul. Hawaii is among 39 states investigating the company’s marketing business practices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii joins forces with 38 other states to investigate JUUL marketing practices. Hawaii is the latest state to join a bi-partisan, multi-state investigation into JUUL, the biggest manufacturer of vaping devices. KITV4.


Measure to protect refs, coaches gains momentum. One of two bills introduced in the state Senate seeking harsher penalties for parents, spectators and athletes who assault or terrorize sports officials such as referees, umpires and coaches cleared its only committee hurdle Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Why Hawaii Continues To Keep Fluoride Out Of Its Drinking Water. Nearly 70% of the U.S. population receive fluoride through public water systems. Hawaii remains an outlier, thanks to long-standing opposition. Civil Beat.

‘Inadvertent Mistake’ Deletes Online Evaluations Of Hawaii’s Top Judges. Attorneys are asked to resubmit surveys intended to help justices and judges improve judicial performance. Civil Beat.


Residents sour on Honolulu’s quality of life. Oahu residents don’t feel as good about living here as they did in 2006 or even a year ago, according to a recent survey. Star-Advertiser.

City plans $39M Emergency Operations Center to better respond to disasters. The city wants to replace its Emergency Operations Center with a new four-story facility that would be built next to the recently-completed Joint Traffic Management Center and the Alapai Transit Center. Hawaii News Now.

City officials propose stormwater utility fee. City officials want Oahu property owners to provide feedback on plans for a new stormwater utility fee and dedicated fund that would pay for clearing and improving waterways and storm drains. Star-Advertiser.

Residents living near vacant homes are frustrated; City officials say vacancy tax will fix the problem. There are roughly 34,000 vacant homes in Honolulu, a vacancy rate of more than 10 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. KHON2.

Wait For Appointments To Get 'Gold Star' ID Cards Taking 6 Weeks On Oahu. More than half of Hawaii licenses and IDs are compliant, but for those on Oahu who haven't gotten the approved identifications, the wait for an appointment now stretches to about six weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH researchers went looking for urban gardens ... and found an abundance in Kalihi. University of Hawaii Manoa assistant professor Vanessa Buchthal and a team of graduate assistants combed Kalihi streets and discovered more than a third of parcels they looked at in both residential and industrial areas had food growing on them. Hawaii News Now.


Groundbreaking marks start of construction of 318-apartment project in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of affordable housing project in Kapolei. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for new $125 million affordable housing project in Kapolei. 'The Element’ is just off Kualakai Parkway and makai of the H-1 Freeway. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Initial funds released for Puna boat ramp. Gov. David Ige has released $500,000 in state funding that will be used for planning and feasibility studies for the possible restoration of the Pohoiki boat ramp. Tribune-Herald.

Water managers hold the line on budget. The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply is holding the line on its budget, projecting a 0.5% decrease compared to this year. West Hawaii Today.

Makalei ambulance bill advances. An ambulance for the Makalei area moved one step closer to reality Tuesday after a measure to fund and staff the proposal was passed by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. West Hawaii Today.


More repeat races in county on deck. Stacy Crivello pulls papers to run for her old council seat. Maui News.

180 Warnings, 80 Violations for Illegal Maui Vacation Rentals. The County of Maui Department of Planning detailed the findings in its Maui County Transient Vacation Rental Enforcement 2019 Summary, saying “significant progress” has been made in curbing illegal vacation rentals in Maui County. Maui Now.

Median home price climbs to $782,000 in January. Home and condo prices both up about 7 percent over last year. Maui News.

Kaupo community hopes to restart schoolhouse project. The restoration became a demolition, upsetting members of community. Maui News.


Hawaiian Airlines to hold open house to fill positions in Kahului. Hawaiian Airlines is recruiting for guest service and ramp agent positions in Kahului. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Air recruiting for guest service, ramp agent positions in Kahului. KITV4.

Hawaiian Airlines seeks new hires on Maui. Hawaiian Airlines is hiring for guest service and ramp agents on Maui and will hold an open house for interested candidates on March 7 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Pacific Business News.


KIUC ahead of the production goal. Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative estimates renewable energy production reached 55% in 2019; well ahead of its own strategic goal and the State of Hawai‘i’s mandated benchmarks. Garden Island.

Keiki-approved kalo. On Tuesday, a group of Kapa‘a High School’s agriculture students got to taste a taro burger from a local farm as part of the “Farm to School,” program which pairs the Department of Education with local farmers to supply ingredients for school lunches. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Hawaii economy could be coronavirus victim, UPW audit alleges misspending, Mililani High reopens after student stabbing, Kahoʻolawe fire consumes 5k acres, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach ©2020 All Hawaii News
UH Economists Say Coronavirus Poses Danger To Hawaii Tourism. University of Hawaii economists expected 2020 to be a better year for tourism than 2019, but that may not be borne out because of the coronavirus outbreak. Hawaii Public Radio.

Virus creates ‘risk of substantial disruption to Hawaii travel’. COVID-19, the recently identified respiratory illness that has infected thousands in China and elsewhere around the world, could bring “considerable” but uncertain risk to Hawaii’s tourism and economy in the coming year, according to a forecast published Monday by the University of Hawaii’s Economic Research Organization. Tribune-Herald.

UHERO releases new report comparing COVID-19 outbreak to SARS epidemic. According to economists at the University of Hawaii our tourism industry could take a hard hit because of the coronavirus. KITV4.

Hawaii consumers wipe out state’s supply of N95 masks. There are no lines winding around the block or manic crowds, but store managers on Oahu report that face masks, particularly N95 masks, are selling out as quickly as they come in, leaving their shelves empty. Star-Advertiser.


State’s vacation rentals rise despite setback on Oahu. Oahu was the only major island to experience a drop in vacation rental supply and unit demand in January, according to a vacation rental report released Monday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Vacation Rental performance report released. Supply, demand and occupancy for vacation rentals in Hawaii continued to grow last month. KITV4.


Audit of United Public Workers union reveals concerns over spending. The UPW, or United Public Workers, includes more than 13,000 members in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Labor organization ‘greatly concerned’ about UPW audit. A national labor organization has raised red flags over record keeping and spending by some top staff in the United Public Workers union in Hawaii, citing tens of thousands of dollars in union funds spent on restaurants, airfare and other costs without proper supporting documentation. Star-Advertiser.


Mililani student allegedly stabs 2 classmates. Students at Mililani High School were outside at recess Monday morning when they heard screams from the second floor of a classroom building where two 16-year-old students, a girl and boy, were apparently stabbed by another student. Star-Advertiser.

Classes at Mililani High to resume, but increased security on campus following stabbing. This comes a day after a teen was arrested for allegedly stabbing two fellow students, sending them to a hospital in serious condition. Hawaii News Now.

Two Teens In Serious Condition After Apparent Stabbing At Mililani High. Two Oʻahu teenagers were transported to an emergency room in serious condition and were being treated for apparent stab wounds. Hawaii Public Radio.

School violence data shows areas of persistent trouble. According to the last complete school year’s data, there were nearly 4,000 “Class a” violence incidents statewide. These are things like assault, fighting, terroristic threatening and sexual offenses. KHON2.

Proposal for pilot program to detect school threats before they happen. A new proposal at the Hawaii State Legislature is looking to establish a pilot program for a team that would be trained to look for and handle a potential school threat before it happens. KHON2.


Caldwell Took In $155,000+ From Territorial Bank in 2019. The mayor made at least $342,070 last year between his city job and other income. Civil Beat.

Waikiki lawmakers host town hall to discuss crime in their district. Honolulu City Council member Tommy Waters and state Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, who represent Waikiki, will co-host a crime and safety town hall in their district Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Oil Constantly Leaks From The USS Arizona. Is That An Environmental Problem? The USS Arizona and USS Utah have leaked thousands of gallons of oil in Pearl Harbor since the 1941 attack and there’s no plan to stop the flow anytime soon. Civil Beat.

HPD investigating Louis Kealoha’s brother following altercation. The Honolulu Police Department has stripped police authority from the half brother of former Chief Louis Kealoha, following an altercation in the early morning hours over the weekend. Star-Advertiser.

Pilots in crash died of blunt force injuries. Bill Enoka was serving as instructor pilot, while seasoned pilot Rick Rogers was learning to fly the glider tow plane that crashed Saturday at Dillingham Airfield, said Steve Lowry, fellow pilot and friend of the two. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Seeking the top job: 10 pull papers for mayor. Running for mayor is proving once again to be a popular proposition, with 10 potential candidates pulling nomination papers as of Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Still unclear whether Maunakea ‘truce’ will be extended after Saturday. Saturday marks the end of a temporary promise by the Thirty Meter Telescope to not attempt construction on Maunakea, but it is still unclear what, if anything, will happen in the coming weeks. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly $3 Million in Kohala CIP Project Funding Released. Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye (D-Hilo, Hāmakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, and Kona) announced Monday the specific initiatives receiving funding. Big Island Now.

Ways and Means to vote today on Makalei ambulance bill. A bill to fund an ambulance for the Makalei Fire Station remains alive with a make-or-break Senate committee vote scheduled for this afternoon. West Hawaii Today.


HTA: Maui County Leads State in Largest Vacation Rental Supply in Hawai‘i. Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties in January 2020 with 265,400 unit nights, which is an increase of 27.2 percent compared to a year ago. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Language Makes A Comeback In Hana’s Schools — And Homes. The establishment of a popular Hawaiian immersion program several years ago has had an impact on the broader community, says the Hana High & Elementary principal. Civil Beat.


Mauka to makai. The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources and other partner programs will open the final weekend of the Third Annual Kaua‘i OceanFest starting Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery in the Kukui Grove Center with a theme of “From Mauka to Makai with DLNR and Friends". Garden Island.


Kahoʻolawe Blaze Burns Over 5,000 Acres. After conducting an aerial survey this morning, fire officials confirmed that a brush fire that ignited on Kahoʻolawe on Saturday has now scorched 5,400 acres. Maui Now.

Kahoolawe fire burns 2,635 acres, spares base camp. Fire crews unable to fight blaze because of unexploded ordnance. Maui News.

Unable to fight flames, firefighters watch Kahoolawe brush fire burn from afar. A brush fire that started on Kahoolawe on Saturday has burned more than 5,400 acres, but firefighters are only able to monitor the conditions from afar. Hawaii News Now.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Reforesting Hawaii, Kealoha allegedly assaulted in family fight, UH medical school may expand to Maui, vacation rentals to be curbed on Lanai, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Old growth forest on the Big Island ©2020 All Hawaii News
State reforestation effort hits milestone. A unique initiative partly fueled by charitable contributions has helped return a half-million native trees to deforested Hawaii ranch lands over the last decade. Star-Advertiser.

Legacy Reforestation Initiative Plants a Half Million Native Trees. More than 1,200 acres of former pastureland on both O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island have been reclaimed and returned to native forest. Big Island Now.


Minimum Wage Bill Teed Up For House Vote. If also approved by the Senate and governor, Hawaii’s minimum wage would rise to $13 an hour by 2024. Civil Beat.

Minimum wage hike bill advances, but critics say it’s still not enough. A bill to hike Hawaii’s minimum wage is moving to the full house, but critics say it still falls short of what a person needs to live in the 50th state. Hawaii News Now.

Bill that would boost teachers’ pay moves forward. A proposal that would help improve teacher compensation has passed another hurdle in the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Bill would dramatically expand preschool options in Hawaii. A bill that aims to make “early learning” programs available to all 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds by 2030 received wide support at its first hearing although issues need to be worked out, including funding and staffing given the teacher shortage. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii bill resurfaces to protect medical cannabis cardholders. Lawmakers are taking another crack at a bill to prohibit employers from discriminating against workers who test positive for marijuana if they hold a prescription for cannabis. Star-Advertiser.

Bill raising smoking age to 25 dies in House. A bill to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco and electronic smoking devices has been snuffed out — but the proposal’s introducer remains hopeful it will move this year. West Hawaii Today.

Airport Authority bill in limbo due to procurement code worries. For the first time in five years, no new bill in the state Legislature will seek to create an independent Hawaii airports corporation. Tribune-Herald.


Kim Coco Iwamoto To Take On Scott Saiki. The community activist is challenging the speaker for his House seat. Civil Beat.

Building A Hawaiian Language Curriculum Classroom By Classroom. As Hawaiian immersion programs soar in popularity, the lack of a common curriculum remains a big challenge. Civil Beat.

A Big Island educator announces his run for an Office of Hawaiian Affairs seat on Sunday afternoon. Joshua Lanakila Mangauil is running for Hawai'i Island Trustee. KITV4.

As global coronavirus outbreak spreads, hoteliers watch for effects in Hawaii. Tourism executives across Hawaii are watching for economic sniffles from the coronavirus, but so far the state is inoculated against its worst effects. Hawaii News Now.


HART Employee Reported Improper Use Of Federal Funds In 2015. Worried about financial mismanagement, a HART employee said she was asked to resign when she spoke up. Civil Beat.


Louis Kealoha allegedly assaulted by half brother, an HPD lieutenant. Disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha suffered facial injuries after allegedly being assaulted by his half brother, Andre Peters, an HPD lieutenant. Hawaii News Now.

HPD officer charged in connection with assault on half brother and former police chief Louis Kealoha. A Honolulu police officer has been charged with a misdemeanor in connection with an alleged assault on his half brother, Louis Kealoha, former Honolulu police chief. Star-Advertiser.

Half-brother of former Police Chief Louis Kealoha arrested for alleged abuse. A Honolulu Police Department lieutenant and half-brother of former Police Chief Louis Kealoha has been arrested for the alleged abuse against Kealoha. KHON2.


Hanabusa: I don’t need ‘training wheels’ to serve as Honolulu’s mayor. Hanabusa was elected to the state Senate in 1998 representing Waianae, and previously served as the first female Senate president. She also represented Hawaii in Congress, but lost races for U.S. Senate and governor. Hawaii News Now.


Debate Erupts Anew Over Dillingham Airfield After Two Killed In Small Plane Crash. Dillingham Airfield on Oahu’s North Shore has been closed following a plane crash that killed two people Saturday morning. Hawaii Public Radio.

In light of another Dillingham Airfield tragedy, Sen. Schatz calls for its closure. Uncertainty over the future of Dillingham Airfield has increased in recent weeks. And in light of Saturday’s latest tragedy, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is calling for it to be shut down. Hawaii News Now.

Aviation community mourns 2 longtime pilots. As federal authorities begin investigating Saturday morning’s deadly crash near Dillingham Airfield, those who knew the two men in the plane have started paying tribute to the pair, whom they call experienced pilots and important members of Hawaii’s aviation community. Star-Advertiser.

Family, former aviation colleagues remember 2 killed in Mokuleia plane crash. Hawaiian Airlines, the former company of a pilot who was killed in Saturday’s Mokuleia plane crash, is remembering one of the victim’s lives for his dedication and passion for flying. Hawaii News Now.

Political leaders react to crash and the future of Dillingham Airfield. Politicians express condolences, thanks to rescuers, and opinions on if the airfield should close. KITV4.


Feds plan catastrophe response using huge Kalaeloa Airport hangar. The state is leasing a 105,000-square-foot World War II hangar at Kalaeloa Airport to the federal government for emergency response to catastrophic natural or man-made disasters in the Pacific, with a focus on serving remote locations, including Hawaii and other U.S. interests in the region. Star-Advertiser.

Last Of Japanese Billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto's Kahala Properties Sold. he name Genshiro Kawamoto has been famous in Hawaii since the late 1980s, when the Japanese billionaire was emblematic of a wave of Japanese investment in the islands. He bought 30 homes in Kahala, which then did nothing but sit unoccupied and disintegrating, except for a brief time when he offered them for rent to Native Hawaiian families before scrapping that plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

TMT-related bills fail to gain traction. Although the controversy surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope still looms large over the Big Island community, it has largely left the state Legislature this year. Tribune-Herald.

DLNR: Two Men Caught Taking 550 Tropical Fish In Kawaihae. Two men aboard the vessel “Masako” were cited by DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor on Thursday, after an inspection allegedly revealed aquarium fishing gear, including a small mesh net, and 550 live tropical fish of various species in the vessel’s hold. Big Island Video News.

Streamlining sign variances: Bill reverses 2004 measure putting council in charge. The public will have less opportunity to weigh in on the size, style and location of roadside signs under a streamlining measure making its way through the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Study examines coastal erosion, drawbacks of standard setback requirements. Research on the Big Island’s coastal erosion, led by a University of Hawaii at Hilo graduate student, is being used to shape county planning policies. Tribune-Herald.


UH Considers Expanding Medical School to Maui Amid Doctor Shortage. To combat Hawai’i’s worsening physician shortage, the University of Hawai’i is proposing to expand its John A. Burns School of Medicine to Maui. Maui Now.

Proposed satellite medical school on Maui could narrow gap between supply and demand. The gap between supply and demand for doctors in Hawaii has grown by 65% since 2010, reaching 507 full-time equivalent positions in 2019, according to the latest report from the Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project, issued in December. Star-Advertiser.

UH seeks medical school expansion to Maui. Proposal to expand the University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine to Maui to help tackle the state's worsening physician shortage. KITV4.

Hokama Introduces Moratorium for Transient Accommodation Permits on Lana‘i. Councilmember Riki Hokama introduced legislation to establish a moratorium on transient accommodation permits on the island of Lanaʻi, where no limits are currently established. Maui Now.

Tapestry to hang again on Council Chambers wall. A tapestry of the Maui County Seal, which was removed last year by former Chairwoman Kelly King over the objections of some members, will be returning to the Maui County Council Chambers following a vote by the members Friday. Maui News.


Akana is Kaua‘i DOCARE chief. Kaua‘i-born Brad “Kipi” Akana is the new Kaua‘i branch chief of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement. Garden Island.

16-month closure planned for Princeville Resort. The Princeville Resort, expected to close for renovations on May 1, has announced it plans to reopen as 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay in November 2021. Garden Island.


Hokama Introduces Moratorium for Transient Accommodation Permits on Lana‘i. Councilmember Riki Hokama introduced legislation to establish a moratorium on transient accommodation permits on the island of Lanaʻi, where no limits are currently established. Maui Now.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Cat disease killing endangered monk seals, Schatz slams coronavirus test kit delays, Ala Moana park plan approved, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News
Man feeds feral cats at Hilo bayfront park ©2020 All Hawaii News
Cats blamed for ‘debilitating’ disease striking Hawaiian monk seals. In just the first month this year, two Hawaiian monk seals have been killed or sickened by a disease that is released into the environment by cat feces. Star-Advertiser.

Endangered Hawaiian monk seal sickened by toxoplasmosis, which is spread in feces of cats. Officials from NOAA want the public to know that if cats were kept indoors, toxoplasmosis would not spread through the landscape and kill monk seals and other native species. KHON2.

Study: Marine Monuments Aren’t Hurting Hawaii’s Tuna Fishermen. The commercial longline industry made more money after the feds expanded the protected areas around Papahanaumokuakea and the Pacific Remote Islands. Civil Beat.


Clean Energy Advocates, Auto Industry Disagree Over How To Promote Electric Vehicles. More than two dozen bills at the Hawaii Legislature aim to increase the use of electric vehicles, but auto dealers and green energy proponents are supporting different approaches. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii lawmakers again propose raising car rental tax. State lawmakers for the second straight year are proposing to increase the state’s daily car rental tax as a way to fund more highway construction projects that would hopefully reduce traffic congestion. Star-Advertiser.

Uber And Lyft Are Fine With Hawaii Regulating Them — Just Not Too Much. The ride-hailing companies take issue with parts of a House bill that gives the state Department of Transportation more power to investigate them. Civil Beat.


Experts: Hawaii tourism likely to take a hit amid coronavirus fears. Airlines that serve the Asia-Pacific region are bracing for a possible 13% drop in passenger traffic, according to the International Air Transport Association. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii officials ponder new coronavirus’ economic impact. State officials, alarmed about the rapidly spreading new coronavirus, are grappling with how to prevent an outbreak in the islands as tourists from Japan and other countries continue to travel to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz: Repeated delays of coronavirus test kits for Hawaii ‘unacceptable’. The botched coronavirus test kits that were sent to Hawaii now have to be re-manufactured. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says he’s been told by CDC that the new test kits won’t be ready until mid-March. Hawaii News Now.

Number of People Being Monitored For Coronavirus In Hawaii Is Dropping. As of Thursday, the Hawaii Health Department had yet to identify any suspect coronavirus cases in Hawaii, but continues to investigate the Hawaii vacation of a Japanese couple who later fell ill. Civil Beat.


Ala Moana park plan OK’d without playground or dog park. The Honolulu City Council this week gave Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration a permit for a host of improvements at Ala Moana Beach Park but made sure the list of projects doesn’t include an “inclusive” playground, dog park or changes to the parking on the mauka side of Ala Moana Drive. Star-Advertiser.

How Much Should It Cost To Ride Rail? Honolulu officials are seeking public input on setting rates. Civil Beat.

Public can weigh in on how much transit fares should cost. The Honolulu Rate Commission is asking the public to weigh in on how much they think transit fares should cost. KHON2.

Series of coastal engineering projects underway amid race to save Waikiki Beach. A series of coastal engineering projects aimed at saving Waikiki Beach is underway, and one of the projects that kicked off three months ago is performing well so far. Hawaii News Now.

Applicants sought for affordable rental complex for seniors in Kapolei. A random drawing for units at Hale Moena Kupuna will be held March 5. Hawaii News Now.

Lottery to open in March for Kapolei senior affordable rentals. A lottery is scheduled for March 5 for Hale Moena Kupuna, 153 senior affordable rentals in Hale Moena Kupuna, the first phase of Highridge Costa Cos. and Coastal Rim Development’s mixed-use project in Kapolei. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Mike Ruggles Running For Hawaii County Mayor. Medical cannabis advocate Mike Ruggles filed paperwork on Thursday in order to officially run for Hawaiʻi County mayor. Big Island Video News.


Thurston Lava Tube set to reopen. After more than a year of closure, the Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is once again open for visitors today. Tribune-Herald.

Thurston Lava Tube reopens to the public. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Thurston Lava Tube will open to the public this morning for the first time since it was knocked out of action by the Kilauea eruption nearly two years ago. Star-Advertiser.


Date for removal of two Maunakea telescopes pushed back. Two telescopes on Maunakea scheduled for decommissioning are expected to be removed from the summit by 2023. Tribune-Herald.

Telescope Take-Down Update Given To UH Regents. University officials say the decommissionings of the UH Hilo Hōkū Ke‘a and the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Maunakea are tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2023. Big Island Video News.

Operating rooms of the future: Kona hospital unveils $6M renovation project. Kona Community Hospital unveiled its newly remodeled state-of-the-art operating rooms Thursday morning. West Hawaii Today.


Kanaha closed to remove illegal encampments. Maui County departments and Maui police removed illegal encampments at Kanaha Beach Park, which was closed from Tuesday to this afternoon. Maui News.

Application Period Opening for Hale Mahaolu Ewalu II Senior Housing in Pukalani. Hale Mahaolu will accept applications for Ewalu II, the second phase of its senior housing complex in Upcountry Maui, from Feb. 24 through 4 p.m. on March 6, 2020. Maui Now.

Maui man who traveled on Westerdam returns home. Health officials say coronavirus risk low; quarantine not needed. Maui News.

Mainland, Big Isle eyed for endangered bird move. In the wake of a highly-anticipated translocation project that saw all but one of its 14 birds die on Haleakala, experts are mulling whether to move critically endangered kiwikiu to the Mainland or to the Big Island to save them from extinction. Maui News.


Mahi Pono Enters Majority Partnership with Maui Cattle Company. Mahi Pono today announced that it has become the majority partner of Maui Cattle Company, a kamaʻāina company. Maui Now.

Mahi Pono becomes majority partner of Maui Cattle Co., acquires slaughterhouse. Mahi Pono, the farming venture that bought 41,000 acres of former sugar cane land on Maui from Alexander & Baldwin, said Thursday that it is now the majority partner of Maui Cattle Co., a collaborative between five family owned ranches on the Valley Isle, and is also the new owner of Maui Cattle Co.’s slaughterhouse and USDA-certified processing facility. Pacific Business News.


KIUC ballots are on their way. Ballots will be mailed out for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s board of directors election within the next week. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi Council Advances Polysytrene Container Ban Proposal. Similar to other county bans, Bill 2775 would prohibit the sale and use of styrofoam containers in the county. Hawaii Public Radio.

Community safety meetings kick off. Tuesday was the first in a series of County of Kaua‘i’s safety meetings, “Keeping Your Community Safe,” at the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola clubhouse. Garden Island.


State money still needed for Kahoolawe restoration. The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission is asking the state Legislature for financial support in its ongoing mission to restore an island that remains wounded from decades of abuse in the form of military bombing practice. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hot, hot, hot! 2019 breaks records. Plus, Ige seeks instate testing for coronavirus, convicted ex-police chief seeks leniency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cooling off at Waikiki ©2020 All Hawaii News
It’s official: 2019 was Honolulu’s hottest year on record. Oahu had a sweltering 2019. In fact, it was the island’s hottest year on record, NOAA has determined. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor says 2019 was Oahu’s hottest year ever and shares heat index mapping results. Last year, Honolulu residents may remember hot, sweltering days, with numerous record high temperatures, as well a summer that seemed to last longer than usual. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Has Mapped Just How Hot Oahu Is Now. Climate change has contributed to record heat throughout Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Honolulu saw its hottest year ever recorded in 2019. Honolulu City and County officials said 2019 was the hottest year ever recorded but they are working on solutions, as they said temperatures will only continue to get hotter. KHON2.

2019: a year of record heat for Oahu. It is official: last year was the hottest year on record for Honolulu. Now the mayor and city leaders want more people to plant trees to help ease the heat. KITV4.


Gov. Ige wants Hawaii to become a test site for coronavirus test kits. Right now, the only test site in the country is the CDC lab in Atlanta, Georgia and it takes more than a week get results for samples from Hawaii. KITV4.

Ige pushes for Hawaii to be beta-tester for virus kits. Gov. David Ige said he wants Hawaii to be a beta-tester for kits that can screen for COVID-19, the newly identified coronavirus that has infected thousands in China and elsewhere in the world. Tribune-Herald.

Ige says no estimated timeline given on when CDC testing kits will arrive. Governor David Ige is just back from Japan and gave us an update on the Coronavirus or COVID-19. KHON2.

Gov. Ige Discusses Coronavirus, TMT. Following his return from a trip to Japan on Tuesday, Gov. Ige held a press conference earlier today to provide updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak and the status of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Maui Now.

No one in state tested for the coronavirus. Hawaii health officials continue to reassure the public that the coronavirus is not circulating in the islands, but they have not tested a single person in the state for the deadly disease. Star-Advertiser.


Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that preclearance flights from Japan to Hawaii are at least a year out, but the state is working to shorten that window. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Want More Transparency About Prosecutors’ Charging Decisions. Hawaii’s four county prosecutors worry a proposed bill requires them to provide extra data about defendants without providing their offices any extra funding. Civil Beat.

Bill introduced that would make bestiality against the law in Hawaii. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Hawaii is one of only four states that does not prohibit sex with animals along with New Mexico, Wyoming and West Virginia. KITV4.


This Helicopter Safety Bill Is Unenforceable. Why Do So Many Lawmakers Support It? Spurred by recent tour helicopter crashes in Hawaii, the proposed legislation would set stiffer state requirements for tour pilots. But the feds, not the state, regulate the skies. Civil Beat.

Legislators take aim at helicopter noise, safety. If it becomes law, Senate Bill 2649 would require that tour aircraft companies seeking a permit to operate in airports under state control equip their aircraft with flotation and tracking devices approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Tribune-Herald.


Greenhouse Construction Bill Passes Third Reading in House. A bill expanding the permitting exemption for greenhouse construction on agricultural land passed its third reading in the House of Representatives Tuesday. Big Island Now.

Why So Few Kids In Hawaii Get Tested For Lead Poisoning. Only 25% of kids between 1 and 2 years old get tested, in part because it’s not required. A bill in the Legislature would require mandatory testing for the first time. Civil Beat.

State’s largest public worker union endorses Kai Kahele for U.S. House. The Hawaii Government Employees Association Wednesday endorsed state Sen. Kai Kahele in his bid for the U.S. House seat representing rural Oahu and the neighbor islands, giving a substantial boost to a campaign that already appeared to be quickly gaining momentum. Star-Advertiser.


Ahead of sentencing, ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha pleads for leniency. Former Honolulu Police Chief and convicted felon Louis Kealoha believes he should spend less than three years for his crimes. Kealoha’s attorney made the argument in a court document that has since been sealed, citing Kealoha’s “long and distinguished record of service and contribution to the community". Hawaii News Now.

Council OKs moving jail to Halawa. A permit clearing the way for the relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center to Halawa from Kalihi won an 8-0 approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday, but the contentious project still needs funding from state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.


City Council approves bill to catch trash dumpers. A bill making it easier for the city to catch and fine people who throw bulky items and other trash along roadsides or other public areas won an 8-0 final approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council passes bill to allow residents to report illegal dumpers. If passed into law, people would be able to send pictures or video to the City’s Department of Environment Services and they would be able to fine that person. KHON2.


Kawananakoa hearing will be open to public. A judge ruled Wednesday that a hearing to determine whether Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa is capable of handling her own financial affairs will be open to the public except for when the discussion turns to medical and financial information. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Princess Can Testify In Public But Info About Finances, Medical Issues Will Be Kept Secret. A state court judge on Wednesday said medical and financial evidence about millionaire heiress Abigail Kawananakoa will be kept from the public. Civil Beat.

Legal fees in fight over heiress Kawananakoa’s fortune continue to mount. As the fight for Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa’s fortune heads to trial next month, both sides are accusing each other of ratcheting up their legal fees, which are now approaching $7 million. Hawaii News Now.


Charter Commission Director Steps Down For New DOE Role. Sione Thompson was nominated to be the next complex area superintendent for Nanakuli-Waianae. Civil Beat.

New hotel planned near Honolulu airport. Some new hospitality industry competition is planned for part of Oahu where a new hotel hasn’t been built in nearly a half-century. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Governor David Ige says he recently told Japanese officials that the state is committed to the rule of law in regards to the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Maunakea. Governor Ige said he met with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Big Island Video News.

Council declines to indemnify fire chief in employment lawsuit. The Hawaii County Council isn’t ready to put taxpayers on the hook for disciplinary actions Fire Chief Darren Rosario took in 2014 that are now the subject of a lawsuit. West Hawaii Today.


Federal Funding Coming to Kona International Airport. The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole is set to receive $3.7 million in federal funding for safety improvements, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday. Big Island Now.

Federal funds are heading to Kona’s airport for improvements. The international airport will receive more than $3.7 million to repair taxiways and runway lighting. Hawaii News Now.


Company faces $25K fine over alleged water wasting. Wailuku Water Co. is facing nearly $25,000 in state fines over claims of wasting a “considerable amount” of state-protected water from its ditch system that poured into a gulch in multiple incidents late last year into January. Maui News.

Maui County Addresses Illegal Encampments at Kanahā Beach Park. The County of Maui departments of Parks and Recreation, Environmental Management, Public Works and Housing and Human Concerns began work today with the Maui Police Department to address illegal encampments and public health and safety concerns at Kanahā Beach Park and in surrounding areas. Maui Now.

Longtime Native Hawaiian Activist Announces Run For House Seat. Walter Ritte has led some of the most iconic cultural movements in modern Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Japanese visitor had symptoms while on Maui. Coronavirus victim originally thought to only be symptomatic during Oahu leg of stay. Maui News.

As virus spreads, face masks sell out. Face masks are flying off the shelves of local hardware stores as residents seek out protection against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, that’s been spreading around the globe. Maui News.


Council considers polystyrene. A measure to ban most polystyrene food containers from Kaua‘i passed first reading before the County Council Wednesday and is set for public hearing Tuesday, March 25. Garden Island.

Anderson is new county department head. The County of Kaua‘i’s Civil Service Commission announced the selection of Annette Anderson as the new director for the county Department of Human Resources. Garden Island.

Groups look to fortify North Shore disaster resilience. Kaua‘i County and two community organizations are working on separate initiatives to harden the North Shore’s defenses in the event of a natural disaster by creating permanent infrastructure to be used if disaster strikes. Garden Island.