Friday, September 23, 2022

Kahele fined for misusing mailing lists, Honolulu airport gets low marks, UHERO warns of recession, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele to be fined $1,000 for violating campaign spending law. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, who gave up a chance for reelection to Congress to instead run unsuccessfully for governor, was fined $1,000 after admitting to the state Campaign Spending Commission that he illegally used an 8-year-old list of donors to Gov. David Ige to solicit contributions to his own gubernatorial campaign. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Fishery council rebukes effort to expand Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. A Hawaii-based coalition’s effort to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument is getting pushback from the fishery council crated by Congress to oversee that area of the Pacific. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. recession will weigh on Hawaii’s recovery, UHERO forecast reports. Hawaii might escape the worst of the looming U.S. recession, but its economy is not expected to start making satisfactory progress until 2024, according to a new forecast released Thursday by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

The Return Of Japanese Visitors May Be Just In Time To Save Hawaii’s Economy.
A day after Japan’s prime minister lifted all travel restrictions, UH economists issued a report saying the return of Japanese travelers could help spare Hawaii’s economy. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Public input sought on transportation infrastructure preferences for planning future infrastructure. The DOT is developing a 2045 Hawaiʻi Statewide Transportation Plan. The plan will map out the state’s public transportation construction projects for the next two decades. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would significantly boost funding to battle ohia disease. A federal bill that would more than double the state’s annual funding for rapid ohia death abatement has exciting implications, say state researchers. Tribune-Herald.

Residents are urged to get latest COVID-19 booster.
They have been available in Hawaii since Labor Day weekend. As of Wednesday, 23,354 bivalent boosters had been administered in the state, according to DOH. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu’s Innovative Idea For More Solar Power.
Honolulu Bill 46 aims to encourage new rooftop solar by allowing 12-foot high canopies with solar panels on top and gardens and gathering spacies underneath. Civil Beat.

Illegal structures still erected on Oahu’s North Shore.
An imperiled stretch of coastline between Sunset Beach and Rocky Point on Oahu’s famed North Shore has increasingly become a free-for-all as owners of multimillion-dollar properties disregard Hawaii’s beach protection laws and scramble to save their homes from the unrelenting threat of powerful waves. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

The state has poured $1B into Honolulu airport upgrades, but travelers aren’t impressed. The 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study ranks the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport as the second worst large airport in the continent. Only Philadelphia International Airport ranked worse. Hawaii News Now.

Task force recovers large cache of ghost guns, ammunition at Oahu home. A Waipahu man is facing federal firearms charges after he was allegedly caught with two dozen ghost guns and illegal parts.
 Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Some Inmates Were Stuck At The Hilo Jail Because They Couldn’t Post $15 Bail. A state prisons expert says she was surprised by how bad the conditions are at the Big Island corrections facility. Some of the inmates at the packed Hilo jail have been stuck there because they could not post bail in amounts as low as $15, and conditions at the facility are so poor they rival conditions at the infamous Rikers Island in New York City, a Hawaii corrections oversight panel was told Thursday. Civil Beat.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported an uptick in seismicity, ground deformation, and surface lava at the summit for a brief period on Tuesday. Approximately 50 earthquakes were detected beneath Kīlauea summit between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

Laupāhoehoe Gulch Bridge to Undergo Repairs Following Hurricane Lane Damage.
Contractors will be at the bridge, located along Laupāhoehoe Access Road in North Hilo, starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. Roadwork will be performed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting. Big Island Now.

Mauna Loa reopens Visitor Center. Located in the middle of a 2,500-acre macadamia orchard near Hilo, the center — which was closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — is one of Hawaii Island’s most popular tourist destinations. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Commission denies appeals of its decision on police chief complaints. An investigative report on a complaint against Maui Police Chief John Pelletier found the claims were not substantiated, according to the Maui Police Commission, which deferred action on a separate complaint and denied appeals on two others on Wednesday. Maui News.

This Is How Sea Level Rise Might Change Your Favorite Maui Beach Park. This summer they dealt with a massive swell that sent water over coastal streets, leading to road closures. In the weeks that followed, accelerated coastal erosion exposed iwi kupuna, or ancestral skeletal remains, along a West Maui shoreline. Civil Beat.

Maui Family Support Services gets continued funding with 5-year, $1M per year award. This five-year, $1 million per year award will allow the MFSS QCHK project to continue child care subsidy assistance to Native Hawaiian children and families on the islands of Maui, Moloka’i, and Lānaʻi. Maui Now.

Grand Wailea property-wide refresh marks its most extensive renovation in 30 years. The 40-acre resort fronting Maui’s Wailea Beach, presents a newly revitalized Botero Lounge, a total revamp of its exclusive Napua rooms, suites and private lounge, and the transformation of two dining venues into brunch restaurant, ‘Ikena, and grab-and-gourmet market, Loulu. Maui Now.

Kauai

Lane Closures Scheduled in Kapa‘a Starting Next Week. Over the next several weeks, traffics control configurations around the Mailihuna Road, Hau‘a‘ala Road, and Kawaihau Road intersection will be changing as construction progresses. Kauai Now.

Additional monkeypox case reported on Kauai, bringing state total to 34. A new case of monkeypox has been reported on the island of Kauai, bringing the state total to 34 cases.  KITV4.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

EPA urges caution on Thirty Meter Telescope, Honolulu mulls tax breaks for businesses on rail line, taxpayers may fund abandoned vehicle removal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Consider TMT changes to lessen impact on Native Hawaiians, EPA urges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging the National Science Foundation to consider alternative construction sites for the Thirty Meter Telescope — and possibly a smaller version of the proposed observatory — in its upcoming environmental review of the controversial project. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Handling of OHA funds leads to questions over CNHA’s bid for tourism contract. Allegations that the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement mismanaged a $1.6 million Office of Hawaiian Affairs contract have surfaced as the dispute over a much larger Hawaii Tourism Authority contract heads beyond the four-month mark. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Ige Rules Out Special Legislative Session To Fix Court’s Grand Jury Ruling. Gov. David Ige issued a statement Wednesday saying that he would not call the Hawaii Legislature into special session to draft a new law to reverse a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that limits prosecutors’ choices when indicting serious criminals. Civil Beat.

Latest Fed rate hike may also increase jitters in Hawaii’s real estate market. The rise in interest rates is just one of the forces on Hawaii’s real estate market. That rise has pushed some buyers to act more quickly to get an affordable mortgage, while sellers are rethinking their asking price. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Wanted: A bunch of mahimahi stomachs. To fishermen in Hawaii, Pacific mahimahi stomachs hold no particular value and are discarded. But to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists researching mahimahi diet, each stomach tells a unique story and provides an opportunity to help the fish and its environment. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii reports 14 COVID deaths, over 1,100 cases in past week. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Council considers property tax exemptions for businesses along rail line. The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would give businesses along the rail line incentives such as expedited permitting and tax exemptions for up to 30 years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu inching closer to creating historic preservation commission. “Honolulu is the only county in the state that does not have a preservation commission and one of the only major cities in the country without a commission,” councilmember Esther Kiaʻāina said Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Private financing not needed to build new stadium, Ige says. Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that the $350 million the state Legislature provided during the 2022 session is enough money to build a new Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

Former principal sues Department of Education over threat case. A former principal of Stevenson Middle School has filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court against the state Department of Education, alleging that officials failed to adequately protect her amid violent threats and sexual harassment from an unknown person or people, and retaliated against her for questioning the department’s response. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Has Many Vacant Positions Open On Boards And Commissions. Honolulu officials are looking to fill several positions on city panels, including the new advisory Economic Revitalization Commission, according to a Wednesday news release. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bill that would cover cost of removing abandoned vehicles passes first reading. A bill that would allow private property owners to remove free of charge abandoned or derelict vehicles from their land moved one step closer to fruition Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Volcano skate park repairs in the works.
The Volcano community is taking steps to repair and reopen Hawaii County’s only wooden skate park. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting Set For Upolu Well Project In North Kohala. A meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29 at the Kohala Village Hub Barn in order provide an Upolu Well project overview and solicit community input. Big Island Video News.

Signs Stolen: Nene Crossing, Tsunami Route, Scenic Byways. Police say the unique Hawaiʻi signs are being removed along Mamalahoa Highway in the areas of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the district of Kaʻū. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui

Maui Planning Department seeks applicants to fill 22% vacancy
. The Maui County Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui Now.

Several vacancies in Planning Department delaying permit processing. A 22 percent vacancy rate has contributed to delays in permit processing in Maui County, which is why the Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded positions and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui News.

Kauai

Facing litigation, Kaua‘i County returns drug treatment facility to Grove Farm. The Kaua‘i County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to deed the facility back to its previous owners, ending the county leadership role in the long struggle to get the center off the ground, which has been marred by struggles finding an operator, legal troubles and a global pandemic. Garden Island.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Activists protest Red Hill in Washington, Ige nixes Aloha Stadium contracts, 111k Hawaii students to get student loan forgiveness, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Activists Travel To DC To Demand Action On Red Hill. The Oahu Water Protectors organized a rally outside the White House to keep up pressure on the U.S. Navy to shut down the WWII era fuel farm that’s sickened thousands on the island. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Here’s how county charter amendment proposals are created for your ballot. The 2022 general election ballot won’t have any state constitutional amendments, but each county will have plenty to choose from. Hawaiʻi Island residents will see three proposals, while Oʻahu and Kauaʻi residents will each see four. Maui County, on the other hand, will see a few more. Hawaii Public Radio.

How many Hawaii student loan borrowers will benefit from Biden’s plan? Here’s a look. Over 111,000 student loan borrowers in Hawaii are eligible for Biden’s student debt relief program. That’s according to a fact sheet released by the White House on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Visitor restrictions loosen across Queen's Health System hospitals. Visiting hours will be expanded at The Queen’s Medical Center Punchbowl and Molokai General Hospital to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the Queen's Medical Center West Oʻahu to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Queen's North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Governor halts work on stadium construction proposals. Gov. David Ige has halted requests for proposals to build a new Aloha Stadium and will announce in three weeks different plans for its construction, a state official said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

The Struggle Over Towering Wind Farms Is At The Center Of A Honolulu City Council Debate. A backlash has arisen against industrial wind turbines, with Kahuku residents leading the charge, raising an alarm about the problems the 40-story towers constructed there have created for them and for their children — pulsating noises, flickering shadows, and what they say are sleep disruptions, depression and new neurological ailments. Civil Beat.

First red-light camera under construction at Vineyard and Palama. Honolulu’s first red-light camera is going up at the intersection of Vineyard Boulevard and Palama Street, with the monitoring system issuing its first warnings in two weeks when it catches cars that run through traffic lights. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm declares 2019 fatal police shooting justified. A Honolulu police officer was justified in firing three shots that killed a 27-year-old man who lunged at him with a hunting knife following a foot chase, said Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm at a news conference Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Liquor commission’s public trust questioned by City Council. The Honolulu City Council is urging the Honolulu Liquor Commission to take steps to restore public trust, after the commission and its investigators have faced criticism over alleged discrimination and violations over the years. KHON2.

The Son Of A Slain Oahu Jail Inmate Is Suing The State Over Lax Practices. Oahu Community Correctional Center failed to follow “common sense correctional practices” and placed the 62-year-old prisoner in jeopardy, the lawsuit says. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Historic Preservation Bill Is Gaining Traction. Losses of historic sites, including the destruction of the home that inspired the song “Aloha Oe,” have spurred support for a city agency to monitor and protect Oahu’s ancient places. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Council unimpressed by latest proposals to tackle homelessness. Hawaii County Council members on Tuesday were skeptical of a plan to address rampant homelessness on the island. Tribune-Herald.

County yet to issue a gun carry permit. Fewer than a dozen applications have been received by the Hawaii Police Department for a permit to carry a concealed weapon on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Court records detail teen’s kidnapping ordeal
. A 52-year-old man accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl from a beach in Waikoloa allegedly forced her to smoke crystal methamphetamine, sexually assaulted her and shackled her inside a bus on his property, according to court documents that detail the teen’s terrifying experience. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Big Isle police say fatal shooting of Boy Scout was accidental; prosecutor to review possible firearm charges against 3 adults. “The investigation concluded that an unsupervised male minor picked up a loaded firearm and as he placed it back down, it discharged, subsequently shooting the victim,” the police department said today in a news release. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

‘Plan and prepare’. Ironman officials offered the following advice to West Hawaii residents ahead of the first-ever two-day running of the world championship triathlon: plan ahead and be prepared for delays, particularly on race days. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Voters To Decide If County Should Operate As A Bilingual Government. The measure would require the county to issue all official notices in English and Hawaiian, the endangered language of Hawaii’s native people that, after generations of decline, is experiencing a revival. Civil Beat.

The Maui County Council on Tuesday confirmed Rogerene “Kali” Arce as the first director of the county’s Department of Agriculture. The department is charged with supporting local farmers and ranchers while boosting food security. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Despite mounting criticism, bill to limit outdoor lights on Maui moves forward. Before clearing an 8-1 vote in front the Maui County Council Tuesday, Bill 21 saw staunch support and criticism. The measure proposes to limit the blue light content in outdoor fixtures to 2 % or less, as well as have lights pointed down and covered. KITV4.

Maui Council endorses Johnson’s proposal to allow counties to set own minimum wage. Councilmember Gabe Johnson announced Tuesday that the council endorsed his proposal for state legislation to empower counties in Hawaiʻi to set minimum wages that are higher than the state and federal minimum wage. Maui Now.

Maui County’s sunscreen ordinance takes effect on Oct. 1. Maui County’s ban on the sale, use or distribution of nonmineral sunscreens without a prescription issued by a licensed healthcare provider, takes effect on Oct. 1, 2022. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauaʻi event features dishes made with invasive species to raise awareness of environment. Venison, pig, mango, apple snails and tilapia are some of the invasive species on the menu. Hawaii Public Radio.



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Two more plead guilty in legislative bribery scandal, special session mulled after Supreme Court felony ruling, police officers charged in rapes, more news fro all the Hawaiian Island

Businessman pleads guilty in huge bribery scandal that led to convictions of 3 public officials. A former Maui County official and the wealthy Honolulu businessman who bribed him both pleaded guilty to felony charges in Hawaii federal court Monday in connection with a six-year bribery scheme that steered more than $19 million in contracts to one company in exchange for $2 million in cash, trips, casino chips and other compensation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lawmakers eye special session to tackle ruling that’s put hundreds of felony cases at risk.
High-profile criminal cases over the weekend had prosecutors on Hawaii Island scrambling in an effort to keep the suspects in custody. That’s because a recent state Supreme Court ruling requires grand jury indictments for felony crimes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige extends SNAP emergency proclamation once again. Gov. David Ige has signed a fourth emergency proclamation allowing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotment benefits to continue in the state in line with the federal COVID emergency. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KHON2.

A New Sense Of Urgency Is Driving Nonprofits To Grow More Local Food In Hawaii. Some of Hawaii’s busiest food banks are turning to growing their own food rather than waiting for donations as the number of people showing up for help rises. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Elections: The Race Is On To Represent Downtown. In the Honolulu City Council race to represent downtown Honolulu and its surrounding neighborhoods, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam is promising new leadership while Traci Noguchi is pledging to continue the work she’s already doing as an aide to incumbent Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Seeks Special Session to Reverse High Court’s Grand Jury Decision. The Honolulu prosecutor’s office says the Supreme Court ruling could result in 168 convicted felons being released unless indicted by a grand jury. Civil Beat.

HPD Chief Expects to Issue First Concealed Carry Gun Permits in October. HPD is slated to hold final its public hearing Oct. 4 before issuing new rules governing firearm permits and licenses. Civil Beat.

Judge Denies Kealoha Attempt To Sideline Federal Prosecutor. Prosecutors said Kealoha’s attempt to remove Michael Wheat from her case had no merit. The judge agreed. Civil Beat.

Retired Honolulu police sergeant charged with sexual assault of teen.
A retired Honolulu police sergeant with 25 years of experience on the force was arrested Friday and charged with continuous sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, according to police booking records. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's acting planning department director says staffing is top priority. As Deputy Director, Takeuchi Apuna oversaw the day-to-day personnel operations, while also handling projects addressing oversized residential homes, known as "monster homes," and short-term vacation rentals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senior affordable housing project planned for condemned Waikiki property. The city is planning new senior affordable rental housing for Waikiki following the condemnation of a derelict apartment building sandwiched between the Watermark, one of Oahu’s toniest condominiums, and freshly renovated walk-up apartments. Star-Advertiser.

Officials: It could take months to determine what sparked a deadly ambulance fire.
More than three weeks after a deadly ambulance fire, officials are still working to identify the exact cause.The City Council committee on Public Safety called a special meeting Monday to discuss what exactly sparked the blaze, but the investigation continues. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding a three-year-old Maunakea land use case this week. In 2019, Hilo residents Ku‘ulei and Ahiena Kanahele filed a petition with the state Land Use Commission requesting that the Commission declare that the current usage of the land on Maunakea summit is improper for its current zoning. Tribune-Herald.

Hunting rules could be eased. Hunters might be allowed to take twice as many feral pigs per day, seven days a week, in certain Puna forest reserves under new regulations being considered by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters Block Access To County Road Leading To Waipio Valley. The group objects to Mayor Mitch Roth’s decision to start allowing limited access again to the famous Big Island valley. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

80% of beach parks have ‘low resiliency’ to sea level rise. Solutions could include restoring dunes, relocating parks, acquiring more land, study says. Maui News.

Shoreline erosion along Kahana’s Lower Honoapiʻilani Road topic of public meeting Sept. 22.
Maui County’s Department of Public Works will hold an online community meeting to discuss shoreline erosion and mitigation alternatives along Lower Honoapiʻilani Road at Kaʻopala Bay in Kahana via Zoom on Sept. 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. Maui Now.

Veteran Maui police officer arrested for sex assault. Police say Sgt. Justin Mauliola, 35, of Wailuku has been placed on paid administrative leave, and his credentials and firearm have been temporarily removed. Authorities say his police powers have been temporarily suspended. Maui Now. KHON2.

Kauai

Kaua‘i felonies may be dismissed because Supreme Court ruling in State V. Obrero
. Koloa man Kristofer Dwight Bush is facing a range of felony charges, including attempted murder, for an April incident where he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and her family with pepper spray before stabbing her and her brother. Garden Island.

DHHL’s Waimea project wins planning award. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ Pu‘u ‘Opae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan was selected as the winner of the American Planning Association Hawai‘i Chapter’s Outstanding Planning Award at the Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials Conference awards session Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa. Garden Island.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Legislature to consider legalizing recreational cannabis, state campaign commission investigates Kahele, Cayetano, Maui auditing Choy contracts, Honolulu mulls increasing density, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Plan to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Hawaii takes shape. The most comprehensive strategy yet to legalize adult recreational cannabis use in Hawaii is being prepared for state lawmakers ahead of next year’s legislative session starting four months from now. Star-Advertiser.

This New Dairy Owner Says Local Cows Can Bring Down Hawaii’s Milk Prices. Bahman Sadeghi, chief executive of Meadow Gold Dairies, which Sadeghi acquired in 2020, has a long-range goal of bringing back Hawaii’s dairy industry. He reckons that by producing milk locally, Meadow Gold can lower the price of a gallon of milk by 20%. Civil Beat.

Council to consider fishing rules in marine monument. Possible changes to fishing regulations within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument could allow cultural fishing practices, although such changes are also viewed as “harmful” to Native Hawaiian traditions. Star-Advertiser.

State blames shrinking enrollment at public schools on declining birth rate, outmigration. Hawaii public schools lost nearly 3,000 students this school year compared to the year before, according to new enrollment figures released Friday. It’s the fourth school year with declining enrollment. Hawaii News Now.

Kai Kahele, Vicky Cayetano are subjects of campaign spending complaints. U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele and business entrepreneur Vicky Cayetano are the subjects of separate investigations by the state Campaign Spending Commission related to their unsuccessful campaigns to become Hawaii’s next governor. Star-Advertiser.

It’s Tough To Win An Election As An Independent Candidate In Hawaii. This year, two nonpartisan candidates in partisan races have advanced to the general election. They’re approaching it with different expectations. Civil Beat.

A dozen protesters show up at elections meeting to find it being conducted via Zoom. About a dozen people showed up at the state Elections Office hoping to speak to commissioners in person but were disappointed to find the meeting was on Zoom. They say it’s another reason they don’t trust the current voting process. Hawaii News Now.

‘A game of chicken’: Inter-island fare war takes off between Hawaiian, Southwest airlines. Hawaiian Airlines and its latest competitor, Southwest, are engaged in an air fare battle, and flyers may be taking advantage. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Increasing Waikiki building height and density might be on table for first time in half century. A movement is underway to increase building height and density in the Waikiki Special District for the first time in about 50 years to allow smaller parcels to be turned into affordable housing and make the district more resilient to climate change and sea-level rise. Star-Advertiser.

City to open free wound clinic to address needs of homeless. The city plans to open a free wound-care clinic in Chinatown in November to primarily serve the homeless. The clinic would be the first official collaboration between the city and the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Homeless Outreach &Medical Education, or H.O.M.E., program. Star-Advertiser.

HART Leaders Are Concerned That Feds Still Haven’t Approved Rail’s Recovery Plan
. More than three months have passed since the city submitted its latest plan to rescue rail, and the Federal Transit Administration has yet to approve it. Civil Beat.

Toilet paper shortage causes major clogging at public parks. It’s the end of a roll for Oʻahu parks’ toilet paper shortage. The hygiene product company Veritiv secured a more steady supply of toilet paper for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Niu Valley Middle School on Oahu cools new building without AC. The new building uses no AC to keep students and teachers cool, instead relying on a unique design and purposeful positioning to create “passive ventilation.” It is the state’s first public school building specially created to harness and maximize Hawaii’s signature tradewinds. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Search for police chief continues. Hawaii County Police Commission members have yet to learn the names of applicants or the number of people who applied to be the next leader of the Hawaii Police Department. West Hawaii Today.

Road Block Planned Sept. 19 To Protest Updated Rules for Waipiʻo Valley Road. Waipiʻo Valley kūpuna, farmers, ʻohana and their supporters plan to block the 1.5-mile road that leads to the black sand beach and agricultural community on Monday in protest of Hawaiʻi County’s updated rules that allow some four-wheel drive vehicles to use the road that is dangerous and in need of repair. Big Island Now.

Deadline to submit comment on proposed investment in TMT near. Both critics and supporters of the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are calling on the public to share their thoughts on the project. At stake is $800 million, as the National Science Foundation (NSF) decides whether to invest in the controversial telescope. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Study finds high levels of staph in soil around Hilo Bay. High concentrations of harmful bacteria lurk in the Hilo watershed, according to a study by University of Hawaii researchers. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

HMC faced with overcrowding despite low COVID numbers. There are currently seven COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Hawaii Medical Center. Of those seven, two are in the ICU, a number slightly above average. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

County to audit contracts awarded to Choy’s companies. Mayor Michael Victorino is ordering an audit of all no-bid contracts awarded to companies owned by Milton Choy, a Honolulu businessman who was recently charged with providing more than $2 million in bribes to a former Maui County official to influence wastewater contracts. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

First South Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting announced. The South Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Lokelani Intermediate School cafeteria at 1401 Līloa Drive, Kīhei. The event kicks off the next phase of the South Maui Community Plan update. Maui Now.

West Maui Taxpayers hold candidates night, Oct. 13. The West Maui Taxpayers Association is holding a “General Candidates Night” at the Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Maui Now.

Kauai

Federal funding at stake for elderly plans. The county Agency on Elderly Affairs is reminding the public to participate in two surveys that will help assess the needs of the county’s aging population. Garden Island.

Ni‘ihau High and Elementary is the state’s smallest school. Enrollment at Hawai‘i’s public and charter schools for the 2022-23 school year decreased to 168,634 students, compared with an enrollment of 171,600 students at the start of last school year — a difference of 1.7%. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hotel worker, nurse shortage persists, Honolulu backs off Sherwood Forest development plan, 'alarming' spike in ghost guns, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Travel demand creating historic opportunities for Hawaii hotel employees, but labor shortage persists. Hawaii hotels are looking to fill thousands of jobs statewide as the hospitality industry, one of Hawaii’s top economic drivers, continues a recovery this year that’s projected to surpass 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Amid severe shortage of nurses, Hawaii nursing schools reject 100s of qualified applicants. While Hawaii’s hospitals grapple with a dire shortage of nurses, nursing schools across the state are rejecting hundreds of qualified applicants. The reason: There aren’t enough instructors to teach them. Hawaii News Now.

Minimum-wage increase coming Oct. 1. Hawai‘i’s minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour on Oct. 1, and then will go up by $2 every other year until it reaches $18 per hour on Jan. 1, 2028. Garden Island.

A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling has inmates in legal limbo — held behind bars even though their charges are no longer valid. Prosecutors grapple with ‘impossible’ situation after serious criminal charges against scores are invalidated. On Oahu alone, prosecutors have identified 160 people who were charged with serious crimes by criminal complaints whose cases now have to go before a grand jury for an indictment. Hawaii News Now.

Federal agencies report alarming spike in illegal ghost guns, attachments on Hawaii streets. Federal agents are sounding the alarm about illegally obtained ghost guns and other gun parts they’re finding in Hawaii homes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public schools: White teachers, Hawaiian students. For the 2020-2021 school year, there were 174,704 students attending Hawaii public schools, according to the annual report published by the State of Hawaii Department of Education. There were also 11,627 public school teachers. KHON2.

DLNR looking for volunteers for habitat restoration project at Kure Atoll. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for a six-month habitat restoration program at the Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Star-Advertiser.

Bank of Hawaii, venture fund join to boost state’s growth. Mana Up, an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaii-based products, said Wednesday it is partnering with Bank of Hawaii to boost the success of Hawaii entrepreneurs in an effort to diversify the local economy. Star-Advertiser.

Shidler donates $1 million to UH’s law school. Business leader Jay H. Shidler has donated $1 million in cash to the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii to establish the Dean’s Innovation Fund, encouraging legal education that keeps pace with today’s fast-changing business landscape. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii health officials report 1,343 new COVID-19 infections, 10 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, increased slightly to 6.7% compared with 6.4% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Oahu


Start of rail ridership hinges on damage, repairs to pillars. The severity of damage from hairline cracks on pillars that hold up the rail system’s overhead tracks could delay the launch of paid ridership expected early next year, the head of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said. Star-Advertiser.

A Major Overhaul Of Honolulu Land-Use Rules Has Been Quietly Advancing. Now, Some Say Not So Fast. The wide-ranging bill would change zoning rules for thousands of Oahu properties. But it has gone largely unnoticed until now. Civil Beat.

City agrees to cease controversial Waimanalo development project. A three-year battle to redevelop Waimanalo Bay Beach Park is now on hold indefinitely. The Blangiardi administration confirmed Wednesday a settlement with the Friends of Sherwood Forest and closed its Special Management Area Permit. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Neighborhood Parking Zones Are Still Not Being Set Up. Here’s Why. Oahu residents covet neighborhood street parking, but a pilot study to manage and restrict those spaces has been stuck in limbo for five years. Civil Beat.

Fatal ambulance fire linked to oxygen device. Preliminary findings from the investigation into a fatal ambulance fire in Kailua point to a portable oxygen regulator as the cause of the August incident. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Homeless roadmap: Permanent housing, detoxification lead priority list. Providing permanent housing with support systems and treating substance abuse problems in homeless individuals are the two top priorities for the use of some $10 million annually the county has devoted to homeless programs. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiʻi County Hires New Solid Waste Division Chief. The County announced Michael Rivera has been hired to head the Department of Environmental Management's Solid Waste Division, replacning acting chief Michael Kaha. Big Island Video News.

State agencies fail to find proof of reported big cat on Big Island. In August, a Holualoa man anonymously reported seeing a wildcat near his property, taking some blurry photographs of the animal before it scampered away. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui mayor, council move to acquire Lahaina Crossroads after tenants face eviction. After longtime residents, including kupuna on fixed incomes, spoke out about looming evictions at one of the last affordable apartment rentals left in Lahaina, county leaders are making moves to purchase the 20-unit Lahaina Crossroads, located building blocks away from Front Street. Maui Now.

Fishermen Spot First Humpback Whale of the Season off South Maui. It is the earliest sighting of the beloved mammals in the past 24 years. Maui Now.

Kauai

Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Sponsors International Coastal Cleanup Day Saturday
. Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i is sponsoring a marine-debris cleanup at Nukoli‘i Beach on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of global International Coastal Cleanup Day. All are encouraged to attend. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Steep drop in coffee yields, 50-year-old Waikiki murder solved, food banks struggling, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Coffee beans on drying floor ©2022 All Hawaii News
Local coffee farmers brace for yields up to 40% lower than usual. The Kona Coffee Farmers Association says farmers are bracing for what could be one of their worst years for production. The drought conditions and challenges with coffee leaf rust and the coffee borer have made for a tough 2022. Yields are coming in at 30% to 40% less. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pacific Islands Call For More Climate Financing At Hawaii Conference. Representatives from 15 countries and territories convened in Honolulu for the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders. Increasing financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation is a critical goal for Pacific island countries and territories, according to panelists who presented Tuesday at a conference featuring leaders and others from the region. Civil Beat.

Rules and requirements file in for Hawaiʻi concealed firearms licenses. After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June, all four of Hawaiʻi’s police departments have released new rules on how to obtain concealed firearms, or are in the process of proposing new requirements. Civil Beat.

Preliminary $600 million plan framed for Hawaiian homesteads. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has refined its plan to spend a historic $600 million mostly to produce homesteads for beneficiaries, and may be acquiring land and helping private developers finance housing projects as part of the effort. Star-Advertiser.

‘People Are Really Struggling’: Hawaii Food Banks Scramble To Meet Increased Demand. Rising food costs and the end of pandemic-era assistance programs are driving a spike in demand for food assistance. Civil Beat.

Hawaii housing experts worry inflation will throttle back development, buying power. As the stock market fell Tuesday due to inflation fears, local housing experts are watching another troubling financial development — rising interest rates. The jump in interest rates is cutting into developers profits, forcing some to rethink their plans. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Department reports 2 more monkeypox cases for total of 30. The number of monkeypox cases in Hawaii has grown to 30, two more than reported last Thursday, according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

2 nonprofits will continue managing affordable city housing. Two nonprofits will continue to manage five affordable housing properties for kupuna and at-risk youth. The Honolulu City Council last week approved a measure granting Catholic Charities Hawaii and Hale Kipa Inc. to manage city properties designed to help those in need. Hawaii Public Radio.

City clears out litter, squatters from undeveloped Hawaii Kai property, but some want more action. Vandalism and trespassing have become an ongoing nuisance to nearby residents of an undeveloped, 17-acre city property in Hawaii Kai on the mauka side of Kalanianaole Highway, across of Wawamalu Beach. KITV4.

‘Big Oil’ pushes back in Honolulu suit over climate change. About 20 oil companies sued by the city two years ago in an effort to have them pay for climate change impacts on Oahu are advancing their defense in the already drawn-out litigation. Star-Advertiser.

Attorney For Mitsunaga’s Engineering Firm Has Been Arrested In Bribery Case. Sheri Jean Tanaka, who was arrested in California, is the sixth defendant indicted in the case centered on former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.  Federal prosecutors say Mitsunaga and his accomplices directed over $45,000 to the prosecutor so that he would pursue a bogus prosecution of a former employee of the firm, Laurel Mau. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oahu firefighters join police for key training on active school shooter situations. First responders are training together for an active shooter on campus. Their focus is saving lives ― faster. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police crack 50-year-old cold-case killing. A former Nevada deputy attorney general was arrested Tuesday, five decades after police allege he stabbed a young woman more than 60 times and left her body in a pool of blood in her Waikiki apartment. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Food bank supply at ‘historic low’. Food Basket Hawaii is urgently requesting donations after a “perfect storm” of circumstances has left the food bank with an unprecedented shortage of food supplies. Tribune-Herald.

Can’t Drive 55: Residents react to lowered speed limit on Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Rocker Sammy Hagar couldn’t drive 55 and now you can’t either. At least not on Queen Kaahumanu Highway from mile marker 67 and 75.4, between the vicinity of Kawaihae Road and vicinity of Waikoloa Beach Drive. West Hawaii Today.

Leningrad Elarionoff, cop, councilman and community leader, dies at 83. Leningrad Elarionoff, a former county councilman, retired police captain and longtime community leader and volunteer in Waimea died Sunday at North Hawaii Community Hospital. He was 83. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Council looks to accept land, parks donated by A&B. Despite possible much-needed infrastructure improvements that could cost up to $3 million, a Maui County council committee recommended accepting eight donated roadway lots in Kahului from property owner Alexander & Baldwin Hawaii LLC. Maui News.

Lahaina teacher housing and Puʻu Kukui Elementary land acquisition included in CIPs. More than $87.7 million was released in July and August for Capital Improvement Projects across the state, including more than $16 million for projects in Maui County. Maui Now.

Maui median home prices drop under $1 million for first time this year. The median sales price for single-family homes dropped below $1 million — to $983,575 — for the first time this year. Maui Now.

Kauai

Council Supports ‘Mosquito Birth Control’ To Save Kauaiʻi’s Endangered Birds. To try to help the native forest birds escape extinction, the Kauaʻi County Council passed a resolution on Sept. 7 urging elected officials throughout the state to fund and implement mosquito birth control. Kauai Now.

Candidates come out for Lihu‘e coffee hour. There were more candidates in the general election than kupuna who showed up for the Tuesday coffee hour coordinated by Pam Jardin of the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center seniors. Garden Island.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tourists want to eat fresh, UH lifts mask requirement, Native Hawaiian protesters added to Mauna Kea board, GOP support increasing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii farmers market ©2022 All Hawaii News
Tourists willing to pay more for locally sourced food. Most U.S. visitors to Hawaii said they would pay more to have the food they buy locally sourced while on vacation, a recent study has found, bolstering research in support of increased local agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

Tight job market and supply constraints interfering with Hawaii’s economic recovery.
While economists at the Hawaii Economic Association’s 2022 Annual Conference did not reach consensus on whether the U.S. is headed toward recession, they were certain that Hawaii’s tight labor market and supply-side constraints could hamper economic growth. Star-Advertiser.

Firing of top investigator from Attorney General’s Office ignites retaliation claims. State Attorney General Holly Shikada is drawing criticism for her plans to fire a top white-collar crime and public corruption investigator who has been critical of the office. Clean government advocates said the move is in retaliation to Daniel Hanagami’s criticisms of Shikada — and they worry it will hamper the state’s efforts to crack down on public corruption. Hawaii News Now.

GOP Geography: In Hawaii, Support For Republicans Has Grown In Ewa And Kona.
The Aug. 13 primary saw Republican turnout rise significantly, especially in rural areas. Civil Beat.

The University Of Hawaii Lifts Its Indoor Mask Mandate. Masks will no longer be required indoors at UH campuses starting Friday after the university sought advice from health experts. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii High School Students To Get Free Rides On Public Transportation. The state-funded pilot program is aimed at helping families amid a school bus driver shortage that has dragged on for more than a year. Civil Beat. The Department of Education said Monday that it is missing about 14% of the drivers needed for a full staff, making it impossible to serve all of the islands' children. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Longline Fleet Certified For Sustainable Practices. The fleet’s seafood can be sold with a special label that indicates it was caught in a sustainable manner. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Weyer, Rothman Debate In Race To Represent North Shore On Oahu. It’s a tight competition to replace council member Heidi Tsuneyoshi, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Civil Beat.

HFD, EMS outfit first responders with body armor amid increase in active threat calls. Honolulu firefighters were issued bulletproof vests and other protective gear last month so they can move in during active threat situations sooner to treat the wounded. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu DPP resignations are concerning for construction industry, City Council chair. Honolulu's Department of Planning and Permitting enforces zoning laws and oversees planning on Oʻahu. However, changes to the permitting process at DPP have led to further delays and a backlog of commercial and residential projects. Hawaii Public Radio.

As Red Hill crisis drags on, Board of Water Supply races to drill new wells. Nearly a year after the Red Hill crisis began, three of Oahu’s most vital water sources remain shut down in a bid to prevent contamination from spreading. Now, the Board of Water Supply is racing to find land and drill new wells outside the contamination zone. Hawaii News Now.

Energy storage for Oahu taking shape in Kapolei. Energy storage for Oahu taking shape in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Prominent Native Hawaiians Named To Mauna Kea Authority. The eight nominations must be confirmed by the state Senate. Gov. David Ige on Monday appointed several people, including some prominent Native Hawaiian activists, to a new board charged with managing Mauna Kea summit lands underneath some of the world’s most advanced astronomical observatories. Associated Press. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maunakea plan appealed to Supreme Court. A contested case between Native Hawaiian activists and the Board of Land and Natural Resources has been appealed to the state Supreme Court. Tribune-Herald.

Police raises approved: New contract gives 20% pay increase over four years. An approximately 20% bump in pay over four years plus bonuses could help incentivize more people to join the county police department and stay at the job longer, officials hope. West Hawaii Today.

Ige releases $2 million for deep monitor well in Waimea. This is part of a Commission on Water Resource Management ongoing effort to monitor the health of aquifers statewide. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Big Island pain doctor gets 7-1/2 years in federal prison. Hawaii island physician Rudy Puana, who was convicted of running a prescription drug ring that his former prosecutor sister, Katherine Kealoha, tried to conceal, is headed to prison for 7 1/2 years, a federal judge ruled Monday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Five land parcels on Moloka’i purchased for conservation and restoration. The Hawai’i State Department of Land and Natural Resources made the purchase with a $1.8 million grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service through the Endangered Species Act and more than $600,000 in private donations to The Nature Conservancy. Maui Now.

Nonprofit envisions center, farm for therapeutic programs. Na No’eau O Lokelani aims to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Police Chief still has final say on public carry firearm permits. In a move that could have a big impact on gun ownership on the island, the Kaua‘i Police Department released a revised permit application last week for a license to carry concealed and unconcealed firearms. Garden Island.

Lihu‘e Airport meeting tonight. A public information meeting on the Lihu‘e Airport Optimization Plan is today from 6 to 8 p.m. at in the cafeteria of Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. Garden Island.

Monday, September 12, 2022

UH donations rise 65%, black market weed still buyers' choice, hospitals work toward price transparency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
©2022 All Hawaii News
Donations to University of Hawaii rise 65% to record $165 million. Donations to the University of Hawaii rocketed to a record of nearly $165 million in the latest fiscal year, with UH officials saying the 65% increase over the year before was spurred by a strong economy, improved strategy and the community’s growing confidence in the state’s public university system. Star-Advertiser.

2022 Elections: There’s A Bumper Crop Of Republicans This Year. Facing a perpetually dominant Democratic force, the party managed to more than double its number of candidates this cycle compared to recent years, in large part thanks to state chair Lynn Finnegan’s efforts to make candidate recruitment a key focus for the Hawaii Republican Party. Civil Beat.

Hawaii union set spending record on political campaign that didn’t work. New primary election spending reports show the Carpenter’s Union PAC broke all records trying to keep Sylvia Luke from the lieutenant governor’s office, including ads many called a smear. Hawaii News Now.

Supreme Court ruling could allow violent offenders to go free. More fallout Friday over a state Supreme Court ruling that dismissed a high-profile murder case. Dozens of other violent felony cases are expected to also be thrown out, with suspects likely freed. Prosecutors are calling for the Legislature to immediately address the issue, and lawmakers are looking at their options. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii achieves record aquaculture sales with room to grow. The 2021 sales total represents a 20% increase over the $66.6 million in sales for 2020, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii bankruptcies rise as streak of falling cases ends.
For the first time in 16 months, statewide bankruptcies increased from the year-earlier period as filings jumped 21.8% in August. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii-Made Aloha Wear Is A Surprising — And Lucrative — Cottage Industry. But as Hawaii’s garment workers age and retire, young aloha shirt and apparel makers must scramble to keep production in the islands. Civil Beat.

Black Market Weed Is Still The Buyer’s Choice Over Legal Marijuana In Hawaii. A new state report estimates only about 20% of the marijuana sold in Hawaii last year came from local marijuana dispensaries, and blames “market structure and regulation” for driving consumers to buy from illegal growers and sellers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hospitals move toward price transparency. A report released in August by PatientRightsAdvocate.org, which advocates for health care price transparency, concluded that a year and a half after the law went into effect, none of the 10 hospitals in Hawaii that it evaluated were fully compliant. Star-Advertiser.

Former employee says Department of Education hasn’t done enough to protect against threats. It was frightening enough for then-state Department of Education Communications Director Lindsay Chambers to be the target of one school parent’s repeated furious calls and voicemails to the DOE, including some that contained intimidating, vulgar and racist language, and that indicated Chambers and her husband were being surveilled. Star-Advertiser.

Group releases guide on abortion rights, services in Hawaii. The Hawaii Abortion Collective has released the state’s first comprehensive resource guide for information on abortion rights and services. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

Police Raises Approved by Honolulu City Council. The raises will cost Honolulu taxpayers $136.7 million over the three years, according to the resolution approved by the council, but State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers says the increased wages are long overdue. Civil Beat.

Federal Judge Denies Katherine Kealoha’s Request For Bail. Imprisoned former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha appeared in court Friday as part of her bid to overturn her corruption conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright denied a request for bail but delayed decisions on her appeal and a challenge to an assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted her case. Civil Beat.

The ‘FCKBLM’ License Plate Holder Says Honolulu Is Violating His Free Speech Rights. Edward Odquina has filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu for revoking a license plate officials issued and later decided was offensive. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Parched: Some Parts of Big Island Broke Records For Lowest August Rainfall Totals. Rainfall totals for last month recorded by rain gauges on the island were mostly below average, with many at less than 50% of average, according to the monthly precipitation summary prepared by Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Fire Department to get new medical helicopter thanks to donation via Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation. The air ambulance, expected to arrive sometime in the spring, will replace the 30-year-old Chopper 2 based out of the South Kohala Fire Station. Hawaii County’s other helicopter, Chopper 1, which is not outfitted for medical transport, is housed at the Waiakea Fire Station in East Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaiʻi Correctional System Oversight Commission report details issues found during an August 25th tour of the "egregiously overcrowded" facility. A September 2 report by the Hawaiʻi Correctional System Oversight Commission – released outside of its regular meeting “due to serious and immediate concern involving the safety of those who work and live at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center” – provides details on the observations made by Oversight Coordinator Christin Johnson and Commissioner Ted Sakai during a tour of HCCC on August 25th. Big Island Video News.

BLNR nixes possible sale of former Country Club Condominium Hotel. The state will not sell the former Country Club Condominium Hotel to a new owner, even as it seeks a new tenant for the property. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Newly inaugurated telescope is already in high demand
. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is the world’s most powerful solar telescope and has produced many firsts, such as the first images of the sun’s chromosphere, the area of the sun’s atmosphere above the surface. Maui News.

New unit to track crime hotspots, streamline prosecution of cases. A new Crime Strategies Unit in the prosecutor’s office will use data to track crime hotspots and trends, then identify the offenders driving the activity, in an attempt to reduce crime in the community. Maui News.

‘A big mess’: Frustration grows as school bus driver shortage impacts students, parents on Maui. A recent loss of school bus drivers leads several routes in Lahaina being cut — eight routes to be exact. Hawaii News Now.

Maui May Crack Down On Haleakala Bike Tours That Crowd Narrow Roads Down The Mountain. If the council decides to make it a law, commercial bike tours down the iconic volcano would be banished from some Kula roadways. Civil Beat.

Maui Nui Ahupuaʻa signage project installs first Kula Uka sign in the Moku ʻO Kula. Since the summer of 2019, Maui Nui Ahupua‘a Project’s project coordinator/designer Vernon Kalanikau has been working with the Upcountry community to gather moʻolelo (stories, legend, history) to help design signs representing each of the 17 ahupua‘a in Kula Uka in the Upcountry area in the Moku ʻO Kula. Maui Now.

Kauai

Still no long-term damage in revised West Kaua‘i Energy Project environmental assessment. The latest draft of the West Kaua‘i Energy Project environmental assessment says that the project would have no significant negative environmental impact. Garden Island.

Most Kauaʻi Gauges Receive Near or Above Average Rainfall Totals in August. August also is normally the peak month for tropical cyclone activity in the central North Pacific basin, but there were no tropical cyclones the entire month. Kauai Now.