Monday, April 4, 2022

Kona coffee brand protections fail, Ala Wai decontamination advances, lawsuit filed against stun gun restrictions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Red coffee cherry in Kailua-Kona ©2022 All Hawaii News

Hawaii coffee labeling bill gets relabeled. Hawaii coffee farmers may have to wait until 2024 to know whether it makes good economic sense for the state to require more locally grown beans in coffee blends branded with Hawaii geographic names. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii leaders review future of Safe Travels Hawaii program. State leaders have begun convening to determine the next generation of Safe Travels, Hawaii’s $37 million-plus pandemic-era travel policy, which ended March 25. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators consider allowing foreclosure on problem properties without court proceedings. HB 1434 passed second reading in the Senate in March after crossing over from the House of Representatives. It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to control feral chicken population advances. A bill to manage the feral chicken population is moving through the legislative session, but the departments that would be tasked with coming up with the solution said the proposal should not fall under their purview. KHON2.

Hawaii's FEMA nurses leave the state as federal funds dry up. Hospitals are scrambling to contract more workers as the union representing nurses sounds the alarm about dangerous staffing shortages. KITV4.


Hawaii lawmakers look at preventing investor schemes on Affordable housing projects. An ostensible $80 million financial shakedown at an Oahu public housing project has led to a legislative effort to prevent similar schemes, which are spreading on the mainland, from happening in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of ‘genki balls’ dropped into Ala Wai. More than 200 people threw balls of mud and helpful bacteria into the Ala Wai Canal Saturday morning to help clean up sludge in the water. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Ala Wai watershed flood risk study invites public input. The public is getting another chance to weigh in on work being done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a flood control project for Honolulu’s Ala Wai Canal. The Army Corps of Engineers is revising a study looking at what the community can do to improve resilience in the case of intense rain and extensive flooding. Hawaii Public Radio.

Fuel And Water Spilled From Facility Pipeline, Navy Says. The leak is the first to be reported at the World War II-era fuel complex since the water contamination crisis began. A mixture of fuel and water spilled from a maintenance line at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility on Friday afternoon, the Navy announced on Friday evening. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Where Is The Red Hill Contamination Moving? Experts Are ‘Working Blind’ The contamination crisis exposed how little regulators know about how groundwater – and fuel pollution – flow under the Red Hill facility. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Council to consider 10 cent gas tax reduction: Decrease from 23 cents to 13 cents on Tuesday Finance Committee agenda. A County Council panel is poised to consider a resolution aimed at taking some of the sting out of rising gas prices. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Water costs rising: High oil prices spur 16% increase in water power charge. Increases in oil costs that raised the cost of electricity are in turn having a big impact on the county Department of Water Supply, which is proposing a 16% increase in the power cost adjustment on local water bills. West Hawaii Today.

County Council reopens its doors: Public allowed back in after two-year pandemic pause. The council committees, meeting Tuesday and the council, meeting Wednesday, will offer the public a range of ways to monitor the meetings and provide testimony. West Hawaii Today.

Judge dismisses remaining cases involving kupuna arrested during TMT protests. The remaining cases involving kupuna arrested in July 2019 for obstructing the Mauna Kea Access Road during Thirty Meter Telescope protests were dismissed Friday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Consumer Advocate Opposes Bioenergy Power Plant On Big Island. Critics say there are too many outstanding questions for the Public Utilities Commission to approve the Hu Honua project. Civil Beat.

Buyouts will begin soon: 289 homeowners in first phase of Kilauea eruption recovery program await funds. To date, the county’s Voluntary Housing Buyout Program — which allows property owners to have their eruption-damaged properties bought out by the county for up to $230,000 — has received 467 applications over the course of two phases. Tribune-Herald.


Molina approved as new county public works director. Jordan Molina’s appointment as the new director of the Public Works Department was approved by the Maui County Council on Friday, even as community members called for his disapproval amid frustrations over a large home being built in Napili. Maui News.

Mokulele to expand fleet for Molokai, Lanai. Mokulele Airlines hopes to bring in two 30-passenger planes by the middle or end of May that will help transport high school athletic teams, wheelchair-bound residents and passengers of size from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu. Maui News.

Suit claims proposed restrictions on stun guns in Maui County violate 2nd Amendment. A new lawsuit claims Maui County is trying to violate their Second Amendment rights by making it harder for businesses to sell stun guns. Hawaii News Now.


Saving Kauai’s Kalihiwai Reservoir Is An Expensive Problem. In a last-ditch effort, some farmers and wildlife enthusiasts are trying to raise funds to save this relic of the plantation era. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i DMV to close early every other week beginning April 4. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Finance Driver License Division and Motor Vehicle Division in the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building closes early daily, at 3 p.m., every other week, beginning today. Garden Island.

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