Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Honolulu rail begins trial run, seaglider design certified, police union hikes dues, raises pay, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

HART launches rigorous rail system trial-run phase. The first day of trial runs for the city’s rail project saw the first train leave 10 minutes late on Monday. The next day, another left five minutes late — but neither delay gave rise to critical safety issues, rail officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Federal agents in Hawaii see rise in device that turns pistols into mini machine guns. The Hawaii office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they are increasingly recovering devices known as Glock switches. The size of a quarter, it is illegal to possess — whether or not it is attached to a gun. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii police union board hikes pay, raises dues. The top officers of the board of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers voted to increase their monthly stipends by more than four times the current pay effective Thursday, when a $20 hike in union dues for members simultaneously kicks in. Star-Advertiser.

REGENT seaglider hits first maritime benchmark. REGENT, the Boston-based manufacturer of seagliders, which announced plans earlier this summer to develop a seaglider transportation network in Hawaii, has received design certification for its 12-passenger, fully electric seaglider, the Viceroy, which is intended for use in interisland and intraisland passenger and cargo transportation. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

We Made It Through The Primary.
Now It’s On To The November General Election. More than 200 candidates are still in the running for federal, state and local offices and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as Hawaii moves toward Election Day on Nov. 8. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Health Department reports one additional monkeypox case, bringing state total to 23. The newest case is an Oahu resident whose case is related to a previously reported case, according to DOH. The tally now includes 17 cases on Oahu, including one nonresident; two on Maui; two on Hawaii island; and two nonresidents on Kauai. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Candidates for Hawaii governor stake out different visions for Red Hill
. Gubernatorial hopefuls Josh Green and James “Duke” Aiona both say that if elected in November, Red Hill will be a top priority and they will push the Navy to move faster to permanently shut it down. Star-Advertiser.

‘People are acting a little nuts’: New data shows an increase in violent crime on Oahu. It’s not your imagination: Violent crime is on the rise on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Police post applications, supporting documents for concealed carry gun permits online. Following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, permit applications to carry carry concealed or unconcealed handguns publicly can now be downloaded online from the Hawaii Police Department, as can the supporting documentation applicants must submit. Tribune-Herald.

3rd Circuit Court Launches Small Claims Online Dispute Resolution Pilot. People on the Big Island filing certain small claims cases will soon have the convenience of doing so online. Big Island Now.

Big Island Deputy Prosecutor Granted Court Protection From Neighbors. Deputy prosecutor Randall Winston “Bew” Albright has secured a temporary restraining order against his neighbors, who earlier got a TRO against him and his wife. Civil Beat.


22 arrested for 70 outstanding warrants during US Marshals’ Sweep on Maui. The sweep was conducted between Aug. 22-26, 2022, in conjunction with the Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit and Special Response Team, the FBI, and Honolulu Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit. Maui Now.

Emergency loans available to assist with axis deer impacts in Maui County. The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer in the County of Maui. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai Ballot Proposals Target Election Costs And Salary Caps. Voters in November will decide whether to adopt four proposals to change laws that govern daily life on the Garden Island. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom Continues Expansion of Fiber Internet on Garden Isle. During the first half of the year, the company expanded its service in parts of Anahola, Kapa‘a, Kawaihau, Kōloa, Moloa’a, and Wailua, enabling more homes and businesses with fiber internet. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Hawaiian hula teacher honored on quarter, Boy Scout dies after shot at camp shooting range, Kaiser mental healthcare workers go on strike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Mint releases Edith Kanaka‘ole commemorative coin design. The U.S. Mint released its new commemorative quarter design Monday that will honor Edith Kanaka‘ole, a renowned kumu hula and the first Native Hawaiian to be featured as a part of the American Women Quarters Program. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii tourism arrivals hit recovery benchmark in July — but not all residents embracing the rise. July brought the highest monthly count of visitors since January 2020 — a benchmark that is creating economic hope for the pro-tourism crowd and angst from those concerned about whether the numbers can be properly managed to avert the threat of overtourism. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser mental health therapists in Hawaii launch second strike. Kaiser Permanente’s mental health therapists in Hawaii went on strike today, still unable to come to an agreement on a contract four years after unionizing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Research: 32 species can host rat lungworm disease. New research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa shows rat lungworm disease can be transmitted by many species, not just slugs and snails. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now. Kauai Now.

Hawaii Inmates Returning From An Arizona Prison Test Positive For Covid-19.
So far 21 prisoners who were on the flight from Arizona have caught the coronavirus. Civil Beat.


3 Honolulu police officers cleared in 2019 fatal shooting of Michael Kahalehoe in a Kapolei gas station parking lot. No charges will be filed against the three officers who fired the fatal shots, following the completion of an investigation by the Honolulu Police Department’s Professional Standard’s Office and the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

An Increase In ‘Violent, Brazen’ Crime Raises Concerns On Oahu. The number of murders, aggravated assaults, forcible sex assaults and robberies on the island climbed about 5.6% in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the statistics. Civil Beat.

New body-cam video shows events that led to HPD chase ahead of serious crash. Newly released body camera videos show the moments before an unauthorized chase by Honolulu police on Sept. 12, 2021. The videos also show that HPD supervisors were aware that witnesses were pointing the finger at officers from the beginning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Child dies in apparent shooting accident at Hawaii island Boy Scout camp. Hawaii island police are investigating an apparent shooting accident that fatally wounded a boy Sunday afternoon at Camp Honokaia, a Boy Scouts of America facility. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Pause to face confirmation hearings: Acting DPW director seeks permanent post. A Hawaii County Council committee plans a Sept. 6 confirmation hearing to consider Mayor Mitch Roth’s appointment of Acting Public Works Director Stephen Pause to the permanent position. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Electric Asks Customers To Conserve Power This Week. The Hawaiʻi Island power utility hopes to avoid rolling outages, as Hamakua Energy Partners - the island’s largest independent power producer - is unavailable. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Volcano Transfer Station loses recycling program
. Volcano residents will have to travel farther afield to recycle HI-5 containers after the redemption center at the Volcano Transfer Station closes at the end of September. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui County to vote on creating an ʻŌiwi Resources Department in general election. The proposed ʻŌiwi Resources Department would ensure proper management of native cultural resources, including the Hawaiian language, cultural practices, and natural resources. Hawaii Public Radio.

Updated bill to protect native birds from outdoor lighting goes before Maui Council. Councilmember Kelly Takaya King announced today that a revised version of the bill to protect native Hawaiian seabirds from outdoor lighting will be reviewed Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee. Maui Now.

Park Maui mulls zip code check for free, discounted spots. An upcoming pilot program that aims to address growing parking demands in heavily used county parks and beaches proposes requiring a Maui County zip code to qualify for free parking, an idea backed by most residents at a meeting Wednesday. Maui News.

July 2022 visitor arrivals to Hawaiʻi recover 92.4% from 2019. Visitor arrivals on Maui have recovered to near pre-pandemic levels, with July 2022 arrivals coming in at -1% from 2019. Maui Now.


Kauai Is Building One Of The Nation’s Longest Predator-Proof Fences. One of the longest predator-proof fences in the country is under construction at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the North Shore of Kauai. When complete, the $1.7 million project will span 2.1 miles, enclosing 168 of the refuge’s 199 acres to protect native seabird species – some of which are uncomfortably close to extinction. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Foodbank Food Drive Day makes a haul of it. Kaua‘i hosted seven sites, each one operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., across the island, accepting the top needed commodity of money, and other nonperishable foodstuffs to replenish the Puhi facility. Garden Island.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Hawaii celebrates Little League world championship, Honolulu mulls shoreline setbacks, Hawaiian Princess Kawananakoa near death, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Brian Schatz Facebook 
Honolulu wins Little League World Series, beating Curacao 13-3. For a week and a half at the Little League World Series, no team came close to Hawaii. The championship Sunday was no different. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press. KHON2.

Survey finds strong support for visitor education efforts, access fees to parks. Visitor access fees to state parks and trails are just one of the many tourism management efforts supported by Hawaii residents. That’s according to a recent Resident Sentiment Survey by the State of Hawai’i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism for Spring 2022. Hawaii News Now. Hawaii Public Radio.

Changes in affirmative action may have little impact on Hawaii schools. University officials say the impact in Hawaii would be minimal should the U.S. Supreme Court strike down racial affirmative action in school admissions. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer Native Hawaiian Men Are Going To College. The Repercussions May Last Generations. Overall college enrollment in the state shrank 20% over the last decade, but the drop was steeper for Native Hawaiian men, with 30% fewer male students enrolled last spring than there were a decade ago. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Top Campaign Contributor Is Backing Republicans This Election Cycle. The GOP saw an uptick in donations as well as stronger voter turnout in the Aug. 13 primary election. Civil Beat.

‘An Epic Fail:’ Hawaii Inmate Medical Records System Hasn’t Worked Right For Months.
A top prison official said computer updates weren’t done for the system, and health workers at Hawaii’s jails and prisons lost access to thousands of records. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Hospitalized And Gravely Ill, This Hawaiian Princess Is Intent On Sharing Her Wealth. Abigail Kawananakoa has made clear in the past that she wants her fortune to be used to benefit Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat.


Council considering increasing shoreline setbacks. The Honolulu City Council is considering increasing the general shoreline setback distance for structures and development from 40 feet to between 60 and 130 feet, depending on the location and size of the property. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Liquor Commission May Be Headed For An Overhaul. In justifying the need for change, a City Council resolution outlines a decades-long pattern of malfeasance. Civil Beat.

End in sight for foam and plastic take-out containers. Starting on September 6, single-use plastic and foam take-out containers can no longer be used. KHON2.

Ambulance safety questioned on Oahu following deadly explosion in Kailua
. The Honolulu City Council is planning a special hearing with the head of Honolulu Emergency Services Department to figure out what changes may need to be made to ensure public safety. KITV4.

University of Hawaii reorganization merges 5 academic units into 1. Five academic units from three different colleges — each with related yet distinct approaches to communication and information — have been combined to establish the  School of Communication and Information  in one of the largest reorganizations in the university’s history. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii study focuses on detecting mutations as a predictor of future COVID-19 variants. UH researchers led by Tao Yan, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, are analyzing wastewater collected from Oahu during the pandemic to determine if the presence of a mutation could be an indicator of virus evolution. Star-Advertiser.

Homeless encampments along Nimitz Highway reduced for now. As Oahu’s summer tourism season comes to its traditional Labor Day end, the main Nimitz Highway corridor that visitors use to get from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport into Waikiki last week was unusually clear of homeless encampments. Star-Advertiser.

Volunteers remove trash and paint over graffiti in Chinatown. The improved look is thanks to the more than 300 volunteers who picked up trash and added fresh layers of paint to the exteriors of businesses, traffic control boxes and nearby bridges Saturday during the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s second annual “Chinatown Cleanup.” Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Survey: Locals feeling a little friendlier toward tourists. Big Island residents are reporting an increasingly favorable view of the visitor industry, with East Hawaii residents expressing a more positive opinion than their West Hawaii counterparts. West Hawaii Today.

Commissioners mull cesspool alternatives
: Waste management master plans in the works. Tax incentives and low-interest loans as well as the creation of an enterprise fund through a utility surcharge are three options being bandied about to help the state convert its 88,000 cesspools into something less harmful to the environment by 2050. West Hawaii Today.

How to catch up? Pandemic’s impact has stunted development for many young keiki. Preschool and elementary teachers on the Big Island have reported alarming behavioral changes in young keiki following the pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Proposed bottling plant hopes to give back to community. Hawaiian Kingdom Brands plans to build a 30,000-square-foot water bottling and coffee roasting facility on a lot at the intersection of Mililani and Piilani streets. Tribune-Herald.

Another boat ramp option floated for Pohoiki. State engineers are investigating whether to remove most of a beach in order to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor transmits two resolutions to council in an effort to finalize A&B land acquisition. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino transmitted two resolutions to the Maui County Council on Friday to accept the dedication of 45 acres of land from A&B Properties for parks and open space.  Maui Now.

Maui hate crime case hinges on use of term ‘haole’. The central question that jurors will be asked to decide is whether the men attacked the victim because he was white or because he was a newcomer who disrespected their community, court documents show. Star-Advertiser.

Maui hospital receives zero “Condition Level Findings” from accrediting body. Maui Memorial Medical Center received zero “Condition Level Findings” during an unannounced visit by surveyors with The Joint Commission in July. This marked the hospital’s highest scores to date, according to a Maui Health press release. Maui Now.

Maui hotels were tops in revenue, last in occupancy in July.
Report shows less of a summer travel surge than last year. Maui News.

Could The End Be Near For Hawaii’s Resort Penguins? For nearly 40 years, guests arriving at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa have been greeted by a group of penguins that, while perhaps charming in their feathery faux tuxedos, aren’t exactly associated with Hawaii. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i Police Department backed up Vice President Kamala Harris on vacation. KPD provided services both for the Vice President’s Aug. 15 arrival and the Aug. 25 departure, along with backing up her movements when necessary. Garden Island.

Bird Rescuers ‘Desperately’ Seek Kauai Honeycreepers As The Species Faces Extinction. Crews are in the remote forest seeking three ‘akikiki birds, part of a last-ditch attempt to protect them from the mosquito-borne illness that’s devastated their numbers. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Locals blame tourists as Hawaii prices rise, Honolulu affordable housing put on hold, Waikiki promenade remains closed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Costs, Prices, Customers: Everything’s Up at Hawai‘i’s Restaurants. The Food Gurus Hawaii Restaurant Index provides insights into a volatile year so far for local eateries. Hawaii Business Magazine.

Hawaii Tourism Authority and DBEDT release results of resident sentiment survey. Overcrowding, damage to the environment, high prices/higher cost of living, and traffic problems continue to be the most concerning issues when it comes to tourism in Hawaii. KITV4.

Governor Ige Travels To Japan On Sister-State Mission. Governor Ige will meet with Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki in Hiroshima, and Gov. Tsugumasa Muraoka in Yamaguchi. Lt. Governor Josh Green is serving as acting governor until Gov. Ige returns to Hawaiʻi on September 3rd. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii, Maui counties revise permit process for license to carry firearms. Hawaii and Maui counties are the first two municipalities in the state to put in place revisions to their permit process for a license to carry firearms in the wake of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that toppled a New York state law limiting who can have a permit to carry a pistol outside their home. Star-Advertiser.

Republican PAC mocks GOP lieutenant governor candidate.
A Hawaii Republican political action committee that regularly attacks the Republican Party of Hawaii, its leaders and some of its candidates is now mocking GOP lieutenant governor candidate Seaula “Junior” Tupai Jr. Star-Advertiser.

Containership powered by natural gas now in Hawaii. Pasha Hawaii’s new 774-foot MV George III docked in Honolulu Harbor at Pier 51, where more than 200 company employees gathered after a blessing ceremony to celebrate what represented the beginning of regular serv­ice between California and Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Damning Report Unlikely To Affect Honolulu Ethics Director’s Job. Jan Yamane was deeply unpopular as the acting state auditor, according to a state investigative report, but she’s a hit with the Honolulu Ethics Commission. Civil Beat.

Financial snags delay construction of large affordable rental project on Oahu. The Parkway Villages project, planned as one of Oahu’s largest affordable apartment projects with over 400 units, was supposed to start construction by November. But developer Kobayashi Group is asking the City Council for a two-year extension. Hawaii News Now.

City resolution calls on liquor commission. The Honolulu Liquor Commission is being asked by two Honolulu City Councilmembers to make internal changes in order to restore public trust, the calls coming as the commission faced lawsuits and complaints from businesses alleging violations. KHON2.

Aiona And McDermott Want Water Treatment System To Combat Red Hill Fuel Leakages. Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona and Rep. Bob McDermott are calling for a water treatment system on Oahu to shield the public water supply from fuel leakages related to the Navy’s fuel storage facility at Red Hill. Civil Beat.

Popular Waikiki promenade remains closed amid structural concerns. Officials say a popular promenade that borders the ocean behind the Waikiki Aquarium may be in danger of collapsing. Hawaii News Now.
Honolulu showing the world what the Aloha Spirit is all about at Little League World Series. Moments after Honolulu Little League defeated Kawaihau to claim the Hawaii state championship, the players were invited to enjoy a big dinner with their opponents. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Foodbank to hold annual Food Drive Day on Oahu
. The food bank is encouraging the public to collect food and monetary donations up until Saturday, and will be accepting donations at drop-off sites in Kakaako, Kahala, Mililani and Kaneohe from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Cell tower eyed for Hilo.
Developers hope to build a 180-foot cellular tower at the top end of Kaumana Drive in Hilo, according to filings with the Windward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

New Permitting System Causing EPIC Headaches for Some Users. The change has been difficult to navigate, for the county Department of Public Works and the public. Big Island Now.

Liliʻuokalani Trust plans to sell 100 acres of legacy lands in Kona to expand youth services. The Liliʻuokalani Trust is considering selling more than 100 acres of legacy lands in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island with the proceeds from the sale going to fund an expansion of youth services on the island. Hawaii Public Radio.


Ultra-fast fiber internet service available to some homes and businesses on Maui. Residents and businesses can visit to check if Fioptics is available for their homes or businesses. Maui Now.

DMVL to offer services Saturday. The Maui County Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing will offer driver’s licensing and other services from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday by appointment only at the Maui County Service Center in Kahului. Maui News. Maui Now.


Planning Department’s front counter now open. The Planning Department’s front counter at the Kapule Building in the Lihu‘e Civic Center will reopen today, as repairs were completed ahead of schedule. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Student loan bailout coming to Hawaii, Maui bill lets people sleep in cars, Cayetano has stents implanted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Tens of thousands in Hawaii will benefit from federal student loan forgiveness plan. Tens of thousands in Hawaii will benefit from federal student loan forgiveness plan. President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for Americans earning $125,000 or less per year was welcomed by many in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Sen. Mazie Hirono and the Small Business Administration are optimistic that more small-business support is coming. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Guzman on Wednesday began visiting Hawaii organizations supporting Native Hawaiian and female-owned small businesses with the message that more federal support is on the way that will build on existing efforts to help them access federal support. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Telcom expands fiber internet access statewide. Hawaiian Telcom expanded its fiber-optic infrastructure to more than 22,000 homes and businesses during the first half of this year and said Wednesday it is on target to achieve its goal of enabling a total of 50,000 homes by year-end. Star-Advertiser.

UH Researcher Gets $2.8M To Help Prevent Vaping Among Rural Hawaiian Youth. A University of Hawaii Cancer Center researcher was awarded a $2.8 million grant to develop and test an e-cigarette prevention plan for the state’s rural youth, especially Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders who are disproportionately affected. Civil Beat.

Ben Cayetano undergoes procedure to clear arterial blockage. Former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was scheduled to have two stents implanted to clear an arterial blockage this week — a procedure that Cayetano said he should have had done 10 years ago. Star-Advertiser.

New boosters targeting BA.5 expected as Hawaii cases trend downward. The Biden administration plans to offer the next generation of COVID-19 booster shots to Americans ages 12 and older soon after Labor Day. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State to expand COVID wastewater surveillance program. Soon, Hawaii will no longer need to send off samples to the mainland. That could save up to a week in reporting results. KITV4.

Hawaii Department of Health reports 2,219 new COVID-19 infections, 13 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, continued its downward trend to 8.6% compared to 10.7% reported the previous week, representing tests performed between Aug. 16 to 22. Star-Advertiser.

4 more monkeypox cases reported, bringing state total to 22, Department of Health says. DOH said it has identified four additional cases of monkeypox in two Oahu residents and one Maui resident, all of which remain under investigation, and a Hawaii Island resident whose case is related to community exposure. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.


Signature issues on Hawaii primary ballots left thousands of votes uncounted. Despite lower participation in the recent election, more voters on Oahu mailed or dropped off ballots that weren’t counted because of nonmatching or missing signatures on ballot return envelopes compared with the 2020 primary election when mail-in voting became the predominant form of voting in Hawaii under a 2019 decision by state lawmakers. Star-Advertiser.

Military says barbed wire fence is for ‘anti-terrorism protection,’ but residents call it an eyesore. In Keolu Hills overlooking Marine Corps Training Area Bellows in Waimanalo, residents often hear military exercises. But now there’s construction activity. Military contractors are building a fence around the training area that’s 7 feet tall with barbed wire. Hawaii News Now.

Blueprint For Hawaii Housing? UH Project For Students And Faculty Is Going Up At Relatively Little Cost. A Hawaii lawmaker says the public private housing partnership could be a model for state-owned affordable rentals. On an island where the median price of a condominium hovers around $500,000, it may come as a surprise that a private developer is planning to build up to 400 units in verdant Manoa for as little as $212,500 each. But that’s exactly what’s happening on the University of Hawaii campus. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha Accuses Feds Of Ruining Her Marriage With Cocaine Photo Allegation. The former Honolulu deputy prosecutor is trying to appeal her 2019 conviction for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Police Update Permitting Process For License To Carry Firearms. The revised permitting process on Hawaiʻi island follows the July 2022 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in NYSRPA v Bruen. Big Island Video News.

U.S. Coral Reef Task Force To Meet In Kona. The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources is hosting the 45th USCRTF meeting in Kaiula-Kona from August 27 to Sept. 3. Big Island Video News.

DOE awards contract for new classroom building at Kealakehe Elementary School. Honolulu-based Nan Inc. was the apparent low bidder for the project putting in an offer of $16.125 million, more than $3 million over the project’s estimated cost of $13 million. Also submitting bids were F &H Construction at $16.34 million and Isemoto contracting at $17.93 million. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Food Distributor Settles Racism Lawsuit For $90K. A Hawaii food distribution company has agreed to pay $90,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a Black employee was subjected to racial slurs and racist references to slavery, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Bill to let Maui residents sleep in vehicles in county lots approved, but some wary of sites
. A bill to create a pilot project so houseless residents may use their vehicles as overnight habitation in county parking lots was passed Tuesday, but some are voicing concerns over which properties may become a “safe sleeping zone.” Maui Now.

Maui issues first concealed carry permit. Maui County Police Department issued its first permit to carry a concealed weapon out of 187 applicants. This after the supreme court ruling in June upholding the right to carry a gun in public. KHON2.

Land in Lahaina slated for future teacher housing. Timeline to be discussed; state says it’s the first time in a decade that DOE will put up educator housing. Maui News.

Maui’s first Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A restaurants set to open next week in Kahului. Starting next week, chicken fans will merely cross the road for two of the nation’s popular poultry restaurants. Maui Now. Maui News. KITV4.


New charter school aims to meet 'multigenerational' need on Kauaʻi's North Shore
. For decades, middle and high school students living in communities such as Wainiha and Hanalei have traveled to and from school in Kapaʻa. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaneiolouma statues removed for maintenance. The 16-foot tall Ki‘i that tower over Po‘ipu were taken down for maintenance last week, but they will be back up soon. Garden Island.

Welcome Back event celebrated a return to in-person learning. Students from the college took advantage of the E Komo Mai, or Welcome Back, event presented by the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i-Kaua‘i Community College student government and the college’s Student Life department to re-unite with friends between classes. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Lucky we live (long) in Hawaii, state pension fund stays strong, Honolulu could raise parking fees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii hula festival ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at birth in the nation, CDCs mortality report says. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Hawaii had the highest life expectancy at birth of 80.7 years, as well as the highest life expectancy for men (77.6 years) and women (83.8 years), according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics’ annual report on mortality in the U.S. released Tuesday.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State pension fund overcomes hurdles to secure fiscal-year gain. In a fiscal year fraught with geopolitical unrest, supply-chain issues, rising inflation and a bearish stock market, the state’s largest public pension fund capitalized on its risk-averse strategy to finish in positive territory. Star-Advertiser.

An ‘Explosive’ Report On The Former State Auditor Describes An Office In Turmoil. It took more than six years, a lawsuit and two appeals to the Hawaii Supreme Court to force the AG’s office to release results of the investigation. Former Acting State Auditor Jan Yamane ran an office that had deteriorated into an “offensive work environment” characterized by low morale and favoritism, and the office produced “sensationalized” audit reports for the Legislature and the public, according to a lengthy 2016 investigation by the state Attorney General. Civil Beat.

What Comes Next For US Rep. Kai Kahele? Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele’s loss in the governor’s race is a major blow — possibly fatal — to a once promising political career that began only six years ago with the death of his father, Gilbert. Civil Beat.

Hawaii gubernatorial candidate challenges primary election results. Gary Cordery filed a complaint Monday with the Hawaii Supreme Court that raises questions about fairness and asks that all candidates be advanced to the Nov. 8 general election. Star-Advertiser.

After end of Roe v. Wade, broad coalition seeks to expand abortion access in Hawaii. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade in June sent decisions about abortion rights to the states. While abortion is legal in Hawaii, doctors say the decision exposed gaps in care. Hawaii News Now.


City considering increasing Oahu parking costs. The cost of city public parking could be increasing in an effort to incentivize using other forms of transportation besides cars, as well as recover lost revenue. Annually, revenue from city on-street and off-street parking comes out to just $6.7 million, paling in comparison to the $11.4 million it costs the city to operate it. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council authorizes lawsuit against owner of 'FCKBLM' license plates. After the offensive plates were brought to the department's attention last year, the city and county admitted they were never supposed to have been approved in the first place, since profane combinations are automatically rejected. KITV4.

Dining out in Honolulu? If you don’t ask for water, you might not get it. The city is reminding restaurants that water must be provided only if patrons request it. That’s because there is a 10% voluntary water conservation order in place, which has been in effect since March due to drought conditions. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Community Development Plan action committees put on hold: Administration says insufficient staffing available for the citizen advisory panels. The announcement by Planning Director Zendo Kern comes more than a year after administrators told the County Council that it would hold off filling vacancies in the six Community Development Plan action committees for three to six months in order to take a hard look at how the boards can best be used. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Agencies Criticize A Big Island Military Training Site Amid Push for Lease Renewal. Two Hawaii state agencies have submitted blistering comments regarding the future of the Pohakuloa military training area on the Big Island. Civil Beat.

Hilo housing project gets favorable EA. The Kaiaulu O Kapiolani Housing Development is a proposed complex to be built near the intersection of Kukuau Street and Kapiolani Avenue that would offer units to households earning 60% or less of the area’s median income. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

‘A huge learning experience’. Kohala business ordered to pay over $60K in back wages, damages. A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered $28,455 in unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages from a Hawi nursery and landscaping company after finding the business failed to pay overtime wages to 37 employees over three years. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Power Outage Shutters 14 Schools. Power restored to 65,000 on Maui; caused by high-voltage short circuit in Māʻalaea. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Several West Maui routes canceled due to school bus driver shortage. DOE offering refunds, alternate transportation for impacted students. Due to a recent loss of school bus drivers, eight bus routes serving Lahaina schools were suspended as of Monday, the state Department of Education confirmed. Maui News.

Senate confirms Annalisa M. Bernard Lee to the District Court of the 2nd Circuit on Maui. The Hawaiʻi State Senate voted today to confirm Annalisa M. Bernard Lee to a position in the District Court of the Second Circuit, which encompasses Maui County. Her term of office will be for six years.  Maui Now.


New owners, continued opposition to Kaua‘i Coco Palms development. A year after the remains of the famed Coco Palms Hotel was purchased at auction for $22 million, a legal challenge has been filed contesting the developer’s permits. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

EPA probe faults Navy on Red Hill, Kauai kids confront VP Harris on fuel leaks, sweepstakes machine distributor sues Honolulu police for gambling raid, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Navy water operators unprepared despite fuel leak risks, EPA reports. The Navy potentially violated numerous state and federal laws relating to safe drinking water in its operation and maintenance of its Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam public water system, an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

State Rep. Patrick Branco’s future uncertain following congressional loss. State Rep. Patrick Branco is supporting former rival state Sen. Jill Tokuda in her congressional campaign and serves as an unpaid volunteer in Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s run to become Hawaii’s next governor as Branco’s own political future is now uncertain after election commercials on his behalf linked Tokuda to the National Rifle Association while showing images of the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre. Star-Advertiser.

Schools Add Emotional Development To The Curriculum. Hawaii educators hope new initiatives and programs will help students recover from social and academic setbacks during the pandemic. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaiser’s mental health shortage puts patient safety at risk, national agency finds. Kaiser hasn’t denied it has a shortage of mental health specialists, but has stressed that those shortages exist nationwide and were exacerbated by the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


Distributor sues HPD over damage to dozens of sweepstakes machines. After a bitter, decade-long legal and political battle, the Hawaii distributor of sweepstakes gaming machines is suing the HPD for damaging his equipment. The lawsuit alleges that when Honolulu police seized PJY Enteprises LLC’s 77 sweepstakes machines in 2012, the machines were new and in working condition. Hawaii News Now.

Feds add more spy allegations against Kapolei couple. After backing off on some spy allegations against a Kapolei couple, federal prosecutors are stepping it up by releasing transcripts of the couple’s recorded conversations. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council to consider settling police brutality lawsuit: Puna mother claims excessive force, ADA violations against autistic son. A federal lawsuit claiming police brutality and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act appears headed for settlement by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Kehena victim was musician, artist, ‘peacemaker’. “He was the quintessential Puerto Rican renaissance man.” That’s how Bub Pratt, entertainer and owner of Kukuau Studio in Hilo, described Gabriel DeSilva, a 72-year-old Pahoa man police said was the victim of a possible drowning Sunday morning at Kehena Beach in Puna. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Police K9, Rory, Retires. The springer spaniel has worked as a narcotics canine for the Area II (west Hawai‘i) Vice Section since 2015. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


Wastewater Company At Center Of Bribery Scandal Won Big Maui Contracts. H2O Process Systems was awarded millions of dollars in sole source contracts for upgrades and replacement parts for Maui County’s wastewater system. Civil Beat.

Resident input sought for planning of 3.6 miles of Honoapiʻilani, Lahaina to Kāʻanapali.
The County of Maui has launched the West Maui Community Corridor Transit-Oriented Development Action Plan to advance strategies for a transit-oriented community in West Maui. Maui Now.

Open house planned for release of draft South Maui Community Plan Update. The Maui County Planning Department will host an open house for the release of the first draft of the updated South Maui Community Plan on from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Kīhei Community Center. Maui Now.

Thousands on Maui without power early Tuesday morning. According to Hawaiian Electric, crews are currently working to restore power to parts of South Maui, West Maui, Kahului, Wailuku, Waihee and Waiehu, Upcountry and East Maui. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai 8th graders confront Vice President Kamala Harris over Red Hill. Throughout Vice President Kamala Harris' vacation on the Garden Isle, groups like the Oahu Water Protectors have held up signs near her Kalihiwai Ridge vacation home, urging more action on the Red Hill water crisis. KITV4.

Jason Momoa TV series seeks Kaua‘i talent. A project spearheaded by actor Jason Momoa is filming on Kaua‘i this fall — and they need local talent. Garden Island.

Fall semester kicks off at Kaua‘i Community College. All Kaua‘i Community College students are welcomed to “E Komo Mai,” presented by the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i-Kaua‘i Community College, Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the area fronting the campus Learning Center. Garden Island.

Monday, August 22, 2022

New panel seeks to align factions over Mauna Kea telescope construction, businesses raked in profits on COVID testing, iconic Coco Palms Resort back before planning commission, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Protester sign on Mauna Kea ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii seeks end to strife over astronomy on sacred mountain. Telescopes and the needs of astronomers have dominated the summit of Maunakea for 50 years but that’s changing with a new state law saying the mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians must be protected for future generations and that science must be balanced with culture and the environment. Associated Press.

‘The Three Climateers’: Hawaii’s Brian Schatz among new generation of Senate climate hawks. Schatz, 49, embodies a new type of climate hawk on Capitol Hill — one that resonates with a younger generation of climate activists determined to win buy-in not just from environmentalists but also from farmers, ranchers, Native people, labor groups, low-income communities and corporations, too. Washington Post.

New Law Expanding Benefits For Exposure To Harmful Toxins Helps Hawaii Veterans. The PACT act makes veterans who served in several countries as well as those who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll eligible for VA health care and benefits. Six years after Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai died of pancreatic cancer, one of his signature pieces of legislation has finally become law. Civil Beat.

Update on renewable power plant plans for Hawaii. With the all the increases in power bills recently, many people are wondering what's next for the state of electricity in Hawaii. If you look on Hawaiian Electric's renewable status area of their website, you can see 14 power plants and storage facilities are set to go online in the next 2 years. While one is a geothermal plant, the rest are solar. KITV4.

Democratic running mates Josh Green and Sylvia Luke fine-tune roles. So far they’re still in their political honeymoon phase following their separate Democratic primary victories Aug. 13 to become Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor and governor, respectively. Star-Advertiser.


Experts: Nonprofit’s non-bid COVID contract was a lucrative ‘sweetheart deal’ that gouged taxpayers. COVID testing in Hawaii early in the pandemic was extremely lucrative for government contractors, experts say. They also say the city’s airport testing program meant big profits for a local non-profit and its partners. Hawaii News Now.

Complaints pour in about Honolulu Liquor Commission as critics call for overhaul. The agency in charge of overseeing liquor sales on Oahu is under fire again, facing more allegations of corruption and discrimination. An amended complaint, filed Monday by LGBTQ business owners, cites civil rights violations by the Honolulu Liquor Commission and the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, along with individual employees. Hawaii News Now.

Developer plans to sell 222 acres in Wahiawa to local farmers. Developer Peter Savio is offering local farmers a chance to buy small lots on 222 acres in Wahiawa at what he says are below- market prices as part of his push to make available more affordable agricultural land. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council considering measure to protect historic cultural sites.
In an effort to better protect historic cultural sites, the Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would activate the Historic Preservation Commission, which has remained dormant for the past 29 years. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

City of Honolulu takes ownership of controversial area - Leahi Avenue. City and County of Honolulu now owns the privately owned area between Leahi Avenue and Noela Street – effective Monday. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Affordable housing credits: Finance Committee approves downsized audit request. A “boiled down” request for an audit of county affordable housing credits got the nod Tuesday from the County Council Finance Committee after concerns were raised earlier this month about possibly impeding a federal criminal investigation. West Hawaii Today.

Waikoloa Solar + Storage Project to begin full operations next spring. Work is wrapping up at the Waikoloa Solar + Storage Project in South Kohala with AES Clean Energy on track to begin next spring full operations producing power for Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Emergency call center projected to be finished late next year. A new facility to consolidate the dispatch centers for the Hawaii Police Department and Hawaii Fire Department is now expected to be finished late next year. Tribune-Herald.

Puna boat ramp blues: Four years after Kilauea eruption, community mulls three options. Dozens of Puna residents, many of them fishermen, gathered at Pahoa Community Center on Thursday for a public meeting about a predesign report for an eventual reopening of the ramp, which was cut off from the ocean in 2018 by a sandbar raised by lava entering the ocean during the Kilauea eruption that year. Tribune-Herald.

Hunt Companies sells Palamanui property. The land slated for a university village around Hawaii Community College-Palamanui has changed hands, but development of the massive project isn’t expected to change much under new ownership. West Hawaii Today.


Maui camper van owners push back on plans to regulate, prohibit mobile vacation dwellings. As Maui lawmakers mull plans to regulate or prohibit mobile vacation dwellings to curb overtourism, some camper van businesses are saying leaders are unfairly targeting some of the island’s most respectful visitors.  Maui Now.

Safety, operational concerns raised over new pier. Residents and a Maui lawmaker have multiple safety and operational concerns about the new Lahaina Small Boat Harbor pier located near a popular surf break in West Maui. Maui News.

$15M released for a new dedicated teacher affordable housing project on Maui. State Representative Angus McKelvey, who currently represents District 10 (which includes the areas of West Maui, Māʻalaea, and a small section of North Kīhei), announced the release of $15 million for the construction of dedicated teacher housing in Lahaina. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Surfers, beachgoers push for earlier access to Hoʻokipa amid parking concerns. County officials confirm that hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and lifeguards are on duty from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the location. The mayor's administration said any change first requires a cost analysis, changes to Administrative Rules, and a mutually agreeable plan with the union and the Department of Fire and Public Safety for staffing changes. Maui Now.

New tool developed by University of Hawaii researchers predicts coastal flooding in West Maui. With the beaches having a limited sand supply and seasonal waves striking shores from both north and south, West Maui is probably Hawaii’s most vulnerable coast when it comes to the effects of sea level rise. Star-Advertiser.

The No. 1 Reason Maui Residents Call 211? They Need Help Buying Food. When Maui families call 211, the service that directs people to social services, the No. 1 reason isn’t the need for medical care, utility assistance or even rental assistance in a place that’s experiencing a dire shortage of affordable housing. It’s because they need help buying food. Civil Beat.


Kauai Wants To Disaster-Proof New Buildings By Putting Them On Stilts. Kauai would become the state’s first municipality to regulate construction based on flood projections spurred on by sea level rise. As scientists warn of a merciless rise in sea level that could render more than 25,000 acres of statewide land uninhabitable this century, Kauai County planners are plotting new rules to defend homes and businesses from a watery demise. Civil Beat.

Controversial development of Coco Palms Resort draws renewed concerns. A Planning Commission meeting Tuesday could decide the fate of the iconic Coco Palms Resort at Wailua, which was featured in the Elvis Presley film, ”Blue Hawaii.” Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative welcomes new CFO. Stacie Dellamano was appointed to the position of chief financial officer of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative as of Aug. 15. Garden Island.

Shearwater deaths alarm residents. Five wedge-tailed shearwater seabirds were found dead in Ha‘ena in the area between Tunnels (Makua) Beach and Camp Naue in two separate incidents this summer. Garden Island.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Natatorium renovation mulled, wrongful death lawsuit filed by Zuckerberg employee's family, $500M contract for Honolulu rail utility work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

City preparing design documents to renovate storied Waikiki Natatorium. Will the iconic Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium ever reopen to the public? After closing down due to water quality and safety issues 43 years ago, the storied landmark now sits dilapidated with crumbling concrete and chipped paint. KITV4.

Two deputy superintendents added to lead Hawaii public school strategy and operations. The state Board of Education today approved the creation and appointments for two new deputy superintendent positions, despite concerns raised by Hawaii’s teachers union and others about worsening bureaucracy at the top of the state’s public school system. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii board receives first draft of strategic plan for 2023-2029. A first-draft outline of a new strategic plan for the University of Hawaii system calls for providing education to a bigger chunk of the islands’ population, eliminating the state’s shortages of teachers and other high- demand workers, and improving equity for Native Hawaiian students and employees among its numerous goals. Star-Advertiser.

Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct discusses legislative term limits. At a Wednesday meeting, the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct heard from several state lawmakers and the public on the legislative process in its mission to make recommendations on topics from lobbying to campaign finance laws. Hawaii Public Radio.

State water commission considers ability to act during emergency situations. Hawaiʻi has faced drought conditions and potential water shortages this summer. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Commission on Water Resource Management has been monitoring rainfall across the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Condo Fees Are Among Nation’s Highest. And They’re Squeezing The Middle Class. For many middle class home owners, maintenance fees can be almost as high as a mortgage. Civil Beat.


New $500 Million Contract May Finally Solve Honolulu Rail’s Utility Woes. Rail officials tried to get this work done under a prior contract. They say this new deal will finally solve one of the project’s biggest obstacles. Honolulu rail officials this week awarded a nearly half-billion dollar contract that they hope will finally overcome one of the project’s biggest hurdles: relocating the maze of utility lines that run above and below Dillingham Boulevard. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Retirement ceremony foreshadows end of coal power era on Oahu. Gov. David Ige, several state lawmakers and city representatives participated in a retirement ceremony outside the AES Corp. coal-fired plant, which has been Oahu’s largest single generator of electricity for 30 years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

More seats approved for University of Hawaii field. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a $30 million plan that includes expanding the seating capacity of the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex to nearly 17,000 in time for the start of the 2023 football season. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

NOAA plans to relocate monk seal pup Koalani after weaning. Federal wildlife officials this afternoon announced a decision to relocate Hawaiian monk seal pup Koalani from Kaimana Beach in Waikiki to a more remote Oahu shoreline after he has weaned. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

A little tax relief for kupuna. Property taxes should take a slightly smaller bite from older property owners and those with lower-valued homes starting this time next year, thanks to a bill unanimously passed Wednesday by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Foes blast PGV plan. A public meeting about a plan to increase power production at Puna Geothermal Venture attracted nearly universal criticism from attendees Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hele-On awarded funds for zero-emissions fleet, capital improvements
. The county will procure six fuel cell electric buses and support hydrogen charging infrastructure through the Low or No Emissions grant program. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.


Maui Seabirds Still Face Danger From Bright Lights. The case against the Grand Wailea resort is headed for trial in April unless a settlement emerges. Civil Beat.

Crucial tasks ahead for new Department of Agriculture. County hammers out duties that include promoting local food, curbing theft, developing workforce. Maui News.

Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization taking applications for executive director. The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is now accepting applications to fill the role of executive director as Lauren Armstrong, who’s headed the organization since 2016, moves on to another job. Maui News.

Kūlanihākoʻi High School is approved as new Kīhei campus name. Kūlanihākoʻi High School is now the official name of the campus currently under construction in Kīhei, Maui, following today’s approval by the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education. Maui Now.

Maui to procure 11 new buses thanks to competitive federal grant. The County of Maui will procure four battery electric buses, as well as three commuter and four microtransit-type buses, and prepare the infrastructure needed to transition its fleet to electric buses by the year 2035. Maui Now.


Councilors hope bill incentivizes mainland investors to rent long-term. The Kaua‘i County Council passed a bill Wednesday that introducers view as a step toward equity and balance within the Kaua‘i property tax system. Garden Island.

Zuckerberg company implicated in wrongful death lawsuit. Rodney Medeiros was working a 12-hour shift as a security guard at the Kaua‘i ranch owned by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan when he died of a heart attack three years ago. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

State Tourism Officials Visit Kauai To Pitch Progress: ‘We’re Not Your Grandfather’s HTA’. Tourism, historically subject to little restraint, faces growing controls. But stressed-out residents say it’s not enough. Civil Beat.