Wednesday, December 6, 2023

DOE returns $465M in school construction funding, Maui council advances housing tax breaks, Honolulu building permit delays worsen, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The DOE Is Giving Up $465M In School Construction Funds. Lawmakers who managed to get projects funded for their neighborhood schools are upset, and want to know why the money won't be spent as they intended. The state Department of Education plans to surrender $465 million that lawmakers had earmarked for school construction projects across the state, a move that will delay and possibly jeopardize funding for new classrooms, play courts and athletic facilities. Civil Beat.

Search for next UH president becoming a battle for control. The search for the next University of Hawaii president is turning into the latest battleground for control of the massive state public university system, with some state lawmakers exerting heavy pressure to try to influence the selection and pushing to have current President David Lassner vacate the post earlier than his expected departure at the end of 2024, according to several officials close to the process. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi received a 'D' grade in high school financial literacy — and that's an improvement. While Hawaiʻi lags behind most states in teaching financial literacy, it is beginning to see improvement compared to previous years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Governor Mulls New Insurance Program As Extreme Weather Raises Risk Factors.
Natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and increasingly wildfires are contributing to an economic landscape where insurers may feel the risk is too great to do business here, Gov. Josh Green said Tuesday.  Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green marks first year in office. In an address on Tuesday marking his first year in office, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green touted a litany of actions taken by his administration, including dealing with the devastation suffered in the deadly Maui wildfires. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Assaults, other aggressive behaviors reported almost daily on Hawaii State Hospital campus. While officials say an employee’s fatal stabbing on the campus last month is the first murder to ever happen on the grounds of state facility, data obtained through public records requests show there have been nearly 1,500 reported incidents of assaults or other aggressive behavior on the campus over the last five years. Hawaii News Now.

Alaska Airlines explores possibility of returning service to Hawaii’s rural communities. The Alaska Airlines buyout of Hawaiian Airlines could potentially restore flights to smaller communities left with fewer options after the pandemic, but it won’t happen anytime soon. Hawaii News Now.


 Honolulu’s Building Permit Delays: A ‘Nightmare’ Decades In The Making. Construction industry professionals say it’s taking longer than ever to get a permit in Honolulu. The delays disrupt lives and put a drag on the economy.  Civil Beat.

Judge dismisses lawsuit to save Haiku Stairs. A lawsuit by the Friends of Haiku Stairs to block the removal of the once-legally accessible steel steps built along a sheer ridge line above Kaneohe has been denied. On Tuesday, 1st Circuit Judge John M. Tonaki granted summary judgment on the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit outright. Star-Advertiser.

Man with 164 citations charged in hit-and-run death of McKinley student.
The 46-year-old man who had no driver’s license and 164 citations when he was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run incident that killed a McKinley High School student Feb. 15 was charged Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Vending machine at nightclub allegedly sold cocaine and ecstasy.
Two men are facing federal charges for allegedly selling cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and other drugs out of vending machines in a Honolulu after- hours club and in a fake health and wellness store. Star-Advertiser.

From illegal game rooms to police staffing concerns, HPD tries to calm fears about continued violence in West Oahu. Over the past six months, there have been at least half a dozen violent incidents in West Oahu. Due to the spike in these incidents, West Oahu families met with lawmakers and law enforcers Tuesday night in hopes of working together to reduce violent crimes. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Officials say there is no emergency after Navy sirens inadvertently activated.
The sirens do not belong to the state or city, but to the U.S. Navy, which informed state and city officials that its giant voice system was inadvertently activated Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese entrants at marathon expected to nearly double this year. The tourist entrants have mostly come from Japan. Around 9,000 to 10,000 are expected to toe the starting line near Aloha Tower for Sunday’s 51st annual 26.2-mile race, Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council approves homeless funding. Allocation of nearly $10 million for homeless service providers came one step closer to reality Tuesday as the County Council’s Legislative Approvals and Acquisitions Committee unanimously advanced a resolution to a full council hearing. West Hawaii Today.

HPD vice detective arrested, charged with perjury, falsifying affidavit. According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Hilo Circuit Court, Detective William Brown  then assigned to East Hawaii Vice Section, made a false statement to the grand jury on March 15 in the case of Julissa Herrera, who was indicted on charges of first-, second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, plus possession of drug paraphernalia. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Presentation about Waiakea Peninsula draws mostly criticism. The Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Land and Natural Resources hosted an open house at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel to discuss and hear public feedback regarding how the Waiakea and Banyan Drive areas should be managed. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Bill Prohibits Overnight Parking Fronting Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Bill 105 prohibits parking between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for portions of Aliʻi Drive along Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Big Island Video News.


Maui Council Moves Swiftly On Tax Breaks To Provide Long-Term Rentals For Fire Survivors. Mayor Richard Bissen hopes the owners of vacation rentals agree to take part in the "shared sacrifice" of the recovery. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui council to consider bill to establish criteria for ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program. The Maui council will consider a bill Dec. 15 to establish criteria for the ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program, which offers grants of up to $100,000 to build an accessory dwelling or second farm dwelling for residents’ long-term occupancy. Maui Now.

Maui Fire Department Purchases Show The Fire’s Heavy Toll On Resources. Maui’s fire department estimates it has spent $2.7 million to replace damaged gear and replenish its inventory of equipment and firefighting materials four months after the wildfires. Civil Beat.


State removing last remnants of the defunct Hawaii Superferry. The Department of Transportation is looking for a contractor to remove the existing Superferry ramp at Pier 1 at Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai.  KITV4.

Island home sales slump. A dreary cycle for the island housing market continued in the first month of fall, as sales of single-family homes slumped more than 13 percent to begin the final quarter of the year. Garden Island.

Contractors Association of Kaua‘i installs new officers. The Contractors Association of Kaua‘i (CAK) announced its new slate of officers through the installation of the new leadership during the CAK 66th annual meeting that was held under inclement weather at Puakea Golf Course on Thursday. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

State budget surplus plummets, Hawaiian Airlines stock soars, military ending live-fire training in Makua Valley, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Remember Last Year’s State Budget Surplus? Well, Wave Goodbye. New state data provided to bond investors shows the general fund surplus for the end of this fiscal year has plummeted from a projected $3.9 billion to just $600 million. When Gov. Josh Green unveils his proposed state supplemental budget later this month he will set the stage for what may be a lackluster election year session of the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Review of Governor Josh Green's first year in office. Tuesday, December 5th marks one year since Governor Josh Green came into office. Over the past year, he has had a lot on his plate. KITV4.

Three individuals identified in search to fill the House District 10 vacancy for Maui. They are Timothy Scott Lara, entrepreneur, and community leader; Leslee D. Matthews, social worker and attorney; and Tyson K. Miyake, former chief of staff to former Mayor Victorino. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines stock soars 193% after buyout news.
Shares of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. closed Monday at $14.22, up from $4.86 Friday before leaders of the two companies announced the acquisition deal Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed Hawaiian-Alaska merger tests Biden administration’s resolve.
The Biden administration has taken a tough stance against mergers, and it is certain to take a close look at Alaska Air Group’s proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines. Associated Press. KHON2.

Experts: Alaska buyout of Hawaiian Air was best possible outcome but questions remain. The end of local ownership for Hawaiian Airlines continues to send shock waves across the state and airline industry, but many see the $2 billion buyout by Alaska Airlines as a chance to preserve the Hawaiian Air brand while perhaps improving service. Hawaii News Now.


US military affirms it will end live-fire training in Mākua Valley. The U.S. military has confirmed that it will permanently end live-fire training in Mākua Valley on Oʻahu, a major win for Native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists after decades of activism. Associated Press.

Navy plane ‘pulverized’ coral in Kaneohe Bay, state divers say.
State divers plan to continue surveying the damage to the coral reef around Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the front landing gear of a Navy plane “sort of pulverized the coral,” and anchors from a boom installed to contain fuel leakage also left scars. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

State, feds offer city $75M to reopen Halawa Shaft. The Halawa Shaft, one of Oahu’s major sources of fresh drinking water, was permanently shut down following massive leaks of jet fuel at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage in 2021. Star-Advertiser.

The New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District will take decades to complete. One official said the stadium should be done in about five years, but the rest of the project will take many more to complete. KHON2.

Mechanical issues reportedly force emergency hard landing. A 77-year-old man was taken in serious condition to a hospital Monday after the pilot of a small plane apparently performed an emergency landing at a construction site in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

How A Hawaii Kai Community Ended Up Owing $38,000 In Delinquent Property Taxes. Residents in a section of Hawaii Kai are trying to get the city to take over their private road after the development companies dissolved and left them to cover almost $40,000 in delinquent property taxes.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth signs bill to streamline construction permitting process on Hawaiʻi Island. The new law simplifies and standardizes application timelines, extensions and expirations. They now align with updated construction code standards mandated by the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study: Hilo had 20.2% decline in brick-and-mortar retailers from 2011 to 2021. Hilo ranked No. 16 in the study among “small metros” and 19th in “all metros,” with the number of retail stores plummeting from 657 in 2011 to 574 in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Magnitude-5.1 Earthquake Shakes Hawaiʻi Island. The earthquake was located in the Hilina region on the southern flank of Kīlauea volcano, and did not generate a tsunami. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Two humpback whales in Kona waters instantly identified using app with artificial intelligence. With the app Happywhale, Capt. Andrew Aggergaard and naturalist Olivia Miller were thrilled to be able to identify the two adults by photographing their flukes and letting the app’s artificial intelligence match them to those in its global digital database of more than 70,000 whales.  Big Island Now.


Lahaina Fire Came Amid Record String of Natural Disasters In 2023.
After a record-breaking year for natural disasters in America, Lahaina will be vying for recovery assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency amid growing geopolitical threats and within a bitterly partisan political climate. Civil Beat.

With key deadline approaching, FEMA seeks long-term housing for Maui evacuees. Federal, state and county officials are working with thousands of victims — and next Monday is the deadline for those impacted to apply for assistance with FEMA. Hawaii News Now.

State DHS launches million-dollar rental assistance program for Maui wildfire survivors. 
Maui wildfire survivors who are ineligible for FEMA assistance are now candidates for a new state rental assistance program. KITV4.

UH researching Maui wildfire impacts on agriculture, health with federal grants. In the wake of the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire on Maui, researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi have launched projects that focus on agriculture’s monitoring and response to disasters, and analyzing the possible effects of chromium on West Maui agricultural lands.  Maui Now.

Total visitor arrivals, spending declined for 3rd straight month in October compared to 2022. Both visitor arrivals and visitor spending declined for the third straight month compared to 2022, as Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry continued to feel the impact of the August Lahaina wildfires, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.


Evslin addresses plans for ‘housing crisis’ after becoming chair of House Committee on Housing. Following the recent announcement that Kaua‘i state Rep. Luke Evslin was appointed to chair the House Committee on Housing, Evslin spoke of his efforts to address the state’s housing shortage. Garden Island.

Department of Water to conduct water service line inspections beginning January. The Department of Water will be conducting water service line inspections at meter boxes island-wide starting in January to identify pipe materials delivering water to residential homes and businesses and ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule Revision drinking water rules. Kauai Now.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Hawaiian Airlines sale to Alaska Airlines will impact Hawaii travelers, state Democratic Party names interim chairman, Japanese tourists staying away, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian and Alaska airlines to merge. Hawaiian Airlines, a kamaaina company that has served the islands for 94 years, has agreed to be bought by Alaska Airlines in a $1.9 billion deal that has raised questions and concerns for customers, workers and local leaders. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Airline analysts, experts tout deal between Alaska, Hawaiian. Hawaiian Airlines’ pending $1.9 billion sale to Alaska Airlines was praised by industry analysts and experts as a positive development that is expected to receive clearance by the U.S. Department of Justice and benefit the flying public. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii governor’s emergency housing panel resumes work. An emergency working group established in July by Gov. Josh Green to speed delivery of affordable housing in Hawaii has gotten back to work after initial setbacks that included legal challenges and the resignation of its leader. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii conference tackles North Korean human rights situation, amid Kim Jong Un’s ongoing threats. On Monday, Dec. 4, the diplomatic community is hosting a North Korean Human Rights Hawaii Conference at the Hawaii Convention Center focused on the situation in North Korea, which human rights advocates say is dire and often ignored in global conversations. Hawaii News Now.

Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Elects Interim Party Chair. The State Central Committee, the governing body for the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, voted in Adrian Tam as their new interim Party Chair at a special meeting that was held on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Maui Now.

Japanese Travelers Are Steering Clear Of Hawaii. Once Hawaii's top international tourist market, Japanese visitors are staying away from the islands amid inflated prices and a weak yen. Civil Beat.

Condo Task Force Facing Deadline May Punt To State Auditor Instead. A condominium task force established to identify issues related to condo associations and the systems in place to resolve disputes with unit owners is supposed to submit an interim report of its findings and recommendations by the end of this month.  Civil Beat.

New Lawsuit Against Former Hawaii Defense Contractor Alleges Charity Fraud. Martin Kao, who's pleaded guilty to numerous criminal charges already, faces a barrage of lawsuits seeking to recoup money he's alleged to have stolen or misspent. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Charter Schools Say Test Scores Don’t Tell The Whole Story. While charter schools fall below the state average in reading and math proficiency, leaders and advocates look to alternate ways of measuring success. Civil Beat.


Honolulu City Council anti-bribery bill fades in committee. Bill 36, in its original form, had one purpose: to end corruption within the troubled city Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Navy ‘safely’ recovers military spy plane stuck in Kaneohe Bay for almost 2 weeks. Navy confirms P-8A plane successfully removed from Kaneohe Bay. U.S. Navy officials confirmed Sunday that a team of military and civilian experts has successfully raised the P-8A Poseidon airplane from Kaneohe Bay and back onto the Marine Corps Base Hawaii runway. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Waipahu High School Opens New Academy Learning Center. The $29 million center aims to promote collaboration among students on different career pathways. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Bill targets flavored vapes: Measure aims to reduce use among teens. A bill to be discussed at this week’s County Council Policy Committee on Health, Safety and Well-Being would prohibit retailers from selling, marketing or advertising any tobacco or nicotine product that tastes or smells like anything other than tobacco. Tribune-Herald.

Contractor breaks ground on Hilo High’s new football field, track. Construction work on a new football field and track at Hilo High School — a project that has long languished on the drawing board — is underway. Tribune-Herald.

Funds allocated for ‘overall replacement’ of Laupahoehoe ramp. The deteriorating boat ramp has been sorely in need of restoration for years, because the pounding surf has worn away much of its concrete and exposed rebar, which could damage any boat launching from the site. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Is Still Searching For Someone To Lead Its Emergency Management Agency. With the expiration of interim administrator Darryl Oliveira's three-month contract, a selection committee is considering 15 candidates. Civil Beat.

Maui councilmembers float idea of forming a commission for tourism management. The Maui County Council is moving Bill 138 to create the commission, focusing on reducing the negative impacts of tourism while maximizing its benefits. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Relief TANF Program outreach for noncitizens to be held Dec. 10. An outreach event to reach noncitizen families with dependent children, who could be eligible for Maui Relief TANF Program benefits, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10, in Lahaina. Maui Now.

DHHL awards 25 pastoral lots in Kahikinui, Maui. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands awarded 25 pastoral lots Saturday as part of the department’s Kuleana Program.  Maui Now.

Unexploded ordnance forces road closures, evacuations. Some classes were relocated to another portion of the Lihikai School campus and lunch and recess were held indoors at the school as police handled a report of an old unexploded ordnance at a nearby residence in Kahului, school and police officials said Friday afternoon. Maui News.


Kaua‘i DMV announces new requirement to schedule Type 3 Road Tests. Customers under age 18 must now complete their required driver’s education courses prior to scheduling a road test. Kauai Now.

Friday, December 1, 2023

1st Native Hawaiian woman confirmed to federal bench, tourism spending down, 'Land and Power' author Cooper dead at 75, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate Confirms First Native Hawaiian Woman As US District Court Judge. Shanlyn Park, a former federal defender and current state court judge, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitor arrivals, spending fall for 3rd straight month. Last month, 734,582 tourists visited Hawaii, down 3.2% from October 2022, and down 7.7% from the pre-pandemic October 2019, according to preliminary statistics released  Thursday  by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

10 years later, Hawaii’s marriage equality law has overwhelming support. Saturday marks 10 years since marriage equality became law in Hawaii and helped reverse what had been overwhelming opposition locally and around the country for so-called same-sex marriage. Star-Advertiser.

What is modular construction and could now be the time for Hawaii to start using it? Tens of thousands of people across the islands are in need of housing, but the supply can’t seem to keep up with demand. Hawaii News Now.

The Money Is There, But This Restorative Justice Program Can’t Get It. The Legislature appropriated $200,000 to expand the program, but the Department of Public Safety says the bids for the funding haven't met requirements. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Time-Of-Use Rates Pilot Set To Launch. The Shift and Save pilot, set to launch February 1, has been expanded to 16,000 customers on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island only. Big Island Video News.

‘Land And Power’ Author George Cooper Dead At 75.The 1985 book, written with Gavan Daws, is a seminal work about Hawaii politics and government. Civil Beat.


Condo Tower Fire Is Reminder Of Lack Of Sprinklers In Older Buildings. There were no sprinklers when a fire broke out Thursday, shooting flames and black smoke from the 14th floor of a condo tower in Ala Moana, but the residents knew what to do. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Incomplete police report, differing accounts: ‘Red flags’ questioned in crash involving HPD officer. According to police records, HPD Corp. Vasai Isala Jr. was on “last chance” probation when he recently slammed his subsidized vehicle into the back of a motorcyclist, seriously injuring the rider. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless residents in Honolulu wait years for support despite city's efforts. There are a little more than 6,000 homeless individuals statewide. Two-thirds of that population lives on Oahu. KITV4.

Kapiolani Medical Center nurses prepare informational picket as contract expires. More than 600 nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children will be working without a contact Friday. And even though they’re not going on strike, they will let management and the public know that they’re unhappy with the situation. Hawaii News Now.

City installing new gate at Koko Head to allow cars in earlier. The community area near Koko Head District could see less parking congestion from early morning hikers in mid-December.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Surf schools granted restraining order on lottery. Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order which will halt the issuing of permits by the DLNR for surf school operators at Kahalu‘u Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Volunteer firefighter sues county.
A Big Island volunteer firefighter who was injured in 2021 while battling a long-burning underground fire in Ka‘u has filed a lawsuit against the department and three ranking individuals. West Hawaii Today.


Reactions mixed on bill to incentivize long-term rentals. Feelings are mixed over Mayor Richard Bissen’s proposal to offer a property tax exemption for short-term rental owners to rent long term to wildfire survivors. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

EPA Completes Fire-Related Cleanup On Maui. Hazardous materials have been removed from Lahaina and Upcountry sites nearly three months after the fires. Civil Beat.

Kona low threatens Lahaina nearshore waters. This week’s Kona low storm was anticipated to be the first big rain in Lahaina since the wildfire that destroyed the heart of the historic town and left toxic ash and chemicals at risk of being washed into the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Kona low brings 10″ of rain at Keʻanae in East Maui; flooding results in impassible roads. Nearly 10 inches of rain – the highest rainfall total in the state – was recorded in United States Geological Survey’s rain gage near Keʻanae in a 24-hour period ending at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority floats Maui recovery plan. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is seeking public input on a Tourism Recovery Plan that supports Maui and the state in rebuilding the economy following the devastating Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed Lahaina and has dragged state visitor arrivals and spending below 2022’s level for three straight months. Star-Advertiser.

Unmanned commercial fishing sailboat grounds on Sugar Beach in Kīhei. During rainy weather sometime midday on Wednesday, a 46-foot commercial fishing sailboat called Ka Imi Kai broke loose from its anchor or mooring in Māʻalaea Bay and slowly drifted more than a 1/4-mile before grounding on Sugar Beach in Kīhei. Maui Now.


Theft cases dominate Kaua‘i court docket. Kaua‘i Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe heard various burglary and theft cases on Tuesday, Nov. 28, as some defendants pleaded guilty, others awaited the results of their mental fitness evaluations, while others failed to appear at all.  Garden Island.

Virtual community meeting for Coconut Marketplace Mobility Hub Plan set for Dec. 14. The County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development invites the public to a virtual meeting on transportation conditions and potential improvements in and around the Coconut Marketplace on the eastern shore of Kaua‘i. The meeting will be held on Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Kauai Now.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Smith confirmed as Hawaii federal judge, microplastics found in human placentas, snowfall on Mauna Kea, Zoom testimony returns to Kauai County Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

US Senate Confirms Miske Prosecutor To Federal Bench.  The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Micah Smith as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Hawaii. Smith, a Kauai High School graduate, is an assistant U.S. attorney, who early in his career worked as a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice David Souter.  Civil Beat. Garden Island.

State aims to cut unsheltered homelessness in half by 2026. There are around 6,500 homeless individuals in the state, according to last year's Point in Time Count, which provides a snapshot of the homeless population. More than 4,000 of those individuals live in unsheltered areas like beaches, parks or sidewalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii state Capitol soaked due to leaking reflecting pool. Lawmakers earlier this year appropriated $33.5 million to repair and renovate the pools after appropriating $9.8 million in 2021 for the more than $30 million job. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Should Use Artificial Intelligence To Improve Fire Forecasts, Researchers Say. University of Hawaii researchers are pushing to kickstart the second phase of a yearslong project to help the state better forecast wildfires by using artificial intelligence. Civil Beat.

Retirement savings program unlikely to start before 2025.  Established by a bill signed by then-Gov. David Ige in 2022, the Hawaii Retirement Savings Program is intended to help Hawaii residents prepare for the future by allowing them to enroll in a state-managed individual retirement plan. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Prison Oversight Meetings Are Missing A Key Player — The Prisons Director. Tommy Johnson told the oversight coordinator that neither he nor his staff will attend the meetings, though they'll engage in other ways. Civil Beat.

UH researchers’ study sheds light on prevalence of microplastics. Pregnant women in Hawaii are very likely to have plastic fragments in their placentas, University of Hawaii researchers have discovered, raising further concerns about the long-term health implications of microplastics. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


HART OKs federal agreement to fund rail. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors Wednesday approved a federal plan to fund the city rail line’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Rail construction causes Kalihi street to be closed through July. All lanes of Kohou Street are now closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, due to rail construction. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu planes to be diverted to another runway November 29 through December 8 due to construction, warn of possible delays. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) will divert all aircraft arriving and departing at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Runway 26L from 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 29 through Friday, December 8 due to ongoing remediation work on Runway 8L. KITV4.

Safety concerns at Puuloa Range in Ewa Beach addressed. State Rep. Rose Martinez and U.S. Marine Corps officials said Wednesday that they have come to a “mutually agreeable consensus among all involved parties” regarding potential lead poisoning of soil around the Marines’ Puuloa Range Training Facility in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Health Department says PFAS detected in Waialua water system. The Hawaii Department of Health reports that perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have for the first time been detected in water samples collected from a water system in Waialua. Star-Advertiser.

Navy video shows no widespread reef damage from plane in Kaneohe Bay.
Underwater video taken of a Navy P-8A Poseidon plane sitting in Kaneohe Bay shows two points of the plane resting on coral reef but no extensive damage. Star-Advertiser.

Large boulders come crashing down in east Honolulu amid drenching rains.
Large boulders, including one about the size of a compact car, crashed down in an Aina Haina community on Wednesday morning amid heavy rains. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Snowfall Closes Hawaiʻi Summit Access Roads. A layer of snow closed the road up to Maunakea on Wednesday, as a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Hawaiʻi island summits. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Lawmakers tour progress of upgrades at Kona Community Hospital. Two West Hawai‘i state lawmakers on Wednesday were given a guided tour by hospital leaders of upgrades underway at Kona Community Hospital on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

HVNP takes steps to protect nesting nene. Parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been closed to give a couple of nene parents some space. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.


‘We are trying’: In wake of subpoenas, Maui’s mayor defends response to state investigation
. HNN Investigates has obtained copies of three subpoenas issued to Maui County as part of the investigation into the devastating fires. In an interview Wednesday, Mayor Richard Bissen said they are doing their best to cooperate, but experts say if that was true, subpoenas should not be necessary. Hawaii News Now.

Input invited on the role of tourism in supporting Maui’s recovery.  The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority will hold a community meeting to discuss proposed actions for tourism in support of Maui’s recovery. The meeting will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Morgado Hall on Monday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Maui Now.

Proposal offers tax incentive for short-term rentals that house displaced residents. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen is proposing a bill that would offer tax exemptions for short-term rental owners who house residents displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires.  Maui News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui officials on standby to stop heavy rains from sending ash into storm drains. Maui officials were on standby Wednesday to prevent ash from August's deadly wildfire in Lahaina from flowing into storm drains after forecasters said a winter storm could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the island. KITV4.


Commentary:  Zoom testimony returns to Kaua‘i County Council. The Kaua‘i County Council is once again accepting remote public testimony “live” via the internet. Members of the public must sign up via email to testify no later than noon on the day prior to the meeting. Garden Island.

Lydgate Campground to close Dec. 6.  The Department of Parks and Recreation is announcing that the area surrounding the Lydgate Campground will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Red Hill working group seeks $750M in military remediation, governor proposes Maui tax breaks, short-term rental ban as 850 Lahaina fire victims displaced by tourists, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Officials Demand Navy Clean Up Red Hill Fuel Spilled Since The 1940s. A coalition of public officials say that as much as 2 million gallons of petroleum threatens Oahu's drinking water and that it could cost $750 million to clean up. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.  KITV4. Hawaii News Now. Spectrum News.

Full Red Hill Water Alliance Initiative report can be found here.

Hawaii Governor Wants To Entice Maui Property Owners To Rent To Fire Victims. Gov. Josh Green is proposing using taxpayer and private funds to build new housing and to pay home owners well above market value if they rent long term. Short-term rentals would simply be banned. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

‘We’re Winging It Right Now’: Hawaii State Hospital Struggles Despite $160M Upgrade. Construction of a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital was supposed to mark a new era in worker and patient safety. Instead, a familiar set of problems emerged. Civil Beat.

Jeff Bezos donates $5M to fight homelessness in Hawaii. Jeff Bezos donated $5 million to two nonprofits in Hawaii — Ka Mana O Na Helu on Oahu and Neighborhood Place of Puna — that help houseless families, according to a news release. Spectrum News.

Hurricane season was average but deadly. The 2023 hurricane season officially draws to a close Thursday, extending to five years a run of average to below-average Central Pacific hurricane seasons. Star-Advertiser.


$125M approved for ‘Skyline’ as leaders look toward major expansions.
A new rail funding agreement could free up in federal money to help build the line through town. With more federal funding approved to get the Honolulu Skyline to Kaka’ako, leaders are dreaming of future extensions all the way to Kahala. Hawaii News Now.

City rental, utility relief program reopens in December. The City and County of Honolulu’s Rental and Utility Relief Program will temporarily reopen for applications in December, starting this Saturday. The reopening is for new applicants only. Star-Advertiser.

Special Education Teacher Accused In Sexual Abuse Case. A lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that a special education teacher at Kaiser High School sexually abused and molested a 14-year-old student over a period of several months. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hilo Medical Center gets $1M grant. Hilo Medical Center will receive $1 million to alleviate a shortage of health care workers in East Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Glenwood Park reopens after four years
. Glenwood Park, located on Highway 11 in Mountain View, was closed in March 2019 after a 3,000-gallon water tank, which supplies water to the park’s restrooms, was stolen. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Mayor Bissen proposes bill amendment to make short-term rentals available for displaced wildfire survivors. Mayor Richard Bissen submitted to the County Council a bill to amend a section of the County Code in an effort to immediately increase the inventory of housing available to survivors of the August wildfires. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hundreds of wildfire evacuees prepare to relocate again as West Maui tourism rebounds
. Some 850 Lahaina evacuees will move out of three Kaanapali hotels starting Wednesday into other properties — a harsh reality of tourism’s return to West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

23 acres of north shore Maui coastline to be focus of management plan in the new year. In early 2024, the County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation will begin working on a management plan for 23 acres of newly acquired county land on Maui’s north shore, which includes Wawau Point, often referred to as “Baby Beach.” Maui Now.

First Major Rains Of Wet Season May Test Runoff Measures In Lahaina. County, state and federal agencies say steps have been taken to mitigate the threat of toxic runoff entering the ocean. Civil Beat.

Plug Pulled On Solar Farm Planned For South Maui. Paeahu Solar was proposed five years ago but faced opposition from local residents. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Disaster Area residential restrictions lifted for Zones 11B, 11D, 11E, 11F and 13D. County of Maui Disaster Area Restrictions will be lifted for owners and residents beginning Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2, for Zones 11B, 11D, 11E, 11F and 13D. Maui Now.


'We're on the right track': Hāʻena's community subsistence fishing area sees positive results. An experiment in community-based fishery management on Kaua‘i’s north shore appears to be working, according to a five-year assessment by University of Hawaiʻi researchers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Attorney General subpoenas Maui agencies in fire probe, state minimum wage rising to $14, shorter Skyline OKed for federal funding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Maui Agencies Subpoenaed After Holding Up Fire Investigation, AG Says. Three Maui County departments were served subpoenas Monday after not meeting the timelines with a state investigation into their response to the Aug. 8 wildfires that killed 100, left 7,500 homeless and caused $5.5 billion in damage.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Minimum wage to get boost: Hourly rate will rise to $14 in January under 2022 law. Minimum-wage employees in Hawaii will get a pay hike of nearly 17% to kick off the new year. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, First Elected 20 Years Ago, Won’t Seek Reelection.
Shimabukuro, whose District 22 Senate seat represents Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua on Oahu, made the announcement Monday. Civil Beat.


Plan for shorter Skyline wins OK for federal funding
. A federal agency helping pay for Honolulu’s rail system has agreed to release funding it has been withholding over concerns about past city handling of the grossly delayed and over-budget project. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Water Board adopts rate hike of over 50%.
  The agency’s board of directors Monday voted 5-1, with board member Gene Albano abstaining, to approve a new 5-1/2-year water rate schedule that will see higher rates phased in, with the first 10% increase kicking in Feb. 1 and the next 10% hike to occur July 1. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Honolulu Fire Department official wants to add 2 helicopters, 3 pilots
. The Honolulu Fire Department's aviation manager wants to beef up the department’s ability to fight fires and make rescues. Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy plane in bay has ‘full integrity,’ no sign of fuel leak
. A week after a Navy P-8A slid into Kaneohe Bay while trying to land in rainy weather, the Navy rear admiral in charge of extracting the plane said all of the more than 2,000 gallons of fuel on board had been safely removed, while apologizing for not better updating the public and media. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

The Miske Files: An Officer Gets Caught In The Crossfire. The feds were investigating Mike Miske and the Kealohas at the same time. Sgt. Al Lee ended up in the middle of both. Civil Beat.

Trial Of Officers Charged In Makaha Pursuit Continued To June 3. Four Honolulu police officers are accused of pursuing a car until it crashed and leaving the scene. Civil Beat.

$20,000 worth of fireworks found stashed in 92-year-old woman’s carport.  With New Year’s Eve celebrations right around the corner, illegal fireworks are already a hot commodity — and a growing headache for law enforcement. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

$8M demolition of decaying Uncle Billy’s hotel to start
.  The $8 million demolition of the dilapidated former Uncle Billy’s hotel in Hilo is set to commence with asbestos abatement work starting next week. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Community Meeting Set To Re-Envision Waiākea Peninsula. A public meeting to be held Monday, December 4, will gather community input on the Banyan Drive waterfront and other redevelopment projects. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Pohoiki Boat Ramp Dredging Project Permit Application Posted. The latest issue of The Environmental Notice included a Conservation District Use Application, as well as a Coastal Zone Management notice, concerning the Pohoiki Boat ramp dredging project. Big Island Video News.


The Controversial Developer Looming Over West Maui’s Water Conflict. Peter Martin spent decades guzzling water around Lahaina. Then came the fire. Civil Beat.

Mental Health Services For Youth On Maui Receive A Funding Boost. The money will support schools, multiple community partners and nonprofits, but more will be needed. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Lahaina, Kula disaster recovery community update meetings canceled this week due to kona low forecast. The weekly Disaster Recovery Community Update Meetings for Kula residents at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and for Lahaina residents at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays are canceled this week due to the kona low weather forecast. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i officials urge residents to be vigilant as severe weather may occur starting Tuesday. County of Kaua‘i officials are urging the public to be vigilant due to potential severe weather conditions starting Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. Kauai Now.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Raises, positions added at top of school bureaucracy, North Korea satellite reported spying on Hawaii, Ala Wai flood plan hits $1B, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Top Leadership Of Hawaii School System Continues To Grow — And So Does Their Pay. Student enrollment numbers continue to fall even as the number of superintendents gets larger. Civil Beat.

North Korea has a satellite spying on Hawaii and Guam.
A security expert explains why we should care. Last week, North Korea released photos of leader Kim Jung Un looking at photos of Pearl Harbor, Hickam Air Force Base and military bases on Guam it claims were taken by the satellite. Hawaii News Now.

New CEO at OHA Explains Why She Took the Job and Her Goals for Serving the Native Hawaiian Lāhui. Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira joined the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Nov. 1 after serving as budget chief for the state Senate and in several roles at Kamehameha Schools. Hawaii Business Magazine.

State Legislature working group tackles wildfire prevention in Hawaiʻi. The working group will digest all the testimony and issue a final report on Dec. 15, in time to draft legislation for the upcoming 2024 legislative session that starts Jan. 17.  Big Island Now.

Former State Sen. Whitney Anderson Dead At 91.
He served in the Hawaii Legislature for 20 years. Whitney Anderson, who was the Hawaii Senate Minority Leader from 1997 until 2000, died Saturday in Waimanalo. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Training And Staffing Issues Surround Death Of A Nurse At Hawaii State Hospital. The killing of Justin Bautista, a licensed practical nurse at the Hawaii State Hospital, has raised questions as to what exactly was expected of him in a typically lower-skilled role he had held for four years. Civil Beat.

Commentary: A Baby's 'Bizarre' Death Exposes Hawaii’s Penchant For Secrecy In Child Welfare Cases. It took extensive digging and luck to find the kind of information about the unpublicized case that's readily available on other states' websites and is crucial to improving the child welfare system. Civil Beat.


Water Board to vote on rate hike of over 50%. If adopted by the agency’s board of directors, a new 5-1/2-year water rate schedule will see higher rates phased in, with the first 10% increase kicking in Feb. 1 and the next 10% hike to occur July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Latest plan for Ala Wai flood control reaches $1B.  The Army Corps of Engineers and the city have unveiled the latest proposal to protect Waikiki and neighboring communities against a potential flooding disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Navy working to speed up upgrades at Pearl Harbor sewage plant. The Navy is ramping up efforts to complete upgrades to its troubled wastewater plant at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-­Hickam as the facility ages. Star-Advertiser.

Flight data recorder recovered from Navy plane in Kaneohe Bay. The flight data recorder of a large U.S. Navy plane that overshot a runway and ended up in the water near Honolulu this week has been recovered as the military continues to plan for the aircraft’s removal. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Navy plane still resting in shoal of Kaneohe Bay.  The Navy war plane that slid off a runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii a week ago while trying to land in rainy weather continues to rest in shallow water about 100 feet off the runway, with at least two points of the 42-foot-high P-8A sitting on coral reef. Star-Advertiser.

The Miske Files: When Two Cops Refused To Let A Blown-Off Traffic Stop Slide. Documents in the federal case against Mike Miske alleging murder and organized crime activities tell the story of how two Honolulu police officers got caught up in what would turn out to be a much bigger case. Civil Beat.

HPD looks to recruit more women to bolster staffing. There are 240 women serving the city as police officers, about 13% of the department’s more than 1,800 officers, up from 212, or about 12%, in 2015.  Star-Advertiser.

Close encounter between police ATV and kids on beach raises questions about training, resources. There are growing concerns about training for HPD officers after a close encounter on a North Shore beach involving children and officers patrolling on ATVs. Amid a shortage of officers, the recent incident on Oahu’s North Shore is also prompting questions about how resources are being used. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County measure would allocate $17M to affordable housing projects. Under a bill currently pending discussion by the County Council, $17.3 million will be distributed via the county’s newly formed Affordable Housing Production Program between a series of projects in East and West Hawaii to create 1,176 new affordable housing units. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Aquarium fishing ban sought: Groups urge DLNR to draft new rules.  Big Island environmental groups hope to end the commercial aquarium fishing industry in Hawaii once and for all next month. Tribune-Herald.

National Park Units Seek Public Input On Draft Accessibility Plans. Draft Accessibility Plans are in the works for Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historical Site. Big Island Video News.


Council committee to discuss new procurement process for emergency-medical services
. Council member Shane M. Sinenci announced that the Water Authority, Social Services and Parks Committee will receive a presentation from the state Department of Health Monday at 9 a.m. on the new procurement process for emergency-medical services in Maui County. Maui Now.

Deadline approaching for Maui wildfire victims. The deadline for people and businesses affected by the deadly Aug. 8 Maui wildfires to apply for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration is Dec. 11. Star-Advertiser.

Deadline for Maui County Agriculture Micro Grant nears, Nov. 30.
Maui Economic Opportunity reminds small farmers and ranchers that the application deadline for the Maui County Agricultural Micro Grant Program 4.0, which offers up to $25,000 in grants, is about a week away.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i-born Hawaiian monk seal returned to Garden Isle waters after 5 months in Kona mammal hospital. A 7-year-old female Hawaiian monk seal was returned to its home in Kaua‘i waters after five months of treatment at the Kona mammal hospital for kidney stones, possible pneumonia and a fractured canine tooth that had become infected. Kauai Now.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Hawaii seeks to limit barriers for Japanese tourists, new Supreme Court justice helped put Green in office, huge surf could peak at 50 feet, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green wants to make it easier for travelers to visit from Japan. State leaders want to make it easier for tourists from Japan to visit Hawaii by creating a pre-­clearance program allowing travelers from the country to save time at the Honolulu airport by completing immigration, customs and agricultural inspections before departure. Associated Press.

Special fares and chartered flights aim to reignite Japanese tourism to Hawaii. As the state’s visitor arrival numbers recover post-COVID, the Japanese market is a critical piece that’s still missing. Hawaii News Now.

New Hawaii Justice Recently Held A Top Position In The Super PAC That Helped Put Gov. Green In Office. Vladimir Devens, who on Tuesday was unanimously confirmed by the Hawaii State Senate to fill one of two vacancies on the Hawaii Supreme Court, was a director of Be Change Now from April 2019 until April 2023, according to business registration filings with the state. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Will Be Stuck With Its Outdated Unemployment System At Least 3 More Years. The antiquated computer mainframe that caused so many problems with unemployment insurance claims during the Covid-19 pandemic will need to stay in use several more years, even though the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations hoped to be finally rid of it last year. Civil Beat.

Huge warning-level surf for most north and west shores. A large northwest swell will bring huge and dangerous waves that could peak at 40 to 50 feet for most north and west facing shores into Friday. A high surf warning has been issued until 6 a.m. Saturday for the north and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and the north shores of Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii law enforcement community opposes state’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana. Hawaii’s Law enforcement community, led by Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm, is lining up against the attorney general’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana. Hawaii News Now.

‘Bad actor’ nurseries targeted by officials over little fire ant infestations. Sharon Hurd, state Board of Agriculture chair, told a state Senate informational briefing Wednesday that the department is seeking court orders to enter the properties of the offending nurseries and will seek to quarantine any infested plants. Star-Advertiser.


How Hong Kong and Singapore could inspire Hawaii’s transit-oriented development plans. Experts say Hawaii’s housing crisis isn’t just about construction. Public services, schools, commutes — they all play a role. That’s why a Hawaii housing delegation made certain to ride the rail on their recent trip to Asia. Hawaii News Now.

Alleged Waianae gang leader remains detained. A 46-year-old Waianae man accused of coordinating chicken fights, running illegal game rooms and selling methamphetamine will be detained before trial, a U.S. magistrate judge ruled Wednesday as prosecutors continue to argue that he presents a danger to the community. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Waianae Cockfighting ‘Pavilion’ Once Hosted Hundreds. Now It’s Quiet. Six Waianae residents are facing gambling charges in a federal case some community members say shows the extreme side of cockfighting. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Parks Seek Mobile Vending Stand Operators. The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is inviting operators to submit bids for lease concessions to operate at five County parks. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Chain Of Craters Road Reopens After “Brief Seismic Crisis”. 
The National Park Service announced the reopenings as unrest and seismicity return to normal levels in Kīlauea volcano’s upper East Rift Zone. Big Island Video News.

Neighborhood Place of Puna awarded $2.5 million to help East Hawai‘i families. Neighborhood Place of Puna, a family-focused nonprofit, has received a $2.5 million grant from Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Families Fund — the largest private gift in the organization’s history. Big Island Now.


Wailuku rental housing project nears completion. Demand far outstripped supply for nearly 200 affordable rental apartments under construction on Maui that were offered to lucky applicants this week via lottery. Star-Advertiser.

Maui fire relief housing program calls for help. Gov. Josh Green and the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. are renewing their call for homeowners to offer their unoccupied rooms, units or houses to help Maui wildfire survivors. Star-Advertiser.

Housing Shortage for Maui Fire Survivors Puts Focus On Short-Term Rentals. Mayor Richard Bissen called for "shared sacrifice" but said a moratorium on vacation rentals would likely bring costly legal challenges and unintended consequences. As the search for housing for thousands of people displaced by the Maui wildfires becomes more desperate, officials are mulling proposals to incentivize long-term rentals and enable counties to convert more short-term rentals into units for locals, even though past efforts to do so have had limited success. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

West Maui vacation rentals plunged in October.
The availability of short-term vacation rentals in West Maui was 49.1% lower in October compared with the year before, with Maui struggling to find long-term housing for survivors of the Aug. 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


High surf warning extended for north- and west-facing shorelines of Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau. According to the National Weather Service in Honolulu, surf of 25 to 35 feet is forecast in the warning areas. Surf will likely reach warning levels and hold through the day Friday. Kauai Now.