Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Ranchers want more land, Hirono pushes for Hawaii missile defense, Hawaiian Airlines accounts for 11% of state GDP, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Local ranchers say they need more land available for agricultural use to stay in business.  Hawaiʻi’s ranchers say they need help to stay in business. A group was set to meet with state lawmakers Monday, seeking their support for a number of measures before the Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV4.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono concerned about lack of missile defense for Hawaii.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono wants answers from military leaders about missile defense in the islands amid rising tensions in the Pacific, asking senior military brass about the Pentagon’s strategy for defending Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Audit: OHA is falling short on its development, investment promises
. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs isn’t sticking to its development and investment promises, according to a new critical state audit that suggests is missing out on revenue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Air a major player in state economy, report shows. Hawaiian Airlines in 2022 wasn’t even back to pre-COVID-19 performance levels and still was associated directly and indirectly with more than $10 billion worth of economic activity in Hawaii — 11% of the state’s gross domestic product, according to an independent report by ICF, a global consulting services company commissioned by the airline to assess its economic impact in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii bank stocks tumble, but execs say money is safe. The fallout from the shutdowns of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank spilled over to regional banks Monday and sent the shares tumbling for publicly traded Hawaii financial institutions. Star-Advertiser.

Erosion rulings send clear message: Landowners must come to terms with rising seas. With recent decisions, the state Land Board has sent a clear message to shoreline landowners: They’ll have to start dealing with rising seas and shouldn’t expect government bailouts. That’s an about-face for the state. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Senate Committee Green Lights New Ag Director Sharon Hurd. Sharon Hurd received kudos for being “most improved” from the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee on Monday as the committee approved her appointment to run Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture despite a bumpy initial appearance. Civil Beat.

Patients are settling in at Hawaiʻi State Hospital, but construction fixes are ongoing. Demand remains high for mental health services at the Hawaiʻi State Hospital. The new facility on the windward side of Oʻahu just opened last spring, and officials say it is operating at full capacity — all of its 277 beds are taken. Hawaii Public Radio.


In The Line Of Duty? Kealoha Ruling Raises Questions About Public’s Obligation To Cops
. The Hawaii Supreme Court decided March 7 that the Honolulu Police Commission erred in 2019 when it decided to provide former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha with taxpayer-funded legal representation after his federal indictment. Civil Beat.

HPD Chief talks about his plan to deal with violent crime
. Honolulu Police Department Chief Joe Logan’s, five year plan touches on everything from crime to improving communications. KHON2.

Ex-Mililani athletic director pleads not guilty in theft case. The former Mililani High School athletic director accused of stealing over $400,000 from the school’s nonprofit sports booster club pleaded not guilty Monday to theft charges. Star-Advertiser.

Protesters who ‘reclaimed’ DHHL land step up pressure campaign — and make plans to stay. Frustrated by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Land’s growing waitlist, Native Hawaiian activists are increasing the pressure on the department. Over the weekend, one protester ― De Mont Manaole ― used an excavator to clear a long-vacant, four-acre DHHL parcel that was overrun by weeds and nonnative trees. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed Ward Village development includes nearly 500 units, retail space.  Ward Village has submitted a planned development permit application for its latest residential project — called Launiu Ward Village. The 11th proposed development in Ward Village will be located at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Zoo ticket prices could increase for the first time since 2011. The Honolulu Zoo may raise its kamaʻāina and military admission rates for the first time in over a decade. Honolulu City Council’s Bill 7 proposes increasing tickets by $2. Hawaii Public Radio.

Traffic victims’ survivors push for new laws to make streets safe.  In the wake of February’s death of a 16-year-old McKinley High School student killed in a crosswalk, lawmakers, advocates for safer streets and families of victims of traffic fatalities gathered Monday at the state Capitol to advocate for new laws. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth gives progress report in State of the County address. Halfway through his first term, Mayor Mitch Roth reflected on his administration’s challenges, successes and hopes for the future at his State of the County address Monday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. KHON2.

State begins Maunakea transfer from UH with newly nominated stewardship team. Gov. Josh Green has nominated the eight members of the new Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority. On July 1, a transition period begins, transferring control over Maunakea to the authority, and away from the University of Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Court again rejects Big Island biomass plant. The state Supreme Court on Monday once again dashed Honua Ola Bioenergy LLC’s hopes of bringing its $520 million Hawaii island biomass plant into operation burning trees for renewable energy. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.

Gov. Green requests state funding for Kohala Ditch, Kona hospital, Pohoiki Boat Ramp.
Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green has included in his budget request to the State Legislature funding for three long-desired Big Island infrastructure projects. He transmitted these requests in a March 10 letter to the State Legislature. Big Island Now.

TSA ‘equipment failure’ causes long lines for passengers at Hilo airport. Travelers waited in hourslong lines at Hilo International Airport over the weekend and Monday due to an “equipment failure,” according to the state Department of Transportation. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.  KHON2.


Maui Settles Civil Suit Tied To Officer Convicted Of Sex Crimes.  Maui County tax dollars will be used to pay three women victimized by former Maui Police Officer Brandon Saffeels, who is now serving a 10-year prison term for child enticement and fraud. Civil Beat.

Mayor Bissen to deliver State of the County address, March 21. Mayor Richard Bissen will deliver his first State of the County address at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 on the front lawn of Kalana O Maui, the County Building in Wailuku. Maui Now.

County of Maui solicits applications for Economic Diversification grants. The County of Maui Office of Economic Development is soliciting applications for proposals for grants to create and implement plans for business development and economic diversification. Maui Now.

Salvaging Shipwrecks Is A Tough Business. Just Ask The Company That Towed The Maui Yacht. The crashed vessel in Honolua and a wave of groundings during last week's storms put a focus on just how hard it is to haul away grounded boats. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i County ‘scrambling’ to collect $230K in homelessness funds. The County of Kaua‘i is rushing to receive at least $230,000 in federal funds for homelessness prevention after a sudden shift by the state upended the county’s access to a grant program. Garden Island.

The Kaua‘i Bus getting a rebrand. In an effort to modernize the look of the fleet, two ribbons of light blue and teal will replace the ‘90s-era, sugarcane industry-inspired, green hatching that currently lines the side of the vehicles. Garden Island.

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