Friday, April 28, 2023

Hawaii gets $115.5M to expand internet access, state website exposes Green's personal data, clean elections bill gutted, 2 Honolulu councilmen seek rejection of big raises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii to expand internet access. The islands will embark on a furious new era of high-speed internet connectivity — free to low-income customers — over the next two years after receiving $115.5 million in federal funds Thursday. The majority of the funds, about $101 million, will be used to improve the underwater cable infrastructure linking each of the islands. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Are Hawaii Child Labor Laws Hampering Work-Based Learning Opportunities? House Concurrent Resolution 58 asks the state to review the current youth work permit system. Child labor laws in the state are being reviewed by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations this legislative session in an effort to determine if Hawaii has the right mix of opportunities for kids as well as sufficient legal protections for them.  Civil Beat.

Access to Hawaii governor’s personal records spurs investigation
. The state Judiciary is investigating how many people gained access to a system used by about 1,500 criminal justice partners after a Maui defense attorney was able to pull the personal information of Gov. Josh Green from records of four parking tickets he paid. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i ‘clean elections bill’ gutted at last moment. State legislators made significant last-minute revisions this week to a bill aimed at publicly financing elections, transforming what would have been a radical shift in Hawai‘i’s politics into a one-year pilot program missing half of its funds. Garden Island.

Affordable housing for teachers poised to get big infusion of cash. Lawmakers have agreed on a huge infusion of money for teacher housing as they approach the final big deadline of their session. Hawaii News Now.

Child care subsidy expansion bill moves to final floor vote. Measures to usher in universal preschool access have passed through conference committee at the state Legislature. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Authority’s future in limbo.
Lawmakers head to conference today on two bills that provide a last chance for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Convention Center to get funded this session after their operational budgets were left out of the final version of a state budget bill earlier this week. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.

Young climate plaintiffs fight trial delay. Attorneys representing the Hawaii youth plaintiffs suing the Department of Transportation for not doing enough to combat climate change have filed a motion to prevent the trial from being delayed by at least eight months. Star-Advertiser.


Two Honolulu City Council members introduce bill to reject pay increase. Council members Augie Tulba and Andria Tupola have announced that they have introduced two resolutions that will reject the pay raises adopted by the Salary Commission. KHON2.

As House Prices Fall, Condo Prices Are Up in Seven Regions of O‘ahu. But just about everywhere on the island, fewer condos were sold in the first quarter of this year compared to last year – much fewer. Hawaii Business magazine.

Kamalani Academy wins appeal over closure of school. In an unprecedented court-style hearing Thursday, the state Board of Education reversed a decision by the state Public Charter School Commission to close the Wahiawa charter school Kamalani Academy.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

DOH: Discovery of WWII-era munitions along popular shoreline highlights alarming safety threat. The military says it recently unearthed six WWII-era mortars and grenades in Waimanalo, scattered throughout an area some residents use as a beach access. Hawaii News Now.

‘Forever chemicals’ detected in second Kunia Village well. A second well in Kunia Village, a small agricultural community in central Oahu, has tested positive for chemicals known as PFAS.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Acting chair is named head of Aloha Stadium Authority board. Brennon Morioka has been the board’s leader since last summer, when former Chair Ross Yamasaki’s term on the Stadium Authority ended. Star-Advertiser.

President of Nauru visits Honolulu. A Wednesday news release from U.S. Coast Guard District 14 said President Russ Joseph Kun and his delegation visited U.S. Indo- Pacific Command, met with Coast Guard officials and met with members of the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.

Knives, collapsible baton confiscated from Hilo-bound traveler at Honolulu airport. A Hilo-bound traveler was cited after two knives and a baton were confiscated from him while going through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport earlier this month. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Goes Cashless On May 26.
Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the park will no longer accept cash for entrance fees or passes; only credit / debit cards and digital site passes. Big Island Video News.

$18M secured to prevent closure of Kona Community Hospital.  From that amount, $16.2 million will go toward upgrades to infrastructure to mitigate the risk of the hospital’s closure, and $2.3 million is designated for expansion of the pharmacy. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Hilo Company May Get $20 Million To Rehab Banyan Drive Condo Complex. A dilapidated condominium complex on state land along Hilo’s Banyan Drive may be in line for a $20 million makeover. The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources is expected to decide on Friday whether to award a contract to Hilo-based Banyan Drive Management to renovate the Country Club Condominium complex, a 152-unit property. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Big Island Police Tackle Cockfights But The Real Catch Is On The Sidelines. Hawaii County Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz says officers target cockfights where the stakes are highest. Civil Beat.


Retired Maui Wastewater Employee Gets 16 Months In Prison For Taking Bribes. Wilfredo Savella, 71, a  retired Maui County wastewater maintenance mechanic was sentenced Thursday to 16 months in federal prison and two months of house arrest for his role in a corruption scandal that also put away former state lawmakers Ty Cullen and Kalani English. Civil Beat.

The State Is Putting $100M Toward Major Maui Projects And Groups. Hawaii lawmakers allocated funding for axis deer mitigation, agriculture, school upgrades and more. Civil Beat.

Following upgrades, popular Maui destination will reopen — with a reservation system. After a months-long closure, a popular attraction on the Valley Isle will finally reopen next week. And when it does, tourists will have to plan ahead if they want to visit. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai Wants To House The Homeless — Just Not In Their Backyard. The county is trying to address an increase in homelessness despite persistent NIMBYism. Civil Beat.

Health department retesting Waioli Beach Park water. Levels of 137 per 100 milliliters were detected during routine beach monitoring, but the Department of Health is uncertain about the representativeness of the first sample. Kauai Now.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Teachers ratify generous contract, Hawaii Tourism Authority left out of state budget, residents oppose surf park, beach dredging on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii teachers contract receives overwhelming approval. Hawaii public school teachers late Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve what their union has called their strongest contract ever, with pay raises totaling approximately 14.5% over four years, raising income for the average teacher by around $10,000. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Plan For Dramatic Increase In Preschool Slots for Low-Income Kids Moves Forward. The decision raises hopes that Hawaii can boost the number of children participating in the Open Doors program from about 1,200 to about 4,000. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Authority left out of state budget. State lawmakers approved $64 million for the state-owned Hawai‘i Convention Center to fix its leaky roof, but left operational funding for the center and for the Hawaii Tourism Authority out of the final version of the state budget measure House Bill 300 CD1, which was approved Tuesday by conferees, and will head to both chambers for a final vote before it is sent to Gov. Josh Green for consideration. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii House and Senate leaders agree on state budget.
State House and Senate negotiators have unanimously approved a budget — pending full approval by both chambers — aimed at key priorities including early childhood education, homelessness, housing, adding more nurses and shoring up neighbor island and rural hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

‘We’re on the frontline’: Policy experts meet in Hawaii to discuss growing Indo-Pacific tensions. A gathering of foreign policy experts in Waikiki on Wednesday provided a stark assessment of Hawaii’s role on the world stage. A Honolulu-based thinktank says tensions in the Indo-Pacific region are at their highest levels since WWII. Hawaii News Now.

‘Ambitious’ proposal would transfer 94K acres of agricultural land this year. After a 20-year standstill over more than 110,000 acres of Hawaii agricultural land, two state departments have revealed an “ambitious” plan to distribute that land by the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

The Untimely Death Of Key Hawaii Ag Official Could Set Back Projects.
The death of the state’s Agribusiness Development Corp. Executive Director James Nakatani has left a huge hole in not just the agricultural sector but also the public agency he has led for more than a decade.  Civil Beat.

Health officials urge boosters as ‘Arcturus’ gains ground. All eyes are on omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 as the federal public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic expires on May 11. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 858 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths.  The state’s average positivity rate was at 7.9%, the same as reported on April 19. Star-Advertiser.


New law requires Oʻahu businesses that allow guns to post signage. Starting May 1, the City and County of Honolulu's Bill 57 will go into effect, letting businesses choose if they will allow guns on their property with proper signage. The bill was signed into law by Mayor Rick Blangiardi on March 31.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Opponents sue to stop planned Kalaeloa surf park.  A community organization and some of its members filed a complaint Friday in state Circuit Court against Honokea Kalaeloa LLC and a state agency, contesting a recent report from the developer that claims the project will have no significant negative impacts on the environment. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Proposed decade-long dredging project along Waimanalo coastline draws concern. Waimanalo residents are incensed over a proposed decade-long dredging project for the area’s coastline, saying they want to keep their beaches natural. The dredging request was submitted to the DLNR by the Pahonu Beach Community Restoration Foundation, comprised of a collection of Waimanalo beachfront homeowners. Hawaii News Now.

Citing unexploded munitions risk, military to temporarily close popular beach campsite. The military announced it will temporarily close a popular campground this summer after a World War II-era bomb was discovered at a campsite at Bellows Air Force Station. Hawaii News Now.

Commission adopts pay raises for city leaders. The Honolulu Salary Commission voted 5-1 Tuesday to adopt pay increases of 12.56% for the city’s mayor and department heads and a more than 64% pay bump to members of the City Council for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now.

Judge denies government’s request to consolidate scores of suits over Red Hill fuel spill. A federal judge has denied the U.S. government’s request to consolidate more than 100 Red Hill lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

EPA puts 'legally binding' stop to local company selling mislabeled disinfectants. The EPA states that Hiro Systems Hawaii LLC, based in Honolulu, sold misbranded and unregistered sanitization products to consumers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

$50M slated for Hilo hospital, called ‘huge win for our communities in East Hawaii’.  Funding for a large expansion of Hilo Medical Center is included in the final version of a state budget bill. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Singer wants public apology. Notable singer Melveen Leed wants a public apology from management of Prince Kuhio Plaza for cutting off her impromptu performance at the mall’s craft fair earlier this month during the Merrie Monarch Festival. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii Is Giving A Maui Hotel Its Money Back Instead Of Helping Shore Up A Shrinking Beach. Community members, government officials and business executives say recent land board decisions indicate a new approach to the tough decisions that come with sea level rise. Civil Beat.

Budget Bill includes funds for a Maui Axis Deer program, Bovine Tuberculosis operations on Molokaʻi. On Maui, the budget includes the addition of $6.1 million in general funds in FY24 and FY25 for the Maui Axis Deer program; $1.1 million in FY25 for six months of funding to support new housing at the Maui Community Correctional Center; and the addition of three permanent positions and $98,500 in FY24 and $200,250 in FY25 for UH Maui College’s health center. Maui Now.

County unemployment rate at 3.4 percent in March. Unemployment in Maui County last month was at 3.4 percent, up from 3.2 percent in February, according to recent statistics released from Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.  Maui News.


Kaua‘i County Council scrambles for landfill alternatives. The Kaua‘i County Council unanimously approved efforts to seek new ways of managing Kaua‘i’s solid waste — including burning trash — as the island’s landfill rapidly nears capacity. Garden Island.

Help frame Kaua‘i’s climate action plan. The County of Kaua‘i is turning to the public as it maps out a plan to address the future impacts climate change will have on infrastructure and the services it provides to businesses and residents. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council moves to increase pepper spray access. Kaua‘i is currently the only county in the state that requires residents to file for a permit and pass a background check in order to buy pepper spray. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

House and Senate agree on state budget, Honolulu council members set to receive 64% raise, bill expands medically assisted suicide, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House And Senate Agree On State Budget, But Tax Cuts Still Aren’t Finalized. The new budget includes $170 million to build teacher housing across Hawaii, and $280 million to subsidize rental housing. Negotiators from Hawaii’s House and Senate agreed late Tuesday on a state budget for the next two years, a step that clears the way for finalizing dozens of other bills in a race toward a critical deadline on Friday. Civil Beat.

Time is running out for proposed visitor impact fee legislation. If Hawaiʻi lawmakers agree on a visitor impact fee for access to its state parks and trails, it’d be the first in the nation to do so statewide. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Medically Assisted Suicide Program Is Poised To Be Expanded. Patients may soon have shorter waiting periods and more provider options. For years, advocates have argued that patients face too many obstacles to take advantage of Hawaii’s law allowing medically assisted suicide. The procedure will likely become more accessible after a bill got a boost on Tuesday to bypass the Legislature’s chaotic conference committee stage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers may repeal Cold War-era speech restrictions. A Cold War-era law in Hawaii that allows authorities to impose sweeping restrictions on press freedoms and electronic communications during a state of emergency could soon be repealed by lawmakers over concerns about its constitutionality and potential misuse. Associated Press.

Committee Agrees On Expanded Coffee Labeling Bill. The Hawaiʻi House and Senate in conference committee on Tuesday agreed to an expanded coffee labeling bill, that includes ready-to-drink coffee beverages and prohibits the use of the term “All Hawaiian” for coffee that isn’t produced entirely from beans grown and processed in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

Former Head Of Charter School Commission To Pay $5,000 For Ethics Violations. Sione Thompson agreed to the payment as part of a settlement with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission over multiple violations between 2018 and 2020. Thompson signed off on multiple state contracts with three nonprofit organizations without disclosing that he also served on the boards of those organizations, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission said in a release Tuesday.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Russian Spy Intrigue Fizzles As Hawaii Stolen ID trial nears. A judge has ruled that photographs showing the defendants wearing foreign uniforms aren't relevant to the charges. U.S. prosecutors who introduced Russian spy intrigue into the case of a couple accused of living for decades in Hawaii under identities stolen from dead babies are now saying they don’t want jurors to hear about photographs showing them wearing foreign uniforms. Associated Press.

FBI report: Fraud losses hit record high as scammers target people of all ages. There’s been a sharp spike in losses reported by kupuna who have been victimized by scammers.  Nearly 400 Hawaii residents 60 years of age or older reported being scammed out of more than $16.3 million. Hawaii News Now.

Youth climate justice case gets pushback from HDOT. The 14 youth plaintiffs suing the Hawaii Department of Transportation to take action against emission pollution are standing their ground in their quest for climate justice, even as the DOT requests a budget increase of $1 million to fight this lawsuit. KITV4.

State acquires $26M from Biden to fund coastal climate change initiatives. The U.S. Department of Commerce is slated to give $26 million to eight climate change resiliency projects in Hawaiʻi. It’s part of the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Agribusiness agency suffers loss with leader James ‘Jimmy’ Nakatani’s death. A state agency set up to foster diversified farming on fallow former plantation agriculture lands has lost its longtime leader, James “Jimmy” Nakatani, who died Sunday. Star-Advertiser.


Despite hefty opposition, commission approves 64% pay hike for city councilmembers. The Honolulu Salary Commission heard passionate opposition Tuesday to raises for city officials and councilmembers, but ultimately voted to approve the pay hikes in a 5-to-1 vote. Under the plan, city councilmembers would get a 64% raise ― from $68,904 a year to $113,304. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu undergoes 2 department leadership changes. Dawn Szewczyk stepped down as head of the Department of Facility Maintenance last week for a job in the private sector.  Additionally, Scott Hayashi has requested to step down from his position as the director of the Department of Land Management. Hawaii Public Radio.

Property tax ideas address credits and exemptions. The Honolulu City Council has established a special subcommittee to investigate certain matters relating to real property taxation issues. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers urge relocation of Marines’ Puuloa Firing Range. Community concerns over the Marine Corps’ Ewa Beach Puuloa Range Training Facility escalated Tuesday when the state House passed a nonbinding resolution urging the relocation of the firing range due to noise, safety and possible lead exposure to nearby homes, the shoreline and sea. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

EPA Not At Fault For Red Hill Crisis, Inspector General Says. In a report released on Tuesday, the EPA inspector general noted that the Navy was subject to a regulatory agreement with the EPA and the state health department at the time of the contamination. Civil Beat.

Navy pledges $6M to update Kalaeola electrical grid. The Navy said Monday that it’s committing $6 million to modernize the power grid supplying Kalaeloa and will work in partnership with Hawaiian Electric. Star-Advertiser.

Army Corps Rolls Out Its New Ala Wai Flood Control Plan. Federal engineers pushed the reset button after rising costs sunk their earlier plan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing new plans for heightened flood control in one of Hawaii’s most populous and economically important areas – the Ala Wai watershed – after the Corps scrapped its previous, contentious plan when the costs more than doubled. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Resiliency hub eyed for Hilo: Keaukaha facility would promote ag, bolster food security. The Pana‘ewa Farmers Market could be expanded under a proposed plan for a resiliency hub on Railroad Avenue in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting Set For Old Hilo Hospital Master Plan. A community meeting will be held on May 15 to gather input and recommendations for the development of a master plan for the old Hilo Memorial Hospital site at 34 Rainbow Drive. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii's most overcrowded jail releases some inmates. The Hawaii Community Correctional Center is situated in the heart of downtown Hilo and is designed to hold 206 inmates, but is currently over capacity at 295 inmates, making it the most overcrowded jail in the state. KHON2.

DLNR chair meets with advocates for feral cats.  Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Dawn Chang met Tuesday with the principals of ABayKitties, the organization that has provided cat food at a trio of feeding stations at the Queens’ Marketplace shopping center. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Firing called for Prince Kūhiō Plaza GM who stopped legendary Hawaiian entertainers for safety reasons. During the recent Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, legendary musician Melveen Leed and kumu hula Iwalani Walsh Tseu were at a craft fair at the Prince Kūhiō Plaza giving an impromptu performance when the general manager asked them via a vendor to stop performing because of “safety concerns.” Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Puna Kai Shopping Center listed again for sale. The Puna Kai Shopping Center is once again listed for sale after a previous online listing was supposedly posted in error. Tribune-Herald.


Bullying, drug and alcohol use down among county teens. A recent survey that studied risk behaviors among Hawaii youth highlighted several areas of improvement during the COVID-19 pandemic, including declining reports of bullying in Maui County as well as use of drugs and alcohol, but mental health remains a concern statewide. Maui News.


Point In Time Count shows homelessness increasing on Kaua‘i. The Homeless Point In Time Count, released last week by Bridging the Gap, showed a 10 percent increase in one-day homelessness on island from January 2022 to January 2023, following a 5 percent increase in the prior year. Garden Island.

PAL Kaua‘i: Two units available at Kauhale O Kapa’a. The studios offer a full bathroom with a tub and a kitchenette that opens up into the living space in the heart of  Old Kapa’a town.  Kauai Now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Army seeks to renew military land leases, legislators reach tentative tax break deal, governor proposes expansion of homeless villages, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Military training areas in Hawaii under scrutiny. Several state lawmakers and mayors toured Army facilities Monday and witnessed training on Oahu and Hawaii Island with Gen. Charles Flynn, the service’s top commander in the Pacific. The Army has been proactively preparing for what could be a fight to renew leases on state land that the military trains on, which are set to expire in 2029.  Star-Advertiser.

Tentative deal reached on tax breaks as legislative session enters home stretch.  Key lawmakers say they have reached a tentative agreement on tax breaks for Hawaii residents. The news comes as the legislative session enters the home stretch Monday, with the first formal negotiation session over the $20 billion state budget. Hawaii News Now.

Green’s First Veto: A Condo Bill That Could Have Increased The Cost Of Housing. Hawaii Gov. Josh Green issued the first veto of his administration on Friday, rejecting a bill that was supposed to clarify an unusual scenario in which condominium owners sued the developer of their project for construction flaws more than a decade after construction was finished. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor Plans To Develop More Tiny Home Villages Statewide. Gov. Josh Green promised more tiny home villages will be built around the state, regardless of opposition from local communities, as his administration tackles homelessness.  Civil Beat.

DOH urges vigilance following second case of measles on Oahu. The state Department of Health on Monday confirmed a second case of measles on Oahu. The resident was exposed to the previously confirmed case in an international traveler. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


Homeless ‘medical respite’ kauhale planned on Oahu.  Gov. Josh Green plans to expand his homeless kauhale village concept within a month to erect the state’s first “medical respite” kauhale for homeless people across from The Queen’s Medical Center “in my backyard” for eight to 10 homeless people at a time who disproportionately use emergency rooms only to end up back on the street, Green said. Star-Advertiser.

Controversial 6-foot-tall walls remain in latest Ala Wai flood mitigation proposal. The latest flood mitigation plan for the Ala Wai Canal is starting to take shape, and it still includes large walls that have been unpopular with the public. Hawaii Public Radio.

Conflict Of Interest? Neighborhood Board Employees Are Running For Seats On The Boards. Questions are being raised about whether as elected board members the employees can effectively question their bosses. Nine employees of the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission Office, the city agency that oversees Oahu’s 33 neighborhood boards, have signed up to run for elected seats on the boards themselves. Civil Beat.

Prominent Honolulu Condo Board Members Are On Trial For Alleged Retaliation. The lawsuits claims the Hokua board members used their positions to help themselves and each other without disclosing conflicts of interest. Testing a Hawaii law prohibiting retaliation by condominium boards, a trial began on Monday pitting a retired Army officer against several prominent members of Hawaii’s real estate and development community who served alongside the retired officer as directors of one of Honolulu’s landmark luxury condominiums. Civil Beat.

Bishop Museum probe ends with no findings. An investigation of the board of directors of Bishop Museum prompted by a formal complaint from loyalists of the ousted president and CEO has found no financial mismanagement or wrongdoing. Star-Advertiser.

Slew of rescues highlight hiker safety. After a series of hike rescues over the weekend, state officials are reminding people to take precautions, know their limits and be aware how hot it can get on exposed trails. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Green weighs in on feral cats: Governor sending DLNR chief to the Big Island following protest in Waikoloa. Gov. Josh Green said Monday he’s dispatching Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Dawn Chang to the Big Island today “to work out a peaceful solution” between DLNR, owners and mangers of the Queen’s Marketplace, and feral cat advocates who feed the felines behind the Waikoloa Beach shopping center. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County seeking proposals for affordable housing funding. Up to $18 million will soon be available to qualified applicants working to increase, support, or sustain the availability of affordable housing in Hawaiʻi County. Big Island Now.

Draft EA offers more details about Pohoiki ramp dredging. The reopening of the Pohoiki Boat Ramp is one step closer after a draft environmental assessment for the dredging project was published Sunday. Tribune-Herald.


New Rules That Seek To Better Protect Maui’s Coastlines Will Take Effect Soon. Planning officials are paving the way for some big changes with how the local government controls development and construction projects close to and along Maui’s coastlines. Civil Beat.

Maui median home price is $1.2M, up 1.9% in March 2023. The last time Maui’s median was above $1.2 million was in June of 2022 when the median was $1.242M. Maui Now. Maui News.


Kaua‘i police warn of ongoing thefts targeting residents and visitors. According to officials, a recent rash of car break-ins and thefts have occurred in residential neighborhoods islandwide. Kauai Now.

Monday, April 24, 2023

10k public housing units proposed, child abuse cases rise, Oahu jail funding uncertain, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

10,000 more homes planned at Hawaii public housing projects. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority anticipates picking a private master developer partner within 60 days to redevelop nine of the agency’s low-income rental housing subdivisions on four islands where all 1,187 existing apartments would be replaced while also adding potentially 10,880 more homes for low- and middle-income households. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority faces critical week. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority faces its most critical week since its 1998 creation as lawmakers consider a state budget that could zero out its funding or drastically reduce it, and begin the final push in advance of Friday’s decking deadline on two bills that could repeal the agency. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii concerned with Senate version of budget. The House version of the state budget fully restores funding to the University of Hawaii, unlike the Senate version, which only partially restores funds cut during COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Latest sequel to Hawaii film tax credit program pending at Legislature. Hawaii lawmakers have written several different scripts this year to dramatically alter the state’s ever-changing film industry tax credit program, and one controversial draft is still pending at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Bill protecting sexual assault survivors awaits Governor Josh Green's signature. Senate Bill 1267 will help survivors obtain a restraining order against their offender regardless of what state they live in. KITV4.

Child abuse cases in Hawaii rose to 2,114 in 2022 as pandemic unwound. In a news conference Sunday, the Children’s Justice Centers of Hawaii said that in 2022 they tracked 2,114 cases of abuse in children ranging in age from infants to 17 years old. The cases were up 332 from 2020 and 54 from 2021. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Teenagers Go To Court To Force Climate Action. Lawsuits in Hawaii and Montana shine light on how climate chaos threatens their adult lives. Hawaii presents another opportunity to test a constitutional guarantee to a “clean and healthful environment.” What does that mean? The plaintiffs, represented by Our Children’s Trust and Earthjustice, are determined to find out.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s water systems tackle ‘forever chemicals’.
PFAS, an acronym for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been found in water systems throughout the country, particularly those that rely on surface water. In Hawaii, most of the state’s drinking water comes from groundwater. Star-Advertiser.

UH Sea Grant Program receives over $5M for ocean debris cleanup
. Efforts to keep waters around Hawaii pristine are getting some welcome funding. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

Hawaii Residents Are Struggling Even More With High Interest Rates. But Good News May Be Looming. Many people and small businesses racked up debt during the pandemic and are "in catch-up mode," according to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Civil Beat.

US Rep. Jill Tokuda Refuses To Take Corporate PAC Money.
Does It Matter? The first-term congresswoman doubled down on her campaign pledge in a recent fundraising email. Experts say it's all about political messaging. Civil Beat.


Debate Over A New Hawaii Jail Heats Up In The Final Days Of The Legislature. The Senate proposed spending $25 million to plan and solicit bids to replace the aging Oahu Community Correctional Center. The House offered nothing. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail safety plans include security cameras, patrols. A federally mandated rail safety plan identifying the city Department of Transportation Services as the final responsible party for the coming rail system has rolled toward official approval. Star-Advertiser.

The Battle Against Cockfighting In Hawaii: Lax Enforcement Helps Foster An Attitude Of ‘What’s Wrong With It?’ HPD used to do weekly raids and undercover ops to tackle cockfighting. Now, police haven’t made any arrests in over a year.  Civil Beat.

Chinatown Walmart Could Be Converted To Housing If City Council Bill Passes. The measure would make it easier to transform commercial spaces into residential. Some say the measure goes too far. Civil Beat.

Dorm to be UH Manoa’s second housing partnership. A newly approved University of Hawaii student housing project on Dole Street will be a landmark in a couple of ways, becoming the second public-private student housing project on the Manoa campus and housing a child care facility supported by the state’s new preschool initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Project aims to kick-start Waikiki coral reefs. The REEFrame project, as it is being called, is a partnership of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Conservation International, the state Division of Aquatic Resources, ocean technology firm Natrx, ocean engineering firm Oceanit and ClimbHI, a workforce development nonprofit. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

DLNR to monitor monk seal Kaiwi, pup around the clock. DLNR said its Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers will help keep people safe by directing them away from where the seals are in the water. Anyone who ignores the DOCARE officers’ directions can be cited or arrested. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State to open new pre-K classrooms: Big Island to receive a total of 13 by 2024. Eleven new pre-kindergarten classrooms are set to open throughout the state by August, including one at Waimea Elementary School. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Wastewater Service Options Examined In Draft EIS. The County of Hawaiʻi is considering options for wastewater systems in Puna, including sending the wastewater to Hilo for treatment. Big Island Video News.

Pohoiki Bay Restoration Draft Environmental Assessment Published. Public comments are being accepted on a plan to dredge the accumulated volcanic debris and restore access to the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Big Island Video News.

Lawyers in Boy Scout shooting case express frustration. Lawyers for the family of an 11-year-old Boy Scout killed last August when an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle was accidentally discharged at a shooting range wrangled in court Friday with lawyers for the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council. Tribune-Herald.

Food Basket working to establish ag innovation campus. With newly acquired 24.5 acres of land, The Food Basket is working to create the Hawaii Island Agricultural Innovation Park and Food Systems Campus, which will help alleviate food insecurity, lift barriers to pursuing agriculture, and respond to the current economic downturn by providing the capital needed to create a robust agricultural economy. Tribune-Herald.

Paving Waikoloa Road – Community meeting explains timeline, process. Nearly 20 community members attended a meeting Thursday evening presented by the county Public Works Division at Waikoloa Elementary School to learn the details of the planned paving of the road that transverses their village from Mamalahoa Highway to Queen Kaahumanu Highway. West Hawaii Today.


State cracking down on illegal car rentals at airport. Owners say they need help from Turo, state to comply with rules Since early March, the state Department of Transportation has been working “hand in hand” with the Maui Police Department to crack down on peer-to-peer rental car businesses operating without permits at Kahului Airport.  Maui News.

Sports, extracurricular activities moving ahead at Kulanihako‘i. Officials at the new Kihei high school are seeking an athletic director and coaches. Maui News.


U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda talks climate at first Kaua‘i town hall. On Earth Day, the climate was top of mind for many in attendance, including resident Jimmy Trujillo, who asked about tapping into federal funds to address climate change on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Oahu Land Crunch Leads Aloun Farms To Expand Acreage On Fertile West Kauai. Aloun Farms, one of Hawaii’s most prolific producers of Chinese cabbage, green beans, pumpkin and sweet corn, made a name for itself in Central Oahu in the 1990s as a local food producer focused on edging out vegetable imports. Civil Beat.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Red Hill families fill federal courtroom on lawsuits, unemployment dips, homeless up 20% on Big Island, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Impacted families fill courtroom amid government’s push to consolidate Red Hill lawsuits. The U.S. government is asking a federal judge to consolidate a flurry of cases filed by families impacted by the Red Hill tainted water crisis. On Thursday, the federal courthouse was packed with Red Hill families and attorneys for both sides. Hawaii News Now.

Should Boats Have To Slow Down To Avoid Hitting Humpback Whales? New recommendations are directly aimed at tour boats and other small vessels, but they're currently voluntary. This year marks the first full whale season with the new, official guidelines for how fast boats should travel near humpback whales in Hawaiian waters, and state legislators are considering resolutions that urge regulators to make those recommended speeds mandatory. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s jobless rate dips to 8-month low of 3.5%. The seasonally adjusted rate in March was down from 3.6% in February and matched the U.S. rate for the month, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Green designates Nov. 28 as Lā Kūʻokoʻa, Hawaiian Independence Day. Gov. Josh Green signed into law Senate Bill 731 on Wednesday, which recognizes and commemorates Hawaiian Independence Day. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOH simplifies COVID vaccine recommendations. The state Department of Health is now recommending an additional dose of the bivalent booster against COVID-19 for those over the age of 65 and those at increased risk of severe infection. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Council and city spar over $3.41B budget. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration, proposing a $3.41 billion operating budget for the coming 2024 fiscal year, contends that recent City Council amendments to reduce it to 2022’s level are insufficient to keep the city running smoothly and should be abandoned. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s largest buildings to track energy, water and emissions. The owners of more than 450 buildings in Honolulu will have to report their yearly energy and water use this summer under a new city ordinance that aims to cut down on the use of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable rental project for seniors now accepting applications for lottery.
The Halewaiolu Senior Residences on River Street will have 155 one and two-bedroom apartments for kupuna 62 and older who earn 30% to 80% of the area median income. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Cop Remains Armed And On Active Duty Despite Claiming Mental Health Issues In Lawsuit. A Navy officer had to turn in his firearms to HPD for lesser concerns. Civil Beat.

Maili mass shooting suspect Jacob A. Borge appears in court. A 23-year-old man charged in connection with a mass shooting in Maili where two people were killed and three others were wounded made his initial appearance at Honolulu District Court on Thursday. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Koko Head Shooting Complex officially set to reopen after hiatus. Oʻahu’s only outdoor shooting complex will reopen next week. The range has been closed for nearly eight months due to reports of increased lead exposure from employees. Hawaii Public Radio.

Beachgoers urged to give space to monk seal Kaiwi and her pup. With Kaiwi nursing her weeks-old pup at popular Kaimana Beach, federal and state authorities once again ask the public to give them the recommended space — or visit a different Waikiki beach altogether. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Tally of homeless up nearly 20% in Hawaii County. The count, taken by community volunteers over a five-day period between Jan. 23-27, found 1,004 homeless people islandwide, compared to 837 counted in 2022. Tribune-Herald.

Chief: Officer ‘within two millimeters’ of being killed. A Kailua-Kona couple that led police on a manhunt from Captain Cook to Volcano on Thursday after allegedly shooting at three officers and carjacking a sport-utility vehicle surrendered without a fight after the SWAT unit surrounded a Volcano home, according to Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Waikoloa Maneuver Area UXO Removal Update. During a U.S. Senate Committee On Armed Services hearing on Wednesday, defense officials provided an update on unexploded ordnance removal efforts on Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video News.

Hundreds turn out for Experience PTA Day. Over 200 students from nearly half-a-dozen schools came out to enjoy the annual Experience PTA Day event Thursday at the Pohakuloa Training Area. Tribune-Herald.


County faces $145K penalty over firefighter’s death. State cites ‘serious’ violations, says staff ‘not adequately trained’. Maui News.

Operation Keiki Shield on Maui nets nine arrests. Police say the individuals were arrested on charges related to internet-facilitated sexual offenses against children. All individual were being held on $100,000 bail each. Maui Now. KITV4.

Maui Space Surveillance Complex community forum on fuel spill recovery, April 26. The meeting comes following a 700 gallon diesel fuel spill at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex in January.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i Department of Water announces $21.7M system improvements project. The Kalaheo Water System Improvements Project will be the department’s largest ever undertaking, and is expected to last from late May 2023 into 2025. Garden Island.

SpaceX Starship explodes after launch, will not land near Kaua‘i. The largest rocket ever built will not splash down off the coast of Kaua‘i as planned after it exploded over the Gulf of Mexico four minutes into its innagural flight. Garden Island.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Schatz nation's most popular senator, union wants pay equity with teachers, two cited for feeding feral cats, cease and desist order issued to Coco Palms developer, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Survey: Hawaii’s Brian Schatz Is ‘Most Popular’ Senator. And Josh Green ranks sixth most popular among U.S. governors, according to a national marketing research firm. Morning Consult reported Wednesday that Democrat Brian Schatz has the highest approval rating of all U.S. senators — 65%. Just 24% disapprove. Civil Beat.

Union for nonteacher public workers seeks pay equity. A union representing nearly 7,000 Hawaii public school employees other than teachers is claiming that pay equity for many of its members has been thrown out of whack by recent gains for teachers. Star-Advertiser.

HTA cuts would cost Hawaii millions, agency says. The embattled Hawai‘i Tourism Authority said state lawmakers could cost the state millions of dollars in federal funding, halt destination management efforts and put community programs at risk if they continue down a path of repealing the agency or funding it through a budget bill that cuts the agency’s funding request by more than half. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Bill ‘fundamental to the future of Hawaii’ looks to stop corruption. Hawaii’s political system could undergo significant reform as a bill providing public money to finance election campaigns for political candidates has successfully passed both the State House and Senate. KHON2.

Sports Doctors From Other States May Get A License Exemption In Hawaii. A bill that would clarify the status of doctors traveling with sports teams to the islands is in the final stages at the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Schools getting new preschool classrooms. Although some Hawaii lawmakers have grumbled that a new agency in charge of public school construction is moving too slowly, its leader says the first 11 classrooms in the state’s Ready Keiki preschool initiative are on track to welcome students this fall — below budget and a year ahead of schedule — while three Oahu high schools are in advanced discussions to become Hawaii’s first major teacher housing projects. Star-Advertiser.

Survey finds increased homelessness on neighbor islands.
The annual survey, done by Ka Mana O Na Helu and Bridging the Gap Continuum of Care with partners on Maui, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island, found an overall 9% increase in homelessness, up from 2,022 in 2022 to 2,195 this year. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii ROTC cadets train amid growing tensions in Pacific. After a long day of training at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, a platoon of cadets from the University of Hawaii’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program began to prepare a patrol base for the night, when they would trade off sleeping or keeping watch for an enemy attack. Star-Advertiser.

Air quality on 3 Hawaiian islands among best in the US, report says. The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report Tuesday, giving a yearly snapshot of air pollution throughout the U.S.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Dept. of the AG prevails in federal challenge to COVID-19 emergency proclamations. The US District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi dismissed a federal constitutional challenge to COVID-19 emergency proclamations issued by former Governor David Ige. Maui Now.

Hawaii reports 935 new COVID-19 cases, 10 more deaths. The state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases was at 133 a day, about the same as 138 a day reported on April 12. The state’s average positivity rate was at 7.9%, down from 9.2% reported on April 12. Star-Advertiser.


Leaky Roofs Are Causing Costly Problems For 2 Historic State Buildings. Water damage from rain that leaked into two historic state buildings downtown has caused interior damage to both, and fixing the roofing and other problems will cost tens of millions of dollars, according to state officials. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Officials Move To Dismiss Charges Against Them In Police Chief Retirement Payout. The case centers on a $250,000 retirement deal for former police chief Louis Kealoha allegedly orchestrated in 2016 by officials at the time — corporation counsel Donna Leong, managing director Roy Amemiya and police commission chair Max Sword.  Civil Beat.

In bid to make Hawaii roadways safer, incoming DOT chief pushes speed enforcement cameras. Honolulu police in 2022 issued about 28,000 basic speeding citations and about 20,000 were issued on freeways. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Finishing touches near complete for Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa’s royal tomb. Hawaiian heiress Abigail Kawananakoa is in her final resting place at Mauna Ala, the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council overrides Roth veto; bill regarding extensions of zoning change applications becomes law. Hawaii County Council on Wednesday overruled Mayor Mitch Roth’s veto of a bill that would allow the council to confirm whether developers can get extensions on their rezoning applications. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Weight, speed limits reduced on Hilo’s ‘Singing Bridge’.  The state Department of Transportation said Wednesday the weight limit and speed limit are being reduced on Wailuku Bridge in Hilo as emergency repairs are being made. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

DLNR issues 2 citations at cat feeding protest in Waikoloa. State conservation officers issued two citations and one warning during a protest by cat activists Tuesday night over the removal of cat-feeding stations at Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Businessman pitches lofty plan to expand farming in East Hawaii. Ken Fujiyama, former owner of the then-Naniloa Volcanoes Resort in Hilo and various other businesses, has a plan to convert a vast amount of state land in East Hawaii into parcels for commercial farming. Tribune-Herald.

Removal of Caltech observatory mirror from Maunakea marks first decommissioning. Two observatories atop Maunakea on Hawaiʻi Island are scheduled for decommissioning this year: the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory and the University of Hawaiʻi's Hōkū Ke‘a Observatory. Hawaii Public Radio.


Can Maui’s New Mayor Finally Make A Dent In The Housing Crisis? The challenge now rests with Mayor Richard Bissen, who is hashing out his government’s first annual budget, a $1 billion spending plan that would lay the foundation for tackling the housing shortage during his four-year term and beyond.  Civil Beat.

Maui Council’s Budget Committee completes deliberations with departments. The Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee completed deliberations on the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget with Maui County’s departments and will begin the decision-making process on Friday, according to Committee Chair Yuki Lei K. Sugimura. Maui Now.

Maui homeless numbers continue to decline.
The number of homeless people in Maui County continues on a downward trend, with overall homelessness numbers down by 5 percent according to results of this year’s Homeless Point In Time Count which was released on Tuesday.  Maui News.

Virtual public meeting for Puʻunēnē Ave. improvements set for May 2. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will hold a virtual public meeting on proposed improvements to Puʻunēnē Avenue between Wākea Avenue and Kūihelani Highway. Maui Now.


State land board issues “Cease and Desist” order to Coco Palms developers. The state has issued a cease-and-desist order to a Utah company trying to build a new 350 room hotel on Kauai’s old Coco Palms property. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i County Council shifts tax break plan. After a Wednesday, April 19 county council committee meeting, a plan for broad Kaua‘i property tax breaks appears to have been shelved in favor of a more targeted proposal. Garden Island.

Deadline to apply for Residential Investor tax credit is Friday. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Finance reminds taxpayers whose properties may have been misclassified as Residential Investor that the deadline to apply for tax credit differentials for the 2022 and/or 2023 tax years is on Friday, April 21. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Ala Wai flood project unveiled, meth lab, explosives found in Kapolei, union fights outsourcing building permit approvals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Army Corps unveils plan to handle Ala Wai flooding. While the controversial concrete walls around the Ala Wai Canal remain in the plan, another contentious proposal has been dropped: the Manoa District Park detention basin. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii May Subsidize Pay For Child Care Workers. A bill proposes the creation of a two-year pilot program in a bid to attract more qualified child care professionals in the state. Civil Beat.

Have A Complaint About Your Condo? You May Get Slapped With Paying For The Lawyers Who Fight You. Condo association lawyers and lobbyists have successfully shot down efforts by lawmakers to ban "excessive" fees on owners. Civil Beat.

UH population biologist stresses continued COVID risk
. Hawaiʻi’s COVID positivity rate has more than doubled since the beginning of March. The state Department of Health reported a 9% positivity rate last week. Hawaii Public Radio.


Proposal to outsource reviewers for building permits in Honolulu faces pushback. A measure before the Honolulu City Council that would allow the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) to outsource consultants to review building permit applications has drawn criticism from the head of the largest union representing government workers. KITV4.

Rep. Case calls for Jones Act waiver for Red Hill defueling. U.S. Rep. Ed Case is urging the Biden administration to grant Hawaii a Jones Act waiver to aid in the defueling of the Navy’s underground Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility. The Department of Defense plans to move the 104 million gallons of fuel in the tanks around the Pacific region in a new “distributed” posture to support its operations.  Star-Advertiser.

Early childhood program to receive nearly $15M in federal funding. The grant will go to the Honolulu Community Action Program, the nonprofit that operates the Head Start and Early Head Start program on Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State toning down rent hike for Waiahole Valley tenants.
The cost to live on and in some cases farm state-owned land in Waiahole Valley won’t go up as much from historically very low rates under a new compromise with roughly 100 tenants in the rural community subsidized by Hawaii taxpayers. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

This Elderly Woman Was Threatened With Eviction — Over 50 Cents
. The management of a state-owned affordable apartment property for seniors is threatening to terminate the lease of an elderly resident over a 50 cent debt.  Civil Beat.

Agents discover suspected drug lab, explosives while executing search warrant at West Oahu home. Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducting a search warrant of a suspected clandestine methamphetamine production lab in the 92-500 block of Awawa Street in Kapolei at about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon found “volatile chemicals and materials that could endanger area residents,” according to release from the DEA. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County considers new dedications for ag land. The County Council Finance Committee discussed a pair of bills Tuesday that together would repeal the current commercial agricultural dedication process and install an updated one with multiple new categories of use. Tribune-Herald.

Board OKs telescope decommission. The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved on Friday a conservation district use application from UH-Hilo’s Center for Maunakea Stewardship regarding the decommissioning of the university’s Hoku Ke‘a observatory. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now . Big Island Video News.

HHSC gives notice it will drop insurance provider. Hawaii Health Systems Corporation operates several Big Island hospitals including Hilo Medical Center, Ka‘u Hospital and Kona Community Hospital, among others. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County offering $3,000 bonuses for landlords participating in housing programs. The Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development is offering $3,000 sign-on bonuses for Hawaiʻi Island landlords that rent to people with federal housing assistance vouchers. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiian Homes Nominee For West Hawaiʻi Gets A Hearing. Hawaiian Homes Commission nominee, Makai Freitas, appeared before the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs on Monday. Big Island Video News.


Maui County faces ‘serious’ occupational safety violations after death of firefighter. The County of Maui has agreed to pay state fines for occupational safety violations tied to the death of a 24-year-old firefighter during a flood in Kihei earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Is Struggling To Get The Apartments It Bought Last Year Up And Running. In a town with rental pressures, Lahaina Crossroads has been an affordable foothold. Civil Beat.

Critical funding for West and South Maui secured in Senate Budget draft. Some key items included are: appropriations for the Lahaina Bypass North, a grade-separated crossing for Kūlanihākoʻi High School, critical repairs for Māla Ramp, and a new wastewater facility for Waikapū. Maui Now.


Kauaʻi bus shelters improved through murals, storytelling. Local nonprofits recently worked with Kaua‘i artists to improve three bus shelters with vibrant murals. Kauai Now.