Tuesday, April 4, 2023

HECO launches electric grid plans, Oahu school may be named after Obama, ex-lawmaker seeks reduced sentence in bribery case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Electric seeks public comment on draft Integrated Grid Plan. The draft plan for its island grids was filed with the Public Utilities Commission, outlining steps the company will take in the coming years to ensure its system will achieve net zero carbon emissions and use 100% local, renewable resources. Maui Now.

Ex-Hawaii lawmaker in bribery case seeks 15-month sentence. Ty J.K. Cullen, the former vice chair of the state House Committee on Finance who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a wastewater executive is asking a judge to sentence him to 15 months in federal prison, citing his yearlong “substantial assistance” with the U.S. Department of Justice’s public-corruption investigation. Star-Advertiser.

First wave of pre-K classes planned to open ahead of schedule.  Eleven free preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds are scheduled to open a year ahead of schedule in August to help low-income families across the islands, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Efforts to fund public after-school programs cut short by lawmakers
. Despite overwhelming support at the Legislature this session, the Senate Ways and Means Committee deferred House Bill 69 on Thursday. It was the last surviving measure that would have provided additional funding to public after-school programs.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Sick and tired of that road racket? Bills to muffle mufflers advance at state Capitol. Lawmakers say they are getting a lot of noise about noise this year ― and are responding with new technology and police tactics. Hawaii News Now.

Spiraling housing prices spark worry about Hawaii’s future. Currently, housing construction is not keeping up with demand. Only 1,000 to 2,000 new housing units are being built in Hawaii each year. Those numbers are dwarfed by the 50,000 new units a 2019 state-commissioned study estimated would be needed by 2025. Associated Press.

Visitors to Hawaii would be charged $50 to visit state parks, other areas. Senate Bill 304 would require nonresidents aged 15 or older to obtain an environmental license to visit state parks or other “natural areas on state land.”  Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority launches new site to share Destination Management progress. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority has launched a new website, “Holomua,” an online platform for sharing collective updates and progress on each of its community-based Destination Management Action Plans. Big Island Now Big Island Video News.


In ‘hard to compete’ labor market, city to test flexible work schedules and telework options. The city is launching a pilot program in an effort to entice more workers and fill thousands of vacancies Among the options being promoted: Telework and flexible schedules for many employees. Hawaii News Now.

Rain causes leaks, disruptions at Hawai‘i Convention Center.  Heavy rain that caused pockets of flash flooding in the southern and eastern areas of Oahu on Sunday soaked through the Hawai‘i Convention Center roof, affecting the Kawaii Kon event and removing another five meeting rooms from service. Star-Advertiser.

In heavy rains, an upstream dumping problem triggers a trashy situation on exclusive Kahala Beach. Shopping carts, clothes, and other debris littered Kahala Beach on Monday following heavy rains over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Rail Cost On The Rise As Electric Hookups To Customers Along The Line Are Factored In. More than $700 million in contracts were awarded to relocate utilities in the urban area, but that did not include transformers or electrical lines to homes and businesses. Civil Beat.

City readies for opening of Kapolei to stadium rail segment. The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services is gearing up to take over the coming rail line this year — handling ridership, fares and bolstering the system’s security. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate considers name change for local elementary school. The Senate Committee on Education heard testimony from those both in support of and against the name change of Noelani Elementary School to President Barack Obama Noelani Elementary School. KITV4.

Booze Battle Heats Up As Judge Slaps Liquor Commission Critic With Court Order. Controversies surrounding the beleaguered Honolulu Liquor Commission have taken an unusual turn, with a commission investigations supervisor obtaining a temporary restraining order against a critic who the supervisor says has bombarded the agency with public records requests.  Civil Beat.

Mayor confirms Waipahu District Park pool reopening date. Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced in a town hall meeting on March 30 that the pool is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday, May 1. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Army official addresses PTA, concerns about China in the Pacific. Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan, commanding general for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, provided updates about the Pohakuloa Training Area on Monday at an event held by the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County IT Director Moves To Civil Defense Position. Information Technology Director Scott Uehara has accepted a position within the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, where he will focus on emergency communications systems. Big Island Video News.

False active shooter call prompts lockdown of 3 Hawaii schools. Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate School and Waiakea Elementary School were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure due to the seriousness of the call. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County finalists named for UH Board of Regents seat. The finalists for the Hawaii County seat are Michael Miyahira, Kona Moran, Alapaki Nahale-a and Steven Pavao. Tribune-Herald.


Bill seeks a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park due to increased visitors. The state House Finance Committee will hear a bill this week that requests a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park, also known as Oneloa Beach. Maui Now.

Finding of No Significant Impact for Puʻunēnē Ave. road widening and improvement project
. The project aims to increase roadway safety and capacity by adding two additional vehicle lanes and shared shoulders.  Maui Now.

Protectors of ancestral remains rail against planned expansion of Maui luxury resort. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, has been wanting to expand for years. But protectors of ancestral bones, or iwi kupuna, say enough already. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i Fire Department seeking $450k to reduce drownings. If secured, the funds would pay for an additional 12 full-time lifeguards, and would allow the department to safeguard all monitored beaches 10 hours a day, seven days a week, through a new “Dawn to Dusk” program. Garden Island.

Understanding alcohol use disorders is key to prevention. A proclamation by Mayor Derek Kawakami states the importance of learning about the behavioral and physical signs of alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect, and sexual assault, and in working to reduce the incidence of these public health crises from taking place on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

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