Wednesday, May 31, 2023

State seeks corrections officers as OT costs spike, GPS sends another tourist into the sea, Honolulu mulls resident property tax breaks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Chronic understaffing at Hawaiʻi prisons balloons overtime costs. With more than 300 vacancies for adult corrections officers, Department of Public Safety Director Tommy Johnson said the department needs to look at ways to get fresh staffing at state jails and correctional facilities. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii tourism sees slump in U.S. West arrivals. 
Even though April was the best month for overall visitor arrivals since the pandemic began, arrivals from Hawaii’s core domestic market fell for the first time since December and cast a possible shadow on the path forward. Star-Advertiser.

De Fries’ job status up for HTA review. 
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has called a special board meeting for June 15 to discuss the status of HTA President and CEO John De Fries, whose three-year employment contract expires Sept. 15. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City Council looks for property tax relief.
For a house appraised at $1 million, with the standard $100,000 deduction for a homeowner, most people would pay $3,150 in property taxes. KITV4.

Honolulu police used force in fraction of 2022 incidents
. Incidents that required Honolulu police officers to use some form of force to resolve a confrontation made up less than 1% of calls for service in 2022, according to the Honolulu Police Department’s 2022 use-of-force report. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu awards $3M in ag grants to Oahu’s small farmers.
A new city program will award $3 million in grants to Oahu’s small farmers, ranchers and growers, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

City seeks new youth leaders to work with mayor, councilmembers. 
Applications are being accepted for positions on the Honolulu Youth Commission. The commission is comprised of Oʻahu residents ages 14 to 24 who provide advice to Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Honolulu City Council. Hawaii Public Radio.

Red Hill Depositions Reveal More Details About What The Navy Knew About Spill
. The Navy had enough information to inform people of the public health threat but didn’t immediately act on it, officials said in newly released depositions. Civil Beat.

DLNR slashes fine against surf instructor accused of illegal commercial activities in Waikiki. By a 5-to-1 vote on Friday, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a settlement with Chris Sanger and his company — Duke’s Lagoon LLC — reducing his fine from $65,000 to $19,000. Hawaii News Now.

A $9M roundabout is coming to a busy Windward Oahu intersection, and not everyone is rejoicing. Construction for the roundabout in Kahaluu is set to start on June 7. Hawaii News Now.

State officials are working to redevelop Honolulu Harbor.  The state Department of Transportation is seeking bids from private developers to lease the former home of the Hawaii Maritime Center, which Bishop Museum closed in 2009 after chronic financial stress. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Another tourist following GPS drives down same ramp into water at Big Island harbor. A tourist following GPS directions on Monday night drove her SUV down a ramp into the water at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor in Kailua-Kona. This comes just a few weeks after another pair of tourists mistakenly drove their van into the same harbor. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KHON2.  Hawaii News Now.

Dog attack victim still in ICU. A 32-year-old Puna woman police say was mauled by a neighbor’s dog Saturday remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday at Hilo Medical Center with substantial injuries. Tribune-Herald.

After long wait, feds to once again back loans for homestead land cleared of WWII-era munitions. For more than 20 years, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been removing unexploded military hardware left in the former Waikoloa Maneuver Area, a 185,000-acre region of the island that was once used for live-fire exercises during World War II. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.


Residents Have Another Chance To Join East Maui’s New Water Authority. Residents who want a say in shaping the new government entity tasked with managing East Maui’s most precious natural resource will have one more week to apply for a spot on the newly created water authority board.  Star-Advertiser.

Renaming of Puamana Beach Park to Waiahiokole Burial Preserve gets initial backing.
The Maui County Water and Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously to pass a bill on first reading relating to the renaming of Puamana Beach Park to Waiahiokole Burial Preserve.  Maui Now.

County to hold community meetings on East Maui road closure in wake of rockfall. Maui County will hold three community meetings this weekend for residents and businesses impacted by the emergency road closure at the Alelele Point area in East Maui. Maui News.


Study shows high bacterial presence in Kaua‘i waters.  Environmental organization Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Blue Water Task Force has found continued bacterial contamination of Kaua‘i’s streams and surf sites, as researchers fear possible fecal presence throughout much of the island’s waters. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

400 U.S. POW remains disinterred in ID project, Memorial Day commemorated with floating lanterns, Councilwoman Kierkiewicz to head Big Island public TV station, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

After 80 years, project underway to identify POWs killed in ‘hellship’ attack. At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, the Defense Department is disinterring more than 400 sets of remains of American service members who died during WWII.  Hawaii News Now.

Officials and veterans gather at Punchbowl. City and military officials gathered with local veterans and their families for a Monday morning ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater. The Memorial Day service took place amid a tide of simmering geopolitical tensions around the world, something speakers at the ceremony weren’t shy to acknowledge. Star-Advertiser.

Governor aids woman with seizure during Memorial Day ceremony. Just as the 111th Army Band of the Hawaii Army National Guard began a musical interlude Monday during the Governor’s Memorial Day Ceremony, Gov. Josh Green jumped off the stage to assist a woman who suffered a seizure. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.


Floating lantern ceremony draws 45,000. After three years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shinnyo floating lantern ceremony came back strong Monday, setting the waters off Ala Moana Regional Park alight with thousands of flickering memorials. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Residents ask congressional delegation to ‘step up’ amid shooting range dispute.  A vocal group of Ewa Beach residents is vowing to take their fight to relocate a military shooting range to federal lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Makaha crash trial for HPD officers is delayed.  Four HPD officers charged in connection with an alleged September 2021 car chase, crash and cover-up had their trial put off against the objection of city prosecutors until Aug. 21, according to state court records. Star-Advertiser.

The North Shore Hasn’t Had A Public Pool For Decades
. It May Finally Be Getting One. Half of Hawaii's kids can't swim, and pools are less likely to be located near lower income communities. Civil Beat.

Ban on outside work for City Council proposed.
Two Honolulu City Council leaders have put forward two pieces of legislation that, if approved, would both strictly prohibit any outside employment or financial gain beyond an elective Council seat. Star-Advertiser.

Public comment sought on surfboard storage for Kuhio Beach Park
. The city is seeking public input to determine the next location for a Waikiki public surfboard storage site, which has been closed since the fall of 2021 when a two-alarm fire wiped out a Kuhio Beach Park location for the second time in less than two years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kierkiewicz Named President, CEO of Nā Leo ‘O Hawai‘i.  Ashley Kierkiewicz, a Hawaiʻi County Councilmember, will start effective June 19,  while continuing to serve on the County Council, where she represents the Puna district. Big Island Video News.

 Puna Is The Fastest Growing Place In Hawaii. But It Comes With A Catch. Plagued by poverty, poor infrastructure, volcanic eruptions and crime, the windward region still attracts a broad spectrum of people looking for their own slice of paradise. Civil Beat.

Man charged after dog attack on Big Isle injures 2.  A 32-year-old woman suffered fractures and multiple puncture wounds to both arms Saturday when a dog attacked her in Pahoa, the Hawaii Police Department said. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.


On Maui, a pledge never to forget those lost in the ‘Forgotten War’ .  Keynote speaker Brigadier General Walter R. Ross Jr. and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen reiterated that Memorial Day is far more than just a holiday.  Hawaii News Now.

3 East Maui meetings to discuss Alelele Point road closure; slope stabilization to start soon. The County of Maui will hold three community meetings for residents and businesses impacted by the emergency road closure at the Alelele Point area in East Maui.  Maui Now. KHON2.


This Kauai Neighborhood Is A Celebrated Cell Phone Dead Zone. AT&T Wants To Change That. Residents of Kauai's north shore are overwhelmingly opposed to a plan to build a cell tower on a residential lot in Haena. Civil Beat.

Kaua‘i jobless rate drops to 2.6 percent in April. The unemployment rate in the County of Kaua‘i dropped to its lowest level since the pre-pandemic era, as multiple sectors of the economy added jobs last month ahead of the summer season. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi health office conducting survey about emergency preparedness, pandemic impacts.  The Kaua‘i District Health Office will conduct a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response survey known as CASPER to assess the emergency preparedness level and current wellbeing of Kauaʻi households. Kauai Now.


Monday, May 29, 2023

Canoe club faces fines after cinder blocks placed on coral, Hawaii joins interstate compact to lure doctors, census shows state population aging, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Damage to be assessed after moorings were placed on coral during Hawaiʻi Island canoe regatta. 16 cinder block lane markers were found resting on coral structures during the Founders Regatta hosted by the Keauhou Canoe Club on Saturday. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Hawaii moves to lure mainland doctors. Doctors from other states may soon be able to quickly acquire licenses to practice medicine in Hawaii after state lawmakers passed a bill this month enabling the governor to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, an agreement among states that streamlines the licensing process. Star-Advertiser.

The aging of Hawaii is accelerating, 2020 census shows.  The U.S. Census Bureau’s demographic profile released Thursday shows there were 282,451 people age 65 and older in Hawaii, representing 19.4% of the state’s total population of 1.45 million. That’s a 45% increase from the number of residents in that age group who were counted in 2010, when they comprised 14.3% of the population, or 1 in 7 residents. Star-Advertiser.

Slight summer cool-down predicted for Hawaii tourism.  A rush of travelers to Hawaii is expected for the Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff to summer, but there are signs in the state’s visitor industry that the season may not be as robust as last year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Green to name new HTA board members; De Fries’ future uncertain. Gov. Josh Green on Friday morning said in an online interview he would be appropriating more than $60 million for tourism promotion, marketing and management when he signs the state budget into law in mid-June. Tribune-Herald.

Solar loan program gets $100M recharge. The Legislature this year appropriated a $100 million infusion to an agency nicknamed Hawaii’s Green Bank to continue lending money to households with low and moderate incomes for installing rooftop solar systems while also expanding the program to finance energy storage systems. Star-Advertiser.

State funds for late rent, mediation to be revisited. Key state lawmakers are vowing to revisit a bill that died in the final days of the legislative session that would have required mediation between landlords and tenants before filing for eviction, while providing landlords millions in emergency rent relief. Star-Advertiser.

New $15 Million Grant Seeks To Address Root Causes Of Health Disparities In Hawaii. Hawaii Island Community Health Center will use the funding to elevate children's access to care. Civil Beat.

Hawaii private-school tuitions rise with inflation. While increases in the average tuition for Hawaii’s private schools statewide for this fall will be smaller than expected at about 2.3%, some prominent schools are raising their tuition by much more as they start to catch up with the past two years’ inflation and rate hikes that were delayed or cut back during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


Calls Mount For The Honolulu City Council To Vote On Salary Increases. Many constituents feel that the increases are a "slap in the face," and they want more accountability. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council Members Seek To Make The Chamber A Full-Time Job Amid Pay Criticism. Two measures would ban council members from having other jobs in a move aimed at ensuring they focus all their attention on the public's business. Civil Beat.

‘This Is Gold’: An Unprecedented Push To Restore Urban Honolulu Watersheds From Ridge To Reef. A nearly $8 million project will take the Hawaiian approach to land management and apply it to busy parts of town. Civil Beat.

Pay per wave: Native Hawaiians divided over artificial surf lagoon in the birthplace of surfing. The project has landed in court and reflects the unease some Native Hawaiians feel about the commercialization of what long has been a cultural touchstone. Associated Press.

Kuhio Beach hours to change for safety, cleanliness’ sake. The city Department of Parks and Recreation is making plans to extend Kuhio Beach Park’s daily closure by an extra two hours — a move that will broaden the park’s shutdown from midnight to 5 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

24 people cited at Kaʻena Point State Park, most for access during off hours. Eighteen people were cited Saturday night for being in a closed area, in violation of Ka‘ena Point State Park closure hours on Oʻahu; and five others were cited for not having special access permits, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth To Hold Island-Wide Town Hall Circuit. Mayor Mitch Roth announced the debut of his town hall series, “Sustainable Horizons: Mayor Roth’s Community Impact Check-in,” aimed at providing updates and fostering engagement with communities across Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video NewsBig Island Now.

Keck Observatory director retiring after nearly 40 years. When Hilton Lewis began working at the W. M. Keck Observatory in 1986, astronomy was a very different field. Tribune-Herald.

HVO clears final hurdle in move to UH-Hilo.  In a couple of years, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and support staff should be able to move from their temporary headquarters at Hilo Iron Works and a Keaau warehouse and into fancy new digs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Keaau Middle School top site for proposed new library.
A draft environmental assessment for a proposed new library to serve the Keaau and Mountain View communities was published Tuesday and lists five preferred sites for the 13,900-square-foot building, but rates a site at the Keaau Middle School as the most preferred. Tribune-Herald.

64 Cats Captured, Relocated From Waikoloa. An effort to catch and relocate a large number of feral cats from a parking lot in the Waikōloa Resort area is underway, with 64 cats already reported captured, spayed/neutered, and rehomed. Big Island Video News.


County water directors to discuss water rate increases. Maui County Water Supply Director John Stufflebean and Deputy Director James “Kimo” Landgraf will discuss possible water rate increases and other important issues on the county radio show at 7 a.m. Thursday on KAOI. Maui News.

Hawaii Lawmakers Did Not Fund The Overpass To Kihei’s New High School.
The ongoing effort to build a protected pedestrian crossing over a bustling highway to Kihei’s new high school has hit yet another barrier: Lawmakers didn’t put money in the state budget this past session to build it. Civil Beat.


Emergency preparedness survey to be conducted on Kaua‘i. The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office said it will conduct a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) survey from June 6-9. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

County offers free composting bins. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division announced two new distribution points on the North Shore for Earth Machine Home Composting Bins — ‘Aina Ho‘okupu o Kilauea and the Hanalei Initiative. Garden Island.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Busy hurricane season expected, Aloha Stadium plans approved, Kapolei middle-schooler arrested after gun brought to school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Central Pacific region expects 4 to 7 cyclones. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has predicted a near- to above-normal season for the region this year due to El Nino conditions. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu’s Lawsuit Against Big Oil Over Sea Level Rise Just Got A Boost From The Supreme Court. The city is involved in one of more than two dozen lawsuits over the cost of climate change. Civil Beat.

Top State Officials Were Behind A Secretive Process That Steered Millions To A First Responders Center. Here's how $50 million got into the new state budget for a facility that had been rejected earlier in the session. Civil Beat.

MCBH commander hands over the reins. At a Thursday ceremony on the edge of Kaneohe Bay, outgoing Marine Corps Base Hawaii commander Col. Speros Koumparakis handed over the reins to his successor, Col. Jeremy Beaven. Star-Advertiser.


Aloha Stadium project gets OK to go with single developer. There was an air of celebration at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Stadium Authority. It was announced that Gov. Josh Green and the state are moving forward with a modified version of the public-private partnership plan that has been in the works since 2018. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2. KITV4.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Kapolei middle student arrested after gun brought to school. Kapolei Middle School was locked down for an hour and 20 minutes Thursday morning after a student allegedly showed off a handgun on campus, according to police and the state Department of Education. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Honolulu Officers Who Arrested 10-Year-Old Want Protection From Lawsuit. Three Honolulu police officers believe they shouldn’t have to be part of a lawsuit that contends they used excessive force and wrongfully arrested a 10-year-old girl at school over a supposedly offensive drawing in 2020. Civil Beat.

Scheduled field maintenance closes 2 of Oʻahu's largest parks through June. The parks will receive intensive field maintenance including aerating, verticutting, soil cultivation, power washing, irrigation repairs and road renovations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Community group on why they intend to sue the County of Hawaiʻi over sewage. Hui Mālama Honokōhau is a group of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and fishers who use Honokōhau Harbor in Kailua-Kona on Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim connects the past with present at veterans memorial event. The soldiers served in the Hawaii National Guard 29th Infantry Brigade and made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War in 1968 and 1969. Tribune-Herald.


How Maui's property tax system could serve as a model for other islands this budget season.  As property assessments and value increase, so does a homeowner’s tax bill. Councils across the state have been trying to balance that by expanding existing exemptions or segmenting tiers. Hawaii Public Radio.

161-lot homestead project in Waikapu breaks ground. Project is first to be funded through historic $600M allocation to DHHL. Maui News.


Native Hawaiian group receives $85k grant to revitalize Hawaiian language. Native Hawaiian organization Papahana Kuaola has received a nearly $85,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs as part of a multi-organizational effort to revitalize ‘olelo Hawai‘i, the Hawaiian language, from keiki to kupuna. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Ex-building inspector gets 5 years for taking bribes, Legislature dumps millions on department unsure how to spend it, Tripler to pay $29.5M in medical malpractice case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Last-Minute Budget Scrum At The Capitol May Cause An Odd Problem: Too Much Cash. Hundreds of millions of dollars were dumped on the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which now has one year to spend most of it. The mysterious and much-criticized budget process used by House and Senate leaders in the final days of session this spring may have poured more money into the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism than the department can readily handle. Civil Beat

NOAA to release outlook for 2023 hurricane season in Central Pacific. NOAA will outline its outlook on Thursday for the 2023 Central Pacific hurricane season, which kicks off June 1. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tackles Climate Change With a Human Rights Focus.
In Hawaii, residents have a right to a healthy climate – but in a novel lawsuit, a group of young people say the state needs to do more to protect it. US News & World Report.

How will Hawaii reach its clean energy goals? ‘We just have to be committed.' According to Hawaiian Electric, 32% of electricity generated on Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County was from renewable resources last year. Hawaii Island generated 48%, Maui County generated 36%, and Oahu generated 28%. Kauai County has its own co-op, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC led the state, achieving more than 60% last year. Hawaii News Now.

Courts rule another deadly weapon can be carried in public.  It’s now legal for people to possess yet another dangerous weapon on the street. According to a court ruling Tuesday, May 23, people can now carry a billy club or baton in public. KHON2.

Bank invests $4M in nonprofit to bolster Native Hawaiian homeownership. American Savings Bank has invested $4.3 million in the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Community Lending to help offset costs to put more people on Hawaiian home lands. Hawaii Public Radio.


Former Honolulu building inspector gets 5 years in bribery scheme. The city’s former chief building inspector was sentenced to five years in federal prison and fined $100,000 for taking $103,000 in bribes from a Honolulu architect and contractors to pre-screen and fast-track approval of permits. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

64% of Honolulu homes vulnerable to hurricanes. Home to nearly a million people, Oahu and its infrastructure remains vulnerable to hurricane impacts.  KHON2.

FEMA unveils disaster-resistant broadcast studio in Hawaii. FEMA unveiled a brand new emergency broadcast radio studio that sits on the grounds of Kahauiki village near Keehi Lagoon. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu medical calls up 20% since pre-COVID. As the pandemic wanes, Honolulu Emergency Serv­ices Department Director Dr. Jim Ireland says medical calls on Oahu have spiked over 20% compared to the pre-COVID-19 years. Star-Advertiser.

Tripler Army Medical Center to pay $29.5M in malpractice case. Hawaii’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday awarded $29.5 million to a local military family in the largest medical malpractice judgment against Tripler Army Medical Center for a 2016 incident involving their then-month-old child. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Environmental watchdog claims pipe at Kailua treatment facility is leaking sewage. The facility has been the subject of complaints for several years after water with high bacterial counts was released several times over the years into Kailua Bay. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit: HPD Officer Violated Policy When He Shot A Man In A Car. The department had updated its use-of-force policy to prevent officers from shooting at people in cars. Civil Beat.

Residents get opportunity to speak directly with military officials defueling Red Hill. Red Hill open house might seem like an oxymoron to some. But for the hundred or so community members who went out to Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Park, it did mean direct access to military personnel like never before to understand this chapter of Red Hill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Medical respite kauhale readied for opening. It took a large village Wednesday to complete a small village for homeless people in urban Honolulu with medical respite needs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Public meeting set regarding PGV expansion. Puna residents will be able to provide in-person feedback next week regarding a planned upgrade of Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Homeless Encampment Swept At Hale Hālāwai In Kona.
The County carried out the enforcement operation to address unsafe conditions at the Kailua Village beach park. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Input sought for old hospital site: 20 acres surrounding Hilo facility could be developed by the county. Part of the former Hilo Memorial Hospital is being renovated, and Hawaii County is collecting feedback about the future development of 20 acres surrounding the facility. Tribune-Herald.


County council approves budget on first reading. 
Waikapu residents may be closer to getting a land buffer between them and Wailuku and a small new medical clinic on Molokai may quickly get some needed funding as Maui County Council members unanimously approved the county’s fiscal year 2024 budget on first reading Tuesday.  Maui News.

Groundbreaking of infrastructure for planned Puʻunani subdivision provides hope for Maui DHHL waitlist beneficiaries. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands conducts a groundbreaking ceremony today, marking the start of a $17 million capital improvement project to install infrastructure for the planned Puʻunani subdivision in Waikapū.  Maui Now.

Outrigger Hospitality Group to acquire Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel on Maui. The transaction is expected to close on July 26, at which time the property will be rebranded as OUTRIGGER Kā‘anapali Beach Resort.  Maui Now.

Officers Raid Maui Antique Shop For Allegedly Selling Illegal Ivory. State lawmakers barred the sale of most ivory years ago in hopes of preventing poaching across the globe. Civil Beat. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i home, condo sales sink in April. A total of 22 home sales closed in April, down from 60 in April 2022, according to monthly data pooled from multiple sources by Hawai‘i Realtors in Honolulu. That marked a decrease of 63.33 percent. Garden Island.

Mālama Kauaʻi’s FEED Orchard Grants to increase fruit production, food access.  Mālama Kauaʻi will distribute 18 FEED Orchard Grant Awards to increase fruit production for food access markets this summer.  Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tourist tracking app proposed, militant Hawaiian sovereignty member sentenced for threats against government officials, DOE returns millions not used for local food programs, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Tourist tracking app could be part of Hawaii visitor management plan. Hawaii hosts about 10 million visitors a year, and they often tend to go to the same locations — so crowds and traffic can make the experience unpleasant. But lawmakers and the CNHA, which one the destination stewardship contract from the Hawaii Tourism Authority say a smart phone app could be the key. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii DOE Has Returned Millions Of Dollars That Could Have Bought Local Food.
Hawaii's congressional delegation wants to know why the money it fights for is not being used by the Department of Education. The Department of Education has blamed miscommunication as the reason it failed to use $650,000 in federal money meant to assist schools in buying local food. In 2022 the DOE handed back just over $1.1 million in federal funds allocated under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a program designed to feed and educate children about their food. Civil Beat.

Man who threatened government officials gets 37 months.
A 44-year-old man found guilty of posting social media threats to behead then-Lt. Gov. Josh Green, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Waianae Small Boat Harbor master following a dispute over nonpayment of $30,000 in mooring fees by the leader of a militant Hawaiian sovereignty group was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison Tuesday morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Green signs bills to regulate domestic abuse interventions, restraining orders. Green signed two bills on Friday that would amend referral requirements for restraining orders to only when alleged child abuse allegations arise and would require court-ordered interventions, or anger management, for certain criminal offenders. Hawaii Public Radio.

Sustainable aviation fuel produced in Hawaiʻi expected by 2025. Since about half of the state's petroleum use comes from aviation, local companies Pono Pacific and Par Hawaiʻi plan to collaborate on a Hawaiʻi-based sustainable airplane fuel. Hawaii Public Radio.

New invasive species imperils Hawai‘i’s aquatic ecosystem.
A multi-agency working group has discovered a new invasive species off Hawai‘i’s coastline that threatens to upend the island chain’s marine ecosystem by outcompeting and suffocating its coral reefs. Garden Island.

Where have all the workers gone? Hawaii’s chief economist explains. “Now hiring” signs are now a common sight around Oahu and Maui. Hawaii News Now.


Plan for new Oahu jail gets partial, delayed funding
. Hawaii lawmakers included $10 million in their budget bill for the state Department of Public Safety to continue planning and design work on a replacement for Oahu Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

‘180 Degrees’ Different: Former HPD Chief Louis Kealoha Is Telling His Side Of The Story. A soon-to-be released book by a former TV reporter asks readers to view a notorious corruption scandal through a new lens. Civil Beat.

‘What should the public expect?’ Concerns over access to rail station sparks action. The first phase of the Honolulu rail system will take passengers from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, but a stop along the way is raising concerns among the community. KHON2.

Military Team Seeks To Drain 100M Gallons Of Fuel From Red Hill Without ‘A Single Drop’
Leaking. Amid pressure to act quickly, the Joint Task Force says it's preparing for worst-case scenarios and proceeding with caution. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Outrigger expands again, purchases Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel. Outrigger Hospitality Group announced Tuesday that it is acquiring the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel — its sixth beach resort purchase over the past two years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo nursing home says it is clear of active COVID cases. The 252-bed nursing home recently suffered from an outbreak that was reported to the Hawaii Department of Health in early April, with 93 cases, including 76 residents and 17 staff. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Island nonprofit loses funding for housing mediation program. The West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center on Hawaiʻi Island received a state grant for a new restorative justice program but won’t get funding renewed for its popular landlord-tenant mediation program.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Gymnastic reprieve. In a July 2021 Special Permit Application, Kona Aerial Gymnastic Team Inc. submitted documentation stating the use of an existing agricultural warehouse structure located off Hualalai Road, approximately 700 feet east from its intersection with Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway for gymnastics classes and fitness training, which is currently ongoing in violation of the parcel’s zoning. West Hawaii Today.

DLNR IDs women cited for illegally feeding Waikoloa feral cats. The Department of Land and Natural Resources on Tuesday released the names of the two women cited by state conservation officers April 18 during a protest by feral cat activists at Queens’ Marketplace Shopping Center. Tribune-Herald.

Roundabout slated for Hilo: Work on project could start in 2025. The long-anticipated project would reconfigure the intersection between Bayfront Highway, Kamehameha Avenue and Waianuenue Avenue in an effort to mitigate traffic congestion at the northern entrance into town. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.


Maui County May Buy The Lanai Passenger Ferry. The privately owned ferry service is a critical mode of transportation for the island's 3,000 residents. A ferry service that’s a vital link for Lanai residents traveling to and from Maui for work and medical appointments may sell its assets, creating uncertainty about the future of travel on the tiny island. Civil Beat.

April’s hotel occupancy, revenue down from 2022.
Occupancy at the county’s hotels was at 65.4 percent in April, 6.8 percentage points lower than the 72.2 percent occupancy seen at the same time in 2022, according to the Hawaii Hotel Performance Report released last week.  Maui News.

Nexamp to update community on proposed shared solar project, Lipoa Solar. Nexamp will share information about its Community Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) shared solar project proposed to be built mauka of Pi’ilani Highway in Kīhei above the Maui Research and Technology Park. Maui Now.

Rockfall threat shuts down portion of key highway on Maui.   A small portion of Hana Highway will be closed for up to one month, Maui County officials announced Tuesday. This comes after recent rockfall damaged the road in Kipahulu and smashed through the windshield of a car. Hawaii News Now.


Liquor license renewals due June 30.  The deadline to renew liquor licenses for Fiscal Year 2023-24 is on June 30 at 4:30 p.m., according to the Kaua‘i Department of Liquor Control. Kauai Now.

Now that rats are eradicated at Palmyra Atoll, seabird ‘discotheques,’ decoys result in chick. A tiny grey-backed tern chick has been observed at Palmyra Atoll, validating that seabird attraction efforts are working, according to The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i and Palmyra. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tourism contracts awarded, 93 sickened, one dead in Hilo nursing home COVID outbreak, Honolulu suicide attempts spike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii Tourism Authority awards over $67M to 3 contractors. The Hawaii Tourism Authority made three multiyear procurement awards Monday valued at more than $67.8 million collectively to manage the brands and market Hawaii to the United States and Canada, and to offer support services for destination stewardship. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Proposed fishing rules would affect host of species
. By proposing fishing rules that would affect several herbivorous fish species in Hawaii, the state finds itself in a delicate balancing act to preserve both Hawaii’s marine resources and local, cultural and subsistence fishing practices. Star-Advertiser.

Wasps could limit coffee berry borer impacts in Hawaiʻi. Researchers in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences and USDA-Agricultural Research Service plan to deploy thousands of these wasps in coffee-growing areas on Hawaiʻi Island and possibly Maui and Oʻahu. Maui News. Garden Island.  KHON2.

Gov. Green issues flag order to honor late State Senator Sam Slom. Governor Josh Green has ordered that the United States flag and the Hawaiʻi state flag be flown at half-staff at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol and at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaiʻi National Guard in the State of Hawaiʻi, effective immediately, until sunset on May 24. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

It's no secret Hawaiʻi loves Spam. But health experts fear its long-term risks. Hawai‘i residents eat 7 million cans of Spam per year, making it the state with the highest number of consumers per capita in the nation, according to Spam's numbers.  Hawaii Public Radio.


$253M in affordable housing funding to lapse, Honolulu officials say. About $253 million in city-approved bond appropriations earmarked for the acquisition, development and construction of affordable housing and related projects around Oahu will lapse by June 30, Honolulu officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu reports alarming increase in suicide attempts, especially among youth.
Honolulu EMS is now responding to between 10 and 15 suicide attempts a day amid an alarming uptick that health officials say they’re watching closely. Hawaii News Now.

Public invited to Red Hill ‘open house’ to weigh in on defueling process. The open house events take place Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Keehi Lagoon Memorial Park. Hawaii News Now.

‘We Need To Rebuild Trust’: Honolulu Mayor’s Town Halls Are Getting City Officials In Touch With The Community. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, more than two years into his tenure and running for reelection, is taking his show on the road. In the past three months, he and his administration have criss-crossed Oahu, speaking at 10 unscripted evening town halls from Waianae to Kaneohe and Waialua to Aina Haina. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council to hear ‘Restricted Parking Zone’ bill. The city is looking to address parking issues in congested neighborhoods through a restricted parking zone program. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

“Heightened Unrest” At Kilauea Volcano. In a special Monday evening Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status report, scientists said Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. However, earthquake rates are elevated beneath the summit area. Big Island Video News.

COVID outbreak at Hilo nursing home includes 93 cases, 1 death. The state Health Department confirmed it was notified in early April of the outbreak at Life Care Center of Hilo, and has been providing technical assistance to the facility. Star-Advertiser.

Energy contracts renegotiated; Move will reduce customers’ power bills, Hawaiian Electric says. Hawaiian Electric announced Monday that it has renegotiated three contracts with Big Island providers to eliminate language tying their rates to the fluctuating cost of oil, which should stabilize prices in the long term. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui Council to consider first reading of 2024 budget. The Maui County Council will consider the county’s fiscal year 2024 budget on first reading at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Maui Now.

Maui County unemployment down to 2.8%. Maui County’s unemployment rate last month was at 2.8 percent, down compared to 3.4 percent in March, the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism reported last week.  Maui News.

Maui Humane Society facing severe overcrowding, urgently seeking fosters and adoptions. The Maui Humane Society is facing an overcrowding crisis, and for the first time in years, may have to resort to euthanasia of some at-risk dogs. KITV4.


Online registration for Kaua‘i Summer Fun Program begins May 24. The Kaua‘i Department of Parks and Recreation’s 2023 Summer Fun Program will open on May 24 at 8 a.m., through the county’s website. Kauai Now.

Monday, May 22, 2023

'Lone Ranger' Senator Sam Slom dies, Legislature criticized for spending binge, Mauna Kea permafrost diminishing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former longtime Hawaii lawmaker Sam Slom dies at age 81. Former Republican state Sen. Sam Slom, 81, who was sometimes the only GOP member in the state Senate during his 20-year tenure, died in an Oahu hospital Sunday at noon following an illness, according to fellow Republican Rep. Gene Ward. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature criticized for ‘wild spending binge’. Hawaii lawmakers took special liberty this year to appropriate local taxpayer revenue far in excess of what the state Constitution and a related statute hold as typically advisable. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Is Seeking Public Records From The FBI In Lawmaker Bribery Cases. The U.S. Justice Department is refusing to release case files on privacy grounds. Honolulu Civil Beat has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the federal agency’s refusal to release records involving two Hawaii lawmakers who are in prison for accepting bribes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Local Film Industry Has Long Taken A Back Seat To Hollywood. New Money Might Help. Attempts to change Hawaii's film incentives sparked a feud between Senate leaders and the manager of the Hawaii film office. Civil Beat.

Funding allows Hawaii Tourism Authority to cover procurements. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is slated to make three major awards today, covering procurement to manage the brands and market Hawaii to the United States and Canada, and to offer support services for destination stewardship. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education OKs next phase of department's plan to help students. The state Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved a plan on how the department will carry out the vision of 258 public schools for the next six years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Army leaders stress alliances, logistics at Waikiki conference. As Army leaders and other military officials gathered in Honolulu last week for the Association of the U.S. Army’s Land Forces of the Pacific symposium at the Sheraton Waikiki, mobility and logistics in the vast Pacific region took center stage in many conversations. The annual conference, which returned in-person last year, attracted 14 chiefs of Army from around the world. Star-Advertiser.

Health risks from COVID are not over, Hawaii doctor says. With the end of the federal public health emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, there have been major changes to funding for tools such as testing, along with an end in case reporting requirements — and a slide in vaccinations and masking. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians Are Overrepresented In Prisons. Cultural Education Could Help. Windward Community College is one of the only higher education institutions in Hawaii offering culturally focused classes in prison.  Civil Beat.

Governor traveling to Seattle for meetings with officials working to solve homelessness. While there, Green will meet with government officials and others working to solve homelessness, housing and health care issues in Washington state.  Kauai Now.


Honolulu’s Handi-Van shortage worsens.
Honolulu’s transportation department has had to cut back its order of new TheHandi-Vans, desperately needed to shuttle residents with disabilities to medical appointments, grocery stores and other destinations, after agreeing to pay the local dealer substantially more than its bid price for each vehicle. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu crime numbers drop in 2022, HPD says.  Honolulu Police Department statistics for 2022 show declines in seven of the eight major violent and property offense categories. The only category to show an increase was murder, which rose to 25 last year compared to 21 in 2021.  Star-Advertiser.

50th State Fair is back for the summer at Aloha Stadium. The carnival kicks off May 26 and runs through July 9 at Aloha Stadium. Attractions include food booths, E.K Fernandez rides, and an entertainment tent filled with a talented lineup. Hawaii News Now.

Aulani reef fish contributing to science. At Disney’s Aulani Resort &Spa at Koolina, the colorful reef fish in Oahu’s only human-made snorkeling lagoon are doing more than just swimming about looking pretty for the hotel’s guests. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Rare tropical permafrost near Mauna Kea’s summit diminishing, researchers find. Researchers have discovered that rare tropical permafrost near the summit of Mauna Kea is gradually receding. The frozen soil patches, a scientific anomaly in this tropical paradise, show signs of shrinking over time, raising questions about the underlying causes. Hawaii News Now.

Police chief talks trust during EHCC panel discussion. Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz told about 50 who attended a panel discussion Saturday at East Hawaii Cultural Center “trust is the currency” that leads to better relations between the community and police. Tribune-Herald.

Boy Scouts admits prior shooting cases, attorneys say. Attorneys for the family of a Big Island Boy Scout killed in an accidental shooting during a “Troop Shoot” and “Family Fun Day” at a camp firing range in August are pressing for reports of other recent Boy Scout-related shooting incidents nationwide. Star-Advertiser.

Repairs On Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Well Completed. Officials say normal water usage from the water spigots may resume, and the standpipe facility for commercial water haulers will reopen on Monday. Big Island Video News.


Water rate hikes possible; new rate for hotels. Maui County water customers — including residents, farmers, businesses and hotels — could see increases to their water bills in the coming months as the county seeks to up funding for operations and projects.  Maui News.

Remaining OB providers try to fill the gap in care. After Maui Lani Physicians and Surgeons announced earlier this year that the clinic will no longer be taking any new pregnancy cases, Malama I Ke Ola Health Center and Kaiser Permanente Maui became the remaining two options on island for full maternity services and deliveries.  Maui News.

Maui’s unemployment rate dips to 2.8% in April 2023. Maui’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.8% in April of 2023, down from 3.4% in March. Maui Now.


Hawai‘i Coffee Association conference coming to Kaua‘i. The statewide Hawaiʻi Coffee Association is perking with its upcoming annual conference June 15-17 at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort & Spa in Līhu‘e. Kauai Now.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Three Hawaii beaches in top 10 ranking, Gov. Green helps rescue driver, Craig Angelos named UH athletic director, Katherine Kealoha loses bid to be released from prison, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Oahu, Maui and Kauai crack top 10 in 2023 national beach rankings. Hawaii placed three beaches on the list, more than any other state. Those locations were Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu, Wailea Beach on Maui and Poipu Beach on Kauai. Associated Press.

Tourism, construction still Hawaii’s recession buffers. Economist: It’s ‘hard to be pessimistic’ amid positive signs in the local economy. Despite heightened risks, Hawaii economists believe the state is still likely to avoid an outright recession due to tourism and construction activity softening the hit. Maui News.

Car dealership inventory increasing as demand remains high.
Those in the market for a new car may have better luck finding a car that meets their needs, dealerships said car inventory is improving while the ticket price on cars is on a downward trend. KHON2.

Hawaiian monk seal population continues to increase
. Hawaiian monk seal populations have grown to an estimated 1,605 in 2022, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This number is up from an estimated 1,564 in 2021.  Spectrum News.


Mayor Insists City Didn’t Downplay Health Concerns Over Kailua Sewage.
Blangiardi and the state health director pushed back against assertions made by state clean water supervisors monitoring the situation. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Vacant Homes Would Be Taxed At Higher Rate Under Possible City Plan. Honolulu officials are considering ways to boost city income and expand the pool of rental housing by raising the property taxes on homes that have been left vacant by their owners. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha Fails In Effort To Get Out Of Prison.  A request from disgraced former Honolulu prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to end her 13-year prison sentence early has been officially rejected. In a ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright denied Kealoha’s petition. Civil Beat. KHON2.

HPD Investigation Of Makaha Cops Is Wrapping Up, Commission Told. More than a year and a half after four police officers allegedly ran a car full of people off the road, the Honolulu Police Department is just about done with its investigation of the incident.  Civil Beat.

New homeless facility that long sat idle will soon house medical respite beds. In a major development, the city says it’s on track to open a medical respite facility for the homeless in early June inside an Iwilei housing project that’s been sitting empty for more than a year. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Craig Angelos approved as next Hawaii athletic director. Craig Angelos is the new University of Hawaii at Manoa athletic director, starting June 5, after he was approved by the UH Board of Regents today at Honolulu Community College. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Oil-fired power plant proposed for conversion. Hawaiian Electric is seeking to redevelop an 85-year-old power plant in Pearl City as part of meeting a state goal for a 100% renewable energy supply by 2045. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

What will replace Pali Lanes? 2 years after its closure, the answer remains unclear. It’s been nearly two years since an iconic Kailua landmark closed its doors for good. That’s got community members wondering what the future of Pali Lanes actually looks like. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawai‘i County Council approves first reading of $1.19 billion budget for FY 2023-24.
During a special meeting on Thursday, the Hawai‘i County Council approved the first reading of the County’s proposed fiscal year 2023-24 operating and capital budgets that total nearly $1.19 billion. Big Island Now.

Gov. Green, others help driver in overturned vehicle on Big Island. Green was traveling on Waikoloa Road to attend the Waikoloa Solar + Storage ribbon-cutting ceremony when he and his security detail saw an overturned vehicle sometime before 10 a.m. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

AES opens its newest solar plus storage site amid Hawaiʻi's push for renewables. The AES Corporation has started operating its Waikoloa Solar + Storage Project, capable of generating up to 30 megawatts and storing 120 megawatt-hours. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today.

CSO Decommissioning Delay Due To Mirror Removal. Officials say CSO is finalizing the design of a special cradle that can carry the telescope mirror down the mountain. Big Island Video News.


MPD plan: Recruiting, community relations among top priorities. Around 42 percent of Maui County residents said they have a favorable impression of the Maui Police Department, while 24 percent saw the department unfavorably, according to a survey of 402 residents included in MPD’s recently released strategic plan. Maui News. Maui Now.

Nexamp to provide update on two Upcountry shared solar projects. Nexamp will host two virtual community meetings to provide updates on two Upcountry shared solar projects–Piʻiholo Road Solar and Makawao Solar. Maui Now.


Marriott hiring for several positions on Kaua‘i. Positions are available at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club, Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons – Kalanipu’u and Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club properties. Kauai Now.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Preschool program ahead of schedule, under budget, tax collections take downturn, 5th Honolulu pleads guilty to taking bribes to expedite building permits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

‘Just the beginning’: State ahead of schedule, under budget on ambitious Ready Keiki preschool program. The state on Wednesday signed the first 11 contracts for Ready Keiki preschool program at a cost of about half previous estimates. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii tax collections turned red in April. The state Council on Revenues at a Monday meeting projected that Hawaii tax collections for the fiscal year ending June 30 will slip 1%. Star-Advertiser.

State takes closer tax look at cash-based businesses. Some businesses may not report all their sales or income to the State Tax Department. That can be a problem for ones that deal mainly with cash. KITV4.

Hawaii housing units increase as population declines, census data reports. Hawaii’s housing shortage eased somewhat with the addition of 6,071 housing units from 2020 to 2022, with help from the state’s declining population, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Star-Advertiser.

Governor lists accomplishments, wish list at in-person town hall. 
Nearly six months into his term, Gov. Josh Green wanted to use his first in-person town hall appearance to highlight the progress that’s been made since he took office. Hawaii News Now.


Ex-city official pleads guilty to taking cash bribes. Jocelyn Godoy, the fifth city employee who took cash bribes to move plans through the city Department of Planning and Permitting entered a plea of guilty Wednesday as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council revisits proposal to tax houses that sit empty on Oʻahu. Members of the Honolulu City Council’s recently assembled real property taxation working group met Tuesday to talk over proposals that could affect more than 130,000 island households. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu City Council to offer 50% property tax break to businesses impacted by rail construction. The rail is preparing to welcome riders for the grand opening of the first phase of the project in June, but construction along Dillingham Blvd. further down the line is still years from completion. KHON2.

Oʻahu Business Recovery Grant portal closes following short-lived reopening. The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi and the City and County of Honolulu reopened the Oʻahu Business Recovery Grant portal on Monday, and closed it shortly after.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Despite accelerated timeline, military’s Red Hill plan doesn’t account for up to 400,000 gallons of fuel. The Department of Defense has released an ambitious timeline for defueling the underground Red Hill facility, saying that crews will begin emptying the tanks in October. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

A Rough-And-Tumble Oahu Park Is Finally Getting Some Love As Rail Opening Looms. Community input is helping resuscitate Makalapa Neighborhood Park. Civil Beat.

Kaneohe Bay Pollution Is Prompting Congressional Attention. Hawaii delegation wants to get money to upgrade a failing wastewater treatment plant. Marine Corps Base Hawaii needs to upgrade its aging wastewater treatment plant after being fined nearly $250,000 last year for discharging high levels of fecal bacteria into the popular bay. Civil Beat.

Humane Society to open second Oahu location. The Hawaiian Humane Society is opening its second facility — the Kosasa Family Campus at Ho‘opili — on Saturday in Ewa Beach with a grand opening celebration. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council kicks ag bills down the road. The future of a property tax break for farm owners is uncertain after Hawaii County Council members discussed Wednesday whether to scrap a bill that would overhaul the process. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Council gives favorable recommendation to new sustainability office.  A bill that would create a new cabinet-level Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience moved a step forward Tuesday with a favorable recommendation by the Hawaiʻi County Council’s Governmental Operations and External Affairs Committee. Big Island Now.

Hawaii County Police Department implements year-round recruitment for Police Officers. The decision to accept applications throughout the year aims to make it more convenient for aspiring police officers to join the force. Hawaii News Now.

Waipiʻo Valley Road Rockfall Work Set For May 22. County officials estimate Waipiʻo Valley Road will be temporarily closed from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday for approximately six weeks, as crews work to address potential rockfall hazards in the area. Big Island Video News.


Input sought on plan that calls for fewer air tours at Haleakala. The draft air tour management plan would authorize up to 2,412 air tours per year on a defined route within the air tour management plan planning area. On average, there were 4,824 air tours per year reported at Haleakala National Park from 2017 to 2019. Maui News.

Three new doctors join Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi on Maui, Oʻahu. Jennifer Villa, MD, joins the behavioral health department at Kaiser Permanente Maui Lani Medical Office. Maui Now.


Seabird restoration project begins at critical Kaua‘i cultural site. Several governmental, cultural and conservationist groups have teamed up to restore seabird populations at Nu‘alolo Kai, one of Kaua‘i’s most significant cultural and historic sites. Garden Island.