Friday, June 30, 2023

Hawaii leaders decry affirmative action ruling, DOE wasted millions on solar AC, Honolulu Skyline rail opens today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii leaders blast ruling against affirmative action. Three Hawaii congressional delegation members assailed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down affirmative action policies at two major American colleges, with Sen. Mazie Hirono blasting the ruling as “shortsighted and detached from reality.” Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Investigation finds DOE wasted millions on solar-powered AC systems. A Hawaii News Now investigation has found that the state Department of Education wasted millions of dollars on solar-powered air conditioning systems that either had to be disconnected or aren’t doing an adequate job of cooling classrooms. During the past six years, the DOE has installed solar-powered AC systems in 880 classrooms at a cost of $122 million — or more than $138,000 per classroom. Hawaii News Now.

Governor to veto pilot program overseeing where public art can be showcased. A pilot program that would have allowed publicly-owned art to be showcased in private spaces is slated for veto by Gov. Josh Green. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii visitor arrivals recover to 94.6% of pre-pandemic levels. Some 801,569 visitors came to the Hawaiian islands in May, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. May arrivals represented an increase of 3.2% from arrivals in May 2022.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s domestic arrivals soften as demand subsides.  The wild exuberance and pent-up demand for tourism that turned 2022 into the peak year for U.S. arrivals to the state has softened. Star-Advertiser.

Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe. Federal authorities executed a search warrant earlier this week at the Honolulu offices of Dawson, a conglomerate of Native Hawaiian-owned companies that receive tens of millions of dollars in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.  Civil Beat.

In symbolic move, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima sign historic sister park agreement. It’s a historic agreement between two places that were devastated by World War II some eight decades ago — forever connected through pain and healing through reconciliation and cooperation. Hawaii News Now.

11 new COVID-related deaths, 535 new infections recorded in Hawaii, DOH reports. The Hawaii State Department of Health  reported 11 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 535 new infections over the last seven days in Hawaii. The total number of deaths stands at 1,938. KITV4.


Honolulu rail officials worry about ‘being overwhelmed’ by crowds as system opens.
Honolulu rail leaders are bracing for large crowds as Skyline opens Friday at 2 p.m., with free rides through July 4. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.

Liquor Commissioners Commit To Improving Agency’s Outdated Systems And Poor Morale
. Some Honolulu businesses have received more than one inspection a month and others none at all, the commission heard. Civil Beat.

Waiahole Valley lease arbitration deadline extended
. Gov. Josh Green announced Thursday that Waiahole Valley residents with state land leases for house lots will have two additional weeks to avert arbitration over rent increases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

BWS detects low levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in Pearl City Shaft.   The Board of Water Supply has detected low levels of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” in the Pearl City Shaft, officials said Wednesday. The Pearl City Shaft serves an area that spans from Lehua Community Park to Pearl City District Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Report takes deep dive into housing in Hawaii. While Hawaii residents face the highest housing costs in the nation, the Big Island is described as “an outlier in terms of home prices.” Tribune-Herald.

Phase One Of Waipiʻo Valley Road Rockfall Mitigation Completed.  The Hawaiʻi County Public Works Engineering Division on Thursday announced the completion of the rockfall mitigation work, which covered 750 feet down the slope of the Waipiʻo Valley Road. Big Island Video News.

July public meeting scheduled for the Four Mile Creek Bridge.  The bridge, located at the south end of Kilauea Avenue in Hilo, carries hundreds of vehicles per day traveling to and from Highway 11.  Tribune-Herald.


Report: Maui hotels saw fewer visitors, less revenue in May.  Last month, the county’s occupancy rate was 63.3 percent, down 4.1 percentage points versus 2022 when occupancy was at 67.4 percent, and down 12.9 percentage points versus pre-pandemic May 2019, when occupancy was at 76.3 percent, according to the Hawai’i Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority last week.  Maui News.

Trace levels of herbicide found at Haleakala water system. The Hawaii Department of Health said it recently detected low levels of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid during routine sampling at the Haleakala National Park drinking water system. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


July 3 is deadline for ag dedication petitions. The county Department of Finance Real Property Assessment office reminds the public that the deadline for filing new Agricultural Dedication Petitions is July 1. However, because July 1 falls on a weekend, applicants will be able to submit their petitions on or before July 3, 2023, to be considered for the upcoming 2024 assessment. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i to get dedicated kupuna watchdog.  After nearly 50 years, Hawai‘i’s long-term care ombudsman program will finally deploy full-time staff to the neighbor islands, a move that officials hope will aid significantly in the state’s attempts to combat elder abuse. Garden Island.


Thursday, June 29, 2023

Paying for housing remains a struggle, Honolulu rail CEO gets C-minus evaluation, Schatz, Haaland attend ceremony for new volcano observatory, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

It’s Actually More Expensive To Buy A Home In Hawaii These Days Than You Thought. Fewer than a third of households can afford to buy a single-family home and less than half can afford to buy a condo. The median rental price is unaffordable to a third of households. Civil Beat.

At a glance: Major takeaways from each county's budget. Affordable housing and sustainability were budgeted as top priorities for each county, however, tax relief measures and capital improvement projects were among the other expenditures mayors signed off on. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Struggle For Control Of Hawaii’s Beef Industry Is Playing Out On Safeway Shelves. Demand for beef is exceeding supply, but local producers are not seeing the returns. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii Medical School Suspends Body Donation Program. The program director cited a shortage in international doctors flying in for surgical training, a decline that began during the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning July 11, the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine is temporarily halting a program that allows people to donate their bodies after death for anatomical studies. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.


Rail CEO receives ‘C-minus’ evaluation ahead of the project’s biggest milestone.  On the eve of the biggest milestone in the often-troubled history of Honolulu’s $9.8 billion rail project, Lori Kahikina,  the executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation received a performance evaluation that she described as an overall “C-minus.” Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill repairs complete, task force says.  The military joint task force charged with defueling the massive underground fuel tanks at the Navy’s Red Hill facility announced Wednesday that it had successfully completed all repairs and modifications to the aging World War II-era facility the state Department of Health said the military must perform to safely begin draining the tanks. Star-Advertiser.

City fined $434K for bacteria exceedances at Kailua Bay. The state Health Department has fined the City and County of Honolulu $434,350 for discharging effluent exceeding permit limits for enterococci from its wastewater treatment plant into Kailua Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Evictions Creep Up On Oahu As Renters Face Waning Pandemic-Era Aid. High rents and overall inflation have contributed to an increase in evictions on Oahu after a lull amid a pandemic moratorium, with 703 evictions last year compared to 333 in 2020, according to the most recent data from the state Judiciary.  Civil Beat.

Green urged to intervene in Waiahole Valley leases. Waiahole Valley residents held a roadside demonstration Wednesday calling on Gov. Josh Green to intervene in a state agency’s effort to dramatically raise tenant land lease rents after 25 years of little or no increases. Star-Advertiser.

Plan B: State Turns To Pigs To Devour Oahu’s Invasive Beetle Problem. DOA Director Sharon Hurd has dubbed the scheme as “Plan B” for the almost decade-long fight to control the coconut rhinoceros beetle, which has the ability to decimate coconut palm populations.  Civil Beat.

Lawmakers, bars call for shake-up of liquor panel. A report criticizing the Honolulu Liquor Commission as understaffed — with workers struggling with low morale and doing inconsistent and ineffective enforcement of Oahu liquor laws — was met with calls for immediate change Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Board extends time for public input on landfill.  The Honolulu Planning Commission took public testimony Wednesday on the city’s request for a two-year extension to find a replacement site for the nearly 40-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei, which is slated to close by 2028. Star-Advertiser.

State seeks to delist Falls of Clyde from Hawaii’s historic register.  The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced today it would seek to delist the Falls of Clyde from the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

US Geological Survey To Get New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The site at University of Hawaii-Hilo Research Park will also be home to the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center. The grounds of a new Hilo facility to replace the severely damaged old Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory on the rim of the Kilauea Volcano caldera were blessed Wednesday in a ceremony attended by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KHON2.

‘We are stewards of the land’: Alvarado assumes command at PTA. Community and stewardship of the land were as much topics of discussion as the training of soldiers Wednesday at the change of command ceremony at Pohakuloa Training Center.  Tribune-Herald.

Mayor’s Town Hall Draws A Crowd In Waikōloa. Public questions focused on evacuation routes for Kawaihae, brush fire safety, the delayed start date for Waikoloa Road improvements, short term vacation rentals, area parks, and other topics of local interest. Big Island Video News.


County tax surcharge moves closer to reality.  The council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend approval of the measure, which would add a 0.5 percent surcharge to the state’s 4 percent GET, which is like a sales tax that is charged when residents buy products ranging from groceries to even a haircut. Maui News.

Līloa Dr. extension in Kīhei, Maui gets $25M in federal funds, two more roundabouts planned.
A federal grant of $25,000,000 has been secured for the Līloa Drive Phase I extension in Kīhei on Maui as part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda.  Maui Now.

Permanent speed limit reduction announced for part of Haleakalā Highway.  Speed is being reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph in the northbound direction in the vicinity of the North Firebreak Road Intersection near the Hāna Highway, between mile 0.20 and 0.70.  Maui Now.


Kauai’s electric utility gets its first shipment of locally-produced biodiesel.  The delivery of the local and affordable biodiesel is being hailed as a big step toward meeting the goal of 100% renewable energy statewide by 2045.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kauaʻi vacation rental occupancy for May down 14% from a year ago.  The occupancy for Kauaʻi vacation rentals in May was 51.7%, which is down 1.1% from a year ago and 28.2% lower than May 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Federal money flows to Hawaii, lawsuit filed against state gun law, Honolulu seeks extra time to find new landfill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Feds Inject Another $50 Million Into Hawaii For Infrastructure Improvements. The new grant money will help build a pedestrian bridge over the Ala Wai Canal and make road improvements on Maui. Civil Beat.

Biden administration commits $16M to Hawaiian bird conservation efforts. The Biden-Harris Administration will dedicate $16 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act as part of an initiative to save Native Hawaiian birds from extinction, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  Civil Beat.  Big Island Now.

Lawsuit filed against against Hawaii’s “sensitive places” gun law. The first legal challenge to Hawaii’s new concealed carry gun ban is set to be heard Wednesday in federal court. Hawaii News Now.

Groups demand government travel ban to nearly half of country over healthcare access.  At the close of Pride Month, eleven organizations are taking a stand. They have co-signed a letter asking the Governor, four county mayors, the University of Hawaii’s president, and the Department of Education superintendent for government travel bans to 20 states they say have blocked access to health care including abortion and gender-affirming care. Hawaii News Now. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s Population Is Aging Fast. The Impacts Will Be Significant. Hawaii is in the midst of a major demographic shift that will transform island society in the coming decades, as the rest of the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age.  Civil Beat.


City braces for complaints over lack of key amenities, like bathrooms, at Honolulu rail stations.  While excitement seems to be growing for the official opening of the first half of the Honolulu rail system, the city is preparing for complaints that rail stations are lacking key amenities. Hawaii News Now.

Planning panel to consider 2-year Waimanalo landfill extension. The Honolulu Planning Commission today is expected to review the city’s request for a two-year extension to find a replacement site for the controversial, decades-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu liquor enforcement a mess, report finds. Low morale and a reportedly understaffed enforcement arm of the Honolulu Liquor Commission has led to “inconsistent and inefficient enforcement patterns” on Oahu, according to an internal review released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

City to receive $20M to buy new all-electric buses, expand charging capacity. Currently, the city has 17 all-electric buses, and with the grant, they are hoping to acquire an additional seven. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Major upgrades coming to 'Iolani Palace part of Biden's 'Investing In America' plan. Renovations to 'Iolani Palace's roof will receive upgrades all while maintaining its historical appearance.  This is made possible through a nearly $500,000 Save America's Treasures Grant. KITV4.

HPD investigates circumstances of officer-involved shooting in Pearl City
.  The Honolulu Police Department said the incident started off as a burglary call with a woman saying her ex-boyfriend was in her home armed with knives.  KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mokulele Airlines suspending daily flights between Hilo and Kahului.
Mokulele Airlines suspending daily flights between Hilo and Kahului.  Beginning in August, Mokulele Airlines will suspend its daily flights between Hilo and Kahului in order to provide additional flights to other Neighbor Islands. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  West Hawaii Today.

Big Island vacation rental occupancy for May down 14% from a year ago
. The occupancy for Big Island vacation rentals in May was 43.5%, which is down 14.2% from a year ago and 27.8% lower than May 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Big Island Now.

‘Nuclear option’ eyed for Uncle Billy’s hotel
.  East Hawaii lawmakers favor the use of an emergency proclamation to expedite demolition of the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel. Tribune-Herald.


Proposal for Maui's first protected fishing area advances with BLNR approval. The Board of Land and Natural Resources unanimously voted to advance plans for such an area in Kīpahulu. It would give the remote community a greater say in the management of their fisheries. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chooses Water Policy Expert As First Rep On East Maui Water Board. Monday's vote marks one of the last steps in setting up the 11-member board that will help shape East Maui's water future. Civil Beat.

Hale Pono Youth Shelter set to open in July. The two-story, 7,100-square-foot Hale Pono Youth Shelter is nearly complete and almost ready to offer Maui teens much-needed tools and resources to cope with emotional or behavioral problems, truancy, domestic violence, trauma or other challenges. Maui News.

Dredging at Kaunakakai Harbor anticipated to clean up 50 years worth of mud. The island of Molokai depends on twice-weekly barge deliveries for food, gas and other essentials, which would not be able to dock if dredging is not done.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Lānaʻi becomes the first island to be fully fiber-enabled by Hawaiian Telcom. Hawaiian Telcom has completed its fiber expansion throughout the island of Lāna‘i, marking another step towards closing the state’s digital divide. Lāna‘i residents and businesses island-wide now have access to Hawaiian Telcom’s high-speed internet Fioptics. Maui Now.


Temporary locations for Building and Engineering divisions, Parks Permitting Office open to the public. County officials announce that temporary locations for the Department of Public Works Building and Engineering Divisions and the Department of Parks and Recreation Permitting Office are now available to the public at the Līhu‘e Civic Center. Kauai Now.

Green plans to veto commerical use boating permits bill.  Gov. Josh Green announced he plans on vetoing a bill aimed at reducing the number of commercial use boating permits, something several Kaua‘i tour operators said would shut down their businesses if signed into law. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

EV drivers face new road usage fee, Maui newspaper up for sale, more than 50% of Native Hawaiians now live outside the state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

EV drivers could see a new road usage charge. Senate Bill 1534, passed out of the 2023 legislative session will create a mileage-based road usage charge that will impact all electric vehicles first. Drivers will pay based on how much they use the roadways. KITV4.

COVID ‘whistleblower’s’ firing headed to arbitration. A former COVID-19-era epidemiological specialist who was fired from the state Health Department after saying “contact tracers” were woefully understaffed and overworked under dangerous conditions faces an arbitration hearing in July, followed by a possible trial over her lawsuit alleging wrongful dismissal. Star-Advertiser.

Special Interests Spent More To Lobby The Hawaii Legislature This Year. More than 300 organizations spent almost $5.6 million total on lobbying this legislative session, according to records filed with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii to receive $150M for rural broadband access. Nearly $150 million in new federal funding for high-speed internet access is coming to Hawaii — a major boost to ongoing efforts to ensure broadband and internet service to households across the state, particularly in rural areas. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers look to increase Coast Guard’s Pacific footprint.  A $91.5 billion bill making its way through Congress funding programs under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security includes provisions to continue supporting an increased U.S. Coast Guard presence in the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Foster Kids Are Sleeping In Hotels And State Offices
. They Have Nowhere Else To Go. There aren't enough foster homes, especially for kids with the biggest challenges. Civil Beat.

Leaving for Las Vegas: Reaching out to Native Hawaiians.  Trying to make it in Hawaii is becoming increasingly difficult — so impossible for some that more than 50% of Native Hawaiians are now living outside of the state. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians share experience of mainland living. Native Hawaiians and former Hawaii residents who live on the mainland talked with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about their lives, joys and challenges far away from Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Rail Spent $100 Million To Relocate Utilities. Much Of It May Have Been A Waste. Some cash spent on Honolulu utility relocation work under a rail contract with Nan Inc. went to mobilization costs, or to work in areas beyond the end of the rail line. Civil Beat.

Rail eminent domain dispute heads to Hawaii high court.  The Hawaii State Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments involving the Texas- based developer Howard Hughes Corp., doing business here as Victoria Ward Ltd., and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s 2018 condemnation of about 2 acres containing roughly 25 parcels owned by the developer — from Cooke to Kamakee streets. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Board of Water Supply will invest more than $43M for a new reservoir in Waiawa.  The Honolulu Board of Water Supply will invest $43.5 million for a new reservoir in Waiawa. Environmentalists say the project could help ease the strain caused by the Red Hill water crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu couple arrested in connection with fatal mass overdose; fentanyl distribution ring exposed.  A Honolulu couple has been arrested in connection with a suspected mass overdose incident in Waikiki that left two people dead and three others hospitalized in early June, according to a federal criminal complaint filed Monda. Hawaii News Now.

Thousands cited for running the red, the few who contest it are unsuccessful. According to numbers by the Department of Transportation, since the red light safety camera pilot program started in November 2022, a total of 6,311 citations have been issued at all 10 of the locations. KHON2.

Bishop Museum announces settlement with former CEO, president. The Bishop Museum has reached a settlement in the dispute with former President and CEO Melanie Ide. In January, after a months-long investigation, the museum’s board of directors voted unanimously to terminate Ide, General Counsel Barron Oda, and Vice President of Operations, Planning and Program Management Wesley “Kaiwi” Yoon. Hawaii Public Radio.

This North Shore Community Wants Stronger Protection Against Disasters, Climate Change. Hauula's efforts to build a resiliency hub may get a boost from a FEMA grant supporting more rural areas. Civil Beat.

More Funding Means More Lifeguard Coverage On Oahu. The new budget includes money for 18 new lifeguard positions and extended hours, with an emphasis on the Leeward Coast. Civil Beat.

Kamaaina to get reservations-free entry to Hanauma Bay.  The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation said all Hawaii residents with valid photo identification, such as a Hawaii driver’s license or school ID, in July will be able to enter the nature preserve for free during hours of operation from 6:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, without either, thanks to additional staffing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Debate over manta ray tours continues. A decade-long discussion over potential rules and regulations for manta ray tours will continue after Gov. Josh Green stated his intent to veto a bill that would have altered the permitting process. Tribune-Herald.

New Mass Transit administrator named. Hawaii County has announced the appointment of Victor Kandle as the new Mass Transit Agency administrator. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

PTA change of command set for Wednesday.  U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin to leave after two years as commanding officer of Pohakuloa Training Area. Tribune-Herald.

Naniloa given OK for new loan aimed at avoiding foreclosure. After repeated rejections, the owners of the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo secured approval Friday from the Board of Land and Natural Resources for a new mortgage to pay off the business’ current one. Tribune-Herald.

Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lūʻau Hale In Hilo To Reopen.  The facility was being utilized by the State Department of Health and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency for the past two years. Big Island Video News.


Ogden Newspapers exploring options for new ownership of The Maui News.  The Ogden Newspapers announced Monday that it is exploring options for the possible sale of their Maui Publishing group and is planning to accept offers from interested parties over the next few weeks.  Maui News.

Hawaiian Electric invites Maui community to offer input on renewable generation plans. Hawaiian Electric will hold a community meeting on July 11 to receive comments on its proposal to build new generating units that can run on a variety of renewable fuels, including biofuels. Maui Now.

In partnership with Job Corps, MPD launches new program to help at-risk youth. The Maui Police Department is partnering with Hawaii Job Corps Center to help at-risk teens and young adults. Hawaii News Now.


Tenants facing eviction hope state will convert Kauaʻi’s Waipouli apartments to affordable housing. Affordable housing advocates continue efforts for Waipouli apartments.   Affordable housing advocates held a second press conference in the Kintaro restaurant parking lot last week, urging the state government to purchase the Courtyards at Waipouli apartments and secure all 82 units as affordable housing for 60 years. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Green signs 18 government anti-corruption bills, journalist shield law, announces potential veto list; Honolulu Mayor Blangiardi signs $3.4B budget and $350 property tax rebate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green signs batch of government reform bills. These bills, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, include one requiring Hawaii legislators to disclose relationships with lobbyists, one prohibiting campaign donations by lobbyists to elected officials during or close to legislative sessions and one enhancing criminal penalties for public corruption offenses. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Green signs bill protecting the work of journalists. Gov. Josh Green on Friday signed into law a measure that brings back and makes permanent protections to prevent reporters from being forced by state courts to disclose confidential  information or sources. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Announces Intent To Veto 11 Bills. Certain bills related to water code penalties, ocean recreation commercial permits, and education are all under threat of veto. Gov. Josh Green plans to veto 11 bills passed by lawmakers this year, including one related to the controversial Hawaii Technology Development Corp. and another that he says could discourage the building of new housing.  Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Maui News.

Tourism plans extend beyond stewardship contract, CNHA says. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement got a seat at the tourism table when it secured a multiyear, $27 million contract for stewardship services from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hussey leaving post as CEO of Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Office of Hawaiian Affairs Ka Pouhana/CEO Sylvia Hussey announced she will be leaving the organization June 30, at the end of the fiscal year, “to focus on her personal and ‘ohana health.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Maui News.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi approves Honolulu’s $3.41B budget. The mayor also formally adopted the city’s one-time $350 tax rebate that will be granted to nearly 152,000 qualifying homeowners with an active home exemption on their 2023 assessment, regardless of property value. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Inside Honolulu’s Six-Decade Fight Over Rail: It’s Always Been ‘Boondoggle Or Boon’. Proposals for an elevated rail system on Oahu date back to the 1960s. Now, at least part of a modern-day rail line is finally about to open to the public. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Judge nixes bid to depose Pacific Fleet chief in Red Hill lawsuit. A federal judge decided Friday to quash an attempt to make the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet sit for a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by military and civilian families whose drinking water was contaminated with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in November 2021. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Board OK’s removal of Doris Duke breakwater.  The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has given the green light to demolish the Diamond Head Breakwater, a wall of large boulders that juts out into the ocean, creating a protected cove fronting Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Kaimuki residents protest ‘monster home’ construction.  An appeal by a builder of so-called monster homes in Kaimuki drew the anger of about 15 Kaimuki residents outside the city’s Mission Memorial Auditorium who beat on a drum and waved signs that read, “Kaimuki against monster homes” and “Be a good neighbor” at a hearing of the city’s Building Board of Appeals on Friday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Popular Koko Crater hike to close temporarily.  The city plans to close the Koko Crater stairs for four days this month to replace the viewing platform at the top. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Waste proposal draws doubts: Board presented with information on trash conversion technology. A company’s proposal to convert Big Island waste into energy, concrete and more raised eyebrows Friday at a Hawaii County Environmental Management Commission meeting. Tribune-Herald.

Green, BISAC tout medical kauhale for Hilo.  The concept for a medical kauhale for homeless people in Hilo originally came from the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, or BISAC. Tribune-Herald.

State gun permits drop: Hawaii County sees registration decrease of 7.9% in 2022. In Hawaii County, there were 4,510 applications processed last year, a decrease of 7.9% from the 4,899 applications processed in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Budget cuts leave boat ramp in limbo.  The state project to reopen the Pohoiki Boat Ramp regained, then promptly lost, $35 million in funding this month after gubernatorial budget cuts. Tribune-Herald.

Land Acquisition To Expand Hilo Harbor Open For Comment.  The draft environmental assessment for the Hilo Harbor Private Lands Acquisition and Development has been published for public review. Big Island Video News.


Former Mayor Arakawa, Kalo Farmers Among 6 Chosen For New East Maui Water Board. The County Council's selections marked the culmination of a weekslong power struggle over control of the board that will help shape the region's future. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Phase II response work begins at fuel spill site atop Haleakalā. Phase two of the spill response efforts at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex began on June 20, 2023. This comes after 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex Jan. 29 into Jan. 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Environmental groups raise alarms as illegal dumping in West Maui continues to grow.  Despite recent crackdowns by the county, they said that illegal junkyards at Ukumehame and Cut Mountain have gotten larger in recent months. Hawaii News Now.


Plan To Save Kauai Forest Birds With ‘Mosquito Birth Control’ Published. State officials are seeking public comment on a plan to bring the world's first attempt at landscape-scale mosquito control to Kauai. Civil Beat. Garden Island.  Kauai Now.

Jobless rate falls to 2.5 percent on Kaua‘i.  The unemployment rate in the County of Kaua‘i moved within spitting distance of pre-pandemic lows last month, largely because of robust hiring in the accommodation sector ahead of the summer tourism season. Garden Island.

Residents in Kauai pushing for the state to lower their rent as they can no longer afford the price increase.  Since 2019, residents have been working to convince the state to lower their rent so it can be affordable again. This came after rent increased after the 10-year affordable housing plan ended.  KITV4.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Hawaii's Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander population edges up, Biden panel coming to Honolulu to seek input, Green signs health care bills, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders up 1.8% in 2022. The Native Hawaiian and “other Pacific Islander” population in the U.S. rose to nearly 1.76 million in 2022, an increase of 1.8%, or almost 32,000 people, over the previous year, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Star-Advertiser.

Biden Panel On AAPI And Native Hawaiians Seeks Local Input.
President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders will meet in person in Honolulu July 7, the first time the commission has met outside the U.S. mainland, the administration said. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green returns to Hawai‘i Island where he practiced medicine to sign health care bills. 
Gov. Josh Green used West Hawaii as a pulpit on Thursday to address Hawaii’s problems and sign several bills into law.  Green traveled to the Hawaii Island Community Health Center in Kealakehe for a signing ceremony for three bills related to health care and one for consumer telecommunications. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KHON2.


Hawaii report details health effects of Red Hill leak.  A new report released by the state Department of Health provides an assessment of the health effects people may have faced after being exposed to jet fuel, the cleaning product Simple Green, high levels of chlorine and an anti-icing agent in their drinking water after a pipeline burst at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility on Nov. 20 2021. Star-Advertiser.

HPD officer justified in shooting, prosecutor says.  Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm announced Thursday that a plainclothes acting police sergeant was justified in the Dec. 28, 2020, fatal shooting of a 45-year-old man in the parking lot of a public-housing apartment complex in Ahuimanu. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

‘Safe and Sound’ sees lower crime stats in Waikīkī.  The Honolulu Police Department is providing an update on the “Safe and sound” program that they instigated in Waikīkī.  According to HPD, crime is going down. KHON2.

Businesses hoping for boom in customers ahead of the June 30 opening of Oahu's new rail system. Like many businesses along the rail line, Ichiriki in Aiea endured months of construction that affected the number of customers coming into the restaurant. KITV4.

Honolulu rail’s launch means big changes ahead for bus riders, too.  The city’s long-awaited rail line opens on June 30, but regular bus riders may not yet be aware that it could affect their usual routes, especially west of Aiea. Hawaii News Now.

Thousands of endangered Hawaiian snails in captivity relocated to new home on Oahu.
Some 8,000 snails were moved from Kailua to their new home in the Pearl City area Thursday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Councilmember Seeks Emergency Declaration For Abandoned Hilo Hotel.  Hawaiʻi County Councilmember Sue Lee Loy has introduced a resolution urging Governor Josh Green to declare a state of emergency for the condemned and dilapidated former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel on Banyan Drive. Big Island Video News.

Charges brought in Merrie Monarch Festival burglary.  Hawaii island police have brought an array of charges against two men arrested for the recent Merrie Monarch Festival office burglary and trespassing at a closed business in Hilo. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.


Bill to regulate air and replica guns advances. A bill that would limit air and replica guns in certain public spaces to improve safety for the community and police officers was unanimously recommended by a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday afternoon.  Maui News.

County of Maui seeking public input for future Kehalani Mauka Park improvements. 
The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a pop-up open house to share information and seek input from the public on future improvements for Kehalani Mauka Park in Wailuku. Maui Now.


Garden sprouts on Rice Street in downtown Lihu‘e.  The garden is part of the Downtown Lihu‘e’s Lihu‘e Placemaking, Forestry and Gardens Initiative, a two-year effort to build valued community green spaces in Lihu‘e and a shared vision for future green infrastructure along Rice Street. Garden Island.

Outrigger Resorts & Hotels to acquire Kauaʻi Beach Resort & Spa. 
The transaction to purchase the 25-acre beachfront property with 350 guest rooms is expected to close on Aug. 22, 2023. Kauai Now.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

New laws to reduce rents, send homeless back to mainland; taxpayers no longer on the hook in HPD chase case, state to regulate deep-sea mining, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

New laws signed to increase affordable housing, return homeless to mainland. Gov. Josh Green signed a suite of bills Wednesday approved by the state Legislature aimed at creating more affordable housing, returning homeless people to the mainland and reducing housing rents. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii’s Critical Data Is At Risk From Flooding. So Why Wait To Move It? Hawaii's IT agency has been asking for funding to move but some state officials think it's better to wait years for a new proposed tech center to be built. Civil Beat.

State to begin deep-sea mining regulation by monitoring vessel access. Gov. Josh Green has signed a law that gives the state Department of Transportation the ability to delay or deny entry and departure for any vessel that is known to have engaged in illegal deep-sea activity. Hawaii Public Radio.

He Was A Solar Industry Advocate. Now He’s On The PUC. That Doesn’t Sit Well With Hawaiian Electric. Colin Yost says he's committed to fairness and impartiality in decision-making including when it comes to the state's largest electric company. Civil Beat.

Group aims to decrease recidivism to Hawaii’s prisons.  In one year, an estimated 15,000 people are booked into local jails and prisons throughout Hawaii. KITV4.

Native Hawaiians weigh in on federal funds, protections.
Bipartisan staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs were at the first Western Regional Native Hawaiian Convention held in Las Vegas to highlight that Congress has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in dedicated federal funding, the most ever, for Native Hawaiians and to seek input on amending legislation to extend protection to Native Hawaiian art and artists for the first time. Star-Advertiser.


Judge to decide whether top Navy officer can be deposed. A federal judge is expected to decide soon whether Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, will have to sit for a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by military and civilian families whose drinking water was contaminated with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in November 2021. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

HPD Cops In Makaha Pursuit Case Withdraw Requests For Publicly Funded Legal Assistance. The department's Professional Standards Office has completed its investigation into the incident. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Amid mounting safety concerns, a favorite swim spot is again facing demolition
. A favorite swim spot may be a thing of the past by late 2024. The protected swimming cove known as Cromwells is popular with people seeking both tranquility and thrills — from jumping off surrounding sea walls. Hawaii News Now.

Thrill seekers jumping into polluted Ala Wai Canal waters spark major health concerns. Video posted from a highrise on Monday shows someone in a chair being pushed off the platform at the McCully Bridge into the brown waters of the canal. In another video, you can hear a man shocked by what he just saw: A woman swimming in the waterway. Hawaii News Now.

High bacteria alert issued at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. During routine monitoring this morning, the department’s Clean Water Branch found levels of enterococci that exceeded the threshold, at 408 per 100 milliliters. The threshold for recreational waters is at 130 per 100 milliliters. Star-Advertiser.

City to hold in-person event for rental and utility relief applications. The City and County of Honolulu’s Rental and Utility Relief Program has closed its online portal. The city, Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi, and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement will be holding an event for new applicants to apply in-person at Hauʻula Community Center on Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Hawaii Public Radio

Bell Tolls For Historic Iron Ship Docked In Honolulu Harbor. The 145-year-old vessel Falls of Clyde will be scrapped or scuttled after years of neglect. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Proposed Hawaiʻi County office of sustainability, climate moving forward. Council members voted 5-1 to approve the first reading of Bill 48, which would create by ordinance a new Hawai’i County Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience and a new Chapter 37 in county code that lays out its responsibilities.  Big Island Now.

Stolen Merrie Monarch items recovered; two men arrested.  The stolen items were recovered during a police investigation into a criminal trespass case that resulted in two men, 36-year-old Dayson Eblacas of Ewa Beach, Oahu, and 30-year-old Makua Amituanai of Pahoa being arrested. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

7-Eleven Hawaii, the EPA reach agreement regarding cesspools. Under terms of the settlement, the company has agreed to audit all of its properties for the presence of large capacity cesspools, or LCCs, after the EPA discovered three LCCs serving 7-Eleven locations on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea eruption: ‘Deciding whether it’s over is a dynamic question’.  With another Kilauea eruption on pause, geologists are unsure when the volcano will resume activity. Tribune-Herald.


Agriculture Department adds staff, doles out grants. Director also in talks with DOE to get more local food in schools. Maui County’s first-ever Department of Agriculture is slowly expanding as the new directors begin to hire specialists, build programs and plan for Maui’s future in sustainability and food security. Maui News.

Committee to discuss Maui general excise tax surcharge, June 26.  The Maui County Council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee will meet Monday at 6 p.m. to discuss and receive input on Bill 49 (2023)—which, if approved, would add a 0.5% surcharge on the 4% state general excise tax. Maui Now.

Bissen travels to DC, talks interisland transportation with congressional leaders.  Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with Hawaii’s congressional leaders and promote products from local businesses at the Capitol.  Maui News.


Upcoming Kauaʻi budget is paying off debts and lowering residential taxes.  Ahead of the new county fiscal year in July, and Mayor Derek Kawakami signed the legislation last week. Key points of the County of Kauaʻi’s $400 million budget are infrastructure, tax relief and paying off debt. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaua‘i Habitat breaks ground on 17 Waipouli units.  Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity broke ground on its latest project — Kauhale O Waipouli — on Wednesday, with the ceremony officiated by Kahu Ipo Kahaunaele Ferreira, herself a Habitat homeowner. Garden Island.

Report: Kauai Backslides In At-Home Disaster Preparedness. A significant number of households have less emergency food and water supplies in the aftermath of the pandemic. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Honolulu seeks to borrow another $210.5M for rail construction, Interior Secretary Haaland to visit Hawaii, court cuts water diversion from Maui streams, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

City seeks $210.5M in bonds to fund rail construction. During a Honolulu City Council Committee on Budget meeting Tuesday, the city advanced three related resolutions — 122, 124 and 125 — requesting the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services to issue and sell a series of general obligation bonds toward finishing the nearly $10 billion, 18.9-mile rail line, which runs from East Kapolei to the Kakaako area, where HART says the last of 19 stations is planned to be completed by 2031. Star-Advertiser.

Secretary of the Interior to visit Hawaii as part of Biden’s ‘Investing in America’ tour.  Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland will visit Hawaii as part of the Biden administration’s “Investing in America” tour. The tour is part of a larger agenda to generate $470 billion in clean energy and private sector manufacturing investments. Hawaii News Now.

Rigging The System: The Martin Kao Case Offers An Inside View Of Pay-To-Play Politics. The former Hawaii defense contractor has pleaded guilty to a series of federal crimes related to PPP fraud and illegal campaign donations. Court records detail how he tried to get away with it. Civil Beat.

Final Budget Leaves UH Treading Water On Key Programs And Improvements. The final legislative budget will likely leave the University of Hawaii several hundred million dollars short of its request for fiscal years 2024-2025. The end result will have very clear consequences for the UH community.  Civil Beat.

Visitors paid more, stayed less at Hawaii hotels in May.  Hawaii’s hotel industry had pretty stable business in May compared with a year earlier, according to a survey report released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Fecal bacteria found at a number of Hawaii beaches. Hawaii's beaches not only have hazards like rough surf conditions or aggressive water life, some may have a hidden danger: fecal bacteria. KITV4.

Firearm Permit Applications Down For 2nd Straight Year In Hawaii. The most common permit denial reason listed was due to being a current or former medical marijuana patient. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.


Inflation adds $16M and a year to UH student center development.  A new student center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will cost $16 million more than expected and open about a year later than first scheduled, and officials say inflation and pandemic-related delays are to blame.  Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Mililani athletic director pleads no contest to theft charges. The trial for the former athletic director accused of stealing more than $360,000 from the Mili­lani High School athletic booster club that he and his immediately family managed pleaded no contest to all charges Tuesday morning. Star-Advertiser.

City and state to pay $130K to settle gun owner’s lawsuit. The lawsuit by Michael Santucci alleged that the HPD seized his guns and that it held up his permit application in 2021 because he wrote down on his firearms questionnaire that he had recently received mental health counseling. Hawaii News Now.

Riding Skyline may be a 'learning curve' for some. Here's what officials want you to know. The public opening of the Honolulu rail, Skyline, is just 10 days away and according to those who've spent years on the project, it's one of a kind. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Ransomware attack strikes Hawaii Community College. Hawaii Community College has been struck with a ransomware attack, and security measures are being increased to protect digital assets, University of Hawaii officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Bill regarding Kalanianaole Street pushed to future council meeting.  A proposed speed limit reduction along Kalanianaole Street is on hold as Hawaii County officials determine how best to protect nene in the area. Tribune-Herald.


Maui's $1.07B budget invests in affordable housing for residents.  The budget invests 8% of real property tax revenues to the county's Affordable Housing Fund, up from 3% in years prior.   The budget features a decrease in tax rates for resident-occupied homes assessed at $3 million or less. Hawaii Public Radio.

Court cuts East Maui water diversions again. The state’s Environmental Court has lowered the amount of water that Alexander & Baldwin and East Maui Irrigation can take from East Maui streams by about 9 million gallons per day, the latest decision in a longstanding battle over diverted water for farming and other uses. Maui News. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Council to appoint East Maui Regional Community Board members Friday. The Water Authority, Social Services and Parks Committee, chaired by Sinenci, recruited and vetted East Maui Regional Community Board applicants following approval of a charter amendment by 64% of the voters at the Nov. 8 election.  Maui Now.

It’s Still Unclear Who Will Fill The DHHL Seat On The New East Maui Water Board. As the council moves to vote later this week, the member recommended by DHHL may have to wait for Hawaiian Homes Commission approval. Civil Beat.


Kauai Mayor highlights budget for fiscal year. Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami  has done a bit of traveling recently – to the Philippines, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Hawai‘i on Hill.  KHON2.

Kaua‘i: last week to apply for Kupu ‘Āina Corps. Kupu is actively seeking host sites and participants to work in sustainability-focused sectors like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and climate adaptation on Kaua‘i. Kauai Now.


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Safeway discontinuing local beef amid dispute, Honolulu City Council 64% raise starts July 1, Kilauea eruption pauses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Big beef: Safeway breaks ties with iconic ranch as local meat industry struggles to grow. When Idaho rancher and investor Frank Vandersloot bought the Hawaii meat processing plant in Paauilo on Hawaii Island and another one on Oahu, he was hailed as a potential savior of the meat industry in Hawaii. But his business practices have caused conflicts among major players in the industry, including Parker Ranch. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i’s Love-Hate Relationship with Tourism Is Getting a Little Friendlier. Support for the state’s largest industry rose to 57% in the latest Hawai‘i Tourism Authority survey.  Hawaii Business magazine.

Cheap summer flights testing ‘aloha spirit’ as low-budget travelers flock to the islands. People pay big money to fly across the ocean to see Hawaii’s blue water and spend even more once they’re here, but recent deals to paradise have some residents rolling up the welcome mat. Hawaii News Now.

New working group aims to improve state's existing child welfare system.
  The state's Office of Wellness and Resilience will start up a Mālama ʻOhana Working Group. Members will begin to recommend changes to the state's child welfare system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ex-union official might get 14-year sentence.  A federal jury found Brian Ahakuelo, 62, former elected business manager and financial secretary of the Inter­national Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 1260, and his wife, Marilyn Ahakuelo, 59, guilty Nov. 21 of one count of conspiracy and 42 counts of wire fraud. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu City Council members’ 64% pay increase to begin July 1.  City Council member Augie Tulba says his effort to discuss and possibly thwart the more than 64% pay hike going to the Council on July 1 has failed. Star-Advertiser.

Revote Scheduled For Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Seat After Concerns Over Low Turnout.
Following a technical glitch that deterred some residents from voting during part of last month’s neighborhood board elections, the Neighborhood Commission announced Monday it had scheduled a revote for Hawaii Kai’s subdistrict 11 board seat. Civil Beat.

New Medical Center Opens For Honolulu’s Homeless Community.
The Honolulu Emergency Services Department is working with the city's outreach program to help homeless patients find permanent housing. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools’ redevelopment to transform 2 Moiliili blocks. Kamehameha Schools on Monday announced its plans to redevelop a two-block area in Moiliili into what is slated to become Waianuenue, a modernized retail space geared to suit the neighborhood’s vibrant community. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Investigators find pilots' confusion caused 2021 cargo plane crash off Oʻahu.  Federal investigators say a cargo plane ditched into the ocean off Oʻahu in 2021 because pilots identified the wrong engine that was failing and didn’t have enough power to remain airborne. Associated Press.

Popular Oahu hiking trail to close for repairs.  The popular Manoa Falls Trail is scheduled for a five-day closure, starting next Monday, for maintenance and repairs. Star-Advertiser.

BYU Is Considering Taking Down An Iconic Mural On Its North Shore Campus. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are simmering at the prospect that a historic mosaic on the campus of Brigham Young University-Hawaii could be damaged during a redevelopment project. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Kilauea volcano eruption pauses after 12 days. 
The summit eruption at the volcano, located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, has paused after 12 days, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported just after 8:30 p.m. Monday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Estimated $2.7K worth of Merrie Monarch items stolen on Big Isle. 
Between 10 a.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. today, an unknown suspect or suspects broke into the office and took off with several items, including a gilt frame with a display of 12 Merrie Monarch Royal Court Medals. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Speed limit change proposed: Bill would impact about two miles of Kalanianaole Street.  Bill 51, a Hawaii County Council bill that will be introduced at today’s meeting of the council’s Policy Committee on Infrastructure and Assets, would reduce the speed limit on a roughly 1.7-mile stretch of Kalanianaole Street in Hilo from 30 mph to 25 mph between Leleiwi Street and the James Kealoha Park Access Road. Tribune-Herald.

Mahuna ‘very humbled’ to be named acting deputy police chief.  Maj. Reed Mahuna said he’s “very humbled” by Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz’s decision to appoint him acting deputy police chief for the Hawaii Police Department, effective July 1. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui Council Committee seeks input on lands with conservation value. The Maui Council Committee on Agriculture, Diversification, Environmental Protection, and Transportation is seeking community input on lands with conservation value. Maui Now.

Mayor’s office wants Independent Nomination Board filled. The Office of the Maui County Mayor is accepting applications for the Independent Nomination Board, an all-volunteer board responsible for recruiting, selecting, and determining nominees for appointment to more than 40 county boards and commissions. Maui News.

Transportation study focus of open house. A community open house will be held Tuesday on the draft plan for Maui County’s I Mua Central Maui transportation study, a 20-year plan that will identify transportation projects and programs in Central Maui to ensure the community is connected by safe, efficient and sustainable travel options, according to a county news release. Maui News.


UH buoy, aquatic drone set for Kaua‘i deployment to study fossil fuel impact on reefs.  Researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa are set to deploy this summer a research buoy off Kaua‘i’s coast alongside multiple aquatic drones, as part of a project to assess Hawai‘i’s vulnerability to climate change impacts. Garden Island.

Queen’s Bath closed due to hazardous conditions. 
Queen’s Bath, a noteworthy site on the North Shore of Kaua‘i, was closed throughout last winter due to dangerous conditions. It usually reopens during the summer months. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.