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.

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