Thursday, August 31, 2023

Sen. Keith-Agaran resigning amid ethical questions over Maui lawsuit representation, Mayor Bissen criticized for fire response, Biden pledges $95M for electric grid hardening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Maui Senator To Resign Amid Questions Over Possible Conflict Of Interest. Hawaii Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, who has faced public criticism about his role as a private attorney in connection with litigation over the Lahaina wildfire disaster, announced plans to resign from the Senate effective Oct. 31. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Maui News.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Maui mayor had to recuse himself from HECO suit because his daughter works for utility. Mayor Rick Bissen was not involved in Maui County’s decision to sue Hawaiian Electric because his daughter, Sayble Bissen, works for the utility on the island. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen faces calls to resign as questions about county’s wildfire response.
More than three weeks after a raging inferno gutted historic Lahaina town, leaving at least 115 people dead, not one state or county leader has taken responsibility for the failures that led to the deaths of what’s likely hundreds of people. Hawaii News Now.

Rep. Tokuda: “We’re going to fight like hell” to ensure FEMA is funded for Maui recovery. US Representative Jill Tokuda (HI-02) and Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05) announced a shared legislative priority for Congress to approve funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund as Maui continues recovery from the Aug. 8 deadly wildfire in Lahaina. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Biden pledges $95M to harden Hawaii electric grids. Nearly $100 million is “on the way” from the federal government to upgrade Hawaii’s electric grid to better withstand extreme weather events, but it’s unclear how many improvements the money can pay for as well as where and when. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Biden to nominate Hawaii attorney for federal judgeship.
Micah W.J. Smith has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii since 2018. He is a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Exec’s cooperation leads to reduction of sentence. Honolulu wastewater executive Milton Choy’s sentence following his involvement in a bribery scheme was reduced because of his “extraordinary cooperation” with prosecutors, which has led to the arrests and convictions of state legislators and Maui County employees. Star-Advertiser.


A North Shore Shooting That Left Two Men Dead Has An Intriguing Link To The Miske Case. A 20-year-old man who shot and killed two others in an exchange of gunfire in the parking lot of Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill on Aug. 31, 2018, was an FBI confidential source in the investigation leading to the indictment of Honolulu businessman and alleged racketeering gang leader, Michael J. Miske Jr. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Most of Kapapala Ranch transfered to ag department. The Kapapala Ranch, which encompasses about 31,000 acres in Ka‘u just north of Pahala, was mostly transferred from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to the state Department of Agriculture in order to fulfill the terms of a 2003 law. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council Gets An Earful From Angry Residents Over Housing Proposal. The state's chief housing officer says her team is identifying land where new housing can be built and assessing needs. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Parents Criticize DOE Plan To Temporarily Relocate Students. Lahaina Parents Criticize DOE Plan To Temporarily Relocate Students.  Families from Lahaina used a public meeting in Napili Wednesday to vent their frustration with the Hawaii Department of Education over communication since the Aug. 8 fire that damaged one school and closed three.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina District Courthouse to reopen Sept. 5. The Hawaiʻi State Judiciary announced the Lahaina District Courthouse will reopen and resume normal operations on Sept. 5, 2023.  Maui Now.

Ocean water testing begins off Lahaina. Preliminary water testing in the nearshore waters off Lahaina is showing that physical parameters, like temperature, PH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen, are currently in normal ranges.  Maui Now. Garden Island.

Visitors urged to not cancel trips. Tourists were initially urged to stay away from Maui in the immediate wake of a wildfire that killed at least 115 people and devastated the historic town of Lahaina.But now, more than three weeks after the catastrophic wildfire, officials and some residents are urging visitors to not cancel upcoming trips to other parts of the island, saying the tourism dollars are needed to keep locals employed. Los Angeles Times. Hawaii News Now.


Kauai utility to cut power to some customers amid red flag conditions. Select power lines on Kauai will be de-energized due to red flag warning currently impacting leeward parts of the islands, according to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawai‘i homelessness coordinator, Kaua‘i County Council debate root cause of homelessness crisis.  James Koshiba, Gov. Josh Green’s coordinator on homelessness, met with the Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday to discuss solutions for Hawai‘i’s growing homelessness crisis, emphasizing the administration’s focus on countering the continuing unaffordability of homes in the state. Garden Island.

Landfill expansion meeting Aug. 31. A public meeting to discuss the Kekaha Landfill vertical expansion is at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center on Thursday, Aug. 31, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wastewater exec sentenced in legislators' bribery case, federal probe launched into Biden's Lahaina spending, Maui mayor not sure who was in charge, sirens may become SOP, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Wastewater Exec Milton Choy Gets 3 1/2 Years In Prison In Bribery Case. Choy’s cooperation led to two former state legislators, J. Kalani English and Ty Cullen, pleading guilty to honest services wire fraud in February last year. English was sentenced to 40 months in prison while Cullen got two years.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

House Oversight Committee Will Launch Federal Probe Into Maui Fire Response. The Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee announced Tuesday that it will launch an investigation into the federal government’s response to the wildfires in Maui that so far have left 115 dead and hundreds more missing. The chairman confirmed the investigation just days before Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expected to visit Hawaii. Civil Beat. Bloomberg.

Lawmaker’s potential role as lawyer for fire victims described as ethical ‘gray area’. The lawsuits over the deadly Lahaina inferno are piling up and more are expected, and now state Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran's participation in the legal challenges is raising eyebrows. Hawaii News Now.

Sounding sirens for wildfires in Hawaiʻi may soon be standard emergency protocol. Darryl Oliveira, the new interim administrator of Maui Emergency Management Agency said he was in talks Tuesday morning with officials from the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency and all four counties about codifying a new emergency response protocol to use sirens during wildfires everywhere in the state. Maui Now.

Response timeline will not be released, Maui County officials say. Maui County officials Tuesday again declined to release a timeline of their response and disclose when they knew that people had died in the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, which took at least 115 lives and gutted the historic heart of Lahaina town. Star-Advertiser.

Maui’s mayor ‘not sure’ who was in charge at emergency management center as Lahaina burned. Three weeks after a wall of fire claimed at least 115 lives and turned historic Lahaina to ash, Maui County’s highest-ranking official said he didn’t know who was calling the shots at the county’s Emergency Management Center the day the town burned. Hawaii News Now.

Will The Maui Wildfires Cause Insurance Companies To Rethink Coverage In Hawaii? The concern aligns with a national trend of increasing rates and limited coverage in areas at a high risk of the effects of climate change. Civil Beat.

The Lahaina Blaze Is Rekindling An Old Debate Over Using Water To Fight Fires. The fight centers on how much power owners of private water systems should have to divert streams to fill their plantation-era reservoirs with water to control wildfires. Civil Beat.

Maui County, HECO vow to work together as Hawaii faces fire weather watch. Maui County and Hawaiian Electric Co., at odds over the cause of the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire, issued a joint statement Tuesday night to assure the public that they will work together, along with state officials, as high winds and dry conditions once again threaten leeward areas of all Hawaiian islands. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Native Hawaiian leaders, others plan statewide vigil for Maui. Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners will lead a one-day, statewide vigil Friday to aid the emotional and spiritual healing of those on Maui who suffered devastating loss from wildfires that swept through Lahaina and other areas of the island. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiʻi House Republicans to hold weekly community meetings to hear from constituents firsthand. The Hawaiʻi Republican Caucus is rolling out what it calls a “listening tour” of weekly community meetings on Oʻahu. This allows politicians to hear constituent concerns firsthand, and act on them when drafting bills for the next year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Contract worth $2.5M awarded to remove Haiku Stairs. The Nakoa Companies, Inc., specializes in “complex infrastructure projects” and will be working on the removal of the Haiku Stairs and the Moanalua Saddle Stairs, the city’s Department of Design and Construction announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Joint Task Force Red Hill begins repacking facility lines with fuel on way to defueling. Defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility starts in mid-October, but before that, the pipes need to be prepped.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Experts debate legalizing recreational marijuana in Hawaii . Experts gathered in Waikiki to discuss the ramifications of legalizing recreational marijuana on Tuesday, Aug. 29. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Fire Watch for leeward portions of Hawai‘i Island extended through Thursday. Hawai‘i Fire Department is watching for blazes from Pāhala in the Ka‘ū District all the way up to Hawī in North Kohala. Deputy Fire Chief Eric Moller anticipates the Fire Watch to rise to a Warning. Big Island Now.

New boat and trailer parking signs posted at Hōnaunau ramp. Less than a week ago, Hawai‘i County Parks and Recreation Department posted “boat and trailer parking only” signs at Hōnaunau boat ramp in South Kona. But it appears beach goers are not adhering to the parking restrictions. Big Island Now.


‘Return To Lahaina Phase’ Begins After Removal Of Hazardous Materials. The search for bodies of fire victims in Lahaina has come to a close as environmental regulators begin to remove toxic chemicals dislodged during the Aug. 8 disaster from the ash-covered landscape. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Garden Island.

Lahaina public schools expected to open after fall break, pending environmental clearances. Hawai‘i State Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi announced today that the Department has set a tentative goal of welcoming students back to the three West Maui campuses after fall break in mid-October.  Maui Now. KHON2.

US Sen. Brian Schatz focused on supplemental appropriations to help in the wake of Lahaina wildfire recovery. Congressional leaders are focusing on supplemental appropriations needed to help rebuild Lahaina Town, according to US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaiʻi) who is visiting Maui for assessments in the wake of the Aug. 8 wildfire disaster.  Maui Now.

Green’s emergency housing panel hears concerns over Lahaina rebuilding. A new state emergency housing development approval panel didn’t have anything to consider for approval at its first working meeting Tuesday, but got an earful from community members opposed to the panel’s existence, power or process. Star-Advertiser.

The Great Lahaina Fire Of 1919 Has Eerie Parallels To The Recent Blaze.
This isn’t the first time that much of Lahaina was destroyed in a blaze. About 100 years ago, a group of buildings in the town’s commercial center went up in flames in what is known as the Great Lahaina Fire of 1919. Civil Beat.


Fire Watch for leeward portions of Kaua‘i extended through Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, Trade winds of 15 to 30 mph are expected with gusts of 40 to 45 mph. Kauai Now.

Kilauea’s North Shore Medical Center accepting new patients. The clinic manager at Kilauea’s North Shore Medical Center says people incorrectly believe the center is closing, following the recent announcement that the nearby Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance (KCHA) is shutting down. Garden Island.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Bipartisan congressional panel tours Maui, Hawaiian Electric stock rallies after lawsuit response, Friday siren test canceled statewide, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Governor Enlists Help From Federal Lawmakers Visiting Maui. A bipartisan congressional delegation met Green on a tour of communities impacted by the fires in Lahaina and Upcountry. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Inmates are being asked to participate in the massive effort to ID those killed in Lahaina. In an effort to identify more of the Lahaina wildfire victims, the state is tapping into a set of the population that may be willing to provide DNA samples. Inmates at all Hawaii jails and prisons are being asked to participate in the effort. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric Shares Soar After It Deflects Blame For Lahaina Fires. Shares in the utility’s parent, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., rallied 45% Monday to close at $13.97 after a Sunday evening announcement by the company claiming that all its electrical lines in West Maui had been powerless for more than six hours when flames reported around 3 p.m. Aug. 8 quickly spread and overwhelmed first responders to become the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over a century. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

First Maui victims were loaded into ambulances at least 12 hours before state was notified of deaths. Paramedics started picking up patients in Lahaina with fire-related injuries a little after 3. p.m. on Aug. 8 — at least 12 hours before the county notified key state leaders people had died in the disaster. Hawaii News Now.

HI-EMA cancels September siren test to avoid conflict with Maui memorial. State officials are canceling the monthly all-hazard statewide outdoor warning siren system test scheduled for Friday. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KITV4.

AG will not reinstate water official anytime soon, despite calls from some in the Hawaiian community.
Several dozen prominent Native Hawaiian leaders gathered at the Capitol last week to voice their concerns about the redeployment of Water Commission Deputy Kaleo Manuel. They are calling on an apology from the Green administration and Manuel's reinstatement. Hawaii Public Radio.

California’s catastrophic Camp Fire could suggest what’s ahead for Lahaina. Officials with the town of Paradise, Calif. — which before Lahaina suffered America’s previous deadliest wildfire in more than a century — have reached out to Gov. Josh Green and Maui County officials to share their experiences as a potential road map of what could lie ahead for Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-Maui Rep Kaniela Ing Pleads No Contest To Campaign Spending Violation. Kaniela Ing, who represented South Maui from 2012 to 2018 and also ran for Congress, was charged in February after the Campaign Spending Commission took the rare step of referring the case to prosecutors. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.


Covid Outbreak Prompts Restrictions At Hawaii’s Largest Prison.  Dozens of prisoners and at least one corrections officer at Halawa Correctional Facility have tested positive for Covid-19, leading to restrictions on activities at the state’s largest prison. Civil Beat.

Honolulu County to temporarily reopen Rent and Utility Relief Program for new applicants
. Oahu residents seeking rental or utility relief can apply for the Honolulu County program, which is reopening to new applicants in September. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Kīlauea volcano exhibiting signs of elevated unrest. Elevated seismic activity continues in an area south of Kīlauea’s summit caldera. Earthquakes occurred steadily through the day Sunday. Big Island Now.

Work progresses on CSO decommissioning: Telescope’s secondary mirror removed last week.
The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory is the first of five summit telescopes slated for decommissioning in exchange for the eventual planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Tribune-Herald.

Connections to scale back plan for new campus. Plans had been in the works since 2006 for a campus on 70-plus acres of land near the corner of Kaumana Drive and Edita Street in Hilo.  Tribune-Herald.

24 Hawaiian Homes Units Awarded In Kona.
The units are part of the Laʻi ʻŌpua Village 4 ʻĀkau development in Kealakehe, a rent-to-own Hawaiian Home Lands community. Big Island Video News.


Lahaina wildfire recovery Day 20: land search is complete, survivors are no longer expected. On day 20 since a deadly wildfire swept through Lahaina Town, Governor Josh Green said the search and rescue on land is complete, and the discovery of any survivors is no longer expected. Maui Now. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui fire death toll unchanged, but new names released. The confirmed death toll from the Aug. 8 wildfire remained at 115 Monday, with two more Lahaina residents joining the list of those who died in the disaster. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Maui’s Fire And Winds Also Took A Toll On Farmers And Ranchers. The state's ag industry mobilized to provide aid and the state bought feed, but ranchers need rain to grow grass soon. Civil Beat.


Visitor mandate resolution falls apart. Kaua‘i County Council members on Wednesday proposed a resolution aiming to implement visitor requirements, including proof of a round-trip ticket or proof of employment in order for people to travel to Hawai‘i. Garden Island.

Ground broken for homes for Hawaiians in Hanapepe. Huli ka lepo (turning of dirt) by state Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands dignitaries, contractors and federal and state officials marked the start of construction on Aug. 23 of a future housing site adjacent to an existing DHHL development in Hanapepe Heights. Garden Island.

Monday, August 28, 2023

State land transfers seek to reinvigorate farming, Hawaii municipal bonds plunge following Maui fires, lawsuits fly over who's to blame, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State agencies begin transfer of Act 90 lands. After two decades of mostly inaction, the state has begun transferring thousands of acres of pasture land to its Department of Agriculture in a significant win for farming in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

A Cascade Of Breakdowns In Lahaina Fire Exposes Flaws In Emergency Management System. Emergency preparedness plans identified West Maui as high risk. Under an inexperienced emergency manager, the plans didn’t translate into action. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Power lines didn’t start deadly Lahaina inferno, Hawaiian Electric says. Hawaiian Electric acknowledged that its power lines apparently started an Aug. 8 morning fire in Lahaina but contends the town was leveled by a different fire that began in the afternoon, hours after the company’s equipment had been “de-energized.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Bare electrical wire, leaning poles on Maui were possible causes of deadly fires
. Videos and images analyzed by The Associated Press confirmed those wires were among miles of line that Hawaiian Electric Co. left naked to the weather and often-thick foliage, despite a recent push by utilities in other wildfire- and hurricane-prone areas to cover up their lines or bury them. Associated Press.

Lawyers Descend On Maui In Race For Clients Harmed By Wildfires. Survivors are being asked to make decisions about legal representation just weeks after a deadly blaze ripped through Lahaina. Civil Beat.

Financial impact of wildfires goes beyond numbers, says UH economist. The University of Hawaiʻi's Economic Research Organization is working on an analysis of the impact of the fires on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Green releases $30M to fund fire response. State response to the Lahaina fires is being paid for in part with $30 million from Gov. Josh Green’s discretionary fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii municipal bonds take a plunge. Hawaii state and local municipal bonds have surrendered all their 2023 gains in the past three weeks after the deadly Maui wildfires delivered a fresh reminder of climate risk in the $4 trillion market for state and local debt. Bloomberg.

State warns of COVID uptick on Maui, statewide. Dr. Sarah Kemble, state epidemiologist, said COVID-19 numbers have been steadily increasing over the past month in Hawaii and nationwide and that there are now concerns for Maui. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Red Hill to start ‘milestone’ in defueling. The military entity charged with removing 104 million gallons of aviation and marine fuels from the Navy’s controversial, underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Halawa marks a milestone Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Makakilo rock quarry expansion is sought. A rock quarry in Makakilo that has long aggravated some and appeased other residents in communities built around the 50-year-old mining enterprise is aiming to expand and extend operations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

‘How can anyone afford that?’ Few insurance options remain for residents in lava zones 1 and 2. A contentious meeting regarding homeowners insurance for Puna residents and others was held Wednesday at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County chosen for Cities Forward program.  Hawaiʻi County will be one of 12 municipalities participating Cities Forward program, a U.S. Department of State initiative “seeks to foster urban sustainability on a global scale.” Big  Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island’s Pohoiki boat ramp — landlocked by 2018 Kīlauea eruption — could reopen by end of 2024. The long, frustrating wait to regain direct access to the ocean and lucrative fishing grounds via Puna’s Pohoiki boat ramp — which became landlocked during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption — could finally be over before the end of next year. Big Island Now.

Learn to be prepared: CERT training offered next month in Puna. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency is inviting the public to a two-day Community Emergency Response Team training course scheduled for the end of September in Keaau. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Hosts Cantankerous Meeting In Volcano Village. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth and his cabinet held another town hall event Thursday evening at a crowded Cooper Center in Volcano Village, where officials heard the usual questions and concerns from residents about roads, planning, and emergency preparedness. Big Island Video News.


Oliveira tapped to lead Maui Emergency Management Agency.  Maui Mayor Richard Bissen has named Big Island resident Darryl Oliveira, former head of Hawaii County Civil Defense, to be the interim administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency. Oliveira also formerly was chief of the Hawaii Fire Department. Tribune-Herald. Maui News.

HHS secretary visits Maui to pledge federal aid for health care.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary visited Maui on Friday. Xavier Becerra has been meeting with fire survivors and first responders. Hawaii News Now.

Interactive map shows unsafe water advisories on Maui. UH, Purdue researchers are sampling Kula system. Recent testing results released by the state Department of Health detected benzene in one Lahaina sample and the presence of toluene and xylenes in one Kula sample.  Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Maui police confirm the identity of three more Lahaina wildfire disaster victims. Maui police have identified 43 individuals publicly following notification of next of kin, including three additional individuals on Sunday afternoon.  Maui Now. KHON2.


Polihale Park Is Poised For A $4.3 Million Makeover. The remote park that is the site of Native Hawaiian burials and a popular camping spot has suffered years of neglect. Civil Beat.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Hawaiian Electric suspends dividends, draws down $370M credit lines amid flurry of lawsuits, Maui releases names of 388 still missing, Supreme Court denies DLNR petition claiming fire-fighting water denied, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Maui County sues Hawaiian Electric. The county claims that negligent Hawaiian Electric operations caused the Aug. 8 fires in Lahaina, Kula and Olinda and that the power company should pay for damage to public property, lost revenue and expenses for emergency response and recovery. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Associated Press. KITV4.  Hawaii News Now.

Investors Sue Hawaiian Electric For ‘Misleading’ Them About Potential Liability For Wildfire. The latest suit targets top HEI leaders who said they believed the company had addressed environmental conditions in the field. Civil Beat.

Family files first wrongful death lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric. The first wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Thursday in connection with the Maui wildfires. The family of 79-year-old Lawrenzo "Buddy" Mornaon Jantoc II is suing Hawaiian Electric (HECO), claiming the utility is responsible for his death. KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric suspends dividend, draws down credit lines. Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. drew down on revolving credit lines and said it would suspend its quarterly dividend as it seeks to shore up cash following the deadly wildfires on Maui. Bloomberg.

High Court rejects petition claiming insufficient water. The state Supreme Court on Thursday quickly denied a Board of Land and Natural Resources petition that claimed a judge’s ruling prevented enough water from being available to fight the Upcountry wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

HIEMA head: It took hours for state to understand full scope of Lahaina disaster.
The scope and severity of what was happening in West Maui on the evening of Aug. 8 wasn’t communicated to key leaders at the state level during the first 12 to 15 hours of the wildfire disaster, according to the head of the state’s Emergency Management Agency. Hawaii News Now.

AG to ‘go where the facts lead’ in Lahaina fire probe. The state Department of the Attorney General clarified that a comprehensive review of the Lahaina fires that killed at least 115 and caused about $5.5 billion in damage will not be limited “in scope or subject matter.” Star-Advertiser.

Frustrated parents and teachers confront Board of Education. Dozens of public school educators and parents from Maui poured out their anguish, anger and frustration Thursday over what they feel have been slow and confusing actions by state education officials in the wake of the wildfire disaster. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Why Many Patients Are Stuck In Hospitals Waiting For Long-Term Care Beds.
The average wait was 123 days in May, up from 78 in November, according to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. Civil Beat.


 Access Is Major Issue When Fighting Oahu’s Wildfires, City Council Told. Honolulu’s emergency managers will be learning from the response to the Maui fires and make adjustments in coming months, its Director of Emergency Management Hiro Toiya said Thursday. Civil Beat. KHON2.  Hawaii News Now. 

Hawaii Island

 Kona post office to change location. Postal customers in Kona received notice of the proposed change in the mail over the past week which indicated the new retail space would be “within two miles of the current location”. West Hawaii Today.

27 UH-Hilo students impacted by Maui wildfires.  Additional support is being offered by UH-Hilo, which includes the division of student affairs working with counterparts across the UH system to help support students. Tribune-Herald.

Update: Retest shows bacteria levels at Kailua Pier do not exceed threshold level. High levels of bacteria were found at the Kailua Pier, with levels of 591 per 100 mL detected. Big Island Now.


 MPD releases identities of 8 more victims; death toll remains 115. Of the 115 confirmed fatalities, 35 have been identified and their families notified, while 11 have been identified but their families have not been located or notified, MPD said Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Gov. Josh Green hopes Lahaina fire fatalities have peaked. Green said the number of unaccounted for people will drop “very significantly” today as the FBI continues to work with Maui police and other agencies to go through the list of people reported missing.  Star-Advertiser.

Maui Releases List Of 388 People Unaccounted For After Lahaina Fire. Police ask for anyone who recognizes a name on the list to contact the FBI. Civil Beat. Maui Now. KHON2.  KITV4.  Hawaii News Now.

Initial water tests for Lahaina, Kula show trace amounts of chemicals. The initial water samples tested at Lahaina and Kula following the Maui fires earlier this month have shown just trace amounts of contaminants, although Maui County said an ongoing unsafe water advisory for the areas will stay in place. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Upcountry Maui Disaster Recovery Center opens Aug. 25. Specialists from the US Small Business Administration, which provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes, will also be at the Disaster Recovery Center. Maui Now.

At least 49 sunken vessels counted in Lahaina harbor. The U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Strike Team said they have counted about 49 sunken vessels in the Lahaina Harbor as they work to mitigate maritime environmental impacts from the burn zone.  KHON2. 


DHHL breaks ground on Hanapēpē Phase II; 82 new homes to be created by 2024. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands broke ground Wednesday to mark the beginning of the Hanapēpē Phase II housing project on Kauaʻi’s west side, where 82 single-family residential lots will be developed on a location of more than 28 acres. Kauai Now.

Public meeting planned to discuss Kekaha Landfill vertical expansion project. The meeting will be an open-house format and include stations providing information about the vertical expansion, Kaua‘i’s landfill history, current landfill operations and community benefits and waste diversion. Kauai Now.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Searchers take to the sea looking for Lahaina fire victims, blaze reignites after firefighters thought scene contained, controversy erupts over images of FEMA workers at luxury Maui resort, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

As search for wildfire victims continues on land, recovery operations in the water expand. Maui Fire Department and Ocean Safety personnel conducted grid searches on Wednesday in waters off Lahaina Harbor, where scores of people jumped into the water to flee the flames. Hawaii News Now. Civil Beat. Maui Now. KHON2.

Not enough water to fight Upcountry Maui fires, state claims. The claim that firefighting efforts have been hampered by legal rulings in water was challenged by state Supreme Court justices in a hearing Wednesday. On the day after wind-driven wildfires broke out across Maui, the state filed a complaint to the state Supreme Court claiming that, due to a judge’s ruling, there was not enough water to fight the flames that destroyed some 19 Upcountry homes and thousands of acres. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Maui wildfires renew tensions around water rights in a centuries-old conflict over sacred streams. Shortly after the ignition of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, a developer of land around a threatened Maui community urgently asked state officials for permission to divert water from streams to fight the growing inferno. Maui News.

Lahaina inferno began after firefighters departed ‘contained’ scene. More than eight hours before a deadly fire swept through the town of Lahaina on Aug. 8, a small brush fire broke out on the edge of a residential neighborhood located a little more than 1 mile away from the town’s historic waterfront. New York Times.

In deadly Maui fires, those who dodged barricades survived. Car after car was turned back toward the rapidly spreading wildfire by a barricade blocking access to Highway 30. Associated Press.

Images of FEMA workers at luxury Maui hotels stir anger, but agency says it’s there to do a job. Pain and suffering have turned to anger for some residents after national news reports showed FEMA workers staying a luxury hotels on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

5 new COVID-related deaths, 826 new infections recorded in Hawaii, DOH reports. The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) reported five new deaths related to COVID-19 and 826 new infections over the last seven days in Hawaii. The total number of deaths stands at 1,965. KITV4.


City proposes greater fines for ‘monster homes’.  Builders of so-called monster homes on Oahu could face monster fines of $25,000 or greater under a proposed bill being floated by the city. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae residents taking proactive approach to prepare for disasters. The community gathered for a meeting Wednesday night - organized by the Waianae Kupuna Council. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bill’s passage puts Hawai‘i County in position for next round of Kīlauea recovery grants
. The Hawai‘i County Council last week adopted a bill aimed at getting additional funds into the hands of nonprofit organizations to not only help lower Puna rebuild and recover from the impacts of the 2018 Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone eruption and lava flow but also support long-term resilience for the community. Big Island Now.

Hawaii County COVID death toll reaches 260. The statewide death toll has climbed to 1,936 people since the start of the pandemic, with the DOH reporting five deaths over the last week, mainly on Oahu. Tribune-Herald.

Inmate Found Dead In Apparent Suicide At Hilo Jail Was Due A Mental Evaluation. A Honolulu lawyer plans to ask a federal judge to appoint a special master to force the state to provide better mental health care to inmates. Civil Beat.

Geothermal sites identified: Report favors energy development on DHHL property
. The Hawaiian Homes Commission on Monday voted unanimously to accept and adopt a report identifying two Hawaii Island locations on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property for potential geothermal development. Tribune-Herald.


6 more Maui fire victims identified as deaths remain at 115.
The Maui Police Department on Wednesday released the identities of six more victims of the Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire, however the total number of confirmed fatalities remains 115. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

2,025 Lahaina students not enrolled. About two-thirds of the 3,001 children who once attended Lahaina’s four public schools still have not enrolled in other Hawaii public schools or the state’s distance learning program.  Star-Advertiser.

Nonprofit restoring Wi-Fi to Lahaina survivors cut off from the world. The Starlink receivers rely on satellites sent into near-Earth orbit by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Where Did Lahaina’s Homeless Population Go? Outreach workers are trying to locate those who may have fled the fire or perished, but the search is complicated. Civil Beat.

California Woman Is The Only Tourist Confirmed Killed In Maui Wildfire So Far. There has not been a centralized effort to account for how many of the remaining missing people were visitors to Maui. Civil Beat.

For mourning Maui families, DNA identification can offer an important sense of closure. Maui County said the missing-persons list following the blaze is now at 1,054. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui County officials warn of DNA collection scams. Some Maui community members are receiving calls claiming to be with “DNA Services,” according to officials, and should be disregarded as scams.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Initial Tests Show Water In Maui Burn Zones Is Within Safety Guidelines. Maui County’s top water official says initial sampling of the drinking water supply in Lahaina and Upper Kula turned up no evidence of contamination that exceeds public health standards. Civil Beat.


Affordable housing dilemma for County of Kaua‘i. Kaua‘i County Council Chair Mel Rapozo will introduce a resolution next month urging the county to buy the Courtyards at Waipouli apartments, following the state’s decision against purchasing the roughly $43 million development for affordable housing. Garden Island.

Blessing ceremony held for new Kaua‘i High School gym. “Don’t step on the hardwood floors,” said state Department of Education Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Daniel Hamada on Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Frustrations, lawsuits mount in Lahaina fire aftermath, state senator's personal litigation role questioned, FBI seeks familial DNA samples to ID remains, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Dozens of Maui residents express their frustration. The County Council heard sometimes conflicting recommendations about how quickly to move to rebuild Lahaina and what issues should be prioritized. The consensus was that community members should be consulted, but how soon remained unclear because many remain traumatized. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

A Key Maui Lawmaker’s Likely Role In Wildfire Litigation Raises Questions. State Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran said he sees no conflict between his role as a lawyer and his role as a lawmaker. Keith-Agaran, who represents Wailuku, Kalului and Waihee, appeared Friday in an online “Maui Wildfire Impact Community Discussion,” an event hosted by his law firm and a major mainland firm, Morgan & Morgan. Civil Beat.

Maui fire victims pursue tactic that led to $13.5B California settlement. Hawaii property owners are seizing on a legal shortcut used by fire victims in California to secure compensation from Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. for damages following the fires that ravaged Maui. Bloomberg.

Moody’s estimates Hawaiian wildfires caused up to $6 billion in economic losses. The losses could range from $4 billion to $6 billion, Moody’s said Tuesday. About 75% of the losses will be covered by insurance because of the island’s high insurance penetration rates, according to the risk modeling agency. CNN.

Hawaiian Electric engages Guggenheim amid Maui fire suits. Numerous lawsuits have been filed alleging that the utility’s power lines ignited the fires which destroyed much of Lahaina, Hawaii earlier this month. The potential liabilities could reach almost $4 billion if the utility is deemed negligent, according to investment research firm Capstone LLC. Bloomberg.

Lahaina Was A Wakeup Call, But Forecasters Say Above Normal Fire Risk Remains. Self-preservation backed up by stringent building codes can significantly limit the potential for fire damage. Civil Beat.

As Maui burned, Hawaii’s top emergency management officials were at a Waikiki conference. As the wildfire in Lahaina spread, the Pacific’s top disaster management leaders were together with many of Hawaii’s emergency officials at a meeting on Oahu educating them about how to respond in crisis situations. Hawaii News Now.

Cancellations outpace bookings for Maui hotels. Gov. Josh Green used the opportunity of President Joe Biden’s visit Monday to strongly encourage visitors to travel to the unaffected parts of Maui and the rest of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.


UH Law School Instructor Says He Was Banned For Criticizing ‘Nice Racism’. A prominent instructor at the University of Hawaii’s law school has sued the school, alleging the dean, unnamed faculty and a university provost retaliated against him by banning him from the law school campus after he criticized and organized a boycott against a Black History Month event that did not include any Black person as a panelist, facilitator or organizer. Civil Beat.

Redevelopment to begin on Varona Village. The Ewa plain community — once filled with 93 homes rented by employees of the long-defunct Oahu Sugar’s Ewa Plantation — is being redeveloped by the city in partnership with the Savio Group of Companies and Hawaii  Habitat for Humanity Association. Star-Advertiser.

TheHandi-Van use recovers from COVID with less reliable service. Ridership on TheHandi-­Van has nearly recovered from a drop that began with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are concerns about the government’s ability to keep up with the growing demand for its services. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hilo jail expansion should be complete in December.  The $20.7 million project will add 48 new beds to the jail and will increase its total operational capacity from 226 inmates to 274. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Farmers Held Back A Fire Until Help Arrived: ‘It Could Have Been Another Lahaina’. That same fateful day, a couple of farmers, a troop of cowboys and fire crews were all that stood between a Waimea wildfire and potential catastrophe. Civil Beat.

Staffing, maintenance woes continue to limit use of county pools. Frequent and random closures at Hawaii County pools are causing frustration for swimmers across the island. Tribune-Herald.

Once home to Keauhou Beach Hotel and Kona Lagoon, Kamehameha Schools continues work to rehabilitate historic land. At the southern end of Ali’i Drive on the way to Keauhou Bay is a grassy 22 acres that may look like a park, but holds generations of history of the Hawaiian culture including some of the 53 heiau (temples) along its Kona coastline. Big Island Now.


FBI says over 1,000 unaccounted for in Lahaina. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Maui police have made a public plea for DNA samples and specific identifying information as they work through a list of 1,000 to 1,100 people who are unaccounted for after the wildfires that leveled Lahaina and killed at least 115. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press.  Maui Now.  KITV4.

8 added to list of wildfire victims.
The official death toll from the Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire remained at 115 Tuesday, but the Maui Police Department released the names of eight more victims who died. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Maui fire relief housing program showing results. Nearly 80 households displaced by the fire that destroyed nearly all of Lahaina have found single-family homes, condominiums and other more residential temporary accommodations rented from owners under the Hawaii Fire Relief Housing program. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Water service shutdown on Lauoho Road and Kaumuali’i Highway scheduled Aug. 24. A water service shutdown has been scheduled on a portion of Lauoho Road and a portion of Kaumuali’i Highway on Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting to allow contractor, Earthworks Pacific, Inc. to tie-in new service laterals to the existing waterline. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Biden visits, offers support in wake of Lahaina fire, ACLU challenges Honolulu homeless sweeps, Hawaiian Homes report eyes geothermal on Mauna Kea, Kohala, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

President Biden offers message of support, hope after touring Lahaina. President Joe Biden described the devastation in Lahaina as “overwhelming” on Monday as he and First Lady Jill Biden toured the charred remains of the historic, seaside town, leveled in the worst U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Associated Press.  Big Island Video News.  Maui News.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Video of Biden visit

For Gov. Green, a balancing act with no margin for error.  The  53-year-old governor, a Democrat less than a year into his first term, is confronting the horrific wildfires on Maui that have killed at least 114 people and perhaps many more. In a state where political decisions are often a balancing act among factions — from progressives to pro-development Democrats to powerful labor unions — some worry that the rush to rebuild will shred hard-won environmental and cultural protections. New York Times.

Lawsuit seeks to upend reassignment of water deputy.  A lawsuit filed Monday seeks to overturn the reassignment of state Water Commission Deputy Director M. Kaleo Manuel, who was given a new job after he apparently delayed permission to allow stream water to be made available for water control during the Lahaina wildfire. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Gov. Green encourage travel to parts of Maui not impacted by wildfires. While travel to West Maui continues to be discouraged following a deadly wildfire that decimated Lahaina’s historic Front Street, government officials emphasized the importance to visit other parts of Maui and neighboring Hawaiian Islands. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Legal experts refute rumors about FEMA aid and eminent domain.
  Posts and comments circulating on social media claim that signing up for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency can give the government control of your land through eminent domain. FEMA’s powers are laid out in the Stafford Act — and eminent domain is not among them. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawaii ACLU files motion to stop Honolulu homeless sweeps. Honolulu’s use of homeless sweeps constitutes cruel or unusual punishment under Hawaii’s constitution and should therefore cease immediately via a court order, according to an ACLU legal motion filed Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu District Court reopens after construction mishap. Honolulu District Courthouse will reopen today after a structural assessment found its parking garage, damaged the night of Aug. 15 by a contractor, and the courthouse are safe for occupancy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiian Homes Report Eyes Geothermal On Maunakea, Kohala. Potential geothermal resources near Maunakea and Kohala mountains on Hawaiʻi island have the “highest probability of viable electricity generation” according to a new report provided to the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Big Island Video News.

‘Third try’ at starting master plan for Pahoa.  A survey has been sent in the mail and online to Pahoa property owners to help determine the future of the historic village. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor to host seventh town hall on Thursday. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 pm. Thursday at the Cooper Center in Volcano Village. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui death toll at 115; search moves to multi-story structures.
Maui County officials said that 100% of burned single-story residences have been searched for Lahaina wildfire victims, and now search crews and their cadaver-detecting dogs will concentrate on multi-story properties. Star-Advertiser.

Toxic Debris From The Lahaina Fire Will Be Shipped To The Mainland.
The contaminated waste includes a unique Hawaii building material made of sugarcane fiber and termite poison. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Details are still not available on people missing in Lahaina. Two weeks after a wildfire killed at least 115 people and destroyed Lahaina, no official list of the names and number of people missing is publicly available. Star-Advertiser.

New Prefab Homes Are Arriving On Maui. A local group has transported 60 fold-up structures to use as temporary homes. Civil Beat.

Your 2023 Maui County Council Guide: Everything You Need To Know. Here's how you can make your voice heard in local government by attending a council meeting or submitting testimony. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance closing clinic.
The head of the Kaua‘i Community Health Alliance (KCHA) has announced the North Shore medical provider will permanently close its doors in the coming weeks due to circumstances, including low insurance reimbursement rates and labor shortages. Garden Island.

County and federal agencies partner for Kekaha Road Brownfields Study. County and federal agencies are partnering to revitalize brownfields along the Kekaha Road corridor, between Amakihi Road and Pueo Road, as a means to improve the quality of life for Kekaha residents. Kauai Now.

Water use plan update meetings set. The public is invited to attend the county Department of Water’s (DOW) second round of meetings for the Kaua‘i Water Use and Development Plan (KWUDP) update being held at various locations island wide, now through Aug. 31. Garden Island.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Biden to tour Lahaina today, 114 confirmed dead, 850 missing, Maui County Council to begin rebuilding plan Tuesday, Legislature may hold special session on fires, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

President Biden and first lady to tour Lahaina disaster zone.  President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive today on a grief-stricken Maui, where the number of wildfire deaths is expected to rise considerably above the 114 being reported and loved ones need answers about the fate of an estimated 1,000 still missing. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  Spectrum News.

Schatz: Biden Visit To Lahaina ‘Forces Action’. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said the priority ahead will be making sure that Lahaina and Hawaii are not forgotten when the world's attention moves on. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

In online address, Hawaiʻi governor vows ‘Lāhainā will rise again’. Hawaiʻi Governor, First Lady Address Maui Wildfire Response. Governor Josh Green, M.D., and First Lady Jaime Kanani Green gave an update on the coordinated response to the Maui wildfires during a live broadcast on Friday. Big Island Video News. Kauai Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Legislature May Hold Special Session On Maui Fires.
For now, House and Senate leaders say it's premature to schedule one. But the disaster may well warrant convening to pass spending and statutory measures. Civil Beat.

Maui mayor: New FBI-vetted list puts number of missing in Lahaina at 850.
Teams armed with cadaver dogs have searched about 85% of the town. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources names interim water deputy.
Dean Uyeno, a 25-year-long staffer with the Commission on Water Resource Management, has been assigned on a temporary basis as the interim Water Deputy with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor: Replacing Emergency Management Chief Will Take Time. Pending a search for a permanent replacement, the No. 2 official at the agency is in charge. Civil Beat.

State Told Maui Emergency Office It Should Consider Sounding Sirens Before Fire Spread.
Before a fire swept through Lahaina, killing at least 114 people, Hawaii state emergency management personnel sent a “reminder” to their counterparts at the Maui Emergency Management Agency that the island’s all-hazard siren system “could be used” if needed. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Maui fire will reshape Hawaiian Electric. Hawaiian Electric — and the state’s power utility sector in general — may be in store for reconstruction in the aftermath of the massive disaster as state leaders, regulators and litigators push for change and accountability. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric ends week at 58% plummet. Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. shares notch the worst weekly drop in at least four decades on concern it may be responsible for the fires that ravaged the island of Maui, with Wells Fargo’s analyst warning the possible liabilities could be large enough to wipe out the value of its utility arm. Star-Advertiser.

Job losses mount in Maui, but anti-tourism could block recovery.
Since the wildfires, Maui is experiencing a sharp rise in initial unemployment claims, which hit 6,663 from Aug. 9-17, according to state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations spokesperson William Kunstman. Star-Advertiser.

Senior Managers At Hawaii State Hospital Fired In Major Shake-Up. Three top managers at the Hawaii State Hospital are being terminated from their jobs and were abruptly escorted off the hospital campus Thursday morning in a move to “restructure” the facility’s management team. Dr. Bimmie Strausser, HSH associate administrator, was escorted off the property by staff from the state Attorney General’s office along with Director of Nursing Lani Tsuneishi and HSH Operations Administrator Anthony Fraiola, according to staff at the facility. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.


Charter amendments would address raises for elected officials.
A Honolulu City Council member who recently received a 64% pay raise says key amendments need to be made to the city’s constitution to ensure future pay hikes for top elected and appointed officials cannot be rejected by an overwhelming vote of the Council or the mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to ban flavored tobacco products advances.  The Honolulu City Council voted unanimously Aug. 9 to advance Bill 46 that intends to ban flavored tobacco products — including electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices — which contain “a characterizing flavor or that imparts a cooling or numbing sensation during consumption of a tobacco product,” the bill reads. Star-Advertiser.

HART still waiting for $125 million. After more than a decade, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation waits for the final portion of a $1.55-billion funding agreement that since 2014 has been held up at the federal level due to years of cost overruns and delays to the build out of the city’s rail line. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hirono, Tokuda visit Food Basket ag campus, stress need for sustainable food. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda visited Hilo for a ceremony celebrating the Hawaii Island Food Basket’s new agricultural campus. Tribune-Herald.

Puna police officer arrested on suspicion of burglary, assault. A 31-year-old Puna patrol officer suspected of illegally entering a Ka‘u home early Tuesday morning and assaulting a 20-year-old man remained in custody late Friday afternoon as police detectives investigated the case. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Uncle Billy’s demolition slated for early next year; officials unsure about future of property.
The 148-room hotel closed in 2017 and has been a blight on the Waiakea Peninsula ever since, becoming the site of squatters, drug use, vandalism, fires and other crimes. Tribune-Herald.

‘Bruddah Waltah’ Aipolani dies at 68; ‘Father of Hawaiian Reggae’ suffered from liver cancer. Singer-guitarist Walter Aipolani, better known as Bruddah Waltah, died Thursday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 68. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser.


Make Your Voice Heard At This Week's Maui County Council Session.
The council has scheduled a meeting Tuesday that offers the public a chance to get involved in the daunting task of planning for the future. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Lahaina’s Large Immigrant Community Is Facing A Unique Struggle In The Fire’s Aftermath. Losing important documents is a real problem while fear and mistrust of government agencies has inhibited some from seeking aid, experts say. Civil Beat.

What Saved The ‘Miracle House’ In Lahaina? The historic structure on Front Street is the last house standing in a neighborhood reduced to rubble. Michael Wara, the director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program at the Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment, said it was likely the Millikins’ decision to dig out the existing landscaping directly surrounding the house and replace it with river stones that made the biggest difference.  Civil Beat.


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.

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.