Wednesday, September 27, 2023

$30M to repair leaky roof at Capitol, state braces for federal government shutdown, Lahaina schools to reopen next month, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Leaky ceilings at State Capitol lead to $30M in repairs. After years of leaky ceilings at the state capital, repairs are finally underway on the 54-year-old building. Hawaii News Now.

Can The GOP Set Aside Partisan Politics To Find Out What Really Happened In Maui? A House oversight committee will hold its first public hearing focused on the role of Hawaiian Electric in the Aug. 8 Maui fires. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii House members hope to keep U.S. government running.
The possibility that the federal government might shut down this weekend could mean that more than 30,000 federal employees in Hawaii — including “essential” workers helping Lahaina fire survivors — may have to keep working, but without pay. Star-Advertiser.

Battle over federal spending could hurt Hawaii economy. A University of Hawaii economist said Tuesday a prolonged federal government shutdown could have serious local consequences. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Study finds La Ninas lasting longer, intense El Ninos likely to follow. A new University of Hawai‘i study has discovered that La Nina climate events are growing more common and lasting longer, increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events across the globe. Garden Island.

Federal Wildfire Grant Opportunities Open For Hawaii. Three grants are now available to help Hawaii's landowners fortify their wildfire defenses. Civil Beat.

This Lahaina Fundraiser Quickly Raised $1M Amid Conspiracy Theories And Questions By Critics
. The Lahaina Fire Fund was never a registered nonprofit yet collected hundreds of thousands of dollars through online donation sites. Civil Beat.

DLNR opens grant applications to purchase land for conservation. Each year, the state gives a portion of its revenue from real estate conveyance taxes to the Land Conservation Fund. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric postpones, revises ‘Save and Shift’ program.  Originally, customers with advanced smart meters were selected at random to test time-of-use rates on Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui under an order by the state Public Utilities Commission, which regulates public utility companies. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii Inmate Gets Life In Prison After Death Penalty Case Dropped. Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer finally abandoned the effort to have Miti Maugaotega Jr. sentenced to death for the killing of another prisoner in Arizona. Civil Beat.

Kaiser clinics offer COVID vaccines in Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii officials say updated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available to members at most clinics statewide, starting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.


Government shutdown would not affect Red Hill defueling, Navy says. The top officer in charge of defueling the Navy’s underground Red Hill fuel storage facility says a possible federal government shutdown would not affect the operation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kohala community could be months away from preserving Mahukona into perpetuity. Community groups are trying to preserve more than 640 acres of culturally and historically significant land along the Kohala coast on the north side of Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

First phase of lava buyouts nearly pau. Nearly 300 residents whose primary homes were damaged or destroyed during the 2018 Kilauea eruption in lower Puna have had their properties bought out by Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.


Lahaina schools to reopen to students in October. Lahainaluna High, Lahaina Intermediate and Princess Nahi­enaena Elementary schools in Lahaina will reopen to students in a phased plan after the October fall break now that their soil, water and air have been deemed safe, and monitoring will continue, state and federal officials have announced. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  KHON2.  KITV4.

States partners with Corps of Engineers to erect temporary Lahaina school by January. Experts say the pandemic underscored just how key reopening schools is to restoring normal life and emotional wellness. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina family members are latest fatalities named. The Maui Police Department on Tuesday released the names of six people who died in the Aug. 6 Lahaina wildfire — all members of an extended Filipino clan who lost eight family members in the disaster, with one still missing. Star-Advertiser.

Furloughs, layoffs mount on Maui as economic headwinds continue. Nearly two months after wildfires decimated Lahaina town, Maui’s economy continues to suffer — and unemployment claims are mounting. Hawaii News Now.

Former Civil Defense council chair: Officials failed to heed key warnings ahead of Lahaina disaster. A hazard mitigation plan published by the county back in 2020 warned if any section of the road or utility line were to be damaged by a wildfire the entire system could collapse. Hawaii News Now.

Maui's price freeze extended for essential commodities and services. The existing price freeze that was implemented for Maui in August will now only continue for essential goods and services, according to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection. Hawaii Public Radio.


Lawsuit Accuses Kauai Chief Judge Of Sexually Harassing His Assistant. The Hawaii Judiciary prohibits hugging, which the assistant alleges Chief Judge Randal Valenciano did in a "sexualized" manner numerous times. Civil Beat.

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