Friday, September 15, 2023

Green to change emergency housing proclamation to address concerns, U.S. House seeks answers on Maui fire from HECO, PUC, state energy office, drought worsens, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green to amend Hawaii emergency housing panel powers.  Green plans to issue a second emergency housing proclamation today that he hopes will mollify concerns and satisfy lawsuit complaints in order to fast-track construction of 50,000 new homes to give island residents a major reason to stay home. Seeking compromise, a new document to be signed Friday restores environmental review, historic preservation and open meetings laws. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Congressional committee to probe Maui fires amid demand for answers.  The U.S. House committee investigating the deadly Aug. 8 Maui firestorm said it expects the heads of Hawaiian Electric Co., the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and the State Energy Office to testify at its first hearing on the disaster. Star-Advertiser. Civil BeatMaui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

$1000 Hotel Rooms? House GOP Wants Answers From FEMA On Maui Wildfires. The House Oversight and Accountability Committee sent a letter to FEMA's top administrator asking questions about its response to the Maui wildfires. Civil Beat.

Drought worsened, expected to intensify across Hawaii.  More than 81%, of the Hawaiian islands are now in moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released today. The rest are abnormally dry. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii AG Raises Concerns About Proposed New HART Rules. The rules would infringe on the rights of some rail authority board members to speak publicly about the massive rail project, according to the attorney general. Civil Beat.

U.S. government files motion to block prominent physician’s testimony in Red Hill suit. Tthe U.S. government is trying to block the testimony of a prominent Hawaii physician in a Red Hill lawsuit that includes allegations of medical negligence. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council proposal seeks to help state collect unpaid traffic fines. Two Honolulu City Council members want the city administration to work with the state to collect a reported $81 million in uncollected assessed traffic fines owed to the State of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Why Everybody Had To Move Out Of This Affordable Housing Project. A $7.5 million apartment building purchased by the City and County of Honolulu in 2018 to provide housing for low-income and homeless people is now sitting vacant due to problems with the building.  Civil Beat.

City extends feral chicken service. The city is extending a cage and disposal service to help tackle the issue of feral chickens.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Stoplight slated for Kaiminani. Two more traffic lights are in the initial design phase for installation on Highway 190, or Mamalahoa Highway in North Kona. West Hawaii Today.

Keaukaha Park Closure Set For Road, Parking Lot Restriping. James Kealoha Beach Park, known locally as “4-mile”, will be closed 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily from September 18 to September 22. Big Island Video News.


Maui councilmembers suggest improvements to state's recent housing proclamation. The Maui County Council’s Housing and Land Use committee reconvened Wednesday, picking up discussion on the governor’s emergency proclamation on housing and how that may come into play following the Maui wildfires. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Maui County Council committee is considering a possible investigation into how firefighters, police, emergency management and public works officials performed while responding to the wildfires in August. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lahaina property owners allowed to return Sept. 25. Owners and renters who lost their homes and businesses in the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire will be allowed escorted visits to their properties on a zone-by-zone basis starting Sept. 25. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

‘First day’ for Maui public school students displaced by wildfire.  For nearly 600 Maui public school students displaced by the closure of their schools by the Lahaina wildfire, Thursday was a “first day of school” like none other. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

American Lung Association questions state’s messaging on Lahaina air quality. The head of the American Lung Association Hawaii says the state Health Department is not doing enough to protect Lahaina fire victims from contaminants in the air. The group is especially concerned about the state’s release of some confusing data on air quality. Hawaii News Now.

The battle over water rights in West Maui is generational for this Kauaʻula taro farmer.  Taro patches once dominated the landscape in Lāhainā, with more than 1,700 recorded in the region in the mid-1800s. But once water started being diverted for sugar cane cultivation, taro farmers from Kauaʻula Valley fought back in one of the earliest recorded legal battles over water rights in West Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


Lihu‘e Airport bustling in August. A total of 78,648 passengers deplaned domestic flights in August, compared with 83,331 in August 2022, according to data compiled by the state of Hawai‘i’s Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism. Garden Island.

Fire season getting longer on Kaua‘i. Fire Chief Michael Gibson told The Garden Island he previously considered fire season to run from June through September, but that has started to expand to March through November. Garden Island.

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