Monday, September 11, 2023

Kilauea volcano erupts, Dems call for state party chairman resignation, Maui relief donations top $494M, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kilauea Volcano Eruption Starts At Summit With High Lava Fountains. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists said the Kilauea eruption that began Sunday continues with lava-fountain heights up to 82 feet but that no unusual activity has been observed along volcano’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Garden Island.  Hawaii News Now.   KHON2

Dozens Of Leading Democrats Call For State Party Chairman Dennis Jung to Resign. Critics are frustrated by controversial staffing decisions and the party's dwindling cash reserves. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to offer $30M in loan repayment to medical professionals.
Governor Unveils Healthcare Education Loan Repayment Program. The "HELP" program will provide $30 million in educational loan debt repayment to health professionals in Hawai‘i. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Josh Green to extend controversial housing panel. Gov. Josh Green plans to extend his emergency proclamation that created a controversial emergency housing development approval panel. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii AG to review independent probe into Maui fires before releasing to public. As an investigation into government’s emergency response the day Lahaina burned continues, questions about transparency continue. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Josh Green outlines future for Lahaina. The governor said Friday he plans to address the United Nations on Sept. 17 when he will connect the Lahaina wildfire to other climate-related disasters around the globe. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii governor proposes ‘Lahaina Fund’ for victims as an alternative to lawsuits.
During his address marking one month since the Lahaina tragedy, Gov. Josh Green on Friday, repeatedly criticized lawyers who have come to the island seeking plaintiffs for lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

Communities across Hawaii wary of becoming ‘the next Lahaina’. In fact, 94% of Hawaii’s populated areas are vulnerable because they are either built into the wildland-urban interface or lie adjacent to vacant land overrun by highly flammable weeds, said Elizabeth Pickett, co-director of the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization. Star-Advertiser.

State abruptly cuts program seen as key to boosting number of paramedics trained in Hawaii. A state Department of Health program aimed at encouraging more EMTs to become paramedics was suddenly cancelled this summer, and onlookers say the move is expected to have an immediate impact on the first responder population. Hawaii News Now.

DOH suspends new ambulance contracts to weigh protests. Support for American Medical Response is growing as the state moves to resolve the company’s protests of the bidding process for ambulance services for Maui and Kauai counties. Star-Advertiser.


The Cost Of A New Oahu Jail Is Now More Than $900 Million. The Department of Public Safety is now estimating that the proposed new Oahu jail will cost more than $900 million, a dramatic increase from previous forecasts after years of delays. Civil Beat.

Ala Wai pedestrian bridge proves unpopular at community meeting. Community members had their say Saturday about a proposed 18-story-tall pedestrian/bike bridge spanning the Ala Wai Canal at a meeting held by state senators representing the  area that will be affected by the structure. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council pushes fines, jail for shopping cart violations.  The Honolulu City Council is considering legislation proposing fines and imprisonment to keep supermarket shopping carts on store properties rather than out on city streets, parks or sidewalks. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

‘The shortage is expected to get worse’: Presentation outlines how lack of doctors is impacting isle. A shortage of physicians on the Big Island is a mounting threat to healthcare on the island, according to a Hawaii County Council presentation on Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Bayfront roundabout plan moves forward. A plan to install a roundabout at the Hilo Bayfront moved one step forward Friday despite reservations from residents. Tribune-Herald.

Public input sought on future of old hospital. The County of Hawaii Office of Housing and Community Development is developing a master plan for the future of the former hospital property at 34 Rainbow Drive. Tribune-Herald.


Money Continues To Pour In For Maui’s Recovery. More than $494 million in relief funds for Maui has been pledged in the form of government assistance, private donations and nonprofit efforts since the Aug. 8 fires in Lahaina.  Civil Beat.

Nearly $95M in federal aid coming for Maui fire relief. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide nearly $95 million to cover the cost of temporary housing at hotels, meals and other services for evacuees of the Maui fires through November, U.S. Brian Schatz announced Sunday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.

The federal government wants to hire Maui residents displaced by the Lahaina fire, but lack of expertise could mean specialized workers from outside Maui come in and end up competing for already tight housing along with fire survivors. Star-Advertiser.

Governor lifts suspension of Water Code on Maui.
Gov. Josh Green announced Friday that he has lifted the suspension of the state Water Code, a move he originally made as part of his emergency proclamation in response to the Lahaina fire. Star-Advertiser.

Two more Lahaina wildfire disaster victims identified Sunday, bringing the total to 57. There are 115 confirmed fatalities with 57 individuals now identified publicly following notification of next of kin. Maui Now.

Inside The Frustrating And Painful Search For Lahaina’s Missing People. The effort to identify who is truly missing after the Lahaina fire is a massive undertaking that has shifted numerous times, leaving many families exhausted. Civil Beat.

Health risks remain high for people returning to Lahaina. More than a month after deadly wildfires ravaged Lahaina, all that remains is a wasteland of ash, debris, charred homes, melted metal and burned-out husks of cars. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.


$2M released to fund improvements at Līhuʻe Airport on Kauaʻi. Governor Josh Green has released capital improvement project funds to support necessary enhancements to Līhuʻe Airport in the amount of $2 million for financing an optimization plan. Maui Now.

Visitor spending sets new high in July on Kaua‘i. The spending total climbed to $264.5 million in July, compared with $245.5 in July 2022 and $201.3 million in pre-pandemic July 2019, according to a monthly report from the state of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism.  That marked gains of 7.7 percent and 31.4 percent, respectively. Garden Island.

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