Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Pukas exposed in statewide warning systems, Rep. Case misses Speaker McCarthy's Lahaina tour due to COVID, Legislature spreads more wealth off Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State Climate Commission releases reports on clean transportation choices for Hawaiʻi. In Hawai’i, 70% of personal trips are under five miles and account for 15% of vehicle miles traveled – this means that many trips are ripe for new modes if they are safe and accessible. The Hawaiʻi State Climate Commission has released three new reports detailing clean transportation investments that promote walking, biking, rolling and transit across the state as an integral component to help address climate change.  Kauai Now.

Analysis Shows Hawaii House Spread Project Money To The Neighbor Islands. Most of the state’s money for capital improvement projects for schools, airports, harbors, hospitals and more is not going to Oahu, a Civil Beat review of appropriations approved this past session shows. Civil Beat.

State unemployment modernization project lags as Maui claims mount.
Maui’s initial unemployment and disaster unemployment assistance claims have soared to more than 15,000, and the state’s multimillion-dollar project to strengthen the unemployment insurance safety net and prepare it for the next economic downturn is back at the starting block. Star-Advertiser.

Deficiencies abound with Hawaii’s disaster warning sirens
. They typically blare once a month and help ensure Hawaii’s population will be safe during life-threatening emergencies, but the state’s outdoor warning siren system has a long history of serious — and in some cases deadly — ineffectiveness. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker McCarthy tours Lahaina with delegation.
After touring fire-ravaged Lahaina with a bipartisan congressional delegation Saturday, U.S. House Speaker Kevin Mc­Carthy pushed back on claims that climate change contributed to the Aug. 8 disaster that killed at least 115 and destroyed more than 2,200 structures, most of them homes. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case says he has contracted COVID-19 and did not attend Saturday's tour of Lahaina with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Congress members. Star-Advertiser.

State’s independent investigators haven’t ruled out criminal wrongdoing in Lahaina wildfire disaster. Interviews are being conducted as part of an independent investigation into the Lahaina wildfire that will look at possible causes, government missteps and even whether there is any criminal wrongdoing that the state should pursue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Replaces Maui And Kauai Ambulance Company With One That Has A Questionable Record. Paramedics and EMTs say the Hawaii Department of Health has lowered care standards for Maui and Kauai. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

New Lawsuits Attack Hawaii Governor’s Broad Plan To Build More Housing. Critics say Hawaii's housing crisis isn't what the Legislature had in mind when it gave the governor "sole power" to decide when an emergency exists. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Orders Review Of Wildfire Risk On Oahu. Honolulu's managing director will assess existing fire studies to determine risks as well as firefighting and other emergency response capabilities. Civil Beat.

City, HPD Face Lawsuit Over 2021 Killing Of Kakaako Man. Brandon Ventura's father says his son needed a crisis negotiator not a SWAT team after he called 911 to say he was going to kill himself. Civil Beat.

Authorities confirm another brutal murder at OCCC, but won’t say if anyone was charged. Authorities are investigating another murder at OCCC, but have refused to reveal details into the brutal killing — which left a mentally ill man awaiting trial dead. Hawaii News Now.

New Kahe Point Beach Park lifeguard tower is saving lives, data shows.  The Honolulu Ocean Safety department said since the tower’s Aug. 3 installation, lifeguards have performed seven rescues. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Proposal would prohibit disposal of certain recyclables into landfill. In order to extend the usable life of the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill, a Hawaii County commission is drafting a bill that would prohibit disposing of recyclable materials at that facility. Tribune-Herald.

Work on Hilo affordable housing project not likely to begin until 2025. Hale Ola O Mohouli is a planned housing project that would build 90 units on a state-owned 9-acre lot on Mohouli Street, adjacent to the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood. Tribune-Herald.

Public input sought for Great Crack, Ala Wai‘i. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is seeking community input about the potential future use and stewardship of the remote Great Crack and Ala Wai‘i areas. Tribune-Herald.


Former Maui Mayor Asked For West Maui Wildfire Money 2 Years Ago But Dropped The Request. The Maui mayor's office prepared an application for a fire mitigation grant for West Maui, but gave up on the effort last year after FEMA objected to the county proposal. Civil Beat.

Evacuation alert shows limits of cellphone warning system.  As fire was billowing through residential neighborhoods in Lahaina on Aug. 8, emergency managers for Maui County sent out an evacuation alert that would blare on the cellphones of anyone near the blaze. New York Times.

An Instagram Fundraiser Brought In $2.6 Million For Maui Fire Victims. Now It’s In This Woman’s Hands. Tiare Lawrence, a Native Hawaiian organizer and activist from Maui, will help dole out the money, some of which she says will be used to purchase land and build a memorial park. Civil Beat.

Maui police request public help to file unaccounted for missing person report. As of Monday, MPD had 110 missing person reports relating to the Lahaina wildfire, 41 of which are actively being investigated and are considered open. Maui Now.

West Maui students not enrolled or contacted reduced to 1,208. The number of displaced West Maui public school students who still have not enrolled in new schools or been contacted by state officials is 1,208, down from the 2,025 first reported late last month. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i’s rivers, streams polluted despite dry season. Every month, Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Blue Water Task Force analyzes samples of streams, rivers and surf spots across the island to check for the enterococcus bacterium, a federally recognized indicator of fecal presence in water. Garden Island.

These Kauaʻi businesses have bounced back from their COVID-era downturns. Mark Perriello is president and CEO of the Kauaʻi Chamber of Commerce. He said membership in the chamber declined 25% through the pandemic.  Hawaii Public Radio.

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