Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Green sticks to Maui tourist reopening plan despite petitions, personal attacks; EPA approves Red Hill defueling plan, UH cloning pioneer Ryuzo Yanagimachi dies at 95, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Governor Sticks To Reopening West Maui To Tourists Next Week. A group of local activists and politicians delivered a petition with more than 14,000 signatures to Gov. Josh Green’s office on Tuesday, imploring him to put off reopening West Maui to tourism. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Governor’s absence fuels anger at West Maui anti-tourism rally. Governor: People threatening him are calling his personal cell, targeting his kids. The governor and First Lady Jaime Green say racist threats and harassment aimed at them increased after the wildfires and are even being sent directly to the governor’s personal cell phone. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Aquaculture Industry Is Set To Boom But It Needs State Help. Sales of Hawaii’s aquaculture products jumped by 12% in 2022 and production has more than tripled in the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bucking the statewide trend of declining agriculture. Civil Beat.

Nationwide emergency alert test set for Wednesday on phones, TV.  The test is slated to start at 8:20 a.m. Hawaii Time Wednesday. Associated Press. Hawaii Public Radio.  Big Island Now.

Hawaii DOE Names 2024 State Teacher Of The Year.
The Department of Education recognized Jackie Freitas for her dedication to her students and colleagues at Leilehua High School. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii cloning pioneer Ryuzo Yanagimachi dies at 95. Ryuzo Yanagimachi, a renowned University of Hawaii fertility researcher who created the technique to develop the world’s first cloned mouse, died last week at the age of 95. Star-Advertiser.


EPA approves Navy’s Red Hill defueling plan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it has approved the military’s plan to defuel the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, set to begin Oct. 16. Star-Advertiser.

New Vacancy Opens On Honolulu Salary Commission. David Hayakawa resigned from the volunteer commission last week due to his appointment to the First Circuit District Court. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Responds To ACLU Homelessness Lawsuit. Two months after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu over its policies on homeless encampments, the City has responded saying the allegations won’t hold up. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit-generating Palolo roadway reopens. Over a period of years, a Palolo Valley neighborhood reportedly suffered a slow but inexorable underground landslide that caused its roads to buckle, its hills to erode, its houses to slide, its waterlines to break and burst, and its retaining walls to crack and crash into neighboring properties. Star-Advertiser.

Queen’s specialized nurses picket for better contract. Dozens of specialized nurses held a picket Monday evening at The Queen’s Medical Center to express their frustration over lack of progress in their third month of contract negotiations. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae-Castle prep football game canceled following threats. A football game between Castle and Waianae high schools that was scheduled for Friday has been canceled to “prioritize the safety and well-being of our students,” the principals of both schools announced in a joint letter. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Managing Director To Retire At End Of 2023. Managing Director Lee Lord has announced that he will retire at the end of the year to assist in caring for aging family members.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

County settles suit over concealed-carry permit application. Hawaii County has come to an agreement with the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit who argued the county’s requirement he sign a waiver of liability for a background check as part of the concealed-carry firearms permit application violates his constitutional right to privacy. Tribune-Herald.

Council members mull plan to allow county to fix streets in private subdivisions — with caveats. A plan to allow Hawaii County to conduct maintenance on private subdivision roads received some tentative support Tuesday from County Council members. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County conducts park rules enforcement at Honl’s Beach. The Hawaiʻi County Department of Parks and Recreation, in coordination with the Hawaiʻi Police Department, the Office of Housing and Community Development, and various other State agencies and nongovernment service providers, conducted a park rules enforcement effort at Honl’s Beach in Kailua-Kona. Big Island Now.

Pepeekeo land eyed for preservation. A large tract of land along the Pepeekeo coast is being considered for Hawaii County acquisition and preservation. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Holds Town Hall In Pāhoa.
Mayor Mith Roth and his administration met with the Puna community in Pāhoa on Tuesday night, in a continuation of his ongoing town hall series that is being held across Hawaiʻi island. Big Island Video News.


State says it will likely take months before commercial boats can launch out of West Maui.
Mala Warf is the only remaining boat ramp in west Maui following the Aug. 8 fires. The Mala ramp is in the burn zone and is currently closed to the public, but the state says it hopes to reopen it within the next 30-60 days. Hawaii News Now.

Maui police raise county’s official wildfire death toll to 98
. Maui police updated the county’s official fire death toll to 98 on Tuesday, four days after a Lahaina woman’s family confirmed she had died from injuries sustained in the Aug. 8 wildfire. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

New Housing Program Launched To Assist Lahaina Fire Survivors. The $4 million pilot program will provide participants $375 per month per displaced person they house. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  Star-Advertiser. KITV4.  Civil Beat.

Owners at large Maui hotel-condo say they’re being forced to evict wildfire evacuees
. The state is investigating the Honua Kai Condominium Association, one of the largest hotel-condominiums in West Maui after some owners alleged they were being forced to evict wildfire evacuees. Hawaii News Now.

Restrictions to be lifted for Zones 2A, 2B and 2F including parts of Malo and Malalani streets, Kalani, Kekai and ʻĀinakea roads. Disaster area restrictions will be lifted on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, for owners and residents of Zones 2A, 2B and 2F. This includes parts of Malo St., Kalani Rd., Kekai Rd., ʻĀinakea Rd., and Malanai St. Maui Now. KITV4.

Could West Maui’s Old Cane Haul Road Have Helped More People Escape The Fire? A longstanding project to convert the alternate path into a paved trail and evacuation route has been stuck in "perpetual planning." Civil Beat.


Clean Energy series tackles potential waste incineration this Thursday, Saturday. The Kaua‘i County Council is considering pyrolysis, gasification and direct combustion of the island’s waste. Kauai Now.

Former county council candidate in legal trouble. Wally Nishimura, who allegedly abused a teenage family member earlier this year, appeared in Fifth Circuit Court on Tuesday, at which a date was set for him to either accept a guilty plea or head to trial. Garden Island.

KCC staff, volunteers work to keep Kauaʻi honey bees free of disease. Some of the state’s last honey bee colonies without disease are on Kauaʻi, and beekeepers are trying to keep it that way. Hawaii Public Radio.

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