Thursday, October 5, 2023

Iconic Hawaii license plate not retiring after all, tech billionaire Ellison testifies on Island Air bankruptcy, cleanup begins on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaii rainbow license plate won’t be retiring after all. Good news for fans of the iconic Hawaii rainbow license plate — the state’s rainbow license plate lives on. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Tech Billionaire Larry Ellison Makes A Rare Appearance In A Hawaii Court. Larry Ellison, the man who owns most of Lanai, was forced to testify in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii on Wednesday in an ongoing civil case about the 2017 bankruptcy of his now-shuttered airline, Island Air.  The fourth-richest man in the world testified in federal court Wednesday that he would have saved Island Air if he knew it would suddenly collapse in 2017 without paying its workers. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Illegal drugs are getting smuggled into Hawaii in record numbers. Here’s how. Drug smugglers are finding ways to sneak their products into Hawaii in record amounts, experts say. Hawaii News Now.

State applies for $9.9M in HUD grants for affordable housing. According to the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, whose partners include the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority, the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation and the Governor’s Housing Team, the application will help unlock the production of at least 10,800 new housing units within the next six years. Over time and with additional infrastructure, the proposal aims to unlock up to 30,000 new units.  Maui Now.

Nominees For Hawaii Federal Judge Positions Face US Senate Hearing. State Court Judge Shanlyn Park and Assistant U.S. Attorney Micah Smith both fit President Joe Biden's mold for judgeships as he tries to diversify the federal bench. Civil Beat.

Sports community mourns the loss of former UH Football Head Coach Bob Wagner. His death, which comes after recent health challenges, was announced Wednesday. He was 76. His family said he died peacefully at home on Hawaii Island on Tuesday night. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.


Bills on gaming, parking advance. The council voted unanimously Wednesday to pass on first readings Bill 57 and 58, which are meant to aid law enforcement efforts to close the 100 gambling parlors that Honolulu Police Department says operate somewhere on the island each day. Star-Advertiser.

Restricted Parking Zone Bill Passes Honolulu Council, But There Are Catches. Residents near beaches and legal hiking trails will not be able to restrict parking in their neighborhoods. Civil Beat.

Critics claim Navy ‘caught in a lie’ about air quality monitors installed before de-fueling. The Navy is installing roughly 52 air quality monitors. 12 of them will be at or near Red Hill and 40 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. But critics say the Navy initially lied about it. Hawaii News Now.

Kamalani Academy Charter School Still Faces An Uncertain Future. Parents and teachers have criticized the lack of information about plans for the school and changes in leadership. Civil Beat.

Former Punahou coach indicted on 5 more charges child sex crimes. Former Punahou basketball Coach Dwayne Yuen is now facing five more charges of child sex crimes after three more alleged victims came forward. Hawaii News Now.

Evicted Micronesian family says landlord failed to fix rat-infested Honolulu apartment. A six-unit apartment building in Honolulu’s McCully neighborhood is the focus of a recent tenant dispute. Advocates say the case is an example of broader housing issues facing Micronesians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hour-long grounding of flights at Honolulu airport now lifted. All flights in and out of the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu that were temporarily grounded due to a medical emergency in the control tower have been lifted, state officials said. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council members hear presentation about wildfire concerns facing Hawaii County. During a presentation before a County Council committee Tuesday, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno and Fire Chief Kazuo Todd discussed the impacts of the August wildfires and how Hawaii County might be able to avoid a disaster in the future. Tribune-Herald.

North Kona subdivision developers to seek extension
. At issue is a requested 10-year extension to complete the proposed 450-unit Royal Vistas multiple family housing project planned mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, between Kona Vistas and Pualani Estates subdivisions. West Hawaii Today.

Pair of Hamakua bridges due for repairs. The County Council Finance Committee approved a resolution Tuesday that would allow the county to accept $6 million through the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to conduct minor repairs on the Honoli‘i and Kaiwilahilahi stream bridges north of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.


Council to hold special meeting on debris removal bill. The Maui County Council will hold a special council meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday on a debris removal bill and a regular council meeting at 9 a.m. on amending the fiscal year 2024 budget and other matters, Council Chairwoman Alice Lee announced. Maui News.

Office of Recovery outlines key focus areas in wake of fire. Maui County’s Office of Recovery has been speaking to other communities who have also been affected by wildfires and has set six key areas it will focus on, its manager said on Tuesday. Maui News.

EPA urges use of toxic-dust control agent in Lahaina. Despite concerns about cleanup activities, wind and rain sending toxic ash into the air and ocean following the devastating Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire, Maui County is waiting until owners and residents have been able to visit their homes and properties in burned areas before applying a polymer product to control dust and runoff. Star-Advertiser.

Authorities begin removing boats from Lahaina harbor. State and federal agencies on Maui have begun removing boats from Lahaina Harbor nearly two months after the deadly wildfire that destroyed most of the town. Star-Advertiser.

Maui fire cleanup complicated by island logistics, cultural significance. Cleanup of areas destroyed in the Maui wildfires could end up being one of the most complex to date, federal officials said, given the island's significant cultural sites, its rich history including a royal residence and possibly remains of people who died in the disaster. Associated Press.

Maui farmers want to steer the island away from its dependency on tourism after the fires. Farmers are among the many groups directly impacted by losses in Maui’s food industry from the Aug. 8 fires. Many are looking at this as a chance to reset and reprioritize what powers the island economically. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Gets Federal Funding Boost In Mental Health Support For Maui Fire Victims. While concerns mount about the psychological stress fire victims are experiencing, officials say there has not been an increase in suicide rates. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Drones to take aim at coconut rhinoceros beetles at Wailua golf course. A troublesome group of beetles have taken up residence at a local golf course, where hi-tech measures are soon to be taken to evict the pesky insects. Garden Island.

‘Lawmakers Listen’ Town Hall with Rep. Luke Evslin, House leadership coming to Kaua‘i. House Representative Luke A. Evslin (D-16 Wailua, Hanamā‘ulu, Kapaia, Līhu‘e , Puhi, portion of ‘Ōma‘o) is inviting Kaua‘i residents to a ‘Lawmakers Listen’ Town Hall on Oct. 10, where residents will have an opportunity to engage with House leadership and the Kaua‘i delegation. Kauai Now.

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