Friday, October 6, 2023

Senate committee mulls Hawaii nominees to US District Court, Native Hawaiian Convention moved to Maui, Hawaiian Electric liability insurance a small fraction of damages, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi nominees to US District Court considered at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Micah Smith, an assistant U.S. attorney, and Judge Shanlyn Park, State of Hawaiʻi court judge, were introduced by US Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday to the US Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing to consider their nominations to the US District Court for the District of Hawai‘i. Maui Now. Kauai Now.

22nd Annual Native Hawaiian Convention moved to Maui to ‘uplift local voices’.
  In a significant decision aimed at amplifying the voices of the people of Maui, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has chosen to relocate its highly anticipated 22nd Annual Native Hawaiian Convention from Oʻahu to Maui.  Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric’s insurance is fraction of potential fire claims. Hawaiian Electric has $165 million in annual general liability insurance, according to a filing with state regulators, compared with the $4.9 billion in potential claims estimated by research firm Capstone. Bloomberg News.

Hawaii school board OK’s requests for bigger operating, facilities budgets. The state school board on Wednesday approved requests to the state Legislature for an additional $198.2 million for the Hawaii public schools’ operating budget and an added $273 million for capital improvement projects for next fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Ag Corp. Is Putting Up Remainder Of Its Land For Lease. Just over 3,000 acres of unused land owned by the Agribusiness Development Corp. will soon be up for lease, as it opens up the remainder of its land portfolio.  Civil Beat.

Interim rule restricts movement of palms from Oahu. A new interim rule restricting the interisland movement of palms and other plant materials in Hawaii is now in place to help contain the destructive coconut rhinoceros beetle. Star-Advertiser. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.


EPA declares end to consent degree requiring upgrades at Kapolei landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the completion of required upgrades to the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, ending a dozen years of federal scrutiny and oversight aimed at bringing Oahu’s only municipal landfill into compliance with laws designed to protect public health and natural ecosystems. Star-Advertiser.

Council bans sale of flavored tobacco products. The Honolulu City Council on a split vote Wednesday passed a measure to prohibit sales of flavored tobacco products in an effort to keep them out of the hands of Oahu’s youth. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Earthquake rates increase overnight beneath Kīlauea summit region. The area just south of Kīlauea’s summit is showing signs of elevated unrest as earthquake rates beneath the region increased overnight from less than 10 earthquakes per day to over 140 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday. Big Island Now.

Police: Increased presence at Keaau High School after social media threat. Police have initiated a first-degree terroristic threatening investigation after being informed of an anonymous threat made involving Keaau High School. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Hawaiʻi County’s new animal control director used to care for frogs, elephants, gorillas. Veterinarian technician Matthew Runnells has worked at prestigious zoos, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida, providing care to dart frogs, African elephants and a 345-pound gorilla who needed a pacemaker. Big Island Now.


The Maui Fires Have Put A $31 Million Hole In This Year’s County Budget. Council members will consider the mayor's plan to fill the gap, which includes proposed cuts to the fire department. Civil Beat.

State Investigation Into Maui Fires Has Been Quietly Moving Along. Now It’s Going Public. The large number of deaths makes understanding what happened in Lahaina a national concern, investigators say. Civil Beat.

Former MPD assistant chief: Agency didn’t follow its own ‘all hazard’ plan in Lahaina disaster. Nearly two months after a ferocious fire tore through Lahaina, a recently retired Maui police commander is raising doubts about whether the Maui Police Department followed its own emergency action plan during the disaster. Hawaii News Now.

Concerns Grow Over How To Control Toxic Ash As Re-Entry To Lahaina Picks Up. The Environmental Protection Agency is awaiting county approval to deploy Soiltac, a dust suppressant with glue-like qualities that the agency says is safe to use. Civil Beat.

High-tech surveys off Lahaina begin as ‘catastrophic’ impact to reef, near-shore waters feared. The devastation in Lahaina isn’t just above ground. And researchers say the waters and reefs off the town could be impacted for years to come. Hawaii News Now.

Disaster Area Restrictions lifted at Zones 3A, 3B & 3C for parts of Wahikuli, ʻĀinakea and Fleming roads. Disaster area restrictions will be lifted on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 9 and 10, for owners and residents of Zones 3A, 3B and 3C. This includes parts of Wahikuli, ʻĀinakea and Fleming roads. Maui Now. KHON2.

Minimal tourists expected for West Maui reopening. People both supporting and criticizing Sunday’s official planned reopening of tourism to West Maui should not expect an “onslaught” of visitors. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

The tourism industry wants visitors to educate themselves before heading to West Maui. Lahaina is still off limits. That’s the message to visitors ahead of West Maui’s tourism reboot Sunday.  Hawaii News Now.

DOE outlines safety plan as Lahaina schools set to reopen. As Lahaina’s three remaining public schools open to teachers today for the first time since the Aug. 8 wildfire, and their students return on a staggered schedule starting Oct. 16, state education officials announced that a new “safety plan” has been created in case of emergencies and evacuations, 300 air filters are being distributed to classrooms and offices, and each campus will have a “designated administrator” responsible for daily monitoring of air quality. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i County Council debates ambulance contract controversy. The Kaua‘i County Council passed a resolution urging the state Department of Health (DOH) to continue with a longtime emergency service provider on Wednesday, Oct. 4, amid protests surrounding the decision to switch to a new provider. Garden Island.

Domestic passenger solid in September at Lihu‘e Airport. The number of people getting off domestic passenger flights at Lihu‘e Airport inched past 63,000 in September, which was enough to mark the second highest total for the month at the transportation hub. Garden Island.

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