Thursday, October 26, 2023

State budget director assembling Maui fire relief fund has conflict of interest in HECO stock, Inouye portrait unveiled at Capitol, Amazon to hire 500 in Honolulu, vacation rentals down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Budget Director’s Conflict Of Interest: He Owns HECO Stock. Luis Salaveria is helping plan an innovative Maui fire victims fund that could also help reduce Hawaiian Electric's liability. Civil Beat.

A Message From Hawaii To DC: ‘We Don’t Have Enough Money’. Local business and civic leaders made the rounds of key federal agencies this week in an effort to get more money and better policy decisions for Maui fire relief. Civil Beat.

Inouye portrait unveiled. A portrait of the late US Senator Daniel K. Inouye was unveiled Wednesday at the US Capitol, becoming the first portrait of a person of color in the US Senate’s leadership portrait series.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Demand, supply and prices were down for vacation rentals last month. Vacation rentals were down across the state last month compared to a year ago. Demand was lower, so was supply, and so were prices. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii developers pay to settle Fair Housing Act violation claims
.  Hawaii-based developers Albert C. Kobayashi, Stanford Carr Development and other defendants have agreed to pay $120,000 to settle federal claims they violated the Fair Housing Act when designing and building five Hawaii apartment complexes. Star-Advertiser.


Promise of rail-fueled revitalization cold comfort to Kalihi businesses struggling to stay afloat. The Honolulu Rail Authority is responding to complaints from Kalihi business owners who’ve been putting up with a utility relocation project for nearly a year. Officials say construction won’t be completed until March of 2031. Hawaii News Now.

Amazon continues Hawaii expansion with $415M investment, 500 new jobs for residents.
Amazon is revealing details of its much-anticipated expansion plans in Hawaii, saying that it plans to hire hundreds of people for a new facility in Sand Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Waikiki Shell slated for renovations. The iconic shell-shaped outdoor venue on the edge of Waikiki that’s played host to hula festivals, music concerts and other entertainment events for nearly 70 years is expected to undergo major improvements in the future. Star-Advertiser.

New plaque unveiled at Kapaemahu stones. The City and County of Honolulu held a blessing this week at the Healer Stones of Kapaemahu, where a new plaque was unveiled that includes a QR code to an online website with additional history and information. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hilo wastewater plant upgrades could start next summer. The Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee voted last week to approve a bill that would issue a general obligation bond totaling $187 million, $100 million of which would go toward the Hilo wastewater plant’s rehabilitation, although county Finance Director Deanna Sako said at the time that some of the $100 million also could be directed toward other wastewater facilities around the island. Tribune-Herald.

New $46 million housing complex helps fill ‘a tremendous and urgent need’ for Waikoloa. A new affordable rental housing complex has opened in Waikoloa Village for qualifying families and kupuna. Tribune-Herald.

Army Engineers Push Forward With WWII Bomb Survey On Big Island. The bullets and bombs were left on the range there 80 years ago, but the U.S. military is still cleaning up the mess. Civil Beat.

Leonard: KWXX Hoʻolauleʻa cancelled due to denial of road closure permits. The 28th KWXX Hoʻolauleʻa, scheduled for January in downtown Hilo, has been cancelled, according to Chris Leonard, president and general manager of New West Broadcasting Corp. Tribune-Herald.


New Maui fire relief program draws high interest. A special effort to deliver more financial assistance to families with dependent children on Maui who lost property or income due to the Aug. 8 wildfires is being met with exceptional demand. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Want To Plant Invasive Grasses To Control Soil After Maui Fires. USDA officials said with no vegetation left on thousands of acres, there's a need to prevent sedimentation before the wet season arrives. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Overpass For Kulanihakoi High School Slated For December 2025. An underpass construction would provide more accessibility for students, the Kihei Community Association said. Civil Beat.


Longest predator exclusion fence in the nation completed on Kaua‘i. The 11,200-foot-long predator exclusion fence on Kauaʻi is located along the perimeter of the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Kauai Now.

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