Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Safety stand-down at state psychiatric hospital after fatal stabbing, Maui managing director resigns, Maui Strong exec defends spending only 20% of $150M fund on fire victims so far, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Fatal stabbing triggers safety stand-down at Hawaii State Hospital.  State psychiatric hospital operations are in a 48-hour safety stand-down with heightened staffing after officials said a nurse employed by the state in a transitional group home on the hospital’s campus in Kaneohe was fatally stabbed by a patient Monday evening . Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Members of Hawaii police union’s board cleared of wrongdoing. Six current and one former board member of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing by the Honolulu Police Department after allegations of misdemeanor extortion were levied by an ousted union leader. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Department of Education seeks local food vendors for public schools. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is inviting interested vendors such as farmers and distributors to provide product information and feedback to assist in increasing locally sourced food in public schools. Maui Now.

Climate change report highlights health impacts, Hawaii’s wildfire risks. With altered rainfall patterns, rising ocean and air temperatures, and sea level rise, access to clean water and healthy food will become more challenging, researchers said. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian summit kicks off on Maui.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement on Tuesday kicked off its 22nd annual Native Hawaiian Convention at the Maui Arts &Cultural Center in Kahului. Star-Advertiser.


Planners to mull Oahu urban center plan updates. 
The Honolulu Planning Commission is expected to hold a public hearing today to consider updates to a nearly 20-year-old development document focused on the city’s prime urban areas. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae Wildfire Sparked After Hawaiian Electric Pole Falls In Heavy Winds. The utility says its new safety plan helped crews respond faster to the fire, but the incident raises more concerns about the lack of a power safety shutoff program. Civil Beat.

Waianae health center opens updated dental clinic. The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center unveiled a large expansion to the Harry &Jeanette Weinberg Dental Clinic at a grand opening ceremony Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Water safety advocates seek exception to commercial ban on North Shore. A restriction on commercial activities on certain Hawaii beaches is having a negative impact on businesses that teach water survival skills on the North Shore. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County Considers Acquisition Of Federal Property In North Kohala. The community has identified the Old Coast Guard Road as a priority to secure public access to the Honoipu/Puakea portion of the Ala Kahakai trail system. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi County Water Supply Prepares For Extended Drought
. Water Supply officials shared their drought strategy, as Severe Drought conditions persist across most of the Big Island. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Pōhakuloa Training Area brush fire at 300 to 500 acres, 60% containment. Pōhakuloa Training Area firefighters and Public Works continue efforts to apply wet lines and create firebreaks to manage the flow of the fire.  Big Island Now. Big Island Video News. KITV4.


Maui Managing Director, Kekuhaupio “Keku” Akana retiring. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen announced the retirement of Maui Managing Director, Kekuhaupio “Keku” Akana, effective Dec. 31, 2023. He was Mayor Richard Bissen’s first cabinet appointment following the 2022 elections.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Latest Lahaina victim, 78, identified as death toll grows to 100. Maui police released today the name of a Lahaina resident as among 100 confirmed Aug. 8 wildfire fatalities. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Executive overseeing $150M Maui Strong fund defends phased approach to disbursing aid. The foundation executive overseeing the $150 million “Maui Strong” fund is defending its careful approach to releasing the money. About 80% of its money is still in the bank, while some feel many people need more money now. Hawaii News Now.

In face of officer accounts, MPD chief again denies he knew about Lahaina deaths until following day.  Maui Police Chief John Pelletier is doubling down on the claim he was unaware anyone died in the Lahaina disaster until the day after the town burned. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Council considers lower water rates for residents affected by disasters. Recently introduced legislation would create new rates for residents whose homes were destroyed and for those in an area affected by an Unsafe Water Advisory. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui’s Shorthanded And Underpaid 911 Dispatchers Improvised During Lahaina Fire. A small team did their best to juggle a wave of calls and radio transmissions simultaneously. Despite their best efforts, many callers’ questions went unanswered.  Civil Beat.

Nascent Lahaina Land Trust Starts Building A Base Of Support. A panel discussion on opening day of the Native Hawaiian Convention on Maui explored ways to provide affordable housing by purchasing properties burned in the Aug. 8 wildfire. Civil Beat.

Kīhei fire extinguished, no structures damaged.  Maui fire crews quickly worked to knock down flames at brush fire reported in an empty lot in Kīhei on Tuesday afternoon.  Maui Now.

Disaster Area Residential Restrictions to be lifted for Zones 6B and 7A in West Maui. County of Maui Disaster Area Restrictions will be lifted on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, for owners and residents with vehicle passes in Zones 6B and 7A. Maui Now.


Jobless rate plunges to 2.4 percent on Kaua‘i. The unemployment rate on the island of Kaua‘i plunged to 2.4 percent in September from 3.7 percent in September 2022, according to monthly data released by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Garden Island.

Waimea Athletic Field restrooms closed from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. The closure of the restrooms is necessary for renovations. During this period, portable toilets will be available for use. Kauai Now.

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