Thursday, November 2, 2023

State lawmakers lay out wildfire prevention roadmap, one more Maui fire victim identified, evidence released in advance of HPD crash trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lawmakers Propose ‘Bold Action’ To Address Wildfire Risk. The Aug. 8 Maui fires have created “one of the largest public policy challenges that Hawaii has ever faced,” state lawmakers said Wednesday in laying out details in six preliminary reports aimed at providing a roadmap for the 2024 Legislature to follow in addressing shortcomings in the state’s wildfire prevention and management efforts. Civil Beat.

Wildfire named Hawaii’s top hazard in new report. The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency released the recently updated State Hazard Mitigation Plan on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Recent laser incidents on Kauai, Maui prompt FBI warning. Pilots are reporting several laser-pointing incidents while landing at airports on Kauai and Maui, prompting warnings by the FBI and police that those responsible face federal prosecution.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

UH Foundation launches $1 billion fundraising drive.  The University of Hawaii Foundation on Wednesday launched the public phase of an ambitious $1 billion fundraising campaign aimed at support for students, UH research, Native Hawaiian stewardship, sustainability, Hawaii’s workforce, community engagement and innovation and entrepreneurship. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Family celebrates as Hawaii woman stuck in Gaza gains her freedom. Family members of Ramona Okumura were celebrating Wednesday after the 71-year-old aid worker originally from Hawaii was whisked out of war-torn Gaza to safety in Egypt. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Tribune-Herald.  KHON2.


Prosecutors detail evidence ahead of trial against 4 HPD officers in near-fatal crash. The city Prosecutor’s Office has revealed some of the evidence they plan to show the jury in the upcoming trial for four Honolulu police officers. Officers Joshua Nahulu is charged with collision involving serious bodily injury. Officers Erik Smith, Jake Bartolome and Robert Lewis are charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Confirms New Member Of Police Commission. Jeannine Souki replaces Shannon Alivado, who stepped down in October. Civil Beat.

Two New Liquor Commissioners Confirmed By Honolulu Council. The Honolulu City Council confirmed two new liquor commissioners on Wednesday, updating the membership of a body that has been a subject of controversy in recent years.  Civil Beat.

Helicopters continue dropping water on Mililani Mauka wildfire. A wildfire in Central Oʻahu has grown to cover more than a square mile in a remote mountainous area and has burned native koa and ʻōhiʻa trees, officials said.  Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Jewish temple in Nuuanu beefs up security. The largest Jewish temple in Hawaii is trying to raise $50,000 to pay for armed guards and enhanced security in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lab-Grown Corals Help Restore Damaged Reef In Hanauma Bay
. The project demonstrated how it may be possible to restore larger areas much more quickly than would happen naturally. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Council passes resolution to strengthen island's fire department. The Hawaiʻi County Council passed a resolution urging Mayor Mitch Roth to increase the capacity of and funding for the Hawaiʻi Fire Department. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council takes step toward more South Kohala affordable housing. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing the director of finance to negotiate a 68-year lease with Pacific Housing Assistance Corporation/Kamakoa Nui Limited Partnership to develop Na Hale Makoa in Waikoloa Village. Tribune-Herald.

Kalaoa Solar Project meeting on Nov. 13, open to public. The public is invited to attend an informational meeting about the Kalaoa Solar Project, a proposed 40-acre renewable energy facility on state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property in Kalaoa. West Hawaii Today.

Car dealership to occupy property currently housing Millie’s Deli, New Saigon restaurant. A plan by a Hilo car dealership to relocate to a new location blindsided business owners who say they weren’t told that the building they sublease was being sold. Tribune-Herald.


Maui police identify Lahaina man, 76, as latest fire fatality. Lee Rogo, 76, was publicly identified after his family was notified. Of the 99 confirmed fatalities, 98 have been publicly identified after notification of next of kin. One victim has not been identified. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Native Hawaiians and commercial boat operators clash over Lahaina Harbor, Mala Wharf future. The Maui Arts and Cultural Center was packed on Wednesday with people who are passionate about protecting West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

W. Maui hotel occupancy still mostly residents.
Occupancy rates down but room revenue, daily rates highest in state. Maui News.

Developers: Rising mortgage rates threaten Maui’s wildfire recovery. Prominent Maui developer Everett Dowling is responding by making big changes to one project that was already in the pipeline towards construction.  To keep the project alive while Maui is desperate for new housing, Dowling’s company is proposing dropping the plan from 54 buildings with homes for sale to a simpler, six-building layout with 202 rentals. Hawaii News Now.

Chefs Anticipate Even More Demand To Feed Maui Months After Wildfires. Farm owners and feeding operations are preparing to be in it for the long haul. Civil Beat.


Celebrate Arbor Day on Kaua‘i with tree giveaway, more on Nov. 4. The Kauaʻi Landscape Industry Association will host a tree giveaway, educational booths and keiki planting zone at the Kukui Grove Center in Līhuʻe this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Kauai Now.


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