Friday, December 1, 2023

1st Native Hawaiian woman confirmed to federal bench, tourism spending down, 'Land and Power' author Cooper dead at 75, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate Confirms First Native Hawaiian Woman As US District Court Judge. Shanlyn Park, a former federal defender and current state court judge, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitor arrivals, spending fall for 3rd straight month. Last month, 734,582 tourists visited Hawaii, down 3.2% from October 2022, and down 7.7% from the pre-pandemic October 2019, according to preliminary statistics released  Thursday  by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

10 years later, Hawaii’s marriage equality law has overwhelming support. Saturday marks 10 years since marriage equality became law in Hawaii and helped reverse what had been overwhelming opposition locally and around the country for so-called same-sex marriage. Star-Advertiser.

What is modular construction and could now be the time for Hawaii to start using it? Tens of thousands of people across the islands are in need of housing, but the supply can’t seem to keep up with demand. Hawaii News Now.

The Money Is There, But This Restorative Justice Program Can’t Get It. The Legislature appropriated $200,000 to expand the program, but the Department of Public Safety says the bids for the funding haven't met requirements. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric Time-Of-Use Rates Pilot Set To Launch. The Shift and Save pilot, set to launch February 1, has been expanded to 16,000 customers on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island only. Big Island Video News.

‘Land And Power’ Author George Cooper Dead At 75.The 1985 book, written with Gavan Daws, is a seminal work about Hawaii politics and government. Civil Beat.


Condo Tower Fire Is Reminder Of Lack Of Sprinklers In Older Buildings. There were no sprinklers when a fire broke out Thursday, shooting flames and black smoke from the 14th floor of a condo tower in Ala Moana, but the residents knew what to do. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Incomplete police report, differing accounts: ‘Red flags’ questioned in crash involving HPD officer. According to police records, HPD Corp. Vasai Isala Jr. was on “last chance” probation when he recently slammed his subsidized vehicle into the back of a motorcyclist, seriously injuring the rider. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless residents in Honolulu wait years for support despite city's efforts. There are a little more than 6,000 homeless individuals statewide. Two-thirds of that population lives on Oahu. KITV4.

Kapiolani Medical Center nurses prepare informational picket as contract expires. More than 600 nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children will be working without a contact Friday. And even though they’re not going on strike, they will let management and the public know that they’re unhappy with the situation. Hawaii News Now.

City installing new gate at Koko Head to allow cars in earlier. The community area near Koko Head District could see less parking congestion from early morning hikers in mid-December.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Surf schools granted restraining order on lottery. Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order which will halt the issuing of permits by the DLNR for surf school operators at Kahalu‘u Bay. West Hawaii Today.

Volunteer firefighter sues county.
A Big Island volunteer firefighter who was injured in 2021 while battling a long-burning underground fire in Ka‘u has filed a lawsuit against the department and three ranking individuals. West Hawaii Today.


Reactions mixed on bill to incentivize long-term rentals. Feelings are mixed over Mayor Richard Bissen’s proposal to offer a property tax exemption for short-term rental owners to rent long term to wildfire survivors. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

EPA Completes Fire-Related Cleanup On Maui. Hazardous materials have been removed from Lahaina and Upcountry sites nearly three months after the fires. Civil Beat.

Kona low threatens Lahaina nearshore waters. This week’s Kona low storm was anticipated to be the first big rain in Lahaina since the wildfire that destroyed the heart of the historic town and left toxic ash and chemicals at risk of being washed into the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Kona low brings 10″ of rain at Keʻanae in East Maui; flooding results in impassible roads. Nearly 10 inches of rain – the highest rainfall total in the state – was recorded in United States Geological Survey’s rain gage near Keʻanae in a 24-hour period ending at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2023.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority floats Maui recovery plan. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is seeking public input on a Tourism Recovery Plan that supports Maui and the state in rebuilding the economy following the devastating Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed Lahaina and has dragged state visitor arrivals and spending below 2022’s level for three straight months. Star-Advertiser.

Unmanned commercial fishing sailboat grounds on Sugar Beach in Kīhei. During rainy weather sometime midday on Wednesday, a 46-foot commercial fishing sailboat called Ka Imi Kai broke loose from its anchor or mooring in Māʻalaea Bay and slowly drifted more than a 1/4-mile before grounding on Sugar Beach in Kīhei. Maui Now.


Theft cases dominate Kaua‘i court docket. Kaua‘i Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe heard various burglary and theft cases on Tuesday, Nov. 28, as some defendants pleaded guilty, others awaited the results of their mental fitness evaluations, while others failed to appear at all.  Garden Island.

Virtual community meeting for Coconut Marketplace Mobility Hub Plan set for Dec. 14. The County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development invites the public to a virtual meeting on transportation conditions and potential improvements in and around the Coconut Marketplace on the eastern shore of Kaua‘i. The meeting will be held on Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Kauai Now.

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