Thursday, February 29, 2024

Report IDs brownwater discharge sites, billionaire Benioff on Hawaii Island land-buying spree, midwives sue state over right to practice, Maui selects dumpsite for fire debris, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Chronically polluted beaches in Hawaii continue trend, Surfrider report finds. The nonprofit’s 2023 “Hawaii Water Quality Report” found that stream mouths, beaches with freshwater outlets, and bays without much circulation typically have higher bacteria levels. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers: Cracking down on illegal vacation rentals won’t solve housing crisis.
Lawmakers trying to find solutions to the decades-old vacation rental conflict say the answer is not cracking down on illegal rentals, but getting owners to walk away from lucrative rental businesses operating legally. Hawaii News Now.

Senate Bill Would Boost Salary Cap For Hawaii Schools Chief To $300K
. Lawmakers have to address the superintendent's pay range this year before the current law expires. Civil Beat.

Bill seeking to crack down on drunk driving advances; SB2384 proposes lowering the legal BAC to 0.05%. Senate Bill 2384, which proposes to lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for driving from 0.08% to 0.05%, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maui Now.

Owners might face felony charges in dog attacks. Owners of vicious dogs that cause serious injury or death would face felony charges instead of petty misdemeanors under proposed legislation. Star-Advertiser.

Bill meant to combat overcrowding in jails stalled. A bill that would have required police to give out citations instead of arrests for certain misdemeanor crimes has stalled. The judiciary committee decided Wednesday the bill addressing overcrowded jails– will not move forward. KHON2.

Hawai‘i state law restricting midwives challenged in court. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation filed a case in the First Circuit Court of Hawai’i challenging a new Midwifery Restriction Law that is preventing pregnant people in Hawai’i from using skilled midwives for their pregnancies and births, as they have for generations. Maui News. Hawaii Public Radio.

State seeks input on proposed changes to forest stewardship program rules. The state’s Forest Stewardship Program provides technical advice as well as financial assistance on a cost-share basis so private landowners can more effectively manage, protect and restore important natural resources on their properties. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Electric delays launch of new solar, energy storage programs one month to make refinements. Hawaiian Electric will postpone the launch of its new rooftop solar and energy storage programs by one month while the company makes changes approved by the Public Utilities Commission, the company announced. Maui Now.


Kaneshiro trial won’t be postponed despite investigation into threat against judge. An upcoming bribery trial against Honolulu’s former top prosecutor won’t be delayed despite an ongoing investigation into allegations that a defendant threatened the judge who had been presiding over the case, which prompted his unexpected recusal last month.The trial of former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and those accused of bribing him will begin next month. Associated Press. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Salary Commission looks at creating a compensation schedule to retain city workers. The Honolulu Salary Commission wants to give councilmembers and top department officials a 3.59% raise for the upcoming fiscal year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council adopts ‘monster homes’ measure. Cracking down on those who build so-called monster homes on Oahu is the purpose of a new city measure the Honolulu City Council unanimously adopted Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s On The Hook For Another $100K Defending Ex-Cops Sued Over Makaha Crash. The officers, who were fired this month by the Honolulu Police Department, are also facing criminal charges. Civil Beat.

A Bar Fight Could Cost A Former Miske Co-Defendant His Kaneohe Home. A federal judge who reviewed a video of the fight says there is no doubt that Michael Buntenbah attacked a man in a bar in January, violating the conditions of his bail. Civil Beat.

Long road to completion may be nearing end for a Maili highway bridge project. When work began to fix the Maipalaoa Bridge on Farrington Highway in Maili, it was considered to be one of the most dangerous bridges in the state. The work is still ongoing nearly nine years later. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A tech billionaire is quietly buying up land in Hawaii
. No one knows why. Marc Benioff, the CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Salesforce, one of the world's largest software companies, which owns the popular messaging service Slack and is worth nearly $300 billion. He also owns Time magazine. National Public Radio.

Pending OK, new BI cable provider could come online by March. Hawaiian Telcom applied in December for a 15-year cable television franchise in Hawaii County, which, if approved, would make the company the second cable provider cleared to operate on the island, after Spectrum. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Visitation Increases In 2023. The National Park Service says 1,620,294 people visited the park in 2023, a nearly 2.5% increase from the year before. Big Island Video News.


Central Maui Property Chosen As Permanent Dump Site For Lahaina Fire Debris. More traffic is expected but survey results found the community prioritized its distance from the ocean, schools and homes. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

‘That’s A Lot Of Money’: Maui Council Signs Off On Funding For Private Security In Lahaina Burn Zone. Members grilled officials over the cost of staffing 63 guards at 13 checkpoints, and the administration said the next contract will go out to bid. Civil Beat.

A $1.5M settlement offer for Lahaina fire victims and families opens this week.
Here's what to know. Those who lost loved ones in the Lahaina fire will be able to apply for a $1.5 million settlement on Friday. However, the state Legislature has not yet approved the funds for the program. Hawaii Public Radio.


Hawai‘i lawmakers vow to tackle homelessness, housing shortages at Līhu‘e community meeting. At a town hall meeting in Līhu‘e on Monday, State Coordinator on Homelessness John Mizuno vowed that Hawai‘i’s rates of homelessness would be cut in half by 2026, as he, along with State Rep. Luke Evslin and Hawai‘i House Majority Leader Nadine Nakamura presented upcoming strategies for combating homelessness and housing shortages across the Garden Isle and state. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i Fire to partner with Red Cross to install free smoke alarms as part of pilot program. The Kaua‘i Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau is partnering with the Kaua‘i Red Cross to visit Garden Isle homes and install free smoke alarms in Kaumakani. Kauai Now.

Betty Bell, Kauai medical pioneer who ‘touched many lives,’ dies at 96. A woman who quite literally helped build the framework of medical care for Garden Island residents has died. Betty June Bell died on Feb. 18 at the age of 96. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Legislature mulls tax breaks, panel rejects UH Regents chair, Green releases $175M plan for Maui fire victims, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Counties Fight To Keep Excise Tax As Lawmakers Advance Other Relief Measures. Measures that won preliminary approval in the House Finance Committee would increase standard deductions and adjust tax brackets for inflation. Civil Beat.

Senate Panel Rejects Confirmation Of Interim UH Regents Chair. By a unanimous vote, the Hawaii Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday rejected the nomination of Alapaki Nahale-a to serve a four-year term on the University of Hawaii board of regents. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Maui Fires: Money For Victims, Housing For Survivors Are Hawaii Governor’s Priorities in $175M package. Gov. Josh Green renewed threats of a moratorium on vacation rentals in West Maui, citing a need for 850 long-term rentals. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Associated Press.  Maui Now.  KITV4.

A bill restoring counties’ regulation of tobacco products may die in state House.
A measure that would restore the counties’ power to regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes appears to be stalled in the House Finance Committee, and it may die there Wednesday if no action is taken. Maui Now.

Report finds increase in Hawaiʻi's small farm closures, yet remaining prove profitable. Hawaiʻi lost hundreds of its smallest farms and thousands of acres in recent years, but local agriculture has been “significantly” more profitable. Those are some of the findings in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, which was released this month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Agency disputes affordable housing loss projection. A risk assessment of potential Hawaii affordable housing losses presented Tuesday at the Legislature is overblown, according to a state agency that helps finance such housing. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature tries to play catchup on drone technology. A pair of bills in the state Legislature would establish “misuse of uncrewed aircraft” as a felony offense in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Lawsuit filed to protect midwifery in Hawaiʻi.
A lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation an the Center for Reproductive Rights challenging a midwifery law that they say is preventing pregnant people in Hawaiʻi from using skilled midwives for their pregnancies and births, as they have for generations.  Maui Now.

Bill to create alert program for missing kūpuna advances in the House. The House Finance Committee advanced a bill on Monday that would create a statewide alert system for missing kūpuna with cognitive impairments or developmental disabilities. Hawaii Public Radio.


HART postpones discussion on scrapping internal audit. A call to scrap a previously sought top-down internal review of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation was postponed this week. Star-Advertiser.

Revised plan extends moving period for outgoing Ulu Ke Kukui tenants
having to find shelter by late February. The Ulu Ke Kukui apartments, which sit on Hawaiian Home Lands, are being repurposed into long-term affordable rentals for Native Hawaiians on the DHHL waiting list. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Merrie Monarch organizers release 2024 list of participating halau, judges. On Tuesday, organizers announced on Instagram who will be competing and presiding over the world’s biggest Hula competition. Hawaii News Now.

Surveyors to assess topography of Waipi‘o Valley Road for future safety improvements.
Safety improvements on Waipiʻo Valley Road are slated to begin March 4. Control Point Surveying will conduct comprehensive surveying work to facilitate the enhancement of safety measures of the county roadway. Big Island Now.

Fire Closes Puʻuʻeo Community Center In Hilo. The Pu‘u‘eo Community Center at Clem Akina Park in Hilo is closed for the week, following a fire that damaged the building over the weekend.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Certified global, drink it local: Beer pros place Keaau business among ‘Best New Breweries of the Year’. Wailuku Brew Works in Shipman Business Park has been in business only seven months.  Tribune-Herald.


Bill to establish a nine-member Lele Community District Board for burned Lahaina lands heads to decision making. While the measure puts key decision making in the hands of elected Lahaina community members, some opposed to the bill worry that establishing a new authority under the department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority lacks precedent and raises concerns about centralizing power away from the affected community. Maui Now.

Temporary Kamehameha III Elementary School campus transferred to DOE, set to open April 1. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced on Tuesday the successful installation and turnover of the newly constructed temporary campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary School students to the Hawai‘i State Department of Education. Maui Now. KHON2.

Kalaupapa Tours Remain Shut Down 4 Years After Pandemic Closure.
One would-be tour provider said the National Park Service has revoked the application process for companies that want to reinstate tours of the isolated peninsula on Molokai. Civil Beat.


Kauai Fire Deals $20 Million Blow To Affordable Housing.
The controversial project was nearing completion when it burned down over the weekend. Civil Beat.

Tour helicopter crashes on remote Kaua‘i beach, injuring one passenger.
According to a preliminary report, a Jack Harter helicopter carrying one pilot and four passengers crashed at Honopū Beach, with one passenger suffering a back injury. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Housing top of mind for Legislature, DHHL, Maui to allocate $13M police COVID hazard pay, Green lobbies Washington for aid for Lahaina, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Almost 12,000 affordable homes in Hawaii could be lost over next 20 years, study says. AARP Hawai‘i commissioned the study from Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America, and is scheduled to brief two legislative committees today on results. Star-Advertiser.

DHHL changes $600M spending plan to prioritize acquired land development. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is making last-minute changes to its spending plan for the $600 million the agency needs to encumber by the end of June.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Why The State’s Housing Working Group Is Being Dissolved. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. is taking over for the Build Beyond Barriers Working Group. Civil Beat.

Maui costs may lead to budget cuts for state departments
. There are serious budget cuts on the table for state departments. In a memo, the Chairman of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee asked department heads to propose 10% and 15% budget reductions to cover soaring costs from the Maui wildfires. KHON2.

Gov. Josh Green lobbies for more federal aid for Lahaina. Green said his visit with the nation's top leaders paid off because the feds have agreed to pay more than $40 million to get people out of hotels and into condos. KITV4.

On eve of roll-out, fund for wildfire deaths still awaits legislative approval. The Governor’s “One Ohana Fund” aims to pay $1.5 million each to families of people who died or were seriously injured in the Maui wildfire. Hawaii News Now.

Statewide survey shows strong public support for protecting natural resources. A statewide survey commissioned by the Care for ‘Āina Now coalition, formerly known as the Hawai‘i Green Fee Coalition, shows strong support for state funding of legislative bills to fund natural resource stewardship, the coalition announced. Maui Now.

Measure calls for homeless triage center.  A homeless triage center would be established within the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the state Department of Health under a proposal advancing at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i lawmakers to hold public hearing on vicious dog bill. Bills that would increase the penalties for owners whose dogs have seriously injured or killed someone are moving through the State Legislature with a public hearing scheduled this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Big Island Now.

State measure to help combat invasive two-line spittlebug.
The State House of Representatives Committee on Finance took up a measure on Thursday to fund mitigation and control of the two-lined spittlebug, an invasive pest that has destroyed thousands of acres of pasture land on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.


Federal Judge Says He’ll Rule Soon On Motions In Kaneshiro Bribery Case. The trial against former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and those accused of trying to bribe him with campaign donations, including businessman Dennis Mitsunuaga, is currently scheduled for March 12.  Civil Beat.

HART board to consider scrapping internal audit. Plans to scrap a previously sought top-down internal review of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation are expected for review today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police fire 3 officers in Makaha crash case. Three Honolulu Police Department officers awaiting trial for allegedly causing a high-speed chase and crash and covering it up in Makaha in September 2021 were fired by the department. Star-Advertiser.

Green ‘super concerned’ about petroleum-based detections in water at 7 Hawaii schools. There’s growing concern after seven public schools in the Pearl Harbor area showed detections of petroleum-based chemicals. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Big Island cable market could see fresh face. The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will hold public meetings in Hilo and Kailua-Kona today to solicit feedback about a plan by Hawaiian Telcom to enter the island’s cable television market. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.


Maui settles COVID hazard pay grievance with police for $13 million.
Less than a month after an arbitrator ruled that thousands of state workers were owed COVID-19 hazard pay for their efforts during the pandemic, the County of Maui settled a grievance with the Maui Police Department for about $13 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  KHON2.

No high levels of bacteria found off of West Maui in five months following Lahaina wildfire. Ocean water quality samples taken from seven sites off the Lahaina burn zone showed no high bacteria levels five months after the Aug. 8 wildfires, according to the 2023 Blue Water Task Force water quality report released by the Surfrider Foundation Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Maui police arrest 13-year-old for alleged threat at Kalama; Investigation remains active at Baldwin and ʻĪao schools. A 13-year-old girl was arrested for Terroristic Threatening in connection with an alleged threat at Kalama Intermediate School.  Police say an investigation revealed the teen was responsible for the Kalama threat and she was arrested at approximately 3:20 p.m.  Civil Beat. Maui Now.  KITV4.


Big crowd turns out for Waimea Town Celebration. Hundreds of people collected at the Waimea Product Fair under the shade of the old sugar mill to wrap up the 47th Waimea Town Celebration over the weekend. Garden Island.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Green kills affordable housing working group, HECO looking to shareholders, rate payers to shoulder Maui fire costs, De Fries tapped to lead Mauna Kea stewardship authority, Hawaiian Airlines welcomes first Dreamliner, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green kills controversial Hawaii housing group. Gov. Josh Green on Friday abolished his controversial, seven- month Build Beyond Barriers Working Group intended to accelerate the development of affordable housing across the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Who Will Pay For Maui Fire Property Damage? Look For A ‘Fund 2’ Hawaiian Electric Industries' president and chief executive has said the company may look at "shareholder contributions" and new fees on customers to help cover claims. Civil Beat.

Senate WAM advances bills on ag, environment, workforce development, education and housing. The Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Friday advanced several bills aimed at addressing key priorities for the Senate. These bills cover areas of supporting the local agriculture industry, protecting the environment against invasive species, building the workforce for the future through public education, and addressing the affordable housing shortage. Maui Now.

Bill to require citations for misdemeanors, including DUI, draws criticism at the legislature. House Bill 1601 would require officers to basically write a ticket for misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and violations. But misdemeanors include crimes like driving under the influence and domestic abuse. Hawaii News Now.

These proposed bills will charge hikers for their rescues. ‘It needs to happen this year,’ hiker rescue bills moving through house and senate. Lawmakers estimate there are about 1,000 rescues every year costing taxpayers $1,000 to $2,500 per helicopter rescue. KHON2.

Senate bill seeks testing, data, during brown water beach days.
Under current protocol, DOH issues brown water advisories after visual detection following heavy rain events, but does not actually sample or test waters at affected beaches. Star-Advertiser.

Paid family leave bill gains support from advocates seeking 'basic safety net' for workers. The program is an insurance-based model -- both employers and employees would pay into a state trust fund through payroll deductions which would pay a percentage of the wages for people who take paid family leave for up to 12 weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

License plates considered for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. A renewed call to create special license plates to honor veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars remains alive under Senate Bill 2731, which was carried over from last legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii digital equity plan undergoes federal review. A plan aiming to ensure universal internet access and reduce the “digital divide” in Hawaii is now undergoing federal review by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which would provide funding to the state for community programs and projects dedicated to improving digital equity. Star-Advertiser.

Vice presidential possibility adds to Tulsi Gabbard’s mystique. Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s name on the short list of Donald Trump’s candidates for vice president only adds to the enigmatic political career of a former rising star of the Democratic Party who later denounced Democrats and sued Hillary Clinton for $50 million for defamation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines welcomes its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The arrival of Hawaiian Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner marks a milestone in the airlines’ 94-year history and a major investment in the future for the local carrier as it heads toward combining with Alaska Airlines. Star-Advertiser.

German military coming to Hawaii. The German military is planning a series of deployments to the Pacific this summer, and is looking at possibly setting up a permanent military liaison position in Hawaii at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as it refines its regional strategy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii-based ‘Indo-Pacific Support Cutter’ focused on Oceania is on its first Pacific deployment.  The nearly 40-year-old ship set sail in January  for its first Pacific deployment, heading south into the high seas where members of its crew boarded fishing vessels to look for signs of illegal fishing. Star-Advertiser.


City Officials to discuss whether Ocean Safety should split from Emergency Medical Services. For years, it has fallen under Honolulu Emergency Services Department, but a City Council hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, will discuss if the question should be on 2024’s ballot for the people to decide.  KHON2.

HPD revamps policing programs to aid recruitment. In its ongoing struggle to fill over 400 vacancies, the Honolulu Police Department is looking to train young people interested in law enforcement to fill its future ranks. Star-Advertiser.

This Navy Admiral Is In Charge Of Closing Red Hill.
Rear Adm. Marc Williams has the "daunting task" of safely shuttering a massive 80-year-old fuel depot. Civil Beat.

Kapalama Container Terminal is almost built; that only took about 30 years. A new container terminal in Kalihi Kai is finally nearing completion after about three decades of planning, funding, and building it. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Executive Director Named For Mauna Kea Oversight Authority. John De Fries is a former president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Maunakea Authority seeks exemption to open meetings law during management transfer. Hawaiʻi lawmakers have advanced a bill that would allow the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority an exemption to the open meetings, also known as the Sunshine Law, during its transition period. Hawaii Public Radio.

Most insurance-related bills to help those in Lava Zones 1, 2 have stalled. Efforts in the state Legislature to forestall an impending explosion of property insurance costs in lower Puna appear to have largely petered out. Tribune-Herald.

Possible ‘Safe Space’ site draws concerns. Hilo residents’ concerns about the possibility that a government-sanctioned homeless camp could be created near Wailoa River State Recreation Area are premature, Hawaii County and state officials said last week. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Has Become A Popular Stop For Federal Dignitaries Since The Lahaina Wildfire
. The spotlight from the Aug. 8 fires has presented Maui with opportunities to advocate for resources from high-ranking federal officials who continue to visit the island. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Draft environmental impact statement for Wailea development published; includes workforce housing. Although zoned for 2,137 residential units, the Ledcor Maui project proposes construction of a maximum of 975 residential homes, which includes the resort community’s first workforce housing units.  Maui Now.

Converting Maui vacation rentals to longer-term housing causing frustration for owners. A part-time Maui couple’s decision to convert their vacation rentals into longer- term housing for Maui fire survivors followed weeks of frustration, cancellations by repeat loyal visitors over whether they are welcome on the Valley Isle and the threat by Gov. Josh Green to shut down Maui’s short-term rental market. Star-Advertiser.

This Tiny Section Of Front Street Survived The Lahaina Fire And Now Is Coming Back to Life.
The iconic Old Lahaina Luau and other businesses that didn't burn are beginning to reopen, bringing back jobs and signaling the town is beginning to recover. Civil Beat.

Draft environmental assessment ready for Kūlanihāko‘i High School overpass project. The Hawai‘i Department of Education published a draft environmental assessment Friday, reaching a project review milestone and paving the way for a planned $16 million pedestrian overpass spanning Pi‘ilani Highway. Maui Now.

Hawaii Will Pay $60K To An Inmate Who Suffered A Broken Jaw In 2019 Maui Jail Riot. The riot did millions of dollars in damage to the state facility, and the inmate required surgery for his injuries. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i firefighters extinguish structure fire in ‘Ele‘ele Sunday. According to a preliminary report, fire personnel arrived at a fully engulfed structure at approximately 12:50 a.m. First responders later extinguished the fire, and cleared the scene at approximately 12:20 p.m. after putting out the last remaining hot spots. The estimated cost to rebuild is $20 million. Kauai Now.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Economists predict slow but stable growth, Kaneshiro corruption case expands to contract killing allegations, Buttigieg rides the rail, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UHERO: ‘Resilient’ US Economy, Return Of Tourists Bolster Hawaii’s Outlook. UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham said Thursday at a news conference to discuss UHERO’s first-quarter forecast that “the overall picture is one of sort of continued growth but much, much slower and, going forward, even slower growth.” Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Education Department braces for severe budget cuts.
State education officials say that between a new round of possible state budget cuts on top of a looming “federal fiscal cliff,” they are are bracing for a triple punch to the funding of Hawaii’s public school system. Star-Advertiser.

Senate WAM Committee advances bills on wildfire emergencies, workforce development. The Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Ways and Means advanced several bills aimed at addressing key priorities for the Senate, including legislation covering areas of wildfire preparedness and workforce development. Maui Now.

Funding bill to settle claims against the state advances. The House Committee on Finance on Thursday passed an appropriations bill to cover payments for claims against the state, its officers and employees. Tribune-Herald.

Class-Action Lawsuit Targets Aggressive Cosmetic Vendors. The Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection is notifying victims of aggressive cosmetic salespeople that they may be entitled to join a class-action lawsuit aimed at recouping money spent on unwanted purchases. Civil Beat.


Feds Are Confident Honolulu Rail Is Finally Moving In The Right Direction. U.S. Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg expressed strong support Thursday for Honolulu’s long-struggling Skyline rail line and even took a ride along the partially opened system, part of his daylong tour of transit, harbor and airport infrastructure projects across Oahu. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Defendant in public corruption case now part of a contract killer investigation. The FBI is investigating an alleged murder for hire plot targeting a federal judge and the special prosecutor involved in the upcoming public corruption trial involving Keith Kaneshiro, Honolulu’s longest serving prosecuting attorney, and employees of a politically connected engineering firm. Hawaii News Now.

Ala Wai harbor parking contract being contested.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation today are expected to submit requests to the Board of Land and Natural Resources to deny three petitioners’ requests to hold contested case hearings. Star-Advertiser.

Community members react to possible new plans for Pali Lanes in Kailua.
Developer and property owner Alexander & Baldwin proposed redevelopment plans for a registered Hawaii Historic Landmark, Pali Lanes, which closed down over two years ago. KITV4.

Police focus on stopping smash-and-grab burglaries. The Honolulu Police Department says it is meeting with some success in ongoing operations to thwart smash-and-grab burglaries across Oahu, which have been on the uptick over the past few months. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

HVNP seeks public input for Kilauea summit plan. The National Park Service announced Thursday that it is developing a Kilauea Summit Area and Corridor Management Plan, a document that eventually will allow the NPS to better manage the transportation infrastructure around and within the park to reduce frequent traffic delays. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

County Clears Encampments At Kona Community Aquatic Center. County officials conducted another park rules enforcement operation in Kona on Thursday morning. Six individuals accepted offers for housing and other services. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Possible Unexploded Ordnance Found Off Waikoloa Road. On Thursday afternoon, police said they were coordinating with the U. S. Army Explosive Ordnance Division for disposal of the 75 mm projectile. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Big Island astronomers laud success of lunar mission. Hawaii astronomers were over the moon Thursday after a private commercial company’s spacecraft made the first successful American moon landing in more than 50 years. Tribune-Herald.


Group asks for extension of emergency protections for tenants facing evictions. A group rallying to help secondary victims of the August wildfires is asking Gov. Josh Green to extend protections for tenants facing evictions from landlords seeking more lucrative rental income tied to subsidized housing for displaced fire survivors. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

New MEMA head shares goals for the agency in first media interview. In his very first news interview as Maui’s recently installed top emergency management official, Amos Lonokailua-Hewett outlines his vision for the future of disaster response in the county.  KITV4.

War Memorial Gym gets major facelift. The gym is to be upgraded into a category-five-rated hurricane shelter.  Maui News.

New School Will Welcome Lahaina’s Hawaiian Immersion Students In April. A temporary campus being built to replace the destroyed King Kamehameha III Elementary School will also accommodate Hawaiian immersion students. Civil Beat.


Arson reported at multiple Kaua‘i parks; officials advise public to be vigilant. Trees at Lydgate Beach Park, ‘Anini Beach Park and Anahola Beach Park were recently found burned. Kauai Now.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Legislature tackles assault weapon ban, warrant-less fireworks searches, public election funding, free school lunches; U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg tours Lahaina, feces found on Honolulu police supervisors' desks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

More Assault Weapons May Be Banned As Hawaii Seeks To Shore Up Strict Gun Laws. Lawmakers are working to tighten Hawaii’s existing assault weapons ban by passing a bill that would expand the types of weapons it covers, even as the state fends off legal challenges to some of its current gun regulations. Civil Beat.

House committee to hear bill allowing warrantless fireworks searches. A bill that would allow law enforcers and firefighters to search the premises of fireworks licensees without a warrant is making its way through the state House of Representatives. Tribune-Herald.

State Senate approves comprehensive public funding for ‘clean elections’ by 2028. The Hawaiʻi State Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 2381 Senate Draft 2 (SB2381 SD2), which would establish a comprehensive system of public financing for candidates seeking election to state and county public offices, beginning with the 2028 general election year.  Maui Now.

Lawmakers Question Plans For Governor’s Maui Wildfire Death Settlement Fund. The state will contribute $65 million to the fund, which is designed to limit litigation and provide some closure in cases where there were deaths or severe injuries. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Should public buildings be able to withstand Category 5 hurricanes? Senate Bill 2972 states that warmer seas and fewer trade winds are making Hawaiʻi more vulnerable to strong hurricanes, and thus future government buildings should be adequately equipped to serve as shelters in a major disaster.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Surveyed lawmakers don’t think Hawaiʻi is prepared for sea level rise. A new survey from the University of Hawaiʻi's Economic Research Organization polled elected officials at the state and county levels to take their pulse on sea level rise.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi gets $50M in federal funds for clean water infrastructure projects. The federal funding comes from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which sets out to invest over $50 billion in clean water initiatives. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor signs executive order declaring Hawaiʻi a trauma-informed state
. It’s an internal message for the state government to collaborate with the Office of Wellness and Resilience to use trauma-informed care in programs and policies. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

Vehicle towing rates in Hawaii could more than double this year.
Under a  bill sponsored by state Sen. Kurt Fevella, the rate for a hookup would go up from $65 to $143. KITV4.

Free breakfast and lunch for all public school students could be making a comeback.
There’s a bill (HB 1775) gaining traction in the legislature would make it a reality and help thousands of kids who go hungry each day.  KHON2.

CVS Health invests nearly $35 million for affordable housing, preschools in Hawaii. CVS Health on Wednesday announced an investment of almost $35 million for affordable housing developments in Kapolei and Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.


HPD leadership, morale called into question after police supervisors find envelopes with feces on their desks.  HPD confirms its Professional Standards Office launched an internal probe after someone placed envelopes full of feces on the desks of a Honolulu police commander and a Honolulu police supervisor earlier this month. Hawaii News Now.

7 public schools in Pearl Harbor area show detections of petroleum-based chemicals. Advocates are urging the Navy to warn the public, but the military insists the water is safe. Hawaii News Now.

University Of Hawaii Medical School Resumes Accepting Donated Bodies.
The program had been halted in July due to having too many bodies for too few surgical trainees. Civil Beat.

City ethics commission reviews gift prohibitions for employees.
During a virtual meeting Wednesday, the Honolulu Ethics Commission discussed but took no formal action on the measure.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Meeting On Future Waikoloa Public Library, February 27.  According to the Draft Environmental Assessment for the project published in January 2024, the proposal includes a new, 12,000 square foot public library, with an “approximately 3,000 square foot Early Learning Center (ELC), 71-stall surface parking lot, and complimentary landscaping.  Big Island Video News.

Hilo smoke shop owner accused of selling illegal marijuana products from business.
The charges came after police and the state Narcotics Narcotics Enforcement Division executed a search warrant Feb. 15 at Karl Stasik’s business, Hale Hookah at 60 Waianuenue Ave. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg tours Lahaina destruction.
  U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg toured what remains of Lahaina on Wednesday and heard from members of Mayor Richard Bissen’s advisory counsel, who reported sometimes conflicting pressures as Maui continues to recover from the Aug, 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Pop-Up Village For Maui Fire Survivors Battles Red Tape To Finally Open. Organizers had hoped to have the rent-free housing ready to go within weeks of the fire. They're still waiting. Civil Beat.

State discusses how to shelter displaced residents once FEMA leaves Maui. State lawmakers are concerned there may not be enough housing in place to shelter displaced Lahaina residents by the time the Federal Emergency Management Agency leaves next February. Hawaii Public Radio.


Kīlauea man killed in blast caused by homemade explosives, police report. On the evening of Monday, Feb. 12, police were dispatched to a residence in Kīlauea following the report of an unattended death, which led to the discovery of a man’s body. The deceased was later identified as Jasper Gunsell, a 37-year-old resident of Kīlauea. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard on Trump veep list, state Senate panel seeks 10%-15% contingency cutbacks from administration as Maui mayor asks for $402M, same-sex marriage measure advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Trump says he’s considering former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard as running mate. Former President Donald Trump revealed Tuesday that he’s considering former Hawaii Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate. She sought the democratic presidential nomination in 2020 before dropping out of the party in 2022. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Makes A Big Ask As Rising Wildfire Recovery Costs Prompt Talk Of State Budget Cuts. The Senate asked the state budget director to develop contingency plans for imposing state spending cuts of 10% and 15%. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor Bissen requests $401M from state for Lahaina rebuild, recovery.  Mayor Richard Bissen made a plea to the state for $401.75 million over the next three years to help Lahaina rebuild and recover.  The request was made before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, on behalf of the people of Maui County. Maui Now. KHON2.

State considers nearly $1 billion in wildfire recovery costs. The nearly $1 billion potential expense was presented to the Senate Ways and Means Committee during a roughly five-hour briefing by state and Maui County administration leaders to help the panel shape the state budget a little over six months after the Aug. 8 disaster that destroyed most of Lahaina and killed at least 101 people. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers consider state constitutional amendment to protect same-sex marriage.
  A section in the Hawaiʻi State Constitution threatens marriage equality for same-sex couples. Now, lawmakers are considering a constitutional amendment to remove it. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation would require disclosure of labor standards from renewable energy developers. Developers would be required to attest to the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office that their employees are properly trained, licensed, and receive benefits like health care and retirement. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Green travels to attend National Governors Association 2024 winter meeting
. While there, Gov. Green will participate in solution-driven conversations and bipartisan collaboration on the most pressing policy issues facing the states and territories.  Maui Now.

Researchers record 170 Hawaiian monk seal pups born in Northern Hawaiian Islands last year.
Researchers documented 170 new Hawaiian monk seal pups born in 2023 around the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument during their annual field camp. Big Island Now.

Outback Steakhouse shutters 3 locations, pulls out of Hawaii.
The Florida-based company closed down its restaurants at the end of the day Sunday, reportedly with short notice, leaving customers and employees stunned. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu ethics panel mulls gift prohibition for all city employees. The Honolulu Ethics Commission plans today to discuss a long-considered proposal to prohibit city employees from accepting gifts, including cash or alcohol, related to their official duties. Star-Advertiser.

City Faces Legal Bill After Losing Short-Term Vacation Rental Battle. The City Department of Planning and Permitting, corporation counsel, and other defendants have agreed to pay the Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance $292,514.27 for attorneys’ fees and $619.07 costs,  after a federal judge struck down the city's 90-day minimum short-term rental law. Civil Beat.

City and County of Honolulu seeks new chief information officer. The department is responsible for delivering IT services to its employees, as well as Oʻahu residents, businesses and visitors. Hawaii Public Radio.

$1.9M in forfeitures collected from illegal gambling operations on Oahu. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii announced that the latest forfeiture has raised the amount to more than $1.9 million the United States has obtained in forfeitures from an illegal gambling business running at least nine illegal game rooms on Oahu as a result of a joint criminal and civil investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Speeders could be cited using Red-Light Safety Cameras. Fewer people are running red lights at intersections due to the Red-Light Safety Camera Pilot Program, according to the transportation department.  KHON2.

Veteran journalist Emme Tomimbang remembered as ‘dear, caring storyteller,’ dies at 73.
  Emme Tomimbang Burns — a pioneer in Hawaii radio and television, successful multimedia businesswoman and ardent supporter of the local Filipino community — died Monday while undergoing emergency open-heart surgery at The Queen’s Medical Center. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Boyfriend of drowning victim claims inadequate response by police, fire.
The boyfriend of a 29-year-old Keaau woman who drowned early Sunday morning after slipping and falling into the ocean off a sea cliff in Hawaiian Paradise Park alleges she died because of an inadequate response by police and fire rescuers. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

County wastewater resolution advances. Hawaii County officials believe they are capable of repairing the island’s ailing wastewater infrastructure before a series of deadlines mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Tribune-Herald.

DWS: Hilo tap water safe to drink despite discoloration.
The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply said Tuesday the tap water for its Hilo customers remains safe to drink after the isolated discovery of turbid or discolored water. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.


Campaign seeks to bring visitors back to Maui. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched a new public service campaign, “Makaukau Maui,” which seeks to tell visitors that while historic Lahaina remains closed after the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires, accommodations on West Maui are open and residents are ready to welcome them back. Star-Advertiser.

DOH: Lahaina monitoring and sampling report shows good ambient air quality. The first Ambient Community Air Sampling Reports for Lahaina, issued by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, confirm good ambient air quality for the period of Jan. 13-24, 2024.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Haggai Institute affordable housing proposal headed to Maui County Council for review.
During last year’s legislative session and before the wildfire disaster, the state set aside $45 million to transform the Haggai Institute, the former 216-room Maui Sun Hotel, into affordable and teacher workforce housing, and preschool classrooms. Maui Now.


Kupuna testify against purchase of Kauai apartments for DHHL beneficiaries. More controversy over the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) latest strategy to reduce its almost 30,000 beneficiary waitlist. KITV4.

Community meeting scheduled to discuss boat ramp design at Kikiaola. Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor users are invited to attend a community meeting on Feb. 27 to discuss proposed designs for a new boat ramp and loading dock. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

State budget in crisis as Maui fire cost rises to $600M, Legislature could force HECO restructuring, support ebbs for legalizing marijuana, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bad News For The Budget: Maui Fire Costs Could Top $600 Million This Year Alone. Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz is raising red flags about mounting costs as his Ways and Means Committee considers emergency appropriation measures. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed HECO Bailout Bill Could Force The Utility Company To Restructure. Claims against the company from the Maui wildfires are expected to be substantial and the Legislature is considering ways to help with those costs. Civil Beat.

House marijuana debate shows softening support for legalization in Hawaii.
While a sweeping bill to legalize adult use of marijuana is moving through the state Senate, the state House is struggling to pass a bill to increase how much marijuana someone can possess without a criminal penalty. Hawaii News Now.

Job demand for college degree growing in Hawaii, report finds. The proportion of U.S. jobs requiring postsecondary preparation continues to inch upward, and by 2031 in Hawaii, 70% of job openings will require some type of education and/or training beyond high school, says a report from researchers at Georgetown University. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.  KITV4.

Task force would detail Hawaii dental needs. Following a 2022 funding victory by Hawaii dentists that restored Medicaid dental coverage for more than 200,000 adults, the Hawaii Dental Hui now wants to create an oral health task force to take a comprehensive look at oral care needs around the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gets an upgrade in coral reef insurance
. When The Nature Conservancy took out the insurance policy for Hawaii reefs in 2022, it was the first to do so in the United States — a move to counteract the increasingly destructive potential of hurricanes and tropical storms due to climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly $31M in federal funding will go toward airport improvements. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation was awarded $30.6 million for improvements, with $22 million for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu and $8.6 million at the Kahului Airport on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


Push to reinvigorate Downtown is going in the ‘right direction’ but still faces obstacles. The push to reinvigorate Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown is underway. Lawmakers and residents said it looks promising, but admit several obstacles remain. KHON2.

Nurses and Kapiolani Medical Center agree to invite federal mediator to bargaining table. Kapiolani Medical Center and their nurses have been going back and forth to negotiate new contracts since September 2023, some working without a contract since Dec. 1, 2023. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Administrative order between EPA, county aims to improve aging sewage plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii County have drafted an agreement detailing a series of improvements the county must make to its wastewater systems by 2035, or face penalties. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Island police chief seeks council help to grow department by adding additional positions. Hawai‘i Island police chief believes he will come close to filling the department’s 89 vacant sworn officer positions in the next couple of years with his new recruiting efforts but is looking to Hawai‘i County Council for some help. Big Island Now.


Maui County Committee Tosses Mayor’s Picks for Boards and Commissions. Citing a missed deadline by Mayor Richard Bissen, the committee decided to select its own nominees for government panels. Some question the authority to do so. Civil Beat.

Campaign seeks to bring visitors back to Maui. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched a new public service campaign, “Makaukau Maui,” which seeks to tell visitors that while historic Lahaina remains closed after the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires, accommodations on West Maui are open and residents are ready to welcome them back. Star-Advertiser.

These Maui Architects Say They Can Help Lahaina Rebuild Faster And Cheaper. Homeowners in Lahaina face multiple hurdles before they can begin rebuilding, but architects say that preapproved designs could be an important part of the process. Civil Beat.

Temporary housing project for fire survivors breaks ground in West Maui. One of Maui’s first temporary housing projects since the devastating wildfires last August officially broke ground on Monday. The Kapalua Village Temporary Housing Support Project provides housing for West Maui employees impacted by the disaster. Hawaii News Now.


Firefighters statewide practice wildfire suppression using flames on Kaua‘i. Two dozen federal, state and county firefighters gathered in south Kaua‘i to participate in ignition training on former agriculture lands. Kauai Now.

More than 2,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear removed from Kaua‘i coastline. Over the course of the three days, 30 volunteers helped remove more than 2,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear from Po‘ipū coastline, hauling away three truckloads of the marine debris. Kauai Now.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve sale to Alaska Airlines, relief coming to businesses harmed by Honolulu rail construction, Maui council advances housing projects, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve Alaska's $1.9B acquisition. Hawaiian Airlines shareholders on Friday approved the acquisition of Hawaiian by Alaska Airlines for $1.9 billion. The deal includes $900 million in Hawaiian debt. Hawaii Public Radio. Kauai Now.

Exodus of Hawaii residents cost state $185M in lost taxes since 2020.
The on-going exodus of Hawaii residents far outstrips the number of U.S. residents moving to the islands, resulting in the overall loss of 36,789 Hawaii residents over the last three years. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese visitors to Hawaii are trickling back. The full recovery of visitor arrivals from Japan, one of Hawaii’s most coveted source markets, continues to fall short, and a complete return to 2019 levels could take until 2026. Star-Advertiser.

Bill requires teachers accused of sexual misconduct to surrender licenses. An amended bill that would require teachers to surrender their licenses during any investigation into student sexual misconduct or abuse before retiring or resigning passed out of the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Friday. Star-Advertiser.

New promises on horizon for future Hawaiian homestead leases.
The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is returning, in a big way, to a practice of issuing unconventional land leases to beneficiaries on its homestead waitlist. Star-Advertiser.

State warns against unlicensed contractors. In the midst of recovery efforts following the August 2023 wildfires on Maui, the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs last week urged property owners to prioritize hiring licensed contractors for their repair work. Star-Advertiser.

Stalled bills would support student inclusivity, identities. House Bill 1799 and its companion, Senate Bill 2670, would require the state Department of Education to establish a procedure allowing students to use their preferred names over legal names in an effort to strengthen “inclusivity” within public schools. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Mayor Signs Bill To Give Financial Relief To Businesses Hurt By Rail Construction. The city’s upcoming budgeting process will determine how much funding is available to dole out. Civil Beat.

Horrific crimes in Honolulu contradict drop in illegal acts. Despite those-high profile horrors that shocked communities accustomed to that kind of crime happening on the mainland, crime dropped in Honolulu in 2023 compared with 2022’s final tally from the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

Complaint alleges antisemitic rhetoric on UH Manoa campus.
A group of Jewish students at the University of Hawaii have filed a Title VI complaint with the federal government claiming that words and acts of antisemitism have made the university’s Manoa campus an “unsafe and hostile environment” for them. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers Are On The Hook For $1.25 Million After The State Failed To Provide Water To An Oahu Farmer. The Agribusiness Development Corp. is asking lawmakers to pay $1.25 million to settle a case that an Oahu farming outfit brought against it in 2019, alleging the state agency knowingly made years of false promises.  Civil Beat.

Oahu’s Construction Waste Could Become Food For Crops At A New Kapolei Facility. An innovative recycling plant also hopes to provide a process to turn invasive weeds and grasses into something more useful. Civil Beat.

City short of garbage trucks in supply chain backlog. The city typically purchases about 15 new trucks a year for replacement and maintenance, but supply chain and manufacturing delays have left the fleet short. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Leeward Planning Commission faces backlog. West Hawaii development permit requests are piling up after the Leeward Planning Commission has been unable to meet for six months straight. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Green releases funding to upgrade 3 cesspools at Hilo International Airport. Gov. Josh Green released nearly $700,000 in capital improvement project funds to upgrade three cesspools at Hilo International Airport. Big Island Now.

Hundreds pay final respects to teen fatally struck by police cruiser.
Hundreds paid their final respects late last week to a 16-year-old Hilo High School junior who died in January from injuries he received after being struck as a pedestrian by an on-duty Hawaii Police Department officer at the wheel of a blue-and-white police cruiser. Tribune-Herald.

Take a walk au Naturel at Hawaiian Naturism Park, a nude bed and breakfast located in Fern Forest, just outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  Other clothing-optional retreats include The Banana Patch, in Kealakekua, and Kehena Mauka Nui Club, a clothing-optional, gay/LGBTQIA Airbnb right across from Kehena Beach. Big Island Now.


Maui Council passes two housing projects on first reading; a third sent to Budget Committee. All three projects would tap the County’s Affordable Housing Fund after developers applied for funding and came out on top of a competitive review process. Maui Now.

Why Are Hundreds Of Lahaina Fire Survivors Turning Down FEMA Housing? Because It’s Not In West Maui. FEMA has secured about 1,500 properties for long-term housing for fire victims but only about a third are in West Maui. Civil Beat.

Nonprofit builds affordable housing on Maui. Catholic Charities Hawaii expects to complete construction of a 178-unit affordable housing project in Kahului by the end of 2026 that would help address the imperative need of residents who suffered serious loss in the August wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

FAA awards $8.6M for Kahului Airport TSA security screening checkpoint facility. The facility will include six new TSA screening lanes. A pedestrian bridge over the existing service road will connect the new checkpoint facility to Hold Room A. Maui Now.

New program helps train, boost nurses needed in Hawaii. Thirty-one students graduated in December from a first-of-its-kind bridge program at the University of Hawaii Maui College designed to train and bring more LPNs into the workforce. Star-Advertiser.

Hopes rise by survival of Lahaina’s banyan tree. After losing nearly 25,000 trees in the wildfire, 300 have survived including the famed banyan tree, and Maui finds hope. Maui News.


Redesigned police badge honors legacy of law enforcement on Kauaʻi. The unique special edition shield was minted in recognition of the dedication of the department’s staff and sworn officers throughout the past 80 years. Kauai Now.