Friday, February 16, 2024

Hawaii insures coral reef to guard against climate change, new Maui Emergency Management head says agency shouldn't take the lead in emergencies, Miske cousin testifies about chemical attack at nightclub, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

More Ocean Area Will Be Covered Under Hawaii’s New Coral Reef Insurance Policy. The novel approach to protecting reefs is expanding as state officials consider the more ways to guard against climate change. Civil Beat.

Bill proposes moving Hawaii school construction oversight back to DOE. Just as the state has been trumpeting its opening 13 public preschool classrooms well in advance of its Ready Keiki plan to open 50 to 80 by August, a bill is advancing to repeal the relatively new state School Facilities Authority and move all school construction back again to the state Department of Education, and the authority’s founding executive director has abruptly resigned. Star-Advertiser.

Measure seeks to grant autonomy to state Water Commission following the fires. A proposal currently advancing in the Legislature aims to strengthen the State Water Code and safeguard the Commission on Water Resource Management from outside influence. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers may set new requirement for EV charging in state buildings. House Bill 1829 would require that at least 25% of parking stalls be EV charger-ready in any new state building construction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gender Inequalities Persist In Hawaii High School Sports 6 Years After Locker Room Scandal. A class-action lawsuit over problems at Campbell High School has been settled, but the state still has a lot of work to do to comply with a federal anti-discrimination law. Civil Beat.


Defendant in cases against former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro May Pose Danger To Others, Probation Officer Says. Sheri Jean Tanaka, a defendant in a high-profile Honolulu corruption case may be a “danger” to others or the community, and the court should reconsider the terms of her pretrial release, her probation officer said on Thursday.  Civil Beat.

Miske cousin testifies alleged crime boss ordered him to release chemical into nightclub. Kaulana Freitas also explained his role in a chemical attack at the District Nightclub in 2017, saying he released what he believed was tear gas in the club after Miske ordered him to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu city job openings about 2,500, officials say. In May, DHR Director Nola Miyasaki told the Star- Advertiser that city staffing vacancies remained at 2,500 — a number down from over 3,000 vacancies the year prior. In 2022, Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration took measures to quash the six-month wait time it took to fill an average city and county employee position. Star-Advertiser.

After years of delays, redevelopment of Mayor Wright Housing gets the go-ahead. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority announced Thursday that the city’s Planning and Permitting Department has approved plans to redevelop Mayor Wright Housing. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

New housing development could be coming to St. Francis School property. The property, which is zoned for residential use, was purchased for $23 million according to brokerage firm CBRE. And the developer is looking to build a slew of single family homes to be purchased for roughly $2 million a piece. KHON2.

Newest tiny-home kauhale is blessed on Middle Street
. Ho‘okahi Leo — or “a community with one voice” — was built using units relocated from Hawaii’s first “medical respite kauhale,” which went up temporarily in 2023 near the governor’s mansion and across from The Queen’s Medical Center as a pilot project for discharged homeless patients too frail to heal properly on the street. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  KHON2.

Experts: Major changes at Wahiawa General will have health care impacts islandwide. Come spring, all inpatient services at Wahiawa General Hospital will be suspended — once Queen’s Health System takes control of the hospital. The reason: Health officials say the aging facility is in such disrepair, it’s not worth investing the money to fix. Hawaii News Now.

Lack of trucks delays refuse and recycling collection on East Oʻahu.
City and County of Honolulu officials didn't explain why there was a lack of collection vehicles, but assures the pick-ups will be made over the next couple of days. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Democrats Elect Interim Chair. Pono Kekela was elected Interim Chair of the Hawaiʻi County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi at its first Quarterly meeting of 2024. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Camera on Maunakea captures image of blazing space debris. A fiery object seen over Maunakea last week is believed to have been the remains of a falling satellite, astronomers say. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County urges state to stiffen penalties for negligent dog owners.  On Hawaii Island, a county resolution will be heard next Wednesday morning that supporters hope will lead to stiffer penalties for dangerous dog owners who are negligent. KITV4.


New MEMA Administrator says agency shouldn’t take the lead in future emergencies. Lonokailua-Hewett said he sees MEMA as a coordinating and supporting agency instead. The Administrator for the Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) says he doesn’t believe MEMA should take the lead in future emergencies. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Mum On Why He Placed County Finance Director On Paid Leave.
Scott Teruya has led the department for the past five years but has been off the job since Feb. 2. Civil Beat.

Proposal advances for special board control in rebuilding Lahaina.
Two Senate committees voted unanimously to advance Senate Bill 3381 to a third and final Senate committee where passage is expected ahead of a full Senate vote and potential consideration in the House of Representatives. Star-Advertiser.

$53M Maui Airport Industrial Center breaks ground, opening set for 2025. R.D. Olson Development held a groundbreaking recently of the Maui Airport Industrial Center project, located on a 6.3 acre parcel in Kahului near Costco at 250 Lauo Loop.  Maui Now.

Obstetrician shortage on Maui addressed.
HMSA’s immediate, short-term solution for expectant Maui moms impacted by the obstetrician shortage included arranging travel and appointments for them to receive care on Oahu with Queen’s physicians.  Maui News.

Maggie Batangan named MEO Chief Administrative Officer. Maggie Batangan has been named to the newly created Chief Administrative Officer position for the nonprofit Maui Economic Opportunity. Maui News.


Wailua Heritage Trail pau, for now.
A joint effort between the County of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Kaua‘i Visitor Bureau, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources and Royal Coconut Coast Association (RCCA) resulted in the expansion of the Wailua Heritage Trail to a full 3-mile route. Garden Island.

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