Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Government workers to get up to $20k pandemic hazard pay, lawsuit seeks to stop Alaska-Hawaiian Airlines merger, feds allege witness tampering in Kaneshiro trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Feds In Corruption Case Accuse Mitsunaga Defense Of Document Leaks And Witness Tampering. Federal prosecutors have launched a new investigation into the incident in the case involving former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Pay Government Workers Up To $20K Each For Hazardous Work During Pandemic. Two-tiered settlement with the Green administration awards government employees back pay of either $10,000 or $20,000, depending on how many days they worked. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor: State Biosecurity Chief’s Contract Will Not Be Renewed. Carol Okada, the state’s embattled acting biosecurity administrator, will not have a job with the Department of Agriculture after June 29. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit seeks to stop Alaska-Hawaiian merger.
A consumer antitrust lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for Hawaii seeks to stop the acquisition of the 95-year-old Hawaiian Airlines by Alaska Airlines on the grounds that the merger would result in higher fares, fewer flights, job losses, and cause injury to Hawaii’s economy. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

A new study by Earth scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa studies coastal groundwater that is lifted closer to the surface by sea levels rise. Cities with underground infrastructure in Hawaiʻi, and around the world, face an increased risk of systems failure due to sea level rise.  Big Island Video News. Kauai Now.

Fatality rate in Hawaii due to distracted driving twice as high as the mainland. Hawaii’s fatality rate due to distracted driving is twice as high as the mainland and officials said it’s completely preventable. KHON2.

Taiwan wants to expand its military attache office on Oahu. Taiwan is seeking to increase the size of its military attache office at its de facto consulate in Honolulu as the self-ruled island democracy looks to tighten ties with the United States and bolster defenses against potential Chinese military attacks. Star-Advertiser.


Nanakuli beach to be inaccessible for weeklong homeless cleanup. Outreach workers from the Kealahou West Oahu social service agency on Monday began notifying members of a Nanakuli homeless encampment that the city plans to close a mile-long portion of Ulehawa Beach Park for a week and clean up the area once again as an October court date approaches challenging the city’s homeless policies. Star-Advertiser.

Family identifies cruise ship passenger who died after bus plowed into group. Officials say the shuttle bus driver dropping off passengers hit the gas instead of the brake and pinned several people against concrete barriers. Hawaii News Now.

Solar farm on University of Hawaiʻi land comes online in West Oʻahu. The facility, developed by AES Hawaiʻi, is on 66 acres of open University of Hawaiʻi agricultural land north of the UH West Oʻahu campus in Kapolei. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Testifiers to board: No PTA land swap. People statewide urged the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to reject a proposed land exchange between the state and the U.S. Army that would allow it to continue to use land in the Pohakuloa Training Area and elsewhere. Tribune-Herald.

NPR reporter Dara Kerr talks story about billionaire Marc Benioff buying Waimea land. 
An NPR story by tech reporter Dara Kerr about billionaire Marc Benioff buying land in and around Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island caused a stir when it was published in February. The audio version aired in March. Hawaii Public Radio.

PUC orders HECO to provide status updates following power outages. The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on Monday requiring Hawaiian Electric to provide a status update on the mitigation measures it intends to implement to address the Hawaii island outage situation, as well as its customer communication strategy regarding conservation measures and the outages. KHON2.

Jr. Tupa‘i enters race for Hawai‘i County mayor. This is Tupa‘i’s second time running for office. In 2022, he was a candidate for lieutenant governor on the Duke Aiona ticket in the gubernatorial race. Big Island Now.

Community meeting to address instream flow standards for Waikōloa.
Staff of the Commission on Water Resource Management will host a fact-gathering meeting on Thursday to collect testimony and information to be compiled as part of an Instream Flow Standard Assessment Report. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Maui Mayor Appoints Maria Zielinski As County Finance Director. She would replace former Director Scott Teruya, who has been on paid leave since February. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui Council committee reviews budget for Mayor’s Office. Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee reviewed the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 proposed budget for the Office of the Mayor on Wednesday.  Maui Now.

Findings from Lahaina fire investigations being released. Findings from dueling investigations into how government and firefighters responded to the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, which killed 101 people and left 8,000 homeless, will be released this week. Star-Advertiser.

AG’s wildfire probe doesn’t find fault with first responders, those briefed on report say. (video) Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina’s Wildfire Burned So Hot That Many Dangerous Contaminants Likely Vaporize
d. Scientists, state officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are finding the burn zone may not be as toxic as initially feared. Civil Beat.


‘Project Keiki’ provides lunches and meals on Kaua‘i.
Statistically, more than 10,000 local residents continue to struggle with hunger. This includes 1 in 4 keiki. Garden Island

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