Friday, May 31, 2024

Restaurants haven't recovered from COVID-19 downturn, governor signs condo, energy bills, Boy Scouts settle wrongful death lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s Restaurant Industry Still Hasn’t Recovered From The Pandemic. Even well-established eateries are struggling with high food costs, a shortage of workers and fewer Japanese tourists. Civil Beat.

Visitors arrivals, spending down in April as summer cooldown looms for Hawaii tourism. Visitors to Hawaii and their daily spending fell more sharply in April than they had in any month since the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires — an indication that even the peak summer season could prove soft. Star-Advertiser.

Governor signs bills benefiting condominium residents, owners. Gov. Josh Green on Thursday signed into law a package of bills benefiting condominium owners, associations and residents — another component of Green’s commitment to addressing statewide housing challenges. Star-Advertiser.  Big Island Video News.  Maui Now.

Bills providing improved access to clean energy approved by Gov. Josh Green. Addressing housing challenges in Hawai‘i, Governor Josh Green signed several bills Thursday aimed at benefiting condominium owners, associations, and residents statewide.  KITV4.

Military backs new work to locate, safely detonate wartime munitions dumped off Hawaii. An estimated 100,000 military bombs were sunk off Hawaii in the 1940s alone, according to a University of Hawaii researcher. Hawaii News Now.


City Ocean Safety facility on Windward coast begins work.  Honolulu Ocean Safety made history Thursday with a blessing ceremony for a groundbreaking $2.5 million project: the first facility tailored for lifeguard services in its 107-year history. Star-Advertiser.

‘Outside the box’: In a first, indoor Oahu mall to host volleyball championship
. Volleyball fans across the state will see a historic first this weekend: The Hawaii Club Volleyball Championship is set for this Saturday and it will be played not at an arena or gym but at Windward Mall. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy Is Hoping To Move Up To The Legislature. State House Rep. Richard Onishi is retiring this fall, and longtime Hawaii County Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy moved to a rented home in Onishi’s Hilo district in April just weeks before filing to run for office there. Civil Beat.

Schatz visits HVNP, discusses funding.  Long-deferred maintenance projects are finally underway at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park after an infusion of millions of dollars in federal funds. Tribune-Herald.

Plaintiffs, Boy Scouts settle wrongful death case
. A civil lawsuit filed by the family of an 11-year-old Boy Scout killed in 2023 by a rifle bullet at Camp Honokaia near Honokaa has been settled. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Council Budgets $300,000 To Study Impacts Of Eliminating 7,000 Vacation Rentals. The council wants more precise information before taking action that could cost thousands of jobs and millions in lost tax revenue. Civil Beat.

No Water, No Problem? Council Is Steering $33 Million Toward West Maui Housing Project. Paul Cheng, a Texas developer with a criminal past, says he'll use the money to construct phase one of Pulelehua, the island's largest affordable housing project in decades. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui County donates Kahului lots for affordable housing development.
Maui County has donated seven lots in Kahului to the nonprofit Nā Hale O Maui for affordable housing.  Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Maui firefighter charged with sex assault has history of domestic violence
. A battalion chief with the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety charged with continuous sexual assault of a girl under age 14 has a history of domestic violence, according to state court records. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

‘We can’t afford to wait’: Effort to build new West Maui fire station gains momentum. A Hurricane Lane After Action Report included recommendations for more resources, but it went largely ignored by county officials. Hawaii News Now.


Fourth annual Kaua‘i Poke Fest approaches. Final preparations are underway for the fourth annual Kaua‘i Poke Fest with Sam Choy and friends as more than 20 competitors prepare to compete for the title of Hawai‘i’s Best Poke on June 8 at Kōloa Landing Resort. Kauai Now. KITV4.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

HECO unveils power shutoff plan for wildfires, Turtle Bay sale rebrands as Ritz-Carlton, food insecurity grows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Electric lays out initial plan for wildfire prevention power shutoffs. About 48,000 Hawaiian Electric customers on four islands should start preparing for power shutoffs possibly lasting several hours to a few days under a new effort to prevent wildfires during high-risk weather conditions. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Council On Revenues Trims Its State Tax Collection Estimate.
The Council on Revenues is projecting that state government will have about $65 million less to spend this fiscal year than lawmakers and Gov. Josh Green’s administration had anticipated during the past legislative session. Civil Beat.

Hawaii bills address two very different uses for AI.
Hawaii is preparing for the advent of artificial intelligence through a pair of proposed laws on the verge of passage. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Foodbank shares concerns over food insecurity. Nearly one in three households in the state experienced food insecurity last year, and in 29% of households with children, at least one child faced food insecurity, according to the Hawaii Foodbank’s 2023 report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Feeding Kids Can Be Tough For Some Hawaii Charter Schools. Without state funding, principals say they need to find creative solutions to offer lunches to their students. Civil Beat.

COVID is on the rise in Hawaii; possible summer wave ahead. Health officials on Wednesday reported an average positivity rate of 10.5%, up from 8.5% the previous week. On May 1, the average positivity rate was at 4.3%. The seven-day average reported Wednesday reached 100 per day, double what it was mid-May. Star-Advertiser.

Virginia Beck reflects on 20 years of engaging the public in the legislative process. Virginia Beck has been the head coordinator at the Public Access Room for nearly 10 years, and has worked there for almost 20. She will retire at the end of the week. Hawaii Public Radio.


Turtle Bay Resort sold and to be rebranded as Ritz-Carlton. A Maryland-based lodging and real estate investment firm said Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the 450-room Turtle Bay Resort and nearby land for at least $680 million. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi signs resolution creating standalone Ocean Safety Department. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a resolution creating a standalone Ocean Safety Department in a ceremony at Honolulu Hale on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City salaries resolution closer to 2024 ballot. The Honolulu City Council resolutions urging voter-approved charter amendments to overhaul how the city pays its employees were reduced to one this week. Star-Advertiser.

City cannot recoup $12.5M from man facing gun, drug charges. The 38-year-old man awarded $12.5 million after he sued the city following injuries suffered in a 2021 police pursuit appeared in court Wednesday to face federal charges that he used a ghost gun while selling methamphetamine in Waianae. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Judge Orders New Environmental Review Of West Oahu Wave Pool.
A judge has halted plans for an artificial wave pool until developers can revise an environmental assessment to address concerns raised by Native Hawaiians and others who say the project is unnecessary in the birthplace of surfing and a waste of water. Associated Press.

‘Honolulu is the safest place to visit in the world’ . According to a survey conducted by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Honolulu is the safest place to visit in the world. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Food Insecurity Highest On Big Island, Report Finds. Food insecurity rates were reported to be the highest of Hawaiʻi island (40%), followed by Maui (31%) and Oʻahu (28%). Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.


FEMA seeks over 20 long-term positions on Maui.  FEMA is on a hiring spree to fill nearly two dozen long-term positions on Maui. Departments include media relations, IT, and digital communications. Hawaii News Now.

Red Cross Regional CEO Was Fired After Standing Up For Maui Wildfire Survivors, Lawyer Says. Former Hawaii Red Cross CEO Diane Peters-Nguyen was fired from the nonprofit disaster relief organization in early May after she called for reforms and urged the organization to stop prodding Maui wildfire victims to move off-island, her attorney says.  Civil Beat.

Maui Fire battalion chief charged with sexually assaulting minor. Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a veteran Maui Fire Department battalion chief with first-degree sexual assault and continuous sexual assault of a minor under 14 years old. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui’s police chief defends pricey night-vision chopper request.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier wants to invest $24 million over the next decade on a helicopter program that he says will improve safety in the county.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui Fire Survivor Gets Kicked Out Of Emergency Shelter In Hotel While Away On A Work Trip. The Lahaina businesswoman had made prior arrangements with the Red Cross but says she's not inclined to fight its decision since the program is winding down anyway. Civil Beat.


DLNR says it found no evidence cruise ship violated state rule. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources today said it failed to find any evidence that a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship violated state rules while sailing off Kauai’s Na Pali Coast earlier this month. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hawaii governor signs bill allowing greater density on residential lots, Covid-19 increasing in the islands, Honolulu mulls video surveillance at popular tourist spots, insurance premiums shoot up after disasters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii governor signs housing legislation aimed at helping local residents stay in islands. Solving Hawaii’s housing crisis by building more units. Keeping local families in Hawaii is what Governor Josh Green hopes will happen after he signed new affordable housing legislation into law on Tuesday. Senate Bill 3202: Requires counties to adopt or amend ordinances by December 31, 2026, to allow for at least two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on all residentially zoned lots. KHON2. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Health Department’s new Respiratory Disease Dashboard shows increasing COVID-19 activity. COVID-19 activity is on the rise, according to a new Respiratory Disease Activity dashboard released by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. Maui Now.

Bill to create 'harm to students registry' for local schools awaits governor's signature. The registry could contain information on school employees, contractors or volunteers who were found to have inflicted harm on a student. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai‘i gender pay gap largely driven by motherhood, according to latest report.
Full-time working women in Hawaiʻi made 86 cents for every dollar earned by a man, while the national average was 84 cents for every dollar, according to data between 2015 to 2022 from the American Community Survey (ACS). Big Island Now.

In wake of disasters, homeowners report soaring rates for property insurance
. Homeowners and agents tell HNN insurance premiums have shot up by as much as tens of thousands of dollars each year for everything from single-family homes to condos. Hawaii News Now.

Military labs in Hawaiʻi and Nebraska identify World War II soldiers decades after they died. A federal lab tucked away above the bowling alley at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha and a sister lab in Hawaiʻi are steadily answering those lingering questions, aiming to offer 200 families per year the chance to honor their relatives with a proper burial. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu City Council considers video surveillance at East Oʻahu scenic areas. To help deter thieves from breaking into cars at East Oʻahu scenic spots, the Honolulu City Council is considering a resolution to allow surveillance cameras. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘It doesn’t cut it’: Low-flow beach showers prompt complaints as city tries to save water.
It all started as an effort to save water at beaches across Oahu, but pushback is increasing to the showers that are designed to use about one-tenth of the water as the current showers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii to host 27 Pacific nations for first FestPAC celebration. The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture, the world’s largest celebration of Pacific Islanders will be hosted on Oahu for the first time in its 52-year history. Officials are calling it a once-in-a-lifetime event. KHON2.

An Affordable Complex to Open in Wahiawā, with Eight More Projects Underway. After a slow start, Honolulu’s Bill 7 – designed to get more low-rise rental units built on unused land – is seeing results. Hawaii Business magazine.

Hawaii Island

EPA talks dismal state of the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a consent decree with Hawai’i County on its aging sewage system, including the Hilo treatment plant. EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman was in the islands last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

No signs of imminent eruption at Kīlauea despite continued unrest, experts say. Heightened seismic unrest beneath the Kīlauea summit continued over the past day. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, it is impossible to say whether this increase in activity will lead to an intrusion or an eruption, or simply continue as seismic unrest at depth. Big Island Now.

Maunakea Park Playground To Close For Repairs. The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks & Recreation says the closure is needed to allow for the installation of a new safety surfacing system. Big Island Video News.


Land Board rejects plea for contested case hearing from Nakoa luxury yacht owners. The Board of Land and Natural Resources has rejected a request from the owners of the luxury yacht Nakoa for a formal contested case hearing to fight a $1.8 million fine assessed last month. Maui Now.

Maui County to purchase Kula parcel that encompasses community center. Maui County will be purchasing land in Kula that currently houses the community center and other public use facilities.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Washington visitor dies in waters off beach park in Kauai. A Washington visitor died after being pulled from waters off ‘Anini Beach Park in Kauai on Friday afternoon. Kauai police officials say the victim has been identified as 70-year-old David Kositsky. Hawaii News Now.

At 92, Kauai veteran receives high school diploma years after making a difficult decision. There was a special guest of honor at Kauai High School’s graduation ceremony on May 24. Sitting quietly on stage among school administrators and dignitaries in a red cap and gown was 92-year-old Stanley Oshima. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Green almost certain to sign major income tax cut bill, former foster children win $1.8M abuse settlement, Japan coast guard trainees visit the state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green Is Poised To Sign A Big Income Tax Cut. But Can Hawaii Really Afford It? Gov. Josh Green seems certain to sign into law the whopping state income tax cut of 2024, a bill that is expected to reduce the state tax burden for a median-income Hawaii family by nearly $20,000 over the next seven years. Civil Beat.

Japanese coast guard ship, trainees visit Hawaii. Trainees from Japan’s Coast Guard Academy are in Hawaii as part of a training cruise that is taking them across the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

A Working Group That Emerged From A Tragedy Sets Out To Reform Child Welfare Services. A working group formed to help reform Hawaii’s troubled child welfare system has drafted dozens of recommendations for reform, and the group is about to launch a series of hearings to solicit comments on those ideas. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Opioid Settlement Fund Is Growing And, After Delays, Starting To Be Spent. The appointment of a full-time project coordinator to manage Hawaii’s opioid settlement trust fund has set the process of allocating money to the counties for drug treatment efforts on a faster track, according to a member of the settlement advisory committee who previously described the pace of spending as “painfully slow.” Civil Beat.

AMR continues ground ambulance service on Maui and Kauaʻi following protest. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Injury Prevention Systems Branch has issued two Notices of Award to International Life Support, Inc., doing business as American Medical Response (AMR). Maui Now.

Nearly 8 years after his death, new book highlights late US Rep. Mark Takai's contributions. (Video) Hawaii News Now.


State pays $1.8M to settle former Waimanalo foster kids’ lawsuit. Three former foster children, now adults, of George Kipapa and his late wife, Jolyn Kipapa, agreed to a $1.8 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging abuses they suffered as foster children over 18 years. Star-Advertiser.

Over 40,000 attend Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony. A crowd of over 40,000 people gathered for the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony as 6,000 lanterns were set afloat in remembrance of loved ones at Ala Moana Regional Park on Memorial Day. The ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the event with the theme “Many Rivers, One Ocean.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A source of koa for canoe-builders.
A 1,200-acre koa forest in Ka‘u is almost ready to be harvested for the first time in nearly two decades. Tribune-Herald.

Demolition of historic Jaggar Museum begins.  Demolition began this month at the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, ending a six-year period of disuse after the facility was critically damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.


DLNR cites 3 men for fishing violations in ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Area Reserve.
Officers recovered a total of 78 different fish from the men at the reserve in southwestern Maui — a nursery and refuge for some of Hawaii’s most important, unique resources. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Interest form open to help Lahaina homeowners rebuild. The three-year program will assist up to 500 owner-occupant Lahaina homeowners prevent foreclosure and qualify for financing to rebuild their homes. Maui Now.


Home sales leap, median price retreats on Kaua‘i in April. Home sales jumped more than 60 percent in the first full month of spring, as the Kaua‘i housing market continued to rebound from a rough outing in 2023. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i resort, nonprofit cohosting free World Oceans Day event – musicians, vendors still have time to join. Kaua‘i ocean conservation nonprofit Ho‘omalu Ke Kai will install its first beach cleanup station – made of upcycled marine debris – at its biggest World Oceans Day celebration to date, on June 8. Kauai Now.

Monday, May 27, 2024

HECO casts blame on Maui in wildfire lawsuit rebuttal, affordable housing incentive bill could nullify county rules, state may increase water testing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Moves To Improve Water Testing At Popular Beaches. Advocates have been pushing the state for years to increase how often it tests popular swimming and surfing beaches for harmful bacteria. Civil Beat.

Conflict Of Interest? Some Hawaii Lawmakers Work For Or Even Own Companies That Get State Contracts. An examination of current state legislators’ business interests found that at least a dozen sitting lawmakers are paid by or even own entities that have won more than $56 million in government contracts since 2006. Businesses they're tied to have won contracts in construction, consulting and trash collection. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislature aims to alter affordable-housing program, possibly at expense of counties.  The Legislature passed a bill, which if enacted, would give developers credits for affordable units completed under a state program that already has incentives that include exemptions to general excise taxes, county development fees, height limits and density in return for making at least 50% or 60% of a project affordable for moderate-income households. Star-Advertiser.

Survey says isle residents support expanding renewable energy in Hawaiʻi. More than 90% of island residents support more alternative energy in the Hawaiian Islands, according to a survey commissioned by the Ulupono Initiative and released during the 11th Annual Hawaiʻi Energy Conference on Maui. Maui Now.

National Guard commander Hara to retire this year.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, who has served as head of the state Department of Defense since 2019, will step down from his position and retire from the military this fall after 40 years of military service. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DHHL Tells Beneficiaries To Ditch Sandwich Isles Communications Service. The state is urging Hawaiian homelands beneficiaries to dump Sandwich Isles Communications as their telephone and internet provider and switch to Hawaiian Telcom or Spectrum. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.  Maui News.

BOE policy aligns with press freedoms for student journalists. Exactly two years after former Gov. David Ige signed a law supporting student journalists and their press freedoms, the state Board of Education has clarified school censorship policy, requiring  school officials to articulate their reasons for censoring student work, aligning its policy with Ige’s student journalism law that’s intended to protect student journalists from legal actions. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu homeless with mental issues could be assessed involuntarily. Homeless people displaying mental health issues could be taken off the street against their will and brought in for assessment at a 3-month-old behavioral center in Iwilei if a new bill becomes law. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-CIA Officer Accused Of Spying For China Pleads Guilty In A Honolulu Courtroom. A former CIA officer and contract linguist for the FBI accused of spying for China for at least a decade pleaded guilty Friday in a federal courtroom in Honolulu. Associated Press.

Growing popularity of e-bikes prompts safety concerns. Community members report that children on e-bikes are zipping around on sidewalks, roadways and through neighborhoods, sometimes popping wheelies along the way, and often without wearing helmets. At the same time, accidents involving e-bikes are on the rise, according to the Honolulu Emergency Serv­ices Department. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

‘Serving the people,’ The Queen’s Medical Center-Wahiawa Emergency Room blessed.
  The Queen’s Health System blessed the Emergency Department at The Queen’s Medical Center-Wahiawa on Friday, May 24, celebrating better air conditioning and technology. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

DLNR on dredging Hilo's Wailoa Small Boat Harbor this summer. Last week the state Department of Land and Natural Resources put a bid out to dredge Hilo’s Wailoa Small Boat Harbor. It hopes to begin work by June 17 to provide relief to boaters from the buildup of sediment that has made the harbor almost impassible at times.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Demolition of historic Jaggar Museum begins.
Demolition began this month at the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, ending a six-year period of disuse after the facility was critically damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.

HPP lot owner said to be seeking nearly $1.4M. A California woman being sued by a developer whose contractor mistakenly built a house on her Hawaiian Paradise Park lot in Puna is seeking more than $1.3 million in damages, according to both the developer and Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiian Electric Co. Says It’s Maui County’s Fault Fire Destroyed Much Of Lahaina. Hawaiian Electric Industries and its utility subsidiaries are fighting back against Maui County with a court filing alleging that failures by the county, and not the company, allowed wildfires to ravage Lahaina in August, killing 101 people and causing an estimated $5 billion in damage. Civil Beat.

Behind Maui's Minatoya List: a look at short-term rentals affected by county proposal. There are nearly 14,000 legal short-term rentals in Maui County. Nearly half are part of what's known as the Minatoya List — a collection of units in apartment-zoned districts that county officials say used to be largely workforce housing.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Boards May Soon Be Able To Get Back To Business With Settlement Agreement
. A legal dispute that for weeks has ensnared a string of appointments to Maui County boards and commissions is about to come to a close with a deal that would correct the process used to fill vacant seats, according to people involved in the settlement.  Civil Beat.

Council supports closures of Holomua Road for public safety in Pāʻia. Maui County members voted 9-0 on Tuesday to approve a bill on first reading to close the mauka portion of Holomua Road above the entrance to old Maui High School to address concerns about brush fires and other public safety issues. Maui Now.

Lahaina Property Owners Urged To Apply For Building Permits As Soon As Possible. The urgency to apply comes despite residents' concerns that Lahaina's infrastructure is yet to be rehabilitated. Civil Beat.


State awards ambulance contracts to American Medical Response following protests. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has made its decision on ground ambulance services for Kauaʻi and Maui following its restarted procurement process, awarding contracts to longtime service provider American Medical Response (AMR), which will now be doing business as International Life Support, Inc. Kauai Now.

Garden Island newspaper moving. As of Tuesday, May 28, the business office and newsroom will be located in the Haleko Building at 2970 Haleko Road, Suite 205, Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Vacation rental bill likely to spur lawsuit on Maui, state to reconsider liquefied natural gas, Amemiya, Leong, Sword public corruption trial delayed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Maui County’s Move Against Vacation Rentals Likely To Bog Down In Court. tempts by Maui County to convert short-term vacation units into long-term rentals will be confronted by a lawsuit, according to the Honolulu attorney who plans to file it. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said that legal action was likely when he announced the bill that would change the zoning designation of over 7,000 short-term units, a move intended to open up more long-term rentals.   Civil Beat.

Green: Hawaii Should Consider Liquefied Natural Gas As A ‘Bridge’ To 100% Renewable Energy. Liquefied natural gas must be considered as Hawaii works to meet its clean energy goal of being completely renewable by 2045, Gov. Josh Green said this week at the Hawaii Energy Conference. Civil Beat.

Millions In Grants To Nonprofits Put On Hold After OHA Board Raises Concerns About Fairness. On Wednesday, the OHA Board of Trustees put off approving more than $11 million in grant disbursements after raising issues over how the funding was allocated.  Civil Beat.


Public corruption trial centered on Kealoha payout delayed.
Trial for three former Honolulu administrators accused of conspiracy has been delayed from October to next March. Donna Leong, Honolulu’s former corporation counsel, ex-Managing Director Roy Amemiya and Max Sword, once the Honolulu Police Commission chair, are all facing criminal charges of conspiracy to defraud the US in connection with a $250,000 payout. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Department of Health probe in February didn’t detect petroleum in water. A recent investigation by the state Department of Health into the Navy’s Oahu drinking water system found no petroleum or jet fuel compounds in drinking water samples collected in February but did not rule out the possibility of residual fuel in the system after fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill storage facility contaminated it in November 2021. Star-Advertiser.

HPD says illegal game rooms down, as legislation aims to target landowners.
Honolulu Police said the District 5 Crime Reduction Unit, assisted by the Narcotics Vice Division, executed a search warrant on Wednesday in Palama. KHON2.

Farm operator, 53, indicted in labor trafficking. A 53-year-old Oahu woman was indicted May 17 for allegedly deceiving a man into working for more than eight years and keeping his government identification so he could not leave. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Astronomers create ‘catalog’ of exoplanets: ‘Surveys like this are really a labor of love’.  A years-long survey using W. M. Keck Observatory was able to identify 126 confirmed and likely exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — from data collected by a NASA satellite. Tribune-Herald.

UH Hilo researcher studies bacteria levels at 6 popular coastal spots. A new study by University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo researcher Maria Steadmon looks at bacteria levels at six of Hilo's popular swimming and surfing spots.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Lahaina Teachers Say More Help Is Needed For Struggling West Maui Schools. The teachers' union is asking for more pay and leave benefits as educators continue to deal with the aftermath of the wildfires. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Maui’s youth hope to come back after graduation. Will the economy let them? Students are graduating at a time when median home prices on Maui are $1.3 million and thousands of Lahaina families struggle with displacement.  Maui Now.

Hawaiʻi Journalism Initiative launches nonprofit newsroom on Maui.
The donor-supported organization will operate in partnership with Pacific Media Group, which runs the online breaking news websites Maui Now, Big Island Now and Kaua‘i Now, as well as radio stations across the state. Maui Now.

State releases performance report: Maui has largest vacation rental supply; average daily rate is up. In April 2024, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply at 246,500 available unit nights (+4.7% vs. 2023, -4.4% vs. 2019), and Maui vacation rental unit supply continued to be impacted by the Aug. 8 wildfire. Maui Now.


Small Business Administration lends a helping hand to flood victims.
Many island residents continue to navigate through an overflow of obstacles after the intense April flooding event that damaged about 177 residences and 26 businesses on the Garden Island. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i District Health Office to assess emergency preparedness among residents.
The Kaua‘i District Health Office will conduct a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, also known as CASPER, survey to assess the emergency preparedness level of Kauaʻi households. Kauai Now.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Condo owners hit with high insurance costs, climate change could bring more infectious disease, free flights offered to Maui fire survivors, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Condo Owners Are Starting To Feel The Pain From Rising Insurance Costs. Gov. Josh Green has created an advisory team to work on ways to stabilize the market which has been battered by climate-related catastrophes. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Scientists predict climate change will bring more infectious disease to Hawaiʻi .  As human-driven actions change the climate, they're also changing the landscape for infectious diseases. Health officials are grappling with what that means for Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Schatz, Tokuda seek higher Medicare reimbursements for Hawaii physicians. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, alongside Hawaii’s congressional delegation, plans today to introduce new legislation seeking higher Medicare reimbursements for the state’s health care providers. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Fleet gearing up for return of RIMPAC exercises to Hawaii. The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet is gearing up for the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise — better known as RIMPAC — set to begin next month. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.


Mitsunaga Secretary Acquitted For Bribery Could Still Face State Campaign Violations. For a decade, Terri Ann Otani made tens of thousands of dollars in donations to political candidates in the names of her family members, according to her relatives.  Civil Beat.

Legal analysts: Board of Water Supply’s $1.2B claim with Navy likely headed to lawsuit. The Board of Water Supply and Navy are corresponding with each other as part of the utility’s $1.2 billion claim aimed at recouping costs associated with the Red Hill fuel leaks. Despite the movement, legal analysts think the massive claim will likely end up in court. Hawaii News Now.

Health official discusses air monitoring plan as Navy prepares to vent Red Hill tanks. More than 100 million gallons of fuel have been drained from the Navy Red Hill underground fuel facility, but residual fumes could still pose a risk to workers and neighboring communities. Hawaii Public Radio.

City begins sales of license plate shaka decals.  Starting Thursday, the new shaka license plate decal will be available for purchase at any satellite city hall on Oahu to support efforts to reduce aggressive driving. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Agriculture department surveys Waimanalo nursery for fire ants. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture says it is working with Pua Lani Landscape Design in Waimanalo to survey and treat little fire ants. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

More strategies mulled for feral pig conundrum. As the population of feral pigs on the Big Island continues to grow, county officials and residents are considering a wider range of solutions. Tribune-Herald.

Groundbreaking held for Waikoloa Village emergency route.
State and county officials celebrated the launch of a private project Tuesday to construct an emergency route out of Waikoloa Village. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

More details emerge after cockfight raid: 25 dead roosters, $20K in cash seized. Lehualani K. Kaleiwahea, 49, of Hilo, and her son, Isaac Dylan H. Ragasa-Kaleiwahea, 28, of Keaau were arrested and booked on suspicion of 29 counts of cruelty to animals, plus single counts of first- and second-degree promotion of gambling and first-degree possession of gambling records. Domonick Uchima, 37, of Kurtistown was arrested and booked on suspicion of second-degree promotion of gambling. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KITV4.


Council passes fiscal 2025 budget on first reading.
The council met for the better part of the day in order to achieve the required passing of a budget. In total, the council entertained 18 bills and resolutions throughout the course of the meeting. Maui News. Maui Now.

Maui Care Flights to offer wildfire survivors free trips.
Gov. Josh Green on Wednesday announced a new program, Maui Care Flights, to provide thousands of round-trip flights for Maui families affected by the Aug. 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

A $2M gift to UH Maui College creates full scholarships for nursing students. A $2 million gift from the Gilbert and Aileen Chuck Foundation will provide full scholarships for nursing students in the University of Hawai’i Maui College starting this fall, according to a press release from the university. Maui News.

Luxury Housing Planned For South Maui Prompts Concerns Over Water, Traffic And Affordability. The $1.4 billion project envisions 975 high-end homes in and around the Wailea resort community that would cater to seasonal residents. Civil Beat.

Maui health center dealing with major tech issues, affecting thousands.
A medical center on Maui is experiencing major computer problems that are affecting thousands of patients. Malama I Ke Ola Health Center shut down abruptly earlier this month blaming IT issues. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina Business Owners Dive Into Busy Travel Season. Additional opportunities have arisen in recent weeks as they navigate a new normal after the Aug. 8 fires. Civil Beat.


Hawaiian Host chocolate owners award four Kauaʻi students academic scholarships. The four Kauaʻi students were selected among a total of 59 recipients across the state, one from each of the qualifying public and independent school categories. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hawaii wins $916M judgment in Plavix lawsuit, below-average hurricane season forecast, Honolulu officials mull short-term rental regulations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pharmaceuticals Ordered To Pay Hawaii Nearly $1 Billion For Deceptive Business Practices. The drug companies hid information from doctors who prescribed Plavix, which can have outsized negative effects on Asians and Pacific Islanders. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Below-average hurricane season is forecast for Hawaii. With a developing La Nina climate pattern and cooler waters in the forecast, officials said the basin is likely to experience one to four tropical cyclones during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Dry season forecast to be drier-than-normal. The extra rainfall through April added to what the state has gotten so far this month, including from last week’s kona low and the heavy rains and thunderstorms that drowned the Big Island the week before, will provide a buffer against the earlier onset of expected drought conditions later this summer — and wildfire weather. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

After Lahaina, Hawaii Fire Crews Take Stock Of Their Ability To Communicate In A Crisis.
Fire departments across the state are reevaluating their emergency communication capabilities after the Maui wildfires, when the vulnerability of the island’s cellular network — and a lack of advanced communication tools in fire vehicles — complicated efforts by first responders as they confronted one of the worst disasters in Hawaii’s history. Civil Beat.

Native Seeds Could Soon Be Fueling New Growth On Burned Out Acreage Across Hawaii. The federal government is funneling millions of dollars to a University of Hawaii initiative aimed at increasing the number of seeds for hardy native and non-invasive plants that can compete against the dominant invasive grasses that fuel wildfires. Civil Beat.

Derek Turbin elected chair person of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Convention. Delegates Also Approve Resolutions, Amend Party Constitution and Bylaws, Select National Delegates, and Choose Presidential Electors. Maui News.

US Pacific Fleet announces 29th RIMPAC exercise.  Approximately 29 nations, 40 surface ships, three submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 2, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. Maui Now. KHON2.


Honolulu officials weigh regulations for short-term rental market with new state law. In 2022, the city implemented a law to increase the minimum amount of time that residential homes could be rented from 30 days to 90 days. However, a federal court ruled that the city could not enforce its regulation. Hawaii Public Radio.

More homeless housing planned for Oahu. The city and state have opened — and plan to open — more homeless housing across Oahu following the closure of some shelters and reduced bed space during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Across Oahu, a growing dilemma: How to care for kupuna living on the streets
. Dr. James Ireland, director of Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department, says he’ll call a meeting with the hospitals and other stakeholders to remind them of C.O.R.E. services. That’s the Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement Program — for patients who need medical treatment but don’t need the emergency room.  Hawaii News Now.

Embattled rail CEO says she’s been bullied, harassed by HART board. Embattled rail CEO Lori Kahikina said Tuesday that she no longer wants the job if she continues to be bullied and harassed by the HART board. Hawaii News Now.

West Loch disaster 80 years ago prompted military reforms.
Tuesday marked the 80th anniversary of a deadly — and often forgotten — disaster in Hawaii that prompted major reforms in the U.S. military. Star-Advertiser.

Charter school students name Kaiwi’s monk seal pup Pa‘aki. Kaiwi’s newest monk seal pup born this month at Kaimana Beach has been named Pa‘aki, according to Hawaii Marine Animal Response. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Emergency evacuation route planned for Waikoloa Village.
Private landowners have pledged to fund and grant the County of Hawaii the new route or egress down to the highway. KITV4.

Hawaii Island to host 2024 Native Hawaiian Convention
. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has opened registration for its 2024 Native Hawaiian Convention, which will be held from Sept. 17-19 at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.


Decision Due Soon On Where To Build A New Elementary School In Lahaina.
The Hawaii Department of Education hopes to choose a permanent campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary by next month. Civil Beat.

Maui County Hopes To Provide Housing For Seniors, Even A Few Units At A Time. Maui County is buying two condo units in Kaanapali to create more affordable housing options for kupuna displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires that destroyed most of Lahaina and parts of Upcountry.  Civil Beat.


Meetings strive to give a voice to homelessness. The County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency opened its series of meetings on Tuesday to collect information for its five year homelessness strategic plan. Garden Island.

Polls shows solid support for restoration of Coco Palms Resort. As demolition work progresses on the Coco Palms Resort, a new poll shows robust support for the restoration of the once-renowned property that was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Home sales at 25-year low as only 20% can afford a single-family house, $13 loaf of bread spurs Kauai councilman complaint, past medical marijuana use stymies gun permits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Report: Home Affordability In Hawaii Is ‘As Bad As It’s Ever Been’. Only 1 in 5 households in Hawaii can afford to buy a single-family home — a dramatic drop from just three years ago, according to a grim housing report released by the University of Hawaii on Monday.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii faces shortage of 800 physicians, with neighbor islands hit hardest.
The most recent data by John A. Burns School of Medicine, reports, Hawaii has a shortage of nearly 800 full-time physicians and the need is more pronounced on the neighbor islands. KITV4.

Hawaii hotels’ soft spring is carrying over to summer. Statewide hotel occupancy in April dipped to 72.3%, a 1.4-percentage- point loss from April 2023, according to a Hawaii Hotel Performance report released Monday by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Starting Thursday, drivers in Hawai‘i can get ‘shaka plates’ benefitting nonprofit. Beginning this Thursday, residents throughout the state of Hawai‘i will be able to register for vehicle license plates depicting the iconic “shaka” hand gesture. Big Island Now.


Water agency prepares for possible cyberattacks. The Environmental Protection Agency is warning water utilities nationwide to be wary of cyberattacks from hackers affiliated with Iran and China seeking to sabotage drinking and wastewater resources. Oahu’s water supply has not been attacked, according to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

The Miske Trial: Key Cooperating Witness Says Working For Miske Made Him Feel Protected. A court heard that Jacob Smith was "on call" to beat targeted victims at Mike Miske's direction. Civil Beat.

State Installing New Cameras At Women’s Prison After $2 Million Settlement Over Sex Assaults. Outside observers said the lack of working cameras was a red flag because cameras provide a deterrent to misconduct. Civil Beat.

Invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle taking a toll on Oahu palm trees. The palms along much of Oahu’s North Shore are losing their fronds and dying, a harbinger of the fate of others on the rest of the island. Star-Advertiser.

New Ililani affordable condo project opens in Kakaako. Buying a one-bedroom condo for $300,000 and a two-bedroom for under $600,000 in Kakaako is almost unheard of. But those were the prices back in 2019 for about 200 units in the Ililani condo complex — a project designed to be 60% affordable housing and give young families, kupuna and working class folks a chance to achieve home ownership. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Medical marijuana permits caused the Big Island to reject more gun permits than other counties in 2023. According to the report, the number of gun permit rejections in 2023 hovered at 1% or lower in Maui, Kauaʻi and Honolulu counties. But in Hawaiʻi County, 6.9% were denied. Hawaii Public Radio.

Reusable foodware plan still in the works. The project, which received $2.1 million in grant funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year, would develop a system for distributing reusable food containers to restaurants and other participating organizations, and could be launched by February of next year, said Jennifer Navarra, program director for Zero Waste Hawaii Island.  Tribune-Herald.


Mayor Bissen secures Kula community center land for public use. After decades of leasing Kula land from the Von Tempsky family for County of Maui facilities, such as the community center, the County of Maui has negotiated terms to acquire the land beneath the community center and adjacent facilities for public use in perpetuity. Maui Now.

Residents invited to meet about permanent King Kamehameha III Elementary School. There are three possible sites to rebuild the school, which will be announced at a meeting on Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Grounded former ferry being defueled
. Work is expected to continue today to remove 2,500 gallons of fuel, oil and other hazardous items from a large dinner cruise vessel that grounded off Lahaina last week. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Owners of grounded luxury yacht Nakoa seeking contested case over $1.8 million fine. This coming Friday, the Land Board will take up a recommendation to deny the April 30 request of yacht owners Kevin and Kimberley Albert for a contested case proceeding. Maui Now.

Battling invasive species will be topic of county Sustainability Together series. The County of Maui Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division announced on Friday the third installment of its Sustainability Together: Community-led Regenerative Action speaker series from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the Maui Ocean Center Sphere.  Maui News.


‘I thought it was a joke!’: Rising grocery prices spur formal complaint from Hawaii lawmaker.
Prices for everyday staples in Hawaii are known to be higher than usual, but a loaf of bread over $13 on Kauai caused Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo to file a complaint about the bread with the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Hawaii News Now.

Zuckerberg settles lawsuit following 2019 death of security guard.
A lawsuit against Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg surrounding the wrongful death of a security guard who suffered a heart attack while climbing a steep, slippery trail on his North Shore Kauaʻi property was dismissed earlier this month following a settlement. Kauai Now.

Kazuyoshi (Tommy) Inouye’s Purple Heart comes home. The U.S. Army awarded 29 medals to soldiers who were killed in a plane crash on Okinawa as World War II ended nearly 80 years ago, and the five medals presented at Pearl Harbor represent the first of the 29 medals. Garden Island.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Ethics Commission to renew push for lobbying transparency laws; Kaneshiro, co-defendants found not guilty in corruption trial; HECO execs get raises despite tumultuous year, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ethics Commission to reintroduce 2 bills to improve transparency.  The executive director of the state Ethics Commission plans to again push for two bills in the next legislative session designed to provide greater transparency about relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Shareholders Overwhelmingly Supported Exec Pay Raises In 2023. Hawaiian Electric Industries investors saw their stock’s value plummet, their dividends disappear and the once-credit worthy company’s bond rating cut to junk status in 2023. But that didn’t stop the investors from supporting raises for the company’s top executives.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii counties differ in approach to regulating vacation rentals. Senate Bill 2919, which became Act 017 when Gov. Josh Green signed it May 3, makes it possible for county lawmakers to “regulate the time, place, manner, and duration in which uses of land and structures may take place.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii coffee wins greater protection from Legislature after epic struggle. House Bill 2298, if enacted, will require that by July 1, 2027, roasted, instant and ready-to-drink coffee contains at least 51% of coffee grown in a region of Hawaii if the product package uses the name of the region — such as Kona, Kau, Waialua, Molokai, Maui and Kauai — in a blend with foreign coffee. Star-Advertiser.

Clash over labeling of Hawaii mac nut products results in split legislation. Hawaii lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Josh Green that, if enacted, would disclose to consumers, starting Jan. 1, 2026, whether macadamia nuts grown in Hawaii are actually in some packaged foods that suggest the nuts are locally grown. Star-Advertiser.

Search for UH president’s replacement to begin soon. The search for the successor to University of Hawaii President David Lassner officially will begin in late May following the Board of Regents’ approval of the job description and leadership profile. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

‘No Easy Answers’ For How To Keep Hawaii’s Smallest Public Schools Open And Thriving.
Principals at small schools say they need more money to adequately serve students, but some state leaders say school consolidation and closures could be the answer. Civil Beat.


Jury returns swift not-guilty verdict in corruption trial of Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga.  Former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, prominent Hawaii businessman Dennis Mi­tsunaga and four Mitsu­naga &Associates executives were found not guilty on all counts in their pay-to-prosecute conspiracy trial in federal court Friday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.

‘No Evidence To Convict’: Jury Foreman Explains Acquittal In Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga Trial.
Prosecutors presented only circumstantial evidence that left room for reasonable doubt, a juror said. Civil Beat.

Big increase in homeless families on Oahu puts more keiki at risk.
The latest census of Oahu’s homeless population showed a 19% increase in homeless families since January 2023, including 635 children who can suffer lifelong consequences. Star-Advertiser.

This Alternative Method Of Demolishing Structures Could Help Honolulu Avoid A Landfill Crisis. Honolulu is considering how to promote deconstruction and re-use of the materials from buildings that are being torn down, an idea that has already caught on in other cities. Civil Beat.

The Miske Trial: How An Accused Crime Boss Fooled The State To Get A Motor Vehicle Dealer License. When he ran into hurdles because of his criminal background, court testimony shows, he simply lied or fabricated a non-existent entity. Civil Beat.

UH Manoa ranked in top 2.5% globally of 20,000 universities. The University of Hawaii at Manoa was ranked 511 on the Global 2000 list by the Center for World University Rankings, which measured key areas such as education, employability, faculty and research. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court will decide if farmland can be used for short-term rentals. The Rosehill petitioners argued that if agricultural land from 1976 in the county was allowed to be rented for less than 31 days, then the new 2019 law was more restrictive. That meant the agricultural landowners that were operating STRs before 2019 could be grandfathered in. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would change how corporation counsel is selected. Two council members have proposed making the council the sole appointing authority for the position, a move that left some of their fellows excited and others skeptical during a Tuesday meeting of the council’s Committee on Governmental Operations and External Affairs. Tribune-Herald.

Michael Konowicz announces candidacy for Hawai‘i County representing Kohala Districts. Michael Konowicz of Waikōloa announced his candidacy for Hawai‘i County’s District 9 representing North and South Kohala residents. Big Island Now.


Why Was The Maui County Finance Director Fired? The absence of former finance director Scott Teruya, which has never been explained, was felt during the county's about-to-conclude critical budget deliberations. Civil Beat.

Another telescope controvery is brewing, this time on Maui. The U.S. Air Force wants to build seven more telescopes on the summit of Haleakala to help better track the growing number of objects whizzing about in space. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Maui County issues first rebuilding permit for wildfire survivors. The Maui County Recovery Permit Center, which opened three weeks ago to facilitate permitting for August wildfire survivors, has issued its first building permit to a Lahaina couple to rebuild their destroyed home. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Kaiāulu o Kūkuʻia affordable housing waitlist opening; lottery planned. A waiting list opens next month for the Kaiāulu o Kūku′ia affordable apartment project located on Keawe St. in West Maui.  Maui Now.

Public to discuss new site for destroyed Lahaina school. The state Department of Education will hold a community meeting Tuesday to discuss options for a permanent site for the King Kamehameha III Elementary School campus, which was damaged beyond repair in the Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui. Star-Advertiser.

Maui seeks contractor to review MEMA’s Aug. 8 response.
County officials are seeking an outside agency to review the response of the Maui Emergency Management Agency during the Aug. 8 wildfires because they said the department currently has only two full-time employees. Star-Advertiser.

Committee authorized $193,274 fine to settle with EPA over county violations of Safe Water Drinking Act. Violations took place in seven different county owned properties with high capacity cesspools. Maui News.


Kauai apartment residents challenge DHHL as eviction looms.
Residents at an apartment complex in Kapaa, Kauai, are rallying to fight the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ proposed acquisition of their building, which they say would evict about 300 current residents in over 80 units. Star-Advertiser.

Lawa‘i still cleaning up from flood debris. Between 25 and 30 volunteers, including about a dozen from the U.S. Coast Guard came from as far away as Kapa‘a and toiled to clear the two ditches in the Lawai Valley Estates that were originally put in as drainage aids when the land was used for growing pineapples. Garden Island.

Fern Holland begins second campaign for Kauaʻi County Council. Fern Ānuenue Holland has officially launched her 2024 campaign for a seat on the Kauaʻi County Council, outlining a candidacy that would prioritize affordable housing, agriculture production, drug rehabilitation, and tourism management during a discussion at her first fundraising event at Anahola Marketplace earlier this week. Kauai Now.