Thursday, May 9, 2024

FEMA spending millions on empty buildings for Maui fire survivors, AG Lopez acting governor, government wraps up case in Kaneshiro bribery trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Attorney General Anne Lopez serving as acting governor.  Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke served as acting governor from the evening of May 4 through Tuesday evening when Hawaii Attorney General Anne E. Lopez is serving as acting governor from the evening of May 7 until Gov. Josh Green’s return May 9.  Green has been in California since May 4 to attend the Milken Institute Global Conference. Maui News.

Deadline effectively set for Justice Department to decide on Alaska-Hawaiian deal. The DOJ said it would decide within 90 days of the two airlines declaring substantial compliance with the DOJ's second and presumably final document request.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Campaign Spending Commission Fines Kaniela Ing Another $18,000.  The Campaign Spending Commission fined former state Rep. Kaniela Ing $18,000 Wednesday for failing to make records available to the commission and falsifying nearly two dozen campaign finance reports during his time as a state representative from 2012 to 2018.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.


‘Follow the money’ witness wraps up government’s case in Kaneshiro trial. After 22 days of testimony, the government rested its case in the federal bribery trial against ex-city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and his co-defendants. Hawaii News Now.

Will Honolulu reach its goal to drop emissions by 45% in the next year?  Ben Sullivan, the deputy director for the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, said that Honolulu is on track to achieve closer to a 15% reduction, which is well below the stated goal. Hawaii Public Radio.

City outlines wildfire preparations on Oahu.
In the wake of the deadly Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, the City and County of Honolulu says it’s begun efforts to better respond to future wildfire threats on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Federal witnesses defend Navy’s Red Hill response.
Government witnesses are taking the stand this week to defend the Navy’s response to the Red Hill water crisis and sow doubts about the severity of the contamination as a federal mass tort lawsuit on behalf of affected families continues. Star-Advertiser.

Residential development planned for former St. Francis School campus. The 11.2 acre campus on the east side of Manoa Valley is already zoned for residential use. The Avalon Group purchased it for $23.5 million and wants to turn it into Aria Lane Manoa, with 76 single-family homes and 26 townhomes. Prices haven’t been set yet. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Growing Demand Puts Pressure On Honolulu’s Sports Fields.
Sports leagues are proliferating while the number of fields remains stagnant. One solution: Letting leagues play on school fields during off-hours. Civil Beat.

Plans to redo Paradise Cove at Ko Olina revived.
  New development partners are advancing a previously delayed plan to revitalize one of Hawaii’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions, Paradise Cove Luau. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Public clashes with Army over PTA lease.  During a public comment meeting at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo on Wednesday, Big Islanders continued to urge the U.S. Army to abandon the Pohakuloa Training Area instead of extending its lease of state land. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  KITV4.

Visitor spending on Hawaii Island leaps to $854.2 million in the first quarter.
Visitor spending on Hawaii Island leaped to $854.2 million in the first quarter from $741.1 million in the first quarter of 2023 and from $646.4 in the first quarter of 2019, according to a monthly report from the state of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism. Tribune-Herald.


FEMA Is Still Spending Millions On Hundreds Of Empty Housing Units For Maui Fire Survivors
. The agency has found available housing but is struggling to get people to move in. On Friday, it ends its support for the emergency hotel program. Civil Beat.

County issues RFP for After-Action Report of Maui Emergency Management Agency’s coordination of the Aug. 8 wildfire. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen announced the County of Maui has issued a Request for Proposals to conduct an After-Action Report assessing the coordination of Maui County Emergency Management Agency’s response to the Maui Wildfires that occurred in August 2023. Maui Now.

Residents invited to offer feedback on draft South Maui Community Plan at May 14 meeting. The Maui Planning Commission will review the latest draft for the South Maui Community Plan during a public meeting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Testimony will be accepted. Maui Now.

New Maui Ethics Board Member Instructed Not To Participate Due To Legal Dispute. The short-handed panel desperately needs more members, but a lawsuit is pending over the county's selection process. Civil Beat.


US Navy, NASA seek continued use of lands at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kōkeʻe park. The U.S. Navy and NASA want to continue using more than 8,000 acres of state land on Kaua‘i after existing real estate agreements expire in 2027 and 2030. Kauai Now.

Visitor spending tops $700 million in first quarter on Kaua‘i. Total visitor spending surged to $719.4 million in the three-month period ended March 31, compared with $660.9 million in the three-month period ended March 31, 2023, and $481.9 million in the three-month period ended March 31, 2019. Garden Island.

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