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.

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