Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Decade-low candidates in this year's elections, oil industry asks Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits, Air Force changes mind, opts to keep Bellows Air Force Station, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Fewer Candidates Filed For Election In Hawaii This Year Than In The Past 10 Years. Dozens of incumbent lawmakers face no challenger. The most significant race in Hawaii’s Aug. 10 primary may well influence who is the next speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives — and thus directly impact the policies and laws of the entire state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oil industry asks Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits from Hawaii, other states. Oil and gas companies are asking the Supreme Court to block dozens of high-powered lawsuits from Hawaii to Massachusetts seeking to hold the industry liable for billions of dollars in costs related to climate change. Los Angeles Times.

State insurance chief doesn’t see carrier exit.
Hawaii has been the subject of some scary national headlines lately regarding property insurance, but the state insurance commissioner Tuesday expressed a less calamitous view of the industry affecting homeowners. Star-Advertiser.

A ‘Hard Market’ Is Battering Condo Owners. A confluence of events is causing the hard market, said Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito. And the resulting spike in premiums — primarily for hurricane insurance for condominium associations — is sending shocks to homeowners across Hawaii, Ito said. Civil Beat.

Hawaii launches wildfire, drought alert campaign. The summer months ahead are shaping up to be hot and dry, with the same level of wildfire risks as 2023, according to experts Tuesday at the launch of the Wildfire and Drought Lookout campaign. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaiian Telcom vows to serve Hawaiian home lands amid disruption. After Gov. Josh Green’s emergency proclamation Friday to preserve telecommunications services for approximately 1,500 homes and businesses served by Sandwich Isles Communications, Hawaiian Telcom on Tuesday announced its commitment to serving residential and business customers on Hawaiian home lands with existing connectivity infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

Doctors to get tax relief on patients' government health plans under new law. Starting in 2026, doctors will no longer have to pay the state’s general excise tax on health care for patients on Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. Hawaii Public Radio.

State works to spend millions of dollars to address opioid addiction.
Hawaiʻi can address substance abuse with $33 million from opioid manufacturer settlements — and that number is expected to continue to grow. However, managing and spending the funds has been a work in progress. Hawaii Public Radio.


Air Force has ‘change of heart’ on plan to part with training site riddled with old munitions. Citing “changes in operational requirements,” the Air Force says it now plans to keep a 138-acre training site at Bellows Air Force Station that it had long planned to part with. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Council is poised to adopt $4 billion-plus budget. The Honolulu City Council today is expected to review for adoption the city’s proposed $3.63 billion executive operating budget for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi calls for multi-year contract for Honolulu rail CEO
.  Mayor Rick Blangiardi today told officials who oversee the city’s rail project to offer a multi-year contract to Lori Kahikina — its CEO and executive director — and fully cooperate with an investigation into any alleged “bullying and harassment” of Kahikina by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council Proposes Kailua Land Sale For Hawaiian Homelands.
Hawaiian homelands lots may be offered for the first time in Kailua under a proposal introduced at the Honolulu City Council on Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Man awarded $12.5M from city ordered held without bail in federal gun, drug case. The 38-year-old man who settled with the city for $12.5 million following injuries he suffered in a 2021 police pursuit was ordered held without bail today on federal charges that he used a ghost gun while selling methamphetamine in Waianae. Star-Advertiser.

Raw sewage seeps over Sand Island park
. Sand Island State Recreation Area has long stretches of coastline and plenty of pretty beaches. But at the end of the park, there was something ugly found behind one of its bathrooms. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

COVID cases creep up on the Big Island. Hawaii Island hospitals are reporting a slight increase in COVID-19 activity similar to rising rates throughout the state. Tribune-Herald.

Recent Kilauea eruptions could indicate new phase of activity. Ken Hon, scientist in charge at HVO, said Kilauea’s recent behavior seems to potentially indicate a new phase of volcanic activity, one characterized by a series of “pulses” of activity instead of sustained events over longer periods of time. Tribune-Herald.


Maui court upholds governor’s Emergency Proclamation on affordable housing. Second Circuit Court Judge Peter T. Cahill issued judgment in favor of Gov. Josh Green, M.D., and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation, in a lawsuit that sought to, among other things, invalidate the governor’s emergency proclamation on affordable housing. Maui Now.

Temporary groundwater monitoring wells to be installed at Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu. County officials say the installation is part of its commitment along with the US Army Corps of Engineers to protect public health and the environment during the wildfire cleanup. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative continues to lead Hawai‘i in renewable generation. For the fifth straight year, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative leads the state of Hawaiʻi in renewable generation, having achieved 57.9% renewable for 2023. This puts KIUC well ahead of the state of Hawaiʻi requirement of 40% by 2030. Kauai Now.

Visitor count drops, spending climbs on Kaua‘i in April. A steep drop in the number of visitors to the island of Kaua‘i in April was of no consequence on the spending front, as tourists continued to plow piles of cash into the local economy. Garden Island.

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