Monday, June 17, 2024

FestPAC attracts 500k, Sandwich Isles cuts services, Navy land transfer falls through, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

FestPAC attracts about 500,000 people and is praised for celebrating 28 Pacific islands and territories. The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts &Culture — the world’s largest celebration of Indigenous Pacific Islanders — concluded Sunday evening with a sold-out closing ceremony at the University of Hawaii’s SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, distributing all 6,500 free tickets. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Sandwich Isles Cut Services To Hawaiian Homelands Despite Orders Not To. The telecommunications company providing telephone and broadband services to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and its beneficiaries has laid off its employees and terminated its services despite orders from state regulators and the governor to stay in business through June. Civil Beat.

Lee Loy responds to election challenge. A term-limited Hawaii County Council member facing a legal challenge to her campaign for the state House District 2 seat being vacated by Rep. Richard Onishi has filed her response. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii Public Radio.

Inflation takes bigger bite into Hawaii household budgets, but the data isn’t all bad. The numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics compared May prices to the same time last year. Overall, prices are up 5%. Rent increased by 12%, and the costs to eat out also rose by nearly 7%. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii State Hospital searches for new leadership as current head steps down. The search is on for a new leader at the Hawaii State Hospital. The Department of Health confirms that Doctor Kenneth Luke, who has led the mental health hospital since October last year, will step down. Hawaii News Now.


Transfer of former Navy land in Kalaeloa falls through. The Hawaii Community Development Authority recently decided not to accept 213 acres largely due to cost concerns for conservation and environmental cleanup of the property, which includes a pond contaminated by ordnance disposal and two mostly remediated trap and skeet shooting ranges. Star-Advertiser.

City racetrack project gains momentum with 400-acre Navy land transfer. Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a nearly 400-acre land transfer from the U.S. Navy near Kalaeloa on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii Public Radio.

Plans For A BWS Desalination Plant In Kalaeloa Get A $19 Million Boost.
Hawaii is getting nearly $19 million in federal funding to help design and build a desalination facility in Kalaeloa that would convert seawater into drinking water, Sen. Mazie Hirono announced in a press release Friday. Civil Beat.

Final phase emerging for Ward Village’s master-planned community in Kakaako. Final phase emerging for Ward Village’s master-planned community in Kakaako Star-Advertiser.

Plans to try to build Honokea West Surf Village still undecided. The team behind Honokea West's proposed Surf Village is still deciding if it wants to move forward with the plan. That's after a judge on May 29th said the court wouldn't accept its Environmental Assessment and told the group to provide a new one. KITV4.

Backlash surrounding new Royal Mausoleum curator continues. Frustration surrounding the hiring process for the curator of the Royal Mausoleum State Monument at Mauna Ala continues, even after the state announced the creation of a second, “culturally focused” position earlier this month. Star-Advertiser.

Report: Honolulu is one of 5 ‘impossibly unaffordable’ US housing markets. The authors of the annual Demographic International Housing Affordability report said the rise of unaffordable markets was nothing less than an “existential threat” to the middle class.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Pana‘ewa zoo to begin charging admission in 2025. The proposed admission fees for kama‘aina are $1 for keiki and $4 for adults. For nonresidents, the proposed fees are $5 for keiki and $12 for adults. Tribune-Herald.

Public safety, infrastructure key concerns in Hawaii Island mayoral race. It’s a crowded race for Hawaii County mayor as candidates seek to prevent incumbent Mitch Roth from serving a second term. Hawaii News Now.

Election season is here: All but two 2024 Hawaiʻi County primary races feature multiple candidates. This year’s primaries should be a raucous affair in Hawaiʻi County. Eight of the 9 County Council seats are up for grabs and all but two races have 2 or more candidates. Big Island Now.

De Luzes selling Big Island Toyota: Servco will take over, retain employees. The De Luz family is selling its dealership to Oahu automotive retailer Servco, ending a more than 60-year-old legacy of selling cars on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui Mayor To Lobby For Continued Federal Disaster Relief During DC Trip. Mayor Richard Bissen plans to provide updates to federal partners and Hawaii's two senators on the county's recovery 10 months after the fires. Civil Beat.

Maui County trying to block AG interview related to 2018 wildfires. Maui county officials are trying to block the state Department of the Attorney General from questioning the head of the Maui Emergency Management Agency about what the county learned from the 2018 West Maui wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

DHHL awards 52 turnkey homes at Puʻuhona in Waikapū, Maui.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) awarded 52 turnkey homes Saturday as part of phase one of the Puʻuhona Homestead lot awards. Puʻuhona is the department’s first project initiated through the $600 million allocation by state lawmakers in 2022 to support a multifaceted approach to reduce the DHHL Waiting List.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Maui Is Mapping Its Wetlands To Protect Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Some homeowners are concerned about unintended consequences, red tape and the effect on property values. Civil Beat.

CNHA releases new Maui recovery statistics. New data released by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement on Thursday illustrates the continued recovery status and community needs of families affected by the Aug. 8 wildfires that killed 101 and displaced thousands.  Star-Advertiser.

Haʻikū Community Association discusses stream restoration in next public meeting, June 19. Haʻikū Community Association (HCA) hosts a public meeting on Wednesday, June 19. The meeting will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Haʻikū Community Center, located on Hāna Highway at the bottom of Pa’uwela Road. Maui Now.


2024 Primary Election: Only 2 local races, with one decided, the other an open field. One race is already decided while the other is chock full of candidates hoping to either continue serving Kaua‘i County or win a chance to step up by winning a seat at the council table in this year’s primary elections on the Garden Isle. Kauai Now.

Southwest airlines Plane descends quickly off Kauai coast. A Southwest Airlines Co. passenger flight in April came within 400 feet of slamming into the ocean off the coast of Hawaii after weather conditions forced pilots to bypass a landing attempt. Bloomberg. Kauai Now.

Whale carcass washes ashore in Waipouli.
Sharks were attracted to the area by a portion of a whale carcass that came ashore on the reef close to the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort on Thursday evening. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

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