Monday, June 3, 2024

Kilauea erupts, Hawaii seaweed touted to reduce cattle methane emissions, Honolulu mulls gift ban bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Cattle Are A Major Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Hawaii Seaweed Could Change That. Local businesses are getting big funding boosts to help make farmed algae part of the solution in addressing the amount of methane cattle produce. Civil Beat.

 Kilauea erupting as alert level raised to red. Kīlauea erupts; fissures active likely about a mile south of caldera, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Big Island Now.  Star-Advertiser.
 Big Island Video News. . Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Established Hawaii business groups question fledgling chamber. The head of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii says a new organization called the Chamber of Sustainable Commerce has generated confusion among some island businesses and does not represent traditional business interests. Star-Advertiser.

PUC orders halt to phone, internet service disconnections for 1,500 Hawaiian Home Lands households.  The state Public Utilities Commission has ordered Sandwich Isles Communications not to cut phone and internet service to about 1,500 Hawaiian Home Lands households statewide. Hawaii News Now.

State chief information officer retiring. State Chief Information Officer Doug Murdock retired from public service Friday, Gov. Josh Green announced.. Murdock served as CIO since January 2019. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island senator assigned new interim chair Senate Committee.
Sen. Herbert M. “Tim” Richards III (Senate District 4, North Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, North Kona) will be the interim Chair of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs. Big Island Now.

New members appointed to Hawaiian Homes Commission. Renown waterman and Maui activist Archie Kalepa was appointed to represent the Valley Isle, effective immediately.  Gov. Josh Green also appointed Lawrence Lasua, former president and CEO of Moloka‘i Community Federal Credit Union, effective July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Falck protests EMS contracts for Maui, Kauai going to AMR. The company that initially won the state contracts for emergency medical services for Maui and Kauai counties and then lost it in a rebidding process is formally contesting awarding of the work to International Life Support, dba American Medical Response, or AMR. Star-Advertiser.


Council advances gift ban bill for Honolulu city and county employees.
A Honolulu City Council measure to prohibit city and county employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists or other third-party sources in relation to their official duties is nearing final approval. Star-Advertiser.

Tweaks To Honolulu’s Land Use Law Could Jeopardize Kahuku’s Controversial Wind Farms. Repairs may soon be needed, but those could run into legal trouble as the City Council considers new restrictions. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Has Been Fighting Over Illegal Vacation Rentals Since The 1970s. Whether tourists destroy neighborhoods or provide a critical financial lifeline to residents is an argument that goes back a generation. Civil Beat.

Tensions at HART leave future of rail leadership in doubt. Lori Kahikina’s future as the CEO and executive director of the city’s rail project — and the future of the project itself — has been thrown into doubt with six months left on her contract and relations continuing to break down between her and the chair of the board that oversees the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Navy’s Red Hill tank ventilation rattles some residents. Navy Closure Task Force-Red Hill announced on its mobile app last week that the state Department of Health had approved its plans to begin cleaning operations and venting of the facility’s Tank No. 8. Star-Advertiser.

City land donation proposed for Kailua Hawaiian homesteads project. For the third time in two decades, city officials are seeking to make residential use out of a large parcel of vacant city land in Kailua. Star-Advertiser.

Working group formed as lead testing continues near Marine rifle range. The Marine Corps Puuloa Range Training Facility in Ewa Beach has been in continuous operation for more than a century. But in recent years complaints about noise and concerns about environmental effects of the shooting range have put it under increasing scrutiny from the surrounding community. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

UH observatory removed from Mauna Kea; CSO will be next.
The Hoku Kea Observatory, the University of Hawaii’s educational telescope, was the first of five Mauna Kea observatories slated for removal as part of the university’s Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan and, as of the end of May, was the first to be completely removed from the summit. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island NowKHON2.

Court rejects access road claim: Justices rule DOT erred when it designated thoroughfare to Maunakea a state highway. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday ruled the state Department of Transportation’s 2018 designation of Maunakea Access Road as a public highway “took almost all property rights” from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

ROD fight continues: Experts hope to limit spread by preventing injuries to trees. While the fight against Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death continues throughout Hawaii, scientists have shifted their focus to managing ungulates and other invasive species. Tribune-Herald.


Help for Maui’s fire-impacted businesses trickles down slowly. It’s been more than nine months since the Maui wildfires, but thousands of Maui business owners who applied for the Maui Bridge Grant or a Small Business Administration disaster loan are still waiting. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina Fire Sparks Bitter Business Disagreement Over Who Is Responsible For Rebuilding. One issue in the case of West Maui Center is whether insurance should cover both the landlord's and the tenant's loss. Civil Beat.

FEMA Is Canceling Some Of Its Direct Leases To House Maui Fire Survivors. The property owners are now scrambling to figure out what to do with their units which sat empty for months at the expense of taxpayers. Civil Beat.

Will We Recognize Lahaina Once It’s Rebuilt? A Maui Lawmaker Ponders The Question. Angus McKelvey says the state government needs to do more to prevent a massive sell-off of land. Civil Beat.


Property tax rate hikes approved by Kauaʻi County Council. Resolution No. 2024-31 proposes to create a tiered system for real property tax rates for the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year, where more expensive properties are placed into a higher tax rate.  Kauai Now.

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