Thursday, June 13, 2024

Too late for TMT? Plus, campaign shenanigans in state House races, high COVID warning and more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

New TMT team changes approach to get community support, but is it too late for the telescope? It’s been five years since thousands of protesters blocked the start of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope planned near the summit of Mauna Kea. Now, a different management team is trying a different approach to try to move the telescope forward. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Department warns of high COVID activity. The Hawaii Department of Health said its Respiratory Disease Dashboard shows COVID activity level is red, or at a high activity level, indicating the virus is circulating at high levels compared with historic trends. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Many Hawaii High School Counselors Are Taking The Summer Off As School Budgets Run Short.
Not all campuses have the budget to offer year-round counseling services, and roughly half of high schools in the Hawaii Department of Education offer summer college and career counseling. Civil Beat.

Republican primary producing complaints to HPD. State Rep. Kanani Souza, an attorney representing Kapolei and Makakilo, in complaints filed with the Hono­lulu Police Department on April 28, May 16, and June 9, is accusing challenger Sheila Medeiros, a 55- year-old retired U.S. Army veteran, of harassing her. Star-Advertiser.

Lee Loy candidacy challenged: Petitioners claim her main residence is in a different district. An objection has been filed over Hawaii County Council member Sue Lee Loy’s candidacy for the state House District 2 seat and her registration to vote in the district. Tribune-Herald.

Suit: State failed to conduct proper screening before placing child in same home where girl starved to death. The boy lived for five years in the Wahiawa home of Thomas and Brandy Blas and like Geanna suffered severe abuse and neglect, the complaint says. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.


EPA To Disband Red Hill Oversight Group Amid Navy Complaints. The Navy wanted to control the agenda. Community members said no. Now the group is being cancelled. Civil Beat.

City gains 400 acres of former Navy-owned land for public recreation. The City and County of Honolulu took ownership of approximately 400 acres of former Navy-­owned land at Kalaeloa that will go toward public recreation use, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced at a ceremony outside Honolulu Hale on Wednesday afternoon. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City expands homeless services at new facility. With an aim to get Oahu’s chronically homeless off the streets and into permanent housing, the city’s new Leahi Behavioral and Medical Respite facility has officially opened near the slopes of Diamond Head. Star-Advertiser.

Home-Buying Subsidy At New Kapiolani High Rise Targets Doctors, Teachers And Police Officers. The program is aimed at middle-income buyers often overlooked by affordable housing policies. Civil Beat.

Miske Defense Hints At Alternate Theories For Alleged Murder Victim’s Disappearance.
Defense attorneys called on multiple experts to highlight the lack of forensic evidence directly tying Michael Miske to the 2016 killing of Johnathan Fraser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

All access to Haiku Stairs region closed for removal. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the City and County of Honolulu announced Wednesday the closure of the entire Moanalua Section of the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve — also known as Middle Ridge — and the Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park for the removal of the Haiku Stairs. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Work on Nanue project could begin early next year. The Nanue Stream Bridge, located at about the 15 mile marker on Highway 19 — just south of Ninole — is slated for a three-year repair project that will replace large sections of infrastructure that have become dangerously degraded. Tribune-Herald.


Army Corps’ latest mission will provide 169 temporary homes for Maui fire survivors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) newest mission is the Kilohana Temporary Housing Project – a 34-acre site located off a cane haul road near Wahikuli Road in Lahaina. Hawaii News Now.

Pōhākea public land purchase: 250 acres protected in perpetuity at Māʻalaea Mauka. A 257-acre parcel at Pōhākea (also known as Māʻalaea Mauka) is now protected in perpetuity with the State Legacy Land Conservation Program and the County of Maui Open Space contributing $1M and $6.2M to fund the conservation purchase, respectively.  Maui Now.

Pride flag raised last week in celebration of Pride Month was removed twice; police report filed. The Pride Flag hung by the County of Maui as a celebration of national June Pride Month was illegally removed twice after it was raised during a Proclamation and flag ceremony last week outside the County building, organization leaders with Aloha Maui Pride said. Maui Now.

Waikapū Development Venture project completion deadline extended to 2029.
The Maui County Council has approved extending the construction completion date to September 2029 for Waikapū Development Venture’s 80-unit affordable workforce housing project south of Wailuku town. Maui Now.


Colleague alleges jailed artist’s letter for Kauaʻi councilman was a complaint, not a threat. Over a month after local artist Glen Gruenhagen was handed a year-long jail sentence for allegedly threatening Councilman Billy DeCosta through a handmade poster in January, a recently obtained record of a heated private meeting among county staff reveals the man had come to the Historic County Building in Lihuʻe begging for help, claiming DeCosta had been harassing him in Kōkeʻe for years. Kauai Now.

Coco Palms bringing Kimpton to Hawai‘i. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants announced Wednesday that it is partnering with the Coco Palms Resort following a historically sensitive restoration of the iconic property in Wailua. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Runway project underway at Lihu‘e Airport. The work is expected to run through Thursday, July 18, and requires the installation of new lighting or Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights to runways and taxiway edges, including LED lighting to airfield signage and conduits along with cabling. Garden Island.

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