Showing posts with label Barack Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barack Obama. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Maui water wars exacerbated Lahaina wildfire disaster, state begins notifying families of lost loved ones, Hawaiian Electric stock plunges 34% on lawsuit fears, Hurricane Fernanda, Tropical Storm Greg advance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

A State Official Refused To Release Water For West Maui Fires Until It Was Too Late.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources delayed releasing water requested by West Maui Land Co. to help prevent the spread of fire, sources familiar with the situation said. Civil Beat.

The Maui Agency That Could Answer Pressing Wildfire Evacuation Questions Has Been MIA.  The Maui Emergency Management Agency hasn't participated in media updates, and officials haven't offered specifics on what happened leading up to the deadly blaze. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric’s stock plunges 34% on fears of wildfire liability. Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s stock plunged by a record on concern that its power lines may be linked to the deadly Maui wildfires. Shares fell $10.94, or 34%, to close at $21.46 today on Wall Street, after earlier tumbling as much as 42%. Bloomberg.

Residents had moments to make life-or-death choices. 
There were no sirens, no one with bullhorns, no one to tell anyone what to do: They were on their own, with their families and neighbors, to choose whether to stay or to run, and where to run to — through smoke so thick it blinded them, flames closing in from every direction, cars exploding, toppled power lines and uprooted trees, fire whipping through the wind and raining down. Associated Press. Hawaii Public Radio.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Families of first 3 victims identified in Maui fire to be notified today.  Three victims of the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire have been identified, and their families will get the grim news today that their loved ones are official casualties as the death toll grew to 99 on Monday, and will likely continue to rise. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Governor Seeks Moratorium On Property Sales In Lahaina. The search through the rubble continued as the death toll from the wildfires rose to 99. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  KITV4.

Focus moving to pollution, water hazards on Maui, Coast Guard says. The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that it’s shifting its focus from combing the waters around Lahaina for bodies to cleaning up debris and pollution in the sea after a deadly wildfire destroyed much of the historic town. Star-Advertiser.

Obama posts video urging support for Lahaina. Former President Barack Obama took to social media Monday to urge his followers to help rebuild Lahaina. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Major Hurricane Fernanda, Tropical Storm Greg Churning In Pacific. Tropical Storm Greg has formed in the Central Pacific and is about 1,050 miles east-southeast of Hilo, while Hurricane Fernanda maintains its category 4 strength in the Eastern Pacific, about 2,380 miles east-southeast of Hilo. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


State Failed To Heed Warnings Of Waimanalo Girl’s Abuse, Lawsuit Alleges. The lawsuit by the estate of Isabella Kalua says the state advocated her adoption by her foster parents despite multiple reports of suspicious injuries by doctors and others. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ocean View students stranded after being denied bus service. An incident last Friday involved more than two dozen students from the Ocean View area who attempted to take a Hele-On bus to Ka‘u High and Pahala Elementary.  The students were stranded when a Hele-On bus driver told them seats were being reserved for other commuters at upcoming stops and they were not able to board. Tribune-Herald.

Nonprofit offers wildfire risk assessments in Hawaii County.  In the wake of the deadly Maui wildfires and the blazes that damaged properties in West Hawaii, a Waimea-based nonprofit organization is conducting community wildfire risk assessments using home assessors-in-training. Tribune-Herald.

Kilauea Volcano Again Showing Signs Of Elevated Unrest.  Earthquakes peaked at 100 on Sunday, August 13, including a magnitude-4.3 event that was felt across Hawaiʻi Island.   Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


FEMA Money For Maui Disaster Relief May Get Caught Up In A Partisan Fight Over Ukraine. Federal funding is kicking in on Maui but a budget shortfall looms in Washington. Civil Beat.

Federal help ramped up for Maui fire relief.
New levels of federal assistance for Maui fire survivors who suffered losses rolled out Monday, including free hotel lodging and one-time $700 payments per household for any critical needs. Star-Advertiser.

For some Maui teachers, fires took 2 places they called home.  At least six of the teachers with lost or greatly damaged homes worked at King Kamehameha III Elementary, the one public school that officials have deemed a loss in the West Maui fires. Star-Advertiser.

On the ground in Lahaina town: Sadness, searching, signs of hope. In the smoldering ruins of Lahaina town, a stream of water casts through the air onto the blackened branches of the 150-year-old banyan tree.  Maui News. KITV4.

Maui police suspend placard program after ‘non-essential’ people flood distribution sites. Just hours after launching it, Maui police have suspended a placard program designed to speed up access into West Maui after distribution areas were flooded with people. Hawaii News Now.


Senator Hirono gets a taste of agriculture in Wailua. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono was pleasantly surprised on Monday when she was presented with a 4-H certificate during her stop at the University of Hawai‘i Kaua‘i Agricultural Research Center during a day trip to the Garden Island. Garden Island.

Invasive coconut rhinoceros beetles spread to Wailuā, Kīlauea – but experts are optimistic. Three months after invasive coconut rhinoceros beetles were first reported on Kauaʻi near the Līhu‘e Airport, more of the species have been found in Kīlauea and Wailuā.  Kauai Now.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Rejected nominees continue to head departments, Green proposes tiny homes at state Capitol for homeless, Obama school renaming deferred, $165M Kakaako deal offered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Chris Sadayasu, left, nominated to lead the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Scott Glenn, right, nominated to lead the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.

Gov. Green’s failed nominees could stay in place. Two of Gov. Josh Green’s Cabinet nominees who failed to win Senate confirmation — and any others who also might lack Senate support — will remain in place until the May 5 end of the legislative session and possibly for the rest of 2023 and even longer. On March 24, Green’s nominees to lead the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism — Chris Sadayasu — and the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development — Scott Glenn — failed to win Senate confirmation. Star-Advertiser. (Publisher's note: This story has since been corrected here)

Two more of Gov. Green's cabinet picks move forward after unanimous committee support. Both DOTAX director Gary Suganuma and Budget and Finance director Luis Salaveria received unanimous support Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOH nominee Kenneth Fink gets initial committee approval on road to becoming director.
Dr. Kenneth Fink, nominated to serve as the director of the state's Department of Health, received a positive advise and consent recommendation from the Senate’s Health and Human Services committee on Monday. Hawaii Public Radio.

To address homelessness in his backyard, Green proposes pop-up homeless village near state Capitol
. Tiny homes for the homeless could start going up near the Capitol as early as this summer as part of a Green Administration plan. Gov. Josh Green says the so-called pop-up “kauhale village” will temporarily house some of the people currently camping in front of the state Library and Iolani Palace. Hawaii News Now.

A bill to raise taxes on luxury housing investments had plenty of support.
Until it didn’t. A proposal to double taxes on high-end real estate investments is in trouble at the state Legislature, and now housing and homeless advocates are scrambling to get it a hearing. Hawaii News Now.

Changes could be coming to Hawaii Tourism Authority. The Hawaii Tourism Authority could be forced to make a major change, because of bills advancing this legislative session. KITV4.

Final hearing set for ‘clean elections’ measure. A state Senate bill that would establish a program for publicly funded elections, also known as “clean elections,” will face its final hearing at 2 p.m. today by the House Committee on Finance. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Are Keeping Pressure On DOE For School Meal Plans. Farmers and ranchers see an opportunity for ongoing collaboration. Civil Beat.

As Mental Health Crisis Worsens In Hawaii, Psychiatrist Shortage Takes Heavy Toll On Kids. State leaders are working to bring some relief to exhausted parents, especially on the neighbor islands. Civil Beat.

Bill aims to attract UFC to Hawaii. A bill state lawmakers hope will attract the Ultimate Fighting Championship to Hawaii by creating a Combat Sports Commission has passed its final committee hurdle. Tribune-Herald.


Kakaako Makai deal proposed. The leader of the state House of Representatives wants to make a deal with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to keep housing from ever being developed on land the agency owns in Kakaako mainly in exchange for $165 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Council panel approves Honolulu’s rail safety plan. The City Council’s Committee on Transportation voted unanimously Tuesday to report for adoption a federally mandated rail safety plan that identifies the city’s transit agency as the final responsible party of the rail system, which is still under construction by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

Rail is full steam ahead for its summer opening.
That’s according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit and the Department of Transportation Services who updated the Honolulu City Council on Tuesday afternoon. KHON2.

Effort to rename elementary school after Barack Obama put on hold. A push to rename a Manoa elementary school after former President Barack Obama has been put on hold. Noelani Elementary School will keep its name for now. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu traffic-related fatalities remain high. Traffic-related fatalities in Hawaii in roughly the first three months of this year were fewer than at the same time last year.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawai‘i County seeking board, commission applicants to fill vacancies. The County of Hawaiʻi is inviting applications from eligible individuals to fill vacancies in several boards and commissions, including Fire Board of Appeals, Youth Commission, Board of Appeals, Committee on People with Disabilities, County Voters with Special Needs Advisory Committee, Kailua Village Design Commission, Transportation Commission, Pension Board, Tax Board of Review, Leeward Planning Commission and Veterans Advisory Committee. Big Island Now.

Kahalu‘u Beach To Close For Coral Spawning In May. The closure, from May 5 to May 12, aims to "enhance the spawning of cauliflower coral, a vital process for rejuvenating the coral reef ecosystem." Big Island Video News.


Teacher housing proposal on Maui closer to becoming a reality. Senate Bill 1596 allocates $15 million to the School Facilities Authority to create on-campus or nearby housing for teachers. The program would build units in either the Lahainaluna or Kūlanihākoʻi complex areas on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Grand Wailea’s plans not yet up to legal standards, report says. Resort’s 137-room proposal still in limbo as groups push for more details on impacts. Maui News.

Molokaʻi Real Property Assessment office closing temporarily due to staff shortage. The County of Mauiʻs Molokaʻi Real Property Assessment office located at Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai will close temporarily from Tuesday, April 4 to Friday, April 14 due to a staffing shortage. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i man sentenced to probation for government theft.  Scott Poland, who illegally spent $35,000 in public money,  pleaded guilty in November 2022 to two counts of government theft for making dozens of unauthorized purchases while working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

U.S. senator meeting Kaua‘i veterans and business owners Wednesday. Democratic U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, will be on Kaua‘i on Wednesday, April 5, to meet with veterans and visit local businesses that have received federal assistance. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

HECO launches electric grid plans, Oahu school may be named after Obama, ex-lawmaker seeks reduced sentence in bribery case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Electric seeks public comment on draft Integrated Grid Plan. The draft plan for its island grids was filed with the Public Utilities Commission, outlining steps the company will take in the coming years to ensure its system will achieve net zero carbon emissions and use 100% local, renewable resources. Maui Now.

Ex-Hawaii lawmaker in bribery case seeks 15-month sentence. Ty J.K. Cullen, the former vice chair of the state House Committee on Finance who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a wastewater executive is asking a judge to sentence him to 15 months in federal prison, citing his yearlong “substantial assistance” with the U.S. Department of Justice’s public-corruption investigation. Star-Advertiser.

First wave of pre-K classes planned to open ahead of schedule.  Eleven free preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds are scheduled to open a year ahead of schedule in August to help low-income families across the islands, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Efforts to fund public after-school programs cut short by lawmakers
. Despite overwhelming support at the Legislature this session, the Senate Ways and Means Committee deferred House Bill 69 on Thursday. It was the last surviving measure that would have provided additional funding to public after-school programs.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Sick and tired of that road racket? Bills to muffle mufflers advance at state Capitol. Lawmakers say they are getting a lot of noise about noise this year ― and are responding with new technology and police tactics. Hawaii News Now.

Spiraling housing prices spark worry about Hawaii’s future. Currently, housing construction is not keeping up with demand. Only 1,000 to 2,000 new housing units are being built in Hawaii each year. Those numbers are dwarfed by the 50,000 new units a 2019 state-commissioned study estimated would be needed by 2025. Associated Press.

Visitors to Hawaii would be charged $50 to visit state parks, other areas. Senate Bill 304 would require nonresidents aged 15 or older to obtain an environmental license to visit state parks or other “natural areas on state land.”  Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority launches new site to share Destination Management progress. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority has launched a new website, “Holomua,” an online platform for sharing collective updates and progress on each of its community-based Destination Management Action Plans. Big Island Now Big Island Video News.


In ‘hard to compete’ labor market, city to test flexible work schedules and telework options. The city is launching a pilot program in an effort to entice more workers and fill thousands of vacancies Among the options being promoted: Telework and flexible schedules for many employees. Hawaii News Now.

Rain causes leaks, disruptions at Hawai‘i Convention Center.  Heavy rain that caused pockets of flash flooding in the southern and eastern areas of Oahu on Sunday soaked through the Hawai‘i Convention Center roof, affecting the Kawaii Kon event and removing another five meeting rooms from service. Star-Advertiser.

In heavy rains, an upstream dumping problem triggers a trashy situation on exclusive Kahala Beach. Shopping carts, clothes, and other debris littered Kahala Beach on Monday following heavy rains over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Rail Cost On The Rise As Electric Hookups To Customers Along The Line Are Factored In. More than $700 million in contracts were awarded to relocate utilities in the urban area, but that did not include transformers or electrical lines to homes and businesses. Civil Beat.

City readies for opening of Kapolei to stadium rail segment. The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services is gearing up to take over the coming rail line this year — handling ridership, fares and bolstering the system’s security. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate considers name change for local elementary school. The Senate Committee on Education heard testimony from those both in support of and against the name change of Noelani Elementary School to President Barack Obama Noelani Elementary School. KITV4.

Booze Battle Heats Up As Judge Slaps Liquor Commission Critic With Court Order. Controversies surrounding the beleaguered Honolulu Liquor Commission have taken an unusual turn, with a commission investigations supervisor obtaining a temporary restraining order against a critic who the supervisor says has bombarded the agency with public records requests.  Civil Beat.

Mayor confirms Waipahu District Park pool reopening date. Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced in a town hall meeting on March 30 that the pool is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday, May 1. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Army official addresses PTA, concerns about China in the Pacific. Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan, commanding general for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, provided updates about the Pohakuloa Training Area on Monday at an event held by the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County IT Director Moves To Civil Defense Position. Information Technology Director Scott Uehara has accepted a position within the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, where he will focus on emergency communications systems. Big Island Video News.

False active shooter call prompts lockdown of 3 Hawaii schools. Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate School and Waiakea Elementary School were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure due to the seriousness of the call. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County finalists named for UH Board of Regents seat. The finalists for the Hawaii County seat are Michael Miyahira, Kona Moran, Alapaki Nahale-a and Steven Pavao. Tribune-Herald.


Bill seeks a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park due to increased visitors. The state House Finance Committee will hear a bill this week that requests a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park, also known as Oneloa Beach. Maui Now.

Finding of No Significant Impact for Puʻunēnē Ave. road widening and improvement project
. The project aims to increase roadway safety and capacity by adding two additional vehicle lanes and shared shoulders.  Maui Now.

Protectors of ancestral remains rail against planned expansion of Maui luxury resort. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, has been wanting to expand for years. But protectors of ancestral bones, or iwi kupuna, say enough already. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i Fire Department seeking $450k to reduce drownings. If secured, the funds would pay for an additional 12 full-time lifeguards, and would allow the department to safeguard all monitored beaches 10 hours a day, seven days a week, through a new “Dawn to Dusk” program. Garden Island.

Understanding alcohol use disorders is key to prevention. A proclamation by Mayor Derek Kawakami states the importance of learning about the behavioral and physical signs of alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect, and sexual assault, and in working to reduce the incidence of these public health crises from taking place on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Teachers and aides sought as school coronavirus cases drop, Pentagon to appeal Red Hill tank closure, Obama spotted in Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii teacher and student PC: Governor's Office

Public school COVID-19 cases drop, but teacher absences high. Coronavirus cases among students and teachers in Hawaii public schools appeared to trend downward significantly last week, according to state Department of Education data.  Star-Advertiser.

Josh Green Has An Early Money Lead In 2022 Hawaii Governor’s Race. House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke leads the lieutenant governor’s race when it comes to campaign cash raised so far. Civil Beat.

Hawaii veteran joins governor’s race on Republican ticket. A Hawaii veteran and US Indo-Pacific Command program manager has announced his run for governor on the Republican ticket. Lynn Mariano is pledging to tackle “bipartisan issues in a bipartisan way.” Hawaii News Now.

Obamas dine at Waikiki restaurant during Hawaii visit. Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are in Hawaii and enjoying some local eats. Hawaii News Now.

State Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Liable For Pandemic Harm Including Inmate Deaths. The state Attorney General’s Office wants to block pandemic lawsuits, including claims filed in cases where prisoners died from Covid-19. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers introduce bills to make state more cryptocurrency friendly. Sen. Bennette Misalucha, Sen. Glenn Wakai, and Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco are leading the efforts to get Hawaii state lawmakers to consider the cryptocurrency-related legislation. KITV4.

OHA Trustee For Hawaiʻi Island Stepping Down. OHA Trustee Keola Lindsey has announced that he is vacating his position effective Tuesday, February 1. The OHA Board of Trustees received a letter of resignation from Lindsey which stated that “he is leaving his position to focus on the well-being of his ʻohana.” Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Hopes rise as omicron trends down. Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth expressed optimism Monday about the current downward trend in daily coronavirus case counts and the anticipated return of larger events. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 1,513 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 956 new cases on Oahu, 159 on Hawaii Island, 193 on Maui, 161 on Kauai, five on Molokai, seven on Lanai and 32 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Military to fight state’s order on Red Hill fuel tanks, official says
. The U.S. military plans to appeal the state’s emergency order requiring it to drain its Red Hill fuel tanks, a decision that was met Monday with swift rebuke by members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, the state Department of Health and groups that have long fought for the tanks’ removal, including the Hawaii Sierra Club. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

BWS: Water conservation measures could slow completion of new housing. Water restrictions for Oahu this summer brought on by the ongoing fuel contamination crisis are still possible, and the measures could even impact new housing projects. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

New Police Misconduct Report Shows Record Number Of Officers Disciplined. The Honolulu Police Department suspended or fired 59 officers in 61 different cases last year. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor: Police Were Justified In Shooting Man Near Ala Moana. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm commended the officers who shot 48-year-old Ricky Kaleopaa for their “textbook” response. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Attorneys seek dismissal of charges against former managing director. Attorneys representing former city managing director Roy Amemiya filed a motion Monday to dismiss federal charges that he conspired with two others to defraud the county and federal government in 2017 by arranging a $250,000 retirement settlement for former Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

City opens new isolation and quarantine facility in Ewa Beach. The City and County of Honolulu opened a second isolation and quarantine facility in Ewa Beach on Monday to accommodate those who have been infected by COVID-19 and need a space to distance themselves from others. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

2 groups will compete to redevelop land around Aloha Stadium. It will be a head-to-head contest between a pair of development partnerships seeking to turn 73 acres of state land around Aloha Stadium into a community with homes and businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

40k open building permits set to expire as county streamlines permit process. More than 40,000 open building permits, some dating back 40 years, will be declared null and void if permit holders don’t act soon, as the county continues its transition to an online permit system. West Hawaii Today.

Finding an alternative road to Puna: Measure would fund surveys for possible routes.
State Rep. Greggor Ilagan has introduced a bill that, if passed, would order and fund site surveys to identify the most suitable location for an alternate road to lower Puna makai of Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

DOFAW Seeks Input on Restoration of Honuaʻula State Forest Reserve. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is seeking input on a draft management plan for the Honuaʻula Forest Reserve that will guide management priorities for this area over the next 10 years. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian monk seal transported from Oahu to Kona for care. A new patient is receiving care at the world’s largest marine mammal hospital in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.


Mayor allows West Maui Community Plan ordinance to become law without signature. The mayor has asked the Planning Director to draft proposed amendments to rectify the plan’s current “legal ambiguity” and to allow for additional public input on Kahoma Village as well as revamped plans for Lahaina Town South. Maui Now.

Maui group aims to expand coqui frog eradication efforts. A group fighting invasive species on Maui wants to expand efforts to eradicate coqui frogs near a popular surfing spot before the animals spread. Associated Press. Maui News.


NOAA frees whale once entangled in 2,500 feet of marine debris. A humpback whale that was recently seen tangled in 2,500 feet of cord is now swimming freely off Kauai. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Good Fix to spay and neuter cats in Kaumakani and Anahola. Greater Good Charities’ Good Fix Program is back on Kaua‘i providing spay and neuter cat clinics islandwide. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Ige extends eviction moratorium, discusses furloughs, budget cuts as economy slumps, Green urges vaccinations for 65+ starting March 1, fireworks bills advance, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Grocery checkout workers in Hawaii ©2021 All Hawaii News

One In Five Hawaii Workers Are Unemployed, Underemployed, Or Have Quit Looking. Using the  broad assessment of the labor market called the U6 unemployment rate, almost 20% of Hawaii workers are not fully employed. Hawaii Public Radio.


Saying ‘Labor Savings’ Are Still Needed, Ige Proposes Cuts To Pay, Benefits. The governor’s latest financial plan calls for $285 million in cuts to public employee costs over 2 years. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige says state worker furloughs still possible this year. The governor says Hawaii’s economy is showing signs of improvement. But, he’s once again bringing up the possibility of state worker furloughs as early as July. KHON2.

More optimistic budget revealed, furloughs still possible. Hawaii's financial future looks a little brighter. But the state still faces massive budget shortfalls, which may take until the end of 2024 for the island's economy to fully recover. KITV4.

Ige reduces budget cut for public schools. Gov. David Ige said Tuesday that coronavirus relief aid from the U.S. government and better-than-expected tax revenues have prompted him to reduce the size of budget cuts he has proposed for public schools. Associated Press.

Projected Budget Shortfall Reduced: Furloughs, Pay cuts Remain on Horizon. More money is flowing into Hawai‘i from federal coffers and a moderately buoyed tourism industry, which Governor David Ige said will lessen both the extent and sting of budget cuts his administration proposed in December. Big Island Now.

Governor Ige Updates Hawaii Financial Future. Governor David Ige on Tuesday held a news conference to talk about the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19 in the state. Big Island Video News.

Stabilizing Or Stalling? State Officials Explain Why Hawaii’s Recovery Plan Will Take 2 Years.
The governor’s economic development leaders say they want to carefully craft a plan that will hold up for the long term. But legislative leaders aren’t convinced. Civil Beat.

Governor announces $200M program for housing, utility assistance
. Gov. David Ige said the state will expand its rental assistance program for families hard hit by the pandemic by another $200 million. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige to extend eviction moratorium 2 more months. The statewide moratorium on residential evictions would be extended for another two months in a COVID-19 emergency proclamation that Gov. David Ige plans to issue this week. Star-Advertiser.


Bill Would Ban Side Gigs For Hawaii Lieutenant Governors. Last year, lawmakers passed a similar ban on outside employment for county mayors and the governor. Civil Beat.

Bill seeks to lower blood-alcohol content to 0.05. A senate bill introduced by the Committee of Transportation seeks to lower the threshold for drunken driving from the legal limit for a blood-alcohol level of .08 to .05. This would put Hawaii as the second state to do so--after Utah did in 2018. KITV4.

Three fireworks bills clear committee. The state House Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday unanimously passed three of four fireworks-related bills. Tribune-Herald. KHON2. KITV4.


Vaccinate 65 and older, Lt. Gov. Josh Green urges. Green is recommending Gov. David Ige make the policy change to speed up immunizations for the lower-priority group as the federal government considers approving a single-dose vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, which could ease vaccine shortages across the nation. Star-Advertiser.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Feb. 9: 37 New COVID-19 Infections. Hawaii health officials reported 37 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 24 on Oahu, seven on Maui, three on the Big Island and three residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


The Honolulu Police Commission Is At A Crossroads. Almost a year after national protests demanded increased accountability for police, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has an important decision to make: his first appointment to the Honolulu Police Commission. Civil Beat.

How About A Casino In Waikiki? There’s A Bill For That. A proposal similar to ones introduced in past legislative sessions — but which always perish — again has life at the Hawaii Legislature: a casino in Waikiki. Civil Beat.

Bill would place historical markers at 9 sites to honor Barack Obama. State Sen. Stanley Chang is seeking once again to honor significant sites in the life of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama with historical markers. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige casts doubt on new Aloha Stadium with comments. Governor David Ige declared Tuesday at his press conference that he’d prefer the state put money into the upkeep of the current stadium. KHON2.

Makaha Valley resort developer is headed for liquidation. A company that has been trying to turn Makaha Valley into a resort with help from golf legend Tiger Woods has filed for bankruptcy. Star-Advertiser.

New clinic ensures Pacific Islander community has access to COVID vaccine. The organization “We Are Oceania” teamed up with Kalihi-Palama Health Center to launch a COVID vaccination clinic at St. Elizabeth’s Church. Interest among the community surpassed anticipated demand. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Keck Observatory astronomers win prestigious science prize. A historic feat — successfully zeroing in on the precise location of a non-repeating fast radio burst — has earned the highest recognition from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. West Hawaii Today.


Maui’s vaccination clinics to begin first doses again. Maui’s main COVID-19 vaccination sites will once again administer first doses, with Maui Memorial Medical Center set to begin this week and the state Department of Health site at the University of Hawaii Maui College starting next week. Maui News.

Maui County Council urging Legislature to legalize, regulate, tax cannabis. The Maui County Council announced on Tuesday, Feb. 9, it is urging the Hawaii State Legislature to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for responsible adult-use due to the economic and social benefits that the process would bring. KHON2.

Ho‘olehua Post Office Reopens Today. The facility had been temporarily closed since last Wednesday due to structural concerns. It was cleared for operational use after a thorough assessment by a structural engineer. Maui Now.

REALTORS® Association of Maui’s January 2021 Report Shows Strong Housing Market.
Median Sales Price increased 26 percent to $980,000 for Single Family homes but decreased 0.4 percent to $560,000 for Condominium homes. Maui Now.


Proposal To Scrap Kauai’s Two-Test Protocol For Arriving Travelers Advances. Measure introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki would prevent Kauai from requiring the extra test. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Hanapepe bridge closed until further notice. According to consultants, the closure is required pending repair to the bridge’s structural support system. Garden Island.

Destruction of Kauai state park raises concerns from state, Native Hawaiians. Sand dunes at Kauai’s Polihale State Park have been destroyed by vehicles, raising concern for safety, state officials said. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Curbside recycling topic of Zoom presentation today. The 2021 Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum presents “The Case for Curbside Recycling on Kaua‘i” via Zoom, today at 6 p.m. Garden Island.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Surf's up! Obama spotted golfing on Oahu, state orders COVID-19 vaccine, Maui prosecutor removed from office, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto
Kohl Christensen dropping in on a giant messy wave at Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu. File photo via Facebook PC:@michaelclarkphoto

Warning-level surf expected into Monday. The National Weather Service in Honolulu said the warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and the north-facing shores of Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Pipe Masters could get green light Tuesday. A high surf warning is in effect for most of the state’s north and west facing shores through Monday evening. Surf heights are expected to reach 30 feet on north-facing shores and 20-feet on west-facing shores. KHON2.

Surf's up! The National Weather Service issued a high-surf warning for north- and west-facing shores of all the islands through 6 p.m. today. The northwest swell that arrived Sunday was expected to produce rapidly-rising surf along most north- and west-facing shorelines. Garden Island.


Former President Barack Obama spotted golfing on Oahu. He was spotted Sunday afternoon at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua. KHON2.


Hawaii DOH places its first order for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. State health officials say the order was for 4,875 doses, and is only a small percentage of the total number of vaccines the state expects to later request if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives the vaccine its stamp of approval. Hawaii News Now.

How This Doctor Is Influencing Hawaii’s Response To COVID-19. A Honolulu doctor critical of the state’s pre-travel testing program is gaining traction with policymakers. Civil Beat.

Several days after Kauai opted out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, Mayor Derek Kawakami says leaders of each county are calling on Gov. Ige for more required testing. In a county update Friday, he said the proposal is now before the governor. Hawaii News Now.


Two More Hawaii Inmates Who Died At Saguaro Prison Had COVID-19, New Details Show. More than half of the 1,079 Hawaii prisoners at Saguaro have tested positive for COVID-19. Three have died from the disease. Civil Beat.

Public Safety faces calls to pause moving Hawaii inmates
to an Arizona prison. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 6: 105 New COVID-19 Cases And One Death In Hawaii. Health officials reported 105 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Sunday, including 87 on Oahu, six on Maui, five on the Big Island and seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi open to idea of using federal aid to help commercial landlords. Business coalition spearheading commercial rent survey to estimate how great the need is for financial help. KITV4.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Haiku Stairs management plan goes before the City Council. A private vendor would be allowed to shuttle up to about 150 people daily to the Haiku Stairs for guided hiking tours under a plan proposed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s bikeshare program is costing the city hundreds of thousands in lost revenue. In the report, Honolulu’s Acting City Auditor Troy Shimasaki said a lack of transparency and accountability in the city’s bikeshare program is costing the city $460,000 a year in lost revenue while the nonprofit Biki is generating more than $2.7 million in annual sales. Hawaii News Now.

'Why Is There So Much Red Tape': Honolulu's Relief Fund Creates Anxiety And Confusion For Some. Honolulu is still trying to spend down federal CARES Act funds by December 30 to help households impacted by the pandemic. But city relief hasn't come for months, with little to no explanation for some who applied. Hawaii Public Radio.


Prosecutor-elect Alm looks to rebuild office as it continues to take heat. Despite the embarrassing corruption scandal uncovered during former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s trial, conviction, and last week’s sentencing, the City’s auditor has found that policies, procedures and controls have not changed significantly and more needs to be done. KHON2.

Kealoha Scandal Hasn’t Led To Major Reforms At Prosecutor’s Office, Audit Finds. The audit suggests that a Katherine Kealoha-type situation could very well happen again. Civil Beat.


How famous surfers and wealthy homeowners are endangering Hawaii’s beaches. For decades, homeowners in Punalu‘u watched from large picture windows as locals sunned on the beach and dove for octopus amid the coral reefs of northeast Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu home sales stay strong as buyers bid up prices. Strong demand by buyers bidding above asking price helped push up the median resale price of single-family homes on Oahu to $872,500 in November, the second highest ever. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Aloha, Harry: Hawaii Island mayor leaves office after decades of public service. 81-year-old Mayor Harry Kim is arguably the most significant political figure in Hawaii Island history, having served two terms as mayor from 2000-2008 and another from 2016 until Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Harry Kim ends third term as ‘voice of authority’. Kim’s term was to end by noon today. He served 36 years in public service — 24 years as a civil defense administrator and 12 years as mayor. Star-Advertiser.


Lava recovery plans released: Council members say action is needed now. Three long-awaited documents that aim to guide Hawaii County’s recovery from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano — a recovery and resilience plan, an economic recovery plan, and a volcanic risk assessment — have been released. Tribune-Herald.

County Releases Kīlauea Recovery Plan. The plan is a strategic document that will continue to guide recovery following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, along with two supporting documents – an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan. Big Island Now.

Kilauea Recovery Effort Continues With More Funding, Plans Finalized. Along with the Kīlauea Recovery and Resilience Plan, an islandwide Volcanic Risk Assessment and an Economic Recovery Plan have also been released. Big Island Video News.

Succession of events led to 2018 Kilauea eruption
. The volcanic pressure that preceded the 2018 Big Island eruption was building for years, but it was a relatively rapid and cascading succession of minor geologic processes that led to one of Hawaii’s most destructive events in 200 years, a new study has found. Star-Advertiser.


Prosecuting attorney removed from office. Don Guzman to challenge decision. The Maui County Council voted unanimously on Friday to remove Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman over violence in the workplace claims, affirming a council committee decision about a month ago. Maui News.


DOE staffer with COVID-19 visited 3 Maui schools; no closures planned. A Department of Education employee who visited three elementary schools on Maui has tested positive for COVID-19, but no cases have been identified on the campuses and the schools remain open. Star-Advertiser.

Three Maui Elementary Schools Connected to Positive COVID Case Involving HIDOE Employee. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reports that it was made aware of a COVID-19 case involving an employee who visited three Maui campuses — Pu‘u Kukui, Pōmaika‘i and Kula Elementary schools — between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Maui Now.

3 elementary schools connected to positive COVID case involving Maui HIDOE employee. The Hawaii Department of Education confirmed Saturday, an employee who visited three Maui campuses, tested positive for COVID-19.  KITV4.


Maui County Temporarily Shuts Down Lava Rock Bar & Grill for Physical Distancing Violations. The County of Maui Department of Liquor Control shut down the Lava Rock Bar & Grill in Kīhei for a 24-hour period this weekend after physical distancing violations were observed during an enforcement operation conducted in conjunction with the Maui Police Department. Maui Now.

Maui County is expected to get 16,000 doses of COVID vaccine. Maui County is expected to receive about 16,000 doses when the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Hawaii, with the first doses administered to health care and emergency workers, Mayor Michael Victorino said on Friday. Maui News.

Lee Imada reflects on 40 years with The Maui News. Long before he became an award-winning journalist for his hometown paper, Lee Imada wanted to be an astronaut. Maui News.


Hanapepe bridge rehab coming
. Construction and rehabilitation of the 1911 Hanapepe Road bridge over the Hanapepe River won’t be able to start until the makai bridge on Kaumuali‘i Highway is completed, but the process has already begun. Garden Island.

Families move into Kealaula on Pua Loke. The first several families have moved into Kaua‘i’s first transit-ready communities project, Kealaula on Pua Loke Supportive Housing Development, in late November. Garden Island.

Feds offering up to $20K for info on 2 seal deaths on Kauai. Federal wildlife officials are offering up to $20,000 for information regarding the deaths of two Hawaiian monk seals that occurred within two months of each other. Associated Press.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Hawaii Supreme Court orders inmate release amid COVID-19 jail outbreak, finger-pointing continues as coronavirus cases escalate, Obama beach house controversy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Prison wire ©2020 All Hawaii News
Court orders some inmates released. The Hawaii Supreme Court has ordered the temporary release of certain pretrial detainees and inmates at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, where COVID-19 cases continue to spread and cause unrest. Star-Advertiser.

As COVID-19 rages through state’s largest jail, court orders release of some inmates. With coronavirus raging through OCCC uncontrollably, the state Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the release of certain inmates from the overcrowded facility. The order comes on the same day that the state Public Safety Department announced that the number of inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 at OCCC had swelled to 170. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Supreme Court orders the release of some OCCC inmates by Wednesday. The Hawaii Supreme Court has ordered the release of some of its Oahu Community Correctional Center inmates by Wednesday, August 19. KHON2.

Supreme Court orders OCCC jail inmate release due to COVID-19. Releases start Wednesday, and anyone released has to check in with the court in February. KITV4.

Inmates Start Fires Over Quarantine Lockdowns, Cramped Conditions. The state Supreme Court ordered the release of certain inmates because physical distancing is not possible and has the potential to place the inmates and staff at risk of death. Civil Beat.

Inmate unrest reported at OCCC, where number of COVID-19 cases has swelled to 200. Growing tension at Oahu Community Correctional Center led to inmate unrest on Sunday, with detainees setting several small fires. Hawaii News Now.

Inmates causing damage, setting fires as COVID-19 outbreak continues to strain OCCC. “Quarantine lockdowns, and cramped conditions, combined with the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak at OCCC translates to inmates becoming restless and agitated,” said a representative for the Department of Public Safety. KHON2.

OCCC inmates show frustration over lock down second day in a row. For the second day in a row, inmates at Hawaii's largest correctional facility started a fire in the housing module. KITV4.

‘An utter failure': Legal, medical experts fault state for massive outbreak at OCCC. Experts blasted the state for the massive COVID-19 outbreak at the Oahu Community Correctional Center, saying prison officials have not done enough to stop the spread. Hawaii News Now.


‘This is their fault’: Dr. Miscovich rips Hawaii DOH. Dr. Scott Miscovich was emphatic when placing blame for the surge in positive coronavirus tests on Oahu in recent weeks, many of which he has tested himself. KHON2.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 16: 220 New Cases As Surge Continues. Most of the cases were on Oahu, where officials are battling an outbreak in the state’s largest jail. Civil Beat.

The Latest: 9 Queen's Workers Positive; 220 New Cases; Positivity Rate Tops WHO Guideline. The Hawaii Department of Health reported 220 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the state's total to over 5,000 at 5,042. These include 4,591 on Oahu, 148 on Hawaii Island, 226 in Maui County, and 54 on Kauai. Twenty-three cases were diagnosed out of state. The death toll stands at 40.  Hawaii Public Radio.

With a benchmark of 3,000 active COVID-19 cases surpassed, another lockdown is on the table. Hawaii’s active corona­virus cases on Sunday went over 3,000 — a benchmark that health care officials have said would warrant a month-long stay-at-home order for Oahu, where most of the infections are. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus Cases in Hawai‘i Top 5,000 Sunday. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 220 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 5,042. Big Island Now.


State Lawmakers Call For Steps To Blunt Trump Anti-Mail Balloting Moves. The chairs of the Hawaii legislative judiciary committees called for action to prevent the state's highly successful mail-in balloting from being disrupted by President Trump's moves against the U.S Postal Service.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Amid economic crisis, the state unemployment office is hiring. Hawaii has 27 unemployment claim adjudicators, four of whom are currently on medical leave, plus 11 volunteers from other state agencies, six retirees who came back to help, and 12 new hires, said William Kunstman, DLIR spokesman. Hawaii News Now.

Health Officials Knew COVID-19 Would Hit Pacific Islanders Hard. The State Still Fell Short. As of Friday, 30% of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hawaii affect non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders — including but not limited to Marshallese, Samoans, Tongans, Chuukese and other Indigenous peoples of the Pacific — even though they make up just 4% of the state’s population. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige calls out senators following Department of Health contact tracing tour. Gov. David Ige has admonished Senate President Ron Kouchi after members of the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 toured the Health Department on Aug. 7 to review contact tracing operations at the invitation of the state epidemiologist — but apparently without enough advance notice. Star-Advertiser.

Ige to Kouchi: Senators’ visit to DOH was ‘neither respectful nor appropriate'. In a newly obtained letter to Hawaii’s Senate president, Gov. David Ige calls out the lawmakers who made an unannounced visit to the health department earlier this month. Hawaii News Now.

State Was Lying To Us About Contact Tracing, Gabbard Says. Gabbard was joined by a Department of Health employee whistleblower, and revealed what is really going on with the State's COVID-19 contact tracing tracing efforts. Big Island Video News.

Public schools get unusual start to new academic year. Today is the first day of school for public school students, but rather than offering their traditional warm welcome, many principals advised kids to stay home given the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism officials can’t market Hawaii as ‘the safest place on earth’ anymore. It was just a few months ago when some Hawaii tourism and government officials thought Hawaii had a shot at marketing the state to tourists as “the safest place on earth.” Star-Advertiser.

Auto sales careened downhill 41.8% in the second quarter. Hawaii auto sales plunged 41.8% in the second quarter as the work-from-home labor force, a near standstill in tourism, the closure of most recreational activities and a quarter million people unemployed left the industry parked on the side of the road. Star-Advertiser.

Farmland becoming food vs. fuel battleground. What’s at stake are two competing state policy goals: producing 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2045, and doubling local food production by 2030. Star-Advertiser.


Moratorium on aquarium trade continues. A decision by the state Environmental Council last week effectively continues a moratorium on commercial aquarium collection along the Kona Coast, an activity long opposed by some Native Hawaiians and marine conservation groups. Star-Advertiser.

Council upholds BLNR’s rejection of aquarium fishing EIS. A May decision by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to maintain a ban on aquarium fish collection off West Hawaii was recently upheld by the state Environmental Council. West Hawaii Today.

Aquarium fishing ban upheld. The state’s Environmental Council has upheld the state Board of Land and Natural Resources’ decision to maintain the ban on collecting fish for the aquarium-pet trade off the west coast of Hawai‘i Island, and to reject an environmental impact statement aimed at restarting the destructive practice. Garden Island.


Obama and the beach house loopholes. As Barack Obama entered the home stretch of his presidency, his close friend Marty Nesbitt was scouting an oceanfront property on Oahu, the Hawaiian island where the two regularly vacationed together with their families. Star-Advertiser.

Bones found on a property tied to Obama, causing tension with Native Hawaiians. n January, workers had found human remains, or iwi kupuna, as they reshaped a multimillion-dollar oceanfront lot into a luxury compound being developed by Marty Nesbitt, the chair of the Obama Foundation and head of a Chicago-based private-equity firm. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Government Goes Local for Some Transit Technology. Some local tech companies are landing big contracts with the City & County of Honolulu’s for transit work. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

South Kohala resorts show off reopening plans. Representatives from several properties on the Gold Coast Thursday shared with state and county legislators and officials their ever-evolving plans and procedures for reopening with on-site visits at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Fairmont Orchid and Hilton Grand Vacations. West Hawaii Today.

Sewer replacement project gets underway Tuesday. Traffic patterns on Palani Road, between Kailua Pier and Kuakini Highway, will be altered beginning Tuesday as work begins to replace an aging sewer line. West Hawaii Today.


Big-brand hotels roll out pandemic safety plans. Leaders mull resort bubbles for Neighbor Island resortgoers. Maui News.

Mayor Victorino Addresses Rumors Relating to Resort Bubbles and Public Beach Access. Mayor Michael Victorino today addressed “rumors and misinformation” he said is spreading on social media about resort bubbles and public beach access. Maui Now.

Tenants at Lahaina Front Street Apartments Celebrate Federal Court Win to Keep Rent Affordable Until 2051. The 40-page decision by Hawai‘i federal District Court Judge Jill Otake rejected an attempt by the project developer, Front Street Affordable Housing Partners, to end the restrictions set in place to prevent sharp increases in rents or sale of the project unencumbered by the rent restrictions. Maui Now.

Thermal scanners now installed at all arrival gates at Kahului Airport. Facial imaging gear to be added before end of year. Maui News.

Some businesses support Young Brothers rate hike. Several Maui County businesses are throwing their support behind Young Brothers’ request to raise its rates 47 percent, though at least one called for an independent audit of the struggling interisland shipper. Maui News.


Festival of Hope sold out again. Novelyn Hinazumi, Child &Family Service Kaua‘i director, was busy stuffing backpacks with digital thermometers Saturday as cars started flowing through the CFS Festival of Hope for Families distribution in the Vidinha Stadium parking lot. Garden Island.