Showing posts with label Christina Kishimoto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christina Kishimoto. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Distance learning discontinued for Hawaii schoolchildren, Maui mayor seeks fewer tourists, Amazon buys Oahu property, harbor tax increase will hit consumers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Limited distance-learning options next fall for public school students. There will be no full distance-learning option for Hawaii public school students when classes begin Aug. 3, although schools may be able to accommodate requests from high-risk families on an individual case basis. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing DOE Superintendent Plans To Stay In Hawaii. Christina Kishimoto, the outgoing superintendent of Hawaii Department of Education schools, is exploring career avenues outside of educational administration and has no immediate plans to leave the Aloha State after her contract is up July 30, she said Monday. Civil Beat.

Survey: 84% of staff at long-term care facilities in Hawaii are fully vaccinated. There are nearly 50 long-term care facilities across the state, and experts say they’re setting the tone in the fight against COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

State harbor user fee going up, what does that mean for consumers? The state says the scheduled 3% tariff increase or “user fee” for activities such as port entry and vessel dockage goes into effect on July 1. KHON2.

Hawaii offshore wind farm development in doldrums. Hawaii has long been a national leader in solar energy production, but the state is lagging in a quest to reach a renewable-energy frontier that appeared to be on the horizon several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Broadband expansion programs advance.
Several programs aimed at improving broadband access statewide are steadily taking shape, a state official said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. government opens comment period for proposed recategorizing of endangered Hawaiian bird. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period for the proposed downlisting of the Hawaiian stilt, or ae‘o, from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Star-Advertiser.

James Campbell Co. retains new CEO, Donald E. Huffner Jr. Huffner, who will start Aug. 1, most recently headed a real estate investment and development firm in Florida. Star-Advertiser.

Some healthcare professionals in Hawaii are concerned about COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
Healthcare professionals are seeing a disturbing trend in the continued battle against COVID-19. 33 people have been admitted to healthcare facilities so far this month. KITV4.

Hawaii reports 22 new COVID cases; vaccination rate ticks up to 57.6%. Of the new cases, 13 were on Oahu, two on Hawaii Island, and two on Maui. There were also five residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Amazon purchases land on Oahu for Hawaii’s first distribution center. Amazon now owns the 14-acre stretch of land on Auiki Street, and it’s worth more than $76 million. The company says this investment will help with future network needs. KHON2.

HART's Lori Kahikina Talks Rail Progress, Calls Dillingham Utilities a 'Spaghetti Noodle Mess' e Honolulu rail project, planned to stretch from Kapolei to Ala Moana, is moving toward the critical final leg through Honolulu's urban core. Hawaii Public Radio.

City conducts surveys for feedback about Storm Water Master Plan. The City and County of Honolulu is now collecting input from the public as it develops a Storm Water Master Plan, designed to guide management, programs and investments for the next 50 years. Star-Advertiser.

Harsher penalties wanted for landlords, renters who house illegal gambling rooms. HPD says it's monitoring anywhere between 60 to 80 active game rooms, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. KITV4.

How Hawaii Schools Are Weaving Connections With Pacific Islander Students. A new arts pilot program at two Honolulu-area middle schools demonstrates how cultural programming can foster better ties. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Search to begin for new HR chief. Hawaii County is in search of a new Human Resources director after the resignation of Bill Brilhante, who leaves his post Thursday to work in his family’s business. West Hawaii Today.

VA audit finds upkeep at Hilo’s veterans cemeteries lacking, seeks review of all in state. In Hawaii County, Hilo’s two veterans cemeteries and West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery are maintained by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Manao sought on mooring plans for manta viewing sites. Public comment is being sought by the state on plans to install day-use mooring bouys at two popular manta ray diving sites off the Kona Coast. West Hawaii Today.


Maui mayor’s appeal to airlines: At least for now, please bring us fewer visitors. To combat overtourism and congestion at the airports, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking airline officials to reduce passenger capacity to the island. Hawaii News Now.

In historic decision, commission fundamentally changes water distribution system in West Maui. In a historic decision and ruling over water rights in West Maui, the distribution system that was controlled by sugar plantations for decades is finally changing. The Hawaii Commission on Water Resources Management came up with the plan to manage the Waihe’e River, Waiehu Stream, Wailuku River and Waikapu Stream. Hawaii News Now.

Retired Judge Rhonda Loo Installs MEO Board of Directors for 2021-22. At the first in-person, socially distanced board meeting since the pandemic began in late March 2020, the slate of officers was approved by the 21-member board. The officers for the upcoming fiscal year are: Bard Peterson, president; Carol Reimann, vice president; Adele Rugg, secretary; and Cliff Alakai, treasurer. Maui Now.

Supreme Court Decision Came Too Late For Maui Residents Fighting Housing Development. The ruling could have statewide implications, as it narrows the limits of what planning and zoning exemptions are permissible for a fast-track affordable housing development. Civil Beat.

County Joins Police in Removing 41 Vehicles Abandoned Near Kanahā in Kahului, Maui. The Maui Police Department and Maui County’s Department of Environmental Management’s Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division have joined forces to remove 41 abandoned vehicles from Amala Place roadsides near Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary and the County’s Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Kahului. Maui Now. KHON2.


DOH investigates 2 clusters. In the last two weeks, the state Department of Health has identified two active COVID-19 clusters on Kaua‘i, one associated with a restaurant and another a place of worship. Garden Island.

Hui to assume management of Ha‘ena State Park. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a one-year, revocable permit for the nonprofit Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana to oversee and manage a park-reservation system, including collecting both parking and entry fees as well as an integrated shuttle system that will reduce the number of cars that enter the park each day. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Schools superintendent Kishimoto calls it quits, some jumping the vaccination line, governor declares state of emergency over flooding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Hawaii Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Hawaii schools superintendent Christina Kishimoto stepping down in July when contract ends. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced Tuesday she will step down on July 30 after four years at the helm of Hawaii’s public schools, rather than seek to extend her contract. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Some vaccine recipients finding ways to jump line.
The state Department of Health said it relies on employers to identify who in their companies are front-line essential workers eligible for the shot, and also on vaccinators to verify the people getting inoculated. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige declares an emergency as heavy rain wreaks havoc across the state. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday signed an emergency declaration that will free up state funds to help those across the state hit by the heavy rainfall and flooding. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Senate approves nation’s highest income tax. A bill that would increase Hawaii’s income tax to the highest in the nation for the state’s top earners passed the full Senate on Tuesday by a near-unanimous vote. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

LGBTQ Parents May Get Help When Having A Baby In Hawaii. The House passed a bill Tuesday to establish a task force to try to make it easier for queer parents to establish parentage at birth. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Senate Votes To Legalize Marijuana, Raise Minimum Wage. While both proposals appear dead on arrival in the House, lawmakers will still consider scores of other measures related to abortions, taxes and housing development. Civil Beat.

Bill would prohibit sale of sunscreen products containing avobenzone and octocrylene. Sunscreens containing two harmful petrochemicals, avobenzone and octocrylene, would be banned from sale in Hawaii under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Senate. West Hawaii Today. Garden Island.

Help Wanted For Ethics, Campaign Spending Commissions. Vacancies on both are appointed by the governor from nominees submitted by the Judicial Council. Civil Beat.

From The Philippines To Lanai: State Hopes New Teaching Recruits Will Fill A Gap
. The new program is aimed at bringing to Hawaii highly qualified teachers from the Philippines to fill the teaching gaps, particularly in areas like math, science and special education. Civil Beat.

U.S.-Chinese force imbalance is growing in western Pacific. Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on Oahu, recently delivered to Congress a $27.3 billion request for extra funding through 2027 called the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. Star-Advertiser.

State reports 42 new COVID cases. Hawaii News Now.


10,000 gallons of wastewater have spilled from Kahuku treatment plant in ongoing discharge.
The  state Department of Health has issued an advisory warning the public to stay out of coastal waters fronting the plant. Star-Advertiser.

HFD continues search for person in Waihona Stream on Oahu. The Honolulu Fire Department will continue the search for a person reported to be in the Waiawa Stream in Pearl City in the morning on Wednesday, March 10. KHON2.

City lifts evacuation order for Haleiwa as flooding threat subsides.
An evacuation order for scores of Haleiwa town residents was lifted late Tuesday as the threat of “catastrophic flooding” from torrential rains subsided. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Wastewater Discharge Reported At Papaikou Treatment Plant.
The public is advised to remain out of waters fronting the Papaikou Wastewater Treatment Plant due to a wastewater discharge. Big Island Video News.

Rain On Lava Creates Poor Visibility On Puna Highway. Hawaiʻi County emergency officials are urging motorists to use caution on Highway 132 in Puna, due to poor visibility caused by steam in the area. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Waimea residents reflect on life during the coronavirus pandemic. Many furloughed Big Island hospitality workers have gone nearly a year without work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Health workers ratify new contract. Maui Health System workers voted overwhelmingly to approve a new four-year contract over the weekend, bringing eight months of negotiations and disputes over worker pay to a close, the union said. Maui News.

16.63 Inches of Rain Fell in 24 Hours in East Maui — Beats 40 State Rainfall Records But Not Hawaiʻi’s. The storm that dumped buckets of rain on East Maui Monday, causing flooding, evacuations and the Kaupakalua Dam to overflow, was called a “run-of-the-mill low-pressure system for the Hawaiian islands” by an AccuWeather meteorologist. Maui Now.

Kaupakalua Farm House on Maui Swept Away by Flood. Five people are among those displaced after a torrent of water and mud swept away a five-bedroom farm house and heavily damaged another shed dwelling on the same Maui property Monday afternoon. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

State says century-old Kaupakalua Dam slated for removal this summer. Heavy rains on Monday caused the aging reservoir to swell, and overtop the earthen dam in the Haiku region, resulting in the emergency evacuation of some 150 downstream homes. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.


KPD Chief Raybuck faces discrimination charges. Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck violated policies against discrimination and created a hostile work environment for an officer based on race, as found by a Kaua‘i Police Commission investigation. Garden Island.

Rise to Work program accepting applications. The County of Kauai is now accepting applications for the Rise to Work program, which helps Kaua‘i residents who lost their job connect to temporary job opportunities with local employers. Garden Island.

Heavy rains close Hanalei Bridge, produce flash floods warnings. Heavy rains triggered a flash-flood warning for Kaua‘i on Tuesday night and the closure of Kuhio Highway in the vicinity of the Hanalei Bridge at about 5 p.m. Garden Island.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Legislature mulls lifting tax on unemployment checks, Oahu edges toward Tier 4 reopening, Mauna Kea management group advances, Hirono memoir to be published next month, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hirono Memoir Heart of Fire

Mazie Hirono Memoir To Be Published In April. It will chronicle her immigrant journey from Japan to Hawaii and all the way to the U.S. Senate. Civil Beat.


Hawaii unemployment compensation tax exemption bill advances. A proposal to exempt unemployment compensation from state income taxes won a key approval on Thursday with the Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously approving the measure. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s How Tax Increases Are Shaking Out In The Hawaii Legislature.
Senators moved to raise income taxes on high earners, and the House passed capital gains and inheritance tax increases. Civil Beat.

State offers more food stamp flexibility amid record participation. As Hawaii continues to grapple with high unemployment and a slow economic recovery, tens of thousands of people are turning to food stamps for assistance. Nearly 198,000 people in Hawaii are now on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Hawaii News Now.

Gas prices on the rise again, could continue rising throughout the year. In this last 30 days we’ve seen it go up about 15 to 16 cents a gallon, so that’s pretty significant for Hawaii. KHON2.

Could Tech Companies Help Diversify Hawaii's Economy? Lieutenant Governor Josh Green told KITV4 he thinks returning pre-pandemic level tourism would be detrimental to the environment and suggested incentivizing technology companies to relocate to Hawaii as a way to boost the local economy. KITV4.

Kahele, Case Divided On Whether Inmates Should Vote From Prison. A failed amendment to a House bill that seeks to expand voting rights and reduce the influence of money in politics highlights some differences between Hawaii’s Democratic congressmen. Civil Beat.


No BOE decision on in-person learning. At its Thursday meeting to discuss safely opening schools by the fourth quarter, it was determined that a decision could be made at the next meeting, in two weeks. Garden Island.

Board of Ed Defers Debate On Superintendent Contract Renewal. Christina Kishimoto has called criticism of her leadership style “a distraction,” saying she needs to focus on more important issues. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Unions, teachers urge Board of Education to reject new contract for superintendent. In extensive testimony Thursday, union leaders and educators called on the Board of Education to reject a new contract for Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.


March 4, 2021 COVID-19 Update: There were 60 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Thursday, including 36 on O‘ahu, 15 on Maui, four on Hawai‘i Island, one on Kaua‘i and four in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


Oahu could move to Tier 4 reopening if COVID-19 cases continue to drop. Honolulu’s seven-day rolling average of new cases was 23 on Thursday with an average positivity rate of 0.9%, meeting one benchmark to move to Tier 4, which allows gatherings of up to 25 people, up from 10. Star-Advertiser.

DUI first time offenders accept lesser conviction in efforts to speed up court backlogs. Prosecutors and defense lawyers are turning to compromise to get cases moving through the courts. They have agreed on a lesser conviction for first-time DUI offenders in an effort to reduce the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic. KHON2.

Median price of a single-family home on Oahu hits a new high: $920,000. The record comes as Hawaii’s housing market continues to experience strong demand amid low supply. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmaker Wants Report On Military Seawall at Ewa Beach. State officials have warned that a proposed seawall to protect the Marines’ Puuloa Range Training Facility would cause massive coastal erosion. Civil Beat.

Surf equity bill for contests at North Shore parks advances. A measure requiring gender equity for certain sports activities needing a park use permit from the city Department of Parks and Recreation was recommended for passage with amendments by the Parks and Community Services Committee of the Honolulu City Council in its Thursday meeting. Star-Advertiser.

Monkeypod restaurant to anchor Outrigger Reef. Renowned Hawaii chef Peter Merriman will be the driving force of the new signature beachfront restaurant at the transformed Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State House approves resolution to develop new Mauna Kea management structure. The state House of Representatives Thursday approved a resolution to form a working group that will develop a new management structure for Mauna Kea. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory could be removed from the summit of Maunakea
as early as the end of next year. Caltech representatives presented their decommissioning plans for the observatory at a Tuesday meeting of the University of Hawaii’s Maunakea Management Board. Tribune-Herald.

$884K change order pushes up cost of Kilauea roadwork. Part of a statewide transportation improvement program, the rehabilitation work includes repaving, installing pavement markers, striping and traffic detectors along a 1.5-mile stretch of the Hilo thoroughfare, from the Waiola Bridge to Puainako Street. Tribune-Herald.

100-foot cinder cone left by Kilauea’s fissure 8 gets a name. The 100-foot cinder cone that marks the spot of the prolific and most prominent vent in the 2018 Kilauea eruption has been christened with a name: Ahu‘aila‘au. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Sustainability Summit explores ecological issues on Big Island.
The two-day Sustainability Summit hosted by the Office of the Mayor covers a range of topics from climate change to waste management to food security and more. Tribune-Herald.


90-unit affordable rental project gets nod from committee. Developers of a 90-unit affordable housing project in Kihei are seeking nearly $6 million from the county’s Affordable Housing Fund to help acquire land for the project. Maui News.

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Published Visitor Management Plan for Maui Nui. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority has published the 2021-2023 Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan, which is part of the authority’s strategic vision and continuing efforts to manage tourism in a responsible and regenerative manner. Maui Now.

Central Maui Traffic Signal Upgrades Planned, March 10. Five traffic signals in Central Maui are scheduled for upgrades starting at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Maui Now.

Lanai and Molokai on track to make COVID vaccine available to all residents 16 and up.  More than half of Lanai and Molokai residents have received at least one vaccine dose and the shot will soon be available to eligible residents 16 and older, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Hawaii News Now.


EPA Directs 7 Illegal Cesspools on Kauaʻi To Close & Fines Hawaiʻi DLNR. The US Environmental Protection Agency has taken enforcement action on Kauaʻi, directing the closure of seven large-capacity cesspools that have been banned since 2005 and collecting $221,670 in fines from the cesspools owner, the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Climate-action forum is Wednesday. Zero Waste Kaua‘i is hosting a Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum on Wednesday, March 10, at 6 p.m. Garden Island.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Coronavirus vaccinations expanded to age 70-plus, all teachers to be immunized by April, Maui closes in on Oahu for tourism numbers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from DOH video
Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char

Hawaii residents 70 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday; state receives Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The state has decided to open eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations early to residents 70 and older on Monday because of a substantial increase in the number of shots arriving in the islands. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

The first shipment of Johnson &Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived Wednesday in Hawaii. According to the state Department of Health, 5,900 doses were delivered to Oahu, while Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties each will receive 2,000 doses of the vaccine, which was approved for emergency use Saturday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Maui Now. KITV4.

Senate Health Committee Recommends Libby Char as DOH Director. The Senate Health Committee today, March 3, voted to recommend that the Senate consent to the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Char as Director of the Department of Health. She took over leadership at the DOH on Sept. 16, 2020, after being appointed by Gov. David Ige. Big Island Now.  KHON2.

AARP Hawaiʻi Seeking Kupuna Feedback About COVID-19 Vaccination Experiences. AARP Hawaiʻi is asking kupuna 50 and older to fill out an online questionnaire and share their experiences and thoughts about the COVID-19 vaccine process in Hawaiʻi in an effort to improve the process. Maui Now.

Hawaii to have all teachers vaccinated before April, here’s why it’s important. Hawaii is on track to get all teachers vaccinated by the end of March, 2021, according to Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green. KHON2.

Hawaii’s hotel industry wants workers vaccinated now. The state Department of Health has ruled that travel is not essential to the “functioning of society” and has said most hotel workers must wait a little longer to get vaccinated. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Green urges governor to drop interisland quarantine.
Interisland travelers may no longer need to get tested starting in April, 2021, if the lieutenant governor gets his way. KHON2.

Governor reflects on a year of successes and blunders in responding to COVID. A year after he issued his first COVID-related emergency proclamation, Gov. David Ige on Wednesday reflected on the lessons he’s learned and what’s still ahead. In an interview with Hawaii News Now, Ige apologized for ongoing delays in issuing unemployment benefits during the pandemic but commended the state’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Military Spouses Hope For Easier Ways To Get Licensed To Work In Hawaii. A House bill would expedite the licensing process for many military spouses, especially medical professionals, who have to move frequently. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Requiring Gender Diversity On Corporate Boards. The Senate bill cites several studies that say gender diversity on boards is correlated with higher or equal profits compared with all-male boards. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines Is Holding Off On More Layoffs — For Now. The state’s largest private employer has said it will delay plans for a large lay off, even as changes to Hawaii’s travel policy remain in limbo. Civil Beat.

More elementary kids headed back to school in 4th quarter. More elementary students will be back on campus after spring break and secondary schools are also being asked to ramp up in-person learning, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Despite criticism, DOE Superintendent says she’s focused on the challenges ahead. Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto says there are more pressing issues to focus on in light of the teachers’ union voting against renewing her contract. Hawaii News Now.

Nonprofit moves forward with lawsuit to protect Hawaiian honeycreeper.
The Center for Biological Diversity today filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to designate critical habitat and develop a recovery plan for the iiwi, a cherished forest bird in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

COVID-19 Update: There were 20 new COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Wednesday, including eight on O‘ahu, 11 on Maui, and one on Kaua‘i. Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 deaths increased to 441 with two new deaths reported Wednesday, both on O‘ahu. Maui Now.


Honolulu Police Department still probing body cam misuse, overtime abuse. The Honolulu Police Department is still investigating a couple of dozen cases of possible misuse of body-worn cameras and abuse of overtime. Star-Advertiser.

Police Commissioners: Redirect HPD Funds To Social Services And Cut Overtime. Other cities are considering moving police department funds to social services. Some Honolulu police commissioners say the city should follow suit. Civil Beat.

Youth Correctional Facility Managers Receive Ethics Fines. Mark Patterson, administrator of the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua, and institutional facility superintendent Darrell Bueno were fined last week by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

HART interim CEO: Rail construction in Dillingham corridor halted, route may shift. Construction of the problem-plagued Honolulu rail project in the Dillingham corridor has been halted, interim HART CEO Lori Kahikina said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Kalaeloa slated for first new housing subdivision in decades. Longtime Hawaii housing developer Gentry Homes is planning to build the first homes at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Kalaeloa since the base closed in 1999. Star-Advertiser.

State board considers 2 more towers at Ward Village. A state board Wednesday began its review of two very different condominium towers planned for Ward Village, and the distribution of moderate-priced homes was a major point of discussion. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Vaccinations ramp up: 4,000 doses could be given at Hilo POD. Hilo Medical Center will offer 4,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine during an upcoming mass-vaccination POD, doubling the capacity of its last large clinic. Tribune-Herald.

Energov moving forward: Planning and permit system set to go live July 26. A multi-agency software system designed to streamline the planning and building permit process is now scheduled to go live at the end of July, five years after the project first began. West Hawaii Today.

County accepts $83M for Kilauea eruption recovery projects. The Hawaii County Council accepted Wednesday $83 million in federal funds for Kilauea eruption recovery projects in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension project progressing despite lack of funding. A record of decision marking the completion of the environmental review process for the long-delayed extension of Daniel K. Inouye Highway is expected this fall. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor to Host Virtual State of the County Address on March 9. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s third State of the County Address will be a virtual event, scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9. Maui Now.

Maui closes in on Oahu for visitor arrivals in January. There were 66,925 visitors on Maui and 78,967 visitors on Oahu in January, according to the most recent Hawaii Tourism Authority data. Maui News.

County working on lawsuit against bank. Contracted private attorneys for Maui County are currently working on a draft complaint of a lawsuit that may be brought against Bank of America and other mortgage lenders, a county attorney said on Tuesday. Maui News.


Blessing to mark completion of Kauai affordable rental project. A blessing will be held on Friday, March 5, to mark the official completion of an affordable rental housing project on Kauai. KHON2.

Red Cross officials recognize Hero, Volunteer of the Year.
March is American Red Cross Month and acknowledged by Mayor Derek Kawakami with gratitude and appreciation to the American Red Cross, Kaua‘i Branch headed by Padric Gallagher. Garden Island.

On Kauai, virtual counseling offers struggling residents an important lifeline.  Residents on Kauai are now eligible for three hours of free counseling with a new program. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Hawaii schools superintendent says students' COVID-19 vaccine should be voluntary, 100+ legislators head to Maui conference despite pandemic, Hawaii National Guardsman, 52, dies from coronavirus, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Hawaii DOE Optimistic Students Will Return To Class In January.
In a briefing with legislators, school leaders said they were also encouraged by the low rate of teacher vacancies during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Should a COVID-19 vaccine be required for students to attend school? State superintendent says it should be “personal choice." The House Higher and Lower Education Committee held a meeting with the Department of Education (DOE) Tuesday to discuss a number of issues, including whether a blanket decision about learning modes should be implemented and if a COVID-19 vaccine should be required for students. KHON2.

State House committee discusses several COVID-related topics with DOE officials. State Superintendent of Education Christina Kishimoto said that as public schools hope to move to full in-person instruction at some point during the second semester this school year, more than 90% of the students in grades K-12 statewide are receiving at least a portion of their classes virtually. Tribune-Herald.

Pay boost attracts more special-education teachers in Hawaii. The teacher shortage eased in Hawaii’s public schools this fall, propelled in part by a $10,000 annual pay boost for special-education teachers that went into effect in January. Star-Advertiser.

DOE reports that more of its teachers are moving into Special Education. The DOE reported on Tuesday that more of its teachers are moving into Special Ed and more teachers already in Special Ed are staying put. The position comes with shortage differential pay of $10K on top of a teacher's salary. KITV4.

There’s a new tool to help Hawaii students plan for their future career. Most good-paying jobs require a post-secondary credential, like a college degree or an industry-recognized certificate. Now, a first-of-its-kind analysis called Promising Credentials in Hawaii is pinpointing which of those credentials matter most to Hawaii employers. Hawaii News Now.


Mainland COVID-19 surge leaves would-be Hawaii travelers scrambling to find available tests. The recent spike in coronavirus cases on the U.S. mainland is making it harder for visitors to fly to ― and residents to return to ― Hawaii. With more than 100,000 new cases reported daily nationwide, many of Hawaii’s trusted partners ― the pharmacies, diagnostic labs and clinics that provide tests for travelers to Hawaii ― are having trouble keeping up with demand for the tests. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-positive pre-arrival results are a blind spot for Hawaii travel program. The state tells Always Investigating they can’t make their trusted testing partners tell them which out-of-state travelers came up positive on a pre-arrival test. Only a few dozen people have self-reported positives since the Safe Travels program began last month. KHON2.


Hawaii National Guard loses its first member to coronavirus. A 52-year-old airman, who tested positive earlier in the week and died Sunday, was a part-time reservist assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Star-Advertiser.

A pilot who was in Hawaii to celebrate the anniversary of the end of WWII has died of COVID-19. One of the pilots who was in Hawaii to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II has died of COVID-19. KITV4.

Public health expert says new statewide mask mandate still has a loophole. The new statewide mask mandate issued Monday eliminates some confusion by having the same exceptions for all counties. But some people say it’s not much better because certain provisions make it hard to enforce. KHON2.

DOH: Reporting of new COVID-19 cases will remain two days behind, with lack of resources to blame.  Hawaii’s reported coronavirus case count numbers will continue to be delayed, with each day’s release from the Department of Health representative of the COVID-19 laboratory test results returned a full two days prior, officials said Tuesday. That means the 53 new cases reported Tuesday are actually Sunday’s totals. Hawaii News Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 17: 53 New COVID-19 Cases. Fifty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported statewide on Tuesday, including 37 on Oahu, six on the Big Island and two on Maui. Eight cases were among Hawaii residents diagnosed out-of-state. Civil Beat.


Mayor Kirk Caldwell: Rail cost now $11B, won’t be completed until 2033. Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project will cost up to $1.1 billion more and not be completed until 2033, eight years longer than now projected, according to estimates that are part of a preliminary plan Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other city officials sent Friday to the Federal Transit Administration. Star-Advertiser.

Here’s How One Honolulu Cop Got His Job Back After He Was Fired For Misconduct. Ofc. William Suarez crashed his car and fled the scene of the accident. He was fired but an arbitrator sided with the police union and gave him his job back. Civil Beat.

Oceanfront property tied to Obama granted exemption from Hawaii’s environmental laws. Officials in Honolulu have granted the developers of a luxury, oceanfront estate tied to Barack Obama a major exemption from environmental laws designed to protect Hawaii’s beaches. Star-Advertiser.

City Strives To Keep Transit Safe As More Bus Drivers Test Positive For COVID-19. Most of the drivers’ positive tests were attributed to factors outside of work. Three drivers, however, have filed workers’ compensation claims. Civil Beat.

New Ewa Beach housing project provides dozens of affordable rentals to residents. There are 318 apartments for lease ― including 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units ― starting at about $1,500. About 60 of those units are deemed “affordable” and are reserved for people making less than 80% of the area median income. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless project to welcome new residents. The first occupants will move into the city’s new Punawai Rest Stop studio apartments in Iwilei around Thanksgiving, months ahead of schedule, offering outgoing Mayor Kirk Caldwell and outgoing City Councilman Joey Manahan an opportunity to bookend their five-year-long partnership to reduce homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian blessing marks full completion of a rest stop providing homeless services. A blessing on Tuesday marked the completion of Construction at Punawai Hale and Rest Stop in Iwilei. The former garment factory has actually been open for two years now, and its helped more than 2,500 people struggling with homelessness. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

‘A top priority’: Mass Transit hopes to get donated buses rolling next month. Mass Transit Administrator Brenda Carreira hopes to have 10 minibuses donated from Honolulu running routes next month on Hawaii Island. West Hawaii Today.

Council committee advances bill that would close part of Waipio Valley Road to foot traffic. The Public Works and Mass Transit Committee on Tuesday unanimously voted to move to the full council a bill that would close to foot traffic a portion of the steep, one-lane road from the Waipio Valley lookout to the valley floor. Tribune-Herald.

NELHA Science Park In Kona Reopens To Public Tours. The Keahole Center for Sustainability restarts public tours at NELHA’s Hawai‘i Ocean and Science Technology Park on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Big Island Video News.

HOPE Services Hawaii receives $131K in CARES act funding to expand telehealth, broadband service. The nonprofit's project will facilitate immediate access to primary and specialty care via telehealth and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for the homeless population on Hawaii Island. Pacific Business News.


Legislators’ Maui meeting undergoes pandemic travel backlash.
The four-day event, which includes legislators from California, Texas and Washington, is taking place this week at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. Critics say the IVP event, which generally includes policy discussions and schmoozing with corporate sponsors, was ill-timed. Some critics are bashing politicians who are attending an annual conference on Maui hosted by the nonprofit Independent Voter Project. Star-Advertiser.

100+ Flying to Maui for Pandemic Political Conference. The Independent Voter Project's yearly conference on Maui is scaled back this year, but is currently happening on Maui. The organization admitted it booked roughly 50 rooms for around 120 guests this week at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. KITV4.

Charges Dropped in Maui Protests Over Burial Protections. Maui County has dropped all charges related to protests over construction on known historic burial grounds in Kaua’ula Valley. Five native Hawaiian women with familial ties to the area on Maui’s west end have been refunded their bail and are calling for a halt to the project after human remains were uncovered. Hawaii Public Radio.

Protesters say that charges against them were dropped. Five Lahaina women who stood in a trench in protest over a waterline project said Monday that charges against them have been dropped and their bail refunded. Maui News.

Water use plan could be delayed to 2021. A council committee recommended Monday to push by six months the deadline for the council to adopt updates to the Maui Island Water Use Development Plan. Maui News.


Survey: County employees efficient. In a recent survey of county employees, County of Kaua‘i Managing Director Michael Dahilig said only two to three are not currently meeting productivity standards set by the county. Garden Island.

Nakamura chairs House Housing Committee. Two of Kaua‘i’s state representatives will hold influential leadership roles in the upcoming 2021 legislative session, with Rep. Dee Morikawa continuing as the majority floor leader and Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura elevated to chair of the Committee on Housing. Garden Island.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Hawaii educators lay out school reopening guidelines, mayors unclear on pre-travel COVID-19 testing, Caldwell looks to loosen Honolulu lockdown, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Metrics for Hawaii schools reopening

Public schools will make ‘gradual’ transition to blended learning in October. Public school parents should prepare for distance learning to continue into the second quarter, but schools will slowly transition to a blended model that includes some in-person instruction starting in mid-October, schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Some students could return to Hawaii public schools after fall break. Some public schools may offer blended learning later this fall under new Health Department benchmarks, but families should expect to start the second quarter Oct. 12 still in distance learning. Star-Advertiser.

New Guidance Shows When Hawaii Schools Should Go In-Person, Blended Or Learn-From-Home. Under the new guidance, Hawaiʻi island schools would return to in-person learning for elementary school students and blended learning for secondary students. Big Island Video News.

State unveils metrics for school reopening. There is still no set reopening date for classrooms in Hawaii, but the state health and education departments on Thursday provided metrics for how they plan to handle instruction based on the COVID-19 infection rate on each island. Tribune-Herald.

DOH Provides Metrics on HIDOE’s Learning Parameters for Second Quarter. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education will use newly released guidance from the Hawai‘i State Department of Health to plan for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the academic year. Big Island Now.

HIDOE: COVID-19 benchmarks in place for gradual transition to blended learning. It follows guidance developed by the Department of Health and applies to both public and private schools. KITV4.

Gradual Rollout of Blended Learning Expected in 2nd Quarter at Hawai‘i Schools. Governor David Ige joined superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto with the state Department of Education and Dr. Sarah Kemble, Asst. Hawai‘i State Epidemiologist today in announcing updated COVID-19 guidance for Hawai‘i’s schools. Maui Now.

Islands to decide on school reopenings. Via Gov. David Ige’s Thursday press conference, the state Department of Education announced they will use a newly released guidance from the state Department of Health to plan for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the current school year. Garden Island.

HSTA Against New District Metrics Presented by HIDOE, DOH. The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association is adamantly against the new metrics presented by the Department of Health Thursday, which provide guidance for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the academic year. Big Island Now.


Governor Ige looking into establishing 'international travel bubbles'. On Thursday Governor Ige said he's still looking into establishing "international travel bubbles." KITV4.

Hawaii Will Reopen Without Quarantine To Those Who Test Negative But Some Think It's Unsafe. Mainland travelers may be able to avoid quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Hawaii starting October 15th. But some say the one-test plan is unsafe for Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

A day after announcing the launch of a testing program on Oct. 15 for trans-Pacific travelers, the governor said he is working with county leaders on inter-island travel. An inter-island quarantine continues through at least Sept. 30, but is expected to be extended. Hawaii News Now.

Plans for interisland travel unclear as state poised to welcome back visitors.
The governor said he is looking to launch a pilot pre-testing program for interisland travel, but is concerned about testing capacity across the islands. KITV4.

Neighbor island mayors say more details needed before pre-testing program begins. The inter-island quarantine remains in effect through Sept. 30, just two weeks before the pre-travel testing program is set to begin. KHON2.


Civil Beat Economy Panel: ‘We Don’t Survive’ Without Reopening Tourism. Hawaii may not see 10 million tourists in a year land on its shores again soon — or ever — but the economy won’t fully recover until at least some tourists return, a panel of tourism and business leaders said Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines to cut one-third of workforce. Hawaiian Airlines’ pre-pandemic payroll will be cut by one-third, or 2,501 jobs, as of the start of next month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines says more furloughs could come if pre-travel testing program is extended again. A total of 2,501 jobs were cut from Hawaiian Airlines. KHON2.

Qualified workers in Hawaii to get extra week of unemployment benefits from FEMA. Hawaii workers eligible for an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will receive an extra week of benefits. Star-Advertiser.

State launches its loss wage assistance program. New unemployment numbers released on Thursday show nearly 80,000 people were without a job in August. KITV4.


University of Hawaii athletic department counts 4 positive test results. Out of 373 tests conducted for the University of Hawaii athletic department, there have been four positive results to date, the school’s Board of Regents was told on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 17: 160 New COVID-19 Cases And 5 Deaths In Hawaii. At least 120 people have died from the virus in Hawaii to date, though the state’s official tally is lower because of reporting lags. Civil Beat.

DOH Reports 160 Cases, 4 New COVID-Related Deaths
. The total number of cases statewide since the pandemic began now stands at 11,105. Big Island Now.


Mayor: New order will allow small household gatherings on beaches, parks. The city’s stay-at-home order remains in effect for another week, but the mayor is pledging to ease some restrictions on gatherings and businesses with his next proclamation. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council chairman’s departure and search for his replacement stirs ethics complaints. City Councilmembers calling for more transparency surrounding the departure of Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson have filed complaints with the Honolulu Ethics Commission and have asked to pause the search for his replacement. Star-Advertiser.

Councilwoman Files Ethics Complaints Over Chair’s Departure To Union Job. Councilwomen Heidi Tsuneyoshi and Kym Pine are requesting a more open process to choose Anderson’s replacement. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rail P3 Bidder Wants More Than $2 Billion For The Final Stretch. Local officials have remained tight-lipped on what’s happening with the long-anticipated award for the project’s final leg. Civil Beat.


Mayor Caldwell announces additional $75 million in grants for Oahu small businesses. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has announced an additional $75 million in additional financial support for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Offering Additional $75 Million In Aid To Businesses. Up to $50,000 is available to individual local businesses. Civil Beat.

City makes an additional $75M in aid available to struggling Oahu businesses. Since the fund launched in May, it has distributed more than $50 million to over 5,500 small businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Additional $75 million in grants soon to be available for Oahu's small businesses. This is a reimbursement program, and the city wants business owners to know that every invoice they submit needs to come with a receipt and proof of payment to qualify. KITV4.


Sewage leak forces temporary closure of Sand Island Beach Park.  The state has temporarily closed the Sand Island State Recreation Area due to a large sewage spill. The state Health Department said the spill came from a broken line connecting a pump station at the park to the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ballots to be mailed Oct. 7. The Hawaii County Elections Division announced Thursday that it will begin mailing ballots for the Nov. 3 general election on Oct. 7. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo’s Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has history of problems. The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home was a source of concern for federal regulators even before the pandemic, earning an overall “below average” rating and a citation for failing to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. Star-Advertiser.

Long-awaited hydrogen buses on the way: Transit administrator predicts first bus in service by end of year. It’s been a long road, but the county’s first hydrogen bus — and possibly even three buses — should be traveling Kona streets before the year is out. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Businesses Continue to Close and Struggle as Pandemic Drags On. At least 15 other Maui businesses, including eight restaurants, already have shuttered for good due to the economic woes of the pandemic. Maui Now.

Community clinic pharmacy to close for lack of patients. Malama I Ke Ola Health Center, which services the poor and those without health insurance, will be closing its pharmacy Wednesday, the community clinic announced Tuesday. Maui News.

Two solar power, battery storage projects are submitted to PUC. Price for renewable energy among the lowest on island. Two Maui solar and battery storage projects, which are slated to charge among the lowest rates for renewable energy on Maui, have been submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission for review and approval, Hawaiian Electric announced Wednesday. Maui News.


Property tax exemptions, credits available
. The County of Kaua‘i is announcing that 2021 real property tax exemptions or tax credits are available. Garden Island.

HDOH hopes UDSA federal funding will prevent food contamination. Earl Kashiwagi feels the $370,000 grant the state Department of Heath received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to enhance Hawai‘i’s food emergency response network microbiology lab could benefit safety for food consumers. Garden Island.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Marijuana decriminalization, banking sought; Honolulu tax hikes to pay for rail; senator is anti-vaxxer; Kealoha trial starts today; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy PixaBay Commons
Marijuana PC: Pixabay Commons
People caught with roughly three to five joints won’t be considered criminals under a bill awaiting Gov. David Ige’s signature, but it is unclear how many would actually benefit from the change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors joined a bipartisan coalition urging Congress to grant the marijuana industry access to the federal banking system. Maui Now.


Condo Associations May Be On Verge Of Gaining More Foreclosure Power. A bill on the governor’s desk seeks to bail the associations out of legal jeopardy and clarify they can take away property even if their bylaws don’t say so. Civil Beat.

HEI CEO tops isles’ salaries at $5.7M. Seven CEOs received total compensation last year of at least $3 million and two of them topped $5 million, according to recent company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Report card coming up for Hawaii public schools’ top official. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto is aiming to sharpen the focus to individual campuses with distinct approaches to education. Star-Advertiser.

ACLU Hawaii expands Title IX lawsuit against DOE to a class action lawsuit. A local civil rights group is still pushing to put boys and girls on equal playing fields. KITV.

Commentary: All talk, no political spine in controlling illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.


Three tax increases proposed to cover rail costs. The three tax increases Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposed in his budget package earlier this year are designed in part to prepare the city to cover the cost of operations and maintenance of rail, a looming expense that rail critics have long warned would eventually force the city to raise taxes. Star-Advertiser.


The Kealoha Trial Begins. The theft of a mailbox, which federal prosecutors say was staged, opened the door to the largest public corruption scandal in Hawaii history. Civil Beat.

Jury selection to begin Monday in high-profile Kealoha case. The city is warning drivers that traffic will be heavy around the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Monday, as an estimated 430 people are expected on the first day of jury selection for the so-called ‘mailbox’ trial. Hawaii News Now.

The trial of Honolulu's former police chief and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor, is set to begin with jury selection Monday. It's one of the state's most high-profile cases, so how does that affect jury selection? KHON2.


Chinatown grapples with surge in homeless. Morning, noon and night in Chinatown they yell at the sky, mutter obscenities, and sleep in doorways where they sometimes reek of urine — or worse. Star-Advertiser.

 Abandoned boat spills oil into the Ala Wai Harbor. An unknown amount of oil leaked from an abandoned vessel at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ruderman expresses vaccine concerns. As measles cases grow nationwide and state health leaders monitor mainland outbreaks, one Big Island state senator has expressed more concern about the vaccine than the disease itself. Tribune-Herald.

Commissions and boards could go nonpartisan. A ballot initiative making county boards nonpartisan was advanced Friday by the Charter Commission. West Hawaii Today.

A Hawaii Island charter school gets $12M in funds for new campus atop Kilauea. State leaders set aside $12 million in Capital Improvement Project funds for the construction of a new Keakealani Campus in Volcano Village at the summit of Kilauea. Hawaii News Now.

Students Build Machine To Clear Plastic Bits On Big Island Beach, Among World's Dirtiest. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is involved in a new project to clear microplastics from the state’s beaches, helped by a machine built by Canadian university students. Hawaii Public Radio.


Council OKs higher property tax rates for most. Hotels, short-term rentals see greatest increase over 2018. The Maui County Council on Friday approved property tax rates for the next fiscal year, which includes near across-the-board increases for property owners with hotels and resorts seeing the highest increase. Maui News.

Official: Upcountry water users a priority. Death of controversial water rights bill leaves EMI ditch in question. Maui News.


North Shore high school proposed. The high school is designed as a two-story, 46,888-square-foot structure that would host 600 students, grades 9-12. Garden Island.

No cause of death yet for Kekaha beached whale. Scientists say the whale calf that washed up on the shores of Kekaha Beach in January appears to be a failure to thrive case, with predators involved. Garden Island.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Senate panel votes against Public Safety director's confirmation, more details emerge on federal rail fund withholding, AC Hotel Wailea by Marriott breaks ground on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate panel votes against reappointing public safety director. A state Senate committee voted Thursday against reappointing Nolan Espinda director of the Department of Public Safety, citing last month’s riot at the Maui jail, recent shootings of an Oahu jail inmate and a homeless man, detention of prisoners beyond their release dates and an alleged culture of retaliation and intimidation within the department. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Stands By His Public Safety Chief After Senate Panel Calls For Espinda’s Ouster. A Senate committee harshly criticized Nolan Espinda’s leadership of Hawaii’s prisons and the Sheriff Division. Civil Beat.

Senate Committee Votes Against Confirming Public Safety Director. Nolan Espinda, Gov. David Ige’s nominee to head the state Department of Public Safety, won’t get the backing of a key legislative committee. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate committee won’t recommend Espinda’s return as public safety director. Hawaii News Now.


Administrator in charge of DPS training programs accused of lying on her resume. The woman in charge of training more than 1,500 of Hawaii’s deputy sheriffs and adult corrections officers is facing public scrutiny for allegedly being dishonest about her job qualifications. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Rifle Association, NRA Seek Injunction To Suspend Gun Carry Requirements. Gun advocates filed a motion Thursday in U.S. District Court asking for an immediate injunction stopping enforcement of permit requirements that they say amount to a de facto ban on carrying guns. Hawaii Public Radio.

Urgency claimed in isle lawsuit over public carry of guns. The Hawaii Rifle Association is attempting to obtain quick action in a 2-week-old federal lawsuit aimed at allowing many residents statewide to carry loaded handguns in public. Star-Advertiser.

The number of farms in Hawaii grew substantially from 2012 to 2017, though the market value of the industry dropped nearly $100 million over the same period. That’s according to numbers released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its 2017 Census of Agriculture. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii School Chief Asks DeVos About Teacher Shortage. Christina Kishimoto mentioned the challenge of teacher retention in remote areas. Civil Beat.


With still two days left, record number of ballots cast in City Council special election. Ahead of Saturday’s deadline, more than 31,000 votes have already been cast in the City Council District IV special election. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Rail’s Final Federal Money Not Expected Until Next Year. The Federal Transit Administration has withheld $744 million from the project since 2015. Civil Beat.

Federal agency demands faster city contributions for rail. The Federal Transit Administration wants to see the city accelerate the pace of its contributions to help fund the Honolulu rail project before the FTA releases $744 million in federal funding it has withheld from the project. Star-Advertiser.

Feds Delaying Rail Funding, Citing Concerns About The Project. The Federal Transit Administration is withholding payments for Honolulu's rail system until officials make changes to its plan to get the $9 billion project back on track. Hawaii Public Radio.

Feds to delay release of millions in rail funding over construction concerns. Citing concerns about two impending construction contracts, the FTA has decided to delay the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding intended to help propel Honolulu’s rail line toward completion. Hawaii News Now.

Federal Transit Administration withholding rail transit funding until February 2020. KHON2.


Health director wants Navy to move Red Hill fuel tanks. State Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson is urging the Navy to relocate its underground fuel storage facility at Red Hill away from a major source of Oahu’s drinking water.  Star-Advertiser.

Worried about 'catastrophic’ spill, state wants U.S. Navy to move its Red Hill fuel tanks. Hawaii News Now.

Turtle Bay to start $70M renovation. Turtle Bay, which is owned by Blackstone and managed by Benchmark Resorts &Hotels, plans to start a $70 million renovation by the fourth quarter of this year that will be the precursor for its plan to add about 725 more units during a lengthy build-out that could start two or three years from now. Star-Advertiser.

An Ewa Elementary School A-plus teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old former student. An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment today charging Jordan Cortez with eight counts of sexual assault. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands of items from the Honolulu Police Department’s evidence room are up for auction. HPD amassed the items from various criminal cases over the years as well as from personal property turned in by the public that was never claimed by their owners. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Lawmakers talk successes, failures at legislative forum. A handful of lawmakers took some time Wednesday to return to Hawaii Island for a Community Forums event and talk story on a few measures of note in the 2019 legislative session, both those that look promising and those that have fallen short. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Council approves two of three lava disaster aid bills. Bills passed on final reading clear the way to accept $40 million in loans from the state and adds restoration of Highway 132 to the capital budget. Tribune-Herald.

An old hospital in Hilo is being transformed into a haven for the homeless. In Hilo, an old hospital is being transformed into one of the state's first homeless Ohana Zones. It's one of two Ohana Zone projects in the works for Hawaii Island. Hawaii News Now.

Wally Lau, Kimo Lee Named To Kahu Ku Mauna. The Maunakea Management Board voted to approve the two selections to the volunteer advisory board during its April 2 meeting. Big Island Video News.


Hale Mahaolu Lahaina Surf will not raise rents on tenants. Housing complex only looking to raise subsidy that HUD pays  Maui News.

Lahaina Cannery Mall eyes expansion with gas station. Plans call for 8-pump gas station and convenience store. Maui News.

New AC Hotel Wailea Breaks Ground. The 110-room AC Hotel Wailea by Marriott is being built on a three acre-lot situated at the corner of Wailea Ike Place and Wailea Ike Drive, adjacent to the Wailea Tennis Club. Maui Now.

Ex-Maui inmate gets $10K in sex assault lawsuit settlement. A former inmate who says Hawaii officials didn’t protect her against a guard convicted of sexually assaulting her is settling a lawsuit for $10,000. Associated Press.

Ex-Maui inmate gets $10K in sex assault lawsuit settlement. A former inmate who alleges Hawaii officials didn't protect her against a guard convicted of sexual assault is settling a lawsuit for $10,000. Hawaii News Now.


Former lifeguard’s lawsuit dismissed. A Fifth Circuit Court judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former firefighter, alleging his supervisors in the Kauai Fire Department threatened and retaliated against him for testifying about their alleged misconduct. Garden Island.