Showing posts with label Clare Connors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clare Connors. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New data could move Oahu House seat to Big Island, Health Department affirms Red Hill shutdown order, Capt. Cook monument defaced with indigenous slogan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Capt. Cook monument. See Hawaii Island section for stories

New Data From U.S. Military Could Restart Reapportionment Process. At stake is a House seat that could move from Oahu to the Big Island. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

The state is looking again for a contractor to market the islands to US tourists.
The state will once again look for a contractor to market the islands as a destination for American tourists after its initial award was rescinded. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii eliminates Safe Travels health questionnaire, reduces COVID quarantine for visitors to align with CDC guidelines. Hawaii’s Safe Travels quarantine guidelines for visitors change today to align with the state Department of Health’s new requirements. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

The counties are now solely in charge of COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities
. Throughout the pandemic, the state Department of Health has partnered with the counties to operate COVID-19 isolation and quarantine facilities for residents. These buildings provide rooms to those who cannot safely isolate from others. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Clare Connors sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Hawaii.
Connors left her position as state Attorney General after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 7. Biden nominated Connors on Sept. 28. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Public Schools Will Reopen After Break Despite Covid Worries
. The interim superintendent stressed the importance of maintaining in-person instruction for students’ academic and emotional growth. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Report: Limited Funding, Staff Could Delay DOE Effort To Meet Food Sustainability Goal. A new legislative report offers sparse detail on the planned overhaul of student meals served in Hawaii’s public schools. Civil Beat.

Hawai'i's high housing costs could have literally become a health hazard, study finds. A study from the Hawai'i Budget and Policy Center found Hawai'i's lack of affordable housing could be costing residents their mental and physical health. KITV4.

Former Solar Executive Will Head Ethics Commission. Robert Harris, a former solar energy company executive, Sierra Club director and corporate lawyer, has been selected executive director and general counsel of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, the organization announced Monday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

DOH New Year’s vaccine video draws fire before it’s pulled. Admitting it was not the state Department of Health’s “best work,” a spokesman today addressed a now-removed DOH promotional video that advocated vaccination over New Year’s resolutions such as eating healthy, exercising and saving money. Maui Now.

Hawaii sees 3,044 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 121,864. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,166 new cases on Oahu, 359 on Hawaii Island, 273 on Maui, 124 on Kauai, two on Molokai, six on Lanai and 114 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Health Department Affirms Order To Shut Down Red Hill Fuel Tanks. The DOH rejected arguments by the Navy that the state lacks the power to shut down Red Hill. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Board of Water Supply says 3 Oahu wells may never reopen after latest Navy contamination. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says isn’t sure if it will ever be able to reopen three of its drinking water wells that it shut down last month to avoid the chance that jet fuel spilled by the Navy might contaminate its drinking water system. Star-Advertiser.

The CDC, DOH will survey civilians affected by water system contamination
. Beginning on Tuesday, January 4 the Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will survey civilian residents affected by the Navy's water distribution system. KITV4.

DOH: 1 in 5 COVID tests administered on Oahu are coming back positive. Oahu’s average test positivity rate has soared in recent days and now stands at nearly 20%, new figures from the state Health Department show. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Investigation underway: State probing vandalism of Captain Cook Monument. The white obelisk tower that marks the spot where explorer Captain James Cook was killed in 1779 at Kealakekua Bay was defaced sometime around Jan. 1. It was smeared with red paint with the words, “You are on Native Land” written on it. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Update on Kalanianaole Avenue closed to public. Although a Hawaii County Council committee will discuss the long-delayed reconstruction of Kalanianaole Avenue today, the public will not be privy to that discussion. Tribune-Herald.


Water treatment disinfection to change for Upper Kula in attempt to clear E. coli. The Maui County Department of Water Supply will switch its water distribution disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine beginning Jan. 10 in an attempt to clear away trace amounts of E. coli from the Upper Kula water system. Maui Now.

Kalakupua Playground repairs, Jan. 17-22.
The Haʻikū Community Association and the Construction Industry of Maui will be providing materials and volunteers to repair some of the existing fencing and playground equipment. Maui Now.


DLNR seeking CIP monies for Lehua, Mana Plains conservation projects. Kaua‘i habitat and endangered species were reviewed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources during an informational briefing before the state Senate Committee on Water and Land last week. Garden Island.

Out-of-state buyers drove up Kauaʻi housing prices in 2021, officials say . An influx of out-of-state homebuyers and renters pushed up housing prices on Kauaʻi last year, officials said. The median sale price of a single-family Kauaʻi home jumped 57% in November from the same month in 2020 to $1.2 million, according to real estate firm Locations. Statewide, the median climbed 16%. Associated Press.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Interment, ceremonies mark somber 80th Pearl Harbor anniversary, Senate confirms Clare Connors as U.S. attorney, power struggle looms over Red Hill fuel tanks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: U.S. Pacific Fleet
Pearl Harbor National Memorial, in partnership with Navy Region Hawaii, is conducting the 45th interment of a USS Arizona (BB-39) survivor, Lt. Harvey Milhorn, who was a Gunner's Mate 3rd Class aboard the battleship on Dec. 7, 1941. PC: U.S. Pacific Fleet

80th Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day more somber than usual as fewer survivors return. Hawaii Public Radio. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Senate Confirms Connors To Serve As US Attorney For Hawaii.
Claire Connors, who served under Gov. David Ige as Hawaii attorney general, on Tuesday was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. attorney for Hawaii. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

House Panel’s Rare And Controversial Investigation Of Audits Drawing To A Close. Members say their work will improve the Agribusiness Development Corp. and the Department of Land and Natural Resources. But few specific proposals have emerged. Civil Beat.

Will the omicron variant cause Hawaii to tighten COVID-19 restrictions? Gov. Ige responds. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 55 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 88,440. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 28 new cases on Oahu, seven on Hawaii Island, three on Maui, 13 on Kauai and four Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Navy says it will contest state’s order demanding suspension of Red Hill fuel operations
. A contested case hearing on the order, scheduled for 1 p.m. today, was postponed, however, because the Navy has requested a continuance, according to Kaitlin Arita-Chang, a DOH spokeswoman. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Navy’s Opposition To Governor’s Red Hill Order Raises Question Of State Versus Federal Power. The Department of Health’s director declined to say whether the state is willing to get into a legal fight with the Navy over Gov. Ige’s order to stop operating tanks suspected of contaminating drinking water. Civil Beat.

City Council launches new Red Hill legislation, but Navy’s successful lobbying looms.
The Honolulu City Council is weighing in on the growing Navy water crisis. It wants to regulate the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which leaked 14,000 gallons of fuel on November 20th before the Navy’s Red Hill Well was contaminated around Nov. 28. KHON2.

HART Agrees To Install Equipment To Mitigate Electricity Issues. The trains may cause voltage swings as they leave the stations, so HART has agreed to install equipment to stabilize the power. Civil Beat.

Heavy rain brought widespread damage, outages across Oahu. Oahu began drying out Tuesday from an extreme winter storm that included record-setting rainfall and winds that struck neighborhoods across the island Monday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric said it expects to restore power to about 70% of its customers in downtown Honolulu tonight. The company says repairs to the second of three transformers at the Iwilei substation were completed sooner than anticipated bringing back power to about a dozen office buildings. KITV4.

Honolulu Marathon organizers and runners are ready to go. Rain or shine, the Honolulu Marathon is on at 5 a.m. sharp Sunday with no capacity limits. Star-Advertiser.

New Year’s fireworks return to Waikiki. After canceling last year due to the pandemic, the Waikiki Improvement Association announced its Waikiki New Year’s Eve fireworks show will be back this year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hele-On could become free: Council members impressed with Mass Transit update. The countywide Hele-On bus system could become free of charge next year, interim Mass Transit Administrator John Andoh told County Council members Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Puna sees rise in property crimes. According to statistics from the Hawaii Police Department, there were 45 reports of auto thefts and 32 reports of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle in November in Puna. That compares to 21 reports of a stolen vehicle and 17 reports of vehicle break-ins in Puna in September, two months earlier. Tribune-Herald.

Surfer Suffers Injuries After Shark Encounter at Banyans. According to Hawaiʻi Fire Department, a 38-year-old man surfing at Banyans Beach Park on Saturday, Dec. 4, was bitten in the left arm and shoulder. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Power Restoration Continues for Some 1,500 Customers on Maui. As of 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Hawaiian Electric crews are responding to a new outage affecting Pukalani to East Maui and parts of Makawao and Haʻikū in addition to the existing outages in parts of Kula, Wailuku, and Lahaina. Maui Now.

Health inspectors close Lahaina Sports Bar on Maui again due to cockroach infestation. The food establishment operated by Lahaina Cafe LLC at 843 Wainee St. first received a red placard, closing it down last Thursday health officials said, and must remain closed until all violations are resolved and cleared by a follow-up inspection. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Tour companies lose permits for Saturday tours on Wailua River. Starting this month, kayak-tour operators and rental companies are no longer allowed to operate tours on the Wailua River on Saturdays. With Sundays already restricted, this limits guided tours to weekdays moving forward. Garden Island.

Dead sperm whale still off North Shore beach. The deceased sperm whale caught on a North Shore reef is rapidly decomposing, one week after state and federal agencies reported its appearance. DLNR, NOAA and stranding-response partners have decided to allow natural decomposition, which has been assisted by heavy surf conditions, to continue in place. Garden Island.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Attorney general defends quarantine enforcement, airport thermal screening to be installed, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations expected to continue rising, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from Facebook Live
Paul Jones, Deputy Chief for the Department of the Attorney General Investigations Division, left, with Attorney General Clare Connors and Gov. David Ige discuss quarantine enforcement, July 16, 2020
Attorney general fine with compliance from quarantined. State Attorney General Clare Connors, Gov. David Ige and Paul Jones, deputy chief special agent for the Department of the Attorney General Investigations Division, appear pleased with the level of compliance with Ige’s COVID-19 travel quarantine. Star-Advertiser.

State Officials Discuss Quarantine Compliance, Enforcement. State officials are conducting compliance checks on individuals entering the state who are subject to the 14-day quarantine mandate due to COVID-19. Big Island Now.

After Sep. 1, Hawaii may set up hotels for visitors to quarantine in. Once more visitors come, some are asking how the state will keep track of the people who choose not to pre-test and quarantine instead. KHON2.


Thermal Temperature Screening Equipment to be Installed Immediately at Five Hawai‘i Airports. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation has selected NEC Corporation, NEC Corporation of America and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaiʻi’s public airports. Maui Now.

Contract awarded for thermal screening, facial recognition at airports. The state Department of Transportation on Thursday announced that a contract to install thermal temperature screening of arriving passengers and facial recognition technology at Hawaii’s public airports will cost taxpayers $37.5 million throughout 10 years. Tribune-Herald.

NEC Corporation Named Hawaiʻi Airport Screening Technology Provider. The State has selected NEC Corporation and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaii’s public airports. Big Island Video News.

HDOT selects providers for airport thermal screening equipment. The Hawaii Department of Transportation has selected NEC Corporation and their partner Infrared Cameras Inc. to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaii’s public airports. KHON2.

State selects temperature screening provider for Hawaii airports. The state has officially picked a company to install thermal temperature screening equipment at Hawaii's airports. KITV4.


As public schools prepare to reopen, lawmakers and teachers remain on edge. Public schools are set to reopen on Aug. 4. But some lawmakers say that’s too soon, citing concerns they’ve received from teachers who feel unsafe and unprepared. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Officials Back Superintendent’s Plan To Reopen Schools. State health officials say kids can be in the classroom as long as precautions are taken. But they expect to see an increase in coronavirus cases, too. Civil Beat.

When it comes to reopening Hawaii's public schools next month, the head of the Department of Education says its plan is complex and it's going to be a challenge.  That's what Superintendent Christina Kishimoto told state senators Thursday. KITV4.

Reopening schools discussion ongoing. Thursday, concerns about reopening schools too early were discussed between the Department of Education, Department of Health, and the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 at the State Capitol. Garden Island.

Officials defend school reopening plan. Health Director Bruce Anderson said that the timing seems right for Hawaii’s public schools to reopen as planned on Aug. 4, but authorities will keep tabs on the coronavirus situation and shift gears as needed. Star-Advertiser.

Teaching Today Requires Transformation and Innovation. Interview with Robert Landau, Founder and Strategist, Two Roads Education. Hawaii Business magazine.


Election ballots going out earlier than expected. Voters statewide began seeing their primary election ballots show up in their mailboxes Wednesday, ahead of the July 21 date that elections officials had been stating they should expect to start seeing the distinctive yellow envelopes. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii unemployment rate improves to 13.9% Hawaii’s unemployment rate improved dramatically to 13.9% in June even as the state grapples with a tourism lockdown that has kept tens of thousands of people out of work due to the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Unemployment Rate Unexpectedly Drops. The numbers released today showed the state unemployment rate going from 23.5% in May to just 13.9% in June, a difference of about 40%. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige hopes gloomy unemployment forecast won’t materialize. A report this week that Hawaii’s once-enviable low unemployment rate probably won’t be seen again until 2029 because of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the pressure on the state to fund social service programs even in the face of a $2.3 billion budget shortfall, Gov. David Ige said. Star-Advertiser.

Substitute Teachers Face More Hurdles To Summer Unemployment Checks. While most subs are now set to receive payments, the DOE has listed hundreds of others as having denied work they may not have been offered. Civil Beat.


UH Regents Defer Vote On Budget Planning Proposal. The board is expected to take up the resolution in August. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige names Elefante as acting Tax Director. Damien A. Elefante, who last week was confirmed by the state Senate to serve as chairman of the Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board, also will now fill in as acting director of the state Tax Department. Star-Advertiser.


COVID-19 hospitalizations in Hawaii shoot up as new infections also rise. Hawaii is seeing the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 go up, in a worrisome trend public health officials say they’re watching closely. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawai’i Health Department reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 today. Sixteen cases are on Oahu, and three cases are pending. The number of deaths remains at 22. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 16: 19 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Clusters continue to grow at Pearl City Nursing Home and Kona Community Hospital. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 19 new coronavirus cases as statewide tally rises to 1,311. Today’s new cases include 16 on Oahu and three that are pending identification of residency, according to the state Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 tally. Star-Advertiser.


Debate recap: 5 contenders share why they should be the next Honolulu Mayor. Three political veterans and two newcomers with business backgrounds took to the Hawaii Theatre stage on Thursday for a 90-minute debate. KHON2.

O'ahu businesses to remain open despite rising COVID-19 case numbers. As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that he has no plans of shutting down gyms, bars or any other businesses. KITV4.


Honolulu Gets Creative In Efforts To Test Sewage For COVID-19. New partnerships are being formed to address unforeseen challenges of COVID-19 testing. Civil Beat.

City completes significant phase in $82M sewer rehab project. The city announced Thursday that it’s nearing completion of the first phase of a major sewer rehabilitation project that’s required crews tearing up major thoroughfares in the area. Hawaii News Now.

City’s sewer consent decree work moving. City officials marked a milestone in the multibillion dollar effort to upgrade Oahu’s sewer system as part of a consent decree that was reached between the Sierra Club and federal, state and city agencies in 2010. Star-Advertiser.


Accused crime boss Michael Miske Jr. kept alleged target close. Federal prosecutors allege Oahu businessman Michael Miske Jr. provided a 23-year-old man a place to live “so he could keep tabs on him” in the days leading up to the man’s murder. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors to argue alleged crime boss poses ‘grave danger’ to community. Alleged organized crime boss Michael Miske pleaded not guilty Thursday to 17 felony charges, including murder-for-hire, as federal prosecutors seek to argue that he poses a “grave danger” to the community and should remain in custody as he awaits trial. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County seeks proposals to spend $80 million: Fast-tracked bid request to get money on the street. Feed the hungry while supporting local farmers, fishers and restaurants is one goal of millions of dollars worth of grants being offered by the county. West Hawaii Today.

‘We needed to test everybody’: Kona hospital testing all employees, providers after 3 test positive for COVID-19. In a swift reaction to the news that three employees at Kona Community Hospital tested positive for COVID-19, the facility’s entire staff was tested for the coronavirus on Thursday. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Unemployment Improves to 23% in June, COVID-19-Related Discrepancies Affecting Counts. In Maui County, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 22.6% in June, an improvement from the 34% rate reported last month, but still significantly higher than the 3% rate reported at the same time last year. Maui Now.

Hana and Piilani highways reopen to nonresident traffic. Mayor, residents urge masks, social distance when visiting E. Maui. Maui News.


Property tax deadline extended. To lessen the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the County of Kaua‘i has extended the deadline to pay property taxes to November 18, 2020. Garden Island.

Farm Bureau award includes hamburger in distribution. The hamburger, provided by the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Kaua‘i Branch, was made possible through a $5,000 award from the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau done in May to acquire 1,347 pounds of ground beef from Makaweli Meat Co. Garden Island.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Attorney General proposes more power for Health Department, tighter vacation rental laws, unemployment dips slightly, COVID-19 cases spike upon reopening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Attorney General Clare Connors addresses Senate Special Committee on COVID-19
AG proposes measures aimed at improving state’s response during pandemics. Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors told lawmakers Thursday she’s proposing a set of bills aimed at a smoother transition into emergency mode and better tracking of quarantined individuals during pandemics. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Short Term Vacation Rental Rules Clarified, New Bill Proposed. As state and local officials explain the current rules, the attorney general is bringing forward a new Short Term Vacation Rental related bill for the Legislature to consider. Big Island Video News.

State says greater testing capacity, digital records on visitors needed to restart tourism. Greater testing capacity, thermal screening machines, digital records on tourists. Those are among the requests state Department of Health leaders want ahead of Hawaii welcoming out-of-state visitors without a mandatory quarantine. Hawaii News Now.

Health officials, COVID committee discuss testing, tracking travelers. Hawaii’s health director and state epidemiologist both expressed misgivings Thursday about adopting a COVID-19 testing model for travelers based on the one recently implemented in Alaska. Tribune-Herald.

COVID-19 infections spike will not stall reopening Hawaii, officials say. Hawaii’s daily COVID-19 case count rose to 18 cases Thursday, but officials say the spike was expected and hasn’t reached a threshold that would delay reopening for the state’s local economy or interfere with planning to restart Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 testing, temperature checks and quarantine will be imperfect, health director says. Leading state health officials are basically pouring cold water on the hopes of anyone in Hawaii who expects that COVID-19 testing, temperature checks, health questionnaires or quarantine will somehow open a disease-free path to restarting the state’s tourism industry. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii unemployment rate dips slightly to 22.6% in May. Hawaii saw a slight dip in its unemployment rate in May after skyrocketing since March due to business closures brought on by state mandates related to the coronavirus pandemic, officials with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Thursday. Pacific Business News.

Unemployment rate in Hawai'i sees slight decrease. The unemployment rate for Hawaii in May was 22.6%. KITV4.

DLIR Says 90% of Valid Unemployment Claims Now Paid. Hawai‘i has paid out more than $1.5 billion in unemployment insurance claims since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Thursday. Big Island Now.

Reports: Thousands More Likely To Soon Suffer Severe Financial Hardship In Hawaii. Two recent reports predict tougher times ahead when federal relief money runs out in another few weeks. Civil Beat.

More than half Hawaii households struggle under Covid, Aloha United Way says. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic hardships for the Hawaii households that are above the federal poverty line but still barely getting by and has caused their numbers to jump to more than half the state’s population, according to Aloha United Way. Pacific Business News.


On laggy livestream, mayors say better connectivity needed. During a sputtering and lagging livestream Thursday, all four mayors in Hawaii said they think the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to improve internet infrastructure and connectivity throughout the state. Tribune-Herald.

Black Lives Matter movement in Hawaii continues to grow and conjure up vivid memories. Today is Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed from bondage. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Crisis Could Derail — Or Bolster — Conservation Efforts. The virus has left environmental funding uncertain, but local groups hope stimulus dollars can create thousands of green jobs. Civil Beat.

DOE Will Share More School Reopening Plans In July. The school superintendent also shared some preliminary results of a parent survey that went out in early June. Civil Beat.


Hawaii State Department of Health announces 18 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, June 18. Officials said the surge was expected due to the reopening of the state and the Black Lives Matter protests the first week in June. KHON2.

Hawaii sees spike of 18 new coronavirus cases as statewide total climbs to 762. Star-Advertiser.

18 New Cases, 10 Test Positive At Hale Nani; 2nd Resident Arrested In Quarantine Case. State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said most of the cases are the result of community spread and only a handful have been travel-related. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — JUNE 18: 18 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. All of the new cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.

DOH Reports Largest Daily COVID-19 Spike Since April. Big Island Now.


Oahu gyms and fitness centers reopen for those ready to work out. Gyms, yoga studios and fitness clubs on Oahu shuttered since mid-March are allowed to reopen today, along with movie theaters, museums and bars, under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s latest phase of reopening the economy for business. Star-Advertiser.

The new bar experience on Oahu: No live music. No big groups. And temp checks. Friday night on Oahu will be a little bit more normal than it has been for months now: Bars are getting the green light to open. Hawaii News Now.


Oahu Nursing Home Will Test All Residents And Staff Weekly For COVID-19. Other long-term care facilities in Hawaii are ramping up their testing. Civil Beat.

Cluster of COVID-19 cases at state’s largest nursing home grows to 11 as testing continues. Health experts are increasingly concerned about a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to the state’s largest skilled nursing facility. Hawaii News Now.

Hale Nani Covid cluster rises to 12, contained in one unit. There are seven new Covid cases at Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, bringing the total to 12, eight residents and four workers. KHON2.

Honolulu Police Chief Hopes Nationwide Reform Movement Skips Hawaii. Chief Susan Ballard also told the Honolulu Police Commission that while more bias training would be helpful, Honolulu officers have a “lot less” implicit bias than on the mainland. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell scraps Sherwood Forest plan due to protests. The Sherwood Forest project at Waimanalo has come to an end, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Pulls Plug On Sherwood Forest Project. Community members protested the project for several months in 2019. Civil Beat.

Honolulu mayor cancels controversial Waimanalo development. After years of debate, months of protesting and dozens of arrests, the group “Save Our Sherwoods” is declaring victory. Hawaii News Now.


Amendments to a plan could create 400-foot towers at Ala Moana Center. Ala Moana Center could become home to some of Honolulu’s tallest hotel and housing towers under a proposal endorsed by city planners. Star-Advertiser.

Iconic retailer Watumull’s to close Ala Moana shop. Watumull’s — one of Oahu’s iconic retailers for visitor-oriented aloha attire and one of the original tenants at Ala Moana Center — is scheduled to close June 30 under the uncertainty of the COVID-19 shutdown and what it means for isle tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

UH Regents Talk Mauna Kea, Approve New MKMB Member. Regents put off any discussion on the internal restructuring proposed for Mauna Kea governance, but the board did approve a new Mauna Kea Management Board member. Big Island Video News.

Public Input Sought On Decommissioning Hōkū Keʻa On Maunakea. SSFM International Inc. has been retained to develop a draft Environmental Assessment and Site Decommissioning Plan for the UH-Hilo telescope. Big Island Video News.

Council to take up new construction code. A comprehensive rewrite of the county building code is heading for its first vetting at a County Council committee after more than a year of tinkering by the county Building Division and various stakeholders. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Unemployment Rate at 34% in May. Maui’s unemployment rate remains the highest in the state with the state Department of Labor and Industrial relations reporting a 34.5% unemployment rate for Maui Island in May.  That’s slightly down from the 35.7% (non-seasonally adjusted) rate in April, but drastically different than the 2.4% rate at the same time last year. Maui Now.

Affordable housing project mulled for South Maui. Committee discusses plan, defers action on zoning change. Maui News.

Paia bypass hit by funding, EIS setbacks. Reduction in rental car surcharge revenues an issue. Maui News.

Moss completes construction of Maui affordable rental project. Moss Construction recently completed a 120-unit affordable rental project on Maui called Kaiwahine Village, where the first residents moved in last month. Pacific Business News.


A phased reopening. Governor David Ige said Thursday he plans to allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people on Kaua‘i, and that the whole state could reopen to trans-Pacific travel as early as late July. Garden Island.

Kauai Reports First COVID-19 Case In Nearly 10 Weeks. An adult male resident received a positive test result for COVID-19 on Thursday, according to Kauai health officials. Civil Beat.

Kauai sees its first new COVID-19 case in more than 2 months. The new case is in an adult man who lives on the island, and it wasn’t immediately clear if it was travel-related. Hawaii News Now.

County receives more funds for Pua Loke Affordable Housing.  If all goes according to plan, the Pua Loke Affordable Housing Project will be available for move-in next summer. Garden Island.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Kim releases Mauna Kea plan, more housing options on Hawaiian Home Lands, Oahu jail project stalls, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Telescopes on Mauna Kea ©2019 All Hawaii News
Kim reveals Mauna Kea plan, which includes TMT. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim officially released his long-awaited plan for resolving the controversy surrounding Mauna Kea on Monday, distributing a pamphlet that asserts that the site designated for the Thirty Meter Telescope will become the last area of the mountain that is ever developed for a telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island Mayor Calls For Restructuring Management On Mauna Kea. Harry Kim’s plan for resolving the TMT standoff makes few new promises, but offers Native Hawaiians a larger voice in determining the future of the mountain. Civil Beat.

Kim Releases 'Maunakea Booklet' Calling For Core Group To Move Forward. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim issued his long-awaited proposal Monday to resolve the protest against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, calling for a "core group" as a next step to provide future direction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor unveils Maunakea document that includes policy ‘pledges’ from state officials. Mayor Harry Kim released a proposal Monday for Maunakea that includes pledges from Gov. David Ige and other officials promising to improve Native Hawaiian relations. Tribune-Herald.

Kim Offers ‘Way Forward’ in Maunakea Booklet. On Monday, Mayor Harry Kim released a nine-page PDF that he’s calling his Maunakea Booklet. Big Island Now.

Hawaii County Mayor releases vision for Mauna Kea moving forward. After months of zero construction activity on Mauna Kea, because protestors continue to illegally block access, Mayor Harry Kim has released a booklet on the government’s next move. KHON2.

'The Heart of Aloha': Mayor Kim releases booklet in hopes of moving forward on Mauna Kea. The hope was to bring together the people of Hawaii to find and create a way to move forward 'in a good way.' KITV.


New DHHL rules allow more housing options. Gov. David Ige on Monday signed new administrative rules that allow the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to develop multifamily, rental and kupuna housing on trust property, providing a new tool that Ige and the state agency say eventually will help address a huge backlog of Native Hawaiians waiting for homestead leases. Star-Advertiser.

Ige OKs Rentals, Multi-Family Units On DHHL Land. The governor says the rules will help ease Hawaii’s affordable housing crisis. Civil Beat.

New DHHL Rules Allow Rentals, More Options. Gov. David Ige today signed new administrative rules for planned communities, multi-family complexes and rental housing within the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Big Island Now.

Hawaiian Homes is Expanding its Housing Options. A new set of rules will allow the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to offer multi-family units, kūpuna homes, and rental housing options. Maui Now.


Clare Connors: Hawaii’s Attorney General Is ‘Answering The Call’. She was on the verge of being a federal judge, but stalled in the Senate. Now she’s Hawaii’s top law enforcement officer.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Is Already Seeing the Consequences of Falling Birthrates. The latest data show that number of babies are being born in Hawaii has been declining for a decade. That follows a national trend of falling birthrates. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teachers Weary Of Pay That Makes It Tough To Stay In The Classroom — Or Hawaii. During a series of DOE “listening sessions,” many teachers drew a connection between salaries and classroom conditions and Hawaii’s teacher shortage. Civil Beat.

Even Free Tuition Isn’t Enough To Attract People To This Hawaii Teacher Program. A three-year-old initiative to train highly qualified teachers in Hawaii isn’t seeing a high number of applications, despite a push to recruit new candidates. Civil Beat.

Controversial Aloha Poke plans on mainland expansion. he Chicago-based Aloha Poke restaurant chain — which infuriated Hawaiians and Hawaii residents last year by trademarking the terms “Aloha” and “Poke” and threatening other businesses also using those terms in their names — plans to expand to 100 restaurants across the mainland within three years. Star-Advertiser.


Ala Wai Project Undergoes Changes, State Reiterates Funding Support. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will modify designs for a controversial flood control project on Oahu. The public will have a chance to further hear about the Ala Wai Flood Control Project on Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Oahu Jail Project Is Stalling Out Over Lack Of Cash, Community Support. OCCC has a five-year master plan, but it’s unclear when the five-year period starts or ends, and nobody wants to pay for it. Civil Beat.

Newly Released Minutes Reveal How Louis Kealoha Got His $250K Buyout. The Honolulu Police Commission recently released minutes from secret meetings where commissioners and city attorneys hashed out a lucrative retirement deal for the former police chief. Civil Beat.


‘Artifact’ discovered at Sherwood Forest construction site. An investigation by State Historic Preservation Division employees at Sherwood Forest began Monday as arguments continued over the validity of a construction project and its worth to the community. Star-Advertiser.

Historic artifact discovered at Sherwood Forest park project. A find of a historic artifact was reportedly discovered at a city park project in Waimanalo. KITV.


Senate Panel Approves $16.7M For East-West Center. Sen. Brian Schatz says the institution continues to play “an increasingly important role” in national security and regional cooperation. Civil Beat.

Lt. Gov. rejects sweeps, pitches idea for master-planned communities for homeless. The Lt. Governor says possible locations are being looked at in Waianae, Waimanalo (across from the beach park) and in the urban core (off Middle Street). Hawaii News Now.

Discrimination lawsuit over dorm-style housing for families filed. The U.S. Justice Department Monday sued a student housing company for discrimination against children and families. Hawaii Student Suites Inc. offers dorm-style housing in several buildings in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Neighborhood Commission chief resigns. The head of the agency that oversees Oahu’s neighborhood board system is stepping down to take a job with the city rail authority. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Farmers Still Need Unique Assistance After Kilauea Eruption, USDA Urged. The Hawaii Congressional Delegation again write to Secretary Of Agriculture Perdue asking for needed relief for Puna farmers. Big Island Video News.

Following more dump closures, officials looking for new ways to bring on staff. Staff shortages continue in the county Department of Environmental Management, this time prompting the closure Monday of two transfer stations and a green waste site in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Sees Rise in Visitor Spending and Arrivals. Tourists on Maui spent a total of $404.8 million last month, a 14 percent increase from the same time last year. Maui Now.

Tourism spending, arrivals spike on Lanai. Maui County leads hotel performance. Maui News.

Rare birds on Maui to be relocated in hopes of saving the species. There’s an ambitious plan to save one of Hawaii’s most endangered birds. Conservation groups will trans-locate the Kiwikiu, or Maui Parrotbill, to a restored forest in October. Hawaii News Now.


State approves Ho‘opi‘i permit. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources voted Friday to continue a permit that allows public access to Kauai’s Ho‘opi‘i Falls. Garden Island.

Threats close 2 schools. Threats of violence forced two schools on the island to close early on Monday, as law enforcement officials investigated reports of text messages about plans to “bomb every single building” on the Waimea High School Campus and “shoot every student and teacher” at Kauai High School. Garden Island.

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes out with administrative rules governing the cultivation of hemp, expect Hawaii to submit a state plan, said Micah Munekata, legislative coordinator, state Department of Agriculture. “We’re trying our best to move as fast as we can at the state level,” Munekata said to about 40 people at the Lihue Business Association meeting Thursday at Duke’s Canoe Club at the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Connors confirmed as attorney general, raises for firefighters in new contract, Maui's first industrial hemp farm, Raybuck new Kauai police chief, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors, courtesy photo
Clare Connors confirmed as Hawaii's 16th Attorney General. Clare Connors was confirmed as Hawaii's 16th attorney general by the state senate Monday. KITV.

Hawaii hotels report lackluster first quarter. State occupancy in March fell nearly 3 percentage points to 79.6%, while the average daily room rate fell 1.1% to $285, according to a report released by hotel analytic company STR. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters’ pay to increase with new contract. Hawaii firefighters have a new two-year contract giving them 2% pay increases in each of the next two years, one-time bonuses in each of those years and an increase in their regular raises based on years of service. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would ID police fired or suspended for misconduct. Lawmakers are again considering a bill to require that police departments disclose the names of officers suspended or fired for misconduct, a controversial subject that has prompted years of debate and litigation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

The embattled head of Hawaii’s Public Safety Department on Monday promised his employees he won’t retaliate against them for criticizing him. Nolan Espinda is struggling to win Senate confirmation for a second term. Hawaii News Now.

Lavish salaries, perks focus of federal theft investigation into union boss. Federal prosecutors are wrapping up a three-year investigation into IBEW Local 1260′s former business manager Brian Ahakuelo. Hawaii News Now.

Legislature passes suicide prevention bills. Two measures aimed at suicide prevention and raising suicide awareness passed the Legislature on Monday. Garden Island.

Law meant to help those with severe mental illness is trapping them on the streets. It’s estimated there are up to 600 homeless people who suffer from severe mental illness statewide. Hawaii News Now.

’Kal’s Law’ would help disabled people with jobs to keep key health benefits. People with disabilities who want to have jobs are often faced with an unfortunate decision: If they make too much money, they risk losing their Medicaid benefits. Hawaii News Now.

Climate Activists: Hawaii Legislature ‘Wasted An Entire Year’. Measures big and small died this session with little fanfare as time runs out to combat the disastrous effects of a warming planet. Civil Beat.

About 20 representatives from about a dozen organizations gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to commemorate Earth Day and mourn the death of bills they said would have helped Hawaii tackle climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Small Independent Doctors May Be Struggling Under New Payment System. Some doctors are struggling with the latest changes in the way they are paid by the Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest health care insurer. Hawaii Public Radio.

Charter Schools Have By Far The Highest Rates Of Unvaccinated Kids. The statewide percentage of students exempted by their parents from being immunized is 8.1% at charter schools, 2.7% at private schools and 1.4% at traditional public schools. Civil Beat.


Kamehameha Schools land being readied for housing. The $12 billion charitable trust has plans to produce 8,000 to 10,000 new homes in Honolulu’s urban core over the coming years. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood Board Elections Begin Friday. Oahu residents will choose among more than 500 candidates to sit on 36 boards representing the island’s neighborhoods. Civil Beat.

Public meeting coming up on Oahu's First Pedestrian Plan. The City is looking for public input on areas throughout Oahu that may need to be focused on for changes to pedestrian areas like sidewalks and crosswalks. KHON2.

Petition to impeach city prosecutor prompts legal debate: Are e-signatures legal? Those pushing to impeach embattled city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro have hit another roadblock. Hawaii News Now.

Councilwoman calls for ‘fair’ treatment of Leeward Oahu parks. Now, she wants an audit of Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Hawaii News Now.

‘End Is Near’ For Company’s Hold On Kakaako Streets After $250K Fine. A business that has long profited from parking fees it charges on roads that it doesn’t maintain faces several legal challenges. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Councilwoman’s former side job raises questions. Community members who filed an ethics complaint against Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz told the Board of Ethics on Monday they want to pursue the complaint against her, even though she has since publicly disclosed a possible conflict of interest and resigned her position at a public relations company that represents officers of the landowner in a zoning application before the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Micro-Distillery Gets Planning Commission Approval. On April 18, the Kona Distilling Company went before the commission, seeking a Special Permit to allow the establishment of the micro-distillery, visitor’s center (including a tasting component) and related facilities on an approximately 7.5-acre portion of 70-acres of land in the State Land Use Agricultural District. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate edged up slightly in March, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reports. Some 3.7% of the island’s 87,850 person workforce was without work during March, up slightly from February when the rate was 3.6%. In March 2018, the rate was 2.6%. West Hawaii Today.


Maui’s first industrial hemp farm set to begin production. The commercial farming operation will initially produce full-spectrum industrial hemp extract. Maui News.

Maui’s First State-Licensed Industrial Hemp Farm Blessed on Earth Day. Maui Now.


Todd Raybuck has officially taken over as chief of the Kauai Police Department. Garden Island.

Police seek to spend $500K for guns, truck. The Kauai Police Department is looking to buy new trucks and guns and get federal funding to crack down on illegal drugs. Garden Island.

Thirty parking spots will be dedicated daily to Hawaii residents at Haena State Park and according to officials, reservations for Aloha State residents won’t be required. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Attorney general petitions Supreme Court for Honolulu prosecutor's suspension, Katherine Kealoha and Waimea physician brother indicted on drug trafficking charges, rail scrutiny sought, downtown Honolulu office high-rise to turn into affordable apartments, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Attorney General Clare Connors, Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro
Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors on Tuesday asked the Hawaii Supreme Court to immediately suspend Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, who is a target of a federal investigation. Star-Advertiser.

State Attorney General Clare Connors contends the Honolulu prosecuting attorney should be temporarily removed from office because of his potential entanglement in a federal corruption case. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's attorney general is asking the state's highest court to immediately suspend Honolulu's top prosecutor because he is the target of a federal investigation. Associated Press.

Attorney general seeks ‘immediate suspension’ of embattled city prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

What's next if prosecutor goes on leave, quits or gets ousted. KHON2.


Katherine Kealoha, a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor and the wife of a former Honolulu police chief, dealt illegal prescription drugs obtained from her brother, a Big Island doctor, and used her position to protect him from arrest, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday.  Star-Advertiser.

In a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, former deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her brother, Big Island Dr. Rudolph Puana, face new charges of selling powerful opioid painkillers illegally prescribed by Puana, covering it up from police and thwarting the prosecution of the case. Civil Beat.

In shocking 54-count indictment, Katherine Kealoha and doctor brother charged with dealing drugs. Hawaii News Now.

In page-turner of a court filing, prosecutors detail the Kealohas’ ‘house of cards’. Hawaii News Now.

To think it all came crashing down with a report of a stolen mailbox in 2013 that would later spark investigations into former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband, former Chief of Police, Louis Kealoha. KHON2.

Katherine Kealoha indicted on drug distribution charges. KITV.


The 2019 Legislative Session is almost at the 1/3rd mark but work on the State Budget appears to be moving slower than before. Hawaii Public Radio.

A bill that would shift authority over the state’s airports from the Department of Transportation to an independent airports corporation was introduced for the fourth consecutive year. Tribune-Herald.

State legislators are again considering bills to restrict the areas where tobacco or e-cigarettes can be sold, and to make smoking more expensive by increasing the state’s tobacco tax. Star-Advertiser.

A Senate Committee Tuesday passed a bill to clarify the language on Hawaii's ban on gay conversion therapy. KITV.

Gov. Ige extends emergency proclamation on homelessness. West Hawaii Today.

A Micronesian government official was arrested in Honolulu for his alleged connection to a bribery case involving the head of an Oahu engineering firm. Hawaii News Now.

Federal authorities in Honolulu have arrested a high-ranking government official from the Federated States of Micronesia in the latest development in a Hawaii bribery scandal involving a prominent local engineer. Civil Beat.

44-year-old Master Halbert is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for allegedly accepting bribes from a Hawaii-based engineering company to secure nearly $8 million in contracts from the FSM government. KITV.


Honolulu City Council newcomer Heidi Tsuneyoshi is calling for a forensic audit of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s procurement processes as well as the city’s management of rail contracts. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi will be introducing a resolution to conduct a forensic audit of the 8.6 billion dollar Rail Transit Project. Hawaii Public Radio.

A Honolulu lawmaker is calling for a forensic audit of the City's rail project. KITV.

A measure to raise height limits for high rises in Kakaako tabled in House Committee meeting. KITV.

The owner of the 25-story downtown Honolulu office tower 1132 Bishop announced plans today to convert the building into about 500 residential apartments with moderate rent. Star-Advertiser.

The owner of one of Honolulu’s most recognizable office buildings unveiled plans on Tuesday to convert most of the property into hundreds of workforce rental apartments. Hawaii News Now.

Kyo-ya is gearing up to raze the existing Princess Kaiulani Hotel to construct Waikiki’s first new all-hotel tower in nearly 40 years. Star-Advertiser.

Massive flood control project for Waikiki would gobble up schools’ outdoors space. Hawaii News Now.

Experts seek long-term solutions to North Shore’s chronic erosion problem. Hawaii News Now.

The Legislature came closer to setting the framework for rusting Aloha Stadium’s future Tuesday by quickly deferring House Bill 695 and leaving just two identical bills, House Bill 1497 and Senate Bill 1530, dealing with a new stadium progressing in the session. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools has announced three finalists in the running to become a new trustee. Hawaii News Now.

Group Calls For Ouster Of Humane Society CEO. Excessive euthanizations and hostile working conditions are alleged by an organization that includes former and current employees. Civil Beat.

Vehicle registrations can now be done at Safeways. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Florida-headquartered Southern Airways Express announced Tuesday that it has acquired Mokulele Airlines, but the local airline’s customers can still count on seeing the same branding and employees they’ve come to know and could potentially see new destinations on the horizon. West Hawaii Today.

A winter storm that caused reported wind gusts of 191 mph late Sunday afternoon at the Maunakea summit caused minor damage to at least two observatories, but didn’t affect operations, officials said. Tribune-Herald.

Trimming traffic: Bill to widen Kuakini Highway passes first committee hearing. West Hawaii Today.

Increased Military Training In Hawaii Raises Concern. Big Island Video News.


An opening hearing will be held to receive testimony on the Auwahi Wind Farm draft Habitat Conservation Plan amendment. Auwahi Wind Energy, LLC operates eight 3-megawatt wind turbines augmented by an 11-megawatt battery storage system located on ‘Ulupalakua Ranch, on the eastern side of the island of Maui. Maui Now.

A public informational meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Department of Planning conference room for proposed Maui County amendments to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. KHON2.

Rangers: Look but don’t go to snow. White winter reached down the mountain to Polipoli; scores still without power. Maui News.

Atop Haleakala, the wintry storm conditions are sticking around. Maui County officials said Tuesday afternoon that the Haleakala National Park summit district was closed and will remained closed until the wintry conditions subside. Hawaii News Now.


Gov. David Ige on Tuesday issued a sixth supplementary proclamation for Kauai County, which continues to recover from severe flooding and damage caused by heavy rains in April. Garden Island.

Suicide death numbers lower in January. In 2017, there were 25 reported suicide deaths on Kauai. In 2018, there were 18. Garden Island.