Showing posts with label Councilman Arthur Brun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Councilman Arthur Brun. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2022

Hawaii flags at half-staff in honor of Queen Elizabeth, Maui opens county lot for homeless to sleep in cars, Honolulu council advances shoreline setback increase, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Flags Lowered To Honor Queen Elizabeth. The U.S. and Hawaii state flags are to be flown at half-staff at state offices and agencies until sunset on the day of interment of Queen Elizabeth II. Civil Beat. Maui Now. KHON2. Kauai Now.

Hawaii primary election’s last legal challenges are dismissed. No new winners have been declared in Hawaii’s primary election in August as the result of several legal challenges filed by losing candidates and a handful of voters. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed three such cases after dismissing three other election challenges a week earlier. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department reports three more monkeypox cases, state total at 28. The tally now includes 21 cases on Oahu, three on Hawaii island, two on Maui, and two on Kauai. The count includes three nonresidents. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Shoreline setback bill advances at Honolulu City Council. As a measure that would increase the shoreline setback for structures and development advances through the City Council, a building industry professional is raising questions about other mitigation efforts to account for sea level rise. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

HART: Difference In Bids To Relocate Utilities On Dillingham Rail Route Was $400 Million. The Honolulu rail agency said the losing bid, at $900 million, received a “significantly lower” score. Local construction firm Nan Inc. was recently given one the Honolulu rail transit project’s largest and most consequential contracts: an award to relocate utilities along the city’s crowded Dillingham Boulevard corridor. Civil Beat.

Director resignation raises more concerns on permit backlog. There are increasing concerns over a city department already plagued with delays after the director of the planning department abruptly resigned. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Public invited to comment on draft economic development plan. Balancing the strengths and weakness of the local economy with a look to the future is the goal of the 2022 Hawaii County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, a draft report recently published by Hawaii Island Economic Development Board Inc. West Hawaii Today.

Centers to continue free landlord and tenant mediation program. Hawaii Island’s two nonprofit mediation centers have teamed up to continue free Zoom mediation for landlords and tenants now that landlords are no longer required to send a 15-day eviction notice. Tribune-Herald.


Maui to allow homeless to sleep in cars at county lot. Before signing County Council Bill 108 on Thursday, Mayor Michael Victorino announced the J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku as the first site under the program, which officials hope to open in October to an initial group of 25 to 30 participants. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

County issues more than $60M in bonds. Maui County has successfully issued $60.87 million in general obligation bonds at an average interest rate of 2.85 percent, Mayor Michael Victorino announced Wednesday. Maui News.

Maui Entrepreneur Says County Is Determined To Put Him Out Of Business. Paia Inn owner Michael Baskin says he’s the victim of retaliatory zoning enforcement because of a decade-long personal dispute with the planning director. Civil Beat.


Runner and supplier in former Kaua‘i county council member Arthur Brun case sentenced.
Two more co-conspirators have been sentenced in the Kaua‘i drug ring centered around former county council member Arthur Brun. Garden Island.

Application to carry firearms finalized on Kauai. The application and permitting process for the license to carry concealed and unconcealed firearms have been finalized by the Kauaʻi Police Department. KHON2. Kauai Now.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Support wanes for Hawaii missile defense system, Honolulu Police Department withheld arrest records on chief's son, Kauai ex-councilman sentenced to 20 years for meth ring, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii missile informational session ©2022 All Hawaii News

Hawaii’s Congressional Leaders Back Off Missile Defense System. After years of arguing in favor of a nearly $2 billion missile defense radar – first on Oahu, then on Kauai – Hawaii’s congressional delegation is backing away from the project. Civil Beat.

Multi-million dollar project aims to beef up security at state facilities targeted by crime
. The state said tension during the COVID pandemic caused some state facilities to be targets of crime. KHON2.

Endangered species’ habitats not protected, group says. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was put on notice Wednesday that it is being sued for failing to designate and protect critical habitat for 49 endangered species found nowhere else but Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

UH Study: Hawaiʻi’s COVID Models, Responses, Lessons Learned. The study, written by a group from the Hawaiʻi Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group chaired by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty member Victoria Fan and which included UH-Mānoa researchers, examined different COVID-19 prediction models followed by subsequent policy decisions and lessons learned from the process. Big Island Now.

Surge in Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases continues for 9th consecutive week. The Hawaii Department of Health on Wednesday reported the state’s seven-­day average of new COVID-19 cases at 1,098 over the past week, representing the ninth consecutive weekly increase. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 18.3% from 16.9% May 18.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department reports 5 more coronavirus-related deaths, 8,924 new infections
. By island, there were 6,475 new infections reported on Oahu, 1,102 on Hawaii Island, 772 on Maui, 443 on Kauai, 18 on Molokai and 11 on Lanai. Another 103 infections were reported out of state. DOH Director Dr. Libby Char has said the average daily case counts are likely five to six times higher than reported, given that results from home test kits are not officially tallied. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Honolulu Police Department defends actions following arrest of new police chief’s son. The Honolulu Police Commission is seeking an explanation from police leadership about why the felony arrest of newly appointed Police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan’s 36-year-old son was initially concealed from the media and public. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Navy to get violation notice for over-pumping its only Oahu drinking water source
. The state Commission on Water Resource Management will issue a notice of violation to the Navy for over-pumping its Waiawa shaft ― in a situation that environmentalists call worrisome. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu’s ERs are overrun with patients, but COVID is only part of the reason
. A combination of staffing shortages and overall high patient volume are also contributing to Oahu’s packed ERs. Hawaii News Now.

Oʻahu Summer Fun Program will require keiki to wear face masks indoors. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi says the move is a precautionary measure as new COVID cases continue to rise in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

County pays $135,000 to settle defamation lawsuit. Hawaii County has agreed to pay $135,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit filed by two former employees who said former county officials besmirched their reputations by telling a newspaper they’d been fired. West Hawaii Today.

Ige Releases $700K For Kolekole Bridge Work. A project to rehabilitate the Kolekole Stream Bridge in East Hawaiʻi received a financial boost from the governor’s office. Big Island Now.

Kalanianaole school play court clears final environmental hurdle
. All systems are go for a new covered play court at Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School in Papaikou. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor Victorino asks for “respectful masking” as COVID-19 case counts rise. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is calling for the public to use “respectful masking” and practice “COVIDsense” amid a rise in hospitalizations on Maui. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Cement looks to expand quarry by 45 acres.
After hours of comparing reports and asking questions over drainage and future plans, the Maui Planning Commission Tuesday afternoon gave the go-ahead to Hawaiian Cement to increase the size of its quarry in Puunene by more than 45 acres. Maui News.

Maui Fire Department welcomes new $2.5M helicopter with added safety features. Maui County has upgraded its rescue and firefighting capabilities with the arrival of a new $2.5 million helicopter with enhanced safety and hoisting features. Star-Advertiser.

Large Nāpili house should not have gotten green light, Maui council member says. In the latest chapter for a controversial house that towers over other homes in Nāpili, Maui County Council Member Tamara Paltin said her investigation shows the developer shouldn’t have gotten a key exemption that allowed construction to bypass public input. Maui Now.


Ex-Kauai Councilman Sentenced To 20 Years For Leading Meth Ring. Arthur Brun was a sitting Kauai County Council member when he led a methamphetamine ring supplied by an infamous prison gang. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Retaliation Accusations Could Sink Biden’s Nominee For US Marshal In Hawaii. Michael Contrades was a defendant in a federal lawsuit that settled for $1.8 million and included a provision that he stay away from the Kauai Police Department until his alleged victim no longer worked there. Civil Beat.

Judges appointed, Meyers to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit. Gregory H. Meyers has been appointed to the District Court of the Fifth Circuit, replacing retired Judge Edmund Acoba. He is currently employed with Meyers &Meyers, LLC. Garden Island.

Governor Ige wrapping up his final term, visit Kauai Chamber meeting. Gov. David Ige spoke on a wide range of subjects Wednesday during his final Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce Governor’s Luncheon as governor. Garden Island.

Friday, March 25, 2022

State agricultural land may be transferred, Legislature mulls limiting governor's emergency powers, two counties gain, two lose population in census, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Cattle in Hawaii ©2022 All Hawaii News

 As Covid-19 Emergency Ends, Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Limits On Executive Power. Two measures that would give lawmakers the authority to end the governor’s emergency proclamations have advanced to their final committees in the House and Senate. Civil Beat.

Effort To Transfer State Agricultural Land Survives Latest Hurdle. Long-standing plans to transfer agricultural land from Hawaii’s land and resources agency to the Department of Agriculture encountered new difficulties this week in the Legislature. Civil Beat.

U.S. Census data shows losses and gains for Hawaii.
The Census Bureau estimated Oahu’s population at 1,000,890 as of July 1, down 1.2%, from the year-earlier figure. Hawaii County, the second most populous in the state, had an estimated 202,906 residents, an increase of 2,160, or 1.1%, according to Census data. Maui County’s population also declined over the 12- month period, by 434 residents to 164,221, down 0.3%. Kauai County saw its population grow by 253 residents to 73,454, an increase of 0.3%. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Ige extends COVID-19 food assistance spending. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation allowing federal funds to continue to flow to food assistance recipients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic national public health emergency, his office said Thursday. The proclamation allows $18 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits to go to recipients each month. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s COVID mandates set to end tonight. The face masks are coming off after 11:59 p.m. today, when Hawaii lifts its indoor mask mandate — but not everywhere. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.


Judge Rejects Amemiya Effort To Dismiss Conspiracy Charge. Former Honolulu managing director Roy Amemiya’s attempt to dismiss his federal conspiracy charge was denied by U.S District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Thursday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Masks will still be required on TheBus, TheHandi-Van after Friday. Riders will still need to wear masks at all times while onboard TheBus as well as TheHandi-Van after Friday under federal rules, according to the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Debate Over Who Should And Shouldn’t Be In Jail Is Tripping Up Plans For A New Oahu Facility. A leading Democrat is withholding funding for a new jail in Halawa, arguing officials won’t really know how large the jail should be until the bail reform debate is resolved. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Department of Health moves to long-term phase of remediating Red Hill water shaft. It’s been about a week since the Department of Health gave the all-clear for homes and businesses on the military’s water system. Experts are now dealing with the long-term phase of remediating the Red Hill water shaft. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Roth recounts challenges, accomplishments during first state of the county address. It was a trial by fire for Mayor Mitch Roth and his new administration in late 2020 when he took office during the midst of a global pandemic and uncertain economic times. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.

Audit of fire department identifies weaknesses.
A county audit of the Hawaii Fire Department reveals it’s beleaguered by a shortage of workers and resources.Tribune-Herald.


Maui Mayor Outlines Plan For $1 Billion County Budget. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino on Thursday released his proposed $1 billion budget for the next year, outlining how he plans to run Maui County and invest in new projects like repaving roads, boosting beach parking options for local residents and shoring up water systems to protect against natural disasters. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed agreement with Waikapu project earns committee’s support. A Maui County Council committee on Wednesday threw its support behind a proposed public-private partnership between the county and developers of Waikapu Country Town that would add more affordable housing in exchange for the developer’s required contribution toward a wastewater treatment plant and other traffic improvements. Maui News.

Hawaii cannabis industry expands with additional Maui dispensary, new edibles options.
Maui Grown Therapies on Friday will open its third medical cannabis dispensary, this one in Pukalani. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Maui County to resume in-vehicle road testing Monday, DMVL says. In-vehicle road testing will resume starting this Monday for learner’s permit holders seeking driver’s licenses for passenger vehicles, according to a county Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing announcement Wednesday. Maui Now. Maui News.


Judge Rejects Plea Deal For Former Kauai Councilman Who Led Meth Ring. Arthur Brun changed his plea to guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors. But a judge rejected the deal, opening up the possibility of a trial. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Council begins FY23 budget discussions. The Kaua‘i County Council is poring over Kawakami’s March submittal which seeks a $260.2 million operating budget and $48.9 million capital improvement projects budget. Garden Island.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Electricity expected to jump 10-20%, state has extra $450M in taxes to spend this fiscal year, government transparency commission meets in secret, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

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HECO electric plant ©2022 All Hawaii News

Council Anticipates Big Budget Boost But War In Ukraine Dampens Economic Future. The Council on Revenues raised growth of projected tax collections this year from 15% to 21%. State lawmakers could have about $450 million more to spend on the state budget for the last four months of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Civil Beat.

Rise in electricity bills ahead, Hawaiian Electric Co. warns. Hawaiian Electric Co. warned customers Thursday that electricity bills will climb higher over the next few months due to the rising prices of petroleum driven by the U.S. sanction on Russian oil. The utility is forecasting residential bills will rise about 10% for Oahu customers, and about 20% for those in Maui County and on Hawaii island, heading into the summer. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

This New Hawaii Commission Is Aimed At Open Government. So Why Has It Been Meeting In Secret? A commission tasked with making recommendations for government transparency and accountability has so far been meeting behind closed doors but the commission’s chairman says it will open its meetings after delivering an interim report to state lawmakers later this month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House Proposes 48 New Positions To Beef Up Child Welfare Services. A proposed $8.3 billion state budget for next year would beef up staffing and funding for the struggling state Child Welfare Services agency in the wake of an alleged murder of a 6-year-old girl on Oahu last year. Star-Advertiser.

Public workers’ union announces endorsement in race for governor. Hawaii’s largest union of public workers has announced their endorsement in the race for Hawaii’s next governor. HGEA, Hawaii’s Government Employees Association, endorsed current Lieutenant Governor Josh Green on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige looks back at 2 years of COVID restrictions. The state’s mask mandate comes to an end in two weeks and Gov. Ige is reflecting on decisions made during the pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.


Oahu residents are asked to reduce water use.
The Honolulu Board of Water Supply on Thursday called on all Oahu water users to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10% — a consequence of the loss of a key source of city water in the aftermath of Navy water contamination by fuel from its Red Hill fuel storage facility. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kahikina Poised To Get $25K Bonus For First Year As Rail Director. HART board members contemplated what message that bonus might send to the public, however, as rail faces a severe financial crisis. Civil Beat.

Survey of Oahu’s homeless returns. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, more than 300 volunteers dispersed across Oahu on Thursday morning to record the number of unsheltered homeless people for the annual Point-in-Time count. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Manoa Engineering Faculty Cast Vote Of ‘No Confidence’ In College Dean. Provost Michael Bruno said he will meet with engineering faculty members in the coming weeks to continue discussing complaints about Dean Brennon Morioka’s leadership. Civil Beat.

Bad Blood Between Crime Boss And His Son’s Friend Started Over Stolen Watch, Plea Says. A year before Mike Miske blamed Jonathan Fraser for the fatal car accident that killed Miske’s son, he had Fraser beaten for stealing a gold Rolex, the agreement says. Miske is accused of later ordering Fraser’s murder. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

No consensus on Waipio closure
. Nobody could agree on a middle ground during a community discussion Wednesday evening about the closure of Waipio Valley Access Road. Tribune-Herald.

Planning Committee advances Waikoloa timeshare project. An array of promised community benefits was enough Tuesday to propel a Waikoloa Beach Resort timeshare project out of a County Council committee with a positive recommendation. West Hawaii Today.


Mike Molina launches mayoral campaign. Maui County Councilmember Mike Molina, who currently holds the Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia residency seat, submitted his nomination form to the County Clerk’s office on Wednesday, signaling the start of his Mayoral campaign.  Maui Now.

Master-planned community headed to contested case.
A mediation ordered by the Maui Planning Commission last month between Honua’ula representatives and intervenors Maui Tomorrow and Ho’opo-nopono O Makena, has failed, attorneys on both sides said during a commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. Maui News.

Alaula Builders selects 40 Maui families in Kīhei workforce housing lottery. Hale Kaiola is located in North Kīhei and will consist of 40 duplex homes with a yard starting at $395,000.  Maui Now.

Management plan may result in fewer air tours above Haleakala. Federal officials are working to develop an air tour management plan for Haleakala National Park that will likely result in fewer air tours within a half-mile of the park. Maui News.


Council unanimously approves polarizing ‘cat bill’. The Kaua‘i County Council adopted debated legislation forbidding the feeding of feral cats on county property, in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. The ban on feeding, which complies with the Kaua‘i Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan, triggered protest from individuals and “community cat” groups. Garden Island.

Key player in Kauai councilman's drug trafficking ring reaches plea agreement. Orlando Manguchei was one of the 11 suspects indicted in the incident involving former councilman Arthur Brun, who already agreed to serve a 15-year prison sentence. KITV4.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Governor cancels Veterans Day ceremony, Connors acting governor in Ige's, Green's absence, missing girl's adoptive parents charged with her murder, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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2017 Veterans Day parade in Hilo ©2021 All Hawaii News

Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony has been canceled.
Due to the limiting factors associated with the pandemic, the State Department of Defense in conjunction with the State Office of Veteran's Services has canceled the Governor's Veterans Day Ceremony. KITV4.

Josh Green Raises Money On Mainland For Hawaii Governor’s Race. His absence leaves Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors to fill in as acting governor while Gov. David Ige is in Scotland. Civil Beat.

HTA October COVID-19 Visitor Satisfaction Study: 81% Rate Hawai‘i Trips as Excellent. Nearly all (94%) of the visitors who were polled in this latest study were fully vaccinated, with one in three travelers indicating they had postponed their trip to Hawaiʻi or waited to visit until the vaccination exemption was in place.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Sues State’s Largest Oil Refiner For Alleged Unpaid Taxes. The State of Hawaii has sued the state’s largest oil refiner, alleging the company relied on a flawed interpretation of state tax law to skirt paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes annually for an unknown number of years. The whistleblower suit against Par Hawaii could have repercussions for other companies operating in Hawaii’s foreign trade zones. Civil Beat.

Questionable Spending And Lax Oversight By Wespac Of Secretive Fisheries Fund
. Federal investigators questioned one out of every $6 the regional fishery council spent over the past decade and documented inappropriate procurement practices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 142 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 69 new cases on Oahu, 28 on Hawaii Island, 13 on Maui, 17 on Kauai one on Lanai, and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Short-term rental bill advances despite confusion.
The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would alter the rules for short-term rentals, notably increasing the minimum stay to six months from 30 days for short-term rentals without a special permit. Star-Advertiser.

Adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua arrested for murder in connection with her disappearance. Honolulu police say that the adoptive parents of 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, also known as Ariel Sellers, killed her sometime around mid-August and reported her missing a month later. Both parents were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of second-­degree murder and charged as part of an FBI and Honolulu police investigation into the child’s disappearance. Both are being held without bail. Authorities have not recovered her body, but continue to search the Kalua’s Waimanalo property. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Department of Education finds no bias in how girl’s arrest was handled. The state Department of Education has not found any evidence of bias or wrongdoing by its employees after they called police, who then arrested a 10-year-old Black girl on a campus for allegedly drawing a picture featuring a gun and death threats above the names of students. Star-Advertiser.

Stream contaminated by runoff containing high amounts of drinking alcohol. The state Health Department is now investigating the spill from a storm pipe next the the H-2 Freeway. The state Department of Transportation, which owns the pipe, told the DOH that the spill came from Paradise Beverages, which owns a warehouse across the freeway from the spill site. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

EPA fines Hawaii County for failure to complete wastewater treatment facility design by deadline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it has fined the County of Hawaii $28,500 for its failure to meet a deadline to complete the design of the Pahala Wastewater Treatment Facility. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hawaiʻi Island Coastal Vulnerability Takes Global Stage.
Hawaiʻi island was recently highlighted on the global stage at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.


MFD seeks new tanker to meet Upcountry demand. The Maui Fire Department is proposing a new fire tanker in Kula to assist with the growing number of calls Upcountry, help with response time and water resources and combat the increase in wildfires in the Kahikinui and Kaupo areas. Maui News.

Acting Gov. Connors Declares Disaster Emergency Relief Period for Maui Drought.
Acting Gov. Clare Connors has signed a proclamation that provides relief to Maui County, which has suffered under drought conditions since March 2019. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Former Kauai Councilman Pleads Guilty To Leading Meth Ring. Former Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he led a methamphetamine ring supplied by the United Samoan Organization, a gang that operates in and out of the Hawaii prison system. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i allows bars, gyms to choose new policies. Effective Friday, high-risk businesses — including bars, restaurants and gyms — can institute their own COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy for entry to reopen to 100% indoor capacity, according to a new county policy. Garden Island.

Kauai Homeowners Worry About ‘Black Slime’ Health Risks. Residents say they feel trapped in new homes plagued by a mysterious water problem that they fear could be making them sick. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Hawaii House panel named to study COVID-19 economic effects, Nadamoto seeks Honolulu prosecutor job, $82M FEMA agreement for lava-stricken Puna, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii cruise ship scene ©2020 All Hawaii News
‘Floating germ factories’: Anxiety within cruise ship industry puts spotlight on Hawaii’s ports. As the coronavirus spreads, more government officials want to stop vessels from entering Hawaii's ports. Hawaii News Now.

Grand Princess docks in Oakland with 4 isle residents to be quarantined. Four Hawaii residents were among the 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess that docked Monday at the Port of Oakland, Calif., but state health officials did not have details on them or where they will be quarantined. Star-Advertiser.


House Speaker Scott Saiki appoints members of Hawaii coronavirus committee. House Speaker Scott Saiki has appointed 26 members of the Select House Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, which is scheduled to hold its first meeting this week. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Names Business Leaders To Coronavirus Committee. The 26-member committee will have its first public meeting Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii House Speaker names panel on virus’ economic effects. Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday said he has appointed 25 people plus himself to serve on a committee that will advise House members on the potential financial and economic fallout of the new coronavirus. Associated Press.

Hawaii House Speaker names panel on virus’ economic effects. Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday said he has appointed 25 people plus himself to serve on a committee that will advise House members on the potential financial and economic fallout of the new coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.


The state is scrambling to get in touch with people who had close contact with an elderly Oahu man who caught the coronavirus on a trip to Washington state. State scrambles to get in touch with those who had contact with patient. Hawaii News Now.

State tourism hit hard as virus reaches Hawaii. COVID-19 has infected Hawaii’s visitor industry, which is starting to see symptoms ranging from travel cancellations and anemic bookings to declining air seats to plummeting hotel occupancies — some as low as 10%. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 testing in Hawaii comes under fire. The state confirmed its first case Friday and a second on Sunday, though doctors have been frustrated at the lack of widespread testing in the community and say the Health Department has denied testing for some patients who physicians suspect might have the disease. Star-Advertiser.

5 Kaiser employees linked to coronavirus care under ‘self-monitoring’ at home. Kaiser Permanente says five of its employees are now self-monitoring at home because they were involved in the care of two people with coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.


Minimum Wage Hikes Have Had Little Long-Lasting Effect On Business. Minimum wage hikes might be tough for some local businesses, but a recent state study of the impacts of the 2014 minimum wage increase shows few effects on the labor market. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers Want To Subsidize Big Rate Increases By Hawaii’s Only Interisland Shipper. But the state Department of Transportation opposes House Bill 2475, saying it unfairly benefits just one company. Civil Beat.


Acting prosecutor Nadamoto formally announces run for the position. Honolulu’s acting city prosecutor, Dwight Nadamoto, on Monday formally kicked off his campaign for election to the job. Star-Advertiser.

Acting Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto Announces Run For The Job. He filed his paperwork back in December but withheld his announcement until now. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s acting city prosecutor wants the job permanently. Acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto announced Monday he wants the job permanently. Hawaii News Now.


In trial for control of her fortune, heiress Abigail Kawananakoa takes the stand. Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa took the witness stand for the first time in the two-a-half year legal battle over her fortune. Hawaii News Now.

Kawananakoa takes witness stand in her defense. Abigail Kawananakoa denied she had a stroke, accused her former attorney of lying and disputed the need for independent oversight of her financial affairs during more than an hour of court testimony that was open to the public Monday afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus concerns prompt downtown Honolulu bar to cancel popular St. Patrick’s Day block party. Murphy’s Bar & Grill announced today it is canceling its 32nd annual St. Patrick’s Day block party over concerns of spreading the novel coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home sales strong in first two months of 2020. Oahu single-family home sales for the first two months of the year were 13% higher than the same period a year ago, while the median price declined slightly, and condominium sales in January and February rose 7% as the median price increased by nearly 4%, according to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

County reaches agreement with FEMA on lava-covered roads. The agreement under FEMA’s Public Assistance program identifies about $82 million worth of damage to county-owned roads, excluding Highway 132. Tribune-Herald.

Pohoiki Road Restoration Part Of $82 Million FEMA Agreement. The County will cover a quarter of the cost of recovering various county roads covered by lava during the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea. Big Island Video News.

FEMA to Provide Tens of Millions in Volcano Recovery Aid. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending more than $60 million to Hawai‘i County to help repair public roads devastated by lava during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. Big Island Now.

FEMA, Hawaii County reach agreement to replace roads destroyed by Kilauea eruption. FEMA and Hawaii County have reached an agreement on the cost of replacing public roads inundated by lava during 2018’s Kilauea eruption — $82 million. KHON2.

Bill would establish guidelines for distribution of disaster funds. A County Council committee will hear a bill today that will determine how to disburse millions of dollars of Kilauea eruption recovery funds. Tribune-Herald.


20 nominations considered by PONC: Commission kicks off land-buying program for 2020. Three stretches of Alii Drive oceanfront property are on a list of properties the county will consider purchasing this year under its open space land-buying program. West Hawaii Today.

Kona’s Simmy and Lokelani McMichael made the trip to Hilo on Monday to testify before the Hawaiʻi County Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission on behalf of some treasured coastal lands along Aliʻi Drive. Big Island Video News.


Hospitals button up: HMC, others implement new visitor restrictions, screenings. New visitor restrictions and screenings are now in place at Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua, Ka‘u Hospital, Extended Care Facility and HMC’s outpatient clinics in response to ongoing developments with COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

EPA assesses fines, requires closure of 12 large-capacity cesspools. The owners of a dozen large-capacity cesspools in North and South Kona have agreed to pay fines and replace them with compliant systems. West Hawaii Today.

Marzo running for mayor. Ikaika Marzo, a Puna tour operator who became a social media phenomenon during the monthslong 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea volcano, is running for mayor. Tribune-Herald.


Sen. English Announces $204 Million for Projects in 7th Senatorial District. Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English of Maui announced that over $204 million in Capital Improvement Project funds were released by Governor David Ige for the senator’s District 7, which covers Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Kaho‘olawe. Maui Now.

Maui Departments Increase Sanitization, Urge Precautions Against COVID-19. While there are no confirmed cases in Maui County, all county departments and personnel have increased sanitization efforts and are taking additional precautions amid statewide concerns relating to COVID-19. Maui Now.

Home sales on Maui rise on mixed prices in February. Home sales on Maui rose in February, compared to a year ago, but the median price for single-family homes declined by 5% even as the median price for condominiums rose by about the same amount, according to statistics from the Realtors Association of Maui. Pacific Business News.


Some Brun charges dismissed. Felony charges of assault on a police officer and resisting arrest against County Councilmember Arthur Brun—originally filed by Kauai County authorities—have been dismissed, apparently because they were superseded by Brun’s federal indictment for running an island-wide methamphetamine ring. Garden Island.

How rulebreaking is impacting professional photographers. Many places on Kauai are completely off-limits for professional photography and videography — places like the bottom of Wailua Falls and Waimea Canyon and Koke‘e. Garden Island.

Kauai median condo price soars as sales grow by double digits. Home sales grew by double digits on Kauai last month along with prices, compared to a year ago, with the median price of a condominium rising 89%, according to statistics from Hawaii Information Service on behalf of the Kauai Board of Realtors. Pacific Business News.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Six suspected coronavirus cases test negative, Japan suspends Thirty Meter Telescope funding, festivals canceled, tourism falters amid COVID-19 scare, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii coronavirus laboratory, screengrab from Ige press conference
All 6 suspected coronavirus cases in Hawaii test negative. Six people in Hawaii suspected of having the new coronavirus have all tested negative, though state officials are on high alert for the first signs of the deadly disease in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus tests for 6 people in islands come back negative. Officials stress that there have been no confirmed cases in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Officials Set Testing Procedures For Coronavirus. Tests so far are coming back negative. Civil Beat.

Hawaii DOH to see increased covid19 testing. Hawaii health officials tested six potential cases of Coronavirus, all of the results were negative, but they said to expect even more people to be under investigation for the virus as the state’s department of health is now able to test for the virus. KHON2.

First look at coronavirus testing lab in Pearl City. There is coronavirus in Hawaii but not to worry it is contained at the state lab and sent here by the Centers for Disease Control so experts can test samples against it. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Can Now Process Up To 240 COVID19 Tests a Week.  Hawaiʻi is now one of 40 states that has the ability to do testing for COVID-19. Maui Now.

DOH: Don’t be alarmed by tests. A patient in isolation at Hilo Medical Center, one of three in the state under investigation Tuesday for possible COVID-19, has tested negative for the disease. Tribune-Herald.

Amid coronavirus concerns, Hawaii steps up efforts to sanitize airports. With travelers from around the world visiting Hawaii, the state is boosting efforts to sanitize airports amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Hawaii News Now.

Coronavirus concerns prompt more event cancellations ... and economic concerns. The cancellation of the Honolulu Festival and the postponement of the Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture is prompting growing concerns about the potential economic impact of the coronavirus on Hawaii’s No. 1 industry. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s tourism industry wobbles amid mounting cancellations. Mariah Carey announced Tuesday that she won’t be in Hawaii for her March concert due to current global travel restrictions designed to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii saw a $23M drop in visitor spending last month. The House has formed a special committee to tackle the fallout to Hawaii’s economy of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Mariah Carey Reschedules Hawai‘i Concert Due To International Travel Restrictions. Maui Now.

UH law school postpones event due to coronavirus travel challenges. The University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law has postponed the 30th anniversary celebration for its environmental law program on campus this weekend out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

State House moves to create committee on COVID-19. The state House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday to create a committee on COVID-19, the coronavirus that in the midst of a global outbreak. Tribune-Herald.


Minimum wage increase and tax credits are approved. The state House approved bills Tuesday to increase tax credits to help renters and to offset the impact of the state excise tax on food, and another measure to dramatically expand the state’s earned income tax credit. Star-Advertiser.

Priority Bills On Housing, Education And Wages Advance At Hawaii Legislature. The measures propose slight increases to the minimum wage, more affordable housing, a streamlined school maintenance program and expansion of pre-school. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Senate Passes Cannabidiol Regulation Bill. A bill relating to industrial hemp derived products was passed on third reading by the Hawaiʻi State Senate Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

American Samoa gives Gabbard her first primary delegate. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has picked up her first delegate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination ― thanks to American Samoa. Hawaii News Now.


2 new bus routes planned to augment rail line. Among the new initiatives in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.9 billion operating budget are two new bus routes aimed at connecting riders of the city’s new rail system with their final destinations. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $2.98 Billion Budget: More Rail Funding and Police, No Tax Increase. Taxpayers will have to start paying for rail operations, the mayor said. Whether it will start running this year or not is unclear. Civil Beat.

Mayor outlines new budget, which allows for new HPD positions. Honolulu’s police chief is looking forward to expanding the force after the mayor offered more money in his proposed city budget. Hawaii News Now.

Rate Commission hearing public testimony for Rail and TheBus. The Honolulu Rate Commission is proposing changes to TheBus and Rail fees and is hearing public testimony. KITV4.


Honolulu Agrees To Post Financial Disclosures Online. The city decided to make the forms more easily available following a Civil Beat report earlier this week. Civil Beat.

Electric scooter company waits to operate until state laws change. Another company wants to start a ride share program on Oahu, this time using electric scooters. KHON2.

Ke Kilohana condo owners sue Kakaako tower’s developer over maintenance fees, alleged construction defects. Elation has become frustration for homeowners in a new Kakaako condominium tower now embroiled in litigation with the developer of their homes at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Largest Private College Is Fighting For Its Future. Hawaii Pacific University has experienced plunging enrollment, steep operating losses and large debt. Civil Beat.

Oahu Hiking trail closed after Rapid Ohia Death fungus found in another tree. The Department of Land and Natural Resources has temporarily closed the Poamoho Trail in Central Oahu after the discovery of another tree with Rapid Ohia Death. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Japan Suspends TMT Funding Citing Mauna Kea Stalemate. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, citing the stalemate over its construction on Mauna Kea. While this doesn’t mean the country is pulling out of the multi-nation project as opponents urged it to do, the country does supply key components for the telescope. Hawaii Public Radio.

Japan suspends annual funding for Thirty Meter Telescope project. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope project on the summit of Mauna Kea, citing an ongoing stalemate over its construction. Associated Press.


Merrie Monarch: The show will go on. The Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo’s biggest event of the year, will go on as scheduled next month, according to festival organizers. Tribune-Herald.

No plans to cancel Merrie Monarch competition president says. Merrie Monarch Festival organizers say the show will go on at least for now. Hawaii News Now.

Ethics Board weighs in on attorney compensation. Hawaii County is suing an attorney representing former Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi in a 2012 defamation lawsuit filed by Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto, saying the money Yagong and Kawauchi paid him rightfully belongs to the county. West Hawaii Today.


Coronavirus testing kits to remain on Oahu. Since the long-awaited arrival of coronavirus test kits in Hawaii, Maui Memorial Medical Center has not yet taken any samples to test for the virus, as no patient has exhibited the risk factors, a hospital spokesperson said Monday. Maui News.

New Signs to Show Original Place Names of Central Maui. Roadways throughout Central Maui will soon be decorated with new signs–each one telling a piece of the area’s history. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple suffered $10.4M loss in 2019. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. finances swung to a loss in the fourth-quarter and dragged full-year earnings into the red largely due to confusion over taxes. Star-Advertiser.

Business is booming for Maui booze producers. Vodka, whiskey, rum, beer and wine — for a small island, the Valley Isle produces an impressive variety of booze, with solid market success. Star-Advertiser.


Add Councilman Arthur Brun to list of public employees getting paid while not working. State lawmakers are looking to punish public officials who commit crimes by cutting their pensions. KHON2.

Kaua‘i officials said Monday there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, but some on-island resorts say they’re starting to see cancellations, some people who work with the public are donning masks and there have been reports of busy lines at local stores. Garden Island.


First movie theater in 12 years is being planned for Molokai. Owners of RWH Chen Building want to open cinema in Kaunakakai. Maui News.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Bills die as Hawaii Legislature nears crossover deadline, Hanabusa makes mayoral run official, state Supreme Court to hear Kahuku wind farm bat protection, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Capitol ©2020 All Hawaii News
What’s Likely Dead, What’s Still Alive As Hawaii Legislature Reaches Halfway Mark. As hundreds of bills get set to cross between the House and Senate, hundreds more are now likely dead this session. Civil Beat.

House Passes More Than 150 Bills on Third Reading. In advance of First Crossover next week, the House of Representatives on Friday passed more than 150 measures on third reading including bills on government ethics, highway safety, and public health. Maui Now.

New school facilities agency for Hawaii would dodge legal safeguards. A proposal to create a new state agency to build and renovate public schools is moving forward with broad backing at the Legislature despite concerns that the agency would be exempt from various safeguards in the law. Star-Advertiser.

Changes To Housing Omnibus Bill Axed. Senate Bill 3104 was restored to its original version and will go before the full Senate sometime next week. Leaders in the Legislature ensured a key component of their joint legislative package stayed intact Friday when a panel of senators removed amendments to an omnibus housing bill. Civil Beat.

Senate Passes Medical-Aid-in-Dying Measure. The Hawai‘i State Senate today overwhelmingly passed on third reading SB2582, SD1, authored by Senator Roz Baker (D-South and West Maui), which aims to improve access and options for terminally ill patients seeking medical-aid-in-dying. Maui Now.

Bill Would Exempt Taro Production From Income Tax. The cost of poi remains inaccessible to Hawaii families most in need of this staple starch, lawmakers say. Civil Beat.


DLNR supervisor fined for using state equipment for private employers. A state watchdog agency has fined a Department of Land and Natural Resources supervisor $10,000 for violating the state ethics law. The Hawaii Ethics Commission said Patrick Chong Tim admitted to using state equipment and his position to benefit his private employers. Hawaii News Now.

As the race for the Democratic nomination heats up, ballots are already being mailed out in Hawaii- the first year Hawaii is moving from a caucus to a primary, which also means some confusion. Interim Democratic primary Chair Kate Stanley says there are only 65,000 registered Democrats on the books, much lower than the 276,000 who voted blue in 2018. KITV4.


State must prepare to be hit hard by financial losses tied to coronavirus, legislative leaders say. Hawaii’s legislative leaders said Friday that they were preparing for the possibility that financial losses tied to the global coronavirus outbreak could dramatically impact the state’s budget, which depends heavily on tourism and imports. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii businesses prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that businesses prepare for the spread of coronavirus, some of Hawaii’s largest companies are drawing up their own plans. Star-Advertiser.

How Prepared Are Hawaii Hospitals For Coronavirus? Past training for outbreaks such as Ebola have hospitals equipped to deal with infectious diseases like the new coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kim Issues Emergency Proclamation To Prepare For COVID-19. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim on Friday issued an Emergency Proclamation “to increase preparedness for the possible arrival of Coronavirus in the State.” Big Island Video News.


New federal rules could hurt immigrants and state economy. A federal rule that puts new limits on immigrants considered likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs could end up costing Hawaii’s economy as much as $127 million, according to a recent analysis. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii added nearly 2,500 solar jobs in 2019, ranked 10th in growth, report says. Hawaii was No. 10 in a list of “Top 10” states with solar jobs growth in 2019, according to the latest report released by The Solar Foundation, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.


Colleen Hanabusa officially joins Honolulu mayor’s race. Citing her long government experience, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on Saturday formally announced her candidacy for Honolulu mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa officially launches campaign for Honolulu mayor. Former congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa launched her campaign for Honolulu mayor Saturday. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu prepares guidelines to register as B&B homes. The city Planning and Permitting Department is drafting rules to allow for the fall registration of new bed-and-breakfast homes, defined as rentals of less than 30 days where an owner or operator is present during the stay. Star-Advertiser.

Native bat could crinkle Kahuku Wind Farm Project plans. The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge against the habitat conservation plan for the Na Pua Makani wind project. KHON2.

Officials and lawmakers grapple with Oahu’s eroding coastal highway. Emergency repairs are becoming increasingly necessary as climate change-driven sea level rise and erosion plague the 10-mile shoreline from Hauula to Kaaawa and undermine a highway that is now precariously close to the ocean’s edge. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki public parking lot sits empty due to discreet signage. Waikiki is notorious for its lack of parking, especially inexpensive parking — yet a city lot with 50 stalls in the heart of the tourist district is sitting empty. Star-Advertiser.

Fireworks at annual Honolulu Festival nixed amidst coronavirus concerns. Organizers of the 26th annual Honolulu Festival announced Friday that the popular Nagaoka Fireworks Show, one of the largest fireworks shows in the state, has been canceled amidst growing coronavirus concerns. Hawaii News Now.

Ewa Beach couple eager to fly home Monday after month-long quarantine. On Monday morning at 5 a.m. PST, an Ewa Beach couple will have their temperatures taken one last time before heading to San Francisco Airport and boarding their flight home to Honolulu. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Kim asks for 6.9% increase in $625.9 million budget, Chung pushes $103 million bond issue for roads. Mayor Harry Kim on Friday released a $625.9 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, a 6.9% increase over the current year. West Hawaii Today.

State is seeking information about those who provided support to TMT protesters. Lawyers for opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope filed a petition Friday seeking to reverse a January court decision that would allow the state attorney general to subpoena the financial records of a nonprofit providing funding for TMT protesters. Tribune-Herald.

Ethics Board seeks outside legal help over Maunakea access road. Jurisdictional issues over Maunakea access road and who has authority to police it were at the forefront Friday, during several hours of testimony to the county Board of Ethics. West Hawaii Today.

Mauna Kea Law Enforcement Ethics Debated In Hilo. The Hawaiʻi County Board of Ethics heard public testimony from both sides of the Thirty Meter Telescope issue on Friday. Big Island Video News.

Judge rejects Papa‘ikou Mill Beach condemnation suit. A judge has ruled in favor of the landowners in a condemnation lawsuit filed three years ago by the county that was aimed at acquiring a trail over private property that is the only existing land access to Papa‘ikou Mill Beach. Tribune-Herald.

Keaau Community Center construction pushed back. Long-gestating plans for a new youth center in Keaau will likely gestate some more as its planned start date gets pushed back. Tribune-Herald.


County considers phasing out all short-term rentals. Public meeting to be held March 6. In the fight against illegal short-term rentals, the Maui County Planning Department is considering something other than tougher fines and customized software — phasing them out altogether. Maui News.

E-warrants cut down on DUI blood draw delays. System should get more accurate alcohol readings. Maui News.


Demographic Shifts Pose Tremendous Risks For Kauai. The island’s population growth is largely a result of the island becoming home to more retirees. Civil Beat.

Embattled Kauai Councilman accused of using drugs to pay for sex, feds say. Federal prosecutors are raising startling new allegations that Kauai Councilmember Arthur Brun used drugs to pay for sex. The feds alleged that Brun is the kingpin of an extensive Kauai drug operation that included nearly a dozen couriers, enforcers and gun smugglers. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: Arthur Brun should resign from County Council. The crimes detailed in the 29-page federal indictment of County Councilmember Arthur Brun describe an almost unfathomable betrayal of the public trust and a deeply troubling commentary on the personal damage that can be done by addiction. Garden Island.


Molokaʻi Farmers Get The Chance to Grow. About 50 residents/farmers gathered for the inaugural Ho’opili Nā Mahiʻai (Farmers Gathering) at the Lanikeha Community Center on Molokaʻi earlier this month. Maui Now.


Kahoolawe brush fire appears to be out after one-third of the island is burned. One week after flames were ignited on Kahoolawe, a large wildfire appears to have burned itself out with some help from heavy showers. Hawaii News Now.

Kaho'olawe wildfire burns a third of the island. The Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission lost several buildings, water catchment tanks, all-terrain vehicles, water crafts, irrigation supplies, restoration equipment, and planting materials in the fire. KITV4.