Showing posts with label David Lassner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Lassner. Show all posts

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Public election financing bill revived, Green seeks $2.2M to fight climate change lawsuit, Zuckerberg plans to raise beef on mac nuts and beer at Kauai ranch, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Full Public Financing Of Elections Is Being Revived At Hawaii Legislature. State Sen. Karl Rhoads will resurrect a bill that would establish a comprehensive campaign financing system intended help attract a more diverse pool of political candidates. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii Budget Request Faces Backlash From Senators. Senators and University of Hawaii leaders clashed over funding for student housing during a budget hearing Wednesday, even as both groups recognized an urgent need to address a years-long facilities problem.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Firm fighting climate lawsuit accused of aggressive tactics. Gov. Josh Green’s administration is requesting an additional $2.25 million to fight the climate lawsuit brought by 14 Hawaii youths claiming that the state Department of Transportation has violated their constitutional rights “to live healthful lives in Hawai‘i now and into the future.”  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Senate majority announces legislative priorities for 2024, including fires recovery support. With the 32nd State Legislature set to begin on Jan. 17, the Hawaiʻi Senate Majority said in a press release on Wednesday it is focused on addressing a range of issues, with a key focus on supporting ongoing disaster recovery efforts following the devastating Maui wildfires. Maui Now. Garden Island.

Feds Announce $2.6 Million In Grants To Fortify Hawaii’s Food Supply Chain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will focus on small- and medium-sized producers. Civil Beat.


Oahu’s Rolling Blackouts Stemmed From A Series Of Unfortunate Events. They occurred as the island grows more dependent on solar energy. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Kapi’olani and its unionize nurses prepare for weeklong strike.
Unionized nurses at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women &Children said they will go on a weeklong strike later this month, and management assured the public that they have a plan to maintain the hospital’s quality of care. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Battle for heiress’s estate comes to an end. The prolonged and contentious battle over the estate of the late Abigail Kawananakoa has come to an amicable end with the spouse of the late Campbell Estate heiress walking away with at least $40 million and the heiress’ foundation charity for Native Hawaiians expected to clear at least $100 million. Star-Advertiser.

‘Rescue tubes’ installed at local beaches, city says. A Wednesday morning news conference to announce the installation of 20 bright yellow foam flotation devices called “rescue tubes” on city-owned beaches was briefly interrupted with a real-time ocean rescue. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement talks continue in sex assault case against former Saint Louis School football stars.
The attorneys for Saint Louis School, two former high school football stars and a woman suing them for sex assault have not come to settlement terms — despite three days of mediation. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill to fund study of Puna alternate route postponed.
  A study investigating possibilities for a new roadway into Puna has been put off a little longer after questions about how to protect Hawaiian homestead land. Tribune-Herald.

$3.2 Million Released For Wailoa Small Boat Harbor Improvements. $3.2 million in state funds has been released by Hawaiʻi Governor Josh Green for improvements at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor. The money will go toward design and construction costs. Big Island Video News.

Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo to reopen next week.
  Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo, which have been closed since Sept. 23, 2023, because of a rock fall and partial collapse, will reopen to the public Jan. 16. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Heavy Rain Washed Fire-Related Contaminants Into The Ocean Off Lahaina.
A massive brown plume has scientists worried despite protective measures aimed at preventing toxic runoff. Civil Beat.

'I’m not homeless, I’m from here': Unsheltered Maui fire survivors navigate alternative living. Volunteers from A Cup of Cold Water are continuing to accept donations to fill the growing need. John Hirashima said the organization is now serving about 40 people in Kīhei, 80 to 100 in Central Maui, and 60 to 80 in West Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

County to host Right-of-Entry workshops for owners who lost properties in Maui fires. Workshops will feature presentations by County of Maui and US Army Corps of Engineers officials, along with community experts, who will offer crucial information about the fire debris cleanup process, options available for residential and commercial property owners and an opportunity to ask questions.  Maui Now.


Facebook founder says he’s working on a ‘delicious’ new project on Kauai.
Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a cattle-raising project on Kauai in an official Facebook post on Wednesday.  Zuckerberg’s plan is to feed the cows exclusively macadamia meal and beer. This plan would require him to plant many macadamia trees. Hawaii News Now.

Above-average rainfall recorded on Kaua‘i despite persistent drought conditions in December statewide.
In December, windward gauges had near to above-average rainfall, while most of the leeward gages had below-average rainfall.  Kauai Now.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Worker shortage hinders construction boom, historic Marconi telegraph site damaged, TSA malfunctions, long waits persist at Hilo airport, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Construction Boom Will Require Workers From The Mainland. The island state has too few homegrown construction workers to handle the coming surge in government projects, so labor must be imported. Civil Beat.

Housing panel makes first development decision. An almost 6-month-old state panel created to accelerate affordable-housing production has acted on its first housing project application, though only to approve a relatively small fee waiver. Star-Advertiser.

UH president won’t say if he was drinking before crash.
David K. Lassner, 69, the 15th president of UH’s 10-campus system, was not administered a breathalyzer test after he veered right to avoid oncoming traffic and hit the parked car while on his way home from dinner. Star-Advertiser.

Increase in invasive species reports across Hawaii in 2023.
Increase in invasive species reports across Hawaii in 2023. KITV4.


Unauthorized Demolition Occurs At Historic Marconi Telegraph Site On North Shore.
Civil Beat drone footage captured video of excavators discarding parts of the interior of the original 1914 power station, once the world's largest wireless communications center. Civil Beat.

Overdose drug now required at bars, nightclubs.
As of Jan. 1, Honolulu became the first U.S. city to mandate that its roughly 869 alcohol-serving bars, nightclubs and restaurants keep naloxone nasal spray on hand to counteract opioid-related overdoses. Star-Advertiser.

Gunman killed by Honolulu police was free on bail. The 44-year-old felon who was fatally shot by Honolulu police after an islandwide manhunt that left two officers hospitalized with gunshot wounds was free on $75,000 bail after he was charged in November with six gun crimes. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Construction on Ka Haku by Hilton Club restarts. Construction on the Ka Haku by Hilton Club, a 32-story timeshare tower in the heart of Waikiki at the former King’s Village site, has started again after a lengthy COVID-19 hiatus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Government Changes, Plans For 2024. Deanna Sako, previously serving as Finance Director, has been appointed as the Managing Director for the County of Hawaiʻi.  Following Sako’s transition, Diane Nakagawa was promoted to the position of Finance Director. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Mayor Roth looks back at 2023 successes, provides preview for 2024. Mayor Mitch Roth is taking a moment to look back on the accomplishments of 2023 and offering a glimpse into the exciting projects set to unfold in the coming year for the County of Hawaiʻi. Big Island Now.

TSA equipment down causing travel nightmare at Hilo Airport. What’s typically a one hour flight from Hilo to Oahu, turned out to be an hours long travel day for many. The lines snaked and wrapped around at Hilo International Airport Tuesday.  KHON2. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Big Island Woman Killed Despite A Restraining Order Against Ex-Boyfriend.
Elizabeth Fernandez was found dead at her South Kona home. The body of her ex-boyfriend was found outside after he apparently killed himself. Civil Beat. KITV4.

County seeks members for CDP Action Committees
. Hawaii County is seeking civic-minded residents to join action committees around the island to help shape policy for most of the island’s districts. Tribune-Herald.


Debate grows on where to dump Maui wildfire debris, many fear temporary Olowalu site may become permanent. Maui residents are divided on where to put the Lahaina wildfire debris. County council members held a meeting on Tuesday to get input from the public. Hawaii News Now.

Wailuku couple sees rise in need for housing.
Senior Pastor Laki Ka‘ahumanu of the Church on the Go and his wife, Malie, who have been ministering to Maui’s homeless individuals and families for years, now are seeing the homeless crisis worsen due to the thousands of Maui residents who were displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

‘Laptop relief program’ gives over 640 devices to Maui fire survivors. A “laptop relief program” on Maui has distributed more than 640 computers to people who lost theirs to the August wildfires, and the nonprofit hub is planning another distribution in January. Star-Advertiser.

Progress update: 17 of 30 classrooms in place at temporary campus for King Kamehameha III elementary. US Army Corps of Engineers is reporting steady progress on construction of the temporary campus for students of King Kamehameha III Elementary School who were displaced by the Aug. 8, 2023 wildfires that destroyed the school. Maui Now.

Helping Lahaina's art community is top of mind for these state lawmakers. Expanding access to an art therapy program and helping galleries in Lahaina may be on the state Legislature's agenda to aid Maui's recovery efforts. Hawaii Public Radio.

Proposals sought for axis deer control in Maui Nui. The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) announces the 2024 Axis Deer Control Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) for Maui Nui, through a competitive Request for Proposals for axis deer harvest from eligible private landowners and lessees.  Maui News.


Visitor spending tops $200 million again. Visitor spending cracked the $200 million barrier for the 11th straight month in November, as tourists continued to funnel record sums of cash into the island of Kaua‘i economy in 2023. Garden Island.

Valve replacement for Coco Palms Sewage Pump Station scheduled for Jan. 10. The Coco Palms Sewage Pump Station will be shut down starting Jan. 10 to replace isolation valves inside the station’s dry well. Kauai Now. KHON2.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Ige administration reluctant to turn over public records, Honolulu shootout injures two police officers, judge denies Honolulu plan to lengthen vacation rental stays, Lassner uninjured after flipping car, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

A Cautionary Tale For Preserving Hawaii History In A Digital Age. The state archivist had to go to great lengths to obtain all records from ex-Gov. David Ige's administration after a staffer initially refused to share some. Civil Beat.

Host of new laws in effect with the new year.  New laws taking effect Monday include an increase in the state minimum wage to $14 an hour, gender-neutral language for birth and marriage certificates, and a requirement that Hawaii law enforcement agencies establish minimum standards for the use of force. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOE Faces Roadblocks, Delays In Spending $2 Billion For School Facilities. Capital Improvement Program funding for schools has increased in recent years, but the department's spending has been unable to keep pace. Civil Beat.

UH President David Lassner uninjured in early-morning crash. University of Hawaii President David Lassner is unscathed after bystanders helped him from his overturned car after a “minor collision” in Kapahulu early Monday morning, UH officials said. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Economists To Lawmakers: Help Diversify Beyond Tourism. A prominent Hawaii business executive and economist have a request for policymakers before a legislative session destined to be dominated by issues involving land use, water rights and the rebuilding of Lahaina. Civil Beat.


Rentals ruled exempt from 90-day change. A U.S. District Court judge has issued a summary judgement granting the Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance a permanent injunction that carves existing home rental owners out of a provision in a city law that sought to increase the minimum rental period for residential properties on Oahu to 90 days from 30 days. Star-Advertiser.

2 Honolulu police officers shot, gunman dead after chase. An attempted-murder suspect was killed in a shootout with Honolulu police officers, two of whom were shot, ending an hours-long, islandwide manhunt and chase on New Year’s Day. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Firework-related emergencies keep Honolulu first responders busy.
Honolulu Fire Department responded to 23 New Year’s fireworks-related incidents across Oahu that injured multiple people, including children, and caused structure and brush fires, a significant increase from last year’s holiday. Star-Advertiser.

Plea Deal By Miske’s Ex-Business Partner Leaves Only 3 Defendants In Upcoming Trial.
A last-minute guilty plea by a former business partner of accused racketeering boss Michael Miske Jr.’s means the upcoming trial of the former Honolulu business owner and his remaining co-defendants will be strictly a family affair. Civil Beat.

Fines Pile Up Over ATV Tours And Horseback Rides On North Shore Ag Land. A popular North Shore business accused of illegally offering horseback rides and ATV tours is resisting orders from the county to shut down.  Star-Advertiser.

Falls of Clyde delisted from historic register. The 145-year-old Falls of Clyde, which has been docked for years at Honolulu Harbor, has been delisted from the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. Star-Advertiser.

Group plans to appeal judge’s Haiku Stairs demolition ruling. The group Friends of Haiku Stairs expects to carry its legal fight to save 4,000 feet of steel steps built on a sheer ridgeline above Kaneohe into the new year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Checkpoint screening machines at Hilo International Airport are down; repairs underway. Hawai‘i Department of Transportation advises those flying out of Hilo International Airport to arrive at least two hours early as there have been issues with the checkpoint screening machines. Big Island Now.

Waimea Town Hall Set For January 4th, New Leadership Announced. The next Waimea Town Meeting will introduce new Community Association leadership, and discuss the upcoming "challenging" 2024 legislative session.  Big Island Video News.


Firefighter to lead Maui Emergency Management Agency. Amos Lonokailua-Hewett will take over the agency with 25 years of service with the Maui Fire Department before retiring in 2019 as a battalion chief, the county said in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Fire Department responds to multiple brush fires and 7 rubbish bin fires during New Year’s holiday. During the period from 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 (New Year’s Eve) to 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 (New Year’s Day), the Maui County Fire Department responded to brush fires in Haʻikū, Kula, Makawao, Wailuku, two in Kīhei and one on Molokaʻi.  Maui Now.

Government proposals worry Maui short-term rental owners. Finding housing for survivors has emerged as a top priority in the wake of the devastating Maui wildfires, but many fear that proposals coming forth to convert vacation rental units will jeopardize some businesses still struggling to stay afloat after the pandemic and since Lahaina’s destruction. Star-Advertiser.


Coco Palms Resort site of some worker activity as year ends.
Construction workers were seen working on the property of the former Coco Palms Resort on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, following multiple statements from the developer that demolition for the site’s rebuild would start by the end of the year. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

DOE returns $465M in school construction funding, Maui council advances housing tax breaks, Honolulu building permit delays worsen, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The DOE Is Giving Up $465M In School Construction Funds. Lawmakers who managed to get projects funded for their neighborhood schools are upset, and want to know why the money won't be spent as they intended. The state Department of Education plans to surrender $465 million that lawmakers had earmarked for school construction projects across the state, a move that will delay and possibly jeopardize funding for new classrooms, play courts and athletic facilities. Civil Beat.

Search for next UH president becoming a battle for control. The search for the next University of Hawaii president is turning into the latest battleground for control of the massive state public university system, with some state lawmakers exerting heavy pressure to try to influence the selection and pushing to have current President David Lassner vacate the post earlier than his expected departure at the end of 2024, according to several officials close to the process. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi received a 'D' grade in high school financial literacy — and that's an improvement. While Hawaiʻi lags behind most states in teaching financial literacy, it is beginning to see improvement compared to previous years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Governor Mulls New Insurance Program As Extreme Weather Raises Risk Factors.
Natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and increasingly wildfires are contributing to an economic landscape where insurers may feel the risk is too great to do business here, Gov. Josh Green said Tuesday.  Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green marks first year in office. In an address on Tuesday marking his first year in office, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green touted a litany of actions taken by his administration, including dealing with the devastation suffered in the deadly Maui wildfires. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Assaults, other aggressive behaviors reported almost daily on Hawaii State Hospital campus. While officials say an employee’s fatal stabbing on the campus last month is the first murder to ever happen on the grounds of state facility, data obtained through public records requests show there have been nearly 1,500 reported incidents of assaults or other aggressive behavior on the campus over the last five years. Hawaii News Now.

Alaska Airlines explores possibility of returning service to Hawaii’s rural communities. The Alaska Airlines buyout of Hawaiian Airlines could potentially restore flights to smaller communities left with fewer options after the pandemic, but it won’t happen anytime soon. Hawaii News Now.


 Honolulu’s Building Permit Delays: A ‘Nightmare’ Decades In The Making. Construction industry professionals say it’s taking longer than ever to get a permit in Honolulu. The delays disrupt lives and put a drag on the economy.  Civil Beat.

Judge dismisses lawsuit to save Haiku Stairs. A lawsuit by the Friends of Haiku Stairs to block the removal of the once-legally accessible steel steps built along a sheer ridge line above Kaneohe has been denied. On Tuesday, 1st Circuit Judge John M. Tonaki granted summary judgment on the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit outright. Star-Advertiser.

Man with 164 citations charged in hit-and-run death of McKinley student.
The 46-year-old man who had no driver’s license and 164 citations when he was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run incident that killed a McKinley High School student Feb. 15 was charged Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Vending machine at nightclub allegedly sold cocaine and ecstasy.
Two men are facing federal charges for allegedly selling cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and other drugs out of vending machines in a Honolulu after- hours club and in a fake health and wellness store. Star-Advertiser.

From illegal game rooms to police staffing concerns, HPD tries to calm fears about continued violence in West Oahu. Over the past six months, there have been at least half a dozen violent incidents in West Oahu. Due to the spike in these incidents, West Oahu families met with lawmakers and law enforcers Tuesday night in hopes of working together to reduce violent crimes. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Officials say there is no emergency after Navy sirens inadvertently activated.
The sirens do not belong to the state or city, but to the U.S. Navy, which informed state and city officials that its giant voice system was inadvertently activated Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese entrants at marathon expected to nearly double this year. The tourist entrants have mostly come from Japan. Around 9,000 to 10,000 are expected to toe the starting line near Aloha Tower for Sunday’s 51st annual 26.2-mile race, Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council approves homeless funding. Allocation of nearly $10 million for homeless service providers came one step closer to reality Tuesday as the County Council’s Legislative Approvals and Acquisitions Committee unanimously advanced a resolution to a full council hearing. West Hawaii Today.

HPD vice detective arrested, charged with perjury, falsifying affidavit. According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Hilo Circuit Court, Detective William Brown  then assigned to East Hawaii Vice Section, made a false statement to the grand jury on March 15 in the case of Julissa Herrera, who was indicted on charges of first-, second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, plus possession of drug paraphernalia. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Presentation about Waiakea Peninsula draws mostly criticism. The Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Land and Natural Resources hosted an open house at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel to discuss and hear public feedback regarding how the Waiakea and Banyan Drive areas should be managed. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Bill Prohibits Overnight Parking Fronting Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Bill 105 prohibits parking between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for portions of Aliʻi Drive along Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Big Island Video News.


Maui Council Moves Swiftly On Tax Breaks To Provide Long-Term Rentals For Fire Survivors. Mayor Richard Bissen hopes the owners of vacation rentals agree to take part in the "shared sacrifice" of the recovery. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui council to consider bill to establish criteria for ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program. The Maui council will consider a bill Dec. 15 to establish criteria for the ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program, which offers grants of up to $100,000 to build an accessory dwelling or second farm dwelling for residents’ long-term occupancy. Maui Now.

Maui Fire Department Purchases Show The Fire’s Heavy Toll On Resources. Maui’s fire department estimates it has spent $2.7 million to replace damaged gear and replenish its inventory of equipment and firefighting materials four months after the wildfires. Civil Beat.


State removing last remnants of the defunct Hawaii Superferry. The Department of Transportation is looking for a contractor to remove the existing Superferry ramp at Pier 1 at Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai.  KITV4.

Island home sales slump. A dreary cycle for the island housing market continued in the first month of fall, as sales of single-family homes slumped more than 13 percent to begin the final quarter of the year. Garden Island.

Contractors Association of Kaua‘i installs new officers. The Contractors Association of Kaua‘i (CAK) announced its new slate of officers through the installation of the new leadership during the CAK 66th annual meeting that was held under inclement weather at Puakea Golf Course on Thursday. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

HI-EMA: use sirens to warn of fire, Congressional inquiry today on Lahaina fire cause, Kona coffee brand wins in court, Hokulea returning to pay Maui tribute, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

HI-EMA clarifies that sirens can be used to warn of fire. A review of outdoor warning siren protocols following the Lahaina fire disaster has led the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to reiterate that fire is indeed one of the hazards that can prompt siren activation. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Congressional inquiry to focus on the cause of the deadly Lahaina fire. Members of Congress today will attempt to get to the bottom of what led to the deadly Lahaina firestorm — including questions that to date have gone largely unanswered about the timeline of what happened Aug. 8, Hawaiian Electric Co.’s electrical grid, and wildfire mitigation measures. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

An old car tire, burnt trees and a utility pole may be key in finding how the Maui wildfire spread.
Though findings of a cause are not expected for months, the focus on Hawaiian Electric’s role in managing brush in its right-of-way could strengthen claims of negligence against the utility, which is facing an onslaught of lawsuits blaming it for failing to proactively cut electricity in the face of high-wind warnings, upgrade its power poles and clear foliage from around its lines. Associated Press.

Nominees announced for Hawaii State Supreme Court vacancies: Vladimir Devens, of the Law Offices of Vladimir Devens LLC. Lisa Ginoza, state Intermediate Court of Appeals chief judge. Summer Kupau-Odo, Oahu District Court judge. Karen Nakasone, state Intermediate Court of Appeals associate judge. Catherine Remigio, Oahu Circuit Court judge. Clyde Wadsworth, state Intermediate Court of Appeals associate judge. Star-Advertiser.

Lassner setting goals for final 15 months as UH president
. University of Hawaii President David Lassner says that when he recently announced that he’ll retire in late 2024 and wrote that meanwhile “anyone who expects me to act like a ‘lame duck’ will be sorely disappointed,” he did not mean that as any metaphorical shot fired across the bow of certain state lawmakers who have publicly said they want him to resign. Star-Advertiser.

Hokule‘a announces return to Hawaii due to Maui wildfires. The Hokule‘a has made a major change to its sail plan — an unexpected return home to Hawaii in late December before continuing its circumnavigation of the Pacific. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Kauai Now.


Council’s Tulba seeks more film studios for Oahu. On Tuesday, Augie Tulba introduced Bill 59, which would, if adopted, provide greater real property tax incentives for eligible film studio facilities to locate on the island. Star-Advertiser.

New Wahiawa civic center to emerge from rich history. The $76 million Wahiawa Civic Center on the California Avenue site of the old one is scheduled to open in mid-2026 and reunite state and city functions, said state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D, Mililani-Wahiawa- Whitmore Village). Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Another legal win for Kona coffee. In another win for Kona Coffee Farmers, a Washington federal judge Thursday approved convenience store chain MNS Ltd.’s (ABC Stores) $12 million settlement over claims that the chain sold products that were falsely advertised as authentic Kona coffee. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i County Council gives nod to measures that will further Big Island broadband connectivity initiatives. The Hawai‘i County Council wants all Big Island residents to have equitable access to high-speed internet connectivity and recently moved ahead with four measures aimed at getting the county closer to that goal. Big Island Now.

Another delay for lower Puna. The restoration of roads and waterlines in lower Puna is delayed yet again after a federal agency told Hawaii County earlier this week it needs to review comments from the community.  Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Holds Town Hall In Pāhoa. The Roth administration took questions from the public on various topics, including alternate routes, housing, geothermal permitting, and eruption recovery projects. Big Island Video News.


West Maui tourism to return in phases. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen on Wednesday announced the staggered reopening of tourism in West Maui, starting Oct. 8 with the northernmost resort area of Kapalua. Star-Advertiser.

Tourism Executives Campaign To Bring Needed Visitors To Maui. With West Maui's famous resorts set to re-open to travelers Oct. 8, local residents are telling their own stories to convince visitors to come back. Civil Beat.

West Maui residents call on county council to put tourism second in Lahaina’s future. Hundreds of West Maui residents jammed into a hotel ballroom in Kaanapali on Wednesday to share their vision for rebuilding Lahaina with the Maui County Council. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina’s Filipino Community Mourns The Loss Of 9 Family Members. Those who died included store employees, a janitorial service worker and a pair of dishwashers who worked hard to take care of their families, friends recalled. Civil Beat.

Maui Fire Survivors Plead With County Council For Help And Accountability. Struggling with financial and emotional stress, community members sought rent and property tax relief and voiced concerns over school evacuation routes. Civil Beat.


Police await DNA results from human teeth found in Kalalau.  More than 8 months after roughly a dozen partially decomposed teeth were discovered near the Kalalau trail, the Kaua‘i Police Department says the investigation is still ongoing — as DNA results have yet to be obtained. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Agency on Elderly Affairs symposium to focus on fraud and scam prevention.
Kaua‘i County will host its 5th annual Agency on Elderly Affairs symposium on Oct. 4 at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Līhu‘e. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Lassner to retire as UH president, new COVID vaccine not yet available to many, Maui mayor creates Lahaina Advisory Team, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UH President David Lassner Will Retire Next Year. He has run the University of Hawaii since 2013, an institution he first began working at in 1977. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Maui Activists Urge Return Of DLNR Water Official To Former Job. A meeting of Hawaii’s Commission on Water Resource Management was dominated Tuesday by calls to reinstate a senior water official who was reassigned amid criticism over decisions made during the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.

Insurance lag results in wait for COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines became available following a steady upward trend in U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations since summer. Star-Advertiser.

Dems To NOAA: Hold Wespac Accountable For Misspending Nearly $1 Million. Members of Congress sent a letter seeking accountability for the fishery council's "transgressions." Civil Beat.


Navy ‘recklessly destroyed’ Red Hill evidence, lawyers allege. Attorneys representing families sickened by the 2021 Red Hill water crisis introduced a motion in Honolulu’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday that alleges that Navy officials “recklessly destroyed” text and phone rec­ords between two key officials. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable rental project and 2 preschools break ground. Oo sticks, wielded by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and an assortment of bankers, developers and other local officials, broke ground Tuesday on a $199 million affordable rental project offering two on-site preschools in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

With school in session, Skyline sees a positive bump in ridership. Officials are seeing about a 14% increase in demand that they say is fueled partly by students. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County looks to the future: General Plan 2045 envisions next 25 years, seeks to balance growth with sustainability.  Public comments on the plan, a 25-year blueprint for the long-term growth and sustainable development of Hawaii Island, are being accepted until Nov. 20 through Konveio, an interactive online platform. Tribune-Herald.

Two Big Island nonprofits will receive a share of more than $42 million in grants awarded by the US Department of Agriculture through the Inflation Reduction Act to nine organizations for planting and maintaining trees, combat extreme heat, and improve access to green space in communities throughout the state. West Hawaii Today.

Small amounts of chemical TCP found in Mt. View water source. Trace amounts of a potentially carcinogenic chemical have been detected in a Mountain View water source, according to the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.


Maui mayor announces: Lahaina Advisory Team, community meetings, creation of Office of Recovery.  Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen has formed a 5-member Lahaina Advisory Team comprised of Lahaina residents that will meet with him weekly to ensure the County makes decisions based on the needs and desires of the community.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Council begins talks on recovery plan after fires. Committee seeks public input, will hold another meeting in West Maui Sept. 27.  It was the first time the committee took up the resolution that aims to develop a comprehensive recovery and resiliency plan in response to Maui’s wildfires in Lahaina and Kula on Aug. 8. Maui News.

Amid calls for accountability, Maui’s mayor steers clear of spotlight and avoids news conferences. A month and a half after a wall of flames tore through Lahaina town, killing at least 97 people and erasing the town, scores of key questions linger. Despite that, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen hasn’t publicly answered questions at a news briefing since Aug. 29. Hawaii News Now.

Criticism building against Lahaina's Oct. 8 reopening to tourists. Thousands of Maui residents are expressing their opposition to Gov. Josh Green's decision to reopen Lahaina to tourists on Oct. 8.  KITV4.

‘The Wildfire Litigation Industry’ Takes On Hawaiian Electric.
The outcome of numerous lawsuits will affect victims, shareholders and, potentially, 470,000 customers statewide. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

 Harrowing Eyewitness Accounts Cast Doubt On Official Lahaina Fire Narrative. Those who fled the fire by car tell of being blocked or funneled into narrow gridlocked streets. The county has not said when it will release a detailed report on what happened. Civil Beat.

Firefighters contained early fire, left for short break and returned to find flames anew.  Five firefighters who fought the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire left the scene that day after nearly eight hours containing the blaze so Maui Electric Co. workers could repair downed utility poles and power lines, one of the firefighters and a Maui County attorney said.  Civil Beat.

They face ‘unimaginable challenges’ but a new reason for hope:
A full ride at UH for a year. UH will offer full scholarships to every Lahainaluna High senior for one academic year. UH President David Lassner made the announcement in a class assembly at the school’s temporary location at Kulanihakoi High School in Kihei. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i household hazardous waste collection set for Sept. 23 and 24.
Among the items that will be accepted are automotive products, lead-acid batteries, lawn and garden products, oil-based paints, thinners and stains, fluorescent lights, batteries and more. Kauai Now.

Monday, February 20, 2023

UH-Senate power struggle intensifies, large white balloon heads for Big Island, striking Kaiser employees ratify contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Divide over University of Hawaii’s autonomy deepens. Less than a minute into one of the first University of Hawaii briefings of the year before state Sens. Donna Mercado Kim, Donovan Dela Cruz and others, it was already shaping up to be yet another showdown in a long-running and often bitter divide over who calls the shots for the state’s massive public university system. Star-Advertiser.

Abercrombie outburst highlights tensions with Gov. Green nominees. Gov. Josh Green has urged state senators to treat his Cabinet nominees with courtesy and respect, but some senators say it goes both ways after one was called an “idiot” by no less than former Gov. Neil Abercrombie at this week’s confirmation hearing for Ikaika Anderson. Star-Advertiser.

House Judiciary Chair David Tarnas Is A ‘Gatekeeper’ For Sunshine Bills.
Tarnas has already raised some hackles by deferring bills in his committee without debate or votes by committee members. That’s within a committee chair’s purview, but still, it rankles some. Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green requests additional $2.5B for state budget. Gov. Josh Green has pumped up his state spending request for the next two fiscal years by almost $2.5 billion, updating a plan released in December that was largely prepared by his predecessor. Star-Advertiser.

House bill would outlaw gender pay disparity in Hawaii. Employers across Hawaii would have to disclose pay ranges to employees and job applicants in an effort to eliminate gender and other wage discrimination under House Bill 745. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to increase conveyance tax on homes will potentially fund homeless services.
A senate bill to significantly increase the conveyance tax for multimillion dollar homes in Hawaii was shut down last week. However, a similar one is now alive on the house side. KITV4.

State coordinator position would handle homelessness on DLNR land. House Bill 1254 and Senate Bill 1144 would appropriate the proper funds needed to put a coordinator in charge of organizing and responding to houseless individuals on lands regulated by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Lobbyist Charged With Vet Clinic Drug Violations. An indictment says Alicia Maluafiti obtained drugs using a veterinarian's credentials, but the political insider says she didn't know it was improper. Civil Beat.

Bills propose lowering drunken driving threshold to 0.05%. In an effort to discourage drunken driving and reduce traffic fatalities, advocates are pushing legislation that would lower the alcohol impairment threshold for Hawaii drivers. Star-Advertiser.

Bill to legalize marijuana rolls through first joint committee, lined up for another. Senate Bill 375 would allow adults 21 years and older to possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

Plans To Expand Hawaiian Language Studies In Schools Stall. Most educators, parents and teachers approve of broader access to olelo Hawaii learning while acknowledging the challenges around implementation. Civil Beat.

Climate warning labels sought for self-service gas stations. Hawaii SB 506 would require retail self-service stations to put labels on gas-dispensing equipment advising consumers of the effects of fossil fuel consumption on human health and the environment. Star-Advertiser.

New chief energy officer seeks partnerships at home and offshore.  Mark Glick has yet to be confirmed by the Hawai'i State Senate as Chief Energy Officer, but he's wasting no time in getting down to business.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Tech firm aims to step up engagement in Hawaii. As military leaders look at potential vulnerability to hacking and spying operations, they’re looking to companies like Booz Allen — one of the military’s top contractors for tech and intelligence — to support the Pentagon’s buildup of forces in the region.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Kaiser therapists ratify contract, ending long strike. Therapists employed by Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii — members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers — voted overwhelmingly Saturday to ratify a new contract ending a nearly six-month strike that the union says is the longest work stoppage by mental health care workers in U.S. history. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KITV4.

Green requests $45M to reimburse physicians who treat Medicaid patients. In an attempt to address the physician shortage in Hawaii, Gov. Josh Green has asked the state Legislature to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. Tribune-Herald.

‘Sweet Lies’ campaign takes aim at sugar-laden fruit drinks. The state Department of Health has launched its first campaign taking aim at the beverage industry’s marketing of sweetened fruit drinks to keiki. Star-Advertiser.


Suspect in fatal hit-and-run has no driver’s license, 164 citations. The 45-year-old man arrested in connection with the hit-and-run incident that killed a McKinley High School student has no driver’s license and 164 prior traffic citations, according to state court records. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Probe ongoing in 10 likely felony charges against officers. Only five of the 24 officers named in the Honolulu Police Department’s 2022 disciplinary report as facing possible criminal prosecution between 2017 and 2022 have been charged, according to a review of state court records. Star-Advertiser.

Vice Adm. John Wade is face of Navy’s Red Hill response. The officer the Pentagon has tasked with overseeing the defueling of the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility has for Hawaii residents in many ways become the face of the Navy. Star-Advertiser.

Waikiki beach campers move officials to establish closure period. The Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association is implementing a three-hour closure period from 2 to 5 a.m. daily for the Royal Hawaiian Beach to address a range of problems associated with overnight campers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island gun case tests high court ruling. A Hilo judge on Monday dismissed three firearms-related charges against a 27-year-old Kurtistown man on the grounds that they violated his right to carry a firearm for self-defense under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County to use VW settlement funds to purchase island’s first battery electric buses.  The five, 35-foot buses will be acquired using money the county received from the 2016 Volkswagen settlement combined with its portion of a federal Low or No Emissions Vehicle grant the state received in 2022 totaling over $23 million. West Hawaii Today.

Officials break ground on new senior housing center. After more than a decade of preparation, advocates for military veterans finally broke ground Friday on what will become the state’s only veteran-focused senior living center. Tribune-Herald.

Pilots notified of large white balloon sighting; model shows a course over Big Island. On Sunday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration began notifying pilots of a sighting of a large white ballon traveling at between 40,000 and 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean and a few hundred miles east of the Hawaiian Islands, according to multiple aviation reports. Big Island Now.

Pond restoration efforts bring nene, other birds back to Keaukaha. Kumiko and Patrick Mattison have turned a passion project into the ‘Aina Ho‘ola Initiative, a restoration project for the estuarine wetlands and fish ponds of Lokowaka, Ki‘onakapahu and ‘Akahi in Keaukaha. Tribune-Herald.


Sugimura named council vice chairperson, Kama takes pro tempore role. Yuki Lei Sugimura was elected vice chairperson of the Maui County Council on Friday, while Tasha Kama was chosen as presiding officer pro tempore, solidifying the council’s top leadership more than a month into the term. Maui News.

Council passes bill to implement organic standards and regulations at Kula Ag Park.
The council passed a bill Friday that reserves the Kula Agricultural Park Phase 1 Expansion area for practices that comply with the National Organic Standards Act. Maui Now.

Land trust dreams of a flourishing Kahanui wetland. Restoring the Kahanui wetland to what it once was, flourishing as a food production system and wildlife habitat, is at the heart of a proposed project on Molokai. Maui News.


Evslin Leaves ‘Big Hole’ On Kauai Council As He Moves To State House. Evslin distinguished himself on the council with his down-to-earth demeanor and passion for policy minutiae. Supporters describe him as an intelligent and meticulous politician with a progressive agenda who is both engaged and accessible to constituents. Civil Beat.

Prosecutors to go to jail (to see conditions firsthand). More than 65 elected prosecutors including Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like have pledged to visit local correctional facilities to get a better understanding of conditions and implications of incarceration. Garden Island.

New Kauai Drug Camp Treats At-Risk Teens Like Family — Not Patients. A scrappy grassroots group is finding success through a program that features strength conditioning, outdoor adventure and the healing power of forgiveness. Civil Beat.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Improvements mulled for Iolani Palace, 2k Oahu property owners dispute tax assessments, commission releases names of Supreme Court applicants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2023 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Not-so-regal parking eyed for removal at Iolani Palace.  Hawaii lawmakers are being asked to pass legislation that would have the palace grounds returned to more of its original, regal stature by getting rid of the surrounding blacktop lined with more than 100 parking stalls and replacing it with a pedestrian promenade. Star-Advertiser.

Is Hawaii Ready For The Governor’s Tax Cut Plan? Lawmakers Aren’t So Sure. The proposed legislation would offer relief for Hawaii workers but also would reduce state tax collections at an uncertain time. Civil Beat.

State Senate sea level rise bill falters over concerns of development. A recent Senate bill on sea level rise management sparked controversy over whether or not its "balanced" approach was code for more shoreline hardening. Hawaii Public Radio.

Many Hawaii schoolkids going without routine vaccinations. The percentage of Hawaii children not vaccinated for illnesses such as mumps and measles, or not receiving the full roster of shots required for school, has jumped since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released by the state Department of Health, augmenting concerns that there will be new outbreaks of long-controlled diseases. Star-Advertiser.

Key state senators call for University of Hawaii President Lassner to resign. After almost a decade with University of Hawaii President David Lassner at the helm of the state’s 10-campus public university system — a time marked by frequent frustration and a power struggle between UH and some state senators — at least three key senators say they think it’s time for him to step down. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii lawmakers weigh bills creating gun-free zones.
Officials here are scrambling to advance bills to prohibit or restrict the ability for citizens with concealed-­carry permits to bring a firearm to “sensitive places” — namely, schools, playgrounds, day care centers, government buildings and on public transportation — while complying with a person’s federal civil rights. Star-Advertiser.

Bills would allow restraining orders for out-of-state victims. Two bills would allow nonresidents o apply for temporary restraining orders in Hawaii cases of sexual assault or domestic abuse to offer them a legal layer of protection while in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Judicial Commission Releases List Of Supreme Court Contenders. The Judicial Selection Commission released its list of applicants being considered for two slots on the high court and requested public comment in response. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s lodging industry workers missing out, expert says. Spending is up only if you own a hotel, not if you work there. Star-Advertiser.


2,000 appeals received disputing current Honolulu property tax assessments. The figure, finalized after the mid-January deadline, marks an 18% increase from the year before, according to city spokesperson Ian Scheuring.  Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s New Airport Rental Center Has Lots Of Electric Cars But Only One Charging Station. Activists say that's a big blunder. And lawmakers are moving to require all new state buildings be designed with EV charging stations. Civil Beat.

City plans big steps to fix aging, broken sidewalks in Chinatown and downtown. The repair work is expected to last until August. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Following complaints, city shuts down gun range operating illegally. 
The city has shut down an unpermitted gun range on Oahu’s west side, following a flurry of complaints from nearby residents. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Poachers in Waikele are killing hundreds of parakeets
. Residents at Fairway Village in Waikele said poachers without permits are coming in their neighborhood between midnight and 2 AM and killing hundreds of parakeets roosting in trees. KITV4.

Legendary Hawaii surf photographer captures his own epic final moments.  Just weeks after filming water shots at the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational Larry Haynes unexpectedly passed away after a surfing session on Thursday, Feb. 9. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Battling nature to keep climate project alive at Mauna Loa.  The air collected at Mauna Kea is feeding the world’s longest-running rec­ord of direct readings of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. The measurements constitute the most complete body of firsthand evidence for how Earth’s chemistry has changed since the mid-20th century, contorting the global climate. New York Times.

Big Island sees big jump in solar permits.  According to Hawaii County data, 1,536 permits for rooftop photovoltaic systems were issued in 2022, more than double the amount issued in 2021.  Tribune-Herald.

Todd takes another crack at ag lease extensions. Hilo Rep. Chris Todd, a Democrat, last year introduced a measure that would have allowed farmers leasing land in the Panaewa and Pahoa agricultural parks to extend their leases by up to 30 years. Tribune-Herald.

‘Absolutely devastating’: Avocado growers give grim outlook for recent crop.  A pest known as the avocado lace bug has taken hold and this winter’s crop has been decimated, growers say. West Hawaii Today.


Sen. McKelvey calls for audit of DOE for roundabout construction and delayed opening of Kūlanihākoʻi High School. The state Department of Education failed to meet requirements set forth by the Land Use Commission to construct a grade-separated crossing for the school. Maui Now.

Maui Health names interim CEO.  Maui Health has announced the selection of Kerry Watson as its interim CEO as a national search is underway to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Michael Rembis this spring. Maui Now. Maui News.

Lanai’s Only Farmers Market Vanished During The Pandemic And Now Locals Want It Back. Producers have turned to supplying direct to hotels catering to tourists, shifting the emphasis away from local preferences. Civil Beat.


Mayor signs bill ensuring preservation, public access to Kaua‘i fishpond. Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami on Wednesday signed Bill. No 2890, ensuring the preservation and public access to Halulu Fishpond on the North Shore. Kauai Now.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Case, Tokuda far out front in congressional races, Lassner gets positive revaluation, Navy investigating leaked Red Hill footage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Case, Tokuda Far Ahead In Democratic US House Races. U.S. Rep. Ed Case is on course to easily win reelection in the Democratic primary Aug. 13. He leads political newcomer Sergio Alcubilla 65% to 8%. Jill Tokuda, a former state senator, is leading first term state Rep. Patrick Branco 31% to 6% for the CD2 seat. But a huge number of those surveyed — 63% are not sure who they favor. Civil Beat.

Democratic hopefuls soften tone, praise one another in second joint appearance. The kid gloves were firmly in place and their metaphorical oratory weapons were holstered when Lt. Gov. Josh Green, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele and business entrepreneur Vicky Cayetano on Thursday night met face to face for the first time ahead of the Aug. 13 Democratic Party primary election and repeatedly praised one another’s political stances and their philosophical positions. Star-Advertiser.

Fewer visitors intend to return to Hawaii within 5 years, survey finds.
While overall satisfaction among Hawaii visitors has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in key areas, fewer visitors from the state’s top U.S. market say they’re likely to return in the next five years, according to the results of a state- commissioned survey. Star-Advertiser.

Snorkel Safety Study Sheds Light On Unexplained Drownings In Hawaii. The three-year project finds many snorkeling-related deaths aren’t from inhaling water, and that long flights beforehand may play a role. Civil Beat.

Education-related bills signed into law by Gov. David Ige. An unprecedented appropriation of $200 million to create more public preschool facilities across Hawaii, a bill devoting $10 million to installing more air conditioning in public school classrooms, and other measures to help solve Hawaii’s doctor shortage were among a raft of education-related bills signed into law Thursday by Gov. David Ige. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now.

Ige signs bills aimed at retaining more health care professionals. To combat shortages, Gov. David Ige signed two measures  into law on Thursday, appropriating a combined $6.75 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year to the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

University of Hawaii president receives positive annual evaluation. University of Hawaii President David Lassner received a mostly positive annual performance evaluation from the UH Board of Regents on Thursday, giving him the green light to continue leading the 10-campus system through challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, changes on Mauna Kea, development of a new university strategic plan and more. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Community Schools Seek To Support And Engage With Local Families. The schools are joining a national movement to create more community partnerships to help students thrive inside and outside of the classroom. Civil Beat.

Farmers Want Action From Hawaii Governor Candidates, Not Lip Service. Farmers and ranchers feel investing in agriculture has become more of a buzzword than an actual concern for the executive branch. Civil Beat.

Omicron subvariants continue to rise in Hawaii. Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 together now make up roughly 20% of variants circulating in Hawaii, according to the state Health Department’s latest variant report. The CDC, meanwhile, on Thursday kept Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties classified as orange, high-level communities for COVID-19 impacts even though the state’s average case counts and positivity rates have been on a downward trend. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu airport to get $10 million for upgrades. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu will receive $10 million in federal funding for upgrades to its runways, lighting and draining. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Navy investigating leaked footage of Red Hill fuel spill. The Navy is investigating the publication of video and photos this week showing fuel gushing from a Red Hill pipe on Nov. 20, according to a Navy official who said the person who released the footage to the media could face disciplinary action. Star-Advertiser.

Higher interest rates shackling Oahu’s housing market. Higher mortgage interest rates created ripple effects across Oahu’s housing market in June as sales volume decreased, asking prices were reduced and active listings stayed on the market longer. Star-Advertiser.

Bishop Museum revisits history of gender-fluid healers. More than 500 years ago, Hawaiians placed four boulders on a Waikiki beach to honor visitors from the court of Tahiti’s king who had healed the sick. They were “mahu,” which in Hawaiian language and culture refers to someone with dual male and female spirit and a mixture of gender traits. Associated Press.

Outrage grows as basketball coach accused of sex abuse still working with minors. A coach’s history of alleged sexual misconduct prompted a warning from several schools to parents — while stirring new frustration among accusers. Hawaii News Now.

Police capture live gopher snake at Kapolei Home Depot.
Honolulu police officers responding to a 911 call captured a live snake at the Kapolei Home Depot last night, according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council Nixes Bill That Sought to Create New Building Department. Council members on Wednesday, July 6, during their regular meeting killed Bill 174. The measure sought to amend the county charter to create a new department that would manage the duties and functions currently performed by the Building Division within the county Department of Public Works. Big Island Now.

Plans for new transit hub and bus route coming to Big Island. The state Department of Transportation and Hawaiʻi County’s bus system Hele-On have received federal funding to plan a new transit hub in downtown Pāhoa. Hawaii Public Radio.


Judicial Selection Commission reveals nominee list for judge vacancy on Maui. The judicial office has been vacant since December 2021, when former District Judge Kirstin M. Hamman was elevated to Circuit Judge of the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit. Maui Now.

Molokai woman is tapped to be county agricultural director. Rogerene ‘Kali’ Arce still requires council confirmation; Weston Yap named deputy. Maui News.

Maui hunters protest new contraceptive meant to control feral pig populations. For the second time this week, Maui hunters are protesting a new product aimed at controlling feral pig populations. The contraceptive HogStop is now being distributed on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Joint pavement preservation pilot project begins on Kula Highway. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, in coordination with the County of Maui, will pilot the use of micro surfacing as a pavement preservation technique in the area.  Maui Now.

Maui median sales prices hit another all-time high at $1.25 million for single-family homes. Despite a slowdown in sales, Maui County median sales prices last month hit another all-time high for single-family homes at more than $1.25 million. Meanwhile, condo median sales prices in June set a new record at $832,500, according to the Realtors Association of Maui report released Wednesday afternoon. Maui Now.


Grove Farm sues County of Kauaʻi over gifted land deeded for treatment facility. For nearly 20 years, the County of Kauaʻi has been working to open a drug treatment center for children and young adults on the island. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.