Showing posts with label Department of Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Department of Education. Show all posts

Friday, May 10, 2024

Legislature appropriates $750M for public schools, personal income and GDP expected to drop, defense takes stand in Kaneshiro corruption trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lawmakers Spent Big On Public Schools This Year. State lawmakers gave the Hawaii Department of Education an infusion of almost $750 million during the recent legislative session to support school facilities, professional development for teachers, student mental health and other initiatives. Civil Beat.

Personal income in Hawaii might contract this year.  The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization expects Hawaii’s real personal income will slow below 1% this year and that real gross domestic product will drop from 3.6% growth in 2023 to 1.5%.  Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Hawaii bill exempts certain medical services from general excise tax. A Senate bill exempting private health care providers from general excise taxes for services to patients with Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE has made it to the governor’s desk. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature passes bill to combat invasive species. The Hawaii State Legislature voted unanimously to pass a bill that appropriates nearly $20 million toward the battle against invasive species, sending it to the governor’s desk for consideration. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Disbarred attorney who served time in federal prison lands seat on prestigious state board. A disbarred attorney who spent time in federal prison has been confirmed to a prestigious state board. Stacy Moniz is representing the union point of view on the state Labor Board. Hawaii News Now.

Grand Jury Tapes Show Mitsunaga Employees Struggled To Explain Donations To Kaneshiro. Employees of a prominent Honolulu engineering firm had a hard time explaining their generosity toward former county prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro when they were questioned by the feds in 2021.  Civil Beat.

Kaneshiro bribery trial continues as McDonald takes the stand. One of the defendants in the bribery trial involving former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro took the stand Thursday in his defense. KHON2.

The Price Of Police Misconduct Claims In Honolulu Is Going Up.
Experts say large payouts, like the $12.5 million settlement approved in March, do not usually lead to systemic change. Civil Beat.

State closes unofficial ‘back way’ to the Haiku Stairs. Second lawsuit filed to stop removal of Haiku Stairs. For the second time in less than a year, the Friends of Haiku Stairs has filed a lawsuit to stop the city from demolishing the more than 3,900 steps that lead to the top of the Koolau Range in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Highgate picks up Kaimana Beach Hotel management agreement. Highgate confirmed Wednesday that Highgate Hawaii has signed a hotel management agreement with the property’s owners Tsukada Global Holdings, led by Masayuki Tsukada; and an affiliate of BlackSand Capital, led by Chairman and CEO B.J. Kobayashi. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

1,200-foot ti leaf lei draped across Pololū Valley to symbolize protection from overdevelopment. A 1,200-foot-long ti leaf lei made by the Kohala community on Hawaiʻi Island was draped across Pololū Valley over the weekend. It's a symbol of protection from increased development — and of community solidarity. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.


Maui Rejects Proposal Allowing Chicago Company To Drill For Water In Kula. Free Market Ventures had offered to drill one or more deep water wells and sell the water to the county for 30 years for use by Upcountry residents. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric completes work on West Maui transmission line, including installation of 70 new steel poles. A critical transmission line that serves as a back-up route of power to approximately 11,000 customers in West Maui is now online after Hawaiian Electric rebuilt the line along former routes in the Lahaina area with new steel and wood poles and electrical equipment.  Maui Now.

Department of Health: Lead screening finds no evidence of widespread lead exposure from Maui fires
. While wildfire ash contains significant concentrations of lead, the screening results do not indicate evidence of widespread human exposure to toxins in the ash, according to a department news release. Maui Now.


Portion of Wawae Road in Kalāheo closed until further notice. Following recent rains and the flooding event in April, the portion beneath Wawae Road continues to erode, compromising the roadway’s stability. Kauai Now.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Mizuno named homeless czar, last Red Hill fuel tanker heading to Subic Bay, Senate panel grills DOE for not spending $465M, state borrows $750M in bonds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green Appoints Rep. John Mizuno As Hawaii Homeless Czar. Just days after it was announced that James Koshiba, the governor’s homelessness coordinator, would be stepping down after only a year on the job, Gov. Josh Green named Rep. John Mizuno, a Democrat who has represented Kalihi in the Hawaii House of Representatives. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video NewsKITV4.

Senators Grill DOE Officials For Failure To Spend Project Money Before Deadline. Three weeks after the Hawaii Department of Education proposed to relinquish over $465 million in school facility funds, DOE officials faced tough questions from state senators at a briefing Wednesday.  Civil Beat.

State of Hawaiʻi Issues $750M in general obligation bonds. The bonds will provide critical funding for various public buildings and facilities, elementary and secondary schools, community college and university facilities, public libraries, parks and highways, among other public improvement projects, the administration said in a press release. Kauai Now.

Last tanker of Red Hill fuel departs. The last tanker participating in the defueling of the Navy’s underground Red Hill facility sailed out of Pearl Harbor on Wednesday morning.  The fuel aboard the tanker will be delivered to Subic Bay and is expected to support operations in the South China Sea.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

PUC asked to reconsider solar decision. T
wo solar industry groups have filed a motion requesting the state Public Utilities Commission reconsider a recent decision they say could make rooftop solar systems less attractive to homeowners and small businesses. Tribune-Herald.


16 tons of illegal fireworks seized at Honolulu Harbor. The Illegal Fireworks Task Force, operated under the state Department of Law Enforcement, seized a shipment of about 16 tons of illegal aerial fireworks in Honolulu late last week, the department announced in a news release Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Should Oahu Have Armed Police Officers Inside Its Schools? Honolulu is the only county in Hawaii that doesn't use school resource officers. Some leaders feel that should change. Civil Beat.

Landslide could keep Pali closed through the weekend. A landslide caused by heavy rain led to the closure of Pali Highway’s town-bound lanes Wednesday afternoon and could remain closed through the weekend, according to state officials. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

HPD investigating bizarre break-in at Oahu judge's home. Sources tell Island News this happened on Wednesday just before noon at Judge Robert Mark Browning's home in Kailua. Sources say a woman removed a window screen from an open window, reached inside the home, and dropped a civil complaint summons. KITV4.

US Army and DOT make progress toward 50-year lease for Dillingham Airfield.  The U.S. Army and State Department of Transportation announced they’re making progress on a proposed 50-year lease Wednesday. Officials say the lease would allow the North Shore airfield to remain open for commercial activities, like glider flying, sky diving, and sightseeing. Hawaii News Now.

All-way stop activated at ‘dangerous’ intersection in Makiki. A new all-way stop at the intersection of Prospect and Alapai streets and Iolani Avenue aims to reduce speeding and the number of traffic accidents in the area. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

$10 million funding approved for homeless service providers. Allocation of nearly $10 million to 16 homeless service providers covering 22 projects was approved Wednesday by the County Council.  West Hawaii Today.

Keiki urge vape bill’s passage: County Council votes 8-0 to approve the measure in first reading. A proposed Big Island ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products was widely popular Wednesday with residents and the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.


UH scientists fill Maui water quality information void with free testing.
Over four months after the Maui fires contaminated water sources, the Maui Department of Water Supply gave the all-clear Friday for another cluster of Lahaina homes to consume their tap water. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hotel workers, community rally for housing solutions on Maui
. Hotel workers from ILWU Local 142 and Unite Here Local 5 are calling for short-term housing solutions to provide immediate relief to Maui residents displaced by the Lahaina fire, and for the longer-term housing solutions that the county has long needed. Star-Advertiser.

As holidays approach, Lahaina fire survivors struggle to find housing and healing. More than four months have passed since devastating fires destroyed Lahaina town. Survivors are still left searching for housing, healing and the holiday spirit. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kiwikiu found in Nakula on Maui provides hope in ongoing effort to save species.
Nearly two years after conservationists believed all seven kiwikiu birds translocated to the Nakula Natural Area Reserve on Maui had died, a single honeycreeper from the group was located and confirmed to be alive.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i County Council approves phone hacking device for police. During a Kaua‘i County Council meeting on Dec. 20, council members unanimously approved the acceptance of an $11,743.60 donation from Operation Underground Railroad, for a GrayKey, a phone unlocking box made by technology forensics company Grayshift. Garden Island.

County of Kaua‘i honored for work on sea level rise.
Senate President Ron Kouchi, who is home for the holidays, delivered the Senate honor on Tuesday to Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull and the Planning Department. Garden Island.

Friday, December 8, 2023

School facilities official out amid construction backlog controversy, superintendent pay raise deferred, Land Board to mull new ocean stewardship fee today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Official Overseeing Hawaii School Facilities Is Out Amid Funding Controversy. Assistant Superintendent Randall Tanaka’s departure follows the department’s controversial plan to lapse $465 million in capital improvement projects that would have supported improvements ranging from new classrooms to play structures on school campuses. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Decision deferred on $10K pay raise for schools superintendent. A proposal to raise the salary of state schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi by $10,000, to $250,000, was held back in a state Board of Education committee Thursday, but a separate proposal to expand the criteria used to evaluate him was amended and approved. Star-Advertiser.

Regents to revise plan in UH president search. Following nearly six hours of board debate and public testimony at a University of Hawaii Board of Regents meeting Thursday, the regents voted to make significant changes to a proposed plan for finding the next UH president, to make it more transparent and include more stakeholders’ input. Star-Advertiser.

New Rules For Ocean Users, Taking Certain Fish Go To Hawaiʻi Board. A new rule on ocean stewardship user fees, and amendments for the sustainable harvest of important reef fish, go to the BLNR on Friday. Big Island Video News.

 Study documents harm to coral reefs from overfishing. Aquatic biologists have long known the importance of algae-eating fish to the overall health of coral reefs. But new research documents just how important species like surgeonfish and parrotfish are to Hawaii’s coral reefs. Star-Advertiser.

Pearl Harbor survivors reflect on anniversary of day of infamy. At the age of 102, Harry Chandler returned to Pearl Harbor for the first time since he survived the infamous surprise attack on the base on Dec. 7, 1941. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Hōkūleʻa is back in Hawaiʻi to train the next generation of navigators.
Over the last six months, Hōkūleʻa traveled more than 2,800 miles and visited 45 communities from Juneau, Alaska, to Long Beach, California, as part of the Moananuiākea Voyage. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu City Council passes bill to address the City’s 2,000+ position vacancies. The Honolulu City Council passed a bill Wednesday addressing hiring deficiencies in the City and County of Honolulu, which has more than 2,000 position vacancies. Maui Now.

Hawaii Lobbyist Pleads Guilty To Illegal Drug Possession At Vet Clinic. The politically connected former president of an Oahu veterinary clinic has admitted she improperly obtained drugs for animals using the credentials of an unknowing veterinarian who no longer worked there.  Civil Beat.

Kualoa Ranch considers having Haiku Stairs on its property. The Friends of Haiku Stairs, the group attempting to block the city’s demolition of the once legally accessible steel steps built along a sheer ridgeline above Kaneohe, isn’t the only entity interested in the Windward Oahu landmark. Star-Advertiser.

HPD corporal placed on restricted duty, had police powers removed after crash that seriously injured motorcyclist. Body camera footage HPD didn’t want the public to see captured the actions of an off-duty HPD corporal shortly after a crash records show he caused. Vasai Isala Jr. recently slammed his subsidized vehicle into the back of a motorcyclist, seriously injuring the rider. Hawaii News Now.

Despite previous settlement, city tries to deny liability in near-fatal crash involving 4 officers. Four Honolulu police officers charged criminally for a crash that critically or seriously injured six people were acting outside the scope of their duties. That’s according to the city, which does not want to be held liable for the alleged actions. Hawaii News Now.

2 HPD Officers Disciplined For Working An Unauthorized Side Job On The Clock. Sgt. Jefferey Pohaku and Cpl. Mark Montez provided security in uniform for a company in 2018 and 2019 without prior permission from the police department. Civil Beat.

1 Million Sea Urchins Have Now Been Deployed To Eat Kaneohe’s Invasive Seaweeds. Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources, which houses the Anuenue Fisheries Research Center where the urchin are grown, notes a measured decrease in invasive seaweeds on every reef that has been stocked with lab-reared urchins. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

New law streamlines building permit process. The law, which began life as Bill 84, amends and streamlines parts of the County Code regarding the issuance of building permits and permit extensions, standardizing the time it takes to receive them. Tribune-Herald.

Kona low system provided some drought relief, but dry conditions expected to persist. The Kona low system that swept over the state at the end of November gave Big Islanders, especially those using water catchment systems, a welcome respite from the drought. Tribune-Herald.

Renewable energy project in the works. A community meeting was held Wednesday to provide updates about the Kalaoa Solar Project, a proposed 40-acre renewable energy facility on state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property in Kalaoa. West Hawaii Today.


November’s Kona low brought flash flooding, some relief to drought conditions on Maui. On Maui, the National Weather Service’s latest precipitation summaries found that the US Geological Survey’s rain gage at West Wailuaiki Stream had the highest monthly total of 23.89 inches (120% of average), and the highest daily total of 9.83 inches on Nov. 30.  Maui Now.

Department of Health: Maui air monitoring in November shows good quality in wildfire-impacted areas. Air monitoring and sampling conducted in wildfire-impacted areas of Maui between Nov. 8 and 15, 2023, shows good air quality, according to the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. Maui Now.


Proposal to rebuild Coco Palms Resort on Kauai remains an issue for residents. State Board of Land and Natural Resources will review a permit application to develop a resort in Wailua where it once stood. KITV4.

Passenger count plunges at Lihu‘e Airport in November.
The number of people getting off domestic passenger flights at Lihu‘e Airport dropped below 60,000 in November, marking the second lowest total for any month this year. Garden Island.

GoFarm Hawai‘i returning; free participation to applicants referred by employers. GoFarm Hawai‘i will offer free participation to applicants recommended by employers in agriculture, food systems, or farm-to-table. Kauai Now.

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.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Raises, positions added at top of school bureaucracy, North Korea satellite reported spying on Hawaii, Ala Wai flood plan hits $1B, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Top Leadership Of Hawaii School System Continues To Grow — And So Does Their Pay. Student enrollment numbers continue to fall even as the number of superintendents gets larger. Civil Beat.

North Korea has a satellite spying on Hawaii and Guam.
A security expert explains why we should care. Last week, North Korea released photos of leader Kim Jung Un looking at photos of Pearl Harbor, Hickam Air Force Base and military bases on Guam it claims were taken by the satellite. Hawaii News Now.

New CEO at OHA Explains Why She Took the Job and Her Goals for Serving the Native Hawaiian Lāhui. Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira joined the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Nov. 1 after serving as budget chief for the state Senate and in several roles at Kamehameha Schools. Hawaii Business Magazine.

State Legislature working group tackles wildfire prevention in Hawaiʻi. The working group will digest all the testimony and issue a final report on Dec. 15, in time to draft legislation for the upcoming 2024 legislative session that starts Jan. 17.  Big Island Now.

Former State Sen. Whitney Anderson Dead At 91.
He served in the Hawaii Legislature for 20 years. Whitney Anderson, who was the Hawaii Senate Minority Leader from 1997 until 2000, died Saturday in Waimanalo. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Training And Staffing Issues Surround Death Of A Nurse At Hawaii State Hospital. The killing of Justin Bautista, a licensed practical nurse at the Hawaii State Hospital, has raised questions as to what exactly was expected of him in a typically lower-skilled role he had held for four years. Civil Beat.

Commentary: A Baby's 'Bizarre' Death Exposes Hawaii’s Penchant For Secrecy In Child Welfare Cases. It took extensive digging and luck to find the kind of information about the unpublicized case that's readily available on other states' websites and is crucial to improving the child welfare system. Civil Beat.


Water Board to vote on rate hike of over 50%. If adopted by the agency’s board of directors, a new 5-1/2-year water rate schedule will see higher rates phased in, with the first 10% increase kicking in Feb. 1 and the next 10% hike to occur July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Latest plan for Ala Wai flood control reaches $1B.  The Army Corps of Engineers and the city have unveiled the latest proposal to protect Waikiki and neighboring communities against a potential flooding disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Navy working to speed up upgrades at Pearl Harbor sewage plant. The Navy is ramping up efforts to complete upgrades to its troubled wastewater plant at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-­Hickam as the facility ages. Star-Advertiser.

Flight data recorder recovered from Navy plane in Kaneohe Bay. The flight data recorder of a large U.S. Navy plane that overshot a runway and ended up in the water near Honolulu this week has been recovered as the military continues to plan for the aircraft’s removal. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Navy plane still resting in shoal of Kaneohe Bay.  The Navy war plane that slid off a runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii a week ago while trying to land in rainy weather continues to rest in shallow water about 100 feet off the runway, with at least two points of the 42-foot-high P-8A sitting on coral reef. Star-Advertiser.

The Miske Files: When Two Cops Refused To Let A Blown-Off Traffic Stop Slide. Documents in the federal case against Mike Miske alleging murder and organized crime activities tell the story of how two Honolulu police officers got caught up in what would turn out to be a much bigger case. Civil Beat.

HPD looks to recruit more women to bolster staffing. There are 240 women serving the city as police officers, about 13% of the department’s more than 1,800 officers, up from 212, or about 12%, in 2015.  Star-Advertiser.

Close encounter between police ATV and kids on beach raises questions about training, resources. There are growing concerns about training for HPD officers after a close encounter on a North Shore beach involving children and officers patrolling on ATVs. Amid a shortage of officers, the recent incident on Oahu’s North Shore is also prompting questions about how resources are being used. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County measure would allocate $17M to affordable housing projects. Under a bill currently pending discussion by the County Council, $17.3 million will be distributed via the county’s newly formed Affordable Housing Production Program between a series of projects in East and West Hawaii to create 1,176 new affordable housing units. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Aquarium fishing ban sought: Groups urge DLNR to draft new rules.  Big Island environmental groups hope to end the commercial aquarium fishing industry in Hawaii once and for all next month. Tribune-Herald.

National Park Units Seek Public Input On Draft Accessibility Plans. Draft Accessibility Plans are in the works for Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historical Site. Big Island Video News.


Council committee to discuss new procurement process for emergency-medical services
. Council member Shane M. Sinenci announced that the Water Authority, Social Services and Parks Committee will receive a presentation from the state Department of Health Monday at 9 a.m. on the new procurement process for emergency-medical services in Maui County. Maui Now.

Deadline approaching for Maui wildfire victims. The deadline for people and businesses affected by the deadly Aug. 8 Maui wildfires to apply for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration is Dec. 11. Star-Advertiser.

Deadline for Maui County Agriculture Micro Grant nears, Nov. 30.
Maui Economic Opportunity reminds small farmers and ranchers that the application deadline for the Maui County Agricultural Micro Grant Program 4.0, which offers up to $25,000 in grants, is about a week away.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i-born Hawaiian monk seal returned to Garden Isle waters after 5 months in Kona mammal hospital. A 7-year-old female Hawaiian monk seal was returned to its home in Kaua‘i waters after five months of treatment at the Kona mammal hospital for kidney stones, possible pneumonia and a fractured canine tooth that had become infected. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

School lunch program caught in bureaucratic snafu, Navy leaders testify about Red Hill to federal grand jury, Puna Geothermal Venture seeks expansion, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

DOE Tells Schools To Reject Federal Funding For Local Food That It Helped Apply For. The Department of Education is telling schools not to apply for a slice of $500,000 in federal funding that would help them buy local food – an initiative the DOE helped apply for. Civil Beat.

Is The Deck Stacked Against Hawaii Condo Owners? Critics say oversight by state Real Estate Commission means owners get short-changed in favor of associations, management firms and lawyers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii ranks second-worst in the nation for distracted drivers. That’s according to a new analysis based on federal data. Hawaii News Now.

Informal Caregivers Are Propping Up Hawaii’s Child Care Industry With Little Support. Providing enrichment opportunities and training to grandparents and friends providing in-home child care can have a big impact on school readiness. Civil Beat.

Two Hawaii Lawmakers View The Debt Ceiling Differently. Sen. Brian Schatz wants debt ceiling raised without concessions. Rep. Ed Case says now is the time to take action on the fiscal health of the nation. Civil Beat.

Lawmaker won’t apologize after saying Hawaiian leader ‘would have been hung’ for criticizing him. Some residents are calling for an apology from state Sen. Brenton Awa, who said during a recent public meeting that a respected Hawaiian leader “would have been hung” for criticizing him. Hawaii News Now.


NOAA fines dolphin boat company for getting too close to dolphins off Makua Beach. An Oahu tour boat company is being fined $1,000 for getting too close to dolphins while the boat was idling. Federal law requires people to stay 50 yards away from Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu housing market stays sluggish as high interest rates subdued sales. High interest rates continue to subdue Oahu’s housing market where prices pushed down this year could remain flat in 2024, according to a University of Hawaii analysis. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Honolulu considers Chinatown tower for affordable housing. The Honolulu City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting Wednesday over the potential financing, acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing 32-story high-rise tower in Chinatown that the city seeks to keep as affordable. Star-Advertiser.

Navy leaders testify before federal grand jury investigating catastrophic Red Hill fuel spill. Navy leaders connected to the Navy tainted water scandal have testified before the federal grand jury investigating possible criminal wrongdoing. Hawaii News Now.

Joint Task Force-Red Hill says defueling still on track for June 2024. Vice Adm. John Wade, who leads the Joint Task Force-Red Hill, took command in last September with the mission to "safely and expeditiously" defuel the facility, but since the Aqueous Film Forming Foam spill, he's had to put more safety measures in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

Massive airport runway project halting state roadway repairs.
Roadblocks are up on a number of state roadway repairs according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. It’s due to what the HDOT is calling a massive project at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. KHON2.

City officials working to mitigate homeless encampment near Kalihi Transit Center. For years, people have been living at a homeless encampment half-hidden below a bridge on Kamehameha Highway near the Kalihi Transit Center -- and some noticed the streamside village is growing. KITV4.

A local teacher caught her students using AI for essays. Now, it's become a learning tool. Teachers can pay hundreds of dollars for lesson plans created by other teachers. ChatGPT is free. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Big Isle fire dispatchers move due to low staffing. A staffing shortage of fire and Emergency Medical Serv­ices dispatchers at the Hawaii County Fire Department has prompted its dispatch center to relocate to the Hawaii Police Department’s dispatch center in Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Draft EIS Published For Puna Geothermal Venture Repower Project. The project would increase power production from 38 to 46 megawatts in Phase 1 and further increase production to 60 megawatts in Phase 2. The overall property size would remain the same. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Volunteer organization seeks adoptions for Waikoloa cats. Abaykitties has been working to get some of the cats from Queens’ Marketplace adopted after the nonprofit was told to stop its trap-neuter-release efforts at the shopping center. Tribune-Herald.

DLNR seeks public input on Hawaiʻi's only designated koa canoe forest. The Kapāpala Koa Canoe Management Area on Hawaiʻi Island consists of 1,257 acres of land and is located on the southeastern slopes of Maunaloa. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Looking For A Job? Maui County Has More Than 700 Openings. Maui County is hiring for more than 700 vacant jobs and is seeking volunteers for 30 spots on boards and commissions that steer the government’s path forward in solving the community’s most challenging problems.  Civil Beat.

Scores march on Molokai Ranch over access to culturally important lands. A contentious debate over land access on Molokai Ranch is resurfacing nearly five decades after it was first put in the spotlight. Hawaii News Now.

Luxury yacht owner denied insurance coverage to remove grounded boat from Maui’s Honolua Bay. The state’s efforts to recover $460,000 in expenses for the removal of a grounded luxury yacht at Maui’s Honolua Bay have hit a snag as the owner’s insurance company has denied coverage. Hawaii News Now.

Two Maui businesses accelerate their growth as part of entrepreneurial cohort. Two Maui businesses are among the latest XLR8HI cohort in Hawaiʻi, whose mission is to improve the Hawaiʻi ecosystem and better the community. Maui Now.


Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative leads state in renewable generation at 60.2% in 2022. Approximately one-third of the solar production came from members’ rooftop systems. Other renewables contributing in 2022 were hydro (10.7%) and biomass (9.8%). Kauai Now.

County of Kaua‘i jobless rate falls to 3.0 percent in March. The accommodation sector increased total employees to 4,300 in March from 3,600 in March 2022, according to monthly data released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism. That marked a gain of 19.4 percent in the period. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Hirono to seek 3rd Senate term, Honolulu fined for lack of PPE at gun range, rats and mold at Big Island school, luxury yacht runs aground on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2023 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono will officially announce today she’s running for reelection in 2024, according to a campaign spokesperson. Hirono, 75, will be seeking her third consecutive six-year term in the Senate. Civil Beat.

Should Hawaii’s Legislature Meet Year-Round?
Supporters believe the idea could increase transparency, but restrictions on employment have met with pushback. Civil Beat.

Bills address Native Hawaiians, harassment of fishermen, community-based subsistence areas. A school of bills that would update fishing policies in Hawaii are rocking the boat for many fishermen. Tribune-Herald.

Various measures propose ways to address Hawaii’s educator shortage. At the start of the school year, the state Department of Education was short 736 teachers. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii timeshare occupancy back to pre-pandemic levels. The average timeshare occupancy rate reached 92.7% during the third quarter of 2022, when statewide timeshare occupancy for the first time exceeded pre-pandemic levels, according to technology firm STR data reported by the state Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Fentanyl Test Strips May Soon Become Legal In Hawaii. Hawaii would join others states in making fentanyl test strips legal and widely available if either of two measures moving quickly through the Legislature goes on to become law. Civil Beat.


City fined after investigation revealed it didn’t provide gun range staff with proper PPE. The city of Honolulu has been fined thousands of dollars after a worker safety investigation revealed staff at Oahu’s only public gun range weren’t supplied with or required to wear proper personal protective equipment while cleaning the facility. Hawaii News Now.

In wake of fatal crashes, Hawaii lawmakers want crackdown on unlicensed drivers. Years ago, to reduce the backlog at traffic court, the state decriminalized most traffic offenses, but driving without a license remains a crime that usually forces unlicensed drivers to come to court. Hawaii News Now.

New TSA checkpoint will streamline interisland passengers at Honolulu airport. The makai checkpoint in Terminal 1 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport will add four screening lanes — bringing the total to 10 lanes. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Habitat for Humanity prepares to close ReStore. Honolulu Habitat for Humanity is preparing to bid aloha to its ReStore shop in Palama. The warehouse store that sells donated goods is set to close March 18 so the nonprofit can focus entirely on building affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island school in ‘crisis’ with mold, rats, says teachers union. Years of worsening problems with mold, rats, termites, structural damage and other health and safety issues have reached a “crisis” level at Holualoa Elementary School on Hawaii island, educators and parents say, and the state teachers union is calling for more transparency and immediate increased help from the state. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

US military confirms reports of balloon that supposedly flew over Hawai‘i. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command not saying much. No one knows for sure right now, but sightings have been reported and there’s been enough chatter that it spurred the National Weather Service to forecast a possible track for the unidentified object. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

Weather pattern dumps record rainfall on Hilo; wet conditions to linger. Through Sunday, Hilo had recorded 28.32 inches so far this month, almost three times the average rainfall of 10.22 inches the airport normally receives for all of February. Tribune-Herald.


Luxury yacht runs aground in Honolua Bay on Maui. A 94-foot Sunseeker luxury yacht ran aground in Honolua Bay on Maui Monday morning after its mooring line snapped, sparking outrage on social media over the boat’s potential damage to the marine environment. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

In Maui County, 36% of energy was generated by renewables last year.  Aided by new grid-scale and rooftop solar capacity, Hawaiian Electric achieved a 32 percent consolidated renewable portfolio standard — 36 percent in Maui County — in 2022 using a new calculation signed into law last year.  Maui News.


Kaua‘i County Council to fill vacant seat. With newly appointed state Rep. Luke Evslin heading to O‘ahu, the remaining six members of the Kaua‘i County Council now must select a replacement to fill his vacant seat. Garden Island.

Lawmakers against axing paper ballot audits. Kaua‘i County Council members recently approved a resolution opposing two bills that propose to eliminate paper ballot audit requirements in Hawai‘i elections. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i towns first to be fully fiber enabled.  Hawaiian Telcom announced on Thursday that Kealia with ZIP code 96751, and Lawa‘i with ZIP code 96765 on Kaua‘i are the first two ZIP codes in the state that Hawaiian Telcom has completely enabled with fiber. Garden Island.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Hayashi tapped for schools superintendent, Espinda found dead from self-inflicted gunshot, Honolulu police chief candidates vie for top spot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Interim Keith Hayashi chosen as Hawaii public schools superintendent. After an extraordinarily long and sometimes contentious state Board of Education meeting Thursday, former Waipahu High School Principal Keith Hayashi, who has been serving as state interim superintendent of Hawaii public schools since August, was selected from among three finalists to continue as the permanent state superintendent. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Nolan Espinda, former head of Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety, dies. Nolan Espinda, who retired as DPS director in 2020 amid criticism over the department’s handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in Hawaii prisons, was found dead at Kailua Beach of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii commits to clean transportation future. With the passing of Senate Bill 3311, the state would give itself a goal to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions across all modes of transportation. It also would establish working groups consisting of both public and private stakeholders that would promote clean interisland transportation and electric vehicle adoption. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii electric-vehicle sales charged ahead in first quarter.
Hawaii made significant progress in the first quarter to distance itself from fossil fuels as the state reached double digits in electric vehicle registrations. Star-Advertiser.

$80 Million For Hawaiʻi Water Issues Passed By House Committee. The State of Hawaiʻi is “positioned to receive” $80 million for water and wastewater issues through federal legislation moving through the U.S. House. Big Island Video News.

Honolulu and Maui counties’ COVID-19 risk rank rises.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday bumped Honolulu and Maui counties from the yellow, medium-risk community level to the red, high-risk community level for COVID-19. Honolulu and Maui counties join Kauai County, which last week was classified as a high-risk community due to high case rates and limited hospital capacity. Hawaii County remains yellow. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Department says keiki ages 5-11 now eligible for COVID-19 boosters. The Hawaii Department of Health today said it is adopting guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending boosters for keiki ages 5 through 11. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Candidates for Honolulu Police chief participate in public forum. Repairing the Honolulu Police Department’s reputation, providing more information to the media, increasing patrol staffing, addressing officer wellness and stopping the surge of violent crime were among the issues addressed by the candidates during the 90-minute live forum televised Thursday night on PBS Hawaii’s “Insight” program. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

HPD statistics reveal low closure rates especially for property crimes. A vast majority of criminal cases investigated by the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) do not result in an arrest. KITV4.

Number Of Homeless People Counted In Oahu Survey Drops 11%. Oahu saw a decrease overall in this year’s Point-in-Time Count of homeless people, with the number of people in shelters dropping 24% and the number of those unsheltered increasing by 0.4% compared with the count in 2020. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

HART Pays Nearly $1 Million To Compensate 24 Parties Short-Changed By Rail Relocation. The Honolulu agency overseeing rail construction has determined that its prior history of shoddy relocation payments ultimately short-changed 24 businesses and tenants displaced by the future rail line to the tune of $883,000. Civil Beat.

Waikiki Aquarium to require face masks in alignment with University of Hawaii policy. The Waikiki Aquarium said wearing face masks is once again required at its facility, effective immediately, in alignment with University of Hawaii policy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council takes first stab at budget. Hawaii County Council members seem to prefer a cautious approach to county spending, despite a budget windfall that has Mayor Mitch Roth proposing a $779.7 million spending plan, a 27.8% increase over the current year. West Hawaii Today.

UH regents OK amendments to Maunakea plan. The University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents on Thursday approved a supplement to UH’s management plan for Maunakea, despite potentially losing jurisdiction over the mountain before the end of the decade. Tribune-Herald.

Solutions sought to help protect Pololu Valley. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is working with Hawi community members to protect Pololu Valley from overuse. Tribune-Herald.


County mayoral candidates tackle South Maui issues. Five candidates have filed to run so far in crowded mayor’s race Climate change, cesspools and ocean pollution, and homelessness in South Maui are among the issues that Maui County mayoral candidates plan to tackle if elected. Maui News.

Kaiser mental health clinicians during Maui strike: ‘They pushed us to this’. Organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers that represents Hawai’i Kaiser’s 58 mental health providers, the demonstration is being called the Aloha State’s largest mental health strike. Maui Now.

Red placard issued to restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch issued a red placard and shut down China Bowl Asian Cuisine Restaurant, located at 2580 Kekaa Dr, #116, Lahaina on Maui. Maui Now.


Council introduces bill expanding size of guest houses on Kaua‘i. A bill introduced at County Council on Wednesday would increase the maximum size of guest houses, a move intended to make a dent in the ongoing housing crisis on island. Garden Island.

No-cost health services return to Kauaʻi in June. The “Tropic Care” program is run by the state Department of Health’s Kauaʻi District Health Office, the County of Kauaʻi and the U.S. military. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Ige off to Japan to tout tourism, Caldwell drops out of gubernatorial race, Hawaii County Council nixes fuel tax cut, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ige Seeks To Persuade Japan That Hawaii Is Safe For Travel. The governor will travel to Japan next week to promote a return of visitors from Hawaii’s third-largest tourist market. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers Fail To Expand Access To Assisted Suicide In Hawaii. The House and the Senate could not agree on allowing APRNs and physician assistants to prescribe the lethal drug. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Despite strong opposition from some, water cremation poised to become legal in Hawaii.
Hawaii could soon be the 22nd state to allow water cremation. Hawaii News Now.

Slow spending of federal COVID-19 aid for education frustrates Hawaii teachers, parents. The state Department of Education is getting the lion’s share of Hawaii’s Education Stabilization Fund allotment, but according to federal data, it has so far spent only 27.1% of its $639.5 million total in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, also known as ESSER. Star-Advertiser.

Kirk Caldwell Drops Out Of Race For Hawaii Governor. The former Honolulu mayor said his fledging campaign struggled with funding and momentum. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

House Rep. Patrick Branco Announces Run For Congress. The former U.S. diplomat says he wants to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District for the long term unlike others who have held the seat. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii students feel safer from harassment, survey says. The results of a University of Hawaii survey indicate students across the 10-campus system feel safer overall from sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 cases forecast to rise into mid-May without huge impact on hospitals. The Department of Health eported the state’s seven-day average of new cases at 485 on Wednesday, representing the sixth consecutive weekly increase. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 10 new coronavirus-related deaths, 4,249 new infections. By island, there were 2,855 new infections reported on Oahu, 565 on Hawaii Island, 468 on Maui, 233 on Kauai, 25 on Lanai, and nine on Molokai. Another 94 infections were reported out of state. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


City council gives HPD the green light to transfer $3.4 million to help pay for overtime costs. The resolution, RES22-086, authorizes HPD to use $3.4 million meant for its administrative services salaries to cover salary shortages in the police chief's office, patrol, special field operations, and investigations. KITV4.

Taxpayers to fund defense for retired detective linked to wrongful conviction case. Honolulu taxpayers will foot the bill for a retired HPD detective who helped prosecute a man for a sexual assault that he didn’t commit. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police arrest 658 for impaired driving so far this year. More than 650 people have been arrested for impaired driving on Oahu and Honolulu police are setting up sobriety checkpoints at random locations around the island through June 30. Star-Advertiser.

Security guard fighting for his life after attack. A security guard is fighting for his life after being attacked while on the job Tuesday night in downtown Honolulu. This latest incident is raising concerns among those who work in the area. KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Crews replace carpet once again following flood damage at Honolulu airport. Crews at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport are dealing with flood damage for the second time in less than two months. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

No gas tax relief: Council kills 10-cent discount on 4-4 tie. A deadlocked County Council on Wednesday put the brakes on any relief from the county gas tax this year, even after the measure’s sponsor tried to make the plan more palatable by adding a deadline limiting the 10-cent per gallon discount to eight months. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Ige ‘open’ to Maunakea bill: Inouye, Acasio vote against measure to remove UH as manager of summit area. Gov. David Ige indicated Wednesday he may support legislation to remove the University of Hawaii as manager of the Maunakea summit area. Tribune-Herald.

No conflict: Judge to render verdict in bench trial despite previously representing defendant. A Kona Circuit Court judge will still render a verdict in a bench trial despite previously representing the defendant as a defense attorney. West Hawaii Today.

Connections charter school case being appealed to high court. The state Land Use Commission’s denial of an application by Connections New Century Public Charter School for a special use permit to build a campus in Hilo on about 70 acres of state land zoned for agriculture is being appealed. Tribune-Herald.


Report: Maui Needs A Plan If It Actually Wants To End Homelessness. Maui’s Cost of Government Commission, a nine-member group tasked with looking for ways to make the county government more effective, recently released a 559-page report looking at ways Maui could end homelessness and ensure that anyone who loses their housing can get into a shelter. Civil Beat.

Maui Fair canceled for third year in a row; 98th Maui Fair to resume in 2023. While they had hoped to hold the 98th event this year, the Maui Fair Alliance Board reluctantly decided to postpone the event until next year. Maui Now. Maui News.


Kapa‘a Public Library must move.
The Hawai‘i State Public Library System has completed a preliminary evaluation of alternative sites and has identified a desirable location at the southern-most portion of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital campus. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i students’ college enrollment stayed low in 2021. College enrollments, which dropped at the onset of the pandemic, have remained down on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Former Kauai prosecuting attorney joins Hawaii Innocence Project. Justin F. Kollar, who served as Kauai County prosecuting attorney from 2012 to 2021, will work as a volunteer attorney and help HIP co-Director Kenneth Lawson and HIP Associate Director Jennifer Brown supervise law students from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Star-Advertiser.