Showing posts with label HECO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HECO. Show all posts

Thursday, May 30, 2024

HECO unveils power shutoff plan for wildfires, Turtle Bay sale rebrands as Ritz-Carlton, food insecurity grows, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Electric lays out initial plan for wildfire prevention power shutoffs. About 48,000 Hawaiian Electric customers on four islands should start preparing for power shutoffs possibly lasting several hours to a few days under a new effort to prevent wildfires during high-risk weather conditions. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Council On Revenues Trims Its State Tax Collection Estimate.
The Council on Revenues is projecting that state government will have about $65 million less to spend this fiscal year than lawmakers and Gov. Josh Green’s administration had anticipated during the past legislative session. Civil Beat.

Hawaii bills address two very different uses for AI.
Hawaii is preparing for the advent of artificial intelligence through a pair of proposed laws on the verge of passage. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Foodbank shares concerns over food insecurity. Nearly one in three households in the state experienced food insecurity last year, and in 29% of households with children, at least one child faced food insecurity, according to the Hawaii Foodbank’s 2023 report released Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Feeding Kids Can Be Tough For Some Hawaii Charter Schools. Without state funding, principals say they need to find creative solutions to offer lunches to their students. Civil Beat.

COVID is on the rise in Hawaii; possible summer wave ahead. Health officials on Wednesday reported an average positivity rate of 10.5%, up from 8.5% the previous week. On May 1, the average positivity rate was at 4.3%. The seven-day average reported Wednesday reached 100 per day, double what it was mid-May. Star-Advertiser.

Virginia Beck reflects on 20 years of engaging the public in the legislative process. Virginia Beck has been the head coordinator at the Public Access Room for nearly 10 years, and has worked there for almost 20. She will retire at the end of the week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Turtle Bay Resort sold and to be rebranded as Ritz-Carlton. A Maryland-based lodging and real estate investment firm said Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the 450-room Turtle Bay Resort and nearby land for at least $680 million. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi signs resolution creating standalone Ocean Safety Department. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a resolution creating a standalone Ocean Safety Department in a ceremony at Honolulu Hale on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City salaries resolution closer to 2024 ballot. The Honolulu City Council resolutions urging voter-approved charter amendments to overhaul how the city pays its employees were reduced to one this week. Star-Advertiser.

City cannot recoup $12.5M from man facing gun, drug charges. The 38-year-old man awarded $12.5 million after he sued the city following injuries suffered in a 2021 police pursuit appeared in court Wednesday to face federal charges that he used a ghost gun while selling methamphetamine in Waianae. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Judge Orders New Environmental Review Of West Oahu Wave Pool.
A judge has halted plans for an artificial wave pool until developers can revise an environmental assessment to address concerns raised by Native Hawaiians and others who say the project is unnecessary in the birthplace of surfing and a waste of water. Associated Press.

‘Honolulu is the safest place to visit in the world’ . According to a survey conducted by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Honolulu is the safest place to visit in the world. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Food Insecurity Highest On Big Island, Report Finds. Food insecurity rates were reported to be the highest of Hawaiʻi island (40%), followed by Maui (31%) and Oʻahu (28%). Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Maui

FEMA seeks over 20 long-term positions on Maui.  FEMA is on a hiring spree to fill nearly two dozen long-term positions on Maui. Departments include media relations, IT, and digital communications. Hawaii News Now.

Red Cross Regional CEO Was Fired After Standing Up For Maui Wildfire Survivors, Lawyer Says. Former Hawaii Red Cross CEO Diane Peters-Nguyen was fired from the nonprofit disaster relief organization in early May after she called for reforms and urged the organization to stop prodding Maui wildfire victims to move off-island, her attorney says.  Civil Beat.

Maui Fire battalion chief charged with sexually assaulting minor. Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a veteran Maui Fire Department battalion chief with first-degree sexual assault and continuous sexual assault of a minor under 14 years old. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui’s police chief defends pricey night-vision chopper request.
Maui Police Chief John Pelletier wants to invest $24 million over the next decade on a helicopter program that he says will improve safety in the county.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui Fire Survivor Gets Kicked Out Of Emergency Shelter In Hotel While Away On A Work Trip. The Lahaina businesswoman had made prior arrangements with the Red Cross but says she's not inclined to fight its decision since the program is winding down anyway. Civil Beat.

Kauai


DLNR says it found no evidence cruise ship violated state rule. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources today said it failed to find any evidence that a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship violated state rules while sailing off Kauai’s Na Pali Coast earlier this month. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

HECO seeks $250M line of credit, mulls asset sales, after Legislature rejects bailout bill; RFK Jr. wins access to Hawaii ballot; $1B pledged for new fiber links in Pacific, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

$1B is pledged for undersea internet cables. The Pacific Connect Initiative will create new fiber links between Hawaii and other Pacific regions. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.

Lawmakers Rejected A Bill To Bail Out HECO. Now What?  Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking expedited regulatory approval to sell utility assets to obtain a $250 million line of credit to improve its financial stability.  Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric readies plan for cutting power during wildfire risks. Hawaiian Electric Co. is preparing to roll out its plan for proactive power shutdowns for areas at high risk for wildfires during extreme weather. The utility hopes to launch its Public Safety Power Shutoff plan at the end of the month, with a targeted implementation date of July 1. Star-Advertiser.

RFK Jr. wins ballot access fight in Hawaii. The Democratic party of Hawaii will not appeal the decision to allow independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy  to appear on the Hawaii ballot this November. KITV4.

Lingering softness in arrivals to Hawaii threatens summer season. Visitors to Hawaii exceeded the expectations of some tourism industry officials in the first quarter, but results were still weak and are worsening for the peak summer season and beyond. Star-Advertiser.

Growing cruise industry latest in Hawaii’s tourism economy
. March 2024 saw a 40 percent increase in visitorship with over 12,000 people compared to 8,000 people who came in March of 2023. KHON2.

‘Do the right thing’: Hawaii wrongful imprisonment law isn’t working for 2 in high-profile cases. Two Hawaii men who were wrongly convicted and put behind bars for years are hitting another brick wall trying to win compensation. Their next stop may be the governor’s office. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Ex-Honolulu Investigator Tells Jury He Swore To Facts In Theft Case He Had ‘No Idea’ About. Five people associated with a local engineering firm are accused of bribing former prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro to pursue a bogus theft case. Civil Beat.

Red Hill fuel spread through water quickly, expert testifies. Water system experts testified Tuesday on the second day of a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government that tests may have missed contamination in the critical early days of the Red Hill fuel crisis. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now.

Lifeguards want new department with oversight, HGEA poll finds. City and County of Honolulu lifeguards unanimously supported creating a new Department of Ocean Safety but overwhelming rejected Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s proposal on how to do that, according to a poll taken by their union. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Affordable Housing Production Open For Proposals May 1st. Nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and community land trusts can submit proposals to create "sustainable, inclusive, and affordable housing solutions" for residents. Big Island Video News.

Manono Street project clears another hurdle
. Despite some misgivings, a Hawaii County Council committee has approved a plan to redevelop a derelict Hilo residential lot. Tribune-Herald.

County Council gives favorable recommendation to resolution aimed at protecting nearly 30 acres in Pu‘uanahulu. The Hawai‘i County Council on Tuesday bolstered efforts to preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources on a nearly 30-acre parcel on the west side of the Big Island for education, gathering and cultural practices. Big Island Now.

Maui

New housing projects give hope to some Maui fire survivors
.  Ka La‘i Ola is expected to provide 450 interim homes for wildfire survivors who did not qualify for any type of federal aid. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Trees for Lahaina. Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club Launches Garden in Support of Lahaina reforestation. Maui News.

Kauai

Median home price leaps to $1.6 million in March on Kaua‘i.
  The median price of a single-family home on Kaua‘i was easily the highest among the four major islands and more than $1 million higher than median price on Hawai‘i Island, which was the lowest in the same period. Garden Island.

BLNR awards disputed Coco Palms state land to developer over nonprofit group. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) granted two contested state-owned parcels of Wailua land to the developer of the Coco Palms Resort, denying the application of a nonprofit organization opposed to the development at a recent meeting. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Senate President Kouchi investigated by FBI; Legislature socks away $435M for contingencies, retirement fund; Kilauea unrest prompts closures, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi’s Ties To A Convicted Businessman. Milton Choy recorded meetings with Kouchi as part of an FBI investigation but there's been no evidence revealed that the senator committed any wrongdoing. Senate President Ron Kouchi was for years among Milton Choy’s close allies, giving the recently convicted businessman access to the inner circle of Hawaii’s politicians where Choy could try to influence legislation, a Civil Beat investigation into Choy’s political dealings uncovered. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers aim to enlarge ‘rainy day’ and retirement funds. House and Senate negotiators during a Friday evening meeting agreed to appropriate a $300 million deposit into the state’s emergency and budget reserve fund, also known as the “rainy day” fund, and $135 million into a trust fund to pay for future retirement benefits of Hawaii government workers. Star-Advertiser.

HECO's future remains uncertain as governor attempts to revive securitization bill. As of Sunday, neither the spokesperson for the Senate nor the governor's office had any updates on the status of the bill. No additional hearings had been scheduled for the bill on Monday morning.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Car Insurance, Speed Cameras And Slow Drivers Caught Lawmakers’ Attention This Session. The cost of auto insurance could soon be going up for thousands of Hawaii drivers. Other bills  lawmakers advanced this year will make changes in the rules of the road, including a measure to use cameras to ticket speeding motorists and another to require that slow-moving drivers on two-lane highways pull over and let the cars behind them pass. Civil Beat.

Nonprofits seek help as poverty in Hawaii hits 15%. Child &Family Service put out a call to action to other nonprofits Monday to join it in the battle to fight the harmful effects of poverty in Hawaii, where an estimated 15% of families are living below federal poverty guidelines. Star-Advertiser.

Education bills advance to full House and Senate. House and Senate conference committees plan to forward a host of education-­related bills this week to the full House and Senate for final approval, including a statewide registry that would document and share all school staff misdeeds, along with other bills to ease qualifications for teacher licenses in Hawaii and provide more funding for Hawaiian immersion education. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is known for its macadamia nuts. Lawmakers want to keep it that way. The stakes are high for Hawaii’s 600-plus macadamia nut farmers, many of whom have small operations. Combined, they produced $62.7 million in nuts in 2021, just ahead of coffee in value and second only to seed farms that research genetically engineered corn. Associated Press.

Legislation would fund programs to help control the feral chickens. A pair of bills on the verge of passing the state Legislature would allocate $50,000 to each of the state’s four counties in order to develop management programs to address the growing feral chicken population — which, the bills argue, present not just a public nuisance but a legitimate public safety concern. Tribune-Herald.

Cancellation of ‘NCIS: Hawaii’ deals big blow to fans — and to Hawaii’s economy. After three seasons, the TV series “NCIS: Hawaii” that employed some 400 people will air its final episode in about a week. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Families Testify In Red Hill Trial How Fuel Made Them Sick As Feds Express Doubt. Witnesses testified they became extremely ill after drinking the Navy's contaminated water. Government attorneys countered their exposure was brief. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.  KITV4.

Former Deputy Prosecutor Says He Had Probable Cause To Charge Honolulu Architect With Theft.
Jacob Delaplane testified in the ongoing bribery trial of former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro about the theft charges he filed against Laurel Mau in 2014. Civil Beat.

Inmate missing after court transport was chased off jail property by corrections officers: Sources. An Oahu Community Correctional Center inmate was somehow lost during a court transport Friday afternoon and then told to leave the jail property when corrections officers didn’t know who he was. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Yagong, county settle lawsuit over legal fees: Ex-council chairman sought more than $300K. Dominic Yagong filed the suit in 2022 seeking reimbursement of almost $306,000 in legal fees he said he incurred successfully defending himself against a defamation lawsuit. Tribune-Herald.

Closures In Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Expanded Due To High Seismicity. In the late afternoon, the National Park Service expanded the closures to include the Chain of Craters Road from the intersection at Crater Rim Drive.  Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

County Looks To Acquire ʻAnaehoʻomalu Coastal Lands. The County of Hawaiʻi could be looking to acquire 27-acres of land in the area of ʻAnaehoʻomalu, a parcel on the South Kohala coast that was identified late last year as a top priority for preservation.  Big Island Video News.

Nearly 5 tons in tires removed from Kailua Bay.
  The ocean floor is littered with nets, old car parts, barrels, derelict fishing gear, glass and plastic bottles and trash in general. Big Island Now.

Maui

Air Force proposes facility consisting of up to seven telescopes at Haleakalā on Maui. The Department of the Air Force is proposing to construct and operate the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site Small Telescope Advanced Research (AMOS STAR) facility on the island of Maui. Maui Now.

Maui fire compensation fund deadline is extended. Families who lost a loved one in the deadly Aug. 8 Maui wildfires — or victims who suffered serious injuries — now have until May 31 to register for the One ‘Ohana Fund, which offers them financial compensation. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Food Bank says distribution demand is up 65% since August wildfires
. Since the Maui wildfires devastated communities more than eight months ago, Maui Food Bank has seen a staggering rise in the demand for food. Hawaii Public Radio.

New County Recovery Permit Center now open in Kahului. The new County of Maui Recovery Permit Center officially opened its doors in Kahului on Monday, providing a vital resource for those who are looking to rebuild in fire-affected areas in Lahaina and Kula as they navigate the permitting process and take the next step toward returning home. Maui Now. Maui News.  KITV4.

Fine for 2023 Maui yacht grounding skyrockets to $1.8M.  The parties that damaged coral and live rock near Honolua Bay with a yacht in early 2023 were originally fined $117,000. Now they're on the hook for $1.8 million. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui News.

MHS transports 50 cats to Silicon Valley.
After taking in more than 880 displaced animals from the August 8, 2023, wildfires, Maui Humane Society is continuing to face capacity challenges with cats rescued from the Lahaina burn zone.  Maui News.

Kauai

BLNR approves public auction of Wailua land parcel despite overwhelming opposition. Despite concerns over cultural preservation and climate change, a small plot of state-owned land in Wailua, Kauaʻi, near the old Coco Palms Resort, will be put up for public auction. Hawaii Public Radio.

Construction work on tap for recreational areas. A couple of County of Kaua‘i recreational areas are being closed in order for maintenance work to be done ahead of the summer season. Garden Island.

Friday, April 26, 2024

HECO bailout bill stalls, utility seeks to divest itself of American Savings Bank; Legislature finds $1B for Maui wildfire recovery; Blangiardi heads to Washington in search of homeless funding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

HECO’s Bill To Raise Money From Customers For Wildfire Mitigation Has Stalled. The utility wanted to add a fee of up to 5% to customers' bills to finance the program, but a key Senator balked. The governor has stepped in to try to save it. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Report: Hawaiian Electric Is Looking To Sell American Savings Bank. The report comes as alternative efforts to raise cash have stalled in the Legislature. Civil Beat.

About $1B arranged for Maui wildfire expenses. Lawmakers Vote To Provide More Than $800M In New Recovery Money For Maui on top of $200 million committed by Gov. Josh Green.  Members of the House and Senate also agreed to create a new position for a state fire marshal to promote fire safety. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Maui Now.

Hawaii legislators face deadline to avoid repeat of ‘chaos’. House and Senate legislators negotiating changes are under pressure to approve final bills by 6 p.m. tonight to avoid what Senate President Ron Kouchi called “the chaos” that surrounded the end of 2023’s session. The 2024 Legislature adjourns in a week, on May 3. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii taxpayers will cough up $18M for state workers’ mistakes, misbehavior. Hawaii taxpayers are on the hook for more than $18 million this year to settle lawsuits filed by dozens of people and companies. Lawmakers, frustrated over repeated failures, did try to make some departments pay the cash themselves. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers close to increasing penalties on dog attacks. There could be tougher penalties for dog owners if their dog seriously bites or attacks a person, lawmakers say stricter laws are needed as communities have been dealing with severe, even deadly attacks.  KHON2.

Bill Aims To Reduce Unauthorized Hunting In Hawaii. The legislative proposal would make hunting guides obtain written permission from landowners before leading tours on private lands. Civil Beat.

AAA: Hawaiʻi gas prices continue to increase.  Gas prices statewide continue to increase slowly, according to the AAA Hawaiʻi Weekend Gas Watch. The statewide average price for regular unleaded is $4.81, three cents higher than last week. The national average gas price is $3.66, one cent lower than last week. Maui Now.

Hawaii restaurant inspection reports not easily available: ‘That’s a problem’. There have been at least seven red placards issued to local restaurants since 2024 began but there is no easy way to access the inspection reports that prompted them. KHON2.

Oahu

Mayor Blangiardi heads to Washington, D.C. to advocate for more homeless funding. Mayor Rick Blangiardi leaves Friday for Washington D.C. To meet with officials from the Biden administration where he’s expected to ask for more federal funding to help tackle homelessness in Honolulu. KHON2.

HART receives $125M in federal funding.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Thursday announced $125 million in long-awaited federal funding to aid in the ongoing construction of the nearly $10 billion Skyline project. Star-Advertiser.

Skyline fleet is now complete with delivery of 20th train.
All 20 trains for the Honolulu rail, officially called Skyline, are now on Oʻahu. The final train arrived at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy: Recent Elevated Petroleum Levels In Pearl Harbor Water Are False Positives. Chlorine in water samples skewed the results, the Navy says. Residents fear their drinking water remains unsafe. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Officials meet, discuss Makua Valley military training sites. U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda joined community members Thursday in tours and meetings with officials at military sites on Oahu’s Leeward side.  Star-Advertiser.

Defense paints key witness in Kaneshiro bribery trial as a liar.  Retired HPD officer Rudy Alivado was back on the stand Wednesday for cross-examination in the high-profile bribery trial involving Honolulu’s former city prosecutor and employees of a politically-connected engineering firm. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Developer testifies why he sued lot owner over HPP house mistake. Paul Fujinaga, partners with John Mendonca in Keaau Development Partnership, said that no surveyor was brought in to ensure that the contractor, PJ’s Construction, built the house on the one-acre lot on 8th Avenue owned by the developer instead of on the adjoining vacant parcel owned by Annaleine “Anne” Reynolds. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Strong Fund Providing $40M To Help House Fire Survivors.
The Hawaii Community Foundation is providing a $40 million grant through its Maui Strong Fund to support construction of the state’s $115 million, 450-unit Ka La’i Ola interim housing development for fire survivors, the foundation announced Thursday. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Seniors Wanted A Normal Year. The Fires Changed Everything.
Students at Lahainaluna High School say they're searching for normalcy after the pandemic moved their freshman year online and the fires disrupted their senior year. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Kauai homeowners sue home construction company over alleged construction defects. Christie Volkmer bought a newly-built home on Kauai from D.R. Horton in 2018. Two years later, she and her family noticed something wrong with their water system. KITV4.

Volunteers sought to cleanup Morgan’s Ponds. The County of Kaua‘i Department of Parks and Recreation opened Lydgate Beach Park and the Kamalani Playground area to the public on Thursday. Garden Island.

Pacific Biodiesel plants its first Kauaʻi sunflower field, modeled after Maui’s. While Pacific Biodiesel is headquartered on Maui, it has nearly 100 employees statewide, including 50 who work at its biodiesel refinery on Hawaiʻi Island. Maui Now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Green pledges to sign vacation rental bill; House, Senate reach budget agreement; Maui mayor seeks twice what lawmakers allotted for wildfire recovery, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green pledges to sign short-term rentals bill. Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday pledged to sign a bill into law that would give each county clear authority over vacation rentals — including the possibility of banning them — if it arrives on his desk, as expected. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed State Budget Includes Money For Public School Raises, Geothermal Exploration. The budget would also provide millions of dollars in extra support to the Hawaii State Hospital. House and Senate negotiators reached agreement Tuesday evening on a $19.21 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 that includes raises for public school vice principals and extra money for small and rural public schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan Is Threatened By HECO’s Uncertain Future. New projects are on hold as the electric company's credit rating sags. Hawaii’s renewable energy sector is stepping up support for policies aimed at financially bolstering Hawaiian Electric Co., which has been battered by accusations that the utility started the fire that killed 101 people and burned down much of Lahaina in August. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers consider a property damage compensation fund for future fires.
The measure would allow stakeholders to pay into a wildfire relief fund that would compensate property owners in the instance of another wildfire. That would include government entities like the state, large property owners with over 1,000 acres of land and share-holder utility companies such as Hawaiian Electric. Hawaii Public Radio.

Several invasive species measures are nearing the legislative finish line. A measure to fund the state Department of Agriculture with about $20 million for port inspectors, pest control workers and other biosecurity personnel around the state is still alive and could pass through conference hearings this week. Separate bills to support efforts against coconut rhinoceros beetles, little fire ants and other species are also set to move on. Hawaii Public Radio.

State looking at reducing parakeet population with one-year pilot program. The state wants to declare war on another invasive species — parakeets — that have been spreading disease, decimating native fruits, and stripping fruit trees on Kauai, among other harms. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority board chooses former Honolulu mayor as new leader. Tuesday, the state senate voted to approve former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hanneman as HTA’s board chair.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiian Airlines boosts revenue but loses $137.6M in first quarter. Hawaiian Holdings Inc., the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, improved revenue and continued investments during the first quarter, but deepened losses as it grappled with rising operating costs and other headwinds while pursuing a merger with Alaska Airlines. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Nearly 3.6% pay hike adopted for mayor, Council. The Honolulu Salary Commission Tuesday adopted a nearly 3.6% pay boost for the mayor, managing director, the nine-member City Council and other appointed, high-level city officials for the city’s fiscal year 2025 salary schedule, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

HPD applications increase after $25K bonus announcement. A $25,000 bonus for new Honolulu Police Department recruits is an unprecedented incentive for the department, the goal was to attract more people into the force, and according to the department, it is working.  KHON2.

Dennis Mitsunaga’s ‘Ninja’ Testifies That ‘It Felt A Little Wrong’ To Contact Witness In Corruption Case. Mitsunaga, charged in the federal bribery trial of former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, is accused of attempting to manipulate a witness's testimony. Civil Beat. KITV4.

'Our superhero’: Girlfriend of alleged Miske murder victim says she won’t stop looking for answers. The woman whose boyfriend was allegedly murdered by Mike Miske finished her testimony in federal court Monday and was finally free to tell her story in public. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Red Hill Families Describe Litany Of Harms From Tainted Water In Lead-Up To Federal Trial. In the trial starting Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice will question whether they were exposed to jet fuel and, if so, whether it was enough to account for their illnesses. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Nene gosling likely died from disease carried by feral cats. The nene gosling that died last month in Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo likely was killed by toxoplasmosis, an infection spread in the feces of feral cats, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Traps catch invasive coconut rhinoceros beetles in Waikoloa. The destructive beetles pose a serious threat to palm trees and culturally important plants in Hawaii. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Federal lawsuit against Roth, others on hold pending legal question. Hilo attorney Pueo Kai McGuire's federal lawsuit against Hawaii County, Mayor Mitch Roth, county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, Deputy Prosecutor Kate Perazich and former Deputy Prosecutor Sylvia Wan that accuses them of malicious prosecution is on hold — for now.  Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui mayor seeks more funding to cover Lahaina disaster costs. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen, just shy of two weeks before the end of this year’s legislative session and after all public hearings on bills, asked House and Senate leaders to appropriate $125 million instead of $63.6 million to Maui County for wildfire recovery work pending in a bill. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Kaulana Mahina workforce housing apartments celebrates grand opening in Central Maui.  The event comes at a time when the chronically undersupplied housing market on Maui has been further impacted by the devastating fires of last August. Maui Now.

Kauai

Friend of jailed Kaua‘i artist accused of threatening a councilman speaks out following court hearing. A Kauaʻi resident has voiced support for a local artist in jail on $100,000 bail after allegedly threatening County Councilman Bill DeCosta in January, following a court hearing on Tuesday, April 23.  Kauai Now.

Kauai County to extend beach lifeguard hours. Starting next month, hours at guarded beaches will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the county’s Ocean Safety Bureau, an additional two hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. currently. Star-Advertiser.

Kauaʻi Habitat for Humanity expands affordable housing to island's north shore. The organization acquired six lots in Kīlauea that it plans to offer up to low-income homeowners in the next month or so. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wiwo‘ole Project takes root in Lihu‘e. The project consists of transitional housing for individuals and families trying to escape domestic violence and sexual assault. Garden Island.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Senate panel tackles wildfire mitigation, state Supreme Court penalizes attorney general for Maui stream diversion accusations, Skyline ridership drops, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii utilities focus on reducing wildfire risks. Hawaii’s two regulated electrical utilities told a pair of state Senate committees Thursday that they are trying to do as much as possible as fast as possible with wildfire risk mitigation. For Hawaiian Electric, this includes spending $117 million this year on such work and seeking $450 million in federal matching grants to help fund $900 million in system improvement projects. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Supreme Court Rebukes State Agencies In East Maui Water Case. The justices found the state's factual arguments flimsy regarding water diversions affecting the ability to fight the August wildfires. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

7 measures become law, 25 pending governor’s action. As of Thursday the governor had signed into law six House bills — relating to elections, legislative agencies, suicide awareness and the designation of state snails and “kimchi day.” A seventh Senate bill relating to landownership had also been signed. Star-Advertiser.

Officials Mistakenly Locked This Man In A Psych Ward, Then Argued He Was Not Sane Enough To Sue. Joshua Spriestersbach sued the state after he was held in the Hawaii State Hospital for more than two years under the wrong name, only to face new questions about his sanity. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu City Council considers salary charter amendments. Seven resolutions that urge voter-approved charter amendments to overhaul how Honolulu pays its employees were under City Council review this week. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s 911 system goes down briefly.
The Honolulu Police Department said they are working off a backup system and do not yet know whether the interruption is related to the multi-state outage that occurred Wednesday night. Star-Advertiser.

Skyline average daily ridership even lower than last year.
The Director of Transportation Services said things will turn around once the second segment opens but that isn’t until Spring 2025. KHON2.

‘Bleeding out’: HART board members express concern after key project leader quits. Some HART board members are expressing concern that the nearly $10 billion rail project is “bleeding out” after a key project leader suddenly quit. Hawaii News Now.

Dillingham Airfield And Nearby North Shore Residents Brace For Looming Water Shutdown. The airfield is poised to get the reprieve it needs to stay open, but it still doesn't have a new group ready to step up and manage the water system. Civil Beat.

Discovery of WWII-era bomb at Bellows highlights ongoing risk of unexploded ordnance. For almost two months, the base has been mostly off-limits to visitors as part of a massive effort to scour the 24-acre site in search of more hidden hazards.  Hawaii News Now.

In tearful testimony, woman describes day she believed alleged crime boss killed her boyfriend. It was the most dramatic day so far of the federal Mike Miske organized crime trial. On Thursday, in tearful testimony, 29-year-old Ashley Wong described the day in 2016 she believed Miske had kidnapped and killed her boyfriend — Johnathan Fraser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


Water Commission seeks input on potential restoration of stream flow in Waikoloa. For more than 75 years, Hawaiʻi County and Parker Ranch have been diverting water from streams in the area to support surrounding communities with water for drinking and agriculture. Hawaii Public Radio.

Help likely on the way in battle against spittlebugs. The two-lined spittlebug is an insect whose voracious appetite for key livestock grazing grasses has made the species a menace for ranchers on the Big Island since it was first discovered here in 2016. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Deadly Lahaina fire spread ‘incredibly fast,’ racing mauka to makai within 90 minutes. Investigators will focus on fire’s early stages as they shift gears from fact-finding to determining the cause of one of the deadliest fires in US history. Maui Now.

‘Wow ... LOL’: Text messages from ex-MEMA head point to lack of urgency during Lahaina firefight. A closer look at the Attorney General's Office report reveals a concerning lack of urgency from the Maui County’s Emergency Management Agency at the height of the crisis.  Hawaii News Now.

Wailuku man dies after being Tased by Maui police. An incident involving a Maui Police Department officer resulted in the use of a Taser and the subsequent death of Televise Sau, 53, of Wailuku, according to department reports. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Maui Strong Fund tops $190 million. The Hawaii Community Foundation on Thursday said its Maui Strong Fund has raised over $190 million from 250,000 donors across 76 countries — distributing almost $90 million to provide immediate and long-term support to Maui wildfire recovery efforts. Star-Advertiser.

MEO disburses Maui Relief TANF/HCF funds that would help 4,000 people in five months. More than 1,000 households and 4,000 individuals who were directly impacted by the wildfires have received housing, vehicle, utility, clothing and school supply assistance in the five months since the inception of the Maui fires relief program, according to Maui Economic Opportunity. Maui News.

Kauai

Storm cleanup and repairs continue on Kaua‘i. Officials from the Kaua‘i Emergency Operations Center have announced that operations remain partially active following last week’s flooding event on the Garden Island. Garden Island.

Public invited to complete Kaua‘i Community Survey on Homelessness. The County of Kauaʻi Housing Agency is encouraging the public to complete the Kaua‘i Community Survey on Homelessness, as the agency begins the process to develop a Kaua‘i County Five Year Homelessness Strategic Plan. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pay to Play persists at state Capitol, Gov. Green outlines path to renewable energy goal, Maui fire chief unveils wildfire after-action report, Navy nixes Oahu landfill site, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Inside the Late-Night Parties Where Hawaii Politicians Raked In Money.  For the better part of a decade, some of Hawaii’s most powerful people huddled together at late-night parties in a cramped second-floor office where lobbyists and executives seeking government contracts lined up to drop cash and checks into a metal lockbox. Wesley Yonamine, the host and a high-ranking airport official, would, together with the politicians, pop open the box and dole out campaign contributions according to a list of pledges obtained before each event. Civil Beat.

Here's how measures pass a final hurdle before reaching the governor. The 2024 Hawaiʻi legislative session is in the home stretch, also known as conference committee. From April 15 to 26, legislators from both chambers will meet in conference committee to hash out their differences and discuss the exact wording for a final bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Latest UH Board Of Regents Nominee Approved By Senate Committee — And Its Influential Chair. Sen. Donna Kim was pleased that Michael Miyahira shares her views on Senate oversight of the University of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Will ratepayers will be on the hook for HECO's wildfire costs? Several utilities, including Hawaiian Electric, have eyed ratepayer-backed bonds as a possible avenue to recoup some of those costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers urge investigation, following power blackouts on Big Island and O‘ahu. In light of multiple power outages on the Big Island and O‘ahu this past weekend, three state senators sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission expressing concern about the recent power blackouts. Big Island Now.

Land board defers decision on appraisal of lands leased by US Army
. U.S. Army leases on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island expire in five years, and the Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering a land exchange as an alternative to new leases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Josh Green outlines diverse energy strategies for Hawaii's renewable goals. Governor Josh Green outlined alternate energy ideas to help the state reach its renewable energy goal: Using 100% renewable energy by 2045. KITV4.

Oahu

Proposals For Reforming Honolulu’s Pay Raise Process Split On The Question Of Who Should Decide. Seven charter amendments are currently being considered by council members, and the big question is who should get the final say on salary proposals. Civil Beat.

Another Miske Associate Turned Government Witness Takes The Stand. Will Jurors Trust Him? Observers say witnesses who've flipped on alleged racketeering boss Michael Miske can be hard for jurors to trust because of their own criminal backgrounds and incentives to lie. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Navy nixes possible city landfill site. The Navy will not allow the City and County of Hono­lulu to locate a new landfill on Waipio Peninsula near Joint Base Pearl Harbor­-Hickam, the city announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Not Just Red Hill: Hundreds Of Military Fuel Depots Threaten Environment And Public Health. A new federal report, ordered after the Red Hill crisis, uncovered oversight weaknesses at hundreds of the military's fuel storage sites. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Navy removes toxic firefighting foam from Red Hill facility. The Navy as of Monday had removed just over 1,000 gallons of aqueous film forming foam concentrate — a toxic fire suppressant containing “forever chemicals” — from its AFFF system at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

Threatening note shutters 2 Oahu private schools
. A note threatening gun violence at Damien Memorial School in Kalihi and Maryknoll School in Makiki prompted lockdowns and cancellation of classes and events Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless sweep spanning over 1 mile to shut down West Oahu Beach park for a week. Councilmember Andria Tupola says she requested the cleanup after two years of outreach.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani invests over $17M in Hawaii Island mansion.
Ohtani reportedly just bought a property at the Mauna Kea Resort on Hawaii Island. The property is expected to be worth $17.3 million as Ohtani becomes the face of the resort line as part of its marketing strategy. Hawaii News Now.

Glenwood Recycling and Transfer Station to reopen Friday. Glenwood Recycling and Transfer Station will revert to its normal schedule of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. Volcano Recycling and Transfer Station will revert to its normal schedule of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Saturday (closed Friday, April 19). Big Island Now.

Nene gosling found dead in popular Hilo park. Patrons of Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo were disheartened recently to learn about the death of a nene gosling in the park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Be Prepared: Maui Fire After-Action Report Details Need For More Equipment And Better Management. The independent report makes 111 recommendations that could guide Maui and other isolated communities to prevent another Lahaina tragedy. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Associated Press. Maui Now.

Maui High announces $10M endowment from alum. Maui High School announced Tuesday it will receive a $10 million endowment from an alum who prefers to remain anonymous. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Kauai


Damage assessments, clean-up continue on Kaua‘i; farmers, ranchers advised to document damages. The Kaua‘i Emergency Operations Center remains partially activated after last week’s flooding events, as county and state officials continue to address various recovery efforts islandwide. Kauai Now.

Niumalu Bridge closed until further notice due to flood damage. The Niumalu Bridge in Nāwiliwili on the East Side of Kaua‘i is closed until further notice due to damage from the recent flood event, county officials reported Tuesday evening. Kauai Now.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Uncertain future for vacation rental bill, first trial date set in Lahaina wildfire lawsuit cases, university gets onslaught of emails from one state senator, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Emails Reveal A State Senator’s Unrelenting Demands On The University Of Hawaii. Donna Mercado Kim continually sends requests for detailed responses about a range of issues, from anonymous complaints to spending concerns. Civil Beat.

Vacation rental bill is headed to uncertainty.  SB 2919 wold ensure that each county has the power to regulate short-term rentals — including banning them. The Senate on Thursday disagreed with changes made in the House, meaning the bill likely will head to an end-of-session conference committee where anything can happen, including killing it if no compromise can be reached in the remaining three weeks. Star-Advertiser.

Regulation of vacation rentals varies among counties. Here's how. Star-Advertiser.

Cockfighting bill dies in Senate. While cockfighting already is illegal in Hawaii, House Bill 1980 would increase the severity of the offense from a misdemeanor to a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000. Tribune-Herald.

Macadamia nut labeling legislation in limbo. Consumers don’t know whether many macadamia nut snacks identified with Hawaii contain any Hawaii-­grown macadamia nuts, and an effort to change that through state law may be doomed this year. Star-Advertiser.

Needs are high in the state for people to donate their time. Hawaii is ranked low, 45th out of 50 states, for volunteerism in the latest United Health Foundation America’s Health Ranking analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.  Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu’s Short-Term Rental Owners Will Pay Higher Property Taxes Soon. Short-term rental owners in Honolulu will start paying higher property taxes next fiscal year, but it’s up to the City Council to decide how much. Civil Beat.

About 2,200 Hawaii Kai and East Honolulu customers face loss of power for most of Monday.  The company said the outage was caused by damage to one of the main transmission lines that bring power across the Koolau mountains into the Hawaii Kai/East Honolulu area.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Kamehameha Highway Just Got $5M To Guard Against Rising Seas. It Will Need Much More. There are tough decisions ahead when it comes to planning for the future of the critical road connecting Windward communities. Civil Beat.

Working Group Will Address Lead Contamination At Marine Shooting Range. Hawaii lawmakers have ordered the formation of a new working group to discuss lead contamination in the air and water around a Marine Corps’ shooting range in Ewa Beach.  Civil Beat.

Chief lifeguard ‘stoked’ over potential new department. As chief of Honolulu’s 277-member Ocean Safety Division, John Titchen says his agency’s possible transformation into a full-fledged city department is a long time coming. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Humane Society sees unprecedented number of shelter dogs due to families leaving Hawaii. More than 250 dogs are currently available for adoption at Hawaiian Humane Society due to a shelter space crisis that has been increasing overcrowded kennels. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Slow spring for real estate? Interest rates continue to put pressure on home sales. According to multiple listing service data, 477 homes have been sold on the island this year as of the end of March, a 10% increase from the first three months of 2023. Tribune-Herald.

Generator shortfall results in rolling blackouts on Hawai‘i Island. Hawaiian Electric is conducting rolling outages that will last between 30 minutes to an hour due to a generator shortfall. Big Island Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Resistance to roundabout: Draft EA released for proposed Waikoloa Village project. The public comment period addressing the draft environmental assessment for the Waikoloa Road/Paniolo Avenue roundabout concluded Monday, with community members expressing concern over the finding of no significant impact recommended in the report. West Hawaii Today.

Third Hawaiʻi Sustainability Summit Set For Kona, May 3-4. Hawai‘i County is calling community leaders to attend the Third Hawaiʻi Sustainability Summit.  Big Island Video News.

Former Big Island Lawmaker Wayne Metcalf Dead At 71. He was a former Hawaii State Insurance Commissioner during the Cayetano administration who also served as Hilo’s state representative from 1984-1992 and as senator from 1997-1998. Civil Beat.

Maui

Lahaina wildfire cases could get a trial date as soon as Nov. 18. Parties to cases involving the Lahaina wildfire disaster could see their first trial date as soon as Nov. 18, 2024 before Judge Peter Cahill. The date was set during a status conference held Friday before a room full of attorneys representing various interests in the case.  Maui Now.

BLNR successful in its appeal in East Maui water case.
The Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources, as represented by the Department of the Attorney General, prevailed on appeal in a case regarding the continuation of revocable permits for the diversion of water from streams in East Maui to Central and Upcountry Maui. Maui Now.

Maui’s Recent Wildfires Convinced The County Council That The Emergency Budget Needs Beefing Up. The Maui County Council signaled last week that it wants more resources for Maui’s fire and emergency management agencies in the aftermath of last year’s devastating fires.  Civil Beat.

Maui County Has Been So Slow To Come Up With A Plan To Help People Rebuild In Lahaina That A State Lawmaker Is Doing It Instead. Hearing continual frustration from Lahaina constituents about what they call a lack of clear direction from Maui County government on when they can rebuild their homes, Maui Rep. Elle Cochran is creating a coalition of contractors, architects, suppliers and other building professionals to guide people who have questions.  Civil Beat.

Maui wildfire relief resources: Federal assistance surpasses $347M. Since wildfires swept over the Island of Maui Aug. 8, more than $347.8 million in federal assistance has been approved for 7,090 households. Maui Now.

Coastal waters off Lahaina are now confirmed safe for recreational use. The Surfrider Foundation Maui chapter just released a report from its Post-Fires Water Quality Monitoring Program — and results indicate no cause for concern. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mobile ministry takes its support directly to the unsheltered.  Church volunteers on Maui who have operated a van since 2014 to distribute food and supplies to the homeless have seen the number of unsheltered people more than double since the catastrophic wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

County assesses damage in aftermath of thunderstorm. A second storm moved through the island of Kaua‘i on Sunday, adding to the mess created from an earlier hydrological event that wreaked havoc on local roads and properties. Garden Island.

Storm brings damages to Kaua‘i including a drill rig on the mauka Wailua River Bridge rail. State crews continue their work to remove a drill rig after it fell onto the mauka Wailua River Bridge rail following heavy rains that brought flooding to several parts of Kaua‘i. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Bill allowing HECO to charge customers for wildfire mitigation advances in House, marijuana decriminalization bill remains alive, Big Island committee nixes council term extensions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Key House Committee Approves Bill To Charge HECO Customers To Mitigate Wildfire Risk. Hawaiian Electric Co. executives want an extra fee of up to 5% added to electric bills to develop and implement a wildfire prevention plan. Civil Beat.

HECO now faces 131 legal complaints related to Maui fires. The August wildfires have now spawned 131 legal complaints against Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and its subsidiary, Maui Electric Company (MECO).  KITV4.

Marijuana decriminalization bill runs into opposition, remains alive. While the push to legalize recreational marijuana again appears dead at the state Legislature, a bill remains alive that one lawmaker said would “essentially” have the same effect by allowing a citation and fine of only $25 for having up to 2 ounces of cannabis — or 100 to 120 joints. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaiʻi Allows Pre-rolled Cannabis Flower Products Under New Rule. Pre-rolled cannabis flower products, also known as “pre-rolls,” can be now produced and dispensed through licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in Hawaiʻi starting on April 5. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Potential heirs of DHHL beneficiaries still learning they could get share of landmark settlement. The clock is ticking to find the relatives of more than 1,200 Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries who died while on the waitlist for a home or farmland. Hawaii News Now.

Early College Can Be ‘Game-Changing’ But Many Students In Hawaii Are Missing Out. Opportunities for high schoolers to earn college credit have been growing in popularity, but Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students are participating at lower rates. Civil Beat.

Drug-use linked to crime, homelessness in the islands. Fentanyl continues to plague communities. Local law enforcement continue making bust after bust but it barely makes a dent. KHON2.

Ship named after renowned veteran. The crest of the newly inaugurated U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Melvin Bell bears a motto — “Signal of Hope” — that encapsulates the legacy of its Hawaii-born namesake who transmitted the first alarms following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

City still seeks more time to find Oahu landfill alternative. The Honolulu Planning Commission on Wednesday continued its months-long hearing over the city’s request for a two-year extension to find an alternate site for the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Federal judge unseals fraud complaint against Red Hill contractors over fuel leak. A federal judge has partially unsealed a fraud complaint filed against defense contractors working at the Red Hill fuel facility. But the U.S. Justice Department has opted not to pursue the case. Hawaii Public Radio.

ACLU hopes Supreme Court homeless win helps Honolulu case. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii hopes its victory before the Hawaii Supreme Court over Maui County homeless sweeps will bolster its case against Honolulu when its lawsuit over Oahu’s homeless policies goes to trial in October. Star-Advertiser.

Former Meadow Gold Dairies property in Honolulu is back up for sale. Meadow Gold closed its facility about four years ago and put its nearly two-acre property – located along Elm and Sheridan Streets near the Walmart store on Keeaumoku Street – up for sale. KITV4.

Hawaii Island


Longer council terms rejected following robust criticism. A proposal to extend Hawaii County Council members’ terms in office will not be on the ballot this year after it was roundly rejected Tuesday during a council committee hearing. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Questions swirl over whether wildfire relief aid will pay tab for Maui mayor’s enhanced security. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen’s enhanced security detail cost approximately $115,000 for a six-week period after the devastating wildfires and  federal relief aid designated for victims could be used to pay for the protection. Hawaii News Now.

Officials reconvene in Lahaina to discuss progress on recovery. Wednesday evening saw the renewal of weekly disaster recovery meetings at the Lahaina Civic Center after a two week break. About 100 residents and 70 online viewers tuned in via the county’s Facebook page, to partake in the near two hour meeting to hear updates on recovery efforts in Lahaina town.  Maui Now.

Wildfire recovery milestone: 500th residential property in Lahaina cleared of debris, hazardous materials. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has cleared the 500th residential property of debris and hazardous materials. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Council Considers More Funding To Fight Invasive Beetles As Part Of Ag Department Budget.
The voter-created department officially launched in mid-2022 to increase food production across the county. Star-Advertiser.

2 Hawaii air carriers compete for subsidized Lanai service. Scott Faulk of the U.S. Department of Transportation EAS & domestic analysis division issued a request for community comments Wednesday, while confirming receipt of proposals from Southern Airways Express LLC, doing business as Mokulele Airlines, and from Pacific Air Charters Inc. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Discrimination Suit Against Kauai Police Chief Dismissed, Captain Forced To Retire. Chief Todd Raybuck was suspended for creating a hostile work environment but an investigation found his hiring practices had been fair. Civil Beat.

Delta flight grounded after bird strike. A Delta Airlines Airbus was grounded in late March after a bird made contact with the aircraft during its arrival in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.