Showing posts with label Hawaii State Teachers Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii State Teachers Association. Show all posts

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Teachers ratify generous contract, Hawaii Tourism Authority left out of state budget, residents oppose surf park, beach dredging on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii teachers contract receives overwhelming approval. Hawaii public school teachers late Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve what their union has called their strongest contract ever, with pay raises totaling approximately 14.5% over four years, raising income for the average teacher by around $10,000. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Plan For Dramatic Increase In Preschool Slots for Low-Income Kids Moves Forward. The decision raises hopes that Hawaii can boost the number of children participating in the Open Doors program from about 1,200 to about 4,000. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Authority left out of state budget. State lawmakers approved $64 million for the state-owned Hawai‘i Convention Center to fix its leaky roof, but left operational funding for the center and for the Hawaii Tourism Authority out of the final version of the state budget measure House Bill 300 CD1, which was approved Tuesday by conferees, and will head to both chambers for a final vote before it is sent to Gov. Josh Green for consideration. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii House and Senate leaders agree on state budget.
State House and Senate negotiators have unanimously approved a budget — pending full approval by both chambers — aimed at key priorities including early childhood education, homelessness, housing, adding more nurses and shoring up neighbor island and rural hospitals. Star-Advertiser.

‘We’re on the frontline’: Policy experts meet in Hawaii to discuss growing Indo-Pacific tensions. A gathering of foreign policy experts in Waikiki on Wednesday provided a stark assessment of Hawaii’s role on the world stage. A Honolulu-based thinktank says tensions in the Indo-Pacific region are at their highest levels since WWII. Hawaii News Now.

‘Ambitious’ proposal would transfer 94K acres of agricultural land this year. After a 20-year standstill over more than 110,000 acres of Hawaii agricultural land, two state departments have revealed an “ambitious” plan to distribute that land by the end of the year. Star-Advertiser.

The Untimely Death Of Key Hawaii Ag Official Could Set Back Projects.
The death of the state’s Agribusiness Development Corp. Executive Director James Nakatani has left a huge hole in not just the agricultural sector but also the public agency he has led for more than a decade.  Civil Beat.

Health officials urge boosters as ‘Arcturus’ gains ground. All eyes are on omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 as the federal public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic expires on May 11. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 858 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths.  The state’s average positivity rate was at 7.9%, the same as reported on April 19. Star-Advertiser.


New law requires Oʻahu businesses that allow guns to post signage. Starting May 1, the City and County of Honolulu's Bill 57 will go into effect, letting businesses choose if they will allow guns on their property with proper signage. The bill was signed into law by Mayor Rick Blangiardi on March 31.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Opponents sue to stop planned Kalaeloa surf park.  A community organization and some of its members filed a complaint Friday in state Circuit Court against Honokea Kalaeloa LLC and a state agency, contesting a recent report from the developer that claims the project will have no significant negative impacts on the environment. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Proposed decade-long dredging project along Waimanalo coastline draws concern. Waimanalo residents are incensed over a proposed decade-long dredging project for the area’s coastline, saying they want to keep their beaches natural. The dredging request was submitted to the DLNR by the Pahonu Beach Community Restoration Foundation, comprised of a collection of Waimanalo beachfront homeowners. Hawaii News Now.

Citing unexploded munitions risk, military to temporarily close popular beach campsite. The military announced it will temporarily close a popular campground this summer after a World War II-era bomb was discovered at a campsite at Bellows Air Force Station. Hawaii News Now.

Commission adopts pay raises for city leaders. The Honolulu Salary Commission voted 5-1 Tuesday to adopt pay increases of 12.56% for the city’s mayor and department heads and a more than 64% pay bump to members of the City Council for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now.

Judge denies government’s request to consolidate scores of suits over Red Hill fuel spill. A federal judge has denied the U.S. government’s request to consolidate more than 100 Red Hill lawsuits. Hawaii News Now.

EPA puts 'legally binding' stop to local company selling mislabeled disinfectants. The EPA states that Hiro Systems Hawaii LLC, based in Honolulu, sold misbranded and unregistered sanitization products to consumers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

$50M slated for Hilo hospital, called ‘huge win for our communities in East Hawaii’.  Funding for a large expansion of Hilo Medical Center is included in the final version of a state budget bill. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Singer wants public apology. Notable singer Melveen Leed wants a public apology from management of Prince Kuhio Plaza for cutting off her impromptu performance at the mall’s craft fair earlier this month during the Merrie Monarch Festival. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaii Is Giving A Maui Hotel Its Money Back Instead Of Helping Shore Up A Shrinking Beach. Community members, government officials and business executives say recent land board decisions indicate a new approach to the tough decisions that come with sea level rise. Civil Beat.

Budget Bill includes funds for a Maui Axis Deer program, Bovine Tuberculosis operations on Molokaʻi. On Maui, the budget includes the addition of $6.1 million in general funds in FY24 and FY25 for the Maui Axis Deer program; $1.1 million in FY25 for six months of funding to support new housing at the Maui Community Correctional Center; and the addition of three permanent positions and $98,500 in FY24 and $200,250 in FY25 for UH Maui College’s health center. Maui Now.

County unemployment rate at 3.4 percent in March. Unemployment in Maui County last month was at 3.4 percent, up from 3.2 percent in February, according to recent statistics released from Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.  Maui News.


Kaua‘i County Council scrambles for landfill alternatives. The Kaua‘i County Council unanimously approved efforts to seek new ways of managing Kaua‘i’s solid waste — including burning trash — as the island’s landfill rapidly nears capacity. Garden Island.

Help frame Kaua‘i’s climate action plan. The County of Kaua‘i is turning to the public as it maps out a plan to address the future impacts climate change will have on infrastructure and the services it provides to businesses and residents. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council moves to increase pepper spray access. Kaua‘i is currently the only county in the state that requires residents to file for a permit and pass a background check in order to buy pepper spray. Garden Island.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Green and HSTA plan big teacher raises, Hawaii Island seeks to double shoreline setback, Kauai prosecutes illegal vacation rentals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii teachers union, Gov. Green tout ‘strongest’ contract ever. The $577 million deal includes annual pay increases between 3% and 5% for a total of 14.5% over four years, but some extraordinary terms are also part of the contract agreement, including at least a 32% increase for new entry-level hires, higher pay for nontraditional teachers and a new top pay class for veteran educators. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Kauai Now. KHON2.  KITV4.  Hawaii News Now.

State Legislature begins conference committee process to address differing viewpoints. Lawmakers will take up measures on gun laws, tourism management and government transparency in conference committees this week and next. Hawaii Public Radio.

49 endangered Hawaiian species to gain habitat protections. The US Fish and Wildlife Service agreed today to designate protected critical habitat for 39 endangered plants and 10 endangered animals. The determination comes amid a legal victory stemming from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Maui Now.


Council member hopes to cut Sand Island Treatment Center’s costs. Council member Tyler Dos Santos-Tam did not know that the city had forced the Sand Island Treatment Center into his district in Iwilei, but toured it on Monday to try to figure out how to ease its $36,000 in new monthly costs. Star-Advertiser.

After sitting empty over a year, portion of city’s Homeless Resource Center set to open.
Major developments are underway in regards to the future of a mismanaged homeless housing project that’s been sitting empty in Iwilei more than a year. Hawaii News Now.

River of Life helps homeless with 40 sites across Oahu. River of Life Mission, once the center of blame for homelessness in Chinatown, has reinvented its model to aid the needy by shutting down its Chinatown feeding program and instead helping the homeless at 40 different sites across Oahu, with plans to expand to the neighbor islands and even to foreign countries. Star-Advertiser.

Construction begins on $4.4M project to upgrade busy part of Chinatown. Construction began Monday at Kekaulike Mall where a $4.4 million project will upgrade the busy market space between King Street and Hotel Street. Hawaii News Now.

Why Some Stores In Chinatown Keep Doors Locked During Business Hours. Boutiques and other stores installed buzz-in systems with the onset of the pandemic and decided to keep them as traffic returned to the area. Civil Beat.

Rail will open in July, HART CEO confirms. Lori Kahikina, executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, confirmed that the city’s nearly $10 billion rail line will open for public ridership in July. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

HPD vows to step up gambling enforcement in wake of shooting. The search for an armed man responsible for a mass shooting at a Maili cockfight around midnight Friday that killed two people continued Monday as police promised to step up gambling enforcement in the area. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Proposed rules would double shoreline setback.  Pending revisions to the Hawaii County planning rules could result in developments being pushed farther away from the coast in an effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Tribune-Herald.

Document details plan for bottling plant in Hilo. One less hurdle stands in the way of a new proposal to build a water-bottling plant next to the Wailoa River State Recreation Area. Tribune-Herald.

Another chemical leak found at a Maunakea telescope. The University of Hawaii’s 88-inch telescope, also called UH88, was discovered in January to have sprung a leak in its coolant system some time between mid-December and Jan. 10, spilling an unknown amount of anti-freezing agent ethylene glycol. Tribune-Herald.


Traci Fujita named the Council’s representative on MEO Board. Traci Fujita, who currently serves as the director of the Office of Council Services, has joined the Maui Economic Opportunity Board of Directors, filling the Council representative spot. Maui Now.

Surfrider’s water quality monitoring expands; reports ongoing pollution in Wailuku River. Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force program released its annual Maui water quality report for 2022.  Maui Now.

Molokai mobile clinic expands services. The Molokai Community Health Center’s Mana Mobile Medical Clinic is expanding its services to better serve residents on the island’s East Side. Maui News.


‘Undercover sting operations’ mop up illegal vacation rentals on Kaua‘i. Data-sharing agreements with tech companies and undercover “sting operations” have cut the number of illegal vacation rentals operating on Kaua‘i to the lowest rate in a decade, officials report. Garden Island.

Coco Palms Resort to be demolished for a new 350-room hotel. Demolition will soon begin on a Kauaʻi resort once favored by Elvis Presley and other Hollywood royalty before it was heavily damaged by a hurricane three decades ago. Associated Press.

DLNR proposes to drain Wailua Reservoir. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing to drain the Wailua Reservoir and breach the dam after finding that neglected maintenance could threaten the lives of nearby residents if no action is taken. Garden Island.

An Innovative Kauai Farm Project May Depend On Saving A 100-Year-Old Reservoir. Plans to create a community agriculture park in the heart of Kauai’s north shore town of Kilauea stalled for decades until the ratty mattresses, washing machines and wrecked cars were finally hauled off a 75-acre county plot in 2015, transforming an illegal dumping ground into an organic meat and vegetable farm.  Civil Beat.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Teachers to get $10k annual raises under tentative state agreement, 19 more bills hit governor's desk, cockfighting shooting brings old problem to light, Merrie Monarch festivities wrap up, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

60th Annual Merrie Monarch festivities wrap up with competition, parade. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State and teachers union reach tentative agreement. Teacher salaries will increase by an average of more than $10,000 annually, the teachers union said. It also said 21 hours of professional development will be permanently incorporated into the contract. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Legislature sends 19 more bills to governor’s desk. Among the bills awaiting action by the governor, one would declare a Hawaiian Independence Day, another would generate awareness of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and another establishes standards for the firearm industry. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker Has Little To Say About Party Incident At His Capitol Office.
Speaker Scott Saiki refuses to speak about reports of drinking but says Rep. Natalia Hussey-Burdick will not be disciplined. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

One Hawaii GOP House Leader Says Her Caucus Is ‘A Cult’. Rep. Kanani Souza says she's not willing to give up on the Republican Party, but takes issue with this particular group of lawmakers. Civil Beat.

State-backed leasehold condo pilot pending. Senate Bill 865 would establish a pilot program to develop one condo project for sale on state land under a 99-year land lease in an effort to demonstrate whether the concept is a viable solution to increase the long-term supply of affordable housing. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii troops playing big role in exercises with Philippines. The United States and the Philippines officially kicked off their largest joint military exercise in recent history last week amid boiling regional tensions, and Hawaii troops are playing a central role. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Has Had Amazing Success Reducing The Number Of Homeless Vets. Here’s How. The number of homeless veterans in Hawaii declined by 51% between 2015 and 2022, a number far higher than the national average. Civil Beat.

State partnership aims to address school psychologist shortage. The state Department of Education and Chaminade University are offering 20 full-tuition scholarships to address the state's shortage of educational psychologists in the public school system. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii nonprofits working to restore their volunteer rolls. Hawaii was one of a handful of states that saw double- digit declines in “formal volunteering” between 2019 and 2021, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau and AmeriCorps survey. Star-Advertiser.


Ala Wai flood control project plan to be unveiled.
A multimillion-dollar plan to protect Waikiki and nearby communities from a flooding disaster appears to be coming into focus as the Army Corps of Engineers announced it will present its “prospective plan” at a virtual meeting April 24. Star-Advertiser.

No Window In Your Bedroom? It Could Be The Future Of Low-Cost Housing In Honolulu. The Honolulu City Council is considering loosening some housing codes to allow empty commercial buildings to more easily be converted to housing units. Civil Beat.

City prepares fare system, security on Honolulu rail ahead of expected July opening. The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services expects to receive the completed segment of the rail system from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium this summer, once safety testing is complete and verified.  Hawaii Public Radio.

This Downtown Methadone Clinic Has Been Across From A School For Decades. Now The Neighbors Want It Gone. However, the American Disabilities Act deems clients of substance use disorder services to be a protected class. Civil Beat.

Cockfight shootings in Maili highlight danger, residents say. A weekend shooting at a Maili cockfight — leaving two dead and three injured — underscores the dire shortage of police officers on the Waianae Coast and possibly the need for legislation to facilitate arrests and prosecution of those involved in cockfighting, a community leader said. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Big Island home sales down 40%. Home sales on the Big Island continued to decline through the first quarter of 2023 as higher interest rates chill the market nationwide. Tribune-Herald.

‘Last fishing village in Hawaiʻi nei’ in homestretch for long-awaited community center. The 3,200-square-foot community center just needs one last thing – a contractor to finish up the last needed touches. The near-complete center includes enclosed and open-air classrooms, a historical library, kitchen, restrooms, workshop, parking lot with ADA stalls, water, Native Hawaiian landscaping and a photovoltaic power supply system. Big Island Now.


Hospital strike ends after nearly two months. An overwhelming majority of United Public Workers members voted in favor of ratifying a three-year contract with Maui Health, putting an end to a nearly two-month strike at three hospitals in Maui County on Friday afternoon. Maui News.

Reviving Hawaii’s Meat Inspection Program Could Also Take Aim At Axis Deer. A solution to Maui County’s invasive deer problem could come from reviving the state’s meat inspection program that was halted back in 1995. The hope is a reboot could also get invasive axis deer integrated into Hawaii’s mainstream food system at a more affordable price than currently available under the federal USDA inspection regime. Civil Beat.

Maui County adopts updated special management area and shoreline rules. Updated special management area and shoreline rules were approved by the Maui Planning Commission last month, bringing “more balance and flexibility for homeowners while improving coastal resilience for the environment,” the county announced Friday. Maui News.

Maui Family Support Services re-accredited. Prevent Child Abuse America announced that Maui Family Support Services, Inc. has been re-accredited through March 2027. Maui News.


Kauaʻi, state visitor numbers rising. Visitor arrivals to Kaua‘i (to date through February) were up 207,505 from 173,256 in 2022, or 19.8%. Kauai Now.

New safety measures sought for air tours. Hawaii's legislative delegation is aiming to improve air tour safety and reduce noise disturbances for residents across the Hawaiian Island chain. Garden Island.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Kahele wants to come home, teachers want more money, Maui drops vax requirements at restaurants, bars, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele would face uncertain path in governor’s race. Washington, D.C., is not in the future for the family of first-term U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, but he faces an uncertain path if he decides to run for governor in August instead of pursuing reelection to Congress. Star-Advertiser.

Revamping salaries is key in preventing ‘mass exodus’ of Hawaii public school teachers.
Keeping droves of veteran public school teachers from departing prematurely for other fields, private schools or retirement is gaining attention not just in Hawaii, but nationwide, as officials struggle to solve the teacher shortage plaguing public schools for roughly a decade and worsened by the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige nominates 5 to state Land Board. Gov. David Ige announced his five nominees to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, three of whom are currently serving on the panel. Star-Advertiser.

Pilot project pays infrastructure cost for bus fleets to go electric. Hawaiian Electric is looking for bus operators to participate in a new pilot program that will offset some of the cost of converting a bus fleet from diesel fuel to electric. The utility can install up to 20 bus charging ports at 10 locations on Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

Government Boards Struggle To Adapt To Hawaii’s New Open Meetings Law. Meanwhile, the Legislature is considering further changes to the Sunshine Law, including requiring that video livestreams be archived. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers advance bill aimed at increasing penalty for those who torture children. A bill aimed at preventing violence against children is moving forward at the state Capitol. Senate Bill 2092 would make the torture of a minor a felony. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii bills attempt to clarify status of support animals. Senate Bill 2438 and companion House Bill 1944 would require any person or business that sells or provides an animal for use as an emotional support animal to provide a written disclaimer that the animal does not have the special training required to qualify as a service animal and is not entitled to the same privileges as certified service animals. A separate bill, SB 2194, would have given anxiety or emotional support animals the same rights as service animals. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s New Health Equity Office Is Slow To Get Up And Running. A Senate bill seeks state funding to support the new office dedicated to addressing health disparities. Civil Beat.

Feb. 20, 2022 COVID-19 update: 4 deaths, 330 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The count includes 25 cases on Maui, 46 on Hawaiʻi Island, 42 on Kauaʻi, one on Molokaʻi, one on Lānaʻi, and 20 out of state.  There are 195 new COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Maui Now.


Six Democrats Apply For Ty Cullen’s House Seat. The lawmaker represented Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo and West Loch before resigning for accepting bribes. Civil Beat.

How Honolulu’s Ex-City Attorney Went From Obscurity To A Federal Indictment. Donna Leong’s lawyer has argued her client executed a legal retirement agreement. Federal prosecutors say it was criminal. Civil Beat.

Gerard Puana, Katherine Kealoha's uncle, charged with terroristic threatening after incident in Salt Lake. Gerard Puana, the man at the center of the Louis and Katherine Kealoha corruption case, was arrested and charged this week with terroristic threatening. KITV4.

Navy documents from 2016 raised concerns about Red Hill pipeline system. For years, environmental regulators have zeroed in on the risks posed by the Navy’s aging Red Hill fuel tanks, which have been the source of dozens of leaks since they were built in the 1940s. Star-Advertiser.

Owners scramble to find funds, meet deadlines as city requires high-rises to install sprinklers. A city ordinance requiring high-rise buildings to install fire sprinklers or pass a safety inspection is raising concerns among apartment owners. Hawaii News Now.

Biggest ‘swimming pool’ on Oahu could soon welcome swimmers. No swimming” signs might come down soon at the Wai Kai Lagoon in Ewa Beach. Hawaii legislators are considering a pair of bills that would effectively end a prohibition on swimming in the 52-acre recreational amenity serving over 1,000 residents at Hoakalei Resort where hotel development is also planned. Star-Advertiser.

Public unable to monitor calls for Honolulu police, fire and Emergency Medical Services
. The public’s ability to monitor the radio communications of taxpayer-funded first respon­ders ended Tuesday when the Honolulu Police Department encrypted its channels and replaced them with periodic email updates available only to the news media. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County budget in the works. Hawaii Island’s exuberant real estate market and a new tax on transient rentals could be enough to keep county finances out of the red despite increased spending, as administrative money crunchers work on the first stab at an annual budget by March 1. West Hawaii Today.

House members listen to mix of reviews for new Mauna Kea management. Lawmakers from three state House committees heard a mix of reviews about a proposal to create a new entity to oversee the state-managed lands of Mauna Kea during a special meeting Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Cruise ship arrivals set to increase; more corporations expected to sign deals with state. This spring, the Big Island will see an increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Hilo and Kona.Tribune-Herald.

Get in line: Kealakehe R-1 project falls behind. A 20-year-old plan to upgrade the Kealakehe wastewater treatment plant to produce and sell R-1, the highest grade of recycled water, risks sliding down the priority scale as the county tries to shore up other projects to avoid federal fines. West Hawaii Today.


Maui drops COVID-19 vaccine, testing requirements for restaurants, bars and gyms. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative testing results will no longer be required for indoor service at Maui County restaurants, bars and gyms, Mayor Michael Victorino announced. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Plan pitches hiking water rates on Maui’s thirstiest users: visitor accommodations. When severe drought puts Upcountry under water restrictions — looking down the hill at South Maui’s green hotel lawns can spark frustration for residents.  Maui Now.

Gov. Ige announces $364M in capital improvement projects. Governor David Ige announced the release of $364,445,224 for Capital Improvement Projects that will be administered by various state departments. These funds were released in November and December of 2021, and January of 2022. Maui Now.

This Maui Housing Project Is Hugely Popular And Sorely Needed. Will It Finally Get Built? It’s been nearly 18 years since the developer began planning Waikapu Country Town. With the final bureaucratic hurdles now cleared, a new deal with the county could spur construction. Civil Beat.

Sugimura: preliminary data shows there are 46,743 axis deer from ʻUlupalakua to Pāʻia. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, the Task Force received updates on various work being done to address the increasing axis deer population and related negative impacts.  Maui Now.


Why Isn’t Hawaii’s Largest Union Weighing In On The Kauai Prosecutor’s Race? HGEA is unusually silent on the special election for Kauai prosecuting attorney. Civil Beat.

Ono nominated for Board of Land and Natural Resources. Karen Ono, a real estate leader, has been nominated by Gov. David Ige to serve on the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources, representing Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wilcox School gets buggy, again.
When Wilcox Elementary School teacher Natsumi Miyasato and her science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) class established the school’s first cricket farm, the motivation was food sustainability based on Miyasato’s childhood background of eating crickets while growing up in Japan. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i not ready for ‘silver tsunami’. A growing elderly population combined with a shrinking younger workforce has left some wondering if the island will be able to care for its kupuna in the coming decade. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hawaii Democrats say Case doesn't represent party values, schools cut COVID quarantines in half, Navy to drain Red Hill fuel tanks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


U.S. Rep. Ed Case

Hawaii Democrats: Rep. Case Does Not Reflect Party’s Values And Principles
. The Democratic Party of Hawaii has passed a resolution expressing “disappointment” with U.S. Rep. Ed Case over his position on one of President Joe Biden’s top legislative priorities. The congressman is criticized for his stance on Build Back Better, but Case says the party mischaracterizes his position and never bothered to call him. Civil Beat.

New guidance for Hawaii schools cuts isolation, quarantine in half.
The recommended amount of time that teachers and students should isolate or quarantine for COVID-19 has now been cut from the previous 10 days to five, under new interim state rules for Hawaii K-12 schools. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Is The Hawaii Legislature Ready To Give Teachers A Raise? With a rosier economic outlook, the state teachers union and other advocates are stepping up calls to boost teacher pay as Hawaii’s Legislature prepares to convene in its annual session next week. Civil Beat.

DLNR Asks Hawaii Legislators For An Additional $31.6 Million. The budget boost would help the department hire more people in order to better maintain state parks and trails, officials said. Civil Beat.

Report: Hawaii Voters Support Upgrades to State Online Services, But Not With Tax Hikes. A majority of Hawaii voters surveyed support using taxpayer money to improve online access to state services, but only a quarter would back higher taxes to pay for these upgrades, according to a recent survey from Transform Hawaii Government. Civil Beat.

30 Hawaiian cultural programs receive $1.5 million from Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Building on its commitment to support Hawaiian culture, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is providing $1,475,000 in 2022 to 30 community-based programs in the Aloha State through its Kukula Ola program. Maui Now.

Home prices peaked in 2021 on neighbor islands. All of Hawaii’s neighbor island housing markets set median sale price records in 2021 for single-family homes and condominiums. Star-Advertiser.

COVID test results taking longer to return. The demand for COVID testing has increased in the last few weeks which means some people are having to wait days to get their results. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 2,929 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 150,028. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,999 new cases on Oahu, 208 on Hawaii Island, 496 on Maui, 180 on Kauai, 21 on Molokai, seven on Lanai and 18 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Navy to drain Red Hill fuel tanks but won’t rule out future legal challenges to Hawaii emergency order.
Navy officials told federal lawmakers Tuesday that they will comply with an emergency order issued by the state of Hawaii to defuel the service’s underground Red Hill tanks.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Department expands Red Hill water contamination health survey. The Hawaii Department of Health has expanded its health survey of people affected by the petroleum contamination in the Navy’s drinking water system. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu technology department modernized systems but there's room for improvement, audit says. A new report is making several recommendations to improve a department in charge of the city’s digital infrastructure. But the department’s head disagrees with its findings. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu Rail Board Members Signal Strong Satisfaction With Kahikina’s Job So Far. An official slide presentation on the new executive director’s performance cites plenty of achievements but no critiques. Civil Beat.

Oahu Emergency Medical Services stressed due to high call volume. Before the pandemic, EMS would receive about 200 to 250 calls a day. Now that number has gone up to over 300. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

West Hawaii May Get House Seat As Reapportionment Shake-Up Continues. The Big Island could have eight seats in the 51-member Hawaii House as the state redistricting process continues and new maps emerge. Civil Beat.

A Grand return to Hilo: Passengers, vendors excited to have cruise ships back; some on social media critical. The first cruise ship passengers have arrived in Hilo since March 2020. Tribune-Herald.

The great gate debate: Lawsuits follow plan to gate Kaiolu Drive. Property owners along a private Holualoa road are embroiled in litigation over a gate some owners are building to try to make the area safer at night. West Hawaii Today.

U.S. Renal Care to open new dialysis clinics in Hilo, Kona. The Big Island is slated to get new kidney dialysis clinics in Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Charter Commission Is Weighing 85 Changes To County Government.
Later this month members of the public can comment on the proposed amendments, which if approved by voters would reform county elections, policing, zoning and more. Taken as a whole, a preliminary set of 85 proposals assembled by the Maui Charter Commission would dramatically increase the size of government, establishing four new departments and 19 new boards and commissions. The reforms are estimated to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

Upper Kula water now disinfected with chlorine. The Department of Water Supply changed its water distribution disinfectant from chloramines to chlorine in an attempt to clear away the last trace amounts of total coliform bacteria and E. coli from the Upper Kula water system. The change went into effect on Monday. Maui Now.


Alaka‘i O Kaua’i Charter School dream up to space with NASA project. Three Alaka‘i O Kaua‘i Charter School students are preparing for liftoff. In May, NASA astronauts will assist them in delivering a sugarcane-research project to the International Space Station. Garden Island.

New bill takes look at cat holding period at Kaua‘i Humane Society. KHS is currently required by county law to hold microchipped cats for nine days. However, that may soon change. A new bill being introduced at the Kaua‘i County Council today seeks to shorten the time a cat is held before being put up for adoption to five days. Garden Island.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Monsanto to pay $12M for illegal pesticide use in Hawaii, cyber attack shuts down Honolulu transit servers, teachers escape discipline, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Monsanto workers (from Monsanto Hawaii Facebook page)

Monsanto to plead guilty to illegal pesticide use in Hawaii; pay $12M in fines. The court filing said Monsanto agreed to plead guilty to 30 environmental crimes after workers were allowed to go into corn fields last year on Oahu after glufosinate ammonium-based product named Forfeit 280 was sprayed on the fields. The company will also plead guilty to two felony crimes related to the storage of a banned chemical on Maui. Associated Press. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. and Japan continue to heal wounds of war in Ford Island ceremony. At the end of Pearl Harbor anniversary events, after the veterans who fought back that day and fought during World War II are rightly honored, after the 2,403 American service member and civilian casualties from the day of infamy are memorialized, there is another remembrance. Star-Advertiser.

How Does Hawaii’s DOE Deal With Teachers Accused Of Misconduct? One teacher was fired four months after being sentenced in a criminal case. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 143 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 98 new cases on Oahu, 13 on Hawaii Island, 21 on Maui, eight on Kauai and three Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Cyberattack shuts down servers at theBus, Handi-Van.
Honolulu Police Department, the FBI and the Secret Service are investigating the incident, which city transit officials said might be a ransomware attack. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Transportation department seeking public comment about adding H-1 eastbound lane. The state Department of Transportation is seeking public comment for a proposed widening of the H-1 freeway. The DOT wants to add an eastbound lane to the interstate from the Ola Lane overpass to the Likelike Highway off-ramp. Hawaii Public Radio.

Chinatown May Get More Affordable Housing For Older Adults, Plus A Hotel
. The proposal comes as Honolulu is struggling to provide affordable housing on an island where the median price for a home rose above $1 million earlier this year. Civil Beat.

City removes benches, tables at Waikiki pavilions to curb crime. The City Department of Parks & Recreation removed the benches inside the pavilion to prevent illegal activities in the area, but not everyone is happy with their methods. KHON2.

Aiea-Halawa well doesn’t have detectable petroleum, Navy officials now say. A day after the Navy reported dangerously high levels of diesel fuel in water samples collected at its Aiea-Halawa well, officials said the contamination came from an unused segment of the distribution system and that the well does not have detectable levels of petroleum. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

BWS says keeping Navy fuel out of aquifer will be a long-term challenge.
The Board of Water Supply warned Oahu households and businesses Thursday that its system could eventually be impacted by the Navy’s petroleum contamination. Hawaii News Now.

More than 322K gallons of sewage discharges on Oahu; multiple water advisories remain. The torrential rains and storm brought on by the “Kona low” earlier this week resulted in at least nine sewer discharges across Oahu, with water advisories that are expected to remain in effect for several more days. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Ready for prime time: New County Council maps set for public hearings. New County Council districts proposed by the Redistricting Commission are now ready for prime time, and the commission has set hearings next week to see what the public thinks of its work. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo skatepark mulled. About 70 people, including members of the Hilo Skateplaza Coalition, attended a meeting best described as a brainstorming session about the design of a long-hoped-for skatepark to be built on about 2.5 acres of undeveloped county land across from the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, where the meeting was held. Tribune-Herald.


Kula Water Restoration Underway, All Main Line Breaks Repaired. Parts of Kula remain without water this evening, but could have service restored by tonight into tomorrow, barring any further breaks to water lines, according to officials with the County of Maui Department of Water Supply. Maui Now.

Sale of Royal Lahaina Resort to BlackSand Capital is Complete.
BlackSand Capital, a locally owned and managed Hawai‘i real estate investment firm, completed the purchase of the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui from Pleasant Travel Service on Dec. 9. Maui Now.


Hanama‘ulu homeowners’ black-slime problem persists. Homeowners in a local housing development continue to fight chronic “black slime” biofilm and health issues they claim are caused by contaminated plumbing installed by the builder, nearly three years after some households first noticed the problem. Garden Island.

New Waimea substation without phone, internet. The Waimea substation relocated to the West Kaua‘i Technology Center at 9565 Kaumuali‘i Hwy. from its previous Ola Road locale, which had been used by KPD since 2013. Garden Island.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Tax revenue forecast brightens, teachers union files grievances over COVID protocols, Oahu median home price tops $1M, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii dawn ©2021 All Hawaii News

New Hawaii climate technology fund to be unveiled. Hawaii-founded Elemental Excelerator plans to unveil a $60 million early-stage venture capital fund today called Earthshot Ventures that will be the first climate technology fund with roots in the state. The fund, which will invest in both hardware and software companies, is being launched to support entrepreneurs tackling climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii panel boosts general fund tax revenue forecast. The Council on Revenues on Tuesday raised its forecast for Hawaii’s general fund tax revenues, saying it now expects revenues to increase by 6.3% during the current fiscal year instead of 3%. Associated Press.

Here’s How Native Hawaiian Groups Are Using $38 Million In Federal Funds. Native Hawaiians have been hit hard by the latest surge in the coronavirus and still have among the lowest vaccination rates. Civil Beat.

State Teachers Union Files Actions Over Covid Test Mandate, Safety Protocols.
The union representing Hawaii’s 13,500 public school teachers has filed a pair of grievances against the Department of Education over the implementation of the state’s Covid-19 testing mandate and “unsafe and changing working conditions” in classrooms, according to a release issued on Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

New vaccine-or-test rules at Hawaii workplaces, including state and county offices, are making it harder for people to get tested if they actually feel sick. But they also seem to be increasing the state’s vaccination rate. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii health official warns of more COVID-19 deaths in coming weeks.
Acting state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble says there is a lag between identifying cases and seeing hospitalizations and deaths. KITV4.

Mu variant detected in Hawaii, but threat is low now. The mu variant of the coronavirus, which may be better at evading protections offered by the available vaccines, has been found in nearly every state, including Hawaii, where its prevalence is second only to Alaska, according to data from Scripps Research. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

New COVID case averages dropping.
The state’s average daily number of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to 706 over the past seven days, according to the state Department of Health. Garden Island.

Hawaii sees 499 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 68,764. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 364 new cases on Oahu, 38 on Maui, 50 on Hawaii island, 45 on Kauai and two Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Oahu’s median home sale price tops $1 million for the first time.
For the first time ever, a monthly median sale price for single-family homes on the island breached the million-dollar mark — hitting $1,050,000 in August, according to Honolulu Board of Realtors data released Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu prepares for ‘Safe Access Oahu’ rollout. Starting on Monday, Sept. 13, workers and customers at gyms, restaurants and movie theaters will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test. KHON2.

COVID surge strains Oahu’s EMS service, forcing some patients to wait for an ambulance. Prior to the pandemic, Honolulu EMS would respond to an average of 250 calls a day. Over the past month, call volume has jumped 32%. That means EMS crews are being dispatched to an additional 80 calls every day. Hawaii News Now.

Months After Delivery, Portable Cells Sit Unused At Oahu Correctional Center.
Two containers that are supposed to be used as medical isolation cells at the state’s largest jail are sitting unused more than eight months after they were delivered because prison officials discovered the jail’s aging electrical system cannot accommodate the extra load of the new cells. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor Argues Against Further Inmate Releases. The prosecutor and corrections officials say the releases aren’t needed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 because inmates now have access to vaccines. Civil Beat.

Increased police enforcement leads to calmer Labor Day weekend. For the first time in five years no one died or was critically injured on Oahu in a Labor Day weekend car crash following islandwide efforts by Honolulu police to curtail impaired driving and encourage compliance with COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Warns Of Service Delays Due To COVID Surge. Officials say affected divisions include Building, Solid Waste, Vehicle Registration and Licensing, Traffic, and Parks Maintenance. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Saddle Road extension shelved. Construction of the road was put “on hold” in fall 2020 after state funding sources dried up and the extension effort was not awarded a federal grant. The state had hoped to draw money from the rental car surcharge fund for the project, but without tourism, the account has seen little revenue. West Hawaii Today.

County Council targets financial literacy. Council members voted Tuesday during a meeting of the Government Operations, Relations, and Economic Development Committee in favor of a nonbinding resolution urging the state Legislature to encourage the state Department of Education to develop a public school curriculum focused on better preparing keiki for the financial realities of adult life. Tribune-Herald.

HPD to retain authority over animal control. The Hawaii Police Department likely will retain responsibility for animal control throughout the county for at least the next year, Police Chief Paul Ferreira said. Tribune-Herald.

Police: Victim of dog attack in HPP dies. Police say the 85-year-old woman bitten by multiple dogs on Aug. 14 in Hawaiian Paradise Park died Sunday at Hilo Medical Care Intensive Care Unit, where she had been since the dog attack. West Hawaii Today.


Maui “Safer Outside” Rules Includes Vaccine Guidelines at Eateries. County officials are calling Maui’s new set of rules “Safer Outside.” It includes the previously announced vaccine guidelines for eateries, and newly announced reduction in capacity for commercial recreational boating, ground transportation, and commercial tour operators. There will also be no spectators at indoor or outdoor sporting events. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

While some residents support Maui County’s vaccine order for businesses, some say it’s unfair. With Maui County to require vaccine cards to be inside of certain establishments, some businesses find the mandate unfair while some residents said it makes them feel safer. Hawaii News Now.

Online platform to help farmers sell locally. Maui homesteader tapped to operate ‘Amazon-style’ distribution system. Maui News.

Health Department issues red placard to Maui pizza restaurant. Officials said the restaurant would have to remain closed until it complies with requirements, including more frequent professional pest control treatments, along with a monitoring and treatment plan for both cockroaches and rodents, and thorough cleaning of all areas underneath and on top of kitchen equipment. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Special December Election Set To Replace Kauai’s Prosecutor. Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar, who steered the county’s criminal legal system away from mass incarceration, is retiring later this month. Civil Beat.

County’s homebuyer program list expands with Kapa‘a property. The county’s Homebuyer Program is looking to add more inventory with a purchase of property in Kapa‘a. With the Molo Street buy, the county will effectively be adding to the dwindling affordable housing market. Garden Island.

Only one COVID citation issued during Labor Day weekend. Department of Parks &Recreation officials responded to gatherings at beach parks, where they issued warnings, county officials said. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Honolulu police officers cleared in shooting of 16-year-old, 500 health-care workers deployed to Hawaii, teachers union seeks safer classrooms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pool photo Civil Beat
Honolulu police officers in court Civil Beat pool photo

3 Honolulu Police officers cleared in fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.
Three Honolulu police officers who opened fire on a 16-year-old crime spree suspect and his crew after he ignored their orders to surrender and led them on a daredevil chase at rush hour are free of criminal charges after an Oahu District Court judge dismissed the argument that the trio committed murder and attempted murder. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Labor Department scraps plan to reopen state unemployment offices, citing COVID-19 spread. Hawaii labor officials on Wednesday canceled a planned Sept. 7 reopening of unemployment offices statewide for in-person service, citing drastically elevated COVID-19 infection risks. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Maui Now.

Hawaii teachers’ union formally demands to enter into negotiations with DOE over working conditions. The union representing more than 13,000 teachers across Hawaii today formally demanded to enter into negotiations with the state Department of Education in regard to working conditions and the safety of employees and students amid the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State mulls changes to Safe Travels program to keep out breakthrough COVID cases. State leaders are discussing the possibility of bringing back the pretravel COVID testing requirement for trans-Pacific passengers as a way to help keep out positive cases, which can be asymptomatic. KITV4.

State explores health pass to verify vaccination. As some lawmakers discuss the possibility of vaccine mandates to enter certain businesses the state is working on a way to verify people are vaccinated. KITV4.

More than 500 mainland staff will be deployed to Hawaii hospitals to help COVID-19 patients. The Hawaii Department of Health today announced that more than 500 experienced health care professionals from out of state will be deployed to 19 hospitals statewide in coming weeks to help with the ongoing coronavirus surge. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Most Hawaii Hospitals Delay Non-Emergency Procedures As Pandemic Worsens. Non-Covid patients are casualties of swelling coronavirus hospitalizations. Civil Beat.

Straub intensive care facilities full; child hospitalizations increasing in Hawaii. The intensive care facilities at Straub Hospital in downtown Honolulu are operating beyond their capacity as COVID-19 cases surge, requiring staff for the first time to execute disaster plans put in place early in the pandemic in order to handle all of the patients. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 647 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 431 new cases on Oahu, 96 on Maui, 87 on Hawaii island, 26 on Kauai, one on Molokai, and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTARY: Here's How Hawaii's Top 2022 Political Races Are Shaking Out
. The Democratic field for governor appears to be settling while the race for lieutenant governor remains wide open. And who knows what's up with the Republicans. Civil Beat.


Former Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine is target of ethics complaint. An ethics investigation, a charge of discrimination from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a financial dispute all center around former Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine, alleging that she used city resources for her 2018 unsuccessful bid for mayor, disclosed personal medical history of a former employee and did not properly pay that same staffer. Star-Advertiser.

4 charged with using fake vaccination cards
. State prosecutors recently charged two visiting families, one from California and the other from Florida, for allegedly using falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement reached over a Kapolei company’s alleged hazardous waste violations. Under the settlement, IES Downstream, LLC agreed to pay over $708,000 in civil fines. They are also obligated to send some 289,000 pounds of hazardous waste to a permitted waste treatment, storage and disposal facility on the mainland. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth asks Ige to reinstate trans-Pacific pretravel testing, even for those who are vaccinated. Mayor Mitch Roth has urged Gov. David Ige to immediately reinstate pretravel testing requirements for all trans-Pacific passengers, regardless of residency or vaccination status, as the county struggles amid an ongoing surge of COVID-19. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Fire chief appeal sent to state Labor Relations Board. The county Merit Appeals Board voted Monday to send a complaint over the selection of the fire chief to the state Labor Relations Board to determine if the county board has jurisdiction. West Hawaii Today.

Big changes for Hele-on: Bus routes will be added, altered under ‘hub-and-spoke model’. Early next month, the county will begin a broad restructuring of the island’s bus system in an effort to make mass transit easier to use. Tribune-Herald.

Settlement in ‘lava bomb’ lawsuit. A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit regarding a “lava bomb” that tore through the roof of a lava tour boat and injured numerous passengers near Kapoho on July 16, 2018. Tribune-Herald.


Larger homes would be net-zero energy under new bill. Knowing that housing development and construction operations are among the biggest contributors to climate change, Maui County officials are proposing to require that new one- or two-family residential buildings over 5,000 square feet be zero net energy homes. Maui News.

Maui Charter Commission Seeks Community Input at Aug. 19 Meeting. At its Aug. 19 meeting, the Maui Charter Commission is seeking community input and insights regarding proposed Charter amendments that will be considered for placement on the ballot in November 2022.  Maui Now.

Maui hospital feels weight of record COVID-19 cases
. Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island’s only acute-care facility, was treating 40 COVID-19 patients on Sunday, 39 COVID-19 patients on Monday and 31 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Maui News.


Council authorizes steps to take over Kilauea property for affordable housing. The Kaua‘i County Council has authorized the first steps in condemnation by eminent domain of a 23.5-acre lot in Kilauea for an affordable housing project. Garden Island.

State has funds for Ke‘e Beach lifeguards. The County Council will discuss renewed state funding of the Ke‘e Beach lifeguard tower at today’s meeting. Garden Island.

Fast-moving Hawaii Marines coordinate strikes on target ship off Kauai. A group of Hawaii-based artillery Marines working under camouflage netting at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai as part of an “expeditionary advanced base” exercise sensed, located, identified and struck a target ship 60 nautical miles off the coast Sunday using two Naval Strike Missiles. Star-Advertiser.