Showing posts with label Hawaii Tourism Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii Tourism Authority. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Hawaii Tourism Authority sued over snorkeling dangers after long flights, temporary restraining order halts destruction of Haiku stairs, contested case hearing slows Punaluu black sand beach development, Civil Beat a Pulitzer finalist for Maui fire coverage, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Michigan family files lawsuit against Hawaii tourism authority over snorkeling dangers after long flights. A Michigan family filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii's Tourism Authority, and other visitor groups, because they don't warn tourists about potential dangers of snorkeling soon after flying. KITV4.

Hawaii Pushes To Ensure High Schoolers Learn About Money Management. The Department of Education wants to include financial literacy in students' individual transition plans for career planning. Civil Beat.

Hawaii county mayors crack down on short-term rentals, pledging neighborhood restoration. Now with the power to revoke permits, county mayors are moving aggressively to shut many of them down. KITV4.

Woman charged for alleged theft of more than $44,000 in IBEW union members’ dues. Attorney General Anne Lopez announced criminal charges against a woman for the alleged embezzlement of approximately $44,367 in union dues from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 1186. Maui Now. Star-Advertiser.


Corruption Defendant Dennis Mitsunaga Injured In Jailhouse Fall, Delaying Trial
. A high-profile bribery trial involving businessman Dennis Mitsunaga and former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro was delayed on Monday after Mitsunaga sustained an injury in custody, his attorney said.  Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Settlement over Liquor Commission lawsuit is rejected. An offer by the city to settle a 2021 federal lawsuit alleging anti-gay discrimination by investigators working for the Honolulu Liquor Commission has been rejected. Star-Advertiser.

Friends of Haiku Stairs halt removal of popular, but prohibited, hiking trail. A temporary restraining order has been filed by the Friends of Haiku Stairs in an attempt to keep the city from their removal. KHON2.

Oahu housing market improves with year-over-year gains. The single-family home market had bigger gains, with a 26% jump in sales to 262 in April from 208 a year earlier, and a 10% rise in the median sale price to $1,100,000 from $999,995. Star-Advertiser.

Man who received $12.5M settlement from HPD arrested for gun crimes. Officers booked Jonaven Perkins-Sinapati Saturday afternoon for allegedly firing a gun out of a moving vehicle in Kaneohe. Hawaii News Now.

Biki’s Balancing Act: The Bike Share Company Is Raising Rates While Trying To Attract More Riders. Biki's Honolulu ridership has been steadily declining over the past few years, and its leadership wants to reinvest in the system to draw in more riders and start adding e-bikes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Punalu‘u project stalled: Proposed Black Sand Beach Development On Big Island Hits Rocky Shores. The Windward Planning Commission granted petitions for a contested case hearing over a developer's plans to build 225 units along a remote strip of coastline. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Star Alameda, wife of mayoral candidate dies. Star Alameda, wife of Hawaii County mayoral candidate Kimo Alameda and a career educator, died Friday. She was 54. Tribune-Herald.

National Science Foundation to decide on billions in funding for Thirty Meter Telescope. The National Science Foundation has until September to decide on advancing the Thirty Meter Telescope to the final design stage. The TMT is competing against a telescope project in Chile for limited NSF funding.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Name Given To New Astronomy Instrument On Maunakea.  ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have named a new instrument that will be used at the Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope on Maunakea. Wenaokeao, meaning “earliest glow of light,” was given after extensive research by high school students. Big Island Video News.


Notices of Maui homeless sweep lacking information cited by state Supreme Court. Notices of an ongoing homeless sweep at Maui’s Kahului Boat Harbor by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources lack the same information that was cited by the Hawaii Supreme Court in a challenge to Maui County’s homeless sweeps. Star-Advertiser.

A judge is forcing Hawaiʻi to give wildfire investigation documents to lawyers handling lawsuits. A judge on Friday forced the Hawaiʻi attorney general's office to turn over to lawyers involved in the hundreds of lawsuits over last summer's Maui wildfires all documents, interviews and data collected by the outside team hired to investigate the disaster. Associated Press.

Candidates file nomination papers, aim to help with Maui’s housing crisis. Two candidates for public office are testing political waters and saying they aim to help address Maui’s housing crisis, especially in the wake of the August wildfires. Maui Now.

Expeditions Maui-Lānaʻi Ferry expands to three round trips per day; continues to adjust following wildfires. The Expeditions Maui-Lānaʻi Ferry is expanding service with three round trips per day, seven days a week, starting the week of June 3, 2024. Maui Now.

Civil Beat Named Pulitzer Finalist For Maui Fire Coverage. Civil Beat’s reporting exposed critical flaws in the state and county’s emergency preparedness and response, including the absence of Maui’s top emergency management official, the county’s lack of transparency overall and the history of failures in ecological management that laid the foundation for the disaster.  Civil Beat.


County and hotel developer respond to recent wastewater spills at Coco Palms. Two recent wastewater spills at the Wailua Coco Palms sewer pump station, expected to accommodate a 350-room hotel currently under construction, have added to public opposition to the development. However, county officials and the hotel developer assert that the sewer issues are not linked to the hotelʻs construction.  Kauai Now.

Niumalu Bridge on Kaua‘i closed till further notice. Following the flooding event in April, Kaua‘i County consultants inspected county bridges across the island and determined that the Niumalu Bridge was unsafe for motorists, prompting an immediate shutdown. Kauai Now.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Legislative session good for tourism authority, vehicle insurance could rise, three-strikes bill advances, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

This legislative session has been good for the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For the first time in two years, the agency is not only getting funding, but it's a recurring event. This means the HTA won't have to ask lawmakers every year for money. KITV4.

House advances three-strikes law that would penalize repeat misdemeanor offenders. It would elevate the penalty to a Class C felony for people convicted of three offenses for certain misdemeanors within five years: assault against a law enforcement officer in the second degree, sexual assault in the fourth degree and assault in the third degree. Hawaii Public Radio.

Same-sex marriage bill remains alive.
  An effort to repeal the Legislature’s authority to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples continues to move forward as House Bill 2802 passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Under legislative proposal, thousands of Hawaii drivers would have to buy more insurance. A proposal that would force about a third of Hawaii drivers to buy more auto insurance is moving ahead at the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now.

Bill To Remove Salary Cap For Hawaiʻi DOE Superintendent Passed By House. A bill that removes the $250,000 a year salary for the Superintendent of Education was passed by the State House. Big Island Video News.

Command of U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii changes hands. On Thursday, the U.S. Pacific Fleet held a change of command ceremony at Pearl Harbor’s Kilo Pier as Adm. Samuel Paparo handed command to Adm. Steve Koehler. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii residents will see a ‘bite taken out of the sun’.  For those in the Hawaiian isles, only a partial eclipse — and not a total eclipse — will be visible. Star-Advertiser.


Architect Laurel Mau Testifies In Bribery Trial About Abrupt Firing From Mitsunaga & Associates.
Mau's firing and the theft charges against her are central to the government's corruption case against former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and other defendants. Civil Beat.

Ex-HPD officer pleads guilty to child sex assault. Mason Jordan, 33, a “prolific sexual predator” who allegedly ran a child prostitution ring for five years while working as an officer with the Honolulu Police Department pleaded guilty Thursday as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

After controversial raises, voters may get a chance to weigh in on city salary system. West Oahu Council Member Andria Tupola is proposing an amendment to the City Charter that would limit any raise to 5% per year and require a council vote to approve it. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council revisits measures to take down illegal game rooms.
The council held a hearing this week for Bills 57 and 58, which were introduced in September. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu permitting department touts new tech in backlog fight. Much like the infamous months-long wait to obtain a building permit in Honolulu, city Department of Planning and Permitting Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna said even the data detailing the problematic permit backlog was not available. Star-Advertiser.

Disappearing Waikiki beach prompts sand replenishment project — and calls for better fix.
A sand replenishment project for Waikiki is in the works as concerns of beach erosion grow, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources says. Hawaii News Now.

Kapi‘olani nurses demonstrate in front of hospital as talks continue. Negotiations over a new contract between a nurses’ union and Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children appear to remain contentious after more than six months of negotiations. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

US senator tours Hilo, visiting hula hālau, small businesses and $4.8M paving project.
Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) recently spent a day in Hilo where she met with Lahainaluna students participating in the 61st Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, toured small businesses participating in this year’s 8th Hawai‘i on the Hill and viewed the Puainako Paving Project at Waiākea Intermediate School. Big Island Now.

Merrie Monarch honors 40th anniversary of Hawaiian language revitalization. Hula is not the only Hawaiian tradition honored on the Merrie Monarch stage this week in Hilo.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Royal Parade kicks off Saturday morning in downtown Hilo. The Royal Parade will meander Saturday through downtown Hilo to celebrate the 61st annual Merrie Monarch Festival. Tribune-Herald.


A Project Aimed At Helping Upcountry Maui’s Water Shortages Is Getting Pushback From Residents. There's agreement that the cost of water to users would rise but by how much is up for debate. Civil Beat.

Maui Council Wants To Fund Recruitment And Retention For Understaffed Police Department. Police Chief John Pelletier said he can start a signing bonus program for recruits with an extra $300,000 to his $83 million budget for fiscal year 2025. Civil Beat.

Maui residents say ‘loopholes’ in emergency proclamation is causing more homelessness.
Nearly eight months after the fires, the rental market is skyrocketing, thousands of survivors are still living in hotels, and many more have moved away. Hawaii News Now.

Maui’s median home price rises to $1.3M in March. Maui’s median home price rose to $1,303,692 in March of 2024, up 9.5% from 2023 when the median was $1,191,000.  Maui Now.

Central Maui Transit Hub expected to get certificate of occupancy April 26.
The project is located off of Vevau Street near Kane Street in Kahului. It will replace the current transit hub on the Wailuku side of Queen Kaʻahumanu Center.  Maui Now.

Maui County residents asked to participate in survey on the Lahaina Recovery Plan.
  The survey will be available through May 15, 2024, and can be found on Maui Recovers’ Ola Lahaina page at Maui News.


Opponents Of Kauai Hydro Plan Drop Lawsuit But Project Is Still In Limbo. The project was meant to boost renewable energy production, but local groups worried its proposed stream diversions would do severe harm to the environment. Civil Beat.

Kauai police officer who alleged racial discrimination by chief settles for $350K. Kauai County has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused the police chief of discriminating against a captain for being Japanese American, including one instance when the chief squinted his eyes, bowed repeatedly and said he couldn’t trust Japanese people. Associated Press.

Kaua‘i Police Department getting new fleet of 10 pickup trucks. The Kaua‘i Police Department.  is introducing 10 new Chevrolet Silverado PPV pickup trucks specifically selected with advanced safety features suitable for the island terrain. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Hannemann named tourism chairman, Tam to lead state Democratic Party, developer with sketchy past seeks to rebuild Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hannemann appointed as HTA chair as agency prepares for tough legislative session. The Hawaii Tourism Authority, which ended last year’s contentious legislative session without a budget, is headed into this one with a controversial new HTA board chairperson — former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.  Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Rep. Adrian Tam picked to serve as Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's interim chair. Rep. Adrian Tam has assumed the interim chair position of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, finishing Dennis Jung’s term after the party ousted him due to a lack of confidence following challenges in fundraising and filling party officer vacancies. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study: Low wages a threat to ‘heart and soul’ of society in Hawaii. A new study finds more than half of Hawaii’s households are living from paycheck to paycheck, one financial hardship away from poverty. Tribune-Herald.

Nearly 600 EBT cardholders in Hawaii victimized by fraud. Cybercriminals have accessed funds from nearly 600 Electronic Benefits Transfer cards in Hawaii, more than double the number recently reported, as food insecurity intensifies during the holidays. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric to start new customer power supply program. The utility company announced Wednesday that it has reached a customer participation limit for one such program on Oahu, and is starting a new one for customers on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii Island.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Inmate In Arizona Prison Died With Meth In His System. Other prisoners were seen entering the cell of Richard Taylor Jr. before his body was found at the Saguaro Correctional Center. Civil Beat.


‘Horrible situation’: Erosion along Oahu’s North Shore brings hefty fines and few easy solutions. A North Shore homeowner facing almost $1 million in fines for illegal erosion barriers has told the state that he had no idea the surf could take his house. Hawaii News Now.

‘Every last drop’ of fuel will be removed, Red Hill commander says.  Joint Task Force Red Hill began removing the fuel in October after more than a year of making repairs and upgrades to the World War II-era facility and the pipelines that connect it to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Since then just over 104 million gallons have been removed, which the military says is 99.9% of what is in the facility. Star-Advertiser.

US Senate approves $1.6B defense spending bill addressing Red Hill crisis. Millions of dollars are set aside to improve the water systems at Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, the Kaneohe Marine base, and Aliamanu and Helemano Military Reservations. Hawaii News Now.

Former Oahu corrections officer sentenced to 42 months for smuggling meth. 52-year-old Richard Ascencio has been sentenced to 42 months for possession and conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Round 2 of the plan to protect the Ala Wai Canal area from flooding. The 2-mile-long canal is key to the vitality of neighborhoods around Waikīkī, which harbors much of the visitor industry.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Gun safety and tips to get concealed carry permits highlight unique town hall in Kapolei. Hawaii’s Minority Leader brought police and residents together to talk about self-defense.Amid a recent rash of violent crimes in West Oahu, State Lawmaker Diamond Garcia, who represents portions of Varona Village, ‘Ewa, and Kapolei, said residents have flooded his office with calls asking for information to apply for a license to carry. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Native Hawaiians, astronomers cherish Mauna Kea. Shane Palacat-Nelsen’s voice drops to a reverent tone as he tells the story of the snow goddess Poliahu who Native Hawaiians believe inhabits the summit of Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawaii. Associated Press.

Public comment sought for how to improve accessibility at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The National Park Service is seeking public feedback on a draft Accessibility Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan for Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park in an effort to make the Big Island park easier for people with disabilities to access. Big Island Now.

North Kohala acreage purchased for preservation. Over 600 acres in North Kohala will be preserved thanks to Hawaii Land Trust and partners Na Kalai Wa‘a, federal, state and county agencies, and the Kohala community. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.  Big Island Video News.

 Study finds feral animals increase risk of disease in ʻōhiʻa lehua trees. Researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi found that cattle and pigs play a fatal role in the spread of disease for ʻōhiʻa lehua trees on Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaii Public Radio.

 Hawaiʻi County breaks ground on Lālāmilo 10 Million-Gallon Reservoir Project. Hawaiʻi County officials and the state Department of Water Supply broke ground on the Lālāmilo 10 Million-Gallon Reservoir Project last week. Hawaii Public Radio.


This Developer Wants Public Money To Build Maui’s Future.
Has He Come Clean About His Own Past? Paul Sau-Ki Cheng says he was exonerated of his financial crimes in the 1980s. The public record does not show that. Civil Beat.

Maui Is Using An Old Job Description In Its Search For A New Emergency Administrator. Maui County’s job description for the new head of its Emergency Management Agency is recycled from 13 years ago, and salary data shows the next administrator may end up being the lowest-paid out of all such agency directors in the state. Civil Beat.

Lahaina residents to stay in current hotels through holiday season. Residents affected by the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires who were scheduled to relocate to new Red Cross non-congregate shelter locations between Friday and next Monday will stay in their current hotel shelter locations until after the holidays, the American Red Cross of Hawaii announced Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

New technology used to design recovery plan as Phase 2 in Maui wildfire response begins. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency and the County of Maui are using the 3D technology to better visualize the extent of damage in Lahaina as they design a recovery plan.   Maui Now.


Ambulance services issue gets clarity. The state Department of Health met with the Kaua‘i County Council regarding the future of ambulance services on Wednesday, nearly two months after protests led the department to cancel its decision to change emergency medical providers. Garden Island.

Community-led effort preserves Kauaʻi fishpond access into perpetuity. The Trust for Public Land facilitated the purchase and transfer of Halulu Fishpond Access from Waioli Corp. to the Waipā Foundation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai nurse attacked in emergency room recovering from extensive injuries. Sonia, a registered nurse at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, said it was a shift she’ll never forget. KHON2.

Friday, September 1, 2023

ACLU, others sue Green over emergency housing rules, raises coming for educational assistants, principals, AG probe into Lahaina fires to take 12 months, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

ACLU, other groups sue Green over emergency housing panel. A bold, unorthodox move by Gov. Josh Green in July to suspend a raft of state laws to speed up development of housing in Hawaii as a state emergency has come under more legal fire. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i, the Sierra Club, three local community organizations and one state Land Use Commission member sued Green on Thursday in state Circuit Court on Oahu, alleging that the governor exceeded his legal authority in establishing an ad hoc “working group” to make alternate regulatory decisions on housing development projects. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Raises for Hawaii educational assistants, vice principals get tentative OK.  A tentative agreement that would raise the salaries of educational assistants and vice principals in Hawaii’s public schools was announced today by Gov. Josh Green. The average base salary for educational assistants would jump from $35,425 to $40,611 and vice principal pay would go from $96,912 to $116,292, starting in the 2024 fiscal year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.   Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Sentencing Process Is Complicating Efforts To Reform The Prison System. More aggressive minimum sentences coincide with severe overcrowding and deteriorating prison conditions. Civil Beat.

New Congressional Probe Targets Hawaiian Electric Over Deadly Maui Fires. Republicans in the House have announced two separate investigations into the Aug. 8 fire that killed at least 115 people in Lahaina. Civil Beat.
House Republicans seek answers on wildfire from Hawaiian Electric, state. Three members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter Wednesday to the company, the state Public Utilities Commission and the Hawaii State Energy Office with questions about actions addressing fire risks before Aug. 8, a sequence of events that day and other things in connection with the regulated utility and the Maui disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature should create authority to oversee Lahaina’s future, UHERO says. In its first forecast following the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization on Thursday proposed the creation of a new entity to oversee what comes next for Lahaina over the years to come — to be created by the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.

Probe of Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui to take 12 months. Professional fire investigators hired by the state attorney general have been probing the policies and performance of the state and Maui County during the Aug. 8 wildfires that killed at least 115 and displaced about 4,300 people. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaii investigates unsolicited land offers while trying to keep Lahaina in local hands. Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said today his administration has opened several investigations into people who have allegedly made unsolicited offers for property in the fire-stricken Maui town of Lahaina in violation of a new emergency order. Associated Press.


Company erects massive tanks in Kapolei for military to store fuel. The federal government sought alternatives last year to store fuel in Hawaii and contracted Island Energy Services, which built several storage tanks in Kapolei.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Former zoo veterinarian technician to head up Hawai‘i County’s newly established Animal Control and Protection. A zoo veterinarian technician from Melbourne, Florida, will head up Hawai‘i County’s newly established Animal Control and Protection Agency, starting Friday. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Care Choices to expand its offerings. Hawaii Care Choices will reopen its Pohai Malama Care Center facility in Hilo in the next few months as the care provider celebrates its 40th anniversary. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Renal Care opens kidney dialysis clinic in Prince Kuhio Plaza. The other dialysis clinic in Hilo operating independent of a hospital is Liberty Dialysis, at the corner of Kinoole and West Lanikaula streets. Tribune-Herald.


More than 1,700 students from Lahaina public schools have not enrolled since the wildfire. The state Department of Education estimates that out of the nearly 3,000 students who were enrolled at four Lahaina public schools prior to the Aug. 8 wildfire, 1,757 of them have not enrolled in another public school or opted for distance learning.  Maui Now.

Gov. Green expects number of unaccounted to drop on Maui. An updated list of people unaccounted for in the wake of the deadly Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire is due to be released today, and Gov. Josh Green said he expects the number to have dropped to “the lower double digits” — and perhaps below 50 — from the 388 names first released Aug. 24. Star-Advertiser.

Millions raised, how much is getting to Maui?  Millions of dollars have poured into organizations that provide relief after the Maui wildfires and officials said the money is starting to get to where it needs to go. KHON2.

Maui mayor details activities surrounding deadly Lahaina fire. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen on Thursday gave his account of the events surrounding the devastating fires of Aug. 8, saying that the “severe gravity of the impact was not clear in the initial hours” of what would become the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over a century. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Maui News.  Hawaii News Now.

HTA approves $2.6M plan to aid Maui tourism economy.  An emergency declaration last month gave HTA access to a $5 million tourism special fund, which if needed could help the cash-strapped agency fund the tourism recovery plan. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Hanalei Hill slope stabilization work begins next week. A single-lane closure on Kūhiō Highway (Highway 560) is slated for the week of Sept. 5 as part of the Hanalei Hill Slope Stabilization project. Kauai Now.

Ground broken for Kapa‘a Pop Warner storage facility. Dignitaries from the Wescon Region Pop Warner, the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League, Kapa‘a Eagles Pop Warner, the Junior Olympic softball team and Kalani Construction broke ground Saturday on a new storage facility for Kapa‘a Pop Warner and the softball team at Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex next to Radford Sam Fong pavilion. Garden Island.

Outrigger acquires resort on Kauai. Outrigger Hospitality Group has finalized the purchase of Kaua‘i Beach Resort &Spa — the hotel company’s eighth global beach resort acquisition in the past three years and one of several new Hawaii investments. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Big plans to save Waikiki from ocean waves, Ethics Commission: OHA trustee's daughter can't work for him anymore, Honolulu rethinking condo sprinkler law, yacht owners fined $117k for Maui grounding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Local Orchid Farmers Grateful to Those Buying Local. Hilo's Orchid Show has been a local fixture since before World War II. The Hilo Orchid Society says there's been breaks for wartime, also COVID, and lots has changed in the last century. KITV4.

OHA trustee denied exemption from anti-nepotism law. 
The first request for an exemption from the state’s new anti-nepotism law — submitted by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Brickwood Galuteria, who supervises his daughter — has been denied by the Hawaii Ethics Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii public schools’ safety vulnerabilities outlined by DOE.  Vulnerability assessments at Hawaii’s public schools have progressed at a slow pace, with only 140 of the state’s 258 regular public school campuses formally evaluated since 2017 for problems that could make them more vulnerable to a potential active shooter. Star-Advertiser.

Access to Hawaii public school campus assessments impeded. Periodic requests over the past year by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to accompany Hawaii public school officials on “campus vulnerability assessments” have all been denied, and requests to view documents from the campus assessments already conducted remain at an impasse. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii housing emergency order to ‘unstick’ local government projects.  One reason Gov. Josh Green enacted an emergency proclamation to speed up residential development in Hawaii was the historically slow pace of state and county affordable-­housing projects. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority names new board chair, vice chair.  The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board of Directors selected airline industry veteran Blaine Miyasato as its new chair and educator and social entrepreneur Mahina Paishon Duarte as its new vice chair.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority to focus on destination stewardship. The Hawaii Tourism Authority board, which has increasingly come under pressure from the community and state lawmakers to manage tourism, voted Thursday to support a reorganization that creates a Destination Stewardship Branch, elevates the agency’s finance and planning departments, and expands personnel. Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds gather to mark the 180th anniversary of Sovereignty Restoration Day.  Hundreds gathered at Thomas Square on Sunday to celebrate La Hoihoi Ea — Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day — with the official holiday taking place on Monday.  The holiday marks King Kamehameha III finally regaining control of the Hawaiian Kingdom after the British illegally took control of the islands for five months. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.


Major plans for Waikiki aim to save it from waves, flooding.  The Waikiki shoreline stretches from Duke Kaha­namoku Beach to Kaimana Beach, a stretch of about two miles, or 10,260 feet of coastline.  Star-Advertiser.

Council chair pressured to rescind costly condo fire sprinkler law.  Condominium associations are lobbying Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters to repeal a law that requires high-rise condos to install costly fire sprinkler systems, prompting Waters to seek input from the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. Star-Advertiser.

Advocates see gains in efforts to reclaim Makua Valley from Army.  The valley is one of the most controversial of the military’s training grounds in the islands, and holds particular significance for Hawaiian cultural practitioners. In Hawaiian, “makua” means “parent,” and the valley is considered the place where human life was first created, according to oral tradition. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Changed Bus Routes To Accommodate The Rail. But Many Passengers Say No Thanks. City transportation officials say the goal is "one integrated system." But the changes have made commutes more difficult in some cases. Civil Beat.

A month into operation, here’s how many people are riding Honolulu’s rail line daily.  After one month of operation for Oahu’s Skyline, daily ridership numbers have fallen substantially since its opening weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Zoo ticket prices increase to meet growing costs.  For the first time in over a decade, the Honolulu Zoo has increased its admission fees.  Tickets for general admission adults are now $21, while general admission for children age 3 to 12 is $13.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Why Some Hawaiian Homesteaders Pay 6 Times More Than County Users For Water. DHHL hopes to use some of the $600 million appropriated for homelands last year to improve infrastructure, including water access. Civil Beat.

County receives new copter courtesy of the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation. Thanks to a donation from the Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation, through generous benefactors, Hawaii County will become a safer place with a new fire department helicopter. West Hawaii Today.

Keawe Street business owners lament loss of sales during daytime road work.  Construction on Keawe Street in downtown Hilo will be ongoing until April 2024. Hawaii County crews are upgrading the gas, sewer and water infrastructure along Keawe, and the work is requiring the closure of parking spaces and traffic lanes from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Tribune-Herald.


Trust fined $117K in Maui yacht grounding, owner could face further penalty. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has voted to accept a $117,000 fine against the trust that was involved in the yacht grounding incident on Maui, but said that it wants to continue deliberating on a penalty against the operator of the yacht and his luxury yacht charter service. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.  Maui Now.

Lanai Ferry Seeks Higher Ticket Fare For The First Time In 15 Years. The public can weigh in next month on whether state regulators should approve the proposed 37% increase. Civil Beat.

Betty’s Beach Cafe in Lahaina closes due to roach infestation.  Several other critical violations were observed, so a yellow “conditional pass” placard was posted.  Maui News.


Waimea Public Library reopens after 18-month renovation project.  Waimea Public Library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m., then again from 5 to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and then from 1 to 4 p.m., and Friday hours are from noon to 4 p.m. The library is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Garden Island.

First installment of real property taxes due Aug. 21.  Payments can be made online at, by mail, in person or at the drop box located outside the Kapulē Building at the Līhu‘e Civic Center.  Kauai Now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tourism contracts awarded, 93 sickened, one dead in Hilo nursing home COVID outbreak, Honolulu suicide attempts spike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaii Tourism Authority awards over $67M to 3 contractors. The Hawaii Tourism Authority made three multiyear procurement awards Monday valued at more than $67.8 million collectively to manage the brands and market Hawaii to the United States and Canada, and to offer support services for destination stewardship. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Proposed fishing rules would affect host of species
. By proposing fishing rules that would affect several herbivorous fish species in Hawaii, the state finds itself in a delicate balancing act to preserve both Hawaii’s marine resources and local, cultural and subsistence fishing practices. Star-Advertiser.

Wasps could limit coffee berry borer impacts in Hawaiʻi. Researchers in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences and USDA-Agricultural Research Service plan to deploy thousands of these wasps in coffee-growing areas on Hawaiʻi Island and possibly Maui and Oʻahu. Maui News. Garden Island.  KHON2.

Gov. Green issues flag order to honor late State Senator Sam Slom. Governor Josh Green has ordered that the United States flag and the Hawaiʻi state flag be flown at half-staff at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol and at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaiʻi National Guard in the State of Hawaiʻi, effective immediately, until sunset on May 24. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

It's no secret Hawaiʻi loves Spam. But health experts fear its long-term risks. Hawai‘i residents eat 7 million cans of Spam per year, making it the state with the highest number of consumers per capita in the nation, according to Spam's numbers.  Hawaii Public Radio.


$253M in affordable housing funding to lapse, Honolulu officials say. About $253 million in city-approved bond appropriations earmarked for the acquisition, development and construction of affordable housing and related projects around Oahu will lapse by June 30, Honolulu officials said. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu reports alarming increase in suicide attempts, especially among youth.
Honolulu EMS is now responding to between 10 and 15 suicide attempts a day amid an alarming uptick that health officials say they’re watching closely. Hawaii News Now.

Public invited to Red Hill ‘open house’ to weigh in on defueling process. The open house events take place Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Keehi Lagoon Memorial Park. Hawaii News Now.

‘We Need To Rebuild Trust’: Honolulu Mayor’s Town Halls Are Getting City Officials In Touch With The Community. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, more than two years into his tenure and running for reelection, is taking his show on the road. In the past three months, he and his administration have criss-crossed Oahu, speaking at 10 unscripted evening town halls from Waianae to Kaneohe and Waialua to Aina Haina. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council to hear ‘Restricted Parking Zone’ bill. The city is looking to address parking issues in congested neighborhoods through a restricted parking zone program. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

“Heightened Unrest” At Kilauea Volcano. In a special Monday evening Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status report, scientists said Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. However, earthquake rates are elevated beneath the summit area. Big Island Video News.

COVID outbreak at Hilo nursing home includes 93 cases, 1 death. The state Health Department confirmed it was notified in early April of the outbreak at Life Care Center of Hilo, and has been providing technical assistance to the facility. Star-Advertiser.

Energy contracts renegotiated; Move will reduce customers’ power bills, Hawaiian Electric says. Hawaiian Electric announced Monday that it has renegotiated three contracts with Big Island providers to eliminate language tying their rates to the fluctuating cost of oil, which should stabilize prices in the long term. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Maui Council to consider first reading of 2024 budget. The Maui County Council will consider the county’s fiscal year 2024 budget on first reading at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Maui Now.

Maui County unemployment down to 2.8%. Maui County’s unemployment rate last month was at 2.8 percent, down compared to 3.4 percent in March, the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism reported last week.  Maui News.

Maui Humane Society facing severe overcrowding, urgently seeking fosters and adoptions. The Maui Humane Society is facing an overcrowding crisis, and for the first time in years, may have to resort to euthanasia of some at-risk dogs. KITV4.


Online registration for Kaua‘i Summer Fun Program begins May 24. The Kaua‘i Department of Parks and Recreation’s 2023 Summer Fun Program will open on May 24 at 8 a.m., through the county’s website. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Helicopter tours could be reduced, tourism authority gets new life, Honolulu ex-councilman Anderson arrested on domestic abuse charges, army chiefs meet on Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Reduction of air tours over Hawaii national parks is proposed. Noisy air tours would be greatly reduced over Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakala National Park under draft plans unveiled Monday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority Just Won’t Die Despite Some Lawmakers’ Best Efforts. Gov. Josh Green plans to spend $60 million to keep the agency alive -- for now. Civil Beat.

Thousands could have their arrest records expunged after state Supreme Court ruling. A Supreme Court of Hawaii ruling could give thousands of people a chance to have their arrest records expunged. The decision affects those who were arrested for a crime, but were actually convicted of a violation. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Legislature dials back aid grants. Hawaii lawmakers, working with a revenue surplus for a second straight legislative session, dialed back grant awards to nonprofits this year but maintained a higher level of giving than in other recent years. Star-Advertiser.

Army chiefs from 3 nations meet on Oahu. The chiefs of the U.S., British and Australian armies met Monday on Oahu as the three countries pursue closer ties amid boiling geopolitical tensions in both Europe and the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric finalizes Integrated Grid Plan to decarbonize its energy systems by 2045. Hawaiian Electric filed its “Integrated Grid Plan: A pathway to a clean energy future” with the Public Utilities Commission, outlining steps the company will take in the coming years to ensure its system will achieve net zero carbon emissions and use 100% renewable resources by 2045. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaiian Air unveils Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabin design. Hawaiian Airlines, which plans to begin service in early 2024 with its new 300-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, unveiled Monday the interior of the aircraft and introduced a new class of premium service: the Leihoku Suites. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Honolulu Council committee meets over real property tax bills. The Honolulu City Council’s subcommittee meant to sort through a slew of largely Council-initiated real property tax measures to aid homeowners affected by the approximately 10% or greater increase in real property tax assessments on Oahu is scheduled to hold its first meeting today. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Still Answers Mental Health Calls With Force, Data Shows. The number of use of force incidents by HPD has more than tripled in the past decade, but police might just be better at reporting. Civil Beat.

Community invited to give input on future projects surrounding Hālawa's rail station. The city's Department of Planning and Permitting is hosting a community meeting to discuss Hālawa's transit-oriented development (TOD) plan. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ex-City councilmember Ikaika Anderson charged for allegedly abusing his girlfriend.
Honolulu police have arrested and charged Ikaika Anderson, former Honolulu City Councilmember and candidate for lieutenant governor, for allegedly abusing his girlfriend in Waimanalo on Monday night. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Over 70 Oʻahu public schools dish out lunches with poi this month. The new menu item is part of the state Department of Education's farm-to-school initiative. The campaign aims to promote food sustainability in the islands by supporting local farmers and improving students' health. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Pacific Health relaxes masking policy at its facilities. Hawaii Pacific Health said starting today, wearing masks will be optional at all of its medical centers and clinics, except for desginated, high-risk patient care areas. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Survey On Red Hill’s Future Use Closes Soon. What should the military do with the Red Hill fuel facility once it’s empty? Community members have until the end of this month to make their voices heard.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Bill proposes new Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience for Hawaiʻi County. The legislation would establish the new cabinet-level office, which would be responsible for coordinating and managing policies to promote Hawai‘i County’s sustainability and resilience in response to the impacts of climate change and other natural and manmade hazards. Big Island Now.

State Inches Closer To Restoring Access To Big Island Boat Ramp 5 Years After Eruption. A popular boat ramp on Hawaii island is in line to receive $5.4 million for dredging and excavation of volcanic debris left behind from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Fishermen and residents say it's time to reopen the Pohoiki Bay boat ramp to subsistence fishing, cultural practices, recreation and other uses. Civil Beat.


Project aims to map wetlands for restoration and flood prevention. Maui County’s Department of Planning is creating a public tool that will help reduce flood risk while protecting and restoring important natural wetland ecosystems.  Maui News.

How the County of Maui ended up with 700 public service job vacancies. The police, Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Housing and Human Concerns are in need of new employees on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.


Kaua‘i economy should stay the course. A stout tourism industry should help keep the County of Kaua‘i economy on course through the rest of the year even if the nation falls into recession. Garden Island.

Restoration project to lure back seabirds launched along remote Nā Pali coast of Kauaʻi. Last week, a seabird restoration project was initiated at Nuʻalolo Kai on the rugged and remote Nā Pali coast of Kauaʻi to help populations that have been lost from the area due to non-native predators. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Tourism authority pushes ahead without funding, antisemitism on the rise, leaders unite over Red Hill cleanup, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Visitor marketing contracts worth $70M move forward despite tourism authority’s budget crisis. Hawaii Tourism Authority prepares to award contracts. Directors of the Hawaii Tourism Authority are moving ahead with major industry marketing and management contracts after months of uncertainty at the Legislature over the agency’s funding and future existence. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Judiciary chairs pleased with ethics measures passed during session. The Hawaiʻi State Legislature attempted to make sweeping ethics reforms this session after two former lawmakers faced federal corruption charges, but a handful of measures died behind closed doors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Legislators Have Long Been Loath To Tackle The Issue Of Cockfighting. Hawaii is just one of eight states that considers cockfighting a misdemeanor act of animal cruelty instead of a felony. Civil Beat.

State OKs number of low-income tax breaks. Certain tax credits for certain low-income families are set to double or more under a tax plan passed by the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Little Fire Ant Program Gets Funding, But It May Be Too Late For Eradication. The Hawaii Ant Lab was cut off from the majority of its funds in 2021. This year, the Legislature gave it $500,000. Civil Beat.

Antisemitism is on the rise in Hawaii. An audit released by the Anti-Defamation League in March of recently reported antisemitic incidents in the U.S. showed that like much of the country, Hawaii has seen an increase in antisemitism.  Spectrum News.

Hawaii COVID-19 exposure notification app to shut down. The AlohaSafe Alert app, Hawaii’s free state-approved COVID-19 exposure notification system, will shut down on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii leaders unite over long-term Red Hill cleanup. Top state and local leaders gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to sign on to a “unified statement” that calls for an overarching policy governing the cleanup of the area surrounding the Navy’s Red Hill underground fuel facility, where there have been dozens of fuel leaks over the decades as well as spills of firefighting foam containing dangerous chemicals. Star-Advertiser.

Electricity Rate Shock Hits City Hall Too. Honolulu’s municipal electricity bills have skyrocketed in the past year, placing more pressure on an already tight operating budget.  Civil Beat.

New push to close popular Waikiki beach two hours earlier than normal.
Waikiki residents are asking the city to change the overnight closure hours for Kuhio Beach from 2 a.m. to midnight. On Tuesday Night, Waikiki’s Neighborhood Board unanimously passed a resolution asking the city to change the closing time. Hawaii News Now.

Prison reform advocates outraged over $10M allocated for new OCCC. Overcrowding and dilapidated conditions are some of the main reasons why public safety officials are advocating for a new Oahu Community Correctional Center. Hawaii News Now.

Marine Corps shooting range targeted by state lawmakers as calls for relocation grow. The Marine Corps says it doesn’t plan to move its century-old shooting range in Ewa Beach, despite mounting pressure from state lawmakers and residents. Hawaii News Now.

Bill would set up street parking program. A Honolulu City Council bill would make permanent a program designed to give more street parking access to Oahu residents. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii’s first medical respite receives first units.  The first of 12 units for Hawaii’s medical respite kauhale arrived Tuesday across the street from The Queen’s Medical Center in the mauka section of the state Department of Health parking lot, steps away from the Governor’s Mansion. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

City acquires Wahiawa property for special needs housing. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi today announced the city’s acquisition of the property at 360 California Ave., the former location of Hope Treatment Services in Wahiawa. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Future Hilo Skate Park cleared for development. The site that will be the future location for the Hilo Skate Park is being cleared and fenced off by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Draft plan looks to boost energy at PGV. Puna residents will get another chance to weigh in on a plan to boost Puna Geothermal Venture’s energy output. Tribune-Herald.

No Fair! EK Fernandez, the family run business who brought the fair to outer islands for more than 30 years confirmed Tuesday that the much anticipated event will not be gracing our island this year, or for any time in the foreseeable future. West Hawaii Today.


Dip in home sales continues in Maui County. Median home prices at $1.1M in April, slightly down from a year ago. Maui News.

Bishop Larry Silva to bless sculpture on Maui honoring Saint Damien. Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu, will bless a bronze image entitled Father Damien, created by Maui-based sculptor Dale Zarella in honor of Saint Damien, the Belgian priest who volunteered to care for patients exiled to Molokaʻi. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i County Council to vote on Coco Palms resolution to prioritize public access, uses. The resolution introduced by councilmember Felicia Cowden cites the great historical and cultural significance of the derelict resort in Wailuā, which was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i Police Chief Raybuck eyes department reorganization. Chief Todd Raybuck appeared before the Kaua‘i County Council on May 3, where he announced his intention to reorganize the department in hopes of improving efficiency. Garden Island.

Blessing held for ‘Ele‘ele housing project. Footprints of the first few buildings of the Lima Ola Supportive Housing Project were already in place as sprinkles from the rain over the Kalaheo plateau kept the red dust in check on Tuesday morning in ‘Ele‘ele. Garden Island.

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.