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

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.

Monday, April 24, 2023

10k public housing units proposed, child abuse cases rise, Oahu jail funding uncertain, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

10,000 more homes planned at Hawaii public housing projects. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority anticipates picking a private master developer partner within 60 days to redevelop nine of the agency’s low-income rental housing subdivisions on four islands where all 1,187 existing apartments would be replaced while also adding potentially 10,880 more homes for low- and middle-income households. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority faces critical week. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority faces its most critical week since its 1998 creation as lawmakers consider a state budget that could zero out its funding or drastically reduce it, and begin the final push in advance of Friday’s decking deadline on two bills that could repeal the agency. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii concerned with Senate version of budget. The House version of the state budget fully restores funding to the University of Hawaii, unlike the Senate version, which only partially restores funds cut during COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Latest sequel to Hawaii film tax credit program pending at Legislature. Hawaii lawmakers have written several different scripts this year to dramatically alter the state’s ever-changing film industry tax credit program, and one controversial draft is still pending at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Bill protecting sexual assault survivors awaits Governor Josh Green's signature. Senate Bill 1267 will help survivors obtain a restraining order against their offender regardless of what state they live in. KITV4.

Child abuse cases in Hawaii rose to 2,114 in 2022 as pandemic unwound. In a news conference Sunday, the Children’s Justice Centers of Hawaii said that in 2022 they tracked 2,114 cases of abuse in children ranging in age from infants to 17 years old. The cases were up 332 from 2020 and 54 from 2021. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Teenagers Go To Court To Force Climate Action. Lawsuits in Hawaii and Montana shine light on how climate chaos threatens their adult lives. Hawaii presents another opportunity to test a constitutional guarantee to a “clean and healthful environment.” What does that mean? The plaintiffs, represented by Our Children’s Trust and Earthjustice, are determined to find out.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s water systems tackle ‘forever chemicals’.
PFAS, an acronym for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been found in water systems throughout the country, particularly those that rely on surface water. In Hawaii, most of the state’s drinking water comes from groundwater. Star-Advertiser.

UH Sea Grant Program receives over $5M for ocean debris cleanup
. Efforts to keep waters around Hawaii pristine are getting some welcome funding. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

Hawaii Residents Are Struggling Even More With High Interest Rates. But Good News May Be Looming. Many people and small businesses racked up debt during the pandemic and are "in catch-up mode," according to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Civil Beat.

US Rep. Jill Tokuda Refuses To Take Corporate PAC Money.
Does It Matter? The first-term congresswoman doubled down on her campaign pledge in a recent fundraising email. Experts say it's all about political messaging. Civil Beat.


Debate Over A New Hawaii Jail Heats Up In The Final Days Of The Legislature. The Senate proposed spending $25 million to plan and solicit bids to replace the aging Oahu Community Correctional Center. The House offered nothing. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail safety plans include security cameras, patrols. A federally mandated rail safety plan identifying the city Department of Transportation Services as the final responsible party for the coming rail system has rolled toward official approval. Star-Advertiser.

The Battle Against Cockfighting In Hawaii: Lax Enforcement Helps Foster An Attitude Of ‘What’s Wrong With It?’ HPD used to do weekly raids and undercover ops to tackle cockfighting. Now, police haven’t made any arrests in over a year.  Civil Beat.

Chinatown Walmart Could Be Converted To Housing If City Council Bill Passes. The measure would make it easier to transform commercial spaces into residential. Some say the measure goes too far. Civil Beat.

Dorm to be UH Manoa’s second housing partnership. A newly approved University of Hawaii student housing project on Dole Street will be a landmark in a couple of ways, becoming the second public-private student housing project on the Manoa campus and housing a child care facility supported by the state’s new preschool initiative. Star-Advertiser.

Project aims to kick-start Waikiki coral reefs. The REEFrame project, as it is being called, is a partnership of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Conservation International, the state Division of Aquatic Resources, ocean technology firm Natrx, ocean engineering firm Oceanit and ClimbHI, a workforce development nonprofit. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

DLNR to monitor monk seal Kaiwi, pup around the clock. DLNR said its Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers will help keep people safe by directing them away from where the seals are in the water. Anyone who ignores the DOCARE officers’ directions can be cited or arrested. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State to open new pre-K classrooms: Big Island to receive a total of 13 by 2024. Eleven new pre-kindergarten classrooms are set to open throughout the state by August, including one at Waimea Elementary School. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Wastewater Service Options Examined In Draft EIS. The County of Hawaiʻi is considering options for wastewater systems in Puna, including sending the wastewater to Hilo for treatment. Big Island Video News.

Pohoiki Bay Restoration Draft Environmental Assessment Published. Public comments are being accepted on a plan to dredge the accumulated volcanic debris and restore access to the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Big Island Video News.

Lawyers in Boy Scout shooting case express frustration. Lawyers for the family of an 11-year-old Boy Scout killed last August when an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle was accidentally discharged at a shooting range wrangled in court Friday with lawyers for the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council. Tribune-Herald.

Food Basket working to establish ag innovation campus. With newly acquired 24.5 acres of land, The Food Basket is working to create the Hawaii Island Agricultural Innovation Park and Food Systems Campus, which will help alleviate food insecurity, lift barriers to pursuing agriculture, and respond to the current economic downturn by providing the capital needed to create a robust agricultural economy. Tribune-Herald.

Paving Waikoloa Road – Community meeting explains timeline, process. Nearly 20 community members attended a meeting Thursday evening presented by the county Public Works Division at Waikoloa Elementary School to learn the details of the planned paving of the road that transverses their village from Mamalahoa Highway to Queen Kaahumanu Highway. West Hawaii Today.


State cracking down on illegal car rentals at airport. Owners say they need help from Turo, state to comply with rules Since early March, the state Department of Transportation has been working “hand in hand” with the Maui Police Department to crack down on peer-to-peer rental car businesses operating without permits at Kahului Airport.  Maui News.

Sports, extracurricular activities moving ahead at Kulanihako‘i. Officials at the new Kihei high school are seeking an athletic director and coaches. Maui News.


U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda talks climate at first Kaua‘i town hall. On Earth Day, the climate was top of mind for many in attendance, including resident Jimmy Trujillo, who asked about tapping into federal funds to address climate change on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Oahu Land Crunch Leads Aloun Farms To Expand Acreage On Fertile West Kauai. Aloun Farms, one of Hawaii’s most prolific producers of Chinese cabbage, green beans, pumpkin and sweet corn, made a name for itself in Central Oahu in the 1990s as a local food producer focused on edging out vegetable imports. Civil Beat.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Hawaii Tourism Authority could be dissolved, 4 Honolulu police charged in chase crash, Green's cabinet appointees face tough time in Legislature, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaii Tourism Authority Is A Step Closer To Being Dissolved. Hawaii lawmakers moved toward dramatically reshaping how the island state markets itself as a tourist destination on Thursday, when a joint House committee voted to approve a Senate bill dissolving the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  Civil Beat.

Senators Reject Governor’s Pick For Economy Chief But Give Thumbs-Up To New DHHL Director. Hawaii lawmakers divided over governor’s latest nominees. Two more of Gov. Josh Green nominees to lead state departments had rough job interviews Thursday by Senate committees, with one receiving a rejection recommendation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Chief Energy Officer Mark Glick is the latest cabinet confirmation. Ten of Gov. Josh Green's administrative appointees have received Senate committee recommendations so far — a crucial milestone before the nominees appear before the full Senate to be confirmed. Hawaii Public Radio.

House highlights bills to assist families, keiki and environment.
The state House passed its version of the state budget and other bills that leaders say will assist struggling families through tax relief, help them finance rooftop solar systems, improve the environment and lead to “a sustainable future for our state.” Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Following Labor Department pushback, paid family leave proposal dies. Efforts to establish a family leave system in Hawaii similar to unemployment insurance have died again at the state Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

Computer science mandate for Hawaii public schools debated. A bill to require the state Board of Education to determine whether computer science should become a requirement for public school graduation is moving through the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Cops Have Jurisdiction On Homelands, But DHHL Says Policing Is Patchy. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wanted the Legislature to pass Senate Bill 490, which would have given the Hawaiian Homes Commission its own police powers, allowing the chair to hire law enforcement officers dedicated to Hawaiian homelands. The bill died after passing two committees. Civil Beat.


4 Honolulu police officers charged in crash that paralyzed teen. Four Honolulu police officers face felony charges in connection with a September 2021 police pursuit that ended in a crash that the officers allegedly fled and conspired to cover up. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Honolulu considers allowing some commercial activities at parks, beaches with uniform rules. Honolulu's Bill 19 proposes creating a uniform set of rules for commercial activities at Oʻahu parks — allowing businesses to resume with some restrictions. Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy discloses another Red Hill spill. Approximately 1,500 gallons of concentrated firefighting suppressant containing toxic chemicals spilled at the Navy’s Red Hill underground fuel facility on Dec. 7, 2019, the Navy disclosed to regulators this week, bringing the number of known spills at the facility to three and elevating concerns that dangerous chemicals, called PFAS, still may be lurking in the environment as a result. Star-Advertiser.

Speeding in Honolulu could cost you hundreds. On Oahu speed is a huge factor with traffic fatalities. The Honolulu Police Department credits half of their traffic fatalities involving a motorist driving over the posted speed limit. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

HVO lowers Mauna Loa alert level. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has downgraded its alert level for Mauna Loa after more than three months of calm. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Mauna Loa Observatory “Back in Action." The Mauna Loa Observatory is back measuring the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, three months after the end of the lava eruption that forced scientists to abandon the facility. Big Island Video News.

Proposed new HVO site could benefit students. Plans for a new 60,000-square-foot facility on state land at the intersection of Komohana and Nowelo streets in Hilo are taking shape, and could provide for more partnerships between the observatory and university faculty and staff. Tribune-Herald.

Mobile health clinic unveiled. A new mobile health care clinic has arrived on the Big Island courtesy of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, a Hawaii-based nonprofit dedicated to improving maternal, child and family health care. Tribune-Herald.


Michelle L. Drewyer appointed to fill judicial vacancy created by now-Maui Mayor Bissen. With her selection, the Second Circuit Court of Maui County will fully achieve gender parity, with two female and two male judges. Maui Now.

Maui police ramp up foot patrols in Paia amid merchants’ complaints. Police are ramping up enforcement efforts on Maui’s North Shore after repeated complaints from merchants about illegal activity in the area. Hawaii News Now.

Input sought for management of Kīpahulu Forest Reserve. Management efforts on the southeast slopes of Haleakalā aim to gradually restore the native forest ecosystem of Maui’s Kīpahulu Forest Reserve.  Maui Now.

Lahainaluna’s stadium to undergo renovations. Project will impact the track and field season; graduation ceremony is moved. Maui News.

Hawaiʻi Department of Health issues red placard to restaurant in Pā‘ia. The Hawai‘i Department of Health issued a red “Closed” placard to Café Mambo to protect public health. The restaurant, owned and operated by Betham Pacific LLC, is located at 30 Baldwin Avenue in Pā‘ia.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i county council to stop accepting Zoom testimony. Starting next week, the Kaua‘i County Council will no longer be accepting testimony via Zoom. Officials say the change was prompted by state statutes, which might require meetings that use interactive conference technology to be repeated if the connection gets interrupted. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Hazelton appointed as Kaua‘i governor’s representative. In her new role with the Gov. Josh Green administration, Dana Hazelton will be the governor’s “eyes and ears” for the Kaua‘i community. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Senate committee nixes Anderson bid for DHHL, tax relief clears 2 committees, feds seek removal of Leong defense attorney in Honolulu corruption case, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

Capitol TV
Senate panel impairs DHHL leadership bid. Ikaika Anderson failed to win an endorsement from a Senate committee Tuesday to lead the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands over issues that included mistrust. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Tax Relief Bill Clears 2 House Committees. The House Education and Economic Development committees unanimously approved a bill Tuesday aimed at providing tax relief to lower- and middle-income families, but it is still unclear if the measure will survive the legislative session. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Legislature Looks To Tweak Internal Rules To Accommodate Ethics Reform. The Senate has committed to livestreaming hearings while the House looks to clarify conflicts of interest for its members. Civil Beat.

HTA puts out third call for U.S. tourism contract. The Hawaii Tourism Authority kicked off its third procurement for a U.S. tourism contract by soliciting bids for a contractor to provide Hawaii tourism destination brand management and marketing services for the U.S. market. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

State bill targets legal short term rentals. The bill does more than just allow counties to change the zoning. It also allows counties to phase out permitted, nonconforming, or otherwise allowed short-term rentals in any zoning classification. KITV4.

Free community college? Legislation seeks to cover tuition for Hawaii residents at 10 campuses. House Bill 78 and its companion, Senate Bill 172, would expand the Hawaii Promise program, a “last dollar” scholarship providing free in-state tuition for University of Hawaii community college students. Tribune-Herald.

Convicted felons can’t serve on Hawaii juries. This lawmaker says it’s time to change that. The proposal could open up jury duty for nearly 5,000 residents with a criminal past. Hawaii News Now.

Midwives Will Soon Need A License To Practice In Hawaii.
Many Are Pushing Back. Regulators want to standardize practices, but some people fear mandatory licensure could hurt rural and Native Hawaiian communities. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

State bill hopes to boost money for rural broadband.  Hawaii could receive up to $250 million in order to build out broadband infrastructure in rural areas. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii legislator concerned by distribution of Chinese newspaper. State Rep. Gene Ward questions why free copies of the Chinese Communist Party’s China Daily newspaper are delivered to House members given China’s ongoing provocations, including suspicions that China flew an intelligence-gathering balloon over Kauai in 2022. Star-Advertiser.


Feds Move To Disqualify Attorney In Honolulu Corruption Case. The U.S. Attorney’s office said it’s a conflict of interest for defense attorney Thomas Otake to represent former Honolulu Corporation Counsel Donna Leong because Otake’s law partner Loretta Sheehan is a “significant government witness,” according to a motion to the U.S. District court filed on Tuesday.  Civil Beat.

EPA gives Navy more time for Red Hill spill data. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will grant the Navy’s request for more time to turn over information about spills of toxic fire suppression chemicals at its Red Hill underground fuel facility, but only if military officials agree to speed up release of some of the requested material. Star-Advertiser.

‘A lot of paperwork’: 5 months in, flaws apparent in city program to ban repeat offenders from Waikiki.  In September, the city made a big splash in launching “Waikiki Safe and Sound,” a program billed as taking a harder stance on crime in the state’s no. 1 tourism destination. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmaker seeks alternatives to OHA residential development in Kakaʻako. State Sen. Sharon Moriwaki is calling for a “meeting of the minds” over a bill that would reverse a ban on residential development in Kaka’ako Makai, an Oʻahu area in her district. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kapiolani opens new center for youngest heart patients. Kapiolani Medical Center for Women &Children celebrated Valentine’s Day on Tuesday with the opening of its new Pediatric Heart Center. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.  KITV4.

Greg McMackin, former UH football coach, dies at 77.  McMackin spent more than four decades in coaching, including four seasons as Warriors head coach. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Magnitude 4.8 earthquake strikes off Hawaii Island.
The USGS said the quake struck at 9:27 p.m. and was centered about 7.5 miles southeast of Pahala at a depth of about 20 miles. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiian Springs Water sued. The lawsuit  alleges Hawaiian Springs has defaulted on a power purchase agreement with Hawaii Brewery Development Co. o buy all the electricity produced by a 300-kilowatt solar energy facility installed by the landlord. Tribune-Herald.

County: Unclear when HOVE well will be repaired. There’s no estimated repair date for the county’s Hawaiian Ocean View Estates well, which has been out of service the past few days. Tribune-Herald.

Small plane crashes at Kona airport; no serious injuries. There were no serious injuries when a small passenger plan with five people aboard crashed off a runway Tuesday morning at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keahole. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.


Resident survey: Quality of life takes back burner to tourism. Maui County residents are slightly more receptive to the tourism industry as a driver of economic benefits, but still feel that the quality of life is on the back burner, according to a recent survey. Maui News.

Governor’s budget requests include $9 million for Kahului Civic Center
. Funding for housing, health care, education and other projects across the state — including $9 million for the Kahului Civic Center — are among the additional budget requests Gov. Josh Green made to the state Legislature on Monday.  Maui News.

Hawaiian Telcom invested $160M to expand fiber infrastructure in 2022. An additional 55,000 homes and businesses were enabled with fiber-to-the-premise service in 2022, including parts of Wailuku, Maui, Hawaiian Telcom reports. That’s the highest number of locations the company has enabled in a single year. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i Councilmember Luke Evslin to fill empty Hawai‘i House seat. Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green has tapped Kaua‘i County Councilmember Luke Evslin to fill a vacant Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives seat. Kauai Now.

Hanapepe’s Aloha Theatre to be restored as multi-use boutique hotel. A landmark of Hanapepe’s history is getting new life under a $4 million restoration plan that will see Kaua‘i’s biggest little town gain multiple new businesses and a 16-room boutique hotel. Garden Island.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Legislators advance repeal of excise tax on groceries, some health care; battle ensues over loosening development rules for affordable housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Lawmakers eye tax relief proposals as residents grapple with rising costs for medical care, groceries. Hawaii lawmakers began giving preliminary approval to major tax breaks Friday, including repealing the excise tax on groceries and on doctors who serve low-income and elderly patients in small clinics. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Affordable Housing Law Sparks Battles At The Capitol. At a time when housing is a priority for the island state, some lawmakers are pushing back against a law that eases development. Civil Beat.

1 of 3 bills to repeal Hawaii Tourism Authority advances
. Three bills are seeking to repeal the embattled Hawaii Tourism Authority this legislative session, which may prove one of the more contentious for the agency since state lawmakers gave it life in 1998. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Hawaii DBEDT director getting down to business.  On a whiteboard in the top-floor corner office in Hono­lulu’s historic No. 1 Capitol District building, several objectives are charted out that could have big implications for Hawaii’s economy. Star-Advertiser.

Partial public financing for elections could see boost, with substantial benefits for OHA. Hawai‘i lawmakers are considering legislation that would boost the amount of partial public financing available to candidates for the first time since the mid-1990s. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill proposes making Native Hawaiian language a required course
. A recently introduced bill in the Legislature would make Native Hawaiian language classes a required course in Hawaii public schools for grades elementary through high school, just as English is a required course. Star-Advertiser.

A generational ban on tobacco? Senate Bill 148 proposes the ban on tobacco for anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2003. The ban includes traditional cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapes. Tribune-Herald.

Empty shelves for kids’ medicines continue. Many retail drugstores have bare shelves in the over-the-counter cold medicine area, particularly for the most popular brands of fever- and pain-reducing medication for children under 12. Star-Advertiser.


Council growing impatient waiting for Honolulu housing plan. Honolulu Council Chair Tommy Waters is frustrated: For two years he’s asked, waited and asked again for Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration to divulge a previously promised housing plan as well as a strategy on dealing with a growing homeless population on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Waitlist opening for rent subsidy program. The City and County of Honolulu is opening its waitlist for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to eligible households with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hawaii News Now.

Battle over Kakaako housing continues on Oahu
. For nearly two decades in urban Honolulu, an ideological battle line over housing has been fixed along Ala Moana Boulevard dividing mauka and makai segments of Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Farmers interested in Savio’s Waialua ag condo project. More than 100 people turned out Sunday to hear about Orchard Plantation, a farming project by Peter Savio, which will offer local farmers the opportunity to own fee-simple land in Waialua. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Tackling teacher shortages: Bill aims to ease licensing process for out-of-state educators.  As of June 2022, the state Department of Education reported Hawaii County was short 196 classroom teachers, with 41 vacancies in the Hilo-Waiakea complex, 50 in the Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa complex, and 105 in the Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena complex. Tribune-Herald.

Few Big Island schools have undergone vulnerability assessments meant to ID campus weaknesses. Despite an increase in threats reported at state Department of Education schools, just 14 of 41 Big Island campuses have completed a vulnerability assessment since 2017. Tribune-Herald.

‘An incredible partnership’: School-Based Health Centers open in West Hawaii.  Hawaii Island Community Health Center has launched School Based Health Centers to provide care on-site in three local schools.  West Hawaii Today.

The Tragic Life And Death Of A Hilo Homeless Woman. The woman who died in a Banyan tree fire last month was once an award-winning coffee farmer. But she struggled with mental illness. Civil Beat.


Prosecutors Seek Nearly A Decade In Prison For ‘Brazen’ Maui Official Who Took Bribes. Stewart Stant, a former Maui environmental director who pleaded guilty to taking nearly $2 million in bribes, directed more than $19 million worth of sole-source contracts for improvements to Maui’s wastewater system to H2O Process Systems between 2012 and 2018. Civil Beat.

Maui Council Confirms Lutey As Clerk. The Maui County Council confirmed Moana Lutey, the county’s former top attorney, as clerk in a 9-0 vote. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Fuel spill reignites debate over military’s land lease. Mayor visits Haleakala, calls for community engagement. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Maui firefighter dies after being sucked into storm drain. 24-year-old Tre’ Evans-Dumaran died Saturday after he was swept into a storm drain on Jan. 27 while responding to flooding in Kihei. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Predator-proof fence installation begins at Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary. Work is currently underway to replace an old, rusty fence that surrounds the sprawling Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary on Maui. The old fending is being replaced with predator-proof fencing to keep rats, cats, mongoose, and dogs from attacking ground-nesting birds.  Maui Now. Maui News.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess too-short levees on Kaua‘i, but timeframe unknown.
Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami said he made headway with military brass last month – nearly one year after hundreds of West Side households were required to purchase flood insurance due to subpar levees constructed decades ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i housing market state’s most expensive.
A calendar year that featured some eye-popping real estate transactions cemented the County of Kaua‘i as the priciest place for a single-family home in the Hawaiian Islands. Garden Island.

Median home price hits $1.6M in December.  Sales of single-family homes tumbled on Kaua‘i in December 2022, a scenario that played out in each of the previous months of the housing cycle. But the slowdown in transactions didn’t cool prices. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Japan-Hawaii flights restored, Honolulu 3rd most expensive rental market, affordable housing projects planned, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ige, officials celebrate return of JAL PC:HTA
Hawaiian, Japan airlines restore flights to Hawaii. Japan Airlines touched down at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday with 177 passengers from Narita to mark the return of direct Japan flights to Hawaii island. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. KHON2.

Here's how a new federal climate package could impact Hawaiʻi. The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on a spending package that would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for carbon emission reductions and clean energy infrastructure. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Is The Only State Not Seeking Federal Buyouts To Move Residents Away From Floods. The FEMA program could help as the climate crisis worsens. But the public would have to know it exists and overcome outdated building codes and high property values. Civil Beat.

Alleged Russian spies enter pleas of not guilty. The federal investigation into a married couple accused of stealing the identity of dead Texas infants and conspiring against the United States is open and ongoing as agents sift through the mysterious lives and travels of a U.S. defense contractor and his wife who were arrested in July in Ka­polei. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Nearly 100,000 Pounds Of Nets, Other Debris Removed From Hawaii National Monument. About 115,000 pounds of additional debris accumulate each year in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, researchers say. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Staffing shortages, reinfections: The year of living with COVID isn’t going as planned. The COVID positivity rate in Hawaii is now hovering around 16% and public health officials are worried the islands could be grappling with another wave as the latest variant circulates and reinfections soar. Hawaii News Now.


Housing projects planned from North Shore to town will create 972 affordable units in the next five years. City officials and private developers Tuesday announced six upcoming affordable housing projects designed to create 972 units from the North Shore to town within five years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

7 Oahu schools identified for poorest air quality. The state Department of Education on Tuesday identified seven Oahu schools housing 73 classrooms with the highest levels of carbon dioxide — a sign of poor ventilation, which is a risk factor for the spread of COVID-19 — and said steps to improve conditions already have begun. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

UH Task Force Detects Fuel In Navy Water After It Was Deemed Safe. The Navy and Hawaii’s Department of Health stood by their findings that the water is now safe after last year’s contamination crisis. The findings – contradicting the stance of the Navy and the Hawaii Department of Health, which have maintained since March 18 that the water is free of fuel – were published Tuesday morning with a press release and data dashboard on UH’s website. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

As housing prices soar, Honolulu becomes the third most expensive place to rent in the country. Honolulu is now the third most expensive place to rent in the country, according to new data from online rental firm Apartment List. The analysis showed the median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Honolulu is about $2,500 a month. Only Napa and the Silicon Valley in California had higher rents than Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Oʻahu parks and recreation activities to launch online registration system. The city Department of Parks and Recreation says its online reservation system will begin accepting payments for all fall park activities, which vary from archery to ukulele to tai chi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric deploys two EV fast chargers in Mililani. Hawaiian Electric announced Tuesday it has deployed a new fast-charging station at the Town Center of Mililani as part of a pilot program aimed at encouraging greater electric vehicle adoption. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Affordable housing credits in the spotlight: Council committee questions audit timing during federal investigation. The County Council agrees the county needs to take a closer look at how it dispenses credits for building affordable housing, but members of the Finance Committee who were present Tuesday were unsure the timing was right to undertake a wide-ranging audit. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Council Gets Update About EPIC Permitting System. Hawai‘i County Council members got an update about the county’s new building permit system Tuesday, Aug. 2, during a meeting of the council’s Public Works and Mass Transit Committee, and while challenges still exist, strides are being made. Big Island Now.

EV charging stations bill appears headed for easy passage. A proposal to require owners of public parking lots to install electric vehicle chargers has been recommended for passage by a Hawaii County Council committee. Tribune-Herald.

County Council District 9: Three candidates in the running for open Kohala district. County Council District 9 became an open seat this year when Kohala Councilman Tim Richards vacated after his third term in order to run for an empty Senate seat, and three candidates are vying for the position. West Hawaii Today.


Inside the race for Maui County mayor. The race for Maui Mayor is heating up, as incumbent Mayor Mike Victorino seeks re-election. He's facing some tough competition in a crowded 8-person race: Cullan Bell, Richard Bissen, Kim Brown, Alana Kay, Kelly King, Jonah Lion, and Mike Molina. KITV4.

Three projects get initial approvals for federal funds. Among the projects approved for Congressionally Directed Spending and Community Project Funding is the proposed Halau of ‘Oiwi Art Center planned for Wailuku town, which is one of the largest investments earmarked in all Hawaii counties, county administration has said. Other earmarks include $1.4 million in federal funds to help renovate the former GTE Hawaiian Tel Building for the county’s Emergency Operations Center and Maui Police Department’s project to expand radio communications in West Maui. Maui News.

Community cat count survey to launch. Maui Humane Society plans to implement an island-wide “Community Cat Count” this month as an effort to better understand and manage the cat population of roughly 40,000 as humanely as possible. Maui News.


Po afi coming to Heiva I Kaua‘i on Saturday. The Heiva I Kaua‘i is returning to an in-person format at the Kapa‘a Beach Park following a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Tahitian dance and drumming competition will be held Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Garden Island.