Showing posts with label Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

'Last Hawaiian Princess' dies at 96, Green names Dawn Chang to head DLNR, 16 others to top posts, gives state employees two holiday bonus days' leave, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Abigail Kawananakoa, Considered ‘Last Hawaiian Princess,’ Dies At 96. Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa, following her death at age 96, was described as a champion of the Hawaiian people and an alii who carried herself with dignity and humility. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.  Big Island Now.  Maui Now.  Kauai NowHawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Gov. Green adds to Cabinet appointments. The nominees include former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson, who unsuccessfully ran to become lieutenant governor this year and was appointed to head the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, and Dawn Chang, who runs a consulting company that specializes in building community support for economic development projects and is drawing some early opposition as the appointed new head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Big Island Video News.  Maui Now.

Gov. Green stuffs state workers’ stockings with 2 days off.  Many workers will have four-day weekends surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day by receiving Friday Dec. 23 and Friday Dec. 30 off. Star-Advertiser.

Ambitious State Plan For Expansion Of Pre-K Hinges On Boosting Workforce. Hawaii Lt Gov. Sylvia Luke has so far declined to commit to wage increases for early educators this coming session. Civil Beat.

State partners with nonprofit group for upgrades to school playgrounds. The state Department of Education is partnering with Hawaii 3R’s to fix, replace or build anew about 100 playgrounds at a cost of  $18 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Hawaii Tourism Marketing Chief Hopes For New Mainland Contract By March. The state Senate Ways and Means Committee grilled tourism officials about a major tourism marketing contract that has been mired in the procurement process for more than a year. Civil Beat.

Annual conference focuses on shifting the future of Hawaiʻi tourism. Sessions at last week's Hawaiʻi Tourism Conference included Native Hawaiian cultural workshops and discussions, and updates on important tourism markets. But the main focus was changing state tourism for the future. Hawaii Public Radio.

Native Honeycreepers Evolved Over 6 Million Years. Now They’re Barely Hanging On. As mosquitos move into higher elevations, they kill off endemic species. A UH Hilo specialist is working to save them. Hawaii Business Magazine.


Community pushes for more answers on Red Hill spill.  Federal and state environmental regulators Monday ducked out of a Honolulu Board of Water Supply meeting early, leaving the board and community members frustrated that they couldn’t get more answers to questions they have about a recent spill of toxic fire suppressant chemicals at Red Hill and a host of other issues relating to the Navy’s underground fuel facility that is being shut down. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

HPD chief: 10 of 600 concealed-carry apps complete, permit issuance pending. Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan joins KHON2 in-studio to talk about the status of concealed-carry applications, violent crime and expanding body-worn cameras for officers.  KHON2.

$30M available for Oʻahu nonprofits affected by the pandemic.  Oʻahu nonprofits that were impacted by the pandemic will soon be able to apply for a grant of up to $100,000. The City and County of Honolulu has offered up to $30 million in funds to help cover daily expenses and Personal Protection Equipment for nonprofits that are eligible for relief.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Japanese group buys Queen Kapiolani Hotel. The 315-room Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel in Waikiki has been acquired by Financial Products Group Co., a financial services group in Japan that is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Finalists for police chief talk leadership, service. The public had its first opportunity Monday to testify about the four finalists to vying to become Hawaii County police chief and see them answer questions from the Police Commission in Hilo. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

No new visitor center for HVNP; 60-stall parking also scratched. “People didn’t want to see so much rainforest lost to build a new parking lot and visitor center,” said Danielle Foster, environmental protection specialist for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Tribune-Herald.

Board of Appeals rules against neighbors in short-term rental case.  The county Board of Appeals has determined that laws governing state and county agriculture project districts don’t prohibit landowners from using their farm dwellings for short-term rentals, as long as they also live on the property. West Hawaii Today.


Kekuhaupio “Keku” Akana named Managing Director under Mayor-elect Bissen administration. Akana, a 25-year Maui County career Police Officer who retired as deputy chief in 2006, will now head the Department of Management and oversee County departments.  Maui Now.

Virtual meetings to discuss shared solar projects in Piʻiholo and Makawao on Maui. Nexamp will host virtual community meetings in January to discuss two planned Community Based Renewable Energy shared solar projects on Maui.  Maui Now.

The world’s most powerful solar telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui marks milestone with data release.  The US National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui, announced the release today of its first set of publicly available datasets.  Maui Now.


Hāʻena shuttle on Kaua’i hits bump in road to success.  In recent weeks, hundreds of cars have been turned away at Hāʻena State Park, the gateway to the world-famous Nā Pali Coast on Kaua‘i’s North Shore, with reports of upset visitors not knowing they needed to go through the reservation and shuttle system. Kauai Now.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Mauna Loa volcano erupts, Honolulu landfill plans rejected, Maui voters sue, seek to overturn election, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Mauna Loa begins to erupt: Ashfall advisory posted, shelters open in Ka‘u, Kona; no immediate threat to nearby communities. Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island is erupting with lava flows at the summit region visible from Kona, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Sunday night. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Official Mauna Loa Eruption Webpage. USGS.

Hawaiian Independence Day celebrated Monday. Lā Kūʻokoʻa is observed annually on Nov. 28. It was on that day in 1843 that Hawaiʻi was formally recognized as an independent nation by other world powers, including England, France and the United States of America. Hawaii Public Radio. Garden Island.

‘I Worked Very Hard’: Hawaii Gov. David Ige Looks Back At 8 Years Leading The State. The Hawaii governor gets mixed reviews from other top state officials on how well he governed. Ige thinks he did just fine. Civil Beat.

First lady Dawn Amano-Ige’s work is not done. Even though Dawn Amano-Ige, the first lady to Hawaii’s outgoing governor, insists that she doesn’t know yet whether she really will seek an elected office herself someday, she already possesses that statesman’s ability to delicately deflect a news reporter’s questions with aplomb. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Rep. Ed Case Looks Ahead To A Divided Congress In 2023. Case says he’s hopeful he’ll be able to navigate the political split even in the minority, but he’s concerned about the anti-democratic leanings of some of his GOP colleagues. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Gov.-elect Josh Green’s staff has diverse skill sets. Gov.-elect Josh Green has staffed his office with a diverse group of women with backgrounds in government and the private sector, including a new Cabinet-­level position focused on workforce and affordable housing, homelessness and social service policies. Star-Advertiser.

Optimism high for progress with Hawaii affordable housing. The political will and millions of dollars of funding are in place, leading to high hopes for the upcoming legislative session that Hawaii will see real progress in developing badly needed affordable housing for kupuna, working families, Native Hawaiians and young people — all who could use encouragement to stay home. Star-Advertiser.

GET Petition effort finds support.
A petition urging the state Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET, has collected more than 1,100 signatures, according to Joe Kent, vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Farmers Struggle As Worldwide Macadamia Market Goes Nuts. Ad campaigns and DNA testing seek to drive buyers toward real Hawaiian macadamias. Hawaii’s most iconic macadamia nut brands are significantly scaling back their purchases of Hawaii-grown nuts. Instead, shipping records indicate, South Africa and Kenya have become big suppliers. Civil Beat.

South Korean navy training group arrives in Hawaii. The Republic of Korea navy’s cruise training task group arrived Friday at Pearl Harbor for five days of classes and cultural events for sailors and the South Korean navy’s future leaders. Star-Advertiser.


BWS chief blocks mayor’s landfill request over aquifer concerns. Honolulu Board of Water Supply Manager and Chief Engineer Ernie Lau has rejected Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s request to locate the city’s next solid-­waste landfill in an area where a chemical leak might foul the island’s water resources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gun permit ruling sides with ‘homesick’ Navy officer. A U.S. Navy officer stationed in Hawaii cannot be denied a firearms permit solely because he sought counseling for feeling depressed and homesick, a federal judge ruled. Associated Press.

Mayor Blangiardi to move forward with historic preservation panel. Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced his intent to staff the Oahu Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, three decades after the City Council created it without filling its ranks. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hitachi: Two Trains Hit Each Other At Low Speed During Rail Yard Exercise. Two of Honolulu’s driverless trains knocked together in what’s known as a “hard coupling” during what rail officials said was a routine maintenance exercise Monday at the Pearl City rail yard. Civil Beat.

Oneula irrigation project prompts criticism. The city plans to reconstruct the irrigation system at Oneula Beach Park in Ewa Beach, but community members say funds should instead go toward a new comfort station. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutors Roll The Dice On New Enforcement Measures Targeting Illegal Gambling Rooms. Increased criminal penalties are intended to give investigators an ace up their sleeve in their efforts to stifle the operations and the anti-social activity that can accompany them. Civil Beat.

2 Oahu schools fight for survival as enrollment shrinks
. Waiahole and Ka‘a‘awa each are just over one-fifth the size of the average Hawaii elementary school of about 485 students, according the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Homeward Bound: Hawaii Program Flies Homeless People To The Mainland.
The Institute for Human Services’ relocation program has served nearly 600 people experiencing homelessness on Oahu since 2015. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Rental regulations: New rules — and fees — proposed for hosted and non-hosted transient rentals. A proposed revamp of the county’s vacation rental law includes registration — for the first time — of hosted accommodations and new regulations and fees for both hosted and non-hosted rentals. It also paves the way for the creation of vacation nodes, where new short-term rentals could crop up in areas they’re currently banned. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Defrauding Covid-19 Relief Programs. Carey Mills is the first person sentenced for Covid-19 fraud in Hawaii and must pay $957,575 in restitution to the Small Business Administration. Civil Beat.

Waipiʻo Valley Road Closure Advisory Committee Being Formed.
Mayor Mitch Roth has announced that he will stand up a Mayor's Advisory Committee for Waipiʻo Valley's Emergency Road Closure, with diverse public representation. Big Island Video News.

Native Hawaiians are still waiting for the military to remove unexploded bombs.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the remediation effort, has been plagued by shoddy work and multiple regulatory disputes. Star-Advertiser.

$14.4M bond funding approved for Kaloko Heights affordable housing.
The county could be posting the paperwork as early as this week to sell $14.4 million in bonds to provide sewer service to a 100-unit affordable housing project at Kaloko Heights. West Hawaii Today.

No easy fix for complaints about homeless. Hawaii County agencies, the police department and business associations all seem to be waiting for one another to propose solutions to alleviate complaints about the homeless on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

From homeless to a Big Island police officer; Hope Services provided ‘break’ his family needed. In 2016, Damien Grace was working two jobs, at Safelite Auto Glass and at Foodland in Hilo doing security, desperately trying to support his wife and five young children, including an 8-month-old. Big Island Now.


Maui Lawsuit Seeks New County Council Election For Wailuku. The lawsuit alleges that hundreds of uncounted ballots could have swayed the outcome of a race decided by 513 votes. A lawsuit filed Friday with the Hawaii Supreme Court by more than 30 Maui County voters, including a candidate for office, is asking for a new election for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu seat on the County Council, alleging that “irregularities and mistakes” meant that more than 800 voters weren’t given proper notice that their ballots weren’t being counted. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui has the largest vacation rental supply in Hawaiʻi with 211,900 available unit nights.
Vacation rentals across Hawaiʻi reported increases in supply, demand, and average daily rate, with lower occupancy in October 2022 compared to October 2021. Maui Now. Maui News.


Kaua‘i county council votes in new leadership. In a Wednesday meeting, the new Kaua‘i County Council tapped member-elect Mel Rapozo to serve as chair for the next two years. Garden Island.

Public invited to attend inauguration of Kaua’i Mayor and County Council on Dec. 1. The public is invited to attend the inauguration of Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and the Kaua‘i County Council at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1. Kauai Now.

October: Strong hotel revenue, occupancy. A banner month for passenger counts at Lihu‘e Airport proved fruitful for the local hotel industry, which put up strong revenue and occupancy numbers in October. Garden Island.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Gubernatorial candidates clash over abortion, legislative standards commission proposes term limits, Mauna Loa backcountry closes amid seismic activity, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii gubernatorial candidates Green, Aiona clash over abortion in debate. Lt. Gov. Josh Green and former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona sparred Wednesday night over the issues of abortion and whether to legalize recreational marijuana in their first televised debate to help decide who will become Hawaii’s next governor. Aiona is making his third run for the governor’s office as the Republican Party’s nominee, but faces formidable hurdles against Green, a Democrat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Reluctant Standards Commission Proposes Term Limits For Hawaii Lawmakers. The panel also forwarded a bill on legislative meetings but will take more time to examine proposals on public records, meetings and a state voters guide. Civil Beat.

VA secretary says staff shortages are being addressed to better serve Hawaii’s veterans, some of whom face obstacles to treatment. The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs testified on Oahu Wednesday about the state of health services in Hawaii and issues including staff shortages, women’s care and complaints from community clinic providers about payments. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

HTA contract extended 6 months as dispute nears resolution. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said in a news release today that there is a “pathway towards a resolution” between the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, two parties involved in the conflict. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

First-ever conference prepares Department of Education staff for safety crisis. Wednesday was the final day of the three-day conference featuring national experts that aimed to guide department leaders and staff members in preventing, identifying and responding to various threats to school safety. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lawmakers urge Kaiser to resolve strike, improve mental health care. More than a dozen state lawmakers are urging Kaiser Permanente to come to an agreement with its mental health clinicians who have been striking for more than a month. The workers, represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, say that severe understaffing has put their patients’ health at risk and Kaiser needs to boost salaries and benefits to attract more employees. Star-Advertiser.

New booster shots urged as case counts plateau. The average number of daily COVID-19 cases remains steady as health officials continue to urge people to get a bivalent booster shot ahead of the winter season. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii health officials report 1,273 new COVID-19 infections, 8 deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, increased to 6.3% compared with 5.7% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KHON2


Honolulu Ballot Proposal Would Steer Money To Affordable Housing. Proponents of a measure to dedicate money to Honolulu’s housing fund see it as an opportunity to help solve Oahu’s affordable housing shortage. Critics, meanwhile, say there are better ways to achieve that goal: chiefly by following the standard budgeting process in which the City Council decides how to spend money each year. Civil Beat.

City council appoints building lobbyist to planning commission
. The Honolulu City Council confirmed a construction industry lobbyist to the Honolulu Planning Commission on Wednesday, despite concerns over his reappointment. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers will fund legal defense for officers accused of chasing car that crashed, failing to render aid. The Honolulu Police Commission has decided taxpayers will fund the defense of two Honolulu police officers accused of chasing a car that crashed and then failing to render aid. Officers Jake Bartolome and Erik Smith remain on restricted duty as the city Prosecutor’s Office investigates the allegations that the two did not stop to help the victims ― teens and adults who were seriously injured. Hawaii News Now.

Liquor control executives deny culture of retaliation, calling allegations ‘baseless’. The Honolulu Liquor Commission was accused of ignoring a culture of retaliation Wednesday as the City Council called on the commission to find ways to restore the public trust. The commission has been accused of discrimination against LGBTQ businesses and retaliation against others who complained about liquor inspectors. Hawaii News Now.

One month in, improvements seen under Waikiki ‘Safe and Sound’ initiative. Early Wednesday morning, police swept the area. Even during the day, they kept people from loitering. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Loa summit backcountry closed after increased seismic activity. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park officials have closed the Mauna Loa summit backcountry because of increased seismic activity but say an eruption is not imminent. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers OK resolution calling for relocation of HCCC.
The Hawaii County Council and a state oversight commission agree that the Hawaii Community Correctional Center should be moved to a different location. Tribune-Herald.

Council passes bill aimed at AVs. The Hawaii County Council Wednesday signed off on a bill that’ll help private property owners rid their land of abandoned or derelict vehicles. West Hawaii Today.

Council endorses Keauhou Bay land purchase.
The last open piece of property on Keauhou Bay could soon belong to the public, following approval Wednesday by the County Council to purchase the parcel using property tax proceeds. West Hawaii Today.

UH-Hilo enrollment dips again. Enrollment for the University of Hawaii at Hilo declined again this year by 8.2%. Total enrollment for Fall 2022 is listed at 2,977 students, or 266 fewer than those enrolled in Fall 2021. Tribune-Herald.


Community meetings planned for Koa Waena affordable housing project in Kihei. The Public is invited to community meetings this weekend to learn more about the new Koa Waena affordable housing project by developer Peter Savio in Kīhei. Savio plans to break ground on the project later this year. Maui Now.

Maui sees decline in visitors at end of busy summer season. In the last month of a bustling summer that prompted airport officials to try and cut down on wait times, a total of 265,410 visitors arrived on Maui Island and spent $472.9 million, according to recent reports by the state and Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui News.

Maui median home price in September rises to $1,025,000, up 3% from same time. Overall inventory of single homes for sale ended the month at 249, up 7.8% from September 2021, boosting the month’s inventory by 45% compared to the same time last year. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i council approves first-of-its-kind sea level rise bill. With a unanimous county council vote, Kaua‘i is set to become one of the first counties in the nation to regulate construction based on future sea level rise projections. Garden Island.

Queen’s Bath access closed for winter. Effective now, the access gate to Queen’s Bath in Princeville is closed through winter, in the interest of public safety, according to a county press release. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Tourism funding threatened, staff shortages impact hospitality and travel, monster homes irk Honolulu, Maui residents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Janice Wei
Hawaii volcano at night PC: Janice Wei
Tourism funding again under threat. The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s future is uncertain again. Gov. David Ige has announced his intent to veto House Bill 1147 — the eleventh-­hour solution that state legislators cobbled together at the end of the session to save the agency’s $60 million annual budget. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lack of workers affecting hospitality and travel. Airlines and travel officials are expecting a busier Fourth of July weekend and summer travel season compared to last year, but the shortage of workers continues to be an issue. KHON2.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Visitor Spending Contributed $117 Million To Local Economy. The National Park Service says a new report finds 2021 spending supported 1,220 jobs mostly in lodging, recreation and transportation. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Anti-vape advocates, tobacco industry applaud Gov. Ige's plan to veto flavored product bill
. House Bill 1570 proposes banning flavored tobacco products, including menthol. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s small businesses grapple with rising costs, staffing shortages. National chains are better able to weather the current challenges — including ability to pay a rising minimum wage — than small mom-and-pop shops, according to Tina Yamaki, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Agriculture Board endorses plan to import millions of mosquitoes to save imperiled birds. The state Board of Agriculture on Tuesday gave the green light to the release of tens of millions of mosquitoes into the wild as part of a plan to help save Hawaii’s endangered forest birds. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Liquor Commission Run Amok? Bar Owners Complaints Are Leading To Change. Bar owners struggled amidst strict restrictions during the pandemic. Now they hope city officials can implement reforms to the Honolulu Liquor Commission. Civil Beat.

City says bacteria levels drop following treated wastewater discharge on West Oahu beaches. An undisclosed problem at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant last Thursday led to excessive discharge of treated wastewater along the Ewa coastline. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Neighbors react to city shutting down Kaimukī 'monster home.' But what's next? Earlier this month, the city's Department of Planning and Permitting revoked three building permits, and issued a stop work order for 3615 Sierra Drive. Officials say the project violates the city's land use ordinance. Hawaii Public Radio.

Staffing shortages a key factor in labor dispute at Hawaii’s largest hotel. Union contracts at the Hilton Hawaiian Village are set to expire in two days and union workers are asking for help to deal with the summer travel rush. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Fire Department welcomes new accelerant detection canine. Eve, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever, is Hawaii’s only accelerant detection canine, according to HFD. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu Hunters Oppose Contraception for Pigs. Pig hunters packed the Department of Land and Natural resources board room Tuesday to speak out against the use of birth control measures on wild animals. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Higher water rates coming down the pipe. Water customers should expect a double whammy on their bills starting Friday, when planned consumption and standby charge increases coincide with an increase in the fluctuating power purchase charge. West Hawaii Today.

Water restrictions could be eased this week. There’s good news for North Kona residents worrying about the area’s drinking water supply — water restrictions could be eased as early as the end of this week. West Hawaii Today.

Judge orders document in Ireland case to be unsealed. Hilo Circuit Judge Peter Kubota on Tuesday ordered that one of two documents apparently related to post-conviction DNA testing performed in the Dana Ireland murder case be unsealed and made public. Tribune-Herald.


Ag Department heads to be picked this week. Maui County’s new Agriculture Department director and deputy are expected to be announced this week by Mayor Michael Victorino as the deadline for the department to be established approaches on Friday. Maui News.

Resolution To Acquire Maui Monster House Passes Committee. The eminent domain resolution now moves to the full County Council for consideration at its July 15 meeting. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Funding, fencing on the horizon for farms, ranches hurt by axis deer. Solutions for feral ungulate control are slowly but surely taking shape as axis deer populations rapidly grow and create havoc for Maui County farmers and ranchers. Maui News.


COVID puts damper on Kaua‘i fireworks shows. The U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility is returning with its first fireworks show since the onset of the pandemic. But due to COVID concerns, it will only be open to U.S. Department of Defense ID cardholders and their guests. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

All islands drop local COVID restrictions, statewide mask mandate remains, crumbling beachfront takes down North Shore house, candidate filing begins for most, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

North Shore house collapses PC:DLNR

All Hawaii counties drop COVID restrictions; statewide mask mandate still in place. Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii counties on Monday joined Maui County in repealing their last remaining COVID-19 restrictions, which ranged from limiting gathering sizes to requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result to enter certain establishments. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Candidates For Legislature, US House Can’t Pull Papers Yet.
A legal dispute has put those races on hold. But candidates seeking other statewide as well as county offices may start filing nomination papers March 1. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

CPAC Speech Could Lead To Gabbard’s Expulsion From Hawaii Democrats. The party’s Oahu chapter is asked to investigate the former congresswoman, who is accused of helping to raise cash for the GOP. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi lawmakers consider establishing a pilot stipend program to retain child care workers. State lawmakers are considering several measures to improve early education in the islands. Two bills could help address an ongoing shortage of early educators. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill would remove redundant regulations for state’s hemp farmers. Hawaii hemp farmers hope a bill moving through the state Senate will finally allow them to affordably sell products here. Tribune-Herald.

2 more museums agree to return iwi kupuna after European repatriation trip. A group of cultural practitioners returned from Germany and Austria earlier this month bringing back 58 iwi kupuna that were stolen from their burial places and then stored in European collections. Burial expert Edward Halealoha Ayau says spreading awareness of their trip in Europe led two more organizations to agree to repatriation. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii to get $73M from opioid settlement.
Hawaii will receive about $73 million as its share of a landmark settlement with the manufacturer and distributors of opioids for their roles in a national addiction crisis, according to the state attorney general. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 142 COVID cases.
There are 65 coronavirus cases on Oahu, 29 on the Big Island, 30 on Kauai, 17 on Maui, and one diagnosed out of state. KHON2.


Home collapses on Oahu’s North Shore.
For years, homes along Oahu’s legendary North Shore have teetered atop sand berms as waves tear away at their foundations, lanai and front yards. But in the dark hours of Monday morning, a loud cracking sound from one of those homes pierced the air, waking neighbors as the modest structure slid down onto the beach amid frothy waves. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Navy Already In Violation Of Red Hill Emergency Order, DOH Says
. The Navy has too much influence over its own supposedly independent contractor, according to DOH. Civil Beat.

Oahu police staffed at dangerously low level, says SHOPO. A shortage of police patrol officers is creating dangerous conditions on Oahu by leaving areas of the island unguarded on occasion while available units scramble to respond to 911 calls, the president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Public asked to sound off on tour flights over HVNP. The spokesman for a local citizens’ group that successfully sued to have the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service brought into compliance with the Air Tour Management Act of 2000 expressed disappointment Monday that the agencies released a document seeking comments on possible air tour management plans for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Maui’s Haleakala National Park. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Traffic signals or roundabout in Waikoloa? Study lays out pros and cons. Consultants hired by the county to evaluate the best alternative for the intersection of Waikoloa Road and Paniolo Avenue seem to be leaning toward a roundabout rather than traffic signals. West Hawaii Today.


Kalani English’s Fall From Grace Leaves Former Constituents Feeling Betrayed. For nearly two decades, the Maui legislator was secure in his Hawaii Senate seat. Then came his sudden retirement, followed by a bribery scandal. Civil Beat.

‘Every Scream Is Heard And Felt’: Neighbors Sue Haiku Zip Line Operator. The fight over the zip line — and whether it should be operating in the first place — has gone on for years. Civil Beat.

Maui Memorial Medical Center reinstates allowance of regular visitors. Hospital spokesperson Tracy Dallarda said the reinstatement of regular visitors comes as Maui Health continues to review hospital processes and protocols “to ensure they remain aligned with patient and family needs, and in consideration of the sustained reduction in COVID-19 positivity rates throughout Maui County.” Maui Now.

Restoring Kahoolawe is their top priority, but securing funding is a challenge. Decades ago, $400 million was authorized for ordnance removal, but many unexploded bombs remain. Approximately 25% of the island has not been cleared. Hawaii News Now.


CC&R bill stalls with councilmembers’ tie vote. The fate of legislation sponsors say is crucial to fixing the island’s housing crisis has been delayed after councilmembers’ prolonged debate resulted in a tied vote last week. Garden Island.

A Struggle Over Water: Lawmakers Push To Protect Kalo Cultivation.
For years, a group of farmers on Kauai have struggled to grow their kalo. University of Hawaii Student Stories project badgeThat group, the Waiʻoli Valley Taro Hui, has been navigating the complex process of obtaining a water lease from the state. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hanabusa rejects big contract to volunteer on HART board instead, football star Colt Brennan dies at 37, vaccine passport program takes first step, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo

Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa rejects $924,000 HART consulting job. Former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa said Tuesday she will turn down a controversial $924,000 consulting contract with the city’s rail project and will instead serve as a volunteer board member. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

State Launches Limited Inter-Island 'Vaccine Passport' System. Traveling between the Hawaiian Islands just got easier for people who have been vaccinated in Hawaii, but a major bump in travel demand isn’t likely to come until the entry process for trans-Pacific travelers becomes less complicated. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Hawaii football legend Colt Brennan, who led an unforgettable era for UH, dies at 37. Colt Brennan was a patient at a rehabilitation facility when he was found unconscious a few days ago. He died at Hoag Hospital in Newport, California. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

As more housing vouchers flow in, Hawaii needs landlords willing to take them. Another $152 million in federal rent and utility assistance is on its way to Hawaii ― along with $50 million in mortgage help for homeowners. Hawaii News Now.

Ex-police chief to lead board review on police shootings. A former Maui police chief was selected to lead the state board tasked with reviewing police shootings during the panel’s first meeting in 15 months, but any possible discussion of fatal police confrontations took place in private. Star-Advertiser.

Over $97M in federal funding headed to several higher education schools in Hawaii. Congressman Ed Case on Tuesday announced the release of $97,587,634 million from the U.S. Department of Education to several schools of higher education throughout Hawai'i. KITV4.

Incoming Hawaii Teachers Union Chief Offers Changes In Style Not Substance. HSTA Vice President Osa Tui Jr., registrar at McKinley High, will take the helm of the union in July. Civil Beat.

May 11, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: 64 Cases (50 O‘ahu, 6 Maui, 3 Hawai‘i Island, 1 Kaua‘i, 4 Out-of-State). Maui Now.


Hawaiian Electric objects to PUC conditions for approval of Kapolei battery project. Hawaiian Electric has filed a motion asking the state Public Utilities Commission to reconsider the operational and financial conditions it has attached to its approval of the Kapolei Energy Storage project. Star-Advertiser.

Facing serious fine, beach rental owner says he feels unfairly targeted. A beach rental shop in Waikiki is facing a huge fine for presetting lounge chairs and umbrellas before customers arrive. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Kai Public Library bookstore reopens after 14-month closure. The Hawaii Kai Public Library bookstore reopened on Monday, May 10, after a 14-month closure due to COVID-19. KHON2.

Officials make final push to get people vaccinated at key clinic in Leeward Oahu ahead of closure. A major vaccination clinic in Leeward Oahu is closing Thursday. The vaccine point of distribution at Leeward Community College opened up on April 20 and since then, they’ve given out more than 51,000 inoculations. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Carreira out as transit administrator: Mayoral administration remains tight-lipped. Brenda Carreira, the longest-serving Mass Transit administrator in more than a decade, is no longer at the helm of the troubled agency. West Hawaii Today.

HMC pre-schedules 700-plus COVID vaccine doses for keiki ages 12-17. Hilo Medical Center is preparing to vaccinate 2,000 people during its final mass vaccination clinic at the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium on Saturday morning in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Kahuku Unit Trails Reopen in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Along with the Glover and Kona trails, the National Park service says the Visitor Contact Station will also reopen Thursday. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


The state Department of Health has revoked the medical marijuana dispensary license of Pono Life Sciences Maui LLC, citing the company’s repeated failure to submit annual independent financial audits as required by law. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Maui Economic Opportunity will begin accepting applications for the federally funded energy credit assistance program on June 1. Eligible low-income homeowners will be able to apply for funds to pay their Hawaiian Electric or Hawaii Gas bills. Hawaii News Now.

New Species of “Water Bear” Found at Haleakalā, Maui, Named After Samuel ‘Ohu Gon. A new species of Tardigrada, a phylum of eight-legged segmented micro-animals also known as water bears, has been named after Dr. Samuel M. ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon III, Senior Scientist and Cultural Advisor for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Hawai‘i and Palmyra Chapter. Maui Now.


Gas prices on Kaua‘i are higher this year compared to last year. The average price for Kaua‘i is at $4.01 per gallon compared to Oahu’s average at $3.766 per gallon, yet still cheaper compared to the Island of Hawaii which sits at $4.04 per gallon. Garden Island.

EPA Awards Kauaʻi $300,000 in Brownfields Funding To Clean Up Old Sugar Mill Site. Kauaʻi County will use the funds to focus on the Town of Kekaha, which includes an old sugar mill and herbicide mixing area. Maui Now. KHON2.

Grant funds available for water bills. The county Department of Water alerts customers that federal grant funds are available to assist with past-due bill payments through the County of Kaua‘i Coronavirus Rent and Utilities Assistance Relief Program. Garden Island.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Interior secretary tours Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Caldwell prioritizes climate change, Ige visits Kauai, iwi discovered during sewer work, Grand Wailea’s $91.5M expansion hits opposition, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

USGS HVO Scientist in Charge Tina Neal (left) and Dept. of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt (center) and USGS HVO scientist Matt Patrick. (DOI Photo/Tami A. Heilemann)
The United States Secretary of the Interior got a firsthand look at the damages and dramatic changes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that were brought about by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Big Island Video News.

Interior secretary visits national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on Thursday inspected some of the damage that was caused by earthquakes at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during last year’s Kilauea Volcano eruption, and said there are steps the federal government can take to expedite repairs. Star-Advertiser.

Bernhardt shares recovery options, says decision on long-term solution for HVO still ‘months away’. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory To Stay On Hawaii Island, Hirono Says. Big Island Video News.


Visitor arrivals climb 7% while spending dips more than 6%. April marked the sixth month in a row that more visitors came to Hawaii than the previous year, while creating less economic benefit. Star-Advertiser.

April Tourism Revenue Declines Despite More Visitors. On Oahu, spending dipped in April despite 494,192 visitors. Civil Beat.

The Challenges Of Finding Hawaii’s Next Generation Of Teachers. As the number of new teachers coming out of local colleges decline, the state Department of Education hopes “teacher academies” and other strategies will ignite new interest in the profession. Civil Beat.

Commentary: Why Is Every Legislative Session Shrouded In Political Mystery? Politics in Hawaii is full of mystery, but not good mystery. Hawaii’s mysteries are not engaging whodunits. They are obscurities and opacities that bewilder us and make us cynical. Civil Beat.


Caldwell’s speech gets mixed reaction. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s decision to focus on climate change and his newly minted O‘ahu Resiliency Strategy during his seventh State of the City address Thursday night won favorable remarks from some key individuals — but also some skepticism. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Unveils Tax Plans To Increase Affordable Housing. The Honolulu mayor wants the City Council to consider a new vacancy tax and an increase in the property tax for certain high-end parcels. Civil Beat.

The mayor says he supports a ‘vacancy fee.’ Here’s what that means. In his State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell proposed a “vacancy fee” for residences that remain empty for most of the year. Hawaii News Now.

"We Are in a Crisis Period" Honolulu Mayor Says of Climate Change. Caldwell used the June 1st start of hurricane season to launch the city’s climate resilience strategy, which he called the issue of our time. Hawaii Public Radio.

In 7th State of the City, mayor focuses on threat of ‘climate crisis’. Honolulu’s homeless crisis and its beleaguered rail project took something of a backseat Thursday at the mayor’s seventh State of the City address, which instead pivoted toward a looming but not yet present crisis: Climate change. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor focused on climate in 7th State of the City address. Resilience he says is where our economy meets the environment. KITV.


City Council questions payment of Louis Kealoha’s legal fees. It’s likely the Hawaii Judiciary will decide whether Honolulu taxpayers will pay the tab for former Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s defense in the high-profile federal conspiracy case now unfolding in U.S. District Court. Star-Advertiser.

City Council Targets Decision To Pay For Louis Kealoha’s Legal Defense. A council committee wants to file a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn a Honolulu Police Commission decision. Civil Beat.

Council Committee Challenges City Funding of Kealoha's Defense. Hawaii Public Radio.

Katherine Kealoha allegedly didn’t reveal conflict. Katherine Kealoha allegedly didn’t reveal conflict. Star-Advertiser.

KEALOHA TRIAL: FBI video specialist testifies on what was recovered from video of mailbox theft. KHON2.

Testimony in Kealoha corruption trial surrounds surveillance footage of alleged mailbox theft. More witnesses took the stand on Day 6 of the Kealoha Corruption Trial. KITV.

State launches misconduct investigation after deputy sheriff’s testimony in Kealoha trial. The state Department of Public Safety is investigating a deputy sheriff for possible misconduct after he admitted in federal court that he used state resources to do favors for Katherine Kealoha, a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

State agency investigating Katherine Kealoha’s meeting with uncle. The state Department of Public Safety says it is “obligated and committed to thoroughly investigate” the actions of a deputy sheriff who testified in U.S. District Court that he arranged to have inmates meet family members at state court even though the inmates were not scheduled to be in court. Star-Advertiser.


City Council Urges Mayor to Stop Waimanalo Beach Park Project. The city is building baseball fields, a playground, and more parking stalls for park goers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Neighbors oppose planned affordable housing project in Maili, citing infrastructure concerns. Neighbors of a proposed affordable housing project in Maili gathered Thursday to voice their concerns about possible infrastructure and traffic associated with the development, saying their rural road can’t handle a project that will house about 200 people. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless campers remain at Kakaako park despite numerous enforcement efforts. Homeless campers have found reasons to stay at Kaka­ako Gateway parks despite various efforts from the city, state and private organizations to move the homeless away from that area. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood board election draws more than 18,000 voters. Results of Honolulu’s neighborhood board elections were certified by the Neighborhood Commission Wednesday and were posted on the commission’s website this morning. Star-Advertiser.

Results Announced In Oahu Neighborhood Board Elections. There are 435 seats on 33 boards islandwide, but there were no candidates for 29 of the positions. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Iwi discovered in lava tube at Lono Kona project. Iwi kupuna, or human remains, were discovered in a lava tube broken into by contractors digging sewer lines for the Lono Kona project in a neighborhood residents call “Hamburger Hill.” West Hawaii Today.

Dairy looks to sell remaining cows, remove lagoons. Big Island Dairy will remain on the Ookala property it is leasing from the state until all remaining cows have been sold and removed, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Kona pool repair cost lower than expected. A contractor has been hired to repair the Kona Community Aquatic Center, but county officials say the county pool facility will remain closed through the summer. West Hawaii Today.


Grand Wailea’s $91.5M expansion hits opposition. Residents cite concerns over burials, growing tourism, sea level rise. Maui News.

Homeless Encampments at Kanaha Cleared. The County of Maui departments of Parks and Recreation, Environmental Management, Public Works and Housing and Human Concerns collaborated with the Maui Police Department to address homeless encampments and public health/safety concerns Thursday morning at Kanaha Beach Park. Maui Now.

Maui Events Included in OHA Grant Funding. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced the selection of 22 community events that will receive a total of $100,000 from OHA’s Ahahui Grants Program. Maui Now.


Ige sounds off. Gov. David Ige, speaking before about 300 people at the Koloa Landing Resort, outlined some thoughts for about 25 minutes before taking questions. Garden Island.

Highway reopening pushed back. The reopening of Kuhio Highway west of Hanalei, originally scheduled for June 13, has been pushed back again, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Vacation rental cap looms, climate change bills die, Kouchi recovering from surgery, Ige to decide midwife license bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii vacation rental
Honolulu Council considers caps on vacation rentals, fines of up to $50,000 for rule breakers. Proposals before the City Council this week are aimed at drastically reducing the number of vacation rentals on Oahu -- and put in place big fines for lawbreakers. Hawaii News Now.

The Council will decide on measures to rein in short-term lodging. The latest version of Honolulu City Council Bill 89 (2018) — which is up for a final vote Wednesday — would allow homeowners who live in part of the home they're renting and have homeowners exemption to apply for one of an estimated 1,715 new vacation rental permits. Star-Advertiser.


Dozens Of Climate Change Bills Went Down The Political Drain This Session. There was a lot of talk about the need to address sea level rise and other problems but virtually no action in the Hawaii Legislature. Civil Beat.

Sharks removed from marine protection bill. Hawaii’s shark population will be left to fend for itself, at least for another year, after legislation meant to protect the fish was altered at the 11th hour. West Hawaii Today.

New Act Establishes Licensure Of Midwives. Regulation of midwifery was repealed in 1998 when nurse-midwives were put under the purview of nursing board. Civil Beat.

Kouchi recovering after surgery. Senate President Ron Kouchi is recovering after successful rotator cuff surgery on Oahu Monday. Garden Island.

A new magistrate judge will start Wednesday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Wes Reber Porter replaces Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi, who retired at the end of March, the district court said in a news release Monday. Civil Beat.

Queen’s chooses longtime health care executive to replace Art Ushijima as CEO.  Star-Advertiser.


Federal prosecutors detail case against Kealohas.  former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her retired Honolulu police chief husband, Louis Kealoha and three former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit are scheduled to stand trial this month on charges that they staged the theft of the Kealohas’ mailbox, framed Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for it and lied about it to investigators. Jury selection starts Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Halawa Correctional Facility employee found dead in bathroom. An employee found dead today in a Halawa prison bathroom was the cook supervisor at the staff dining hall at the Halawa Medium Security Facility, the Department of Public Safety said. Star-Advertiser.

Employee Death at Halawa Correctional Facility. An employee at the Halawa Correctional Facility was found unresponsive in a staff bathroom at approximately 3:10 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 2019, state officials confirmed. Maui Now.

To shore up finances, Wahiawa General will stop doing surgeries.  A Central Oahu medical facility that has been struggling financially for years is now cutting back on services. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha Schools confirms case of mumps at Kapalama campus. Kamehameha Schools administrators sent home a letter to families Monday informing them of a case of mumps at the Kapalama campus. Hawaii News Now.

Kamehameha sends letter to parents after mumps case. The Kamehameha Schools sent letters to parents alerting them of a mumps case at the Kapalama campus. KHON2.

Utility work to close Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail May 9th through May 24th. Hawaiian Electric crews will close the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail above Wai'alae Iki while they install steel poles to support high-voltage lines feeding Windward and East Oahu. KITV.

Oahu home sales snap negative streak. Oahu home prices didn’t budge much in April, but the same wasn’t true for sale volume, which surged for single-family homes and plummeted for condominiums. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes Park Seeing Visitors Return But Popularity Poses Issues. With the eruption now over, visitors have been returning in droves again. Officials see this as an opportunity to plan for better management of the park for the future.  Hawaii Public Radio.

State Legislature provides funds for improvements, new academic program, other needs at UH-Hilo. Among funding appropriated for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Legislature provided funds for a new academic program set to launch in the fall, athletics, custodial and maintenance positions, and other campus improvements. Tribune-Herald.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands officials were put on the spot last week during a senate committee hearing concerning a contract to remove cattle from Humuula lands. Senator Kai Kahele told Hawaiian Home Lands administrators that "we're gonna have major problems" if the Humuula cattle removal contract goes to an off-island vendor. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii's Big Island sees home sales rise in April. There were 209 single-family homes sold last month, a 5.03 percent increase from 199 sold in April 2018. The median price of those homes was $355,000, a decrease of 8.69 percent from $388,800. Pacific Business News.


Complaint says stream water being wasted. Groups allege firms failing to maintain their infrastructure at Honokohau Stream. During a time when water rights issues are boiling over throughout the state, two groups representing West Maui taro farmers, environmentalists and families filed a complaint last week reporting that three companies are wasting water from Honokohau Stream. Maui News.

Hana Pasture Gets Grant for Conservation Protection. A coastal pasture in Hana, Maui is among a list of locations set to benefit from grant funding from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program.  The area includes 27 acres from Mokae to Makaalae in East Maui. Maui Now.

Lanai’s only small boat harbor could be privatized, worrying fishermen and boaters. Many fishermen and boaters on Lanai are angry after learning lawmakers recently passed a bill that calls for the privatization of the island’s only small boat harbor. House Bill 1032 is now awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature. Hawaii News Now.

TSA X-ray unit at airport repaired. A security checkpoint with a broken X-ray unit that slowed travelers Friday at Kahului Airport was repaired by midday Saturday, the Transportation Security Administration said. Maui News.


Kekaha fish kill. State officials are saying an algae bloom killed hundreds of fish in a drainage canal between Waimea and Kekaha during the first week of May. Garden Island.

Tracking The Feral Cats That Kill Kauai’s Endangered Seabirds. Researchers are using satellite collars and other new tools to improve efforts to identify, isolate and dispose of the cats that pose the biggest risk. Civil Beat.

Kauai single-family home sales rise in April as condo sales stay flat. There were 57 single-family homes sold in April, a 42.5 percent increase from the 40 homes sold during the same month in 2018. The median price of those homes was $630,000, which was 0.79 percent less than the median price a year ago, which was $635,000. Pacific Business News.


Lanai’s only small boat harbor could be privatized, worrying fishermen and boaters. Many fishermen and boaters on Lanai are angry after learning lawmakers recently passed a bill that calls for the privatization of the island’s only small boat harbor. House Bill 1032 is now awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature. Hawaii News Now.