Showing posts with label Hawaiian Airlines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaiian Airlines. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2024

Nakashima dead at 61, 1 dead, 2 missing in Kauai tour helicopter crash, federal prosecutor details vast 'criminal underworld' as Miske trial closes, Maui wildfire rekindles trauma, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State Rep. Mark Nakashima Dead At 61. Mark Nakashima, a Democrat who represented Hamakua, a portion of Hilo and Kaumana in the Hawaii House of Representatives, died Thursday in Honolulu. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KHON2.

Young Voters Want To Make Themselves Heard In Hawaii — But They Don’t Always Know How. Events like Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have boosted Generation Z's political awareness, but more needs to be done to engage the state's youngest voters. Civil Beat.

Funding for landmark biosecurity bill slashed in half. Gov. Josh Green has cut what was once a $20 million biosecurity bill in half, raising some concerns about invasive species management in the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Green signs bill extending conservation fee on ocean tourism industry. Gov. Josh Green has signed off on an extension to a fee levied on the ocean tourism industry to support marine conservation efforts. Hawaii Public Radio.


Prosecutors Describe Vast ‘Criminal Underworld’ Controlled By Michael Miske During Closing Arguments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Inciong told jurors alleged racketeering boss Miske operated a criminal enterprise for nearly 20 years that engaged in violent assaults, kidnapping and murder. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

New PR Firm To Sell Honolulu Rail? Some HART Board Members Say No. HART is already paying a public relations firm $8,000 to $9,000 per month through another arrangement with a rail consultant. Civil Beat.

TSA: New tech promises enhanced security (and faster lines) at Honolulu’s airport. TSA officers at Honolulu’s Airport have screened over 5 million travelers so far this year.Now, they’re debuting new technology that could bolster security — and speed up lines. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Sam Shomaker lays out his priorities as JABSOM's sixth dean. Dr. Thomas Samuel “Sam” Shomaker started his new role on July 1 as the sixth dean of the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Mayoral hopefuls take stage. AARP Hawaii invited Mayor Mitch Roth and three challengers — Kimo Alameda, Breeani Kobayashi and Seaula “Junior” Tupa‘i — to discuss the issues facing Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Chancellor chosen for Hawaii Community College. Susan Kazama has been named the next Hawaii Community College chancellor, effective July 19. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Upgrading tradition: Drones aid restoration, resilience of Native Hawaiian fishponds. Researchers from the University of Hawai‘i and fishpond stewards in Hilo are using these unmanned aerial vehicles to support integrated coastal zone management, including at cultural heritage sites. Big Island Now.


Fire On Haleakala Tests Maui’s Improvements in Emergency Management. The county's leadership on Thursday detailed actions its taken to deal with a fast-moving blaze, a stark contrast to what occurred on Aug. 8. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui News. Maui Now. KITV4.

No injuries after Hawaiian Air flight overshoots Kahului runway. A runway at the Kahului Airport was briefly closed Thursday afternoon after a Hawaiian Airlines flight carrying 173 passengers was towed to the gate after experiencing problems with its brakes on landing. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.


1 Dead, 2 Missing In Tour Helicopter Crash Off Na Pali Coast. A helicopter crashed into the ocean off the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Thursday, leaving one person dead and two others missing, the Kauai Police Department said. Associated Press. Star-Advertiser.  Garden Island.  Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Kaua‘i sees below average rain in June as dry season intensifies. Rainfall totals for Kaua‘i were near to below average at most of the gauges, according to the monthly precipitation summary from the National Weather Service. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Legislature commits $94M to overcrowded jails and prisons, Hawaiian-Alaska airlines clear merger hurdle, below-average hurricane season predicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Commit $94M To Fix Deteriorating Prisons And Jails. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Tommy Johnson has been warning that the state needs to fix its run-down correctional facilities or face lawsuits over deteriorating conditions. It now appears the system is finally making a dent in the problem. Civil Beat.

Surge of Hawaii inmates sent to mainland prison is temporary. The head of the State’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said there’s been a surge of Hawaii inmates being sent away to a facility on the mainland, but it’s only temporary. KHON2.

Hawaiian, Alaska airlines clear key hurdle in merger deal. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines said they have met a crucial milestone in Alaska’s proposed buyout of the local airline. KHON2.

Hawaii’s New School Board Chair Has Played A Big Role In Public Education Reforms. In 2010, House Education Committee Chair Roy Takumi proposed a constitutional amendment to shift Hawaii’s Board of Education from elected to appointed. Civil Beat.

School chief’s salary cap rests with the governor. If Gov. Josh Green doesn’t sign Senate Bill 3207, the current $248,000 salary of Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi will revert to its former limit of $150,000 annually, and the mandatory evaluation of the superintendent will be eliminated. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is Entering A Dangerous Fire Season
. Here’s What Will Be Different Post-Lahaina. As Hawaii enters its first wildfire season since the deadly Aug. 8 fires in Lahaina, emergency responders and state officials say they’re using lessons learned from the Maui tragedy to better prepare for what forecasters say is a high-risk year for significant fires. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority says it's grateful for renewed funding from lawmakers.  The embattled Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority emerged from this legislative session with strong financial support. Hawaii Public Radio.

West Oʻahu Sen. Maile Shimabukuro announces resignation from Legislature.
State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro has announced she will resign from her seat at the end of the month. She has represented West Oʻahu for the last 21 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi to get nearly $30M in federal funds to replace lead pipes.
Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding, which is meant to prevent exposure to lead in drinking water. The money comes from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Hawaii Public Radio.

‘Things can still happen,’ weather service cautions of below-average hurricane prediction. Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30 in Hawaii, and AccuWeather — a commercial weather forecasting service — is predicting a relatively quiet season for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific basin. Tribune-Herald.


Gov. Green considers seven nominees for four judicial vacancies. Three state Family Court judges, two private practice attorneys, a District Court judge and a deputy public defender are in the running to become state Circuit Court judges on Oahu. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

City struggles to combat illegal rentals amidst over tourism concerns.
The city is having a hard time cracking down on illegal rentals. So far this year, they fined about a hundred violators. KITV4.

Proposed housing project in Leeward Oahu for at-risk youth stirs mixed feelings. Residential Youth Services & Empowerment says it bought the property last year to serve the youth experiencing homelessness in that community. Hawaii News Now.

Video surveillance sought for scenic sites in East Oahu. The Honolulu Police Department is considering using video cameras mounted on at least four mobile security trailers to avert auto burglaries, thefts, vandalism and other crimes at popular scenic points in East Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

New report says Hawaii is second-worst state to be a police officer. On Oahu, the starting salary for HPD officers is just over $75,000 a year, not to mention the $25,000 recruitment bonuses. This beats the national average of $69,000 a year, but Hawaii ranked low overall on training and job growth opportunities. Hawaii News Now.

Victim from 1970s Tripler hospital medical malpractice lawsuit dies. A man whose medical malpractice case against Tripler Army Medical Center in the 1970s was turned down after a U.S. Supreme Court statue of limitations ruling has died. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Federal drought insurance to be expanded for Hawaiʻi Island ranchers. The insurance is meant to protect ranchers who lose foraging grass because of a lack of expected rainfall. Hawaii Public Radio.

First Public Hearing Held On Pōhakuloa EIS Draft Two. The community had a chance to testify Monday on the second draft environmental impact statement for the Army Training Land Retention at Pōhakuloa Training Area, during a meeting held at the Waimea District Park. Big Island Video News.


Dozens meet to discuss proposal for more telescopes on Haleakala.
Dozens packed into a lecture hall at the University of Hawai'i Maui College Tuesday evening to discuss the Department of the Air Force's proposal to build up to seven more telescopes on Haleakala.  KITV4.

County of Maui accepting applications for nearly 600 positions. Whether it’s Police, Parks, or Public Works, the County of Maui has positions to fill in nearly every department. Hawaii News Now.

DLNR: Dozens of vehicles towed at Kahului Harbor during cleanup
. Crews with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources finished clearing the public parking areas of Kahului Boat Harbor by removing more than five dozen vehicles, many of them abandoned.  Maui Now.

HECO extends moratorium on cutting power for Maui customers affected by the fires. Maui customers financially challenged by the wildfires won’t have to worry about losing electric service for at least another two months. Hawaii Public Radio.

Land Board set to take up proposed purchase of 257 acres at Māʻalaea Mauka.
The state of Hawaiʻi is considering acquisition of nearly 257 acres at Pōhākea, also known as Māʻalaea Mauka, for $8.22 million, as a forest reserve to protect the watershed and prevent massive erosion from damaging Māʻalaea Bay. Maui Now.

Second suit filed against Maui hotel over lights that disorient birds. Earthjustice is filing suit a second time against the Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, on Maui over the harms its bright lights cause to endangered seabirds. Star-Advertiser.


Court ruling could trigger environmental assessment for Kauai seed production project
. A Kauai seed production company may be forced to do an environmental assessment because of a ruling from the state Intermediate Court of Appeals. Hawaii News Now.

State investigating cruise ships anchored near Na Pali Coast.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating whether a cruise ship, possibly two, recently anchored too closely to the Na Pali Coast on Kauai, following complaints. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

April storm on Garden Isle brought record-breaking rainfall totals. According to the monthly rainfall summary from the National Weather Service in Honolulu, the mid-April heavy rain event resulted in above-average totals over the entire island of Kauaʻi. Rain gauges near the town of Waimea recorded monthly totals greater than 10 times the April average. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Government workers to get up to $20k pandemic hazard pay, lawsuit seeks to stop Alaska-Hawaiian Airlines merger, feds allege witness tampering in Kaneshiro trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Feds In Corruption Case Accuse Mitsunaga Defense Of Document Leaks And Witness Tampering. Federal prosecutors have launched a new investigation into the incident in the case involving former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Pay Government Workers Up To $20K Each For Hazardous Work During Pandemic. Two-tiered settlement with the Green administration awards government employees back pay of either $10,000 or $20,000, depending on how many days they worked. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Governor: State Biosecurity Chief’s Contract Will Not Be Renewed. Carol Okada, the state’s embattled acting biosecurity administrator, will not have a job with the Department of Agriculture after June 29. Civil Beat.

Lawsuit seeks to stop Alaska-Hawaiian merger.
A consumer antitrust lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for Hawaii seeks to stop the acquisition of the 95-year-old Hawaiian Airlines by Alaska Airlines on the grounds that the merger would result in higher fares, fewer flights, job losses, and cause injury to Hawaii’s economy. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

A new study by Earth scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa studies coastal groundwater that is lifted closer to the surface by sea levels rise. Cities with underground infrastructure in Hawaiʻi, and around the world, face an increased risk of systems failure due to sea level rise.  Big Island Video News. Kauai Now.

Fatality rate in Hawaii due to distracted driving twice as high as the mainland. Hawaii’s fatality rate due to distracted driving is twice as high as the mainland and officials said it’s completely preventable. KHON2.

Taiwan wants to expand its military attache office on Oahu. Taiwan is seeking to increase the size of its military attache office at its de facto consulate in Honolulu as the self-ruled island democracy looks to tighten ties with the United States and bolster defenses against potential Chinese military attacks. Star-Advertiser.


Nanakuli beach to be inaccessible for weeklong homeless cleanup. Outreach workers from the Kealahou West Oahu social service agency on Monday began notifying members of a Nanakuli homeless encampment that the city plans to close a mile-long portion of Ulehawa Beach Park for a week and clean up the area once again as an October court date approaches challenging the city’s homeless policies. Star-Advertiser.

Family identifies cruise ship passenger who died after bus plowed into group. Officials say the shuttle bus driver dropping off passengers hit the gas instead of the brake and pinned several people against concrete barriers. Hawaii News Now.

Solar farm on University of Hawaiʻi land comes online in West Oʻahu. The facility, developed by AES Hawaiʻi, is on 66 acres of open University of Hawaiʻi agricultural land north of the UH West Oʻahu campus in Kapolei. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Testifiers to board: No PTA land swap. People statewide urged the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday to reject a proposed land exchange between the state and the U.S. Army that would allow it to continue to use land in the Pohakuloa Training Area and elsewhere. Tribune-Herald.

NPR reporter Dara Kerr talks story about billionaire Marc Benioff buying Waimea land. 
An NPR story by tech reporter Dara Kerr about billionaire Marc Benioff buying land in and around Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island caused a stir when it was published in February. The audio version aired in March. Hawaii Public Radio.

PUC orders HECO to provide status updates following power outages. The Public Utilities Commission issued an order on Monday requiring Hawaiian Electric to provide a status update on the mitigation measures it intends to implement to address the Hawaii island outage situation, as well as its customer communication strategy regarding conservation measures and the outages. KHON2.

Jr. Tupa‘i enters race for Hawai‘i County mayor. This is Tupa‘i’s second time running for office. In 2022, he was a candidate for lieutenant governor on the Duke Aiona ticket in the gubernatorial race. Big Island Now.

Community meeting to address instream flow standards for Waikōloa.
Staff of the Commission on Water Resource Management will host a fact-gathering meeting on Thursday to collect testimony and information to be compiled as part of an Instream Flow Standard Assessment Report. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Maui Mayor Appoints Maria Zielinski As County Finance Director. She would replace former Director Scott Teruya, who has been on paid leave since February. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui Council committee reviews budget for Mayor’s Office. Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee reviewed the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2025 proposed budget for the Office of the Mayor on Wednesday.  Maui Now.

Findings from Lahaina fire investigations being released. Findings from dueling investigations into how government and firefighters responded to the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire, which killed 101 people and left 8,000 homeless, will be released this week. Star-Advertiser.

AG’s wildfire probe doesn’t find fault with first responders, those briefed on report say. (video) Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina’s Wildfire Burned So Hot That Many Dangerous Contaminants Likely Vaporize
d. Scientists, state officials and the Army Corps of Engineers are finding the burn zone may not be as toxic as initially feared. Civil Beat.


‘Project Keiki’ provides lunches and meals on Kaua‘i.
Statistically, more than 10,000 local residents continue to struggle with hunger. This includes 1 in 4 keiki. Garden Island

Friday, March 29, 2024

Population exodus costing the state millions, Hawaiian-Alaska airlines' merger delayed, finalists named for Aloha Stadium contract, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Exodus of Hawaii residents cost the state $185 million in tax revenue. Department of Taxation researcher Seth Colby reported the state lost $185 million in general excise and income taxes, about $61.8 million a year, because thousands of residents moved away.  KITV4.

Deals abound as Hawaii tourism remains soft. The daily count of visitors in Hawaii and their daily spending dropped in February — the seventh monthly decline in a row since the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

DOJ wants more time, information on Hawaiian, Alaska merger. Antitrust regulators want more time to review Alaska Airlines’ proposed takeover of Hawaiian Airlines. According to stock filings by the carriers, they’ve agreed to extend by another 90-days the Department of Justice’s window to scrutinize the merger.  KHON2.

Bill moving through Legislature aims to increase densities in urban areas. Hawaii’s urban housing density could more than triple under a new zoning proposal sailing through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Democrats release verified vote count of party presidential primary and pledged delegate allocation. On March 16 and March 23, 2024, the Party-run Presidential Primary Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i met at the Party HQ, located in Honolulu, to recount the votes cast at the caucus style 2024 PPP held at 57 locations statewide on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Maui Now.

Legacy of Patsy Mink celebrated with new U.S. quarter. U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) on Thursday announced the official release of the Patsy T. Mink quarter, which is part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program for 2024. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.


Finalists selected for Aloha Stadium district contract. Two teams were announced Thursday as finalists for the job of developing, building, operating and maintaining the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, or NASED. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

HECO could be fined for power outages in Mililani meant to prevent wildfires. The Commission continues to closely monitor HECO’s performance to ensure that electrical services are safely and reliably provided to customers. These outages may be counted against HECO’s reliability performance and subject to financial penalties at the end of the year, a Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman said. KHON2.

Emails At Bribery Trial Show Alleged ‘Courtship’ Between Mitsunaga And Kaneshiro Reps. After former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and businessman Dennis Mitsunaga met in 2012, they developed a relationship that involved lunch at an upscale Honolulu restaurant, a New Year’s party and numerous chummy emails exchanged between their representatives, according to testimony and evidence presented to a jury on Thursday.  Civil Beat.

Red Hill defueling task force ends mission.
Two years after the Pentagon agreed it would remove fuel from its underground Red Hill fuel storage facility and shut it down, the military task force charged with removing fuel stored in the Navy’s underground Red Hill facility has officially concluded its mission. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.  Hawaii News Now.

The Job Of Preserving Oahu’s Historic Sites Is Complicated By The Push For Development. The island's new historic preservation commission takes on a 'gargantuan' and controversial task. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Buildings in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park damaged during 2018 eruption set for dismantling. The National Park Service said Thursday that the former Jaggar Museum and two buildings used by the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory – the Okamura Building and the Geochemistry Annex – will be dismantled starting Monday, April 8. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Laʻaloa Bay Beach Park reopens unveiling signage, walkways, protective buffer for cultural sites. Laʻaloa Bay Beach Park in Kailua-Kona reopened Thursday after several months of renovating the space, including reducing the size of the original parking lot and realigning rock walls to establish a protective buffer around the Haukālua Heiau and other culturally significant features. Big Island Now.

A glut of puppies: Shelters work to find homes for increasing number of young dogs. Cute faces mask a sad story as animal shelters in Hawaii County continue to take in dozens of  mixed-breed puppies every month. Tribune-Herald.


Maui’s Housing Crisis Only Got Worse After The Fires. Will This New Department Help? The Department of Housing is scheduled to launch July 1, and not a moment too soon with the destruction of about 5,700 homes in the Aug. 8 wildfires pushing rent and home prices to new heights and forcing some residents to sleep in cars and tents or leave the island. Civil Beat.

State buys former Maui Sun Hotel from Haggai Institute for fire survivor and workforce housing. The newly renamed Hale ʻO Lāʻie has 175 guest rooms in its current configuration. Maui Now.

OHA Kanaaho Grant aimed at providing relief to Native Hawaiian Lahaina and Kula residents affected by wildfire. Under the program, a one-time $9,000 grant can be awarded to eligible homeowners who experienced hardship; and a one-time $4,000 grant can be awarded to eligible renters who experienced hardship. Maui Now. KITV4.

Lahaina group seeks phase-out of vacation rentals. 
Members of Lahaina Strong flew to the state Capitol on Thursday for the second time this legislative session to urge passage of either of two House and Senate companion bills that would give counties the option to phase out short-term vacation rentals on their islands. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Coco Palms restoration underway.
Reef Capital Partners, which acquired the Coco Palms following the previous owner defaulting on its loan, announced the start of the removal of the dilapidated hotel structures as part of the restoration of Coco Palms following more than three decades of inaction by prior owners. Garden Island.

Escaped Kauai Inmate Dies In Alleged Hit-And-Run Incident.
The Hawaii Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Thursday announced that an escaped inmate on the Garden Island died from injuries sustained in an alleged hit-and-run. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Kauai Now.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Green kills affordable housing working group, HECO looking to shareholders, rate payers to shoulder Maui fire costs, De Fries tapped to lead Mauna Kea stewardship authority, Hawaiian Airlines welcomes first Dreamliner, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green kills controversial Hawaii housing group. Gov. Josh Green on Friday abolished his controversial, seven- month Build Beyond Barriers Working Group intended to accelerate the development of affordable housing across the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Who Will Pay For Maui Fire Property Damage? Look For A ‘Fund 2’ Hawaiian Electric Industries' president and chief executive has said the company may look at "shareholder contributions" and new fees on customers to help cover claims. Civil Beat.

Senate WAM advances bills on ag, environment, workforce development, education and housing. The Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Ways and Means on Friday advanced several bills aimed at addressing key priorities for the Senate. These bills cover areas of supporting the local agriculture industry, protecting the environment against invasive species, building the workforce for the future through public education, and addressing the affordable housing shortage. Maui Now.

Bill to require citations for misdemeanors, including DUI, draws criticism at the legislature. House Bill 1601 would require officers to basically write a ticket for misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and violations. But misdemeanors include crimes like driving under the influence and domestic abuse. Hawaii News Now.

These proposed bills will charge hikers for their rescues. ‘It needs to happen this year,’ hiker rescue bills moving through house and senate. Lawmakers estimate there are about 1,000 rescues every year costing taxpayers $1,000 to $2,500 per helicopter rescue. KHON2.

Senate bill seeks testing, data, during brown water beach days.
Under current protocol, DOH issues brown water advisories after visual detection following heavy rain events, but does not actually sample or test waters at affected beaches. Star-Advertiser.

Paid family leave bill gains support from advocates seeking 'basic safety net' for workers. The program is an insurance-based model -- both employers and employees would pay into a state trust fund through payroll deductions which would pay a percentage of the wages for people who take paid family leave for up to 12 weeks. Hawaii Public Radio.

License plates considered for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. A renewed call to create special license plates to honor veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars remains alive under Senate Bill 2731, which was carried over from last legislative session. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii digital equity plan undergoes federal review. A plan aiming to ensure universal internet access and reduce the “digital divide” in Hawaii is now undergoing federal review by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which would provide funding to the state for community programs and projects dedicated to improving digital equity. Star-Advertiser.

Vice presidential possibility adds to Tulsi Gabbard’s mystique. Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s name on the short list of Donald Trump’s candidates for vice president only adds to the enigmatic political career of a former rising star of the Democratic Party who later denounced Democrats and sued Hillary Clinton for $50 million for defamation. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines welcomes its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The arrival of Hawaiian Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner marks a milestone in the airlines’ 94-year history and a major investment in the future for the local carrier as it heads toward combining with Alaska Airlines. Star-Advertiser.

German military coming to Hawaii. The German military is planning a series of deployments to the Pacific this summer, and is looking at possibly setting up a permanent military liaison position in Hawaii at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command as it refines its regional strategy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii-based ‘Indo-Pacific Support Cutter’ focused on Oceania is on its first Pacific deployment.  The nearly 40-year-old ship set sail in January  for its first Pacific deployment, heading south into the high seas where members of its crew boarded fishing vessels to look for signs of illegal fishing. Star-Advertiser.


City Officials to discuss whether Ocean Safety should split from Emergency Medical Services. For years, it has fallen under Honolulu Emergency Services Department, but a City Council hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, will discuss if the question should be on 2024’s ballot for the people to decide.  KHON2.

HPD revamps policing programs to aid recruitment. In its ongoing struggle to fill over 400 vacancies, the Honolulu Police Department is looking to train young people interested in law enforcement to fill its future ranks. Star-Advertiser.

This Navy Admiral Is In Charge Of Closing Red Hill.
Rear Adm. Marc Williams has the "daunting task" of safely shuttering a massive 80-year-old fuel depot. Civil Beat.

Kapalama Container Terminal is almost built; that only took about 30 years. A new container terminal in Kalihi Kai is finally nearing completion after about three decades of planning, funding, and building it. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Executive Director Named For Mauna Kea Oversight Authority. John De Fries is a former president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Maunakea Authority seeks exemption to open meetings law during management transfer. Hawaiʻi lawmakers have advanced a bill that would allow the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority an exemption to the open meetings, also known as the Sunshine Law, during its transition period. Hawaii Public Radio.

Most insurance-related bills to help those in Lava Zones 1, 2 have stalled. Efforts in the state Legislature to forestall an impending explosion of property insurance costs in lower Puna appear to have largely petered out. Tribune-Herald.

Possible ‘Safe Space’ site draws concerns. Hilo residents’ concerns about the possibility that a government-sanctioned homeless camp could be created near Wailoa River State Recreation Area are premature, Hawaii County and state officials said last week. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Has Become A Popular Stop For Federal Dignitaries Since The Lahaina Wildfire
. The spotlight from the Aug. 8 fires has presented Maui with opportunities to advocate for resources from high-ranking federal officials who continue to visit the island. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Draft environmental impact statement for Wailea development published; includes workforce housing. Although zoned for 2,137 residential units, the Ledcor Maui project proposes construction of a maximum of 975 residential homes, which includes the resort community’s first workforce housing units.  Maui Now.

Converting Maui vacation rentals to longer-term housing causing frustration for owners. A part-time Maui couple’s decision to convert their vacation rentals into longer- term housing for Maui fire survivors followed weeks of frustration, cancellations by repeat loyal visitors over whether they are welcome on the Valley Isle and the threat by Gov. Josh Green to shut down Maui’s short-term rental market. Star-Advertiser.

This Tiny Section Of Front Street Survived The Lahaina Fire And Now Is Coming Back to Life.
The iconic Old Lahaina Luau and other businesses that didn't burn are beginning to reopen, bringing back jobs and signaling the town is beginning to recover. Civil Beat.

Draft environmental assessment ready for Kūlanihāko‘i High School overpass project. The Hawai‘i Department of Education published a draft environmental assessment Friday, reaching a project review milestone and paving the way for a planned $16 million pedestrian overpass spanning Pi‘ilani Highway. Maui Now.

Hawaii Will Pay $60K To An Inmate Who Suffered A Broken Jaw In 2019 Maui Jail Riot. The riot did millions of dollars in damage to the state facility, and the inmate required surgery for his injuries. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i firefighters extinguish structure fire in ‘Ele‘ele Sunday. According to a preliminary report, fire personnel arrived at a fully engulfed structure at approximately 12:50 a.m. First responders later extinguished the fire, and cleared the scene at approximately 12:20 p.m. after putting out the last remaining hot spots. The estimated cost to rebuild is $20 million. Kauai Now.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve sale to Alaska Airlines, relief coming to businesses harmed by Honolulu rail construction, Maui council advances housing projects, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Hawaiian Airlines shareholders approve Alaska's $1.9B acquisition. Hawaiian Airlines shareholders on Friday approved the acquisition of Hawaiian by Alaska Airlines for $1.9 billion. The deal includes $900 million in Hawaiian debt. Hawaii Public Radio. Kauai Now.

Exodus of Hawaii residents cost state $185M in lost taxes since 2020.
The on-going exodus of Hawaii residents far outstrips the number of U.S. residents moving to the islands, resulting in the overall loss of 36,789 Hawaii residents over the last three years. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese visitors to Hawaii are trickling back. The full recovery of visitor arrivals from Japan, one of Hawaii’s most coveted source markets, continues to fall short, and a complete return to 2019 levels could take until 2026. Star-Advertiser.

Bill requires teachers accused of sexual misconduct to surrender licenses. An amended bill that would require teachers to surrender their licenses during any investigation into student sexual misconduct or abuse before retiring or resigning passed out of the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Friday. Star-Advertiser.

New promises on horizon for future Hawaiian homestead leases.
The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is returning, in a big way, to a practice of issuing unconventional land leases to beneficiaries on its homestead waitlist. Star-Advertiser.

State warns against unlicensed contractors. In the midst of recovery efforts following the August 2023 wildfires on Maui, the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs last week urged property owners to prioritize hiring licensed contractors for their repair work. Star-Advertiser.

Stalled bills would support student inclusivity, identities. House Bill 1799 and its companion, Senate Bill 2670, would require the state Department of Education to establish a procedure allowing students to use their preferred names over legal names in an effort to strengthen “inclusivity” within public schools. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Mayor Signs Bill To Give Financial Relief To Businesses Hurt By Rail Construction. The city’s upcoming budgeting process will determine how much funding is available to dole out. Civil Beat.

Horrific crimes in Honolulu contradict drop in illegal acts. Despite those-high profile horrors that shocked communities accustomed to that kind of crime happening on the mainland, crime dropped in Honolulu in 2023 compared with 2022’s final tally from the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

Complaint alleges antisemitic rhetoric on UH Manoa campus.
A group of Jewish students at the University of Hawaii have filed a Title VI complaint with the federal government claiming that words and acts of antisemitism have made the university’s Manoa campus an “unsafe and hostile environment” for them. Star-Advertiser.

Taxpayers Are On The Hook For $1.25 Million After The State Failed To Provide Water To An Oahu Farmer. The Agribusiness Development Corp. is asking lawmakers to pay $1.25 million to settle a case that an Oahu farming outfit brought against it in 2019, alleging the state agency knowingly made years of false promises.  Civil Beat.

Oahu’s Construction Waste Could Become Food For Crops At A New Kapolei Facility. An innovative recycling plant also hopes to provide a process to turn invasive weeds and grasses into something more useful. Civil Beat.

City short of garbage trucks in supply chain backlog. The city typically purchases about 15 new trucks a year for replacement and maintenance, but supply chain and manufacturing delays have left the fleet short. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Leeward Planning Commission faces backlog. West Hawaii development permit requests are piling up after the Leeward Planning Commission has been unable to meet for six months straight. Tribune-Herald.

Gov. Green releases funding to upgrade 3 cesspools at Hilo International Airport. Gov. Josh Green released nearly $700,000 in capital improvement project funds to upgrade three cesspools at Hilo International Airport. Big Island Now.

Hundreds pay final respects to teen fatally struck by police cruiser.
Hundreds paid their final respects late last week to a 16-year-old Hilo High School junior who died in January from injuries he received after being struck as a pedestrian by an on-duty Hawaii Police Department officer at the wheel of a blue-and-white police cruiser. Tribune-Herald.

Take a walk au Naturel at Hawaiian Naturism Park, a nude bed and breakfast located in Fern Forest, just outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  Other clothing-optional retreats include The Banana Patch, in Kealakekua, and Kehena Mauka Nui Club, a clothing-optional, gay/LGBTQIA Airbnb right across from Kehena Beach. Big Island Now.


Maui Council passes two housing projects on first reading; a third sent to Budget Committee. All three projects would tap the County’s Affordable Housing Fund after developers applied for funding and came out on top of a competitive review process. Maui Now.

Why Are Hundreds Of Lahaina Fire Survivors Turning Down FEMA Housing? Because It’s Not In West Maui. FEMA has secured about 1,500 properties for long-term housing for fire victims but only about a third are in West Maui. Civil Beat.

Nonprofit builds affordable housing on Maui. Catholic Charities Hawaii expects to complete construction of a 178-unit affordable housing project in Kahului by the end of 2026 that would help address the imperative need of residents who suffered serious loss in the August wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

FAA awards $8.6M for Kahului Airport TSA security screening checkpoint facility. The facility will include six new TSA screening lanes. A pedestrian bridge over the existing service road will connect the new checkpoint facility to Hold Room A. Maui Now.

New program helps train, boost nurses needed in Hawaii. Thirty-one students graduated in December from a first-of-its-kind bridge program at the University of Hawaii Maui College designed to train and bring more LPNs into the workforce. Star-Advertiser.

Hopes rise by survival of Lahaina’s banyan tree. After losing nearly 25,000 trees in the wildfire, 300 have survived including the famed banyan tree, and Maui finds hope. Maui News.


Redesigned police badge honors legacy of law enforcement on Kauaʻi. The unique special edition shield was minted in recognition of the dedication of the department’s staff and sworn officers throughout the past 80 years. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Worker shortage hampers government services, state expects $250M more in tax collections, Mizuno's wife/office manager in line for his House seat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Where Are The Workers? Last Month 27% Of State Government Civil Service Positions Were Vacant. Traditionally Hawaii residents eagerly applied for safe government jobs but particularly difficult jobs now have vacancy rates of 40%. Civil Beat.

Hawaii To Get $250M More In Tax Collections Than Expected. Six months into the fiscal year, tax collections are running more than 7% ahead of last year's pace. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Legislators To Tackle School Safety Issues From Broken Fire Alarms To Evacuation Plans.
The Maui fires loom over this year's Legislature, but longstanding problems also need to be addressed, including school bus shortages and teacher retention. Civil Beat.

3 throw hat in ring to fill Rep. John Mizuno’s district seat
: Mizuno’s wife and office manager, Joje “May” Mizuno,  Edgar Fernandez, program specialist for the state Workforce Development Division, and Hernando Tan, former president of the Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers union finalists for the state House seat. Star-Advertiser.

Changes to HECO rooftop solar rates draw dismay from industry experts.
A new rate scheme for Hawaiian Electric's rooftop solar customers is set to take effect this spring. Some solar industry advocates say it could fundamentally change the local energy landscape. Hawaii Public Radio.

Airline merger ‘makes sense’: Execs from Alaska, Hawaiian discuss impacts, benefits.
Hawaii Airlines and Alaska Airlines executives couldn’t promise that the proposed merger between their two companies will reduce airfares, but said the customers should experience only minimal disruptions. Tribune-Herald.


Potential Jurors Quizzed On Possible Bias As Miske Looks On In 1st Day Of Trial. The jury selection process is expected to take up to two weeks as attorneys question people one-by-one. Civil Beat. KHON2.  KITV4.

The Miske Case: Interesting Names On The Witness List. Hundreds of names have been submitted by the Miske defense as well as the prosecution. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court rules a jury should weigh rail station dispute with Ward developer.
The case involves property containing roughly 25 parcels, or 2 acres, owned by the Howard Hughes Corp., a Texas-based developer that conducts business locally under Victoria Ward Ltd. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu hit with heavy rain and power outages. Heavy rain and gusty winds were expected to threaten Oahu for a second day this morning after storms and gusts driven by a passing cold front clobbered many areas of the island Monday. Star-Advertiser.

HECO institutes rolling outages on Oahu, plunging communities into darkness. Hawaiian Electric instituted rolling outages on Oahu on Monday night amid power generation issues, plunging entire communities into darkness for 30-minute periods. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Two new preschool classrooms opened up as a part of Hawai'i's "Ready Keiki" initiative. Two renovated preschool classrooms — the first Leeward Coast additions to the state’s Ready Keiki initiative to create statewide universal access to public preschool — are being hailed by officials and parents as a godsend. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Kapiolani nurses cite staffing as they OK strike. A majority of unionized nurses at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women &Children — 96% — recently voted to authorize a strike, with staffing ratios being the top issue of concern. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Resolves Computer System Outage. The County's Vehicle Registration and Licensing systems are back online, and normal operations have been restored. Big Island Video News.

Corrections head: Screenings, x-rays failed to prevent fatal jail overdose. The state Department of Corrections has identified the inmate who died as 56-year old Steve Mario Delgado, who had recently been arrested for burglary and theft. Hawaii News Now.

Teen fatally struck by police cruiser remembered as ‘unforgettable’. Samuel Mwarey, a 16-year-old junior at Hilo High School who previously attended St. Joseph School, died shortly after midnight Monday at Hilo Medical Center from injuries he suffered after being hit by a blue-and-white police cruiser late Friday night. Tribune-Herald.


Olowalu native asks council to reconsider location of temporary dump site.
  Maui County Councilmembers will take a final vote this week on a temporary disposal site for the Lahaina fire debris. Hawaii News Now.

Gopher snake found on Molokaʻi in shipping container. A live snake was found in a shipping container on Moloka‘i Monday morning while it was being unloaded at a hardware store in Kaunankakai, state officials said.  Maui Now.


Domestic passenger count exceeds 800,000 at Lihu‘e Airport in 2023.
  The domestic passenger count at Lihu‘e Airport notched its second highest total on record in 2023, despite a year-over-year drop in the number of people getting off those flights to the island of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Congressional hearing Tuesday on helicopter tourism, Jewish synagogues tighten security after email threat, teachers grapple with AI use in classroom, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pilots flying tourists over national parks face new rules after  the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Hawai‘i Island Coalition Malama Pono sued. Historically, some of the nation’s busiest spots for tour operators are Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakala National Park. The issue has grown so contentious that a congressional oversight hearing is planned for Tuesday. Associated Press.

Vacancies In State Child Welfare Services Jobs Reach Their Highest Point In Over A Decade. A report from Department of Human Services to the federal government paints a grim picture, but the state plans to award extra pay to try to attract more workers. Civil Beat.

Email Threat To Jewish Temples In Hawaii Heightens Security Fears. The state Attorney General’s Office and the FBI will investigate an email claiming that explosives had been placed in Jewish synagogues across Hawaii, Gov. Josh Green said. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green marks challenging first year in office, planning ahead to 2024.
One of Gov. Josh Green’s pledges on Day 1 in office was to provide more housing — a difficult task made monumental by the devastating Maui wildfires exacerbating Hawaii’s shortage of available and affordable places to live. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Teachers Face ‘Daunting Task’ Addressing AI Use In Classrooms. While some teachers have embraced tools powered by artificial intelligence over the past year, others remain uncertain about its role in their classrooms. Civil Beat.

Culture a big reason to keep Hawaiian Airlines’ identity.  The Hawaiian Airlines name is slated to join a roster of longtime kamaaina brands that lived on after being acquired by companies outside Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines’ parent owns Aloha Airlines trade name. Hawaiian Airlines has not only one venerable Hawaii aviation brand name, but a second one from a defunct former competitor. Star-Advertiser.


Parking contract extended for Ala Wai harbor. A short-term contract extension for management of parking at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor was awarded last week amid ongoing controversy over management of the popular state- controlled harbor and its coveted stalls. Star-Advertiser.

UH Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity gets $2M award
. The University of Hawaii’s Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity has received a $2 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Shoreline setback rule amendment to be considered. The Hawaii County Planning Department is holding a public hearing Thursday for the proposed amendment of Rule 11 which sets shoreline setback from 20 to 40 feet from the high water mark. West Hawaii Today.

Strong support for vape bill: Measure seeks to ban all flavored tobacco products. Big Island students gathered Tuesday to urge the Hawaii County Council to approve a ban of flavored tobacco products. Tribune-Herald.

Ground Broken On Largest Water Reservoir In Hawaiʻi. Officials on Thursday broke ground on the 10-Million-Gallon Lālāmilo Water Reservoir, which will be the largest reservoir in the State of Hawaiʻi when completed in two years. Big Island Video News.

Hilo Bay’s water quality targeted for improvement. Last week, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that they would award Hawaii County a $2 million grant to develop a watershed management plan for Hilo Bay. That grant will be accompanied by $464,300 in county funds. Tribune-Herald.

Progress made on Ocean View Skatepark. The nonprofit Ocean View Skatepark Association has for the past few years been fundraising and saving money for the project, which would be located on a portion of Kahuku Park. Tribune-Herald.


Maui wildfire litigation expected to surge. The number of fire loss lawsuits filed in state court have topped 70 but is expected to soar into the hundreds — and perhaps beyond 1,000 — to easily become the biggest incidence ever of mass tort litigation in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

New Maui water diversion permit approved. Tensions over a new East Maui water allocation permit ran high at a Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting Friday, resulting ultimately in the issuance of another temporary authorization for the continued diversion of millions of gallons of water. Star-Advertiser.

Maui looking at up to $100K for ohana unit construction.
On Friday the Council will consider a bill establishing the criteria for the ‘Ohana Assistance Pilot Program, which will offer grants of up to $100,000 to build an accessory dwelling unit, or second farm dwelling, for long-term occupancy. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina ash characterization testing shows elevated levels of toxic substances. The state Department of Health released data today showing elevated levels of arsenic, lead, antimony, cobalt, and copper in wildfire ash collected in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Lahaina school replacement 2-3 months away. Late February or March is the earliest that a new temporary school being built to replace the King Kameha­meha III Elementary School campus lost in the Lahaina fire will be ready for students and teachers to occupy, based on an Army Corps of Engineers timeline. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

No major holiday tourism boost expected for Maui, bad press cited as one reason. With Christmas just a few weeks away, officials were hoping holiday visitors would give the island an economic boost, but they’re now expecting the numbers to fall far below expectations. Hawaii News Now.


County approves over $2M for fire, disaster prevention. The Kaua‘i County Council approved more than $2 million in funding to be used for fire, ocean and disaster prevention funding during a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi sees near to above average rainfall in November.  Regardless of dry conditions persisting throughout the state in November, all rain gauges on Kauaʻi recorded near to above average rainfall totals for the month. Kauai Now.