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

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

State budget in crisis as Maui fire cost rises to $600M, Legislature could force HECO restructuring, support ebbs for legalizing marijuana, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bad News For The Budget: Maui Fire Costs Could Top $600 Million This Year Alone. Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz is raising red flags about mounting costs as his Ways and Means Committee considers emergency appropriation measures. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed HECO Bailout Bill Could Force The Utility Company To Restructure. Claims against the company from the Maui wildfires are expected to be substantial and the Legislature is considering ways to help with those costs. Civil Beat.

House marijuana debate shows softening support for legalization in Hawaii.
While a sweeping bill to legalize adult use of marijuana is moving through the state Senate, the state House is struggling to pass a bill to increase how much marijuana someone can possess without a criminal penalty. Hawaii News Now.

Job demand for college degree growing in Hawaii, report finds. The proportion of U.S. jobs requiring postsecondary preparation continues to inch upward, and by 2031 in Hawaii, 70% of job openings will require some type of education and/or training beyond high school, says a report from researchers at Georgetown University. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.  KITV4.

Task force would detail Hawaii dental needs. Following a 2022 funding victory by Hawaii dentists that restored Medicaid dental coverage for more than 200,000 adults, the Hawaii Dental Hui now wants to create an oral health task force to take a comprehensive look at oral care needs around the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gets an upgrade in coral reef insurance
. When The Nature Conservancy took out the insurance policy for Hawaii reefs in 2022, it was the first to do so in the United States — a move to counteract the increasingly destructive potential of hurricanes and tropical storms due to climate change. Star-Advertiser.

Nearly $31M in federal funding will go toward airport improvements. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation was awarded $30.6 million for improvements, with $22 million for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu and $8.6 million at the Kahului Airport on Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Push to reinvigorate Downtown is going in the ‘right direction’ but still faces obstacles. The push to reinvigorate Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown is underway. Lawmakers and residents said it looks promising, but admit several obstacles remain. KHON2.

Nurses and Kapiolani Medical Center agree to invite federal mediator to bargaining table. Kapiolani Medical Center and their nurses have been going back and forth to negotiate new contracts since September 2023, some working without a contract since Dec. 1, 2023. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Administrative order between EPA, county aims to improve aging sewage plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii County have drafted an agreement detailing a series of improvements the county must make to its wastewater systems by 2035, or face penalties. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Island police chief seeks council help to grow department by adding additional positions. Hawai‘i Island police chief believes he will come close to filling the department’s 89 vacant sworn officer positions in the next couple of years with his new recruiting efforts but is looking to Hawai‘i County Council for some help. Big Island Now.

Maui


Maui County Committee Tosses Mayor’s Picks for Boards and Commissions. Citing a missed deadline by Mayor Richard Bissen, the committee decided to select its own nominees for government panels. Some question the authority to do so. Civil Beat.

Campaign seeks to bring visitors back to Maui. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has launched a new public service campaign, “Makaukau Maui,” which seeks to tell visitors that while historic Lahaina remains closed after the deadly Aug. 8 wildfires, accommodations on West Maui are open and residents are ready to welcome them back. Star-Advertiser.

These Maui Architects Say They Can Help Lahaina Rebuild Faster And Cheaper. Homeowners in Lahaina face multiple hurdles before they can begin rebuilding, but architects say that preapproved designs could be an important part of the process. Civil Beat.

Temporary housing project for fire survivors breaks ground in West Maui. One of Maui’s first temporary housing projects since the devastating wildfires last August officially broke ground on Monday. The Kapalua Village Temporary Housing Support Project provides housing for West Maui employees impacted by the disaster. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Firefighters statewide practice wildfire suppression using flames on Kaua‘i. Two dozen federal, state and county firefighters gathered in south Kaua‘i to participate in ignition training on former agriculture lands. Kauai Now.

More than 2,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear removed from Kaua‘i coastline. Over the course of the three days, 30 volunteers helped remove more than 2,000 pounds of derelict fishing gear from Po‘ipū coastline, hauling away three truckloads of the marine debris. Kauai Now.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Power outages require costly fixes, state now allows cryptocurrency exchanges, Legislature tackles artificial intelligence, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Frequent power outages need costly combo of fixes. A combination of equipment failure, winter weather, variations in renewable energy, and even planned maintenance are to blame. HECO says they’re investing in upgrades, but customers and some lawmakers are fed up. KHON2.

Legislature tackles artificial intelligence. A number of AI-related bills are moving through the state Legislature this week, each one proposing some degree of state control over the future of the rapidly advancing technology. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii opens its doors to Cryptocurrency Trading, embracing the digital financial frontier. The State Division of Financial Institutions decided that cryptocurrency exchanges in Hawaii do not have to comply with the state’s money transmitter law, which had required the exchanges to hold cash reserves equal to their digital assets. KITV4.

Judge rules HMSA contracts are ‘unconscionable’ in lawsuit from doctors and patients. A court ruling against Hawaii’s biggest health insurer, Hawaii Medical Services Association, could give Hawaii doctors more freedom in making medical decisions. A Big Island judge has ruled the insurer’s contracts with its doctors are “unconscionable” and unenforceable. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s Still-Struggling Police Standards Board Could Add More Cops To The Oversight Panel. Civil rights advocates say that expanding the board with more police appointments will diminish input from community members. Civil Beat.

‘Unpaid Heroes’: Momentum Grows For Comprehensive Paid Family Leave In Hawaii. Covid revealed how vulnerable many are when a family member needs serious care. But business groups and some unions oppose cost burdens. Civil Beat.

Educational worker safety bill advances but removes increased harassment penalties. Tougher penalties for those who harass public and charter school employees are on the table this legislative session by increasing harassment penalties for educational workers to a misdemeanor.  KHON2.

The Packed Hawaii State Hospital May Soon See A Surge In Patients From A Private Facility. Health officials are seeking $14 million in emergency funding to try to improve security and reduce the patient population at the Hawaii State Hospital, but the psychiatric facility may soon have to make room for an influx of even more patients from the privately run Kahi Mohala facility. Civil Beat.

Bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Hawaiʻi makes progress in the Senate. Although the Attorney General’s office does not support marijuana legalization, it provided guidance to the Legislature on how the bill should be crafted. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.

Bill regulating invasive species suggests sizable investment from the state. Senate Bill 3237 would primarily create a plant nursery license, designate dozens of pest species for eradication, add rules for imported goods and give the state Department of Agriculture more power to stop the movement of infested goods. Hawaii Public Radio.

Public art funding faces obstacles at the Legislature with proposed budget cuts. While several measures in the Legislature this session could provide more support to Hawaiʻi's art community, one proposal may cut funding from a state agency that runs the public art museum. Hawaii Public Radio.

Former Rep. Ing facing another $18K in fines. Investigators for the state Campaign Spending Commission on Wednesday recommended that former state Rep. Kaniela Ing be fined another $18,250 — in addition to the nearly $22,000 that he already had been fined — for 24 campaign spending violations. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Permitting Office Making Progress While Delays Persist, Audit Says. Permit review times at the troubled permitting office are worse than before, but the department has taken steps to improve its processes.  Civil Beat.

Pearl Harbor survivor Sterling Robert Cale dies at 102. Sterling Robert Cale, a Pearl Harbor survivor who served the United States throughout World War II, and also in Korea and Vietnam, and then met thousands of visitors as a volunteer at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, died Jan. 20 at his home in Aiea. He was 102. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Military begins sampling soil at Puuloa Range. Two days of soil sampling got under way at Puuloa Range Training Facility in Ewa Beach early Wednesday morning, three months after the military, state and community finalized a plan to address concerns regarding potential lead poisoning of the soil. Star-Advertiser.

Navy developing follow-up water monitoring plan. The creation of the plan comes after the Navy gathered a team of “drinking water experts” two weeks ago to investigate the origin of low-level detections of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in the Joint Base-Pearl Harbor Hickam water system, following an influx of tap water and air quality complaints from residents. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

Health officials have confirmed five cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, among members of one household visiting Hawaii from the U.S. mainland. One child from the household was hospitalized, and all five cases were unvaccinated, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. The family stayed at a hotel on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bills Advanced To Help Restore Kahaluʻu Beach Park In Kona. Measures in the State House and Senate that will help fund the restoration project are being heard in committee. Big Island Video News.

Owner of Discount Fabric Warehouse chain dies at 65. Businessman. Outdoorsman. Visionary. Philanthropist. Those are words that have been used to describe Bill Miller, the owner of Discount Fabric Warehouse — a statewide business empire he built starting in 1995. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Beyond Lahaina: Some Lawmakers Want A New Development Plan For All Of West Maui. The state would take over governance of land use and development in much of West Maui, a much more far-reaching plan than just the rebuilding of Lahaina, under a bill speeding through the Senate.  Civil Beat.

Contention billows from Lahaina rebuilding board bill.  Enthusiasm and concern clashed Wednesday at the Legislature over a proposal to establish an elected community board under a state agency to govern Lahaina’s rebuilding from fiery ruins. Star-Advertiser.

Kennedy recounts recent visit to Lahaina in aftermath of wildfire.
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Wednesday eleased a video documenting his visit to Lahaina, where he went to see firsthand the devastation from the wildfire that destroyed much of the historic town six months ago.  Maui Now.

Debris removed from 100th residential property in Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area. Debris and ash removal was completed on the 100th residential property in the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area on Wednesday, (Feb. 14) 30 days after the work began in Lahaina, county officials said. Maui Now.

Aikanaha project bill submitted for $14 million Affordable Housing Fund loan. A bill has been submitted to the Maui County Council that would pave the way for loan of up to $14 million from Maui County for the 212-unit Aikanaha low-income rental housing project in Waikapū. Maui Now.

Kauai

Public hearing: Bill funding invasive parakeet removal on Kaua‘i draws widespread support.
A bill allocating $150,000 to establish a one-year pilot program to reduce the population of the birds on the Garden Isle was met with overwhelming approval Wednesday during a public hearing held by the Hawai‘i House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and Food Systems. Kauai Now.

Tourists set new mark for spending in December. Visitor spending shattered the $200 million barrier and set a new high for the month of December, despite a decrease in the number of tourists coming to the island of Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Convention center and stadium could sport ads, Senate bill limits youth firearms use, rolling blackouts continue, 101st Maui fire victim ID'd, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bills would allow outdoor ads on stadium, convention center. Naming rights for the Hawai‘i Convention Center would be allowed despite Hawaii’s general ban on outdoor advertising after a key Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday despite concerns. Star-Advertiser.

Bills For A New Ride-Share Fee And A Climate-Impact Fee Advance. State lawmakers gave tentative approval Tuesday to a new fee that would be charged to users of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft and another proposed new climate-impact fee mostly aimed at tourists. Civil Beat.

State Senate to consider bill on firearms, ammunition regulation changes on Wednesday. A Senate Bill that proposes to prohibit people under the age of 21 to own, possess and control ammunition is drawing fire from gun enthusiasts. KITV4.

Enthusiasm surrounds measure to provide universal free school meals. House Bill 1775 would make meals free for all students. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers consider a bill that would make it easier to become a teacher in Hawaii. A bill is moving through the Hawaii legislature that would allow individuals who have an associate’s degree or a high school diploma with certain additional coursework to become teachers. KITV4.

Senate bill on legalizing adult-use cannabis moves forward. If passed into law, the measure would establish the Hawaiʻi Cannabis Authority and Cannabis Control Board within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to regulate all aspects of the cannabis plant. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers consider lowering penalty for possession of marijuana. A measure that passed its second reading in the House of Representatives would decrease the fine to $25 and increase the amount of decriminalized marijuana to less than 1 ounce. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric keeps profit up, seeks financing as Maui wildfire costs loom. Hawaii’s largest electrical utility is maintaining financial stability in the face of still-growing legal claims and recovery expenses from the Aug. 8 Maui wildfire disaster. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Affordable Connectivity Program ends soon that helped subsidize internet costs for low-income households. A federal program reimbursing low-income households for their internet bills will end within months. Tribune-Herald.

Oahu

City auditor reviews building permit department. A follow-up audit on the city Department of Planning and Permitting found prior recommendations related to the quicker issuance of city building permits to the public have been met, in some cases, but not yet been achieved in other instances. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii flight attendants picket amid worldwide protests.
Local flight attendants picketed at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Tuesday as part of a Worldwide Day of Action to demand fair contracts. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State prevails in multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit over Big Island housing development
. The State of Hawai‘i prevailed in a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit brought by a developer claiming damages after a decision to revert its Waikōloa project – Villages at Aina Leʻa – from an urban to an agricultural district.  Big Island Now.

Rolling Power Outages Hit Hawaiʻi Island Tuesday Night. At 7:10 p.m., Hawaiian Electric reported over social media that about 8,300 customers were already without power in parts of Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Kona airport closed again. The state Department of Transportation announced the airport did not open as scheduled at 6 a.m. after overnight paving of the runway due to equipment malfunction and asphalt cooling. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Cosmic Drive heading to Naniloa: Nighttime Top Golf-like experience will utilize hotel’s driving range. The Grand Naniloa Hotel’s driving range is about to look very different in the evening when it becomes home to Hilo’s newest nighttime attraction — Cosmic Drive. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Lahaina man, 76, identified as the 101st fire victim. Paul Kasprzycki, 76, had been one of three remaining people on the official list of those reported as missing to the Maui Police Department after the Lahaina fire. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

$15,000 hotel bill for Maui evacuee sparks call for new housing solutions. For the first time, the public is getting an idea of how much it’s costing to house just one wildfire survivor in a Maui hotel. That tab is more than $15,000 per month — and advocates say it shows why intermediate housing is needed now. Hawaii News Now.

Officials Confront Lahaina’s Fire Evacuation Route Problem With Computer Simulations. Narrow roads, gates and parking are playing into how the county and residents should rebuild certain neighborhoods. Civil Beat.

Survey on Permanent Maui Disposal Site closes on Thursday
. The County of Maui reminds residents that the last day to respond to its survey on a permanent disposal site for wildfire debris from Lahaina is this Thursday, Feb. 15.  Maui Now.

Kauai


Kauai visitors spend a record $2.76 billion in 2023. The willingness of people to dig deep into their pockets, while spending time on the island of Kaua‘i, produced a record-setting year for visitor spending. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Economy expected to dip, federal judge says Kaneshiro corruption case to proceed, swastikas painted along H-1 as synagogue threats investigated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Aftermath of Maui wildfires weighs down Hawaii economy. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism revised its economic growth projection upward to 1.9% for 2023, and lowered its projection for 2024 from 1.5% to 1.3.%.  Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

Hawaii Education Department Takes ‘Big First Step’ To Increase Local Food In Schools. Advocates are cautiously optimistic the DOE's recent request for information will result in more local ingredients included in school lunches. Civil Beat.

Hawaii corrections oversight commissioner steps down.  Ted Sakai, a  Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission stepped down on Dec. 4 to tend to his health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Authorities probe threat to bomb Hawaii synagogues. Police and federal agents are asking the public to remain vigilant while they investigate antisemitic graffiti and a threat made on the third day of Hanukkah to detonate hidden explosives “inside of every Hawaii synagogue.” Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Search for a new University of Hawaiʻi president set to begin soon. The Board of Regents has approved the search for a new leader of the University of Hawaiʻi as outgoing President David Lassner prepares to retire at the end of 2024. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric begins contract negotiations on 15 renewable energy projects. Hawaiian Electric is looking at 15 new renewable energy projects on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui as the company retires older fossil-fueled plants. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Hawaiʻiʻs Millerbird no longer listed as critically endangered after successful relocation. With decades of conservation work paying off, Hawai‘i’s Millerbird that is also known as Ulūlu has been downlisted to Endangered status after being listed as Critically Endangered since 2000. Maui Now.

Oahu

Prosecutors In Keith Kaneshiro Case Did Not Step Over The Line, Judge Rules. A federal judge said that the case can proceed, rejecting accusations of prosecutorial misconduct against Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat and his team. Civil Beat.

Law enforcement: Illegal fireworks sales are fueling organized crime.
In hopes of making a safer New Year’s on Oahu, the state is launching an amnesty program for unwanted illegal fireworks.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Honolulu Homeowners: Property Assessments Are Coming Soon. Values increased 0.3% on average across Oahu, far less than the 13.3% average increase last year. Civil Beat.

Swastikas spray-painted along the H-1 spark outrage and conversation to address hate speech
. Along the H-1 highway by the Barber’s Point exit, one of the many places that have a swastika along with the star of David graffitied onto signs. Those symbols can be seen for about 10 miles along the H-1 heading into town. Hawaii News Now.

West Oahu health center boosts security with artificial intelligence amid rising crime
. Amid the increase in violent crimes in Leeward Oahu, the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center has installed a weapons detection system in its Emergency Department.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Signs Bill 66 To Expedite Residential Solar Permits. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth has signed Bill 66, a measure that will “expedite the process of permitting solar electric systems, bringing about cost reductions for homeowners and bolstering the clean, green energy transition” on Hawaiʻi Island, officials say. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maui

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court oral argument scheduled for lawsuit challenging Maui houseless sweeps
. The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court has scheduled an oral argument on Dec. 14, 2023, for the lawsuit against Maui County challenging a September 2021 houseless sweep at Amala Place near Kanahā Beach Park. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor’s Enhanced Security Detail Could Be Funded By Federal, Wildfire Funds. The estimated cost for overtime and travel expenses for the detail was $110,000, though the Public Safety Department said it was still tallying the bill. Civil Beat.

FEMA closing Kahului Disaster Recovery Center this Friday. The Kahului Disaster Recovery Center on Maui is closing at 6 p.m. this Friday, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Elevated levels of toxins found in Lahaina ash, test results show. The state Department of Health on Sunday released laboratory results showing ash from homes in Lahaina contain elevated levels of toxics including arsenic, lead, antimony, cobalt and copper.  Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Student changes on agenda for community council meeting. Lori Ann Cabebe, the Kaua‘i High School PCNC Coordinator, announced a school community council meeting on Dec. 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kaua‘i High School cafeteria. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i fishpond access preserved for community. Trust for Public Land, Waipā Foundation, the County of Kaua‘i and the State of Hawai‘i have announced the purchase and transfer of ownership and stewardship of a quarter-acre of land in the Waipā ahupua‘a along Kauaʻi’s north shore. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Looming federal shutdown threatens holiday tourism season, state psychiatric patient arrested in fatal stabbing of staffer, some public schools lack fire alarms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Potential government shutdown could hit heart of Hawaii’s economy. As Congress gets closer to their Friday deadline to pass a budget, a potential government shutdown threatens Hawaii's tourism industry. The state's top industry could be greatly impacted with the staffing of air traffic controllers.  KITV4.

Hawaii holiday travel is expected to be soft. The latest tourism data from the state  Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism for September showed that some 651,286 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands, down 7.4% from September 2022. Arrivals to Maui plummeted 57% to 94,221 visitors in September, according to the DBEDT data. Star-Advertiser.

Not Acceptable’: Why So Many Hawaii Schools Lack Fire Alarms.
A recent report from a House working group highlights the lack of working fire alarm systems and other safety precautions in some public schools. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Electric tallies $20.4M in early disaster costs from Maui wildfires. Hawaiian Electric has shared a glimpse of expenses from the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires while vowing to vigorously contest litigation blaming the company for the disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters battle blazes across Hawaii. Amid continuing hot weather, drought and strong tradewinds, firefighters across the islands are continuing to battle wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Josh Green and First Lady Jaime Kanani Green headed to Japan
on Sunday to meet with Japanese government officials and key business stakeholders, his office announced. Green will thank Japan’s government for its $2 million contribution to Hawaii in the aftermath of the Maui wildfire disaster, promote made-in-Hawaii products, and invite the return of Japanese visitors to Hawaii’s shores. Maui News.

Hawaii Voters Could Be Asked To Amend Constitution On Marriage Equality. A section of the state's Bill of Rights still gives the Legislature the power to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. Civil Beat.

National Climate Report Lands As Hawaii Grapples With Wildfire Threat.
It features a new focus on Indigenous knowledge to combat the islands' climate challenges. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Patient at state psychiatric facility arrested in fatal attack on staff member. Man, 29, fatally stabbed at State Hospital in Kaneohe. Honolulu Emergency Medical Services officials say a 29-year-old man was fatally stabbed late Monday afternoon at the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Court battle underway as Red Hill families accuse Navy leaders of destroying evidence. A federal judge heard arguments Monday in Honolulu on legal claims that Navy leaders lied and destroyed cellphone evidence after the Red Hill fuel leaks. The government insists that’s not true. Hawaii News Now.

Pig farmer prevails in appeals court.
A 56-year-old Waianae Coast pig farmer prevailed both in a state appeals court and district court over a landlord who took steps to evict him. The court rulings pave the way for Matthew Reyes to return to the 1.75-acre portion of the 5-acre Maili property on Paakea Road and continue to farm. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kona Vistas heads back to planning commission. A long-delayed and controversial $170 million West Hawaii housing project is returning to the Leeward Planning Commission in January after months of cultural review. Tribune-Herald.

‘Super prime’ land in Keauhou sold for just over $4M. A privately owned global real estate firm headquartered in San Diego has sold a 24.5-acre parcel of undeveloped land within the Keauhou Resort to a Los Angeles-based real estate developer and investor. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Tsunami Museum in Danger of Closing. It's a race against time for those who want to preserve Hilo's Tsunami Museum, an educational site which raises awareness of what occurred during the Big Island's deadliest natural disaster.  KITV4.

Sixteen Live Sheep Freed From Alleged Poachers At PTA. Five cited, fined for attempting to poach sheep. Four Big Island residents and one Oahu resident were cited and fined Thursday for attempting to poach 16 sheep on Daniel K. Inouye Highway. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maui

Texas Developer Seeks $50 Million From Maui County To Build Affordable Housing. Dallas-based real estate developer Paul Cheng has already received $18 million in county subsidies for his Pulelehua housing development. Civil Beat.

Thousands of Maui property owners haven’t yet given government permission to clear debris. About 900 Maui property owners who saw their homes destroyed in the catastrophic wildfires have given the government permission to remove debris. But thousands more have yet to sign right-of-entry forms. Hawaii News Now.

MEO handling fire grants for businesses with $300,000 revenues or less. The Maui Business Bridge Grant that provides financial support to businesses directly or indirectly impacted by the August wildfires began accepting applications today, Nov. 13, with Maui Economic Opportunity working with establishments of $300,000 in gross revenue or less. Maui Now.

Brush fire burns 35 acres, 70% contained; Maui Veterans Highway now OPEN. According to the County of Maui, multiple fire crews and Air 1 responded to the blaze, which was fed by 20-25 mph winds. Maui Now. KHON2.

Maui Wellness Group, LLC gets approval as medical cannabis retail dispensary. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has issued a formal notice to proceed for Maui Wellness Group, LLC, dba Maui Grown Therapies after it passed its final on-site inspection for its fourth retail facility.  Maui Now.

Kauai

The Kaua‘i Marathon shares $25K with four groups. The YWCA of Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, Kaua‘i Humane Society and the Kaua‘i Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received awards. Garden Island.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Veterans Day honors those who serve, Green names Rep. Hashimoto for state Senate, Honolulu gay bar alleges death threat from liquor control board, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State House lawmaker transfers to Senate. Gov. Josh Green picked Rep. Troy Hashimoto (D, Wailuku- Waikapu) to fill an empty seat in the Senate following the recent resignation of Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran (D, Wailuku-Kahului-Waihee). Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Electric Has Ample Cash For Now But Few Answers To Key Questions. An earnings call with investors highlighted uncertainties surrounding Hawaii's electric utility and its parent following the Maui wildfires. Civil Beat.

The Power Was Out Before The Fires Started. Then Hawaiian Electric Flipped The Switch
. In congressional testimony, Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Shelee Kimura confirmed what some already suspected — that the utility re-energized its lines just before an early morning fire. Civil Beat.

‘The era of complacency is over’: Wildfire planning agency swamped by requests for help. A Hawaii wildfire management nonprofit says only a few communities in the state have prepared for wildfires and now more than 100 are lining up to get protected. The small organization was practically ignored before Maui’s wildfire disaster. Hawaii News Now.

State working group calls for improvements to food reserves and disaster response. A state working group wants Hawaiʻi to improve its food reserves, support backyard farming and fill in the gaps in supply distribution to bolster its disaster response. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Military Members File Lawsuit Over Red Hill Water Contamination. Active service members are challenging a rule that insulates the government from liability for their injuries. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Gay Bar Steps Up Dispute With Liquor Commission. Scarlet Honolulu and Gay Island Guide cited an alleged death threat in requesting a temporary restraining order. The commission's counsel denied the allegation. Civil Beat.

HPD probe launched into handling of officer-involved crash that left motorcyclist injured.  Records reveal a Honolulu police officer arrested for driving under the influence and crashing into a utility pole seven years ago recently slammed his subsidized vehicle into the back of a motorcyclist, seriously injuring the rider. Hawaii News Now.

COVID relief funds mishandled, Honolulu auditor says. Honolulu exposed $387 million in federal COVID-19 relief money it received in 2020 to fraud, waste and abuse as it dispensed business and household relief funding during the pandemic, the Office of the City Auditor says. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea eyed for registers of historic places. At a Thursday meeting of the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority board, Ku‘upua Kiyuna, legal specialist for nonprofit Huliauapa‘a, told the board her organization has filed nominations for a portion of Maunakea, including the mountain’s summit, to be listed as a “traditional cultural property and district” on the National Register of Historic Places and the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. Tribune-Herald.

Bridge Stabilization Near Honoliʻi Beach Park Set To Begin. A bridge along the Honoliʻi Stream will undergo stabilization work next week, and officials warn of some changes to traffic patterns around Honoliʻi Beach Park. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Search For Lahaina’s Missing Spurs Creation Of Cold Case Unit. Two members of a task force specializing in forensic analysis will be assigned to the new detail that will reexamine dozens of unsolved cases. Civil Beat.

State to buy former Kihei hotel to house fire evacuees. A state agency received board approval Thursday to buy the former 229-room Maui Sun Hotel as part of a plan to turn the property into apartments for people who lost homes in the Aug. 8 disaster, which destroyed most of Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

Groundbreaking, blessing held for 223-unit Hale O Piʻikea affordable housing in Kīhei. Situated in the southeast portion of the Kīhei Downtown Project, the development aims to address the pressing need for affordable housing. The project will provide 223 affordable rental housing units for individuals, kūpuna, and families whose incomes fall at or below 60% of the area median income. Maui Now.

Upcountry Maui Is Entering The Next Phase Of Fire Recovery.
But Anxiety Persists. Kula residents readily acknowledge their losses are nowhere near the level experienced by Lahaina wildfire survivors but they share many of the same frustrations. Civil Beat.

Worsening water shortage in Upcountry Maui puts Kula Hospital at risk. A dire warning for Upcountry Maui residents -- cut water use by 20% or put Kula Hospital and 80 long term care patients at risk. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Nonprofit details ‘youth mental health crisis’ on Kaua‘i. The head of a community initiative for youths detailed how high schoolers and middle schoolers on the island are “really struggling” with issues, including poor mental health, substance abuse and loneliness, in a presentation to Kaua‘i County Council members this week. Garden Island.

More than 70 volunteers renovate U.S. VETS Barber’s Point.
Home Depot volunteers picked up some gloves and tools at U.S. VETS Barber’s Point to renovate its facilities in honor of Veteran’s Day. KHON2.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Changes proposed to motorcycle rules, HECO unveils plan to combat wildfire risk, Red Flag warnings continue, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Public hearing scheduled for proposed changes to motorcycle, moped rules. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation notifies the public of a hearing scheduled on Nov. 16 from 9 to 11 a.m., for proposed changes to Hawaii Administrative Rules 19-123 “Statewide Motorcycle, Moped, and Motor Scooter Education Courses and Licensing Skill Test Waiver.” Kauai Now.

Hawaiian Electric announces plan to help combat risk of wildfires. Hawaiian Electric on Friday announced a series of statewide strategies to alleviate the risk of wildfires in drought-stricken parts of Hawaii. Company proposes spotters, possible power shutoffs and better technology. Tribune-Herald. Maui News.

Red Flag Warning posted for parts of the state. Trades will strengthen Monday night with gusts up to 50 mph possible over the windiest portions of Maui County and the Big Island. Hawaii News Now.

Mother, Calf Whale Pairs Spotted In Hawaiʻi Waters. The appearance of the humpback whale pairs warrants extra care by ocean users, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary says.  Big Island Video News.

Oahu

Honolulu Planning Commission to decide fate of landfill selection process. The Honolulu Planning Commission plans to make a decision in early 2024 on the city’s request for a two-year extension to find an alternate site for the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department was kept busy on Sunday with the Red Flag Warning not making things any easier as they dealt with several fire incidents across Oahu. The Honolulu Fire Department was kept busy on Sunday with the Red Flag Warning not making things any easier as they dealt with several fire incidents across Oahu. KHON2.   KITV4.

Mililani Mauka fire 85% contained amid challenging red-flag weather. Firefighters on Oahu continue to battle a large wildfire above Mililani Mauka that was 85% contained Sunday, and knocked downed five other brush fires and a building fire on a “red flag” weather day that put the state on edge in the aftermath of the deadly Lahaina inferno. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Drunken Day At A Bar Led To This Detective’s 99-Day Suspension. Other officers on scene said the off-duty detective was "code black," police jargon for when someone is totally out of control. Civil Beat.

Manufactured compostable waste to be accepted in Oahu’s green recycling bins. By 2025, specially designed plastic, paper and other materials that easily break down in the environment will be accepted inside Oahu curbside collection bins typically reserved for grass clippings, broken tree branches and raked leaves. Star-Advertiser.

Little fire ant infestations spread across Oahu. There are now more than 30 active sites of little fire ants across over 200 acres — from Kahuku down the entire Windward coastline to Hawaii Kai and Kahala. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Fire chief talks wildfire readiness during council meeting.
Members of the County Council questioned Fire Chief Kazuo Todd on Tuesday about the Hawaii Fire Department’s ability to prevent or respond to a wildfire on the scale of the August blaze that devastated Lahaina. Tribune-Herald.

Project To Remove Facilities At Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau Moves Forward. The National Park Service will be able to move forward with a plan to remove and replace park maintenance facilities at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, now that a Finding of No Significant Impact has been published.  Big Island Video News.

Kona coffee farms head into this year’s festival with healthier crops. Entering  the 52nd annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival that runs through Nov. 12, farmers are celebrating higher yields and healthier crops throughout the Kona region due to more rain and better management of the killer fungus.  Big Island Now.

Several county park projects near completion. Numerous improvement projects in parks and recreational facilities across Hawaii County are nearing the finish line as the Parks and Recreation Department sets goals for next year. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

4 Lahaina schools to close Monday due to red flag warning. King Kamehameha Elementary, Princess Nahienaena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High School will be closed to students and staff out of an abundance of caution, according to a news release from the Hawaii Department of Education. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

300 temporary jobs available for workers impacted by fires. Three hundred temporary jobs to help with debris removal, damage cleanup and humanitarian aid are available for residents impacted by the Maui wildfires, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced Friday.  Maui News.

Job, housing insecurities mount as Maui tourism disaster adds to devastation. Tourism reopened to all of Maui Wednesday but the economic fallout from the Aug. 8 wildfires in Maui, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, is still unfolding and recovery is unlikely to come soon enough to stem all of the pain points. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina’s Filipino Community Is Fighting For Its Voice. The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce applied for money from the Hawaii Community Foundation but did not get approval for funding. Civil Beat.

Lahaina Families Frustrated Over Lack Of Child Care Options. The historic Maui town, which already suffered from a child care shortage, lost 255 licensed seats in the August wildfires. Civil Beat.

Mahi Pono to bring more crops to packing facility.
Company currently packing citrus; coffee, potatoes, onions up next. In a 117,000-square-foot warehouse behind the old Puunene Mill lies Mahi Pono’s new packing facility, which will now make it easier to pack some of its produce for sale.  Maui News.

Kauai

County passes resolution in support of Filipino social studies course.
Following the announcement that two high schools on O‘ahu are set to become the first public schools in the country to offer a course on Filipino history and culture, Kaua‘i County Council member Addison Bulosan introduced a resolution last week in hopes of getting a course started on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Mosquito suppression pilot project to save Kaua‘i forest birds concludes.
A team of researchers working to prevent the extinction of Hawai‘i’s endangered forest birds through the release of incompatible mosquitoes in Koke‘e are set to conclude a 10-day pilot project on Saturday, Nov. 4. Garden Island.




Monday, October 16, 2023

Maui ash samples show high levels of arsenic, lead, cobalt; vandals hit emergency sirens; state loses bid to be hydrogen hub; more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

aerial view of devastation on Lahaina
Preliminary ash samples from Kula fire show high levels of toxic substances; same expected in Lahaina. Preliminary, unvalidated data from ash sampling received late Friday night shows very high levels of arsenic, and elevated levels of lead and cobalt, in wildfire ash collected in Kula, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health announced on Sunday. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric’s wildfire mitigation plan under scrutiny
.  Video cameras, weather sensors, intelligent switches, stronger wires and other upgrades are part of a Hawaiian Electric plan to reduce wildfire ignition risk, though it could take decades to make widespread improvements that only partially reduce risk. Star-Advertiser.

PUC needs definitive cause of Maui fire before HECO investigation. The Public Utilities Commission needs an official finding of what caused the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires before investigating whether a lack of preparation by utility companies contributed to the tragedy that killed 98 people.  Star-Advertiser.

Vandals Are Stealing Parts Off Hawaii’s Emergency Sirens. Roughly three out of every four sirens works at any given time, officials said. At least eight of the state’s emergency sirens are currently not working due to vandalism or suspected vandalism, according to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s bid to be hydrogen hub falls short. Hawaii won’t be a clean-­hydrogen production and distribution hub under a $7 billion federal initiative. Federal officials announced Friday that seven hydrogen hub plans across the country were selected for the funding, and a bid from Hawaii didn’t make the cut. Star-Advertiser.

This State Employee Is Scouring The Earth For Solutions To Combat Hawaii’s Invasive Species. Government bureaucracy and inadequate research facilities are now blamed for delaying potentially significant relief to industries like macadamia and coffee and possibly even providing a “silver bullet” in the battle against the invasive grasses that fueled the deadly wildfires on Maui. Civil Beat.

Hawaii State Hospital names Luke as permanent head. The state Department of Health said in a press release Thursday that Luke, the interim hospital administrator since May, becomes administrator effective Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

‘Red tape’ likely delayed Honolulu police efforts to assist Maui after wildfires. Required county forms appear to have been part of the delay in getting Honolulu police to Maui to help that department in the days after the Lahaina wildfire. Hawaii News Now.

Coast Guard puts 2 new environmental focused units on Oahu. The Coast Guard is expanding its engagement in the Pacific and beyond to tackle illegal fishing and respond to environmental disasters. Star-Advertiser.

US military to begin draining leaky fuel tank facility that poisoned Pearl Harbor drinking water. The military next week plans to begin draining fuel from World War II-era underground fuel tanks in Hawaii, nearly two years after the massive facility sickened 6,000 people when it leaked jet fuel into a Pearl Harbor drinking water well. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Downtown businesses expect loss in revenue following cancellation of major Halloween event.  One of Downtown Honolulu’s biggest events of the year will not happen due to a permitting issue, and many bar owners say it will cause a major drop in revenue. Businesses in the Downtown area say Hallowbaloo that Halloween night can represent anywhere from 10 to 30% of their income for October. Hawaii News Now.

On Oahu’s North Shore, big fines are proposed for illegal erosion control measures. Waves have been rising on Oahu’s North Shore, with one of the largest early-season swells possible next week. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Activity at Kīlauea summit decreases dramatically, suggesting recent intrusive event coming to an end. Earthquake and ground deformation rates beneath the southern part of the summit caldera of the Big Island’s Kīlauea volcano and extending southwest to the Koaʻe fault zone have decreased dramatically during the past several days. Big Island Now.

BLNR denies research application, saying project failed to engage with residents
. A United Kingdom-based research project that took samples from Big Island reefs has been terminated after a state board found the scientists failed to hold sufficient public outreach about the project. Tribune-Herald.

BLNR OKs removal of Hawi dam, reservoir. The reservoir has not been in use since 1975, although it was only drained of water in 2014, after the Department of Land and Natural Resources found serious deficiencies in the dam that posed a high risk of failure. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island saw surge of vehicle thefts during the pandemic
. There were 1,190 auto thefts reported islandwide in 2019, the last prepandemic year. The pandemic hit the island in March 2,000, and auto thefts increased to 1,269 that year, a 6.6% increase. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Uncertainty And Delays Are Too Much For Some Lahaina Businesses. They’re Calling It Quits. Cheeseburger in Paradise was a top revenue producer for Maui for decades but its owners have decided not to try to reopen. Other firms are making the same decision. Civil Beat.

Students Return To Lahaina Schools As EPA Seals Down Toxic Ash. State health and education officials say it's safe for kids to come back but some parents and teachers have doubts. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui News.

Lahaina fire evacuees being evicted from temporary shelters. William Nhieu, spokes­person for the state Office of Consumer Protection, said the office has opened an investigation but, since it is still pending, declined to comment on specifics. Star-Advertiser.

Modular-home village proposed for displaced Lahaina residents. Tiny-home villages have been popular as emergency housing in Hawaii, but Maude Cumming is pursuing a bigger idea to temporarily re-house many Lahaina residents displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed the West Maui town. Star-Advertiser.

Human Remains From Lahaina Wildfire Found In Courthouse. Maui police also said the number of people who have not been accounted for since the Aug. 8 fire dropped to seven. Civil Beat. Maui News.

Kauai

Mosquito ‘birth control’ project that could save Hawaiian honeycreeper is moving forward. The project called “Birds, Not Mosquitoes” is working with the state to help import mosquitoes implanted with Wolbachia, a bacterium that would curb reproduction of wild mosquitoes that carry avian malaria — which is killing off the endemic Hawaiian honeycreeper. Hawaii News Now.

Schatz visits Lima Ola housing project in ‘Ele‘ele. U.S. Sen Brian Schatz on Friday stopped by the Lima Ola Housing Development on Kauai’s westside, where he was updated on the decades-long project to build affordable housing on the island. Garden Island.

Six Kaua‘i nonprofits awarded total of $1 million through Life’s Choices grant program. Six Kaua‘i nonprofit agencies will receive a portion of $1 million awarded Oct. 13 through the Kaua’i County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney Life’s Choices program mental health and substance abuse community program grants. Kauai Now.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Senate committee mulls Hawaii nominees to US District Court, Native Hawaiian Convention moved to Maui, Hawaiian Electric liability insurance a small fraction of damages, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi nominees to US District Court considered at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Micah Smith, an assistant U.S. attorney, and Judge Shanlyn Park, State of Hawaiʻi court judge, were introduced by US Sen. Brian Schatz on Thursday to the US Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing to consider their nominations to the US District Court for the District of Hawai‘i. Maui Now. Kauai Now.

22nd Annual Native Hawaiian Convention moved to Maui to ‘uplift local voices’.
  In a significant decision aimed at amplifying the voices of the people of Maui, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has chosen to relocate its highly anticipated 22nd Annual Native Hawaiian Convention from Oʻahu to Maui.  Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaiian Electric’s insurance is fraction of potential fire claims. Hawaiian Electric has $165 million in annual general liability insurance, according to a filing with state regulators, compared with the $4.9 billion in potential claims estimated by research firm Capstone. Bloomberg News.

Hawaii school board OK’s requests for bigger operating, facilities budgets. The state school board on Wednesday approved requests to the state Legislature for an additional $198.2 million for the Hawaii public schools’ operating budget and an added $273 million for capital improvement projects for next fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Ag Corp. Is Putting Up Remainder Of Its Land For Lease. Just over 3,000 acres of unused land owned by the Agribusiness Development Corp. will soon be up for lease, as it opens up the remainder of its land portfolio.  Civil Beat.

Interim rule restricts movement of palms from Oahu. A new interim rule restricting the interisland movement of palms and other plant materials in Hawaii is now in place to help contain the destructive coconut rhinoceros beetle. Star-Advertiser. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

EPA declares end to consent degree requiring upgrades at Kapolei landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the completion of required upgrades to the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, ending a dozen years of federal scrutiny and oversight aimed at bringing Oahu’s only municipal landfill into compliance with laws designed to protect public health and natural ecosystems. Star-Advertiser.

Council bans sale of flavored tobacco products. The Honolulu City Council on a split vote Wednesday passed a measure to prohibit sales of flavored tobacco products in an effort to keep them out of the hands of Oahu’s youth. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Earthquake rates increase overnight beneath Kīlauea summit region. The area just south of Kīlauea’s summit is showing signs of elevated unrest as earthquake rates beneath the region increased overnight from less than 10 earthquakes per day to over 140 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday. Big Island Now.

Police: Increased presence at Keaau High School after social media threat. Police have initiated a first-degree terroristic threatening investigation after being informed of an anonymous threat made involving Keaau High School. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Hawaiʻi County’s new animal control director used to care for frogs, elephants, gorillas. Veterinarian technician Matthew Runnells has worked at prestigious zoos, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida, providing care to dart frogs, African elephants and a 345-pound gorilla who needed a pacemaker. Big Island Now.

Maui

The Maui Fires Have Put A $31 Million Hole In This Year’s County Budget. Council members will consider the mayor's plan to fill the gap, which includes proposed cuts to the fire department. Civil Beat.

State Investigation Into Maui Fires Has Been Quietly Moving Along. Now It’s Going Public. The large number of deaths makes understanding what happened in Lahaina a national concern, investigators say. Civil Beat.

Former MPD assistant chief: Agency didn’t follow its own ‘all hazard’ plan in Lahaina disaster. Nearly two months after a ferocious fire tore through Lahaina, a recently retired Maui police commander is raising doubts about whether the Maui Police Department followed its own emergency action plan during the disaster. Hawaii News Now.

Concerns Grow Over How To Control Toxic Ash As Re-Entry To Lahaina Picks Up. The Environmental Protection Agency is awaiting county approval to deploy Soiltac, a dust suppressant with glue-like qualities that the agency says is safe to use. Civil Beat.

High-tech surveys off Lahaina begin as ‘catastrophic’ impact to reef, near-shore waters feared. The devastation in Lahaina isn’t just above ground. And researchers say the waters and reefs off the town could be impacted for years to come. Hawaii News Now.

Disaster Area Restrictions lifted at Zones 3A, 3B & 3C for parts of Wahikuli, ʻĀinakea and Fleming roads. Disaster area restrictions will be lifted on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 9 and 10, for owners and residents of Zones 3A, 3B and 3C. This includes parts of Wahikuli, ʻĀinakea and Fleming roads. Maui Now. KHON2.

Minimal tourists expected for West Maui reopening. People both supporting and criticizing Sunday’s official planned reopening of tourism to West Maui should not expect an “onslaught” of visitors. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

The tourism industry wants visitors to educate themselves before heading to West Maui. Lahaina is still off limits. That’s the message to visitors ahead of West Maui’s tourism reboot Sunday.  Hawaii News Now.

DOE outlines safety plan as Lahaina schools set to reopen. As Lahaina’s three remaining public schools open to teachers today for the first time since the Aug. 8 wildfire, and their students return on a staggered schedule starting Oct. 16, state education officials announced that a new “safety plan” has been created in case of emergencies and evacuations, 300 air filters are being distributed to classrooms and offices, and each campus will have a “designated administrator” responsible for daily monitoring of air quality. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council debates ambulance contract controversy. The Kaua‘i County Council passed a resolution urging the state Department of Health (DOH) to continue with a longtime emergency service provider on Wednesday, Oct. 4, amid protests surrounding the decision to switch to a new provider. Garden Island.

Domestic passenger solid in September at Lihu‘e Airport. The number of people getting off domestic passenger flights at Lihu‘e Airport inched past 63,000 in September, which was enough to mark the second highest total for the month at the transportation hub. Garden Island.