Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Hawaii pays health-care workers' student loans, big raises for Hawaii County government execs, newborn found in Honolulu trash bin, UH football program loses money, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii health care workers’ student loans to be paid. Just in time for Christmas, the state told 492 Hawaii health care workers this week that it will pay off their student loans — up to $100,000 — in return for a two-year commitment to stay in the islands. Star-Advertiser. Kauai Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii health care workers grateful for loan forgiveness
. Coincidentally on Friday, Gov. Josh Green — age 53 — made his final loan payment on his own 30-year-old student loan, which ran up to $315,000 with interest. Star-Advertiser.

New Hawaii homeless coordinator Mizuno saw his unhoused brother die. Hawaii’s incoming homeless coordinator — state Rep. John Mizuno — knows the tragedy of homeless personally. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii lags in preparing kids for kindergarten, state DOE report shows.
In the Hawaii public schools’ first statewide assessment of children’s kindergarten readiness, less than one-third of children entering kindergarten this fall demonstrated “baseline readiness” for school, according to new state Department of Education data that evaluated basic language, math and social skills, and physical development. Star-Advertiser.

New report on cycle of poverty in Hawaii urges state lawmakers to find solutions. A new report shows Hawaiʻi's lack of economic mobility imposes a high cost on us all, but especially on our keiki. The report found kids pay the biggest price with poorer health outcomes, less education, and lose out on future economic productivity. KITV4.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case is pushing for legislation that would restrict international imports of protected ornamental reef fish and coral collected through destructive practices. The Hawaii Democrat introduced the legislation, known as the Saving Natural Ecosystems and Marine Organisms Act to the House on Nov. 17, after which it was referred to the House committees on Natural Resources, Ways and Means, and Foreign Affairs. Star-Advertiser.

State Hospital Workers Who Witnessed A Nurse’s Murder Have Been Denied Workers Comp. A doctor treating four employees said the decision is "unconscionable" and will delay their ability to address the trauma they experienced. Civil Beat.


University Of Hawaii Athletics Needs Your Money To Survive. Here’s How College Sports Finances Are Changing. UH's lack of the big revenue seen by other college athletic programs is hampering its ability to compete, especially in the high-finance sport of football. Civil Beat.

Newborn baby abandoned in trash bin rushed to hospital in serious condition. Honolulu police have opened a child abandonment case after a Kahala resident saved a newborn baby girl from a trash bin  Saturday night, officials said. Hawaii News Now.

Overheated Leeward Park To Get Shade Trees — And Volunteers To Water Them. The pilot project near Maili Elementary School could be a model for more efforts to cool Oahu's hot spots. Civil Beat.

High bacteria levels found in  Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant sample. The sample, which was taken at 8:08 a.m. Thursday, exceeded the single sample daily maximum limitation for enterococcus under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the plant, according to a news release from the Honolulu Department of Environmental Services. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hefty raises for county execs. Mayor Mitch Roth’s pay will increase from $162,582 to $199,068 on Jan. 1 and $209,028 on July 1.  Council members will receive raises to $85,728 on Jan. 1 and $90,024 on July 1, with the chair receiving hikes to $94,308 on Jan. 1 and to $99,024 on July 1. Tribune-Herald.

Council OKs Puna route study after initially rejecting bill. The Hawaii County Council voted Wednesday to reject $1.5 million for a study of possible alternate routes into Puna before immediately calling for a do-over and accepting the funds. Tribune-Herald.

PATH expands HIBIKE system and continues partnership with Mass Transit Agency, offering free HIBIKE Bikeshare to Hele-On Riders. People for Active Transportation Hawai‘i (PATH) has just completed the expansion of their HIBIKE bikeshare system with funds awarded from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant through the State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and administered by the County Department of Public Works.  Big Island Now.


New Database Tracks Millions In Donations And Government Funds For Maui. Readers have asked Civil Beat to follow where donated monies are going. Civil Beat.

Construction at Olowalu begins while officials still decide on final fire debris holding site. A temporary storage site for Lahaina fire debris is under construction in Olowalu on Maui.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Aftereffect from Lahaina wildfire will create opportunities for some businesses. The Maui County Office of Economic Development is looking for options for businesses that are facing increased challenges due to the fires and the tightening commercial real estate market. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Police Department offers cash rewards for tips on illegal fireworks. Law enforcement agencies across Hawaii are employing various strategies to crack down on illegal fireworks as New Year’s Eve approaches. Star-Advertiser.


Environmental lawsuit halts plans for West Kaua‘i Energy Project. Plans for a more than $250 million renewable energy project on the westside of Kaua‘i are in limbo, following lawsuits by two community groups that allege its environmental impact was not properly assessed. Garden Island.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Hawaii's Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander population edges up, Biden panel coming to Honolulu to seek input, Green signs health care bills, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders up 1.8% in 2022. The Native Hawaiian and “other Pacific Islander” population in the U.S. rose to nearly 1.76 million in 2022, an increase of 1.8%, or almost 32,000 people, over the previous year, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Star-Advertiser.

Biden Panel On AAPI And Native Hawaiians Seeks Local Input.
President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders will meet in person in Honolulu July 7, the first time the commission has met outside the U.S. mainland, the administration said. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green returns to Hawai‘i Island where he practiced medicine to sign health care bills. 
Gov. Josh Green used West Hawaii as a pulpit on Thursday to address Hawaii’s problems and sign several bills into law.  Green traveled to the Hawaii Island Community Health Center in Kealakehe for a signing ceremony for three bills related to health care and one for consumer telecommunications. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  KHON2.


Hawaii report details health effects of Red Hill leak.  A new report released by the state Department of Health provides an assessment of the health effects people may have faced after being exposed to jet fuel, the cleaning product Simple Green, high levels of chlorine and an anti-icing agent in their drinking water after a pipeline burst at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility on Nov. 20 2021. Star-Advertiser.

HPD officer justified in shooting, prosecutor says.  Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm announced Thursday that a plainclothes acting police sergeant was justified in the Dec. 28, 2020, fatal shooting of a 45-year-old man in the parking lot of a public-housing apartment complex in Ahuimanu. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

‘Safe and Sound’ sees lower crime stats in Waikīkī.  The Honolulu Police Department is providing an update on the “Safe and sound” program that they instigated in Waikīkī.  According to HPD, crime is going down. KHON2.

Businesses hoping for boom in customers ahead of the June 30 opening of Oahu's new rail system. Like many businesses along the rail line, Ichiriki in Aiea endured months of construction that affected the number of customers coming into the restaurant. KITV4.

Honolulu rail’s launch means big changes ahead for bus riders, too.  The city’s long-awaited rail line opens on June 30, but regular bus riders may not yet be aware that it could affect their usual routes, especially west of Aiea. Hawaii News Now.

Thousands of endangered Hawaiian snails in captivity relocated to new home on Oahu.
Some 8,000 snails were moved from Kailua to their new home in the Pearl City area Thursday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Councilmember Seeks Emergency Declaration For Abandoned Hilo Hotel.  Hawaiʻi County Councilmember Sue Lee Loy has introduced a resolution urging Governor Josh Green to declare a state of emergency for the condemned and dilapidated former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel on Banyan Drive. Big Island Video News.

Charges brought in Merrie Monarch Festival burglary.  Hawaii island police have brought an array of charges against two men arrested for the recent Merrie Monarch Festival office burglary and trespassing at a closed business in Hilo. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.


Bill to regulate air and replica guns advances. A bill that would limit air and replica guns in certain public spaces to improve safety for the community and police officers was unanimously recommended by a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday afternoon.  Maui News.

County of Maui seeking public input for future Kehalani Mauka Park improvements. 
The County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation will hold a pop-up open house to share information and seek input from the public on future improvements for Kehalani Mauka Park in Wailuku. Maui Now.


Garden sprouts on Rice Street in downtown Lihu‘e.  The garden is part of the Downtown Lihu‘e’s Lihu‘e Placemaking, Forestry and Gardens Initiative, a two-year effort to build valued community green spaces in Lihu‘e and a shared vision for future green infrastructure along Rice Street. Garden Island.

Outrigger Resorts & Hotels to acquire Kauaʻi Beach Resort & Spa. 
The transaction to purchase the 25-acre beachfront property with 350 guest rooms is expected to close on Aug. 22, 2023. Kauai Now.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Luke finds cash to cover shortfall, slow rebound expected for Japanese tourists, Southwest to end Kona, Kauai nonstop mainland flights, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii LG Sylvia Luke Finds Cash To Cover Shortfall: ‘I Expect Better Of Myself’. Following a wave of public criticism, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke says that her office will likely avoid a previously forecasted budget shortfall that threatened to put her in legal jeopardy.  Civil Beat.

State Agriculture Corp. Gets New Board Leadership. Warren Watanabe, a seasoned agricultural advocate, has been elected to lead the Agribusiness Development Corp.’s board of directors. The election at a meeting Thursday, comes as part of a leadership shakeup for the ADC following the unexpected death of long-time executive director James Nakatani in April.  Civil Beat.

Green shaking up education, UH, tourism boards.
New members of the boards that oversee lower and higher public education and the Hawaii Tourism Authority are being named by Gov. Josh Green after soured relationships with the state Legislature resulted in lackluster financial support, including proposals to not fund the HTA and even abolish it. Star-Advertiser.

‘Slow gradual rebound’ expected for Japan visitors to Hawaii. Hawaii arrivals from Japan, once forecast to make a quicker rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, now are not expected to return to pre-pandemic 2019 levels until the end of next year. Star-Advertiser.

Southwest ending nonstop flights Sept. 5 between Los Angeles and Kauaʻi, Big Island airports. On Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day, Southwest Airlines will end its daily nonstop flights between Los Angeles and two Hawaiʻi airports: Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on the Big Island and Līhuʻe Airport on Kaua‘i. Kauai Now.

Women in Hawaii not receiving adequate prenatal care.  The  state has ranked last in recent years when it comes to women obtaining adequate care, defined as initiating care in the first four months of pregnancy and making it to an appropriate number of doctors appointments. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Struggle To Provide Health Care For Rural Islands Nearly Turned Tragic For This Expectant Mom. For months the fragility of a vital air link endangered the health of people across rural Hawaii. The state is still trying to fix it. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Telcom Wins A $37M Grant To Install Undersea Cables To Improve Broadband Service. The new federal funding would provide additional fiber links between the islands to make service more reliable, and to reach unserved rural communities. Civil Beat.

State adjusts eligibility requirements for Homeowner Assistance Fund program
.  It allows qualified households to receive mortgage assistance or financial relief from certain expenses, such as property taxes or association fees. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ocean users advised to avoid research drones, buoys. Ocean users are cautioned to keep far from three uncrewed Saildrone Explorer research vessels that have been deployed around the Hawaiian Islands to help look for signs of climate change. Star-Advertiser.


Council lowers tax rate for owners of second homes used for rentals.  The Council voted unanimously June 7 to approve Resolution 33, which is expected to lower the city’s real property tax rate for the first million dollars of value of Residential A properties and, in so doing, reduce taxes by $500 under that two-tier taxpaying class. Star-Advertiser.

A $900 Towing Fee?
Concerns Are Being Raised Over Honolulu’s New Towing Contract. Insurance companies have balked at reimbursing drivers, calling the prices unreasonable. Civil Beat.

Work completed for Coast Guard at new Honolulu dry dock.  Over the weekend, Pacific Shipyards International wrapped up its biggest maintenance project yet at its Honolulu Harbor facility, where shipyard workers over 90 days put the Coast Guard’s CGC Kimball, one of the service’s large national security cutters, through its first dry dock maintenance period. Star-Advertiser.

E. coli detected in Windward Oahu water source.  The Board of Water Supply has detected E. coli bacteria in the BWS Kahaluu Tunnel, officials said. Board of Water Supply officials the water from this source is safe to drink because it is routinely disinfected before it reaches customers, so there is no action required by customers. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Thanks to millions in federal aid, city eyes expansion of homeless camp program. The city’s HONU camp is currently set up in Maili, but the mobile program has been moving around the island since 2019. City officials are looking to expand the program with a new, $3.4 million grant. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Judge to appoint ‘special discovery master’ in Boy Scout wrongful death suit.  An ongoing dispute over the disclosure of documents in a civil lawsuit brought by the family of an 11-year-old Boy Scout killed last August by the accidental discharge of an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle at Camp Honokaia near Honokaa has led a judge to order the appointment of a special master to oversee the discovery process. Tribune-Herald.

Kapapala Ranch land transfer deal could move 7,000 acres to forest reserve. Some 7,000 acres of pasture land in Ka‘u could become part of the Kapapala Forest Reserve as two state agencies bury a 20-year-old bureaucratic hatchet. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island manta ray tour operators mixed about proposed rules, possible new law.  For more than a decade, with more and more manta ray tour companies converging at two small viewing areas off the West Hawai’i coast, ocean advocates and some tour operators have been concerned about safety and the preservation of the marine resource. Big Island Now.

Feline TNR programs ending at 2 island sites. AdvoCATS representatives said they recently received communication from Kamehameha Schools that it was terminating the trap/neuter/return, or TNR, programs for homeless cats at two of its properties on the Big Island, Keauhou Shopping Center and above the Lako gas station in West Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.


Maui Ethics Board: You Can’t Keep Those $400 Koa Digging Sticks.
County officials should give back the pricey koa digging sticks they received at a recent groundbreaking ceremony for a housing development in West Maui, the Maui Board of Ethics says. Civil Beat.

Maui residents are looking at a possible islandwide tax increase. A bill that would increase the state general excise tax in Maui County is scheduled for a hearing at the county council meeting. If approved, the GET on Maui would go up by half a percent. KITV4.

Council close to appointing East Maui water board
. A previous mayor, a former Mahi Pono official, kalo farmers, lineal descendants of East Maui and experts in water and irrigation are all vying for seats on a newly created 11-member community board that will help guide policy for East Maui water use.  Maui News.

Kalaupapa park remains closed 3 years after pandemic shutdown.  The park, in conjunction with the state Department of Health, normally allows limited access — 100 people a day — via authorized tour operators in a move to protect the lifestyle and privacy of the Hansen’s disease patients who still live in the settlement. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami signs 2024 fiscal year budget. The spending blueprint, which consists of an operating budget of $311.4 million and a capital improvement budget of $87 million, reflects the administration’s continuing focus on infrastructure. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County identifies new potential landfill site.  Kaua‘i County is moving to build a second landfill site in Kekaha, Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division officials said, as the division’s head suggested the island’s existing site will likely shut down years before another could open. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County sewer rate increase goes into effect on July 1. Kaua‘i residents are reminded that the county’s sewer rate will increase by 11% starting July 1, 2023.  Kauai Now.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Green lops $1B off budget amid less rosy economic forecast, Teamsters end gas strike, Oahu first responder campus axed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green plans to cut over $1B from Hawaii budget. Gov. Josh Green told state legislators today that he plans to eliminate or reduce over $1 billion in spending on 22 projects from the state budget because of projected reductions in state revenue. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Detailed list of budget cut line items. Governor's Office.

Gov. Green signs bills relating to domestic violence and child welfare. Gov. Josh Green signed eight bills at the state Capitol on Wednesday relating to domestic violence and sexual assault, and seven bills relating to wellness and child welfare. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi tackles health care shortage with loan forgiveness, nurse programs. The state continues to face a severe health care shortage, which Gov. Josh Green reports as about 4,000 vacancies in the field statewide. In response, the upcoming state budget has $30 million for a loan forgiveness program for health care workers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawai‘i Gov. Josh Green signs fireworks task force bill, several others into law. A bill that establishes a state task force to stop the importation of illegal fireworks and explosives into Hawai‘i is now law after Gov. Josh Green signed it last week. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Gas strike ends after workers approve new contract. Hawaii Gas union workers have voted to approve a three-year contract, ending a two-week strike across the state. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

HTA awards $3.78M for its events, enrichment programs. The Hawaii Tourism Authority awarded $3.78 million in funding for its Signature Events and Community Enrichment programs, supporting 76 community projects, festivals and events across the state. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Governor Axes $71M For First Responders Campus. In an unusual move, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green on Wednesday used his line-item veto power to reject a $50 million appropriation for proposed emergency and cybersecurity facilities in Mililani. Civil Beat.

This Stretch Of North Shore Highway Could Be Moving Inland — With A Parking Lot On The Beach Side. Managed parking is set to come to this popular beach teeming with tourists and residents who come to watch the sea turtles. Civil Beat.

Plan to replace Ward Center with two new high-rises revealed.
The largest landowner in Kakaako has filed permits with the state to build two new high-rises along Ala Moana Boulevard. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

State gives Hawaii library system a shot in the arm. The state Board of Education today will discuss $36 million in capital improvement projects for the Hawaii State Public Library System, including new libraries in Keaau and Waikoloa. Tribune-Herald.

Longtime Geothermal Critics Refuse to Back Down As Puna Plant Eyes Expansion. In a move that has ignited a fresh wave of criticism, a geothermal plant on Hawaii island that has long operated on the flanks of one of the world’s most active volcanoes is seeking state approval to expand production. Civil Beat.

Mayor Roth addresses Kona concerns at Town Hall. Mayor Mitch Roth and his cabinet presented an update on issues impacting the Kona community at Tuesday’s Town Hall Meeting at Makaeo Pavilion at Old Kona Airport Park. This was the second in a series of meetings he has planned for the island. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Legendary UH Hilo basketball coach Jimmy Yagi dies at 88. Jimmy Yagi, the architect of “Vulcan Fever” who put Hawaii’s small college basketball on the map with energy, tenacity and, most of all, humility, died today of natural causes at Hilo Hospital. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now.


Green signs bills to help West Maui Hospital, expand nursing program. Gov. Josh Green signed a pair of bills on Tuesday that could help finance a portion of the West Maui Hospital as well as expand a program to help nurses advance their careers. Maui News. Maui Now.

Judge Michelle Drewyer sworn in as Maui Circuit Court Judge. 
She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Richard Bissen, Jr. who is now Maui Mayor. Maui Now.


Passengers departing Līhuʻe Airport should arrive 2-3 hours early due to screening problem. 
Additional time may be needed in the check-in process because the checked bag screening equipment is not at full capacity.  Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

County of Kauaʻi launches revamped website. The County’s website was remodeled to enhance its user-friendliness, improve search capabilities and provide access to well-organized information.  Kauai Now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Green's first budget targets health care, administration looks at housing crisis, $17M for Native Hawaii broadband project, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green’s First Budget Proposal Focuses On Hawaii’s Health Care System.  State Spending in Gov. Josh Green’s first year is expected to increase about $666 million over the current fiscal year, which ends in June. General fund expenditures of $9.1 billion this fiscal year are estimated to rise to more than $9.8 billion in the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

The FB 2023-25 Executive Biennium Budget. Budget in Brief. Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance.

Full budget documents can be found here.

Here’s How The Green Administration Plans To Tackle Hawaii’s Housing Shortage. Converting vacation rentals into homes, targeting areas with infrastructure already in place for new construction, and collaborating with counties and private business are some of the options on the table. Civil Beat.

New Hawaii housing director focuses on easing affordable-housing process.
The state’s new chief housing coordinator, Nani Medeiros, has a poster-size graphic on her office wall that represents the many thoughts she has about how to add more affordable housing across the islands by working with the counties to eliminate unnecessary regulations, offering incentives to builders, updating outdated state rules and getting incoming state directors to think about how their disparate departments can contribute to the goals. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian communities to get $17M to expand broadband. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will receive nearly $17.3 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to expand high-speed internet access in Native Hawaiian communities, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Monday in a news release. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Maui Now.  KHON2.

The state plans to manage nearshore waters — and local fishermen want a 'seat at the table' .  The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has a plan to manage more than a quarter of Hawaiʻi's nearshore waters — but some local fishermen fear it will add more restrictions to gathering rights. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi Emergency Management holding virtual workshop for hazard mitigation plan. The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency is holding a virtual workshop on Dec. 20, asking members of the public to help it build a safer Hawai‘i. Kauai Now.

Winter storm batters state with heavy rains and strong winds. Heavy rains and strong winds battered parts of the state Monday as a powerful winter storm moved over the islands, triggering power outages, bringing down trees and closing roads. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii delegation demands federal probe into Red Hill leaks. Hawaii’s congressional delegation today called for an independent investigation into the release of toxic fire suppressant chemicals at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility, writing in a letter to Gene Dodaro, the comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office, that “the recent events in Hawaii demonstrate the need for a thorough audit to ensure that Hawaii’s people, land, water and ocean are all protected.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Trace levels of PFOS detected in water system near Waipio. The Hawaii Department of Health today said trace levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid – or PFOS — were recently detected in water samples collected from the Kipapa Acres water system in Central Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Businessman wants Hawaii residents to help name his beef. Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot, owner of Honolulu Meat Co. LLC, whose humble beginnings in northern Idaho include milking cows and sleeping in an attic, offered to change the name printed on his retail beef business from Kua ‘Aina and Kua ‘Aina Ranches. He’s holding a community contest to rename the firm. Star-Advertiser.

Storm damage closes city facilities, public pool.  Crews are beginning to clean up after a winter storm barreled over the state. The city said it got about 38 calls for downed trees or branches. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Green wants $50M for HMC: Hospital expansion among new governor’s top funding requests. Gov. Josh Green is seeking $50 million for the expansion of Hilo Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit and Medical Surgical Unit. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hilo man arrested after illegal planting of coconut palms in East Hawai‘i recreation area. A Hilo man was arrested on Sunday after attempting to plant 165 keiki coconut palms in the middle of the Wailoa River State Recreation Area. This is the fourth time over the past nine years Gene Tamashiro has been cited or arrested for leading the planting of the so-called “Kanaka Garden.” Big Island Now. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


Business Owners Sue Maui County After Racking up $1.2 Million In Fines. Paia Gelato’s 15-year permitting saga is an example of broader challenges facing the planning department. Civil Beat.

Hazardous conditions along Hāna Highway, travel restricted to local traffic. Continuing stormy conditions throughout Maui County have resulted in unsafe driving conditions along Hāna Highway.  Maui Now.


Surf is up: Dangerously large breaking waves of 30 to 40 feet for Kaua’i and Ni’ihau. The very strong breaking waves and powerful currents can impact coastal properties, infrastructure and vulnerable coastal roadways.  Kauai Now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Hawaii tackles nursing shortage, Kahele must return $48k in campaign contributions, Honolulu rail delayed again, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s shortage of health care workers worsens. The shortage of health care workers has dramatically worsened over the past three years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, with job vacancies jumping 76% — from 2,200 job openings in 2019 to 3,873 this year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

FEC says Kahele congressional campaign must return $48K. The Federal Election Commission says U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele’s congressional committee must refund more than $48,000 to its political donors. That’s because the contributors donated for the November 2022 general election, which Kahele didn’t run in. Hawaii News Now.

Tokuda Says She’s Ready To Take On A Divided Washington. The newly elected Hawaii congresswoman will be in the minority party for the first time in her career. Civil Beat.

Interest Rates are Up, So Number of New Mortgages is Down.
The total of home loans issued in Hawai‘i through the end of October dropped 38% from the same period last year. Hawaii Business Magazine.

State sees spike in road fatalities compared to last year. All four counties in Hawaii have seen an increase in fatal road accidents compared to the same time last year, according to state transportation officials, who are warning of a spike in traffic deaths heading into November. Maui News.


‘Hammerhead’ crack fixes in limbo, delaying Oahu’s rail service. Eight of 21 cracked rail “hammerheads” along the city’s rail route appear to require more extensive — but undetermined — repairs, likely delaying Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation’s transfer of the transit system to the city for paid passenger service deeper into 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Change underway to tackle Oahu building permit backlog. An initial overhaul stage is underway to reduce a chronic building permit application backlog on Oahu at the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Riders say the Handi-Van is failing them. And the city agrees. The Handi-Van is a federally-required service for the disabled citizens who can’t ride traditional buses. Hawaii News Now.

Researchers use drones to understand how waves are shifting Waikiki beach. One study, based on weekly drone surveys between 2018 to 2020, found the sand appears to move from one end of the beach to the other — not to and from offshore, as previously believed.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill to help reduce backlog of building permit applications deferred. A bill that would temporarily suspend the requirement that the Department of Public Works review plans submitted for building permit applications was met with mixed reactions Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Water Department contingency plans cleared by auditor. The Department of Water Supply has successfully addressed three issues identified in a 2020 audit that found the department lacked sufficient contingency plans to ensure the public had dependable access to water when equipment breaks down, the county auditor told the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Lawsuit: Hawaii County, cops culpable in shooting death. Trial has been set in a civil lawsuit brought against Hawaii County, two Hawaii Police Department officers, and the man who allegedly shot and killed a 59-year-old Volcano resident in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Grant Helps Hawaiʻi Island Fruit Producers, Food Basket. USDA funds will help the Olohana Foundation collaborate with local fruit producers to create new products, which will be dispersed into the local food system via The Food Basket. Big Island Video News.


Zoning change for Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute’s proposed marine conservation center. The Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will discuss a proposed resolution and bill for a zoning change for construction of a marine conservation and research center by the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute in Mā‘alaea, Maui. Maui Now.

Mauka-to-makai efforts aim to protect critical Maui reef. Groups work to carry out restoration projects in along the coastline. Maui News. KITV4.

Maui summer update of destination management action plan now available. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority published the Maui Summer 2022 progress report that provides updates on the progress toward fulfilling the Maui Destination Management Action Plan that is part of the Maui Nui action plan. Maui Now.

At a Maui school, a tradition revived offers new opportunities for the future. Lahainaluna High School is reviving its agriculture program to help grow Maui’s next generation of farmers. Hawaii News Now.


Recount confirms County Council outcome. An automatically triggered recount conducted Thursday evening confirmed the previously reported results of the Kaua‘i County Council race. Garden Island.

Kauai mayor gears up for second-term priorities after re-election. Mayor Derek Kawakami has been Kauai’s mayor for four years and just won another four with last week’s re-election. KHON2.

Lihu‘e runway project gets Kaua‘i planning commission approval. The Lihu‘e Airport runway has been out of compliance with federal law since 2006. Garden Island.

Meth runner for ex-Kauai Council member gets 3-year term
. A 41-year-old Kauai man who agreed to run drugs and collect money for a drug trafficking organization headed by a former Kauai County Council member and supplied by Samoan gang members, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison. Star-Advertiser.

Kauaʻi putting together reentry transition packs for those leaving prison. The transition back into everyday life after being incarcerated can be difficult. For some, finding a place to stay or a ride to meet with a probation officer can be a barrier to successful reintegration. Hawaii Public Radio.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Those over 65 could get less health care in COVID triage plans, Kauai council passes 3% local hotel tax, Ventura tapped as Maui fire chief, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Elders stay active in Hawaii ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii’s Pandemic Crisis Care Plan Raises Legal And Ethical Concerns. Hawaii stood by its decision to use age as a tiebreaker if needed in treatment decisions, according to the latest version of its plan for allocating resources if the pandemic overwhelms the state’s health care system, despite criticism that the plan may discriminate against older patients. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Audit Finds That Young Brothers Failed To Offset Rising Labor Costs. The report calls for no more shipping rate increases until at least 2023 and for a third party observer to help oversee one of Hawaii’s oldest companies. Civil Beat.

Gov. Ige’s request to halt nonessential travel impacts Hawaii hotel bookings, prices. The rebound of tourism over the summer months came to a screeching halt. People in the hotel industry said travel typically slows down during the fall, but rising COVID cases and the governor’s message to tourists to not come magnified the slow season. KHON2.

COVID-19 screening ramps up in Hawaii’s public schools. After a slow start, state officials are ramping up COVID-19 testing throughout Hawaii’s public schools, part of an overall strategy to help contain the spread of the coronavirus at school facilities where close to 3,000 cases have been reported since the start of the school year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, 493 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 314 new cases on Oahu, 62 on Maui, 89 on Hawaii island, 19 on Kauai, three on Molokai and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Despite complaints and lawsuits, high-ranking ‘bully’ commander at HPD keeps getting promoted. A battle is brewing within the Honolulu Police Department as members of the rank-and-file push back against one of their leaders, Assistant Chief Stephen Gerona, accusing him of retaliation, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 sidelines 22 Honolulu Police Department officers.
Twenty-two Honolulu police officers were isolated or quarantined Wednesday after testing positive or being exposed to the COVID-19 virus, but the absences are not hindering department operations, interim Chief Rade K. Vanic told Honolulu police commissioners. Star-Advertiser.

No violations found of Honolulu’s new vaccination, COVID-19 testing rules. Honolulu police have found no violations while spot checking Oahu restaurants — particularly in Chinatown and Kakaako — for compliance with new COVID-19 vaccination and testing rules for employees and customers that went into effect on Monday. Star-Advertiser.

DOH issues Honolulu restaurant second red ‘closed’ placard; Failed to pay $3k fine. Doner Shack, a local restaurant in Honolulu, received its second red “closed ” placard and a cease-and-desist order from the Hawaii Department of Health Food Safety Branch. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Still no whistle-blower hot-line: Four years later, audit recommendation yet to be implemented. The Human Resources Department has been scrutinizing interview packets before county departments vet candidates for employment, one of several practices instituted after a scathing 2017 audit found favoritism in county hiring. West Hawaii Today.

Decisions Made On Puna Roads, Water Service Following 2018 Kīlauea Eruption. The County of Hawai‘i provided an update on Wednesday regarding restoration of infrastructure in Puna following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. Big Island Video News.

Hele-On Announces More Routes, Later Service For Hawaiʻi Island. The Hele-On bus is adding more routes on Hawaiʻi island, and offering later service, according to officials. Big Island Video News.

COVID cases trend downward, but HMC still over capacity. Altogether, there are 49 patients, or 35% of the hospital’s total patient count, affected by the virus, 11 of whom are on ventilators, the hospital said. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Brad Ventura chosen as Maui Fire Department’s new chief. Brad Ventura, 19-year veteran of the Maui Fire Department, will become the department’s new chief starting Oct. 1.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Maui Commission Debates Whether To Hire Next Police Chief In Private.
The commission’s attorney argued Wednesday that discussions should take place in public. Civil Beat.

Conservation groups notify Maui resort of intent to sue for lights that harm endangered seabirds. Conservation groups today filed a notice of intent to sue the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui for violations of the Endangered Species Act if it does not fix lights that it says are harming and killing endangered seabirds. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required to enter Maui County restaurants, bars, gyms under new rules. Maui County’s new set of Safer Outside emergency rules in response to the COVID-19 surge went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.


Council passes county’s own 3% TAT. A 3% transient accommodation tax levied by the county will soon be applied throughout the tourism industry. Garden Island.

Island enters shearwater fallout season. Seabird fallout season, when fledglings risk potentially-fatal disorientation caused by artificial lights, began Sept. 15, and will run through Dec. 15. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Medical facilities mull employee vaccination mandate, protesters demand police-killing investigations, Kauai tapping into budget reserves due to state withholding TAT, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Aquarium ©2021 All Hawaii News

Historic Waikiki Aquarium prepares to reopen after temporary closure amid coronavirus pandemic.
It has been over one year since guests have walked through the doors at the Waikiki Aquarium. KHON2.

Ige: Lack Of Public Input Is Driving Concerns Over Bills
— And Possible Vetoes. When Gov. David Ige announced Monday he plans to veto 28 bills approved by the Legislature this year, he aimed some extra criticism at a number of measures he said lawmakers passed without giving the public enough opportunity to provide input. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s National Guard Begins Winding Down Its COVID-19 Response Teams. Federal funding is set to expire in September, and Gov. David Ige has asked commanders to draft plans scaling back operations. Civil Beat.

Hawaii medical facilities weigh whether to require coronavirus vaccine for employment. Hawaii medical facilities weigh whether to require coronavirus vaccine for employment. The head of the Hawaii Nurses Association said they are prepared to discuss the matter with employers as more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are becoming available. KHON2.

As COVID forced businesses online, governor works to advance Hawaii’s digital economy. As the pandemic forced Hawaii to adopt a digital economy much faster than expected, Gov. David Ige admitted Wednesday that the transition wasn’t perfect. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi Wants to Improve and Expand Its Digital Economy. Gov. David Ige gathered with members from Technology Readiness User Evaluation to discuss expanding technology usage in the community. The TRUE Initiative discussed how Hawaiʻi should have a higher digital literacy to keep up with the global economy. Hawaii Public Radio.

High tech help available to go digital. Local businesses share their success with high tech upgrades, to encourage others to join the digital economy. KITV4.

How Hawaii’s Remote Worker Initiative Connects Students To Industry Pros. A volunteer project connected to the Movers & Shakas program led to paid internship opportunities for some public high school students. Civil Beat.

High-tide coastal flooding in Hawaii and other U.S. coastal regions to accelerate. Hawaii and other U.S. coastal regions will experience an accelerating number of high-tide flooding days starting in the mid-2030s, according to a newly published study. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 42 new cases; 57% of residents have been vaccinated. Of the new cases, 24 were on Oahu, 11 were on Hawaii Island, two were on Maui, and one was on Kauai. There were also four residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Protesters demand investigations into more than 30 alleged killings by Honolulu police officers. In response to the alleged killing of more than 30 suspects by police since 2010, about 40-50 protesters marched on Honolulu police headquarters Wednesday and demanded independent investigations into the deaths. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu taxpayers could be on the hook for more legal fees for another police shooting from 2019. City taxpayers could be on the hook to pay more legal fees for Honolulu Police Department officers who were involved in a fatal shooting that occurred in 2019. KHON2.

Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals on Honolulu Streets Draw Attention From Tax Department, Neighbors. Complaints about tourists picking up peer-to-peer car rentals in local neighborhoods have the state Department of Taxation taking note. Hawaii Public Radio.

This North Shore Community Has Had Enough Of Towering Wind Turbines. But clean energy advocates and power producers are pushing back against new Honolulu City Council proposals meant to protect communities from large wind energy projects. Civil Beat.

Clean Air Act violations lead to nearly $200K for a Kapolei power plant. A coal plant in Kapolei will pay nearly $200,000 in a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA fined AES Hawaii for violations of the Clean Air Act and emergency planning, along with the Community Right-to-Know Act. Hawaii News Now.

Dillingham Airfield future still up in the air with eviction date pushed to December. The eviction date for Dillingham Airfield tenants has been pushed back another six months as lease negotiations continue between the U.S. Army and the Department of Transportation Airports Division. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

State AG repudiates lawsuit over HCCC outbreak. State Attorney General Clare Connors responded Wednesday to a federal class-action lawsuit filed by 11 Hawaii inmates — including five at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo — over conditions and practices in jails and prisons the plaintiffs claim caused COVID-19 outbreaks. Tribune-Herald.

Retired Hilo police detective avoids jail time in assault cases. The charges were dropped in exchange for no contest pleas entered on Dec. 30 to third-degree assault in connection with a May 25, 2020, domestic incident in which the victim was Ian Lee Loy’s wife, County Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, and to misdemeanor harassment for a July 25, 2019, assault on Neal Tanaka, the county Building Division’s acting deputy chief. Tribune-Herald.

Alii Drive condo heads to contested case hearing. A proposal to build a five-story condominium on Alii Drive is heading to a contested case hearing after three neighbors petitioned the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

PUC asks state, county for input on PGV. Months after suspending an application for an amended power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Electric and Puna Geothermal Venture — pending the completion of a supplemental environmental review — the state Public Utilities Commission is seeking input from both Hawaii County and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

HPP road project gets green light to proceed. A controversial road project in Hawaiian Paradise Park has been delayed, but subdivision officials say work will proceed, despite some community opposition. Tribune-Herald.


Sustainability drives talks on reforming visitor industry. While local leaders have different ideas of how tourism should look moving forward, many agree on one thing — Maui is overwhelmed. Maui News.

Fee for tourists, free for locals. Another Maui hotspot eyes tourism controls. Another hotspot for visitors on Maui’s North Shore is once again being overwhelmed. Hawaii News Now.

Virtual power plant coming to Maui and other islands. Energy Conference covers new green energy program with HECO. Maui News.

Haleakalā Crater Wilderness Cabins and Reservations System Open July 1. Visitors will soon be able to reserve and stay overnight in the cabins located in Haleakalā Crater. Reservations for wilderness cabins Hōlua and Kapalaoa go live on beginning July 1, 2021 at 7 a.m. HST. Maui Now.

UH Maui College Vaccination Effort Features Giveaway for Tuition, Laptop. The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College announced that vaccinated members of the campus’ ʻohana are eligible to win free tuition for the fall semester or a MacBook Air. Maui Now.


County tapping into reserves to cover TAT.
Since March 2020, the county has tapped into at least 40% of its reserve fund. Garden Island.

‘Voluntourism’ takes off with Kauai beach cleanup. Kauai’s popular and heavily trafficked Shipwreck’s Beach, where surf forms in front of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and peels past long white sands to the cliffs at Makawehi Point and the start of the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, is slated for a cleanup on July 7. Star-Advertiser.

KCSC, others, continue to benefit from ‘Rise to Work’ program. Nonprofits, including Kaua‘i Community Science Center in Waimea, joined the county’s “Rise to Work” program in April, which was relaunched by the county’s Office of Economic Development. Garden Island.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Prison commission off to slow start, Oahu landfill expansion irks neighbors, record-setting $15M settlement in cop traffic fatality, UH regent chair wants university to take lead in Mauna Kea standoff, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kulani prison ©2019 All Hawaii News
New Prison Oversight Commission Is Off To A Slow Start. The Hawaii legislature created a prisons oversight commission this year to help fix the broken corrections system and head toward a therapeutic model, but not much has happened since the governor gave his stamp of approval in July. Civil Beat.

New Trump Administration Proposal Threatens SNAP Benefits For Thousands of Hawaii Residents. The Trump Administration wants to change the eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. Hawaii Public Radio.

State won’t pursue bank on $150M loan commitment to Hawaiian Home Lands. Amid mounting political pressure to force Bank of America to make good on a 2-decade-old commitment to provide $150 million in home mortgage loans to beneficiaries of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaii’s Office of the Attorney General says there appears to be no legal basis for the state to actually pursue the matter. Star-Advertiser.

Wanted: 2,000 Workers to Fill Health Care Jobs In Hawaii. The Healthcare Association of Hawaii’s first workforce assessment found vacancies at health care facilities for a wide variety of jobs from medical assistants to phlebotomists. Civil Beat.

Isles have second-longest wait time for transplants, national study finds. Hawaii had the second- longest wait time for organ transplants in 2018 with 22.5%, or 250, of patients waiting five years or longer, according to a new study by, an online company based in Florida that markets lab testing directly to consumers. Star-Advertiser.


Regents Chair Wants UH To Take Lead In Solving Mauna Kea Conflict. The chairman of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents says he'll call for the university president to lead the effort to resolve the conflict on Mauna Kea and planned construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Hawaii Public Radio.

University of Hawaii regents chairman speaks up for TMT resolution. Benjamin Kudo, chairman of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, wants the university and its president to lead efforts to bring people together to resolve the impasse at Mauna Kea over the Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Torn By TMT Conflict, Chairman Of UH Regents Silent No Longer. The UH Regents chairman calls for a stop to "the attacks, mischaracterizations, [and] mistruths" and make the resolution of the ongoing conflict a top priority. Big Island Video News.

Classes take toll on Maunakea camp numbers during week. The demonstrators occupying Maunakea Access Road have thinned to a skeleton crew after the start of the school year, but students and teachers still find time to return to the mountain. Tribune-Herald.


12 Queen’s doctors fired in a shift to new contractor. A dozen local doctors at The Queen’s Medical Center are out of jobs today after the hospital hired a mainland firm that has come under fire for its controversial billing practices. Star-Advertiser.

A dozen doctors have lost their positions after a Honolulu hospital switched to a new employment contractor, officials said. Associated Press.


False police report at center of new retaliation allegations against prosecutor’s office. A new claim of retaliation by the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has surfaced. The latest comes from an employee who says the administration made a false police report to get back at her. Hawaii News Now.

Plans for the expansion of a construction debris landfill riles some Nanakuli residents. A vigorous construction industry on Oahu has accelerated plans to expand a special landfill in Nanakuli where some residents regard the facility as a scourge in their community. Star-Advertiser.

Helicopter flights over USS Arizona Memorial criticized as being ‘disrespectful’. The USS Arizona Memorial attracted another big crowd on Labor Day. But in the air, traffic was also heavy. Hawaii News Now.

Bill To Expand City Lifeguard Coverage Headed For Public Hearing. A proposal to expand lifeguard hours at Oahu beaches remains alive despite concerns that arose at a City Council committee meeting Thursday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County to pay $15.1M to settle police-involved crash. Hawaii County has agreed to pay a $15.1 million settlement to the family of a Michigan man hit and killed by a police patrol car, officials said. Associated Press.

Internet speeds up: Kona outpaces Hilo, but averages still lag most of the state. West Hawaii Today.

Council committee to learn about International Energy Conservation Code. A humorous homespun video about a serious topic is slated to be aired Tuesday at a County Council committee meeting as the legislative body takes its first stab toward making local modifications to the International Energy Conservation Code. West Hawaii Today.

DLNR looking at new boat ramp site within Pohoiki Bay. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Puna fishing community are continuing to discuss possible solutions to the landlocked Pohoiki boat ramp. Tribune-Herald.

New CEO takes reins at Hawaii Island Humane Society. Charles Brown, a 49-year-old Pittsburgh native, has worked in animal shelters for more than two decades, “starting as a kennel cleaner and working my way up.” Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Running Out Of Time To Settle Clean Water Act Case. Next week the council will weigh whether it should stop a legal appeal from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil Beat.

Water panel OKs permit to remove some EMI diversions. Move is latest step in ongoing work to restore stream flowThe state water commission has given East Maui Irrigation Co. the go-ahead to to take down the next series of stream diversions that it once used to transport water to the central valley to feed sugar cane crops. Maui News.

Mahi Pono LLC hopes former sugar plantation land will yield signature crops. Mahi Pono LLC, the partnership that bought 41,000 acres of mostly fallow Central Maui farmland last year after Alexander & Baldwin Inc. quit growing sugar cane there in 2016 after 146 years, is focusing on ordinary white, yellow and red potato varieties as part of its first new piece of an ambitious diversified agriculture development plan. Star-Advertiser.


Kauai rocket launches help protect equipment. Two launches last week from Barking Sands, Kauai, will help rocket scientists ensure that critical onboard components don’t fail under the force of liftoff, Sandia National Laboratories announced. Star-Advertiser.

New Kapaa medical clinic blessed. The Kapaa clinic has been operating since July 30 after relocating from its former location in the Kapaa Shopping Center, but the public opening ceremonies and open house were already scheduled. Garden Island.


Volunteers round up 300 invasive tilapia on Na Pali Coast. Fishermen from across Kauai teamed up with state employees over the Labor Day weekend to round up and remove hundreds of black-chin tilapia from Nualolo Bay on the Na Pali Coast. Star-Advertiser.

DLNR, fishermen tackle the black-chin tilapia invasion on Kauai’s North Shore. Fishermen partnered with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources this Labor Day weekend in an effort to catch invasive black-chin tilapia on Kaua’i’s North Shore. Hawaii News Now.

DLNR teams up with Kauai fishermen to tackle tilapia invasion. According to the department's Division of Aquatic Resources, thousands of Black Chin Tilapia are filling Nualolo Bay. KITV.