Showing posts with label Hokulea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hokulea. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Biden to create new Pacific marine sanctuary, huge raises approved for Honolulu officials, first set of ethics reform bills sent to governor, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hokule‘a and Hikianalia to sail on 4-year voyage. The Polynesian Voyaging Society announced Tuesday that the Hokule‘a is scheduled to embark June 15 on a 43,000-nautical-mile journey circumnavigating the Pacific. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Biden To Create New Marine Sanctuary In Pacific. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he would expeditiously expand and increase environmental protections for a group of remote atolls and islands in the Central Pacific and the nearly 777,000 square miles of waters around them. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Bills on campaign contributions, lobbying, gifts pass Hawaiʻi Legislature; headed to governor. House Speaker Scott K. Saiki introduced HB99, HB137 and HB142 that were recommendations made by the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, which was established by the House in 2022. Big Island Now. Maui News. Kauai Now.

Hawaii Senate President Remains Mum On The Turmoil In His Caucus. Sen. Ron Kouchi isn't talking about whether longtime members of his caucus are bullying their peers over a political appointment. Civil Beat.

Bill could track drivers’ mileage, tax them by the mile. With more electric vehicles hitting the roads, revenue from the state’s fuel tax is dropping, which is money that’s supposed to help repair Hawaii’s roads. Now, a bill is moving through the legislature looking to replace the state fuel tax with a road usage charge program. KHON2.

Required active shooter training in schools could become a reality for Hawaiʻi. House Bill 1329 would require the state education department to develop and implement an active shooter training program in all schools. Hawaii Public Radio.

State Senate Bill that would charge outlaw hikers for their rescues moves forward. A measure that would allow county first responders to charge outlaw hikers for the cost of their rescue passed with amendments out of the the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Senate Bill 786 will now be heading to the House Finance Committee. KITV4.

Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke seeks solutions to 'antiquated' office duties. Without a secretary of state, the lieutenant governor's office takes on some necessary, core functions. Namely, the office has three statutory functions: facilitating name changes, certifying international documents called apostilles, and processing administrative rules. Hawaii Public Radio.


Panel endorses pay raises for top Honolulu officials. The Honolulu Salary Commission on Tuesday recommended pay boosts of 12.5% and greater for the city’s mayor and department heads and a 60.2% pay jump for the leader of the Honolulu City Council. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Bill to fund OHA land repairs dies. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs criticized state House of Representatives leadership Tuesday for not hearing a bill appropriating $65 million to repair harbor infrastructure on land in Kakaako the Legislature gave OHA in 2012 to settle a $200 million debt. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Special meeting on New Aloha Stadium. On Wednesday, the Stadium Authority will hold a special meeting to discuss Gov. Josh Green’s new plan for the project. KHON2.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi kicks off town hall series in Ewa. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi hosted a town hall Tuesday night at Ewa Makai Middle School, where he committed to a site visit at Makakilo Drive following calls from residents to extend the road and alleviate local traffic congestion. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Closure of last big downtown retailer, Walmart, prompts fears.
First the downtown Walgreens closed about a year ago, followed six months later by the shuttering of the neighborhood Longs, and now the last major retailer, Walmart, plans to shut its doors after April 21 — leading to fears that the Fort Street Mall area will become a magnet for even more crime, homeless activity and graffiti. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

A man in need of medical treatment spent days on a sidewalk right outside Queen’s Medical Center. Good Samaritans have been helping 59-year-old Timothy Walker, who’s been on the sidewalk outside the Queen’s Medical Center ER for the past week — surrounded by flies and ants. Hawaii News Now.

Red-light safety camera to issue warnings at Kapiolani intersection. The red-light safety camera at Kapiolani Boulevard and Kamakee Street — the intersection where a teen was fatally struck by a pickup truck — begins issuing warnings on Wednesday, according to state officials. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

A large care home wants to move into a tiny neighborhood. Residents aren’t happy. Residents along Kaneohe Bay are raising alarms about a planned care home that they say looks like a monster home. But the developer says it’s a mischaracterization — and that he scaled down the project to meet community opposition. Hawaii News Now.

Pint-Sized Plants Could Be Our Secret Weapon In Fight Against Invasive Beetle. Hawaii’s invasive species experts announced in January that Oahu had lost its fight to eradicate the coconut rhinoceros beetle, after years of trying to keep their expansion at bay. Civil Beat.

Behind the conversion of a Bishop Street high-rise from offices to housing. The building at 1132 Bishop St. is in the home stretch — now The Residences at Bishop Place. It's still home to the federal bankruptcy courthouse, but the floors above are largely apartments for rent. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Council takes action on sewage plant. A Hawaii County Council committee on Tuesday recommended passage of a bill that would split a rehabilitation project for the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant into two phases. Tribune-Herald.

2 Hawai‘i police detectives involved in fatal shooting in Kona to return to full duty. Two Hawai‘i police officers involved in a fatal shooting 11 days ago of a 32-year-old man in Kailua-Kona were cleared to return to full duty on Tuesday, although two separate investigations are still underway, according to Hawaiʻi Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz. Big Island Now.

Two High-Altitude Balloons To Be Launched On Hawaiʻi Island. The Sierra-Nevada Corporation and World View will be launching the balloons near Waimea between March 23 and 25. Big Island Video News. KHON2.

Kohala agriculture event invites Hawaiʻi Island farmers to plan their future. Members of an agricultural community on Hawaiʻi Island will gather this week to discuss the future of sustainable farming and ranching. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pacific Tsunami Museum reopens: ‘Through stories, we can teach people how to survive’.  The Pacific Tsunami Museum has reopened for visitors and locals alike with a change of leadership and plans for new exhibits. Tribune-Herald.


Housing, water, deer and controversial high school discussed in Maui State of the County address. Mayor Richard Bissen said with just 78 days in, his team is focused on “common-sense priorities” which include water, affordable housing, infrastructure, economic diversification and protecting our environment. Hawaii News Now.

Bissen delivers State of the County address tonight, Budget presentation on Friday. Mayor Bissen’s proposed budget highlights his administration’s priorities of water, housing, infrastructure, economic diversification and environment. Maui Now.

Maui Council tradition of evening budget meetings returns starting March 30. The Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee will hold evening meetings throughout the county to receive community input on the fiscal year 2024 budget from March 30 through April 13. Maui Now.

New Kihei High School Will Finally Open Under Deal With Governor, Maui Mayor Says. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen announced Tuesday that he has reached a deal with Gov. Josh Green that will allow a long-awaited high school in Kihei to open. Civil Beat.

Sust’āinable Molokaʻi's new food box program connects local farmers to kūpuna. A new program on Molokaʻi offers residents the opportunity to support kūpuna and local farmers at the same time.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Swimming through sewage — study shows high bacteria count in Kaua‘i waters. Environmental organization Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Blue Water Task Force found large amounts of bacteria in several of Kaua‘i’s waters this month, suggesting that ongoing concerns over fecal contamination of the Garden Island’s streams and beaches are far from over. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i jobless rate tumbles to 3.0 percent. Local businesses continued to beef up employment rosters to start the year, in turn sending the jobless rate on Kaua‘i to its lowest level for the month of January since the pre-pandemic era. Garden Island.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Incentives on the way for Hawaii vaccinations, Oahu battles for ag land, opponents renew Thirty Meter Telescope fight, bedbugs, maggots and roaches close establishments, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


courtesy office of the governor
Gov. David Ige gets vaccinated in this Feb. 22, 2021 courtesy photo

Hawaii poised to join a growing list of states offering incentives for people to get vaccinated. To help Hawaii get there, the state and local businesses are set to offer up prizes in an effort to motivate people to roll up their sleeves. Specific details are still in the works. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Mayor Victorino offers sneak peak of Governor Ige’s Tuesday press conference. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino recommends Maui County residents watch Governor David Ige’s press conference at 1:30 pm, Tuesday, May 25 to learn about imminent changes to state emergency rules related to youth ocean sports and mask-wearing. KITV4.

HTA Hopes New Tourism Action Plans Will Address Resident Concerns. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is in the final phase of developing and implementing its new plan for tourism management in the state. The hope is that it will not only make the industry more sustainable, but also address community concerns. Hawaii Public Radio.

Federal warnings discourage traveling to Japan, make it harder for Hawaii to recoup arrivals. Hawaii’s dreams of cashing in on the first Olympic surfing competition and seeing a quicker Japan tourism rebound were “blown out” again Monday when U.S. health officials and the State Department warned Americans against travel to Japan. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii unemployment assistance call center remains closed.
The call center has been closed since Thursday after bedbugs were found in certain areas of the third floor of the convention center in Honolulu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric Asks Delinquent Customers To Set Up Payment Plans. The company says thousands of customers who don’t volunteer may have their outstanding balances automatically rolled into plans. Civil Beat.

Lifting the eviction moratorium too early would ‘overwhelm’ the courts, advocates say.
The statewide moratorium on evictions, which has protected renters hard hit by the pandemic for more than a year, is set to expire on June 8. And Gov. David Ige has not yet decided if he’ll offer an extension. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines hiring more than 400 workers. The state’s largest carrier, which said it saw a rebound in demand during the first quarter, has been rebuilding its network and workforce to accommodate an increase in travel. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii has prime view for celestial combo. The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years coincides with a supermoon this week for quite a cosmic show. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

‘Studying all of our options’: Lassner talks looming budget cuts for UH. Although looming budget cuts will pose challenges for the University of Hawaii, President David Lassner said Monday that UH is considering its options and ways to handle the reductions. Tribune-Herald.

How Biden And Hawaii Could Address COVID-19 Disparities Among Pacific Islanders. Federal agencies should actively reach out to Pacific Islander communities who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Hawaii and elsewhere, according to the Hawaii advisory group to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 34 new coronavirus cases as the statewide tally climbs to 35,901. There were 23 new infection cases on Oahu, five on Hawaii Island and six on Maui. Star-Advertiser.


The Fight Over Hawaii’s ‘Important Agricultural Lands’. Many Oahu property owners are angry and worried their lives could be suddenly upended by a major land use proposal that has been in the works for decades. Civil Beat.

Memorial Day ceremony at Punchbowl goes hybrid. About 38,000 small U.S. flags will be placed on graves at the Veterans Affairs cemetery, also known as Punchbowl, for Monday’s commemoration. Star-Advertiser.

Long-shuttered Paradise Park site in Manoa Valley is up for sale. A plan to turn Manoa Valley’s long-shuttered Paradise Park botanical and zoological garden into a new visitor attraction appears relinquished seven years after being announced. Star-Advertiser.

Union Says Ongoing Closure Of Health Clinic In Nanakuli Is ‘Equity Issue’. Kaiser patients on the Waianae Coast are being redirected to facilities in Kapolei. Civil Beat.

Waikiki publication racks are a ‘source of trash and trouble,’ but getting rid of them isn’t easy. Publication racks in Waikiki have become a high-maintenance blight. And despite being wrecked and often filled with garbage, the city says they are almost impossible to remove. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

TMT foes challenge declaration that work has begun.
The same folks who challenged the Thirty Meter Telescope in a lengthy contested case hearing in 2016 and 2017 are now following a new line of attack in questioning the recent determination that construction of the $2.4 billion project has already begun. Star-Advertiser.

Big Island renewable energy plant wins appeal. The Hawaii Supreme Court, giving new life to Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC’s nearly completed biomass plant on Hawaii island, ruled unanimously Monday in favor of the company’s appeal and sent back the case to the state Public Utilities Commission with clear instructions on how to proceed. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Voyaging canoes stop in Kona to receive master navigator’s ashes. Hokule‘a made a stop outside Keauhou Bay Sunday to receive the ashes of the late Chad Kalepa Baybayan to join the crew on its first major training voyage since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. West Hawaii Today.

HCCC back in quarantine after inmates test positive for COVID-19. Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo has been placed in quarantine after two recently admitted inmates tested positive for COVID-19. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.


Pizza in Paradise restaurant in Kahului shut down by Hawaii Department of Health
. The Kahului restaurant known as Pizza in Paradise has been shut down by the state Department of Health because it was considered an imminent health hazard. Maggots, roaches and risks for cross contamination were among the hazards found that prompted health inspectors to shut down Pizza in Paradise on Maui. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

New program aims to find sustainable solutions for Maui. A new local initiative is seeking a “complete change” in traditional methods of thinking in order to achieve true sustainability in Maui County by 2040. Maui News.

Maui man says he was punched at eatery after reminding a Florida family to wear masks. A West Maui man says he was punched in the face over the weekend after reminding visitors to wear their masks. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. KHON2.


Kaua‘i restructuring tier system for fewer restrictions. The county is working on restructuring the tier system again, Mayor Derek Kawakami said Monday, and vaccination rate may soon become a trigger for a not-yet-established Tier 5. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

$500K distributed through Kaua‘i rental, utility assistance program. At the end of week two of Kaua‘i’s 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program, officials reported that 800 households have applied, and $520,000 in rental assistance has been deployed. Garden Island.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Investigation reveals Sens. Inouye, Akaka votes undermined Native Hawaiian land program, teachers to get $2,200 bonus, Aloha Stadium to be demolished, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Polynesian Voyaging license plate

Gov. David Ige OKs commemorative license plates for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Special license plates featuring the Hokule‘a will be hitting the road this summer. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

The U.S. owes Hawaiians millions of dollars worth of land, Congress helped make sure the debt wasn’t paid. In the 1990s, Hawaii’s two elder statesmen — U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka — were at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the U.S. compensated Native Hawaiians for ancestral lands taken from them over the years. But an investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica has found that those same senators voted several times each to support must-pass legislation that included provisions undermining efforts to repay millions of dollars in land debt to Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

How the deals approved by Congress bypassed thousands of Hawaiians waiting for homes. An investigation by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica found that the U.S. government over the past decade has transferred nearly 40 parcels of land in Hawaii to private parties, bypassing a process that normally would give Hawaiians priority access to those lands. Star-Advertiser.


Legislature cuts University of Hawaii-Manoa’s operating budget by nearly 14%. Legislators have chopped the general funds operating budget for the University of Hawaii at Manoa by 13.8% for the fiscal year that starts July 1, a major blow that could be hard to absorb. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii public workers union unsatisfied with proposed $2,200 bonus. Public school teachers in Hawaii could be getting a $2,200 bonus. That is not sitting well with Hawaii’s largest public workers union, however. KHON2.

Opening date in limbo for Hawaii State Hospital’s new facility over labor issues. A long-awaited secure facility for court-appointed mental patients is ready to open, but a labor dispute is putting opening day in limbo. KHON2.

Voters Split Over Recreational Marijuana. The Hawaii Legislature chose not to advance a bill this year to make pot legal, even as more states progress in the opposite direction. Civil Beat.

Vaccinated Hawaii residents can upload their information to Safe Travels portal starting Friday. That will allow them to travel inter-island without a COVID test starting Tuesday, May 11. KHON2.

May 6, 2021 COVID-19 Update
: 128 Cases (99 O‘ahu, 10 Maui, 10 Hawai‘i Island, 4 Kaua‘i, 5 Out-of-State); 1 Death. Maui Now.


Oahu To Keep Current Pandemic Restrictions For At Least Four More Weeks. The state and county will be working together to figure out how to incorporate vaccination counts into the tier system, Blangiardi’s office said. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu’s rail project plagued with wheels too thin and tracks too wide. The trains built for Honolulu’s troubled rail project have wheels that are too narrow for the track, and solving the problem will lead to more issues or more delays. Star-Advertiser.

Say 'aloha' to the 46-year-old Aloha Stadium. On Thursday the state agency managing Aloha Stadium voted to approve demolishing the existing stadium before a new facility opens. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Kealoha victim says settlement talks with city collapsed after ‘slap in the face’ offers. Settlement talks between the Puana family and attorneys for the city have collapsed, leaving the victims of the Kealoha corruption scandal preparing for trial. Hawaii News Now.

Blangiardi Offering $10 Million In Incentives To Affordable Housing Developers. The Honolulu mayor hopes the incentives spur private development of affordable homes. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu home sales surged in April. A rebound in Oahu’s housing market gained strength in April with a burst of sales driven by pent-up buyer demand and more homes listed for sale. Star-Advertiser.

Residents of Kakaako highrise ask state to intervene in dispute with developer. Residents in the Ke Kilohana affordable apartment complex in Kakaako are asking for the state’s help in their multi-million dollar dispute over maintenance fees. They blame developer Howard Hughes Corp. for a 50% increase in monthly maintenance costs, which they allege have made their condos no longer affordable under the guidelines set by the Hawaii Community Development Authority. Hawaii News Now.

51-year-old woman arrested, dozens of machines seized during illegal game room raid in Kalihi. More than a dozen gambling machines, cash, and drugs were seized during the bust. KITV4.

Longtime Administrator at Honolulu Museum of Art Relieved of Position.
Seasoned arts administrator Allison Wong has been relieved of her position as Deputy Director at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Commission approves special use permit for proposed Island Naturals retail center. A proposed new retail center in Hilo passed its first obstacle, despite concern from one resident about a drive-thru at a planned attached restaurant. Tribune-Herald.

County to cover tab for lifeguard services at Kua Bay, Hapuna. Hawaii County will find a way to cover the tab to maintain full lifeguard services at two state beach parks on the Big Island, despite state lawmakers halving the amount needed to contract the life-saving personnel. West Hawaii Today.

Olson Trust Purchases Pahala Shopping Center. The acquisition of the Pahala Shopping Center is central to a mission stated by the Olson Trust to help Hawai’i develop self-sustaining communities that can thrive into the future. Big Island Now.


Growing field interested in English’s Senate seat. Current and former state and county lawmakers and well-known community leaders are among a growing field of candidates likely to submit their names for consideration to fill the seat of recently retired state Sen. J. Kalani English. Maui News.

MPD employee tests positive. A Maui Police Department employee is isolating at home after police received confirmation Wednesday that the employee had tested positive for COVID-19, police said. Maui News.


Gov. David Ige approves changes to Kauai’s tier chart. Gov. David Ige has approved the proposed changes to Kauai’s Business and Recreation Guidelines tier chart as the county moves into Tier 3. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. KITV4.

Texan to take over Liquor Control. The county Liquor Control Commission announced the selection of Leo Sandoval as the new director for the Department of Liquor Control. Garden Island.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Hawaii vaccine passport to start inter-island as soon as next month, Honolulu police chief quits, Hokulea navigator Baybayan dead at 65, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Native Hawaiians guarding the Hokulea ©2021 All Hawaii News

Crews Mourn The ‘Unreal’ Death Of One Of Hawaii’s Greatest Navigators. Kalepa Baybayan, a longtime Hokule‘a captain who helped rekindle traditional navigation in the Pacific, died suddenly in Seattle on Thursday. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Ige Details Plans For A Hawaii Vaccine Passport. The governor’s latest emergency proclamation also extends an eviction moratorium through June. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

In newest emergency proclamation, Ige extends eviction moratorium through June. Through extending the eviction moratorium through June 8, tenants are prohibited from evicting residents for failure to pay all or a portion of rent, maintenance fees, utility charges, and taxes. Hawaii News Now.

Some businesses are facing a new challenge: Hiring workers back. Businesses said they want to hire more people, but some managers report they’re having a hard time convincing folks to come back to work. Hawaii News Now.


Automatic voter registration bill nears passage. Senate Bill 159 would make voter registration part of the application process for a driver’s license or identification card. West Hawaii Today.

Bans On High Capacity Magazines For Guns Fail At Legislature. Bills to legalize recreational marijuana and collect more data on police use of force also stall. Civil Beat.

State lawmakers advance bill on rise in sea level.
House Bill 243, which unanimously passed the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, would require the Office of Planning to work with state departments to identify existing and planned facilities that are vulnerable to the increased flooding and more powerful storms that are anticipated with climate change, and assess options such as flood-proofing or relocating buildings and infrastructure inland. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation proposes dramatic increases to fines for Hawaii tour buses that continue illegal activity. Under Senate Bill 766 the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, which regulates motor carriers, would be able to significantly increase fines for tour buses that repeatedly flout Hawaii’s laws. Star-Advertiser.


ACLU Hawai'i pushes to continue early-inmate releases. The fight over releasing inmates in the name of the pandemic continues. The ACLU of Hawai'i filed an amicus brief on Wednesday, appealing to the Hawai'i Supreme Court. KITV4.

Police Shootings Board Is Still Doing Nothing As Cases Pile Up. The eight-member board is now down three members and still has no clear plan on when to resume business. Civil Beat.

Ige Withdraws Land Board Nominee Sam Gon. Gov. David Ige has pulled back on one of his picks for the state land board who has generated some community opposition in the past for his support of controversial projects, including the Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku and the Thirty Meter Telescope. Civil Beat.

State ordered to pay $370K in attorneys fees in Hawaiian land trust case. The state is poised to pay $370,418 in attorneys fees after losing a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 2,700 Native Hawaiians who spent years languishing on the waitlist for homestead land. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate VP Says Ige Is ‘Skirting’ Board of Education Nomination Process. The statement came after the governor didn’t submit enough nominees for consideration for upcoming vacancies. Civil Beat.

Home schooling rates soar during pandemic in Hawaii and nationally.
Nearly twice as many families in Hawaii decided to home-school their children this academic year as last year, according to new data from public schools and the Census Bureau. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii schools report 47 new cases of COVID-19.
Coronavirus cases among public school staff and students have been on the rise in recent weeks as more campuses have returned to in-person instruction. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu’s vaccine eligibility expands this week, but the state isn’t getting more doses. Over the next couple weeks, hundreds of thousands more Oahu residents will become eligible for the COVID vaccine. But at the same time, health officials say the federal government will be sending fewer shots. Hawaii News Now.

Some islands have open appointments despite vaccine eligibility increasing. To date, about 20% of Hawaii and Oahu residents have received two doses of the vaccine. Kauai leads the way with 30% of residents with two doses, and Maui is at 18%. KHON2.

April 11, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 92 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Sunday, including 72 on O‘ahu, 11 on Maui, six on Hawai‘i Island, and three in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Embattled Honolulu Police Chief Announces Retirement. Chief Susan Ballard said she had lost the support of the Honolulu Police Commission and Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Pay to Play: Some who have dealt with Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting say bribes helped smooth approval process. The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged current and former building plan examiners, a data access and imaging employee, and a building inspector with soliciting thousands of dollars to move building permits through the city approval process. An architect also was charged. Star-Advertiser.

Why One Developer Is Banking On More Digital Nomads Coming To Hawaii. With people flocking to Hawaii to work remotely, a local builder known for affordable green homes is creating a co-living space in an Ala Moana penthouse. Civil Beat.

Bikeshare Hawaii regroups to cut costs, starts removing some stations. Bikeshare Hawaii, the nonprofit organization that manages the Biki bikeshare business, said it will decommission many stations over the next few months as part of an urgent cost-saving plan to survive pandemic-related losses. Star-Advertiser.

Permit challenges paint a grim picture for the future of a beloved Oahu art exhibit
. Organizers of the ‘Art on the Zoo Fence,’ a popular venue for local residents and tourists since 1953, said they may be forced to fold if the city doesn’t reissue permits for them to reopen. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council set to scrutinize budget
: Department heads to plead their case in three days of hearings. The County Council, sitting as the Finance Committee, is poised to take a deep dive into the county budget Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

BLNR fines Ka‘u dam owner:
Edmund C. Olson Trust ordered to pay $7,500 for unaddressed deficiencies. The Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday fined the Edmund C. Olson Trust, owner of the Keaiwa Reservoir above Pahala, for failure to comply with a notice of deficiency issued in February 2020. West Hawaii Today.

Thirty Meter Telescope still on hold
as it deals with pandemic, funding issues. TMT officials Friday said construction near the summit remains on hold as the project continues to assess a number of factors affecting its timeline and schedule. Star-Advertiser.

Rent at housing project on Big Isle starts at $350. A nonprofit developer has started to build an affordable rental housing complex for families on Hawaii island where monthly rents are projected to be as low as $350. Star-Advertiser.


Frustrated residents push back as Hawaii tourism resurges. Saturday’s “Take Back Our Beach” event calling on residents to pack the beach fronting the Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea resorts was a clear line in the sand. Star-Advertiser.

Preliminary Data: 6,441 Passengers Arriving Daily to Kahului, Maui.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation encourages people planning to fly to or from Hawaiʻi’s Airports to prepare for a busy summer travel season. Maui Now.

Maui County has highest California variant cases in state. Maui County has the largest amount of the highly transmissible California variant among specimens analyzed by the state Department of Health’s Laboratories Division. Maui News.

Health centers look to fill gaps in vaccination efforts.
Providers navigate transportation, language barriers to connect with patients. Maui News.


Bill seeks to clarify allowed campgrounds. A bill to define the types of campgrounds allowed on Kaua‘i is moving into the realm of the Planning Commission. Garden Island.

Waipouli residents against acquisition of land for path. Coastal erosion, disrupting shearwater seabirds and a waste of taxpayer dollars are reasons cited for resident protest against possible action by the county to acquire private land for the bike and pedestrian path, Ke Ala Hele Makalae. Garden Island.

Kikiaola harbor improvements begin.
Work on the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor improvement project got underway Friday as workers from Cushnie Construction Company secured fencing for areas of the facility that will be getting concrete applications. Garden Island.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ige's union support falters; lawmakers to take up payday loans, suicide prevention, self-driving cars in upcoming legislative session; Kauai post office to be moved; Big Island income lags; rail station privatization mulled, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy HSTA
Teachers union supported Gov. David Ige in 2014. Other unions are not so happy with him. Courtesy HSTA
Twice this fall the state’s largest union has issued dire warnings about efforts by Gov. David Ige’s administration to upgrade critically important state computer systems, and that pushback is taking on political implications as Ige prepares for a tough Democratic primary next year. Star-Advertiser.

Gov’s chief of staff shifts to deputy role. Mike McCartney, Gov. David Ige’s chief of staff, has been moved into a lower-­level position and salary — but gets to keep his old title — under what Ige describes as a reorganization of his office. Star-Advertiser.

Medical Pot: Taking Your Medicine Can Get You Fired. Cannabis advocates may try to strengthen patient protections in workplaces and public housing during the next legislative session. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Poll: Let’s Have A Constitutional Convention. Two-thirds of Hawaii voters surveyed in our poll support the state holding a “con con,” the first in 40 years. Civil Beat.

State legislators aim to regulate high-interest payday loans. State lawmakers plan to again consider imposing stricter regulations on so-called payday lenders issuing loans that can carry interest rates as high as 459 percent in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers urge more funding, awareness to suicide prevention. Hawaii legislators are grappling with how to prevent suicides, the leading cause of fatal injuries in the state.  Associated Press.

Inouye among skeptics of testing self-driving cars. Hawaii’s drivers might soon share the road with self-driving cars, after Gov. David Ige signed an executive order last month allowing statewide testing of the autonomous vehicles. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Longliners Are Paying Big Bucks To Go Over Quota. Environmentalists worry short-term deals will result in overfishing. Meanwhile, fishermen seek more access to restricted areas. Civil Beat.

China ups recycling regulations, causes ripple effect felt in Hawaii. China wants to rehabilitate its environment, but one of the country’s primary initiatives to do so could leave pollutants piling up over much of the rest of the world, including Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

State creates Hawaii Defense Economy website to share data. Total defense spending in Hawaii averages around $7.8 billion a year, according to the website, and defense spending is 9.8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Telcom took a step closer to being acquired by Ohio-based Cincinnati Bell on Friday, receiving one of two necessary Hawaii regulatory approvals. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Cable Television Division on Friday conditionally approved the merger transaction transferring control of Hawaiian Telcom’s Oahu cable franchise to Cincinnati Bell Inc. Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Airlines Federal Credit Union merged with Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union last month after Hawaiian Airlines FCU’s board of directors and membership voted in favor of the merger on Sept. 8. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii Reserves Inc. has scrapped its contentious plan to put up houses in rural Malaekahana and is instead proposing a scaled-down project allowing for 300 additional residential units within the Laie ahupuaa. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu rail officials have brought on Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors LLC to study the potential use of a public-private partnership for the remainder of the 20-mile elevated rail project. Pacific Business News.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will award Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children $514,532 to fund resident training. Pacific Business News.

Waianae latest stop for Hokulea in its 'mahalo sail' around the islands. The voyaging canoe Hokulea received a warm welcome when it arrived at Pokai Bay in Waianae Saturday as it continues its Mahalo Hawaii Sail around the islands. KITV.

Hokulea sails to the west side, celebrates Buffalo Keaulana. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Big Island household income falling behind. It’s long been said a rising tide lifts all boats, but census data released last week shows the Big Island remains grounded on the reef of a faltering economy. West Hawaii Today.

Council questions scrutiny of contingency funds. Hawaii County Council members often use their contingency funds as grants to nonprofits, which they say allows them to provide quick aid to their districts. Tribune-Herald.

Delay sought in TMT sublease contested case. Attorneys for the University of Hawaii and TMT International Observatory are asking that a contested case for the telescope’s sublease not proceed at this time. Tribune-Herald.

Raises for UH staffers: Many at UH-Hilo, HCC earn more than $100K per year. Nearly a dozen executive and managerial employees at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College will get merit-based raises effective Jan. 1. Tribune-Herald.

Wind farm seeks incidental take permit.  The operator of Lalamilo Wind Farm has applied for a federal permit that would allow for the incidental taking of two endangered Hawaiian species during the project’s operation. West Hawaii Today.

$30M Waikoloa resort project moving forward. Two years after the Planning Department accepted applications to rezone part of a Waikoloa parcel and grant a special management area use permit for a proposed 44-unit resort development, the Leeward Planning Commission is expected to take up the issue this week. West Hawaii Today.

Non-native birds thrive where coquis abide, study finds. The proliferation of coqui frogs in Hawaii has had a significant, and surprising, impact on non-­native birds — not that indigenous birds have bothered to notice. Star-Advertiser.


Illegal fireworks are booming. Resident: ‘It cannot be a cultural thing, every single night from Halloween to the first week in February’. Maui News.

Maui residents call for end to Illegal fireworks. With New Year's around the corner, Maui residents are complaining over social media about loud booms in their neighborhoods, which are irritating residents and frightening children and pets. Associated Press.

Pilot program aims to use oysters to filter pollution from Maalaea bay water. According to UH researchers, oysters can filter 50 to 100 gallons of water a day. Maui News.


Community blasts USPS decision to close Lihue office. The U.S. Postal Service is under criticism for giving the Kauai community “false hope” that it would prevail in its appeal to save the historic Lihue Post Office. Star-Advertiser.


2 killed in fiery crash of small plane on Molokai. The Cessna 206 propeller plane crashed while en route to the Molokai Airport under unknown circumstances, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, November 20, 2017

New $60M tax system has problems, Kauai assistant police chief put on leave, Maui mayor seeks to fire water chief, money for Hawaii in defense bill, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

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Hawaii’s Marijuana Business: Room for Growth. It’s been two and a half years since Hawaii’s legislature approved a dispensary program for medical marijuana, and about four months since the first dispensary opened its doors. Hawaii Public Radio.

Employees warn of problems with new tax system. The state’s largest union and workers in the state Department of Taxation are warning that the $60 million project to modernize the tax department’s computer systems has gotten seriously off track, and have written to Gov. David Ige to warn that the project could be “severely compromised” unless changes are made. Star-Advertiser.

The $700 billion defense policy bill just passed by Congress states that North Korea nuclear and missile tests “constitute a grave and imminent threat” to Asia-Pacific security and calls for expansion of radar systems and a “sequenced approach” to the defense of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Russian surveillance plane flies unchallenged over isles. The Russian overflight conducted Oct. 4-6 was sanctioned by the United States as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, which has been in effect since 2002 to verify arms control agreements and promote stability through transparency of military forces and activities. Star-Advertiser.

Disabled Job Seekers Left In Limbo By Agency’s Cash Crunch. Hawaii’s vocational rehabilitation program insists the problem is temporary, but some clients fear they’ll lose their support. Civil Beat.

Study on state ferry awaited. A study looking at the viability of a state-owned ferry system will be presented to the state Legislature next month, according to the state Department of Transportation. Tribune-Herald.

Analysts, competitors cast doubt on prospects for third shipper to isles. Star-Advertiser.

Some State Hospital staffers regularly break rules, worker alleges. A social worker on disciplinary leave from the Hawaii State Hospital since October said employees regularly help patients leave the hospital out of sympathy, pick on patients they don’t like — and even turn on one another while security guards look the other way. Star-Advertiser.

Little Fire Ants Are On The March In Hawaii. They’re already established on every island except Molokai, and experts say a concerted effort is required to stop their spread. Civil Beat.

Oahu residents will see their electrical bills dip slightly this month while customers in Maui County and on Hawaii island are facing continued sharp increases due to higher fuel costs. Star-Advertiser.


Former rail CEO gets $32,000 bonus pay. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board voted Friday to reward its former interim executive director and CEO, Krishniah Murthy, with a $32,000 bonus. Star-Advertiser.

Paying The Rent Just Keeps Getting Tougher In Honolulu. Nearly 60 percent of Honolulu renters spend at least 30 percent of their incomes on housing, a study shows. Civil Beat.

New proposal to alleviate DMV lines with weekend hours pilot already on chopping block. KHON2.

Community group wants rescue tubes across Oahu. The tube, a flotation device, can and has been used to help save lives when people get in trouble in the ocean. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu solar permits declined 16 percent in October. Star-Advertiser.

Don’t be alarmed if you hear loud noises, such as gunfire, in Central Oahu this week. The U.S. Marines will conduct demolition training at Schofield Barracks on Monday and Tuesday. KHON2.

Commentary: State’s new role over city’s bloated rail project amounts to huge hill of bean(counter)s. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Feds to end subsidy for service to Waimea airport. The U.S. Department of Transportation in January will end a subsidy for air service at the Waimea-Kohala Airport following unsuccessful efforts to negotiate sharing the subsidy’s cost. West Hawaii Today.

Retiring local police leave vacancies tough to fill. Upcoming retirements add to the increasing number of vacancies impacting the Hawaii Police Department, officials reported to the Hawaii County Police Commission Friday morning. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Police Department prepares for 20-plus retirements. Associated Press.

A mainland applicant has accepted an offer to become the county’s mass transit administrator. West Hawaii Today.

Final Waiaha Transmission Waterline EA Published. The 16-inch transmission water line will provide "critical redundancy in case there are problems with another part of the system", water officials say. Big Island Video News.

Big Island resort to include crossfit studio following $46M renovation. he Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel will convert to the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort following a $46 million renovation in March. Pacific Business News.


Mayor Seeks Removal of Water Director, Dave Taylor. Maui Director of Water Supply Dave Taylor has been placed on paid administrative leave while Mayor Alan Arakawa seeks his removal as head of the department. Maui Now.

Iao Valley State Monument to Re-Open Nov. 22, Ahead of Schedule. Maui Now.

Threat assessment of eruption at Haleakala crater is moderate. The 10,000-foot East Maui mountain erupts every 200 to 500 years. Maui News.

Hokulea says a hui hou to Hana as they head to next neighbor island stop. Hawaii News Now.

Indoor trampoline park to open on Maui after leasing space. Ultimate Air LLC, an Arkansas-based company that operates indoor trampoline parks, recently signed a lease for a 25,000-square-foot space on Maui for its first Hawaii trampoline park. Pacific Business News.

Food preservatives might throw off the balance of “good” bacteria in the human gut, which could have implications for health, according to a new study by faculty and students at University of Hawaii Maui College. Star-Advertiser.


KPD's assistant chief placed on leave after complaint. An internal investigation has led to Kauai's Assistant Police Chief being placed on leave. Hawaii News Now.

Report cites ‘loss of control’ in fatal Kauai plane crash. The National Transportation Safety Board says the defining event in a crash that killed five people aboard a skydiving flight on Kauai was “loss of control in flight.”  Garden Island.

NTSB releases cause of 2016 plane crash on Kauai that killed 5. Dramatic video recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the skydiving plane crash on Kauai that killed all five people on board last May. Hawaii News Now.

New video released by the National Transportation Safety Board gives a better view of what happened when a Skydive Kauai plane crashed while leaving Port Allen Airport in Hanapepe. KITV.

NTSB investigators use GoPro videos to assist in investigation of deadly plane crash on Kauai. KHON2.

Real estate prices continue climbing. The median sales price of a home on Kauai was $713,000, up nearly 9 percent from last month and more than 14 percent since October 2016. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dangerous mental patient already in California when Hawaii hospital officials raise escape alarm, seawater air conditioning coming to state buildings, ticket-fixing alleged in Honolulu prosecutor probe, City Council to take up foam food container ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol PC:Henry Curtis Ililani Media
State Capitol to get seawater air conditioning. The state Department of Accounting and General Services said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning LLC to air-condition eight state buildings, including the Capitol. Star-Advertiser.

The state of Hawaii on Tuesday said it reached a preliminary agreement with Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning to cool seven state office buildings and the state Capitol, a move that could save taxpayers more than $14 million a year. Pacific Business News.


Hawaii State Hospital officials, citing patient privacy laws and a criminal investigation, offered no explanation Tuesday of how a killer in their care walked out of the Kaneohe facility and found his way to California even before the hospital reported him missing. Star-Advertiser.

Officials Still Silent About How Killer Escaped From Hawaii State Hospital. The AG’s office issued a $500,000 warrant for the arrest of Randall Saito, calling him a “dangerous individual” who needs to be off the street. Civil Beat.

Escapee had cell phone, change of clothes, paid in cash. Hawaii News Now.

Surveillance video shows escapee in taxi, dispatcher says ‘he sounded so nice’ KHON2.

All the way to San Jose. That is how far a Hawaii State Hospital patient, with a violent past, got before law enforcement was notified he escaped. KITV.

Documents: Hospital escapee had sexual relations with staff. Hawaii News Now.

Escapee married former hospital worker, allegedly threatened to ‘blow away the staff’ KHON2.


Homeless safe zones are catching on — everywhere but Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

State and City leaders on Homelessness in Hawaii took part in a Housing Summit to discuss current homeless/housing issues and learn from others about different strategies used to combat the problem. KITV.


City Council committee to discuss bill banning plastic foam containers Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

A 31-year-old Niu Valley man says city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha had his speeding ticket dismissed after he did some electrical work for her and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

The federal court has named the lawyers who will represent former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha against charges that they conspired to and obstructed justice, lied to investigators, and committed bank fraud and identity theft. Star-Advertiser.

Kealohas Get New Defense Attorneys In Federal Conspiracy Case. The couple could no longer afford to pay their long-time lawyers to defend them in one of the largest public corruption cases in Hawaii history. Civil Beat.


Honolulu police officials Tuesday urged City Council members to provide funding for a permanent, departmentwide body-worn camera program. Star-Advertiser.

A Honolulu City Council committee decided Tuesday to defer a measure that would require the owners of approximately 150 Oahu residential high-rises to install automatic fire sprinklers throughout their buildings. Star-Advertiser.

New Council Proposal Cuts Back Fire Sprinkler Requirements. Only about half as many high rises built before 1975 would have to be retrofitted under an amended version of the measure. Civil Beat.

City May Get Tougher On Tour Vans In Waimanalo. A bill to establish permit fees for commercial stops at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park would help pay for monitoring compliance. Civil Beat.

The city is hiring someone to figure out what caused the lights to go out at a baseball field in Waipio. KHON2.

Hawaiian Electric Co. has struck a deal to buy renewable fuel at a lower price from a local company to produce power on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Earlier this year, 75 acres of East Honolulu land, in one of Hawaii’s wealthiest areas, sold for $380,000. The parcel is on the slope that stretches from the east side of Aina Haina up to the luxury homes of Hawaii Loa Ridge.  Star-Advertiser.

In unrelated cases, two Hawaii women have been charged after suspicion of welfare fraud. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu nonprofit Arc in Hawaii is suing its longtime bookkeeper, claiming she embezzled nearly $7 million. Star-Advertiser.

Cardax Inc.’s revenue soared last quarter as the nationwide launch of the company’s new anti-inflammatory product ZanthoSyn generated strong demand. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The career ladder reaches only so far for Hawaii County firefighters, at least if they don’t want to take a pay cut. Concerns over a lack of interest from rank-and-file firefighters about rising to battalion chief have Fire Chief Darren Rosario and Acting Human Resources Director Bill Brilhante meeting with Mayor Harry Kim, asking for a classification study to determine whether the position should be moved up a few rungs. West Hawaii Today.

A discussion regarding Hawaii County Fire Department battalion chiefs’ pay grade was held on Tuesday during the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee meeting. Big Island Video News.

After circumnavigating the globe for three years, Hokulea’s historic Malama Honua voyage will officially come full circle in April when the double-hulled sailing canoe returns to Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

A nonprofit from California is working to renovate youth baseball fields in Hilo this week with the help of some professionals: three Major League Baseball players. Tribune-Herald.


The Maui Planning Commission approved amendments Tuesday to a special management area use permit to allow ATC Makena Holdings to demolish the old Makena Beach & Golf Resort hotel and no longer pursue a separate 76-unit boutique hotel at the nearly 24-acre site. Maui News.

An affordable hotel in Kahului being modeled after the popular local Pagoda Hotel on Oahu is still in the works, although it will take a little longer to build. Maui News.

A Maui County Council committee has recommended that sunscreens containing certain chemicals be banned in the county. Associated Press.

A 10-year prison term was ordered Tuesday for a former jail guard convicted of sexually assaulting an inmate while he was working at the Maui Community Correctional Center three years ago. Maui News.

The Maui Police Department will conduct emergency preparedness exercises at two Kahului locations this week. Maui Now.

Voyaging canoe Hokulea sets sail for a return visit to county. Kick-off event is a ‘talk story’ Friday. Maui News.


Dairy farm violated Clean Water Act, told to pay up. A federal court ordered Hawaii Dairy Farms to pay $506,000 to The Friends of Mahaulepu, an environmental watchdog organization. Hawaii News Now.

Hotel working with county. In August, the county Planning Department issued violations to Hanalei Bay Resort for illegal dwellings and insufficient parking. Garden Island.

The Kauai Community Alliance, Continuum of Care for homeless services, and the County of Kauai will host “Hope in the Park: Information and Free Lunch,” starting at 11 a.m. today on the lawn of the Historic County Building in observance of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Garden Island.

Resource Recovery Solutions, the operator of Puhi Metals Recycling Center, accepts e-waste at no cost to residents and businesses. Garden Island.


Two women have been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from a Molokai federal credit union. Pacific Business News.