Showing posts with label Honolulu rail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Honolulu rail. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Decade-low candidates in this year's elections, oil industry asks Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits, Air Force changes mind, opts to keep Bellows Air Force Station, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Fewer Candidates Filed For Election In Hawaii This Year Than In The Past 10 Years. Dozens of incumbent lawmakers face no challenger. The most significant race in Hawaii’s Aug. 10 primary may well influence who is the next speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives — and thus directly impact the policies and laws of the entire state. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oil industry asks Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits from Hawaii, other states. Oil and gas companies are asking the Supreme Court to block dozens of high-powered lawsuits from Hawaii to Massachusetts seeking to hold the industry liable for billions of dollars in costs related to climate change. Los Angeles Times.

State insurance chief doesn’t see carrier exit.
Hawaii has been the subject of some scary national headlines lately regarding property insurance, but the state insurance commissioner Tuesday expressed a less calamitous view of the industry affecting homeowners. Star-Advertiser.

A ‘Hard Market’ Is Battering Condo Owners. A confluence of events is causing the hard market, said Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito. And the resulting spike in premiums — primarily for hurricane insurance for condominium associations — is sending shocks to homeowners across Hawaii, Ito said. Civil Beat.

Hawaii launches wildfire, drought alert campaign. The summer months ahead are shaping up to be hot and dry, with the same level of wildfire risks as 2023, according to experts Tuesday at the launch of the Wildfire and Drought Lookout campaign. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaiian Telcom vows to serve Hawaiian home lands amid disruption. After Gov. Josh Green’s emergency proclamation Friday to preserve telecommunications services for approximately 1,500 homes and businesses served by Sandwich Isles Communications, Hawaiian Telcom on Tuesday announced its commitment to serving residential and business customers on Hawaiian home lands with existing connectivity infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

Doctors to get tax relief on patients' government health plans under new law. Starting in 2026, doctors will no longer have to pay the state’s general excise tax on health care for patients on Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. Hawaii Public Radio.

State works to spend millions of dollars to address opioid addiction.
Hawaiʻi can address substance abuse with $33 million from opioid manufacturer settlements — and that number is expected to continue to grow. However, managing and spending the funds has been a work in progress. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Air Force has ‘change of heart’ on plan to part with training site riddled with old munitions. Citing “changes in operational requirements,” the Air Force says it now plans to keep a 138-acre training site at Bellows Air Force Station that it had long planned to part with. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Council is poised to adopt $4 billion-plus budget. The Honolulu City Council today is expected to review for adoption the city’s proposed $3.63 billion executive operating budget for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Blangiardi calls for multi-year contract for Honolulu rail CEO
.  Mayor Rick Blangiardi today told officials who oversee the city’s rail project to offer a multi-year contract to Lori Kahikina — its CEO and executive director — and fully cooperate with an investigation into any alleged “bullying and harassment” of Kahikina by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council Proposes Kailua Land Sale For Hawaiian Homelands.
Hawaiian homelands lots may be offered for the first time in Kailua under a proposal introduced at the Honolulu City Council on Tuesday. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Man awarded $12.5M from city ordered held without bail in federal gun, drug case. The 38-year-old man who settled with the city for $12.5 million following injuries he suffered in a 2021 police pursuit was ordered held without bail today on federal charges that he used a ghost gun while selling methamphetamine in Waianae. Star-Advertiser.

Raw sewage seeps over Sand Island park
. Sand Island State Recreation Area has long stretches of coastline and plenty of pretty beaches. But at the end of the park, there was something ugly found behind one of its bathrooms. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

COVID cases creep up on the Big Island. Hawaii Island hospitals are reporting a slight increase in COVID-19 activity similar to rising rates throughout the state. Tribune-Herald.

Recent Kilauea eruptions could indicate new phase of activity. Ken Hon, scientist in charge at HVO, said Kilauea’s recent behavior seems to potentially indicate a new phase of volcanic activity, one characterized by a series of “pulses” of activity instead of sustained events over longer periods of time. Tribune-Herald.

Maui


Maui court upholds governor’s Emergency Proclamation on affordable housing. Second Circuit Court Judge Peter T. Cahill issued judgment in favor of Gov. Josh Green, M.D., and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation, in a lawsuit that sought to, among other things, invalidate the governor’s emergency proclamation on affordable housing. Maui Now.

Temporary groundwater monitoring wells to be installed at Temporary Debris Storage site in Olowalu. County officials say the installation is part of its commitment along with the US Army Corps of Engineers to protect public health and the environment during the wildfire cleanup. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative continues to lead Hawai‘i in renewable generation. For the fifth straight year, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative leads the state of Hawaiʻi in renewable generation, having achieved 57.9% renewable for 2023. This puts KIUC well ahead of the state of Hawaiʻi requirement of 40% by 2030. Kauai Now.

Visitor count drops, spending climbs on Kaua‘i in April. A steep drop in the number of visitors to the island of Kaua‘i in April was of no consequence on the spending front, as tourists continued to plow piles of cash into the local economy. Garden Island.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hawaii wins $916M judgment in Plavix lawsuit, below-average hurricane season forecast, Honolulu officials mull short-term rental regulations, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pharmaceuticals Ordered To Pay Hawaii Nearly $1 Billion For Deceptive Business Practices. The drug companies hid information from doctors who prescribed Plavix, which can have outsized negative effects on Asians and Pacific Islanders. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Below-average hurricane season is forecast for Hawaii. With a developing La Nina climate pattern and cooler waters in the forecast, officials said the basin is likely to experience one to four tropical cyclones during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Dry season forecast to be drier-than-normal. The extra rainfall through April added to what the state has gotten so far this month, including from last week’s kona low and the heavy rains and thunderstorms that drowned the Big Island the week before, will provide a buffer against the earlier onset of expected drought conditions later this summer — and wildfire weather. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

After Lahaina, Hawaii Fire Crews Take Stock Of Their Ability To Communicate In A Crisis.
Fire departments across the state are reevaluating their emergency communication capabilities after the Maui wildfires, when the vulnerability of the island’s cellular network — and a lack of advanced communication tools in fire vehicles — complicated efforts by first responders as they confronted one of the worst disasters in Hawaii’s history. Civil Beat.

Native Seeds Could Soon Be Fueling New Growth On Burned Out Acreage Across Hawaii. The federal government is funneling millions of dollars to a University of Hawaii initiative aimed at increasing the number of seeds for hardy native and non-invasive plants that can compete against the dominant invasive grasses that fuel wildfires. Civil Beat.

Derek Turbin elected chair person of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Convention. Delegates Also Approve Resolutions, Amend Party Constitution and Bylaws, Select National Delegates, and Choose Presidential Electors. Maui News.

US Pacific Fleet announces 29th RIMPAC exercise.  Approximately 29 nations, 40 surface ships, three submarines, 14 national land forces, over 150 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 2, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. Maui Now. KHON2.

Oahu

Honolulu officials weigh regulations for short-term rental market with new state law. In 2022, the city implemented a law to increase the minimum amount of time that residential homes could be rented from 30 days to 90 days. However, a federal court ruled that the city could not enforce its regulation. Hawaii Public Radio.

More homeless housing planned for Oahu. The city and state have opened — and plan to open — more homeless housing across Oahu following the closure of some shelters and reduced bed space during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Across Oahu, a growing dilemma: How to care for kupuna living on the streets
. Dr. James Ireland, director of Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department, says he’ll call a meeting with the hospitals and other stakeholders to remind them of C.O.R.E. services. That’s the Crisis Outreach Response and Engagement Program — for patients who need medical treatment but don’t need the emergency room.  Hawaii News Now.

Embattled rail CEO says she’s been bullied, harassed by HART board. Embattled rail CEO Lori Kahikina said Tuesday that she no longer wants the job if she continues to be bullied and harassed by the HART board. Hawaii News Now.

West Loch disaster 80 years ago prompted military reforms.
Tuesday marked the 80th anniversary of a deadly — and often forgotten — disaster in Hawaii that prompted major reforms in the U.S. military. Star-Advertiser.

Charter school students name Kaiwi’s monk seal pup Pa‘aki. Kaiwi’s newest monk seal pup born this month at Kaimana Beach has been named Pa‘aki, according to Hawaii Marine Animal Response. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Emergency evacuation route planned for Waikoloa Village.
Private landowners have pledged to fund and grant the County of Hawaii the new route or egress down to the highway. KITV4.

Hawaii Island to host 2024 Native Hawaiian Convention
. The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has opened registration for its 2024 Native Hawaiian Convention, which will be held from Sept. 17-19 at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Maui

Decision Due Soon On Where To Build A New Elementary School In Lahaina.
The Hawaii Department of Education hopes to choose a permanent campus for King Kamehameha III Elementary by next month. Civil Beat.

Maui County Hopes To Provide Housing For Seniors, Even A Few Units At A Time. Maui County is buying two condo units in Kaanapali to create more affordable housing options for kupuna displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires that destroyed most of Lahaina and parts of Upcountry.  Civil Beat.

Kauai

Meetings strive to give a voice to homelessness. The County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency opened its series of meetings on Tuesday to collect information for its five year homelessness strategic plan. Garden Island.

Polls shows solid support for restoration of Coco Palms Resort. As demolition work progresses on the Coco Palms Resort, a new poll shows robust support for the restoration of the once-renowned property that was destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Housing top of mind for Legislature, DHHL, Maui to allocate $13M police COVID hazard pay, Green lobbies Washington for aid for Lahaina, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Almost 12,000 affordable homes in Hawaii could be lost over next 20 years, study says. AARP Hawai‘i commissioned the study from Washington, D.C.-based Smart Growth America, and is scheduled to brief two legislative committees today on results. Star-Advertiser.

DHHL changes $600M spending plan to prioritize acquired land development. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is making last-minute changes to its spending plan for the $600 million the agency needs to encumber by the end of June.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Why The State’s Housing Working Group Is Being Dissolved. The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. is taking over for the Build Beyond Barriers Working Group. Civil Beat.

Maui costs may lead to budget cuts for state departments
. There are serious budget cuts on the table for state departments. In a memo, the Chairman of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee asked department heads to propose 10% and 15% budget reductions to cover soaring costs from the Maui wildfires. KHON2.

Gov. Josh Green lobbies for more federal aid for Lahaina. Green said his visit with the nation's top leaders paid off because the feds have agreed to pay more than $40 million to get people out of hotels and into condos. KITV4.

On eve of roll-out, fund for wildfire deaths still awaits legislative approval. The Governor’s “One Ohana Fund” aims to pay $1.5 million each to families of people who died or were seriously injured in the Maui wildfire. Hawaii News Now.

Statewide survey shows strong public support for protecting natural resources. A statewide survey commissioned by the Care for ‘Āina Now coalition, formerly known as the Hawai‘i Green Fee Coalition, shows strong support for state funding of legislative bills to fund natural resource stewardship, the coalition announced. Maui Now.

Measure calls for homeless triage center.  A homeless triage center would be established within the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the state Department of Health under a proposal advancing at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i lawmakers to hold public hearing on vicious dog bill. Bills that would increase the penalties for owners whose dogs have seriously injured or killed someone are moving through the State Legislature with a public hearing scheduled this morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Big Island Now.

State measure to help combat invasive two-line spittlebug.
The State House of Representatives Committee on Finance took up a measure on Thursday to fund mitigation and control of the two-lined spittlebug, an invasive pest that has destroyed thousands of acres of pasture land on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Federal Judge Says He’ll Rule Soon On Motions In Kaneshiro Bribery Case. The trial against former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and those accused of trying to bribe him with campaign donations, including businessman Dennis Mitsunuaga, is currently scheduled for March 12.  Civil Beat.

HART board to consider scrapping internal audit. Plans to scrap a previously sought top-down internal review of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation are expected for review today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police fire 3 officers in Makaha crash case. Three Honolulu Police Department officers awaiting trial for allegedly causing a high-speed chase and crash and covering it up in Makaha in September 2021 were fired by the department. Star-Advertiser.

Green ‘super concerned’ about petroleum-based detections in water at 7 Hawaii schools. There’s growing concern after seven public schools in the Pearl Harbor area showed detections of petroleum-based chemicals. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Big Island cable market could see fresh face. The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will hold public meetings in Hilo and Kailua-Kona today to solicit feedback about a plan by Hawaiian Telcom to enter the island’s cable television market. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui settles COVID hazard pay grievance with police for $13 million.
Less than a month after an arbitrator ruled that thousands of state workers were owed COVID-19 hazard pay for their efforts during the pandemic, the County of Maui settled a grievance with the Maui Police Department for about $13 million. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  KHON2.

No high levels of bacteria found off of West Maui in five months following Lahaina wildfire. Ocean water quality samples taken from seven sites off the Lahaina burn zone showed no high bacteria levels five months after the Aug. 8 wildfires, according to the 2023 Blue Water Task Force water quality report released by the Surfrider Foundation Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Maui police arrest 13-year-old for alleged threat at Kalama; Investigation remains active at Baldwin and ʻĪao schools. A 13-year-old girl was arrested for Terroristic Threatening in connection with an alleged threat at Kalama Intermediate School.  Police say an investigation revealed the teen was responsible for the Kalama threat and she was arrested at approximately 3:20 p.m.  Civil Beat. Maui Now.  KITV4.

Kauai


Big crowd turns out for Waimea Town Celebration. Hundreds of people collected at the Waimea Product Fair under the shade of the old sugar mill to wrap up the 47th Waimea Town Celebration over the weekend. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Senate to tackle climate change, Big Island geothermal expansion advances, new gun laws stir Honolulu residents, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Briefing to be held to discuss threats climate change poses to Hawaii. A joint Informational Briefing will be held at the State Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 11, by Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment, and Representative Nicole Lowe, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. KHON2.

Here’s why Hawaiʻi’s new pay transparency law might not affect your employer. Act 203 requires that companies must put a reasonable salary range or hourly rate in their job listings. Exempt are internal promotions or transfers, public sector employees subject to collective bargaining agreements, and companies with 50 or more employees. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Governor Will Seek More Funds To Update Financial Management System. Gov. Josh Green’s administration plans to ask lawmakers for more money to replace an outdated financial management system, saying the project will cost $60 million after it stalled last year when the state terminated its troubled contract with a vendor. Civil Beat.

Invasive species are top of mind for Department of Agriculture this legislative session.
Managing invasive species is a top priority for the state Department of Agriculture in the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Council panel OKs federal plan to fund rail. On a split vote, the City Council’s budget committee Tuesday approved a federal agreement to fund Skyline’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. On a split vote, the City Council’s budget committee Tuesday approved a federal agreement to fund Skyline’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Public hearing set for proposed changes to affordable housing rules. A public hearing on proposed amendments to the city’s Affordable Housing Requirement Rules is scheduled for Friday morning.  Star-Advertiser.

The public shares concerns with HPD on newly enacted state laws on guns. As the Honolulu Police Department weighs compliance with newly enacted state laws, gun owners Tuesday flooded a hearing to weigh in on rules that will govern where firearms are not allowed, and the requirements for permits and licenses. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu mayor appoints new Homeless Coordinator. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has appointed a new homeless coordinator for the City’s Department of Community Services. On Tuesday, they announced Sam Moku was selected for the role. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi's largest energy storage project now online in Kapolei. After several delays, the utility-scale battery farm kicked off commercial operations shortly before the holidays.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy Releases Nearly 2 Million Gallons Of Partially Treated Wastewater Off Pearl Harbor.
The latest incident at its sewage treatment plant happened after heavy rains knocked out a power transformer. Civil Beat.

Red Hill task force will soon begin removing residual fuel from pipelines. Joint Task Force - Red Hill completed defueling the storage tanks last month, but approximately 64,000 gallons remain in the pipelines from that process. Hawaii Public Radio.

5 power sources linked to blackouts
. Hawaiian Electric avoided a second straight evening of rolling blackouts across Oahu on Tuesday, but the power shutoffs Monday substantiated prior concerns about the company’s shift to more renewable energy. Star-Advertiser.

Ewa Beach Residents Left In The Dark About Possible Lead Contamination From Marines’ Shooting Range. A state lawmaker is refusing to share a taxpayer-funded lab report while endorsing a Marine-backed plan community leaders oppose.  Civil Beat.

Amid worrisome surge, Queen’s West sees more ER visits than state’s largest hospital. The emergency room at The Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu is so inundated it now gets more daily visits than Queen’s Punchbowl, the state’s largest hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Puna Geothermal Venture expansion moves ahead.
PGV’s long-awaited “repower” project, which will boost the facility’s energy production from 38 megawatts to 46 by replacing energy converters with more efficient ones, passed one of its final hurdles Monday when the final draft of an environmental impact statement covering the project was published, anticipating “no unavoidable adverse long-term impacts.” Tribune-Herald.

2 Big Island inmates charged after fatal fentanyl overdose.
Hawaii County police are awaiting toxicology results in the suspected fentanyl overdose death Thursday of a 56-year-old Hilo inmate whose 41-year-old cellmate, Izaiah Shields, allegedly smuggled fentanyl inside his body onto a plane and into the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Woman fined for stealing nene gosling from state park. A 58-year-old woman was convicted for stealing a nene gosling from Wailoa State Recreation Area last March and sentenced Tuesday in Hilo Environmental Court. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Unspent Funds Could Fill Maui’s $31 Million Budget Hole.
The Bissen administration won't have more precise figures until at least next month, but county officials expect a rosier outlook. Civil Beat.

8 people rescued aboard foreign flagged sail boat that ran aground off Lahaina, Maui.
The US Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to a foreign flagged sailing vessel that ran aground near Lahaina, Maui on Monday. Maui Now.

Scores of residents still can’t sift their Lahaina properties for belongings. Maui’s burn zones fully reopened last month, allowing thousands an opportunity for closure. But some residents still haven’t been allowed to sift through their homes.  Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Nakamura named Act 279 Working Group chair.
Hawai‘i House Majority Leader Nadine K. Nakamura of Kaua‘i (District 15) was named chair of a legislative working group, whose role will be to oversee the execution of millions of dollars aimed at whittling down a beneficiary waiting list for housing. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Smith confirmed as Hawaii federal judge, microplastics found in human placentas, snowfall on Mauna Kea, Zoom testimony returns to Kauai County Council, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

US Senate Confirms Miske Prosecutor To Federal Bench.  The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Micah Smith as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Hawaii. Smith, a Kauai High School graduate, is an assistant U.S. attorney, who early in his career worked as a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice David Souter.  Civil Beat. Garden Island.

State aims to cut unsheltered homelessness in half by 2026. There are around 6,500 homeless individuals in the state, according to last year's Point in Time Count, which provides a snapshot of the homeless population. More than 4,000 of those individuals live in unsheltered areas like beaches, parks or sidewalks. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii state Capitol soaked due to leaking reflecting pool. Lawmakers earlier this year appropriated $33.5 million to repair and renovate the pools after appropriating $9.8 million in 2021 for the more than $30 million job. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Should Use Artificial Intelligence To Improve Fire Forecasts, Researchers Say. University of Hawaii researchers are pushing to kickstart the second phase of a yearslong project to help the state better forecast wildfires by using artificial intelligence. Civil Beat.

Retirement savings program unlikely to start before 2025.  Established by a bill signed by then-Gov. David Ige in 2022, the Hawaii Retirement Savings Program is intended to help Hawaii residents prepare for the future by allowing them to enroll in a state-managed individual retirement plan. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Prison Oversight Meetings Are Missing A Key Player — The Prisons Director. Tommy Johnson told the oversight coordinator that neither he nor his staff will attend the meetings, though they'll engage in other ways. Civil Beat.

UH researchers’ study sheds light on prevalence of microplastics. Pregnant women in Hawaii are very likely to have plastic fragments in their placentas, University of Hawaii researchers have discovered, raising further concerns about the long-term health implications of microplastics. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Oahu

HART OKs federal agreement to fund rail. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors Wednesday approved a federal plan to fund the city rail line’s ongoing construction to a planned station in Kakaako. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Rail construction causes Kalihi street to be closed through July. All lanes of Kohou Street are now closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, due to rail construction. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Honolulu planes to be diverted to another runway November 29 through December 8 due to construction, warn of possible delays. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) will divert all aircraft arriving and departing at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Runway 26L from 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 29 through Friday, December 8 due to ongoing remediation work on Runway 8L. KITV4.

Safety concerns at Puuloa Range in Ewa Beach addressed. State Rep. Rose Martinez and U.S. Marine Corps officials said Wednesday that they have come to a “mutually agreeable consensus among all involved parties” regarding potential lead poisoning of soil around the Marines’ Puuloa Range Training Facility in Ewa Beach. Star-Advertiser.

Health Department says PFAS detected in Waialua water system. The Hawaii Department of Health reports that perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have for the first time been detected in water samples collected from a water system in Waialua. Star-Advertiser.

Navy video shows no widespread reef damage from plane in Kaneohe Bay.
Underwater video taken of a Navy P-8A Poseidon plane sitting in Kaneohe Bay shows two points of the plane resting on coral reef but no extensive damage. Star-Advertiser.

Large boulders come crashing down in east Honolulu amid drenching rains.
Large boulders, including one about the size of a compact car, crashed down in an Aina Haina community on Wednesday morning amid heavy rains. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Snowfall Closes Hawaiʻi Summit Access Roads. A layer of snow closed the road up to Maunakea on Wednesday, as a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Hawaiʻi island summits. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Lawmakers tour progress of upgrades at Kona Community Hospital. Two West Hawai‘i state lawmakers on Wednesday were given a guided tour by hospital leaders of upgrades underway at Kona Community Hospital on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

HVNP takes steps to protect nesting nene. Parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been closed to give a couple of nene parents some space. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Maui

‘We are trying’: In wake of subpoenas, Maui’s mayor defends response to state investigation
. HNN Investigates has obtained copies of three subpoenas issued to Maui County as part of the investigation into the devastating fires. In an interview Wednesday, Mayor Richard Bissen said they are doing their best to cooperate, but experts say if that was true, subpoenas should not be necessary. Hawaii News Now.

Input invited on the role of tourism in supporting Maui’s recovery.  The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority will hold a community meeting to discuss proposed actions for tourism in support of Maui’s recovery. The meeting will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Morgado Hall on Monday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Maui Now.

Proposal offers tax incentive for short-term rentals that house displaced residents. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen is proposing a bill that would offer tax exemptions for short-term rental owners who house residents displaced by the Aug. 8 wildfires.  Maui News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui officials on standby to stop heavy rains from sending ash into storm drains. Maui officials were on standby Wednesday to prevent ash from August's deadly wildfire in Lahaina from flowing into storm drains after forecasters said a winter storm could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the island. KITV4.

Kauai

Commentary:  Zoom testimony returns to Kaua‘i County Council. The Kaua‘i County Council is once again accepting remote public testimony “live” via the internet. Members of the public must sign up via email to testify no later than noon on the day prior to the meeting. Garden Island.

Lydgate Campground to close Dec. 6.  The Department of Parks and Recreation is announcing that the area surrounding the Lydgate Campground will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Attorney General subpoenas Maui agencies in fire probe, state minimum wage rising to $14, shorter Skyline OKed for federal funding, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Maui Agencies Subpoenaed After Holding Up Fire Investigation, AG Says. Three Maui County departments were served subpoenas Monday after not meeting the timelines with a state investigation into their response to the Aug. 8 wildfires that killed 100, left 7,500 homeless and caused $5.5 billion in damage.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Minimum wage to get boost: Hourly rate will rise to $14 in January under 2022 law. Minimum-wage employees in Hawaii will get a pay hike of nearly 17% to kick off the new year. Tribune-Herald.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, First Elected 20 Years Ago, Won’t Seek Reelection.
Shimabukuro, whose District 22 Senate seat represents Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua on Oahu, made the announcement Monday. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Plan for shorter Skyline wins OK for federal funding
. A federal agency helping pay for Honolulu’s rail system has agreed to release funding it has been withholding over concerns about past city handling of the grossly delayed and over-budget project. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Water Board adopts rate hike of over 50%.
  The agency’s board of directors Monday voted 5-1, with board member Gene Albano abstaining, to approve a new 5-1/2-year water rate schedule that will see higher rates phased in, with the first 10% increase kicking in Feb. 1 and the next 10% hike to occur July 1. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Honolulu Fire Department official wants to add 2 helicopters, 3 pilots
. The Honolulu Fire Department's aviation manager wants to beef up the department’s ability to fight fires and make rescues. Hawaii Public Radio.

Navy plane in bay has ‘full integrity,’ no sign of fuel leak
. A week after a Navy P-8A slid into Kaneohe Bay while trying to land in rainy weather, the Navy rear admiral in charge of extracting the plane said all of the more than 2,000 gallons of fuel on board had been safely removed, while apologizing for not better updating the public and media. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

The Miske Files: An Officer Gets Caught In The Crossfire. The feds were investigating Mike Miske and the Kealohas at the same time. Sgt. Al Lee ended up in the middle of both. Civil Beat.

Trial Of Officers Charged In Makaha Pursuit Continued To June 3. Four Honolulu police officers are accused of pursuing a car until it crashed and leaving the scene. Civil Beat.

$20,000 worth of fireworks found stashed in 92-year-old woman’s carport.  With New Year’s Eve celebrations right around the corner, illegal fireworks are already a hot commodity — and a growing headache for law enforcement. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

$8M demolition of decaying Uncle Billy’s hotel to start
.  The $8 million demolition of the dilapidated former Uncle Billy’s hotel in Hilo is set to commence with asbestos abatement work starting next week. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Community Meeting Set To Re-Envision Waiākea Peninsula. A public meeting to be held Monday, December 4, will gather community input on the Banyan Drive waterfront and other redevelopment projects. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Pohoiki Boat Ramp Dredging Project Permit Application Posted. The latest issue of The Environmental Notice included a Conservation District Use Application, as well as a Coastal Zone Management notice, concerning the Pohoiki Boat ramp dredging project. Big Island Video News.

Maui

The Controversial Developer Looming Over West Maui’s Water Conflict. Peter Martin spent decades guzzling water around Lahaina. Then came the fire. Civil Beat.

Mental Health Services For Youth On Maui Receive A Funding Boost. The money will support schools, multiple community partners and nonprofits, but more will be needed. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Lahaina, Kula disaster recovery community update meetings canceled this week due to kona low forecast. The weekly Disaster Recovery Community Update Meetings for Kula residents at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and for Lahaina residents at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays are canceled this week due to the kona low weather forecast. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i officials urge residents to be vigilant as severe weather may occur starting Tuesday. County of Kaua‘i officials are urging the public to be vigilant due to potential severe weather conditions starting Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. Kauai Now.

Friday, October 27, 2023

1st humpback of the season spotted, Supreme Court clears $328M Hawaiian homestead settlement for distribution, rail could reach Honolulu airport by 2025, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

First humpback whale of season spotted in Maui waters. The Pacific Whale Foundation has sighted its first humpback whale this fall in Maui waters, marking the start of whale watching season. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hitch in $328M homesteads settlement cleared. The state Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for the 2022 landmark $328 million settlement in the Hawaiian homesteads class-action lawsuit, and the settlement funds can now be transferred to the 2,515 settlement class members in Kalima v. State of Hawaii. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Bill seeks to separate data on Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center announced the reintroduction of the All Students Count Act in a Zoom news conference Thursday.  Star-Advertiser.

Most Hawaii Wildfires Are Started By People, But Arson Cases Are Rarely Solved
. There are too few investigators and insufficient resources to find out who was to blame in most fires. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Contractor provides update to Skyline’s ‘airport’ segment. Under Mayor Rick Blan­giardi’s administration, the city in 2022 truncated the last 1.25 miles of guideways and the planned final two stations near Ward Avenue and Ala Moana Center. That reduced costs from more than $12.45 billion for a 20-mile, 21-station route down to a $9.9 billion system with an 18.9-mile, 19-station line terminating at Halekauwila Street. HART expects to complete testing and transfer of the Airport Guideway and Stations segment in mid-2025. Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill class action lawsuit tops 7,000 plaintiffs. There are now more than 7,000 people who have joined a class action lawsuit against the Navy for contaminating the water with fuel at Red Hill. KHON2.

Oahu's electric bus fleet grounded indefinitely due to charging issue. One of the eight chargers at the Middle Street bus yard shorted out about three weeks ago and the heat generated in the incident frayed some of the dispenser cables. KITTV4.

These ‘Affordable’ High Rise Apartments Aren’t Selling. It’s Not For Lack Of Interest. Only about 13% of affordable units in some Honolulu towers have sold after being on the market for over a year. Civil Beat.

This HPD Officer Quit In The Face Of Discipline.
But The Story Didn’t End There. Officer Mason Jordan left the force in 2021 as he was under investigation. He was later arrested on separate charges related to the sexual exploitation of children. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

More funding proposed for Hawai’i Fire Department to prevent, battle wildfires. Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz will introduce Resolution 333 on Oct. 31 during a meeting of the Council Committee on Governmental Operations and External Affairs, urging Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth’s office to increase the Fire Department’s capacity and funding to enhance its ability to respond, prevent and mitigate wildfires and other emergencies. Big Island Now.

Military Training Exercise Will Involve Hilo Airport, Pōhakuloa. Tropic Lightning Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division will be training at Pohakuloa and will periodically use the airfield at Hilo International Airport. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Goodwill Hawaii acquires Hilo property for future hub. Goodwill Hawaii has acquired about 67,000 square feet, or roughly 1.5 acres, in Hilo to create a hub for team members, according to a news release from real estate firm Colliers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii family working for auntie’s safe return from war-torn Gaza. Ramona Okumura, a prosthetics expert, was volunteering with Palestine Children’s Relief Fund in Gaza when the hostilities broke out Oct. 7. She has been stuck there ever since. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

House Finance Committee visits Lahaina wildfire disaster zone to identify priorities. Members of the House Finance Committee, led by Chair Kyle T. Yamashita (D-12, Upcountry Maui), visited various sites in the Lahaina wildfire disaster zone on Thursday to receive an update on recovery efforts from Federal and County officials, and identify key priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Maui Now.

Green plans to extend Maui renter protections. Gov. Josh Green plans to extend renter protections that are set to expire next month, his office said Wednesday following a rally by tenants earlier this week calling for a continued eviction moratorium and rent freeze. Maui Now.

Wildfire impacts result in unavailable vacation rental units on Maui in September. Unit night supply and unit night demand were inactive for the entire month of September in West Maui, according to the latest Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report compiled by the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.

Shipment of 90 tiny homes for wildfire survivors arrives on Maui from Europe. A shipment of 90 tiny homes for wildfire survivors have arrived on Maui from Europe. They will be part of the 10-acre Ohana Hope Village off Kuihelani and Maui Veterans Highway. Developers hope to welcome the first round of residents before Thanksgiving. Hawaii News Now.

Lahaina fire debris burial site proposed in West Maui. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is scheduled to consider at a meeting today whether to grant permission for Maui County to use 53 acres of state land in Olowalu, about 5 miles from Lahaina in a former cinder quarry, to exclusively and permanently store the debris. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hazardous waste from over 85% of Lahaina properties removed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it has removed hazardous waste from over 85% of the burned properties in Lahaina. That includes more than 1,300 parcels. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

‘It was a failure’: Member of wildfire advisory team says Maui can’t miss key lessons again. A member of the advisory team helping guide Lahaina’s recovery is calling on state and county leaders to bolster Maui’s disaster plan to prevent future disasters. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Transportation agency accepting applications for its Kaua‘i Bus Pass Outreach Program. The County of Kaua‘i Transportation Agency will be accepting applications from Kaua‘i-based non-profit organizations for its Kaua‘i Bus Pass Outreach Program beginning Nov. 1. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

More schools qualify for free meals, 8 Hawaiian birds listed as extinct, Red Hill defueling commences, Lahaina students return to school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

More Hawaii Schools Qualify For Free Meal Programs But The State May Not Participate. Recent changes to a federal program could allow for a significant expansion of free school meals in Hawaii, but it's unclear if the state will opt in. Civil Beat.

Food prices increase going into the holidays. Food prices have increased from this time last year, and it is likely prices will remain high going into the holidays, so how much will people be paying for some holiday staples? KHON2.

Federal government lists 8 Hawaiian birds as extinct. The eight bird species, all forest honeycreepers, include the Kauai akialoa, Kauai nukupuu, Kauai oo, kamao or large Kauai thrush, Maui akepa, Maui nukupuu, Molokai creeper and poouli, also known as the black-faced honeycreeper. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

High surf warning posted for first huge swell of the winter surf season. The National Weather Service in Honolulu said the warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. Tuesday until 6 p.m. Wednesday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and the north shores of Maui. Hawaii News Now.

WWII Marine and hero laid to rest at Punchbowl 80 years after his death. Nearly 80 years after Marine Sgt. Arthur Ervin died fighting on Saipan, he was laid to rest Monday in a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

HECO Seeking $2M From HART For Work Done On Canceled Substation.
The substation is no longer needed based on the rail authority's latest projections on power usage and deferral of the Pearl Highlands parking garage. Civil Beat.

Red Hill defueling operation officially underway.
On Monday morning Joint Task Force Red Hill, the military organization responsible for draining the tanks at the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, officially began the defueling process. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Newly-unearthed letter from Akaka offers evidence of Red Hill leaks 2 decades ago. In 2006, the late U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka questioned a high ranking military official about the viability of the Red Hill underground fuel storage tanks. Hawaii News Now.

New homeless program in ʻEwa aims to serve children and their families. Hale Kipa unveiled Thursday the 'Ohana Resilience Services program at Hale Kū Ola, located at Renton Road. The goal is to provide children and their families with a place of refuge and additional services. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Did construction start at TMT site? Land board to mull the question next month. After months of delays, the question of whether construction work on the Thirty Meter Telescope has begun will be answered in November. Tribune-Herald.

BLNR approves transition of Hilo lots into affordable housing. About 35 acres of state land around Hilo and Kalaoa will be set aside to Hawaii County for affordable housing development. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County seeks information on vehicles damaged or destroyed in wildfires. Maui County is requesting information from vehicle owners to help identify fire-damaged or destroyed vehicles found on public roadways and other right-of-way areas following the August wildfires.  Maui News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Lahainaluna High School Students Are Met With Celebrations As They Return To Campus.
Classes resumed despite lingering concerns about air quality due to the nearby burn zone. Lahaina's intermediate and elementary schools also are reopening this week. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Electric extends moratorium on disconnections for Maui customers. Hawaiian Electric has extended the suspension of service disconnections for all Maui customers through at least Nov. 6. Maui Now.

Housing shuffle vexes Lahaina fire evacuees.  Paul Maloney, his wife, Sandra, and their Pomeranian, Zeus, are about to move for the eighth time since the Aug. 8 wildfire that swept through Lahaina killing up to 98 people and destroying about 2,200 buildings, mostly homes. Star-Advertiser.

Maui police identify Lahaina resident, 61, as latest fire fatality.  The 97th victim out of 98 confirmed fatalities from the Aug. 8 wildfire has been identified as Michael Misaka, 61, of Lahaina — leaving just one victim’s identity yet to be announced. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Shark bites surfer at Hanalei Bay on Sunday. The first confirmed shark attack of the year on Kaua‘i was reported on Sunday afternoon after a surfer’s leg was bitten by a large shark at Hanalei Bay. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

State, feds one step closer to protecting native forest birds on Kauaʻi from mosquito-borne diseases.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are one step closer to protecting native forest birds on Kauaʻi from mosquito-borne diseases with their proposal to employ the incompatible insect technique to reduce mosquito populations. Kauai Now.




Thursday, October 12, 2023

McKelvey appeals to Biden to help Maui fire victims keep their homes, all but one of known fire victims identified, more Kakaako trees to be felled in latest rail plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State senator for Lāhainā requests President Biden's help to avoid foreclosures. State Sen. Angus McKelvey, who represents West and South Maui, has asked President Biden to help residents who lost their homes in the fires but still face mortgage payments. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii grapples with ‘rampant’ unemployment fraud, delaying aid to wildfire survivors. Hawaii Labor Director Jade Butay said Wednesday of 2,200 applications for federal disaster unemployment assistance, 500 have been approved. There is also a backlog of applications for regular unemployment — with 15,161 filed since the fires with 8,731 currently being paid. Hawaii News Now.

Catalytic converter theft drops dramatically with new law. Catalytic converter theft has gone down dramatically. Officials said a new law that took effect this year makes it a lot harder to sell the precious metals. KHON2.

Oahu

Council to pick Office of Council Services director. The Honolulu City Council will hold a special meeting today toward the selection and appointment of a new director for the Office of Council Services. Star-Advertiser.

Commercial tanker pulls into Pearl Harbor for Red Hill defueling.  The first fuel tanker that the military will use to drain the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility arrived at Pearl Harbor early Wednesday morning. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Rail Changes Planned For Kakaako Mean Fewer Trees, More Buses. The city’s latest plans for the Honolulu rail line would sacrifice more trees than originally planned in the downtown area and convert a segment of Halekauwila Street into a bus-only traffic corridor, according to a recent city filing. Civil Beat.

Gift cards for guns: State to hold firearm buyback program at 2 Oahu locations. The state Department of Law Enforcement is offering $200 gift cards in exchange for automatic weapons, semi-automatic rifles, and ghost guns. Gift cards of $100 will be swapped for handguns, rifles, shotguns, bump stocks, and Glock switches. Hawaii News Now.

Historic royal palms in Wahiawa threatened by invasive rhino beetle.  It’s against the law to harm the historic palms that line Royal Palm Drive in Wahiawa, as they are protected by the city’s Exceptional Tree Program. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kilauea set for repeat of ’74? Eruption at southern summit area could begin at any time.  An eruption at the summit of Kilauea volcano could begin with little warning, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported Wednesday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Event enumerates Big Island wildfire preparedness strategies. Wildfire preparedness is top of mind for the Big Island, and Hawaii County has a bevy of strategies up its sleeve to ensure that its residents are insulated from the risk fires pose.  Tribune-Herald.

‘Focus on healing’: Innovative hospital partnership aims to offer respite to those on the streets. Hope Services Hawaii has taken some of its shelter space and transformed it into a small medical respite facility providing homeless people with a safe place to heal after they’re discharged from the hospital. Hawaii News Now.

Expert: Fighting little fire ants ‘a forever job’ on the Big Island. As the war against the invasive ant continues across all four counties, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hawaii Invasive Species Council are asking residents to take samples of ant populations on their properties and send them into local labs to help determine how the destructive insects are spreading. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County Council to take action Oct. 12 on bill about alternative fire debris removal program. Bill 86, prepared by Maui Mayor Richard Bissen’s administration and currently pending approval by the County Council, would serve as an initial step in defining the process for property owners who choose to remove fire debris under an alternative program.  Maui Now.

All but 1 of 98 known Lahaina fire victims have been identified. The names of two more people who died in the Aug. 8 Lahaina wildfire were released Wednesday by Maui police, leaving only one of the known 98 fatalities yet to be identified. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

Maui Disaster Relief Fund suspends new applications after overwhelming response. The Maui Disaster Relief Fund is suspending new applications after already receiving an overwhelming response of more than 1,500 applications. Maui Now.

EPA air sampling data shows good air quality following wildfires in Lahaina and Kula. EPA tested for metals including lead and arsenic, asbestos, particulate matter, and 42 compounds called volatile organic compounds. Maui Now.

Misperceptions, different occupancies hurting Maui hotel workers. Hotels in West Maui are fuller than others across Maui but the combination of wildfire evacuees and workers from the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency and other relief organizations means some tourist-oriented hotel operations are shuttered and reduced, affecting hotel workers — many of whom rely on tips. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina Teachers Have To ‘Start From Scratch’ As Schools Prepare To Reopen. Educators are prioritizing social-emotional learning and mental health amid uncertainties of what the next quarter will bring. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Kaua‘i police officials earn ‘Officer of the Year’ awards.  The Hawai‘i State Law Enforcement Official Association honored KPD Officer Jason Scalzo as a 2021 Officer of the Year, KPD Officer Kalani Apilado for 2022 and KPD Lt. Philip Banquel for 2023. Garden Island.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Hawaii leaders decry affirmative action ruling, DOE wasted millions on solar AC, Honolulu Skyline rail opens today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii leaders blast ruling against affirmative action. Three Hawaii congressional delegation members assailed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down affirmative action policies at two major American colleges, with Sen. Mazie Hirono blasting the ruling as “shortsighted and detached from reality.” Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Investigation finds DOE wasted millions on solar-powered AC systems. A Hawaii News Now investigation has found that the state Department of Education wasted millions of dollars on solar-powered air conditioning systems that either had to be disconnected or aren’t doing an adequate job of cooling classrooms. During the past six years, the DOE has installed solar-powered AC systems in 880 classrooms at a cost of $122 million — or more than $138,000 per classroom. Hawaii News Now.

Governor to veto pilot program overseeing where public art can be showcased. A pilot program that would have allowed publicly-owned art to be showcased in private spaces is slated for veto by Gov. Josh Green. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii visitor arrivals recover to 94.6% of pre-pandemic levels. Some 801,569 visitors came to the Hawaiian islands in May, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. May arrivals represented an increase of 3.2% from arrivals in May 2022.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s domestic arrivals soften as demand subsides.  The wild exuberance and pent-up demand for tourism that turned 2022 into the peak year for U.S. arrivals to the state has softened. Star-Advertiser.

Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe. Federal authorities executed a search warrant earlier this week at the Honolulu offices of Dawson, a conglomerate of Native Hawaiian-owned companies that receive tens of millions of dollars in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.  Civil Beat.

In symbolic move, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima sign historic sister park agreement. It’s a historic agreement between two places that were devastated by World War II some eight decades ago — forever connected through pain and healing through reconciliation and cooperation. Hawaii News Now.

11 new COVID-related deaths, 535 new infections recorded in Hawaii, DOH reports. The Hawaii State Department of Health  reported 11 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 535 new infections over the last seven days in Hawaii. The total number of deaths stands at 1,938. KITV4.

Oahu

Honolulu rail officials worry about ‘being overwhelmed’ by crowds as system opens.
Honolulu rail leaders are bracing for large crowds as Skyline opens Friday at 2 p.m., with free rides through July 4. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.

Liquor Commissioners Commit To Improving Agency’s Outdated Systems And Poor Morale
. Some Honolulu businesses have received more than one inspection a month and others none at all, the commission heard. Civil Beat.

Waiahole Valley lease arbitration deadline extended
. Gov. Josh Green announced Thursday that Waiahole Valley residents with state land leases for house lots will have two additional weeks to avert arbitration over rent increases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

BWS detects low levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in Pearl City Shaft.   The Board of Water Supply has detected low levels of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” in the Pearl City Shaft, officials said Wednesday. The Pearl City Shaft serves an area that spans from Lehua Community Park to Pearl City District Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Report takes deep dive into housing in Hawaii. While Hawaii residents face the highest housing costs in the nation, the Big Island is described as “an outlier in terms of home prices.” Tribune-Herald.

Phase One Of Waipiʻo Valley Road Rockfall Mitigation Completed.  The Hawaiʻi County Public Works Engineering Division on Thursday announced the completion of the rockfall mitigation work, which covered 750 feet down the slope of the Waipiʻo Valley Road. Big Island Video News.

July public meeting scheduled for the Four Mile Creek Bridge.  The bridge, located at the south end of Kilauea Avenue in Hilo, carries hundreds of vehicles per day traveling to and from Highway 11.  Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Report: Maui hotels saw fewer visitors, less revenue in May.  Last month, the county’s occupancy rate was 63.3 percent, down 4.1 percentage points versus 2022 when occupancy was at 67.4 percent, and down 12.9 percentage points versus pre-pandemic May 2019, when occupancy was at 76.3 percent, according to the Hawai’i Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority last week.  Maui News.

Trace levels of herbicide found at Haleakala water system. The Hawaii Department of Health said it recently detected low levels of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid during routine sampling at the Haleakala National Park drinking water system. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Kauai

July 3 is deadline for ag dedication petitions. The county Department of Finance Real Property Assessment office reminds the public that the deadline for filing new Agricultural Dedication Petitions is July 1. However, because July 1 falls on a weekend, applicants will be able to submit their petitions on or before July 3, 2023, to be considered for the upcoming 2024 assessment. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i to get dedicated kupuna watchdog.  After nearly 50 years, Hawai‘i’s long-term care ombudsman program will finally deploy full-time staff to the neighbor islands, a move that officials hope will aid significantly in the state’s attempts to combat elder abuse. Garden Island.