Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2020

Facelift planned for Waikiki beaches, electric bills could drop under new utility rate structure, Honolulu extends grocery card deadline, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki beach scene ©2020 All Hawaii News

The state wants to give the beaches of Waikiki a facelift. The state Department of Land & Natural Resources wants improve the Fort DeRussy, Halekulani, Royal Hawaiian, and Kuhio Beach shores. KITV4.

One of Hawaii’s largest Japanese travel companies extends tour cancellations through March. JTB Hawaii, one of Hawaii’s largest Japanese travel companies, extend its cancellations for tours at least until March, in another blow to Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii News Now.

Details of Hawaii Department of Education finances released after long tug of war. After four years of effort and a lawsuit, the Education Institute of Hawaii has finally obtained the comprehensive electronic financial data it sought from the Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Electric bills to drop under new PUC rules. Hawaii is set to see shrinking utility costs and growing renewable energy after the state Public Utilities Commission’s landmark decision to change the way Hawaiian Electric makes its money. Star-Advertiser.

UH Manoa study finds hurricane risk could double due to climate change. A new study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that climate change impacts Hawaii’s ocean temperatures and trade winds which can cause an increase in the intensity of storms. KHON2.

Nearly A Quarter Of Hawaii’s Vaccine Shipments Are Delayed, Health Officials Say. The state now expects it will receive a reduced total of 61,450 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna by year’s end. Civil Beat.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 24: 129 New COVID-19 Cases. In the last two weeks, 1,733 people in Hawaii have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Civil Beat.


Mayor Caldwell extends deadline to use City Card money. People with a City Card now have more time to use it to buy food and household essentials. The deadline to use a card is extended to Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. KITV4.

Oahu residents with City Card have extended deadline to use it by Dec. 29. The City and County of Honolulu has now extended the deadline to use the City Card until Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. KHON2.

If you got a city grocery card, you have 2 more days to use it. The city on Sunday announced that the deadline to use its problem-plagued grocery cards has been extended by two days — to Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.


Plans for sea water air conditioning dropped. The company that had been pursuing the endeavor for 16 years announced recently that the project is dead because of increased construction cost estimates after spending $25 million, obtaining all major regulatory approvals and signing up numerous customers. Star-Advertiser.

A genuine civic center is slated for Wahiawa after decades of planning. A more proper rural state courthouse appears to be in the not-too-distant future for Central Oahu and North Shore communities as part of a $76 million civic center redevelopment project in Wahiawa. Star-Advertiser.

Are Open-Book Tests Making It Too Easy To Become A Honolulu Police Officer?, HPD says the change emphasizes critical thinking, but others argue police must know some things by heart. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Halemaumau lava lake measures 581-feet deep as Kilauea’s latest eruption enters 2nd week. One week after Kilauea volcano began erupting anew, the lava lake at Halemaumau crater has risen to 581 feet and contains about 4.8 billion gallons of molten rock. Star-Advertiser.

Kilauea SO2 emission rates drop. Summit sulfur dioxide emission rates continued to drop over the weekend following the start of Kilauea Volcano’s summit eruption late Dec. 20. West Hawaii Today.

Kilauea Volcano Sunday Evening Eruption Update. Scientists noted slightly reduced vigor Sunday morning, with two narrow channels of lava spilling from the west vent on the wall of the caldera. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Tour Firm Reports More Buyers After Volcano Eruption. One Hawaii helicopter tour company has seen a substantial rise in bookings after a volcano eruption and following months of limited business due to the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press.

Thousands turn out for The Food Basket’s 100th ‘food drop’ since April. The Hawaii Food Basket celebrated its 100th Ohana Food Drop last Wednesday in Honokaa after serving nearly 175,000 people across Hawaii County since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.


Olowalu Wildfire Damage Report Includes Destruction of Community Hall/Church. A community hall/church in the Olowalu Village area was completely destroyed, according to a survey conducted Sunday of the impacted area of the brush fire. Maui Now.

Hundreds of acres burned, one structure destroyed as firefighters work to extinguish two brush fires on Maui. Two brush fires on Maui are now said to be 95% contained, according to the Maui Fire Department. Hawaii News Now.

760-acre Maui brush fire destroys church in Olowalu Village. A 760-acre Olowalu brush fire Saturday night destroyed a church and two vehicles and damaged a home, Maui fire officials said today. Star-Advertiser.

178-unit affordable rental project proposed. Catholic Charities Hawai’i is proposing a $66 million, 178-unit affordable rental project in Kahului on the heels of its senior affordable rental development, also in Kahului. Maui News.


Kaua'i County awaits response from governor on resort bubble proposal nearly a week after it was submitted. The proposal would allow travelers to quarantine for three days in an approved hotel, and be released if their second, post-secondary test results come back negative. KITV4.

Could This Housing Project Be A Model For Addressing Homelessness On Kauai? The complex is still under construction, but is already housing most of the homeless families who had been living in four county beach parks. Civil Beat.

Last free COVID-19 testing pau.
Sunday marked the final free COVID-19 surge testing program held at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex to an audience of pre-registered testers that was smaller than previous testing days. Garden Island.


Billionaire owner of Lanai to develop affordable housing. Pulama Lanai, the company established by billionaire Larry Ellison after he bought 97% of the island in 2012, plans to develop 150 rental homes on the former Pineapple Isle starting next year, and just over half the homes would be reserved for low-income households at affordable rents anticipated to be as low as $603 a month. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hawaii opening to travelers from Japan, 20k apply for rent relief, HART board fails to kill rail partnership, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House Speaker Scott Saiki and Gov. David Ige at Honolulu airport (Governor's Office video grab)

Hawaii to welcome Japanese travelers next month through the state’s pre-arrival testing program. The number of Japanese visitors willing to come to Hawaii during the pandemic will be limited in part because of a requirement from the Japanese government that Japanese nationals traveling abroad complete a 14-day quarantine upon returning to Japan. Also, the Japanese government still has the U.S. listed under a “level three” travel restriction, which advises Japanese citizens to “reconsider travel” to the U.S. Star-Advertiser.

Pre-Travel Flights From Japan To Start Nov. 6. Starting Nov. 6, travelers from Japan who can produce a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before arrival in Hawaii will be allowed to skip the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to welcome Japanese visitors back in November with pre-travel testing. Japanese visitors will be able to take advantage of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program starting next month, the governor announced Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Japanese visitors could start arriving as early as Nov. 6 under state’s pre-travel testing plan. When visitors from Japan are allowed to travel to Hawaii without being quarantined — which could happen as soon as Nov. 6 — officials aren’t expecting the demand seen when the state reopened for mainland U.S. tourist arrivals on Oct. 15. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi Pre-travel Testing Program Expands To Japan. During a news conference that was livestreamed on Tuesday, state officials announced 21 trusted testing partners in Japan.  Big Island Video News.

Quarantine-Exempt Travel Opens to Japan in November. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that beginning Nov. 6, travelers from Japan may bypass Hawaiʻi’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they pass a trusted coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure and receive a negative result. Big Island Now.

Hawaiʻi expands Safe Travels program to Japan. The state is expanding its pre-travel testing program with the addition of Japan, marking the first state-county tourism partnership program. Garden Island.

Travel from Japan to Hawai‘i Begins Nov. 6 with Pre-Travel Testing Program. Starting Friday, Nov. 6, travelers from Japan may bypass the State of Hawaiʻi’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from a trusted testing partner in Japan. Maui Now.

Japan added to state’s pre-travel testing program, but Japan still has its own restrictions. The governor says All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Japan Airlines will have planes from Japan touching down as early as Nov. 6, and we can expect to see a total of 10 fights to Hawaii next month. KHON2.

Hawai‘i expands pre-travel testing program to Japan. On Tuesday Governor David Ige said the largest group of inbound international travelers to our state are returning to the islands as soon as November 6th. KITV4.


Overdue-rent cases are expected to clog Hawaii’s courts. Hawaii’s courts are expected to be filled with “thousands and thousands” of legal disputes between landlords and their tenants who are delinquent on rent once the current ban on evictions expires at the end of the year, the head of the state Office of Consumer Protection said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Relief program keeping Hawaii’s rental market together. The struggle continues for thousands of local families trying to make rent. KHON2.

More Rental Subsidies In 2021?
House Lawmakers Say It’s An Open Question. There’s still overwhelming demand for rental assistance in the last quarter of 2020. Civil Beat.

State's COVID-19 rent relief program ramps up to pay out $78 million by end of year. Of the $87.5 million in CARES Act money meant for struggling renters and homeowners -- only about $10 million has been paid out. KITV4.

Manpower added to process applications for rental assistance programs.
More than 20,000 people applied for aid up to $2,000 a month on Oahu, and $1,500 a month on the neighbor islands. Hawaii News Now.


Candidate Fined $100 For Filming Campaign Spot At State Capitol. State House candidate Diamond Garcia has been fined $100 by the state Ethics Commission after he made a campaign video of himself for Facebook that used an upper-level lanai at the State Capitol as the backdrop. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 27: 66 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The new cases documented Tuesday include 50 on Oahu, three on Hawaii island, two on Maui and nine on Lana. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Rail’s Pricey P3 Procurement Continues After Board Fails To End It. City leaders and most HART board members want to cancel the public-private partnership process and start over. Civil Beat.

HART board’s 7-2 vote fails to halt P3 process. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation voted 7-2 Tuesday to direct CEO and Executive Director Andrew Robbins to halt a two-year effort to secure a private partner to complete the $10 billion-plus rail project and to instead proceed with a Plan B. Star-Advertiser.

After HART vote, talks for rail public-private partnership will continue (for now). Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s full-court press to stop a proposed public-private partnership for Oahu’s troubled rail project has fallen short ― for now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Construction Union Spent Nearly $1 Million On Oahu Races. The state’s largest super PAC and business executives invested heavily in helping Rick Blangiardi beat Keith Amemiya to be Honolulu mayor. Civil Beat.


State and EPA reject key Navy plans for Red Hill fuel storage tank fix. State and federal regulators have rejected key provisions of the Navy’s plan to improve the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility following a 27,000-gallon leak in 2014 — saying the proposal for the World War II-built tank farm “lacks detail, clarity, rationale and justification.” Star-Advertiser.

Navy’s Red Hill Fuel Tank Plan Rejected By EPA, Health Department. State and federal officials said the military didn’t clearly identify how it would “minimize risk and impact to the drinking water resource.” Civil Beat.

Navy’s plan for Red Hill fuel tanks rejected by EPA, DOH. The state health department and the Environmental Protection Agency have rejected the Navy’s plan for the Red Hill fuel tanks. They say the plan isn’t enough to protect the aquifer. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Navy’s fuel tank proposal rejected over concerns regarding Oahu’s drinking water. Officials rejected the U.S. Navy’s plan to safeguard Oahu’s drinking water near Red Hill from possible contamination from underground fuel tanks used in World War II. KHON2.


Trans-Pacific passenger learns of positive COVID-19 test after landing in Honolulu. The CDC and state health officials were alerted Tuesday after a passenger learned of a positive COVID-19 test result shortly after landing in Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

DOH confirms traveler tested positive for COVID-19 coming into Honolulu. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Oct. 27 that a traveler received a positive COVID-19 test result upon arrival in Honolulu. KHON2.


Chinatown Rising: Businesses Are Finding Cool New Homes Amidst The Pandemic. Despite restrictions that have hindered business and a growing homeless population, businesses are moving into Honolulu’s arts and entertainment district. Civil Beat.

Helicopter makes emergency landing in Nuuanu; no injuries reported. A Hughes 369D helicopter doing utility work for Hawaiian Electric made an emergency landing in the mountains above Nuuanu after its engine failed late this morning, but no one was seriously hurt. Star-Advertiser.

Chopper makes hard landing in Nuuanu after reporting engine failure. A helicopter made a hard landing in Nuuanu on Tuesday, prompting an emergency response. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Water Board approves rate hike. Big Island households will see a water rate increase beginning Jan. 1, but the approximately 8% hike in the basic rate is expected to be tempered by a decrease in the power cost charge in the near future. West Hawaii Today.

Mobile COVID-19 testing vans to roll out soon. A mobile COVID-19 testing system is expected to be operational within the next two weeks, Mayor Harry Kim confirmed Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County Actively Hunts COVID to Prevent Clusters. Targeted community testing continues to be Hawai‘i County’s approach in identifying clusters of the virus, with the assistance of Premier Medical Group. Big Island Now.


Layne Silva Named Director of Maui Department of Liquor Control.
The Liquor Control Commission selected Layne Silva today as director of the Department of Liquor Control. He succeeds Glenn Mukai, who has retired. Maui Now.

Liquor director selection reportedly down to two. The search for a new Maui County Liquor Control director appears to have been narrowed to two candidates, including a current liquor control officer who is the son of a former liquor control director. Maui News.

Some East Maui residents want the road to Hana closed to visitors – again. Some residents say they have seen an influx in traffic and trash along the road to Hana since the relaunch of Hawaii’s tourism industry on October 15th and they’re asking the mayor to close the road to non-residents again. Hawaii News Now.

County: Follow Best Practices When Handling Solid Waste During COVID-19 Pandemic. These best practices include: double-bagging waste that was used to care for sick people at home; and maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from solid waste personnel. Maui Now.


Residents take advantage of in-person balloting. With less than a week to the general election, Office of the County Clerk Elections Division Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka said voting has been “really, really good.” Garden Island.

DOH: ‘Ele‘ele School’s case likely community transmission. The employee was on campus from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23, before testing positive. Garden Island.

Confusion around Safe Travels leads to arrest.
While it may have been the correct test and within the time frame, the state is requiring tests be through the state’s Safe Travels program, which gives officials access to validate tests. Garden Island.


How Kalawao County on Molokai managed to stay COVID-19 free.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has steadily risen across the Hawaiian Islands since the start of the pandemic, but one county has the distinction of zero cases — Kalawao County, on the island of Molokai. KHON2.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Hawaii opens travel to trans-Pacific flights, Japan flights coming soon; Ige popularity low in poll; $1B hole in Honolulu rail, more state and local news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaiian Airlines plane at airport ©2020 All Hawaii News

Airlines Predict A Long Slow Recovery Even As Tourism Returns. As Hawaii reopens to tourists with a plan that lets travelers sidestep the state’s 14-day quarantine for arrivals, few companies stand to gain more than Hawaiian Airlines. Then again, few have lost more because of the shutdown. Civil Beat.


Japan may join Hawaii COVID-19 pre-travel testing once ‘trusted partners’ picked. Japanese visitors, the state’s top international market, won’t be among the first out-of-state travelers coming to Hawaii through a pre-arrivals testing program on Thursday. But they’ll likely be coming soon. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Approves COVID Test For Japan Travelers. The Hawaii Department of Health is now working with Japanese medical institutions to find “trusted partners” to administer the tests. Civil Beat.

Visitors from Japan approved for state’s pre-travel testing program, too. Visitors from Japan will soon be able to avoid quarantining upon arrival in Hawaii by participating in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program, state officials said Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Green light for travelers from Japan. The executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau said the organization Hawaii Tourism Japan “has already got an initial marketing campaign set” for attracting Japanese visitors back to the islands. Tribune-Herald.

Pre-Travel Testing Approved For Japan. Mainlanders will begin returning to Hawai‘i tomorrow with the possibility of a quarantine exemption, and visitors from Japan won’t be far behind. Big Island Now.

Hawai‘i Approves Japan’s Procedure for Pre-Travel Testing Program. Proof of a negative test result from trusted testing partners in Japan will allow travelers from Japan to bypass the 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in Hawai‘i. Maui Now.

Health Department approves Japan’s testing procedure for pre-travel testing program. The Department of Health has approved the COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test authorized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. KITV4.


State expects 7,000 incoming passengers on first day of traveler testing program. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed the figure Wednesday night and said Hawaii is ready to welcome travelers back. He also asked for patience as the state works some kinks out of the system. Hawaii News Now.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Voters Still Sour On Ige And Caldwell. And yet they also believe those very same leaders made the right call on stay-at-home and quarantine orders. Civil Beat.

Auditors find lack of planning, coordination in traveler quarantine program. As the state prepares to launch a traveler testing program Thursday to reboot tourism, a new audit is raising questions about the state’s oversight of its quarantine mandate and how it will be managed once federal funds run out in December. Hawaii News Now.

Surveillance testing for incoming passengers will start as pre-travel testing program launches. Thousands of passengers are expected to come in on Thursday, which is when the state’s pre-travel testing program launches. KHON2.

Here’s what travelers should know about the state’s pre-testing process. If you have not yet booked your flight to Hawaii and want to avoid quarantine, first step is going to HawaiiCOVID19 and check the trusted testing and travel partners page. Hawaii News Now.

Confused About Hawaii's Travel Tests? Hawaii plans to reopen to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine starting Thursday if the passengers can show a negative COVID-19 test. Hawaii Public Radio.


Up to 65% of Hawaii restaurants could close for good, industry leader warns. That estimate comes from a recent survey by the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents the roughly 3,600 restaurants across the state. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii prepares to welcome visitors back, 660 airport food service workers laid off. HMSHost, the company that manages the concessions and restaurants at airports, will permanently lay off more than 660 of its employees. That’s more than 80% of concessions staff. The decision impacts airport workers on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

More than 600 HMSHost airport workers to be laid off in Hawaii, union says. More than 660 Hawaii airport workers will be permanently laid off Thursday, the same day that the state is reopening to tourism with the launch of a pre-travel testing program after numerous delays, according to union representative UNITE HERE Local 5. Star-Advertiser.

Restaurant card also accepted at bakeries, catering services. Approximately 116,000 residents in Hawaii who filed for unemployment insurance benefits are expected to receive a $500 prepaid debit card beginning Friday to spend at local restaurants, bakeries and catering services. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige offers clarity to Restaurant Card Program. Gov. David Ige clarified eligibility for a $500 restaurant card and how the state came to that conclusion after the state found out there was much confusion on social media recently. Garden Island.

Qualified residents to begin receiving Hawai‘i restaurant card in the mail beginning October 16. KITV4.

Campaign Spending Commission: Ad Reporting Law Needs Changed. The Campaign Spending Commission levied over $6,900 worth of fines against 20 candidates at a meeting Wednesday. Almost all of the fines came because of a failure to comply with rules over advertising disclosures that many new candidates have found confusing. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Oct. 14: 101 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. The state said 18 cases were on the Big Island and one case was on Maui. One resident was diagnosed out of state. The remaining 81 cases were reported on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Caldwell wants post-travel test for those who don’t get one before arrival. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing an entirely different way to test travelers who want to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine. He wants to make tests available to those arriving on Oahu if they couldn’t get one before travel. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell questions state’s surveillance testing program. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is questioning the effectiveness of a surveillance testing program meant to be a key safety net in the safe reopening of Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.


Keith Amemiya, Rick Blangiardi trade barbs in KHON debate. During a direct questioning period between the candidates, Blangiardi raised objections to a series of critical campaign ads Amemiya’s campaign has put out against him. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayoral Debate feat. Keith Amemiya and Rick Blangiardi.
Honolulu’s next mayor will have the monumental task of handling the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the safety of nearly one million residents, all while figuring out how to revive Oahu’s economy. KHON2.

Honolulu City Council: Young Legislative Staffers Run To Represent Kalihi Area. The District 7 candidates’ backgrounds, résumés and values are similar. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Rail’s New Budget Hole Estimated At More Than $1 Billion. Project leaders will likely struggle to secure more funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

City’s exit from rail phase equated to a ‘divorce’. Honolulu Councilman Brandon Elefante on Wednesday put the city’s withdrawal from participating in building the final 4.16 miles of the troubled rail project in the terms of a divorce. Star-Advertiser.

Pandemic causes shortage of high-end Oahu rentals.
Kailua is just one of the hot rental markets, so are high end neighborhoods like Lanikai and Kahala, according to Duke Kimhan, the owner of Hawaii Pacific Property Management. KITV4.

Waikiki retailers prep for anticipated bump in business. Businesses in the heart of Hawaii’s tourism hot spot are eagerly awaiting the anticipated bump in tourists come Thursday. It’s been seven months since tourism screeched to an abrupt halt in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu to get 5 new playgrounds; work starts next week in Waimanalo. City officials said construction for new playgrounds at five Oahu parks is underway, with work expected to begin next week at Waimanalo Beach Park. Star-Advertiser.

Mililani Middle to transition onto single-track calendar to address overcrowding. A new three-story building at Mililani Middle School will soon house 15 additional classrooms to help ease overcrowding issues at the nearly 2,000-student campus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ready, set, go: A reluctant Mayor Kim opens the island to trans-Pacific travelers. Mayor Harry Kim prefers not to open up the island at all today to trans-Pacific travelers without quarantine, but since he has no choice, he implemented the two-test procedure to reduce the coronavirus infection risk to residents and visitors. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Kim Questioned On Inter-Island Travel Status. Mayor Harry Kim went before the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday to clear up confusion in regard to Thursday’s start of the pre-travel testing program in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

How post-arrival testing will be conducted at Hilo airport. Trans-Pacific travelers to Hilo should expect a relatively smooth arrival as the county implements post-flight COVID-19 tests at Hilo International Airport. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ready for influx; Improvements to park made during pandemic. With the state loosening travel restrictions for trans-Pacific travelers today, the Big Island’s most popular tourist destination is preparing for an increase of visitors. Tribune-Herald.


Drop your ballot here. There are 12 drop-off boxes countywide, and voters may drop off their ballots through 7 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3. Maui News.

Post-travel testing options are permitted by state. Maui County officials Tuesday afternoon branded their pre- and post-travel testing programs as “Arrive Healthy, Stay Healthy and Return Home Healthy” as the state prepares for an influx of travelers beginning Thursday. Maui News.


Meet the Candidates: Arryl Kaneshiro. Growing up on Kaua‘i, incumbent Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro said there was always a desire to live up to expectations. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i starts its reopening on Tier 4. 
Mayor Derek Kawakami is urging residents to wear masks as the state makes its long-awaited reopening to trans-Pacific travelers. Garden Island.


Hawaiian Telcom Expands Fiber Broadband Service on Moloka‘i. Hawaiian Telcom has expanded its fiber broadband service to nearly 700 new homesteads in East and North Central Moloka‘i, according to the company’s news release. Maui Now.


Lanai Oil Company agrees to $71K EPA fine for Clean Water Act violations.
The Lanai Oil Company Inc. has agreed to pay a penalty of $71,166 as part of a settlement for Clean Water Act violations at its bulk oil storage facility on the island, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Star-Advertiser.

EPA Requires Lanai Oil Co. To Protect Hawaiian Waterways from Oil Spills
in Proposed Settlement. Under the agreement, Lanai Oil is required to pay a penalty of $71,166. EPA believes the penalty will reduce the risk of oil spills from their Lanai Oilʻs terminal to Lanai’s Kaumalapau Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Maui Now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hawaii-Japan travel bubble on the horizon, schools may delay reopening, Honolulu may close bars amid COVID-19 outbreak, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reseved
Waikiki street scene pre-COVID ©2019 All Hawaii News
Travel Bubble With Japan Inches Closer To Reality. Hawaii is among a dozen destinations that received the green light for travel by Japan’s government, but no date is set. Civil Beat.

Hawaii is included on Japan’s list of travel sites. Hawaii officials have been working for months on forming a “travel bubble” with Japan that allows for relaxed travel restrictions between the two destinations as a way to help tourism safely start rebounding from the 98.9% plunge that it took in May. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii makes list of destinations Japan considers opening up international travel with. Hawaii is among the international destinations Japan is considering allowing travel to and from in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i is on Japan's list of safe destinations for international travel. The country is working on a new program that includes pre-travel testing and an examination of travelers upon entry to Japan. KITV4.

Japan Considers Hawaii For List Of 12 Destinations To Resume Travel. Hawai‘i officials say they are honored to be considered by Japan to be on the list of global destinations to resume safe international travel in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Big Island Video News.

Hawai‘i Included on Japan’s list of 12 Global Destinations to Resume International Travel. Hawaiʻi is included on an exclusive list of a dozen countries and regions identified by leaders of Japan as areas they are looking at to resume safe international travel. Maui Now.

Hawaii included in list of 12 possible travel partners for Japan. Hawaii is among just 12 destinations that Japan has identified as possible international travel partners. Pacific Business News.

Travel to Japan could resume. Hawai‘i has been included on an exclusive list of 12 countries and regions to resume safe international travel to Japan. Garden Island.

Mayor Kim, others optimistic about restarting Japan-Hawaii travel. Mayor Harry Kim said an announcement by Japanese officials that Hawaii is on a list of 12 countries and regions being considered as safe destinations for international travel is very good news for both the Big Island and the state. Tribune-Herald.


HSTA, DOE Strike Deal To Push Back Start Of New School Year. The Hawaii State Teachers Association, joined by other school-affiliated labor unions, struck a provisional deal with the Department of Education on Monday to push back students’ return to school to Aug. 17. Star-Advertiser.

Dept. of Education agrees to ask school board to delay return of students until Aug. 17. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has agreed to ask the members of the state Board of Education to delay the time frame in which students would return to Hawaii’s public school campuses. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Education to vote on start date for Hawaii public schools. The Board of Education is holding a special meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday to consider postponing the start of the new academic year for public school students and allow staff more time to prepare. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Will Ask Education Board to Delay Start of School for Nearly 2 Weeks. The Hawai‘i Department of Education will ask the state Board of Education to delay the start of in-person instruction at public schools this fall semester until Aug. 17, 2020. Big Island Now.

Department of Education agrees to push back the reopening of public schools. The Department of Education is submitting the recommendation to the Board of Education. KHON2.

Status of schools uncertain, Hawaii families explore homeschool options during pandemic. With plans for reopening public schools still up in the air, more Hawaii families are considering homeschooling their children. Hawaii News Now.


Bar closures and the 14-day interisland quarantine could return as virus cases continue to spread. The recent surge in coronavirus cases in Hawaii has prompted officials to consider reinstating the 14-day interisland travel quarantine, prohibiting gym classes, closing bars and restricting gatherings to 10 people on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

‘Modified’ lockdown sought for WWII event. Planners of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the end of World War II are seeking a “modified quarantine” and travel bubble for World War II veterans, dignitaries, warbird pilots and crew and media arriving in Hawaii from the mainland or other countries. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — JULY 27: 28 New COVID-19 Cases; Bar Clusters Emerge. State officials said the drop in new cases is likely because fewer tests were conducted over the weekend amidst a hurricane threat. Civil Beat.

Hawaii sees 28 new cases of coronavirus; health officials advise patrons of 2 Oahu bars to get tested. The number of new cases dropped todaybecause the Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division was closed Sunday due to Hurricane Douglas and private labs also did not conduct all of their coronavirus testing, the DOH said. Star-Advertiser.

The Latest: 28 New Cases, Bar Patrons Alerted; Douglas Now History, Ige Looks To Lessons Learned. Health officials say the surge in cases that the state has been seeing recently are threatening the state's reopening. There are calls for rollbacks to restrictions that had been imposed when daily cases were even lower than where they are now. Hawaii Public Radio.

28 New COVID-19 Cases on O‘ahu; Health Investigators Search for Bar Patrons for Contact Tracing. Maui Now.


After COVID-19 Clusters, Caldwell Asks Ige To Close Oahu Bars Again. Oahu has taken several steps toward reopening, but a step back is necessary, the mayor said. Civil Beat.

Amid COVID-19 surge, Mayor Caldwell considers rolling back bar reopenings. The state is asking anyone who recently patronized two Honolulu bars linked to clusters of COVID-19 to contact their physicians. The state is also investigating a cluster of at least 36 cases associated with recent funerals. Hawaii News Now.

Caldwell plans to close bars again amid COVID-19 spread. The state Department of Health wants to monitor possible COVID-19 symptoms of customers who visited Brix and Bones and Arena 808 between July 16 to July 26, this announcement comes as a dozen cases were linked to the bars. KHON2.

Foodland employee tests positive for COVID-19, closing School Street store. Foodland closed the store at 1:30 p.m. after notifying its 50 employees of the COVID-19 case and hired a professional sanitization service for thorough cleaning and sanitation, the company said in a news release. Star-Advertiser.

Foodland confirms employee at School Street store tested positive for COVID-19. The store let its 50 employees know that one of their coworkers tested positive, then it closed the store at 1:30 p.m. July 27. KHON2.


New Super PACs Pour Money Into Honolulu Races. The independent expenditure committees are taking out ads for mayoral and council candidates as voters cast their mail-in ballots. Civil Beat.

About one-third of ballots on Oahu for primary vote may have been submitted. An estimated one-third or more of those casting votes in this year’s first-ever all-mail primary election may have already voted, Honolulu City Clerk Glen Takahashi said. Star-Advertiser.

Getting A Ballot In The Mail For Your Dead Relative Is Not As Weird As It Seems. Elections officials are reluctant to purge voter rolls. But cases of people actually voting on someone else’s behalf almost never happen. Civil Beat.


A majority of Oahu residents believe that the Honolulu Police Department should get the same amount of funding it has been receiving — no more and no less, according to the results of the Hawaii Poll taken last week. *Star-Advertiser.

Oahu homelessness has gotten ‘worse’ in past year, poll finds. The official annual homeless census, known as the nationwide Point in Time Count, does not match the dramatic response that was measured in The Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

64% polled say Chinatown still feels safe. Honolulu’s original neighborhood — the 52.2-acre parcel of land known as Chinatown — still feels “safe” to 64% of registered voters despite complaints about homelessness, crime and concerns early this year that it could be the source of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Off-Roaders Could Soon Be Blocked From This East Honolulu Beach. Illegal vehicles at Wawamalu Beach are threatening monk seals and endanger native plants. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Concerns raised about quarantine enforcement as number of mainland travelers to Hawaii increases. Hawaii’s traveler quarantine has been touted repeatedly as a significant reason the state has contained the coronavirus more effectively than any others in the nation. West Hawaii Today.

Results Negative for 499 KCH Employees Retested for COVID-19. The third and final round of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at Kona Community Hospital yielded all negative results, officials announced Monday afternoon. Big Island Now.

County seeks applicants for PONC lands stewardship grants. The county Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking applicants for a stewardship grant program to maintain and preserve key lands around the island. Tribune-Herald.


Humane society over capacity with cats. Kitten season and the COVID-19 pandemic have put the cat population at Maui Humane Society at a “critically high level beyond shelter capacity,” the organization said. Maui News.


Kauai County limits the size of social gatherings again as statewide cases rise. Mayor Derek Kawakami said Gov. Ige approved his orders to re-limit the size of indoor gatherings like parties, and other social events. Hawaii News Now.

Opening Kai Bar, pandemic or not. The opening of Kai Bar in Kilauea has been a long process, beginning about seven years ago when the Garcias chose the Kilauea Lighthouse Village for their new location. Garden Island.


New focus put on indoor farm venture on Lanai. The billionaire owner of Lanai and a business partner announced changes to their indoor farm venture on the island Thursday, including a new leader and severance from resort operations. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Six suspected coronavirus cases test negative, Japan suspends Thirty Meter Telescope funding, festivals canceled, tourism falters amid COVID-19 scare, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

screen capture from Facebook live
Hawaii coronavirus laboratory, screengrab from Ige press conference
All 6 suspected coronavirus cases in Hawaii test negative. Six people in Hawaii suspected of having the new coronavirus have all tested negative, though state officials are on high alert for the first signs of the deadly disease in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Coronavirus tests for 6 people in islands come back negative. Officials stress that there have been no confirmed cases in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Officials Set Testing Procedures For Coronavirus. Tests so far are coming back negative. Civil Beat.

Hawaii DOH to see increased covid19 testing. Hawaii health officials tested six potential cases of Coronavirus, all of the results were negative, but they said to expect even more people to be under investigation for the virus as the state’s department of health is now able to test for the virus. KHON2.

First look at coronavirus testing lab in Pearl City. There is coronavirus in Hawaii but not to worry it is contained at the state lab and sent here by the Centers for Disease Control so experts can test samples against it. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Can Now Process Up To 240 COVID19 Tests a Week.  Hawaiʻi is now one of 40 states that has the ability to do testing for COVID-19. Maui Now.

DOH: Don’t be alarmed by tests. A patient in isolation at Hilo Medical Center, one of three in the state under investigation Tuesday for possible COVID-19, has tested negative for the disease. Tribune-Herald.

Amid coronavirus concerns, Hawaii steps up efforts to sanitize airports. With travelers from around the world visiting Hawaii, the state is boosting efforts to sanitize airports amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. Hawaii News Now.

Coronavirus concerns prompt more event cancellations ... and economic concerns. The cancellation of the Honolulu Festival and the postponement of the Festival of the Pacific Arts & Culture is prompting growing concerns about the potential economic impact of the coronavirus on Hawaii’s No. 1 industry. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s tourism industry wobbles amid mounting cancellations. Mariah Carey announced Tuesday that she won’t be in Hawaii for her March concert due to current global travel restrictions designed to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii saw a $23M drop in visitor spending last month. The House has formed a special committee to tackle the fallout to Hawaii’s economy of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Mariah Carey Reschedules Hawai‘i Concert Due To International Travel Restrictions. Maui Now.

UH law school postpones event due to coronavirus travel challenges. The University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law has postponed the 30th anniversary celebration for its environmental law program on campus this weekend out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

State House moves to create committee on COVID-19. The state House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday to create a committee on COVID-19, the coronavirus that in the midst of a global outbreak. Tribune-Herald.


Minimum wage increase and tax credits are approved. The state House approved bills Tuesday to increase tax credits to help renters and to offset the impact of the state excise tax on food, and another measure to dramatically expand the state’s earned income tax credit. Star-Advertiser.

Priority Bills On Housing, Education And Wages Advance At Hawaii Legislature. The measures propose slight increases to the minimum wage, more affordable housing, a streamlined school maintenance program and expansion of pre-school. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Senate Passes Cannabidiol Regulation Bill. A bill relating to industrial hemp derived products was passed on third reading by the Hawaiʻi State Senate Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

American Samoa gives Gabbard her first primary delegate. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has picked up her first delegate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination ― thanks to American Samoa. Hawaii News Now.


2 new bus routes planned to augment rail line. Among the new initiatives in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.9 billion operating budget are two new bus routes aimed at connecting riders of the city’s new rail system with their final destinations. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu’s $2.98 Billion Budget: More Rail Funding and Police, No Tax Increase. Taxpayers will have to start paying for rail operations, the mayor said. Whether it will start running this year or not is unclear. Civil Beat.

Mayor outlines new budget, which allows for new HPD positions. Honolulu’s police chief is looking forward to expanding the force after the mayor offered more money in his proposed city budget. Hawaii News Now.

Rate Commission hearing public testimony for Rail and TheBus. The Honolulu Rate Commission is proposing changes to TheBus and Rail fees and is hearing public testimony. KITV4.


Honolulu Agrees To Post Financial Disclosures Online. The city decided to make the forms more easily available following a Civil Beat report earlier this week. Civil Beat.

Electric scooter company waits to operate until state laws change. Another company wants to start a ride share program on Oahu, this time using electric scooters. KHON2.

Ke Kilohana condo owners sue Kakaako tower’s developer over maintenance fees, alleged construction defects. Elation has become frustration for homeowners in a new Kakaako condominium tower now embroiled in litigation with the developer of their homes at Ward Village. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Largest Private College Is Fighting For Its Future. Hawaii Pacific University has experienced plunging enrollment, steep operating losses and large debt. Civil Beat.

Oahu Hiking trail closed after Rapid Ohia Death fungus found in another tree. The Department of Land and Natural Resources has temporarily closed the Poamoho Trail in Central Oahu after the discovery of another tree with Rapid Ohia Death. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Japan Suspends TMT Funding Citing Mauna Kea Stalemate. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, citing the stalemate over its construction on Mauna Kea. While this doesn’t mean the country is pulling out of the multi-nation project as opponents urged it to do, the country does supply key components for the telescope. Hawaii Public Radio.

Japan suspends annual funding for Thirty Meter Telescope project. Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope project on the summit of Mauna Kea, citing an ongoing stalemate over its construction. Associated Press.


Merrie Monarch: The show will go on. The Merrie Monarch Festival, Hilo’s biggest event of the year, will go on as scheduled next month, according to festival organizers. Tribune-Herald.

No plans to cancel Merrie Monarch competition president says. Merrie Monarch Festival organizers say the show will go on at least for now. Hawaii News Now.

Ethics Board weighs in on attorney compensation. Hawaii County is suing an attorney representing former Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi in a 2012 defamation lawsuit filed by Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto, saying the money Yagong and Kawauchi paid him rightfully belongs to the county. West Hawaii Today.


Coronavirus testing kits to remain on Oahu. Since the long-awaited arrival of coronavirus test kits in Hawaii, Maui Memorial Medical Center has not yet taken any samples to test for the virus, as no patient has exhibited the risk factors, a hospital spokesperson said Monday. Maui News.

New Signs to Show Original Place Names of Central Maui. Roadways throughout Central Maui will soon be decorated with new signs–each one telling a piece of the area’s history. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple suffered $10.4M loss in 2019. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. finances swung to a loss in the fourth-quarter and dragged full-year earnings into the red largely due to confusion over taxes. Star-Advertiser.

Business is booming for Maui booze producers. Vodka, whiskey, rum, beer and wine — for a small island, the Valley Isle produces an impressive variety of booze, with solid market success. Star-Advertiser.


Add Councilman Arthur Brun to list of public employees getting paid while not working. State lawmakers are looking to punish public officials who commit crimes by cutting their pensions. KHON2.

Kaua‘i officials said Monday there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, but some on-island resorts say they’re starting to see cancellations, some people who work with the public are donning masks and there have been reports of busy lines at local stores. Garden Island.


First movie theater in 12 years is being planned for Molokai. Owners of RWH Chen Building want to open cinema in Kaunakakai. Maui News.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Legislature mulls free tuition, taxing REITs, Ige appoints campaign manager as judge, Honolulu rail tax falters, Machado returns as OHA chair, Ward Warehouse coming down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2017 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
University of Hawaii at Manoa © 2017 All Hawaii News
Two bills that would appropriate millions for low-income students to attend University of Hawaii schools cleared their first hurdle at a House Higher Education Committee hearing Thursday. Civil Beat.

Mainland Students Could Be An ‘Economic Driver’ For Hawaii. Some lawmakers want the University of Hawaii to attract more out-of-state students who pay higher tuition as well as diversify the campuses. Civil Beat.

Hawai’i’s top economic drivers, tourism and the military, are at or near capacity. But the state has a plan to expand the economy in innovation, the fastest growing sector.  Hawaii Public Radio.

End tax breaks for REITs, real estate investment trusts, local firms urge Legislature. Star-Advertiser.
Former state workers face long wait for payouts despite hefty payroll upgrade. KHON2.

Promising to bring stability to a panel beset with dissension, Colette Machado of Molokai on Thursday was elected chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees. Star-Advertiser.

Colette Machado has returned to the seat of power at a state agency supporting Native Hawaiians. In related news, Abigail Kawananakoa filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the employment of OHA CEO Kamanao’pono Crabbe. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's attorney general wants to add a new plaintiff to the state's lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from seven mostly Muslim countries: Ismail Elshikh, the imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, whose mother-in-law is a Syrian national living in Syria. Associated Press.

Lawmakers are considering adding to the list of illnesses that qualify for the legal use of medical marijuana as the state’s first dispensaries prepare to open in a few months. Star-Advertiser.

A third Hawaii medical marijuana contractor received state approval today to begin legally growing pakalolo. Star-Advertiser.

Dignitaries from Hawaii and Japan gathered at the Kaka'ako Waterfront Park on Thursday to remember those who lost their lives when a U.S. submarine collided with the Japanese ship Ehime Maru. Nine people were killed in the 2001 collision - including 4 teenage students. KITV.

Hundreds of corrections officers called in sick on the day of the NFL’s annual championship game. KHON2.


Gov. David Ige announced three appointments to Oahu’s Circuit Court on Thursday, one of whom is his former campaign manager Keith Hiraoka, who resigned from that post last month when he found out that he had been chosen as a candidate by the Judicial Selection Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Ige has appointed his former campaign manager, Keith Hiraoka, to fill the 1st Circuit Court seat that Judge Karen Ahn vacated when she retired in June. Civil Beat.

In an unusual move, two state Senate committees on Thursday elected to not vote on that chamber’s primary “vehicle” for funding the over-budget Honolulu rail project. Instead, the measure will be so heavily amended that it will require another public hearing. Civil Beat.

A measure that would extend the half percentage point general excise tax surcharge for the city's rail project is still alive, but with several changes and additions. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell will sign a bill into law providing TheBus riders the option to purchase a one-day pass. Hawaii News Now.

The wrecking ball now has a firm date with Ward Warehouse. Property owner Howard Hughes Corp. has informed the Kakaako retail complex’s roughly 60 tenants that they must vacate in August to make way for residential tower development. Star-Advertiser.

Bicyclists love new bike lane on McCully while residents struggle for parking. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu is the best place in the United States to be a Realtor, according to a recent study by WalletHub. Pacific Business News.

A group representing survivors of sexual abuse and an organization representing the LGBTQ community are urging Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to rescind his appointment of Marc Alexander to lead the city Office of Housing. Civil Beat.

Disney, Marvel Studios and IMAX are planning to develop a headquarters for Marvel’s next major project — a feature film and ABC television series “Marvels The Inhumans” — in a former Navy facility in Hawaii, the head of the state’s film commission confirmed to Pacific Business News this week.


Mayor Kim Wants To Reduce Two Percent Land Fund. Harry Kim would like to cut the amount set aside for public land purchases by half. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Harry Kim spent Wednesday evening at the Ocean View Community Center quelling wave after wave of frustration from an animated crowd of roughly 60 residents, many of whom feel the county has left them behind. West Hawaii Today.

Two lawmakers want to increase safety at a popular Puna swimming spot and vet the feasibility of a harbor at Kapoho Bay. Tribune-Herald.

With a county voucher program set to expire at the end of next month, Hawaii Island legislators once again are hoping to secure state funding that would help residents combat invasive little fire ants. Tribune-Herald.

The Hakalau Bridge on Old Mamalahoa Highway will be closed starting at 5 p.m. Friday because of public safety concerns, the county Department of Public Works said Thursday. Tribune-Herald.

A Kona District Court judge has disqualified himself from hearing the case of Sean “Peaman” Pagett, who was cited Christmas Day for running an unpermitted race at Kailua Pier. West Hawaii Today.


For many homeless people, the easiest place to turn for health care is often the emergency room, said Carol Petith-Zbiciak, doctor of nursing practice at the University of Hawaii Maui College. Maui News.


Kauai Humane Society is among the animal welfare advocates descending upon the Hawaii Capitol today for Humane Lobby Day at the Legislature. Garden Island.

The Kauai County Council on Wednesday unanimously deferred a proposal to establish pedestrian access and parking easements in Koloa. Garden Island.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is opening its sixth restaurant in Hawaii and first on Kauai at The Shops at Kukuiula on the island’s South Shore, the owner of the shopping complex confirmed to Pacific Business News Thursday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Obama and Abe to visit Pearl Harbor today, $112M for renewable energy, Honolulu to tax part-time homeowners higher, Kim institutes hiring freeze, 12% raises for Maui officials, lawmaker publishes Hawaii Kai homeless map, new civil defense chief, Kenoi's legacy, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe places a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 26, 2016. (AFP PHOTO/JAPAN POOL VIA JIJI PRESS /STR)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid wreaths at various cemeteries and memorials Monday ahead of a visit to the site of the 1941 bombing that plunged the United States into World War II. Associated Press.

Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where a devastating surprise attack sent America marching into World War II. Associated Press.

In a solemn, silent tribute, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented a white chrysanthemum wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Monday, bowing his head slightly as a gentle rain fell. Star-Advertiser.

In a gesture that highlights the strength of U.S-Japan relations and how far the two nations have come since World War II, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join President Obama at the USS Arizona Memorial on Tuesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii News Now.

The historic visit to Honolulu of Japan’s top leader began Monday morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo paid tribute to fallen warriors at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl shortly after arriving in Honolulu Monday. KITV.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama thanked hundreds of service members and their families on Christmas Day in his final holiday visit as commander-in-chief to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Commentary: We in Hawaii know Obama’s historic presidency was all the richer because of his Hawaii roots. Star-Advertiser.

Legislation introduced a year ago by two Hawaii lawmakers is now law. “Talia’s Law,” as it is called, seeks to at better protect children from abuse on military bases. Civil Beat.

More than half a million Hawaii residents in commercial health plans will see an average 6.2 percent rate hike Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaiian Electric companies that power Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island have submitted a plan to state energy regulators that lays out how they will achieve 100 percent of their electricity generation from renewable sources by 2040 — five years sooner than the state-mandated goal. Civil Beat.

Eight organizations have banded together on a mission to create more electric options in ground transportation in Hawaii, including the state’s Department of Transportation and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. Garden Island.

The state paid out $112 million in tax credits for renewable energy investment in 2014, the largest state tax credit for the year. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii residents eye the fresh ahi sashimi platters traditionally found on holiday dinner tables, major negotiations loom next year over how much tuna commercial fishermen should be allowed to catch. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers say severe birth defects related to the Zika virus occurred in the islands several years before this year’s outbreaks in Brazil and Puerto Rico. Star-Advertiser.


A Honolulu ordinance that taxes homeowners at higher rates for million-dollar homes that they don’t live in full time will remain in effect after a state judge Friday reversed his October decision that found that the tax classification was unconstitutional. Star-Advertiser.

A state legislator has published a map of suspected homeless people in his district in an effort to raise public awareness of the problem, but some attorneys say the effort could be unconstitutional.Star-Advertiser.

City Councilman Joey Manahan has met with officials at the Honolulu Country Club in an effort to address concerns by Salt Lake residents about foul odors emanating from the waters around the club. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu Fire Department said it has been fined $15,400 and told to control workplace hazards as a result of an investigation into the accidental death of firefighter Clifford Rigsbee during a training exercise. Star-Advertiser.

A Waipahu homeless shelter is preparing to close its doors for good. Shelter officials at Lighthouse Outreach Center say new regulations adopted by the state are to blame. Hawaii Public Radio.


Mayor Harry Kim has instituted a hiring freeze while county departments revamp their procedures for selecting job candidates. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Harry Kim tapped a former chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be Hawaii County’s next Civil Defense administrator. Tribune-Herald.

Two Former Big Island Mayors Weigh In on Billy Kenoi's Political Future. Hawaii Public Radio.

A room set aside for welcoming cruise ship passengers at Hilo Harbor will be turned into a security office, frustrating greeters who have waited four years to return to the space. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island tourism numbers are approaching a record high thanks to an ongoing shift in arrivals from cruise ships to airlines. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki is calling on the state Supreme Court to speed up the contested-case hearings for the permit to build a giant telescope atop Mauna Kea. Associated Press.

Honokaa anxiously awaits gym's re-opening -- a year from now. Hawaii News Now.

Peaman cited: Race goes on but organizer says he has court date in February. West Hawaii Today.


The 12 percent pay raise approved earlier this month for Mayor Alan Arakawa and his department appointees stands after the Maui County Salary Commission took no new action Friday, despite calling a special meeting after questions arose about the nondescriptive agenda item posted for its last meeting. Maui News.

The proposed new Maui County Service Center in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II in Puunene/Kahului has an estimated price tag of $27 million and would include a number of new occupants. Maui News.

The Dorvin and Betty Leis Charitable Trust announced it is donating a total of $1.25 million to 17 nonprofits on Maui. Pacific Business News.

Leis family is the model for philanthropic giving. Maui News.

The Kihei Community Association has provided about a quarter of the cost for a follow-up study to look into the water quality off South Maui in the context of human health. Maui News.


Fire Chief Robert Westerman talks growth, future needs. Garden Island.

There’s another set of hands working in Katherine Muzik’s underwater coral garden named Mala Moana, or “Ocean Garden,” in Hawaiian. Garden Island.