Showing posts with label Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2022

Hawaii voters favor new telescope on Mauna Kea, sour on rail, state police created, worker shortage continues, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Mauna Kea telescopes ©2022 All Hawaii News
Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Rail Remains Unpopular But Support For TMT Is Solid. Three years after mass protests on Mauna Kea over the Thirty Meter Telescope project, supporters still outnumber opponents by a 2-to-1 margin. After a decade of rail drama including years of delays and colossal cost overruns, public opinion on rail hasn’t changed much: Voters today are just as sour on the project as when the entire ordeal began, according to the new poll data. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Approval Ratings Improve for Ige, Slip For Green.
Kai Kahele does not fare well with voters while the rest of the delegation remains relatively popular. Rick Blangiardi is well-liked. The Legislature not so much. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

New law creates state police force. Gov. David Ige on Friday signed House Bill 2171 into law as Act 278, creating a new state Department of Law Enforcement and converting the Department of Public Safety into the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Should Hawaii’s Next Lt. Gov. Take The Lead On Solving The State’s Housing Crisis? How the top Democrats in the race approach housing issues also demonstrates how they might operate if elected to office. Civil Beat.

Ige Intends To Veto Healthy Soils Program. Advocates Say That’s Misguided. Gov. David Ige wants to nix the program because there is a soil survey in the works. But supporters say it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Civil Beat.

Veto Looms For Hawaii Tour Helicopter Bill That Would Collect Data On Flights. The bill would set up a task force to make recommendations on restricting tour flights but Gov. David Ige says it’s the federal government’s jurisdiction. Civil Beat.

Bill Expanding Hawaii Computer Science Education Is Facing A Veto. Different interpretations of a key provision in Senate Bill 2142 are likely to lead Gov. David Ige to reject the measure. The bill requires the University of Hawaii College of Education to create more pathways for teachers to teach computer science at the elementary and secondary level, while also providing $1 million in scholarships to coax educators to develop expertise in the subject area. Civil Beat.

Easing of restrictions returns Kiwi travelers to Hawaii.
The New Zealand tourism market has returned to Hawaii after a two-year, COVID-19-related hiatus. Star-Advertiser.

Deep-sea mining noise pollution will stretch hundreds of miles. A study on underwater noise pollution from seabed mining operations found that noise from one mine alone could travel approximately 500 kilometers (roughly 311 miles) in gentle weather conditions, which could affect the understudied species that live in the deep sea—the largest habitat on Earth. There could also be cumulative impacts where multiple mines operate, according to the study. Maui Now.

New initiative to provide easier access to Japanese American internment records in Hawaiʻi . The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi is working on a new project that will provide easier access to records about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH Study: Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Vaccination Rates Affected by Trust Levels. A new University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa study explains vaccine hesitancy among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in Hawaiʻi at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and researchers say the findings could provide a foundation for communication strategies for other health policies beyond the pandemic. Big Island Now.


Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him. Keith Kaneshiro’s refusal to cooperate in the Kealoha probe turned scrutiny on him. Former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro’s unwillingness to cooperate in a federal investigation of his former deputy, Katherine Kealoha, likely led authorities to turn their attention to allegations that he conspired with the executives of an engineering firm to frame a former employee for felony theft, according to an attorney familiar with the investigation. Star-Advertiser.

Help Wanted: Honolulu Needs 3,000 Workers For City Jobs. The city’s high job vacancy rate is leaving residents waiting for services, as city officials scramble to try to hire new people in a tight labor market. Civil Beat.

Legislation introduced that urges DOE to end mask mandate in schools. Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi introduced Resolution 22- 165 that urges the Hawaii Department of Education to end its mask mandate for public schools. KITV4.

Civil rights advocate once again challenges state House speaker in primary race. The race is happening on a changing playing field. The district from downtown Honolulu to McKinley and Kakaako has grown from semi-industrial area to a growing high rise residential area. Hawaii News Now.

Open City Council races see many newcomers seeking office. With only one incumbent seeking reelection in the four Honolulu City Council races in this year’s election, ballots for the Aug. 13 primary will be crowded with newcomers to the political scene. Star-Advertiser.

Union: Tentative agreement between Hilton, workers reached. The new two-year agreement reportedly includes improved wages, benefits and reinstatement of daily room cleaning and other services, according to the union. Hawaii News Now.

Assets School opens student screening center with $378K in federal money. The private Assets School has opened a center to make student screening for learning disabilities and differences more widely accessible to the public, funded with $378,000 from the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County gears up for primary election: Lack of elections administrator won’t slow the process
. Hawaii County hasn’t had a chief election officer since longtime Elections Division Administrator Pat Nakamoto retired Dec. 31. West Hawaii Today.

New building department fails to reach ballot. A proposed charter amendment creating a Building Department will not appear on the November ballot, after the County Council last week killed the measure. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly 200 teachers needed: High cost of Big Island housing makes it hard to recruit. As of June 13, the DOE reports Hawaii County had approximately 196 classroom teacher vacancies: 41 for the Hilo-Waiakea complex area, 50 for the Ka‘u-Keaau-Pahoa complex area, and 105 for the Honokaa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena complex. Tribune-Herald.


Fast-track process on horizon for 752-unit Waiehu project. Developers’ next steps for a proposed 752-unit affordable housing project in Waiehu will be to apply for the county’s fast-track process, according to a consultant for the project. Maui News.

Even with changes, attorneys still raise issue with lighting bill. Even with more changes and exemptions granted, county attorneys still see issues with a bill intended to cut outdoor light pollution and protect native Hawaiian seabirds. Maui News.

Charter amendments up for second reading. Proposals call for Maui Nui water system, more planning commissions. A proposed charter amendment which proponents hope will allow residents to have more of a say in water issues will be up for second and final reading by the Maui County Council on July 15. Maui News.

Maui Memorial Medical Center leads the state in Heart and Stroke Quality Care. The Heart Failure Gold Plus and Stroke Gold Plus awards recognize MMMC’s demonstrated excellence and commitment to current, research-based guidelines for the treatment of heart disease and stroke. Maui Now.


Kauai visitors give back by volunteering in regenerative tourism programs. A new study, which surveyed 463 Kauai residents, found that regenerative tourism programs like this one make the tourism industry and tourists more attractive to residents and could play a key role in helping Hawaii’s visitor industry recover from the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency exercises are on this week. County, state and other emergency responders will continue joint training and exercises on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Waikiki homeless capturing city and state attention, PAC attacks Green's doctor credentials in governor's race, judge overturns vacation rental ban on ag lots, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Homeless in Waikiki ©2022 All Hawaii News
Solutions sought for rise in homeless in East Honolulu. East Honolulu, which includes Waikiki, is experiencing the highest percentage increase of unsheltered homeless of any district on Oahu — hastening efforts by state and county officials to bring the region more homeless services and affordable housing even if they have to condemn properties to do it. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii gas prices are up 39% from a year ago. Hawaii’s $5.46 average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 4% from $5.27 a month ago, and 39% from $3.94 a year ago. Star-Advertiser.

Energy prices spike: Hawaiian Electric says increase due to rising fuel prices. Residential energy rates in Hawaii have increased by nearly 20% since March thanks to impacts to global fuel supply chains. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing State Public Utilities Chief Reflects On His Tenure And Tough Decisions. Jay Griffin dealt with several contentious issues, from interisland shipping rates to Hawaii’s renewable energy transition. Civil Beat.

Former state Rep. Ty Cullen gets new sentencing date in cesspool bribery case. A judge has set a new sentencing date for former state Rep. Ty Cullen, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to one count in connection with his acceptance of bribes when he was a lawmaker. Former Senate Majority Leader Kalani English, who also pleaded guilty in a related case, is still scheduled to be sentenced on July 5. Associated Press.

Hawaiʻi Governor Signs Gun Inspection Bill. House Bill 2075 (Act 030) requires physical inspection of firearms under certain circumstances. The State says the new law “restores part of a previous gun law that was struck down by a federal court last year.” Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Bill to reduce costs of public information requests on Ige’s desk. Among the bills awaiting potential signature or veto by Gov. David Ige is one that would cap copying charges of public records by government agencies at 25 cents per page or sheet. Tribune-Herald.

Will Hawaiian Voters Finally Show Up This Year? Hawaiian issues and the Thirty Meter Telescope are entangled in the governor’s race this year in ways that may help drive the ethnic Hawaiian vote in the critically important Democratic primary. But Hawaiians have been lining up politically in some startling ways. Civil Beat.

Super PAC Targets Josh Green As Hawaii Governor’s Race Heats Up. The biggest funders of a recent political ad that raises questions over his board certifications have also donated to Vicky Cayetano’s campaign. Civil Beat.

Oʻahu and Kauaʻi jails report COVID-19 clusters. New state Department of Public Safety data shows about 70 cases at Oʻahu Community Correctional Center and about 50 at the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center. Hawaii Public Radio.


Honolulu’s rail recovery plan submitted to Federal Transit Administration. The recovery plan, submitted Friday, notably shortens the route to end in Ka­­kaako rather than continuing on to Ala Moana Center and delays construction of the Pearl Highlands parking garage. Star-Advertiser.

A Coastal Road Connects These Patients To Dialysis. Climate Change Could Make That Harder. In 2019, the Hawaii Department of Transportation released a report on the susceptibility of coastal roads to sea level rise, erosion and climate change. The strip of road through Kaleo’s neighborhood of Hauula was the No. 1 priority on a list of statewide highways in need of help. Civil Beat.

Waikiki noise reduction bills pending before City Council. Council member Calvin Say has introduced Bill 23, which bans trash pickup before 6 a.m. Council Chairman Tommy Waters introduced Bill 43, which bans amplified sound in Waikiki under certain conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu City Council approves federal COVID-19 funeral assistance to COFA citizens. A federal program grants financial death benefits to families who lost members of their household to COVID-19, but the program largely left out citizens of the Freely Associated States who live in the United States through the Compacts of Free Association. Star-Advertiser.

Motion details charges against ex-Honolulu police officer described as ‘prolific sexual predator’. Federal prosecutors described a former Honolulu police officer as a “prolific sexual predator” who should be jailed before his trial on charges he ran a child prostitution ring, produced child pornography and sexually assaulted youngsters for five years while working for the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Farm dwellings as vacation rentals: Judge overturns county ban on short-term rentals in ag district. More vacation rentals may be popping up on farmland, based on a recent ruling by a Kona judge. The future of Hawaii County’s authority to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in agriculture districts hangs in the balance, after the 3rd Circuit Court judge overturned a state Land Use Commission ruling upholding the county’s right to do so. West Hawaii Today.

State claims major victory in developer’s $360M suit involving Big Island housing project. A federal judge has dismissed a 2017 lawsuit filed by a company seeking $360 million from the state over an adverse regulatory action involving a mostly undeveloped $1 billion Hawaii island housing project. Star-Advertiser.

UH warns of Maunakea lease terminations if bill passes. The University of Hawaii at Hilo advised the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week about the dozens of permits and leases that will have to be terminated should UH be removed from management of the summit of Maunakea. Tribune-Herald.


MPD cited for safety violations after recruit hospitalized. The Maui Police Department has been cited for safety violations after a police recruit suffered a heat stroke during training and was hospitalized this year. Maui News.

Hawaii’s first mobile biodiesel fueling station opens on Maui. The first of six mobile biodiesel fueling stations in Hawaii opened on Maui Friday, making the renewable fuel more accessible to customers. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

The Long Fight To Protect Public Hiking Access In Hawaii Isn’t Close To Over. A Maui nonprofit is suing the state and a ranch for failing to protect a historic trail. It’s the latest battle in the islands to ward off closures by private entities and government agencies. Civil Beat.

Administration interested in parcel that’s pending. Currently the 214.92-acre property, owned by Kauhikoa Investors LLC, is pending sale, according to The price is listed at $10.5 million. Maui News.

Maui median home sales price stays near record at $1.21M; sales slow. Maui County’s single-family home median sales price at $1.21 million in May hovered just below the record high while sales showed signs of slowing, according to a new report by the Realtors Association of Maui. Maui Now.


Federal tax break for the poor helps luxury developers on Kaua‘i. Wealthy investors in the Koloa and Hanalei real estate could be in line for millions of dollars in federal tax breaks. These areas are considered Opportunity Zones — a Trump-era program intended to pump investment cash into low-income areas. Garden Island.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Hawaii drops travel restrictions, most mask mandates, Green, Luke get early union endorsements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Honolulu airport July 31 2021 PC:My Kailua Facebook community page

After screening more than 12M passengers, Hawaii lifts all restrictions for mainland arrivals. With the Safe Travels program ended, mainland arrivals came into the islands Saturday without having to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Mask rules remain for public school students, stirring mixed opinions. It’s been a month since the CDC updated its guidelines and said they no longer recommend universal indoor masking in education settings with low or medium COVID levels. DOH continues to recommend indoor masking. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii becomes last state to lift mask mandate, but some opt to keep wearing them. While businesses can decide to put mask rules in place, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii says most are leaving the decision up to customers. Hawaii News Now.

Judge Dismisses Vaccine Mandate Suit. A federal judge said Hawaiian Airlines employees challenging the company’s vaccine requirement could sue again after the EEOC has made a final determination. Civil Beat.

These Environmental Bills Have Survived The Legislative Process So Far. Most of the bills proposed by the Environmental Legislative Caucus have died, with only five of 12 measures remaining. Civil Beat.

Two broadband internet-related bills still alive. Most broadband internet-related bills are dead in the state Legislature, while a surviving bill will create another state agency to develop broadband infrastructure.  Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Home Lands financial-assistance proposal stirs debate. Proposals to infuse $600 million to help clear the backlog of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries include different ways to provide financial assistance to Native Hawaiians willing to remove themselves from the waitlist of 28,700 beneficiaries. Star-Advertiser.

Federal funding earmarks to help boost University of Hawaii research to record $500 million. Thanks in part to the return of congressional budget earmarks, the University of Hawaii system will receive tens of millions of dollars in the new federal budget, including research dollars that will help bring UH’s overall research funding to a record-­high $500 million for the year. Star-Advertiser.

Panel recommends 5 nominees to Hawaii Land Board.
The Senate Committee on Water and Land recently held public hearings on two separate days to vet five nominations from Gov. David Ige for the seven- member board overseeing the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Population Continues A Slide That Began In 2017, New Data Shows. The pandemic interrupted survey collection efforts but researchers say the new data can be helpful to chart Hawaii’s demographic shifts. Civil Beat.

Justice department urges vigilance as internet crimes cost Hawaii more than $17 million in 2021. People in Hawaii lost $17.2 million to online crimes last year, with investment scams, romance cons and the illegal use of digital currency accounting for the largest financial swindles, according to the FBI Internet Crime Report. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green Is Racking Up Union Endorsements, Adding To His Momentum. The primary election is still nearly five months away and only a handful of candidates have formally filed to run, but Lt. Gov. Josh Green and state Rep. Sylvia Luke are already emerging as two of the biggest beneficiaries in the biennial union endorsement sweepstakes. Civil Beat.


Land plan pits University of Hawaii against Hawaiian homes agency. Hawaii lawmakers are trying to force the University of Hawaii to give a long-vacant piece of land near Diamond Head to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Star-Advertiser.

City plans to increase enforcement of short-term vacation rentals. The city Department of Planning and Permitting plans to hire short-term vacation rental investigators following persistent complaints about property owners taking advantage of short-term rental regulations in residential zones. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu COVID quarantine sites will transition to affordable housing, city officials say. City officials said the number of rooms needed for isolation-quarantine dropped from 58 in January to less than five by mid-March, and that as of Wednesday, only two individuals remained at Harbor Arms, one of its two facilities. Star-Advertiser.

State and city eye 19 empty Waikiki lots. State Rep. Adrian Tam is leading a drive to get the city to purchase long-vacant plots of Waikiki land owned by Okada Trucking Co. and earmark it for higher use. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Keauhou Bay redevelopment and bungalow resort proposed. The state’s largest private landowner is seeking public input on a plan to reconfigure commercial and cultural attractions at Keauhou Bay and build a 150-unit bungalow-style resort. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Skate park design unveiled: Project would cost about $6M over four phases of construction. After 15 years of unfulfilled plans, a conceptual design for the Hilo Skate Park finally was revealed to the community Thursday night. Tribune-Herald.

Council advances Waikoloa timeshares. A plan to replace nine holes of golf at Waikoloa Beach Resort with 900 timeshare units, a 140-unit workforce housing complex and 25 single-family home lots was advanced Wednesday by the County Council after a dispute between council members over whether asking for a list of community benefits amounts to “pay to play.” West Hawaii Today.

Trial delayed again: Ex-cop in missing drug case fires attorney as jury selection got underway. A former Hawaii Police Department officer slated to stand trial last week on charges stemming from a May 2019 indictment for allegedly stealing cocaine from a police evidence locker in Hilo back in May 2016 received a continuance after firing his court-appointed attorney. West Hawaii Today.

Is Katherine Kealoha A Credible Witness In The Coming Drug Trial Of Her Brother? The criminal trial for the brother of disgraced former Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, Rudolph Puana, a Big Island anesthesiologist accused of running an illicit prescription drug ring, is set to start this week following repeated delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Civil Beat.

HCC students grow crops on Honua Ola land
; 90% of harvest will go to The Food Basket. Big Island agriculture students are taking the opportunity to plant produce on three acres of land through a partnership with Honua Ola Bioenergy in Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.


Hawaiian Electric mulls later shutdown for Kahului plant. Hawaiian Electric is weighing whether to push back the retirement of its fossil fuel-reliant Kahului Power Plant as it works to get spare parts for four engines at another key facility. Maui News.

PARKLINQ introducing ‘smart parking’ at Maui Ocean Center. Hawaiʻi-based company PARKLINQ has developed a high-tech, tiered parking rate system, which the company says is the first of its kind in the world. Maui Now.


While visiting Kaua‘i, Gov. Ige talks infrastructure, COVID.
On this most recent trip, Ige and his team came for a blessing of the Lihu‘e Airport, showcasing the renovations to the lobby and ticketing area, marking yet another point of investment by the state in county infrastructure. Garden Island.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Green makes gubernatorial bid official, Chinatown food mission relocating, Honolulu defense contractors indicted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Josh Green
Lt. Gov. Josh formally announces his bid for Hawaii governor. He joins business executive Vicky Cayetano, Hawaii’s former first lady, who already has announced her candidacy. They are likely to be joined in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary by former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii political donor received almost $6 million in contracts. Milton J. Choy, the wastewater treatment and industrial machinery executive at the center of a federal public corruption probe, has donated $160,150 to state and county lawmakers since 2014 and received nearly $6 million in government contracts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Former Hawaii lawmakers accused of taking bribes scheduled to enter guilty pleas. Former state Rep. Ty J.K. Cullen will be arraigned and enter a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway at 11 a.m. Feb. 15. Retired Senate Majority Leader Jamie Kalani English is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea as part of his arrangement with the justice department before Mollway on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers push to make sports part of school curriculum, how it could change how things are played . A push to elevate athletics within the Hawaii Department of Education system is moving through the state legislature. The purpose of the new bill is to transform existing sports from extracurricular to become part of the school curriculum. KHON2.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 1,195 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 815 new cases on Oahu, 131 on Hawaii Island, 101 on Maui, 108 on Kauai, nine on Lanai and 31 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


River of Life Mission to relocate Chinatown food distribution program, but timeline for move is unclear. River of Life Mission has agreed to move its free-meal program away from its Chinatown location after 35 years of operation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

3 Honolulu execs, Martin Kao, Clifford Chen and Lawrence ‘Kahele’ Lum Kee indicted for alleged illegal campaign contributions. Three Honolulu executives formerly with a Hawaii- based defense contractor were indicted Thursday in Washington, D.C., for allegedly making illegal campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate and a political action committee. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Critics question liquor commission on ‘improper conduct’ that could shut down establishments. The Honolulu Liquor Commission is looking at a major overhaul of its rules regarding liquor licenses. One of the new proposals include one that would give liquor inspectors the power to shut down a business if they see what’s only defined as “improper conduct.” Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Marine Corps Discharged High Levels Of Fecal Bacteria Into Kailua Bay
. It’s not the first time the Marines Corps has released wastewater into Kailua Bay in violation of its permit. Civil Beat.

Police union demands Honolulu Police Department address officer shortage. The state police union is demanding that Honolulu’s short-staffed Police Department do more to fill empty police beats around the island. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

‘Alarming’ Honolulu inflation hit 6.0% in January.
Honolulu’s rising inflation follows a similar trend nationally where U.S. prices jumped 7.5% over the past year for its largest 12-month increase since February 1982, according to a report issued Thursday from the U.S. Department of Labor. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

County to Offer Free Bus Fares. The Hawai‘i County Council on Wednesday approved the second and final reading of Bill 105, which temporarily suspends fares for all fixed bus routes and paratransit services offered by Hele-On until Dec. 31, 2023. Big Island Now.

Council Planning Committee postpones Waikoloa timeshare project.
Supportive testimony by a wide swath of individuals from resort operators to labor unions and tourism promoters to front-line workers who sleep in their cars because of a lack of housing wasn’t enough to win approval Tuesday from a County Council panel on a plan to convert half of a Waikoloa Beach Resort golf course to timeshare units. West Hawaii Today.

Lawmakers advance legislation to relieve traffic congestion in rapidly growing Puna on Big Island. House Bill 1403 would require the state Department of Transportation to work with Hawaiʻi County to survey potential locations for an alternate route to Highway 130. Hawaii Public Radio.


Proposal to increase police chief salary is raising concerns
. At a special meeting Feb. 2, the commission unanimously voted to recommend a pay raise to $205,000 a year for Pelletier, who was sworn in Dec. 17 at a salary of $158,851. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor seeks public-private partnership to boost workforce housing in Waikapū.
Mayor Michael Victorino is asking the Maui County Council to support his proposal to enter into a public-private partnership agreement between the County of Maui and the developers of Waikapū Country Town. Maui Now.

Community invited to town hall on affordable apartments in Lahaina
, Feb. 22. Discussion will include comprehensive information regarding the application, lottery and lease process, and construction updates for Kaiāulu o Kupuohi and Kaiāulu o Kūku‘ia apartment projects developed by Ikaika ʻOhana. Maui Now.


OPA Special Election Voter Service Center opens Feb. 11. The Voter Service Center for the Prosecuting Attorney Special General Election will be open beginning at 8 a.m., Friday in the basement of the Historic County Annex Building in Lihu‘e. Garden Island.

Current, hopeful KIUC directors seek ratepayers’ votes in March election
. Incumbents are touting advancements toward a 100% renewable-energy portfolio, while a rival calls for increased electric-vehicle infrastructure in the run-up to the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors election. Garden Island.

Groups put county, state on notice for Westside ditch draining. Environmental watchdog groups have put the County of Kaua‘i on notice for seemingly violating federal permit requirements when it comes to discharging stormwater containing pollutants into Westside waters. Garden Island.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Green tops in approval rating, Blangiardi and Ige ratings low, Legislature mulls sunscreen ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii beach baby rinse ©2022 All Hawaii News
Hawaii bill banning more sunscreen chemicals advances. The Senate version, SB 3001, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment Committee at 1:30 p.m. today, and the House version, HB 1519, is scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Energy and Environment at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Josh Green’s approval ratings surge in Hawaii governor’s race.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green, the leading candidate so far to become Hawaii’s next governor, has a commanding 65% overall approval rating among Hawaii voters — and an even more impressive 70% approval for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll shows. Star-Advertiser.

Undecided votes critical in tight race for Hawaii lieutenant governor. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii Poll shows the five-way race to become Hawaii’s next lieutenant governor is tight, but a huge chunk of undecided voters means every candidate still has a path to victory. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Poll reveals isle voters’ attitudes toward Gov. David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi just started his second year in office and Gov. David Ige is in his final year, but approval ratings for both are among the worst of the nine island politicians included in the Honolulu Star-­Advertiser Hawaii Poll. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. Secretary of State to stop in Hawaii following visits to Australia, Fiji. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to stop in Hawaii next week after a trip to Australia and Fiji, when he plans to push back on “aggression and coercion” in the Indo-Pacific region, a sign the administration is keeping China high on its agenda even as it finds itself focused on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Bloomberg.

Lawmakers consider banning peer-to-peer car rentals amid overtourism concerns. State Rep. Sean Quinlan was one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill. He doesn’t expect it to pass but said it’s a signal to the industry that discussion over taxation and regulation is needed. Hawaii News Now.

Should Hawaii Gamble On Online Sports Betting? Measures that would regulate online sports betting could generate some tax revenues for the state, but experts worry easy access could fuel gambling addictions. Civil Beat.

House bill influenced by murder of 6-year-old Waimānalo girl moves forward. The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Homelessness passed a bill that would provide more protection for adopted children by allowing for more check-in visits from the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Civil Rights Agency Grapples With Solving Long-Delayed Cases. The commission already was dealing with a backlog when the pandemic hit, leading to budget woes and a hiring freeze. Civil Beat.

Board of Education weighs qualifications for tough superintendent job. Don’t read anything into the fact that it’s been six months and counting that Keith Hayashi has been acting as the interim state superintendent of Hawaii’s public schools. So says the head of the search for the next permanent superintendent. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s blood shortage triggers tax incentive bill for donors. The state Legislature is considering tax breaks for people who give blood because of low donor numbers in recent months. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 916 additional infections. The  new confirmed and probable infection count includes 537 new cases on Oahu, 155 on Hawaii Island, 107 on Maui, 95 on Kauai, one on Molokai, three on Lanai and 18 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Pressure to further ease COVID rules mounts as cases decline, hitting a 46-day low. Earlier this week, the city’s restrictions on large gatherings of 1,000 or more lapsed and the mayor said no new restrictions are planned. Hawaii News Now.

Shut down Red Hill fuel facility, most Hawaii voters say. An overwhelming majority of Hawaii voters say the Navy should permanently shut down its Red Hill fuel tanks, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Commission Calls For Public Input On Next Police Chief. The commission plans to survey public opinion in the ongoing search for Honolulu’s next chief of police. Civil Beat.

Caldwell believes former city officials are innocent. Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell believes his one-time corporation counsel, managing director and chair of the police commission did not break the law while arranging a $250,000 retirement settlement for former police Chief Louis Kealoha that bypassed City Council review. Star-Advertiser.

Bill would establish state park along Kaiwi Coast. A bill to create a state park along East Oahu’s Kaiwi Coast is among a range of measures involving the state Department of Land and Natural Resources under consideration at the state Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

COVID testing contracts examined: County Council to get update Tuesday on testing and spending. TrueCare24 Inc., the company that last month lost more than 400 coronavirus test samples, was the lowest bidder of four vendors selected by the county and the least compliant with bidding requirements, according to an analysis of bid documents and purchase agreements West Hawaii Today received from the county in response to a public records request. West Hawaii Today.

Banyan Drive Redevelopment Bill Proposed. A new House Bill will create the Waiakea Peninsula Redevelopment District and planning committee for the redevelopment of public lands on Banyan Drive. Big Island Video News.

Effort to secure new hospital for Kona renewed. A bill in the state House to provide funding for a site assessment to find a viable location for a new hospital site in North Kona passed its first committee hearing Thursday. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County dropping booster requirement to be considered 'fully vaccinated' beginning Feb. 7. Maui County is relaxing its rule requiring business patrons to show that they’ve received a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated. The revision goes into effect Monday, Feb. 7. KITV4.

Airbnb removes 1,300 unlicensed Maui rentals under new county agreement. Airbnb said it recently removed more than 1,300 vacation rentals without licenses under its agreement with Maui County. The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the county last year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study shows Maui's polystyrene ban had a limited impact on beaches. Of the five beaches studied, only two showed a minor reduction in polystyrene debris after the ban, said Dr. Jennifer Lynch, the co-director of the Hawaiʻi Pacific University Center for Marine Debris Research and one of the scientists who worked on the study. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council mulls report outlining ways to manage tourism on Maui. Regulating peer-to-peer car sharing, setting a cap on tourist accommodations and banning transient vacation rentals in certain districts are among ideas to manage tourism on Maui that were presented this week by a county group. Maui Now.


Kauaʻi sponsors sought for summer food programs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is seeking sponsor organizations on all islands to help provide children in low-income communities with free meals during the summer months. Garden Island.

Nonprofits invited to apply for funding from Kauaʻi United Way. Feb. 18 is the deadline for nonprofit organizations to contact Lori Almarza, acting director of the Kaua‘i United Way, indicating intent to apply for KUW funding. Garden Island.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Teachers and aides sought as school coronavirus cases drop, Pentagon to appeal Red Hill tank closure, Obama spotted in Waikiki, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii teacher and student PC: Governor's Office

Public school COVID-19 cases drop, but teacher absences high. Coronavirus cases among students and teachers in Hawaii public schools appeared to trend downward significantly last week, according to state Department of Education data.  Star-Advertiser.

Josh Green Has An Early Money Lead In 2022 Hawaii Governor’s Race. House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke leads the lieutenant governor’s race when it comes to campaign cash raised so far. Civil Beat.

Hawaii veteran joins governor’s race on Republican ticket. A Hawaii veteran and US Indo-Pacific Command program manager has announced his run for governor on the Republican ticket. Lynn Mariano is pledging to tackle “bipartisan issues in a bipartisan way.” Hawaii News Now.

Obamas dine at Waikiki restaurant during Hawaii visit. Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are in Hawaii and enjoying some local eats. Hawaii News Now.

State Says It Shouldn’t Be Held Liable For Pandemic Harm Including Inmate Deaths. The state Attorney General’s Office wants to block pandemic lawsuits, including claims filed in cases where prisoners died from Covid-19. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers introduce bills to make state more cryptocurrency friendly. Sen. Bennette Misalucha, Sen. Glenn Wakai, and Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco are leading the efforts to get Hawaii state lawmakers to consider the cryptocurrency-related legislation. KITV4.

OHA Trustee For Hawaiʻi Island Stepping Down. OHA Trustee Keola Lindsey has announced that he is vacating his position effective Tuesday, February 1. The OHA Board of Trustees received a letter of resignation from Lindsey which stated that “he is leaving his position to focus on the well-being of his ʻohana.” Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Hopes rise as omicron trends down. Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth expressed optimism Monday about the current downward trend in daily coronavirus case counts and the anticipated return of larger events. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 1,513 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 956 new cases on Oahu, 159 on Hawaii Island, 193 on Maui, 161 on Kauai, five on Molokai, seven on Lanai and 32 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Military to fight state’s order on Red Hill fuel tanks, official says
. The U.S. military plans to appeal the state’s emergency order requiring it to drain its Red Hill fuel tanks, a decision that was met Monday with swift rebuke by members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, the state Department of Health and groups that have long fought for the tanks’ removal, including the Hawaii Sierra Club. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

BWS: Water conservation measures could slow completion of new housing. Water restrictions for Oahu this summer brought on by the ongoing fuel contamination crisis are still possible, and the measures could even impact new housing projects. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

New Police Misconduct Report Shows Record Number Of Officers Disciplined. The Honolulu Police Department suspended or fired 59 officers in 61 different cases last year. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor: Police Were Justified In Shooting Man Near Ala Moana. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm commended the officers who shot 48-year-old Ricky Kaleopaa for their “textbook” response. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Attorneys seek dismissal of charges against former managing director. Attorneys representing former city managing director Roy Amemiya filed a motion Monday to dismiss federal charges that he conspired with two others to defraud the county and federal government in 2017 by arranging a $250,000 retirement settlement for former Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha. Star-Advertiser.

City opens new isolation and quarantine facility in Ewa Beach. The City and County of Honolulu opened a second isolation and quarantine facility in Ewa Beach on Monday to accommodate those who have been infected by COVID-19 and need a space to distance themselves from others. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

2 groups will compete to redevelop land around Aloha Stadium. It will be a head-to-head contest between a pair of development partnerships seeking to turn 73 acres of state land around Aloha Stadium into a community with homes and businesses. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

40k open building permits set to expire as county streamlines permit process. More than 40,000 open building permits, some dating back 40 years, will be declared null and void if permit holders don’t act soon, as the county continues its transition to an online permit system. West Hawaii Today.

Finding an alternative road to Puna: Measure would fund surveys for possible routes.
State Rep. Greggor Ilagan has introduced a bill that, if passed, would order and fund site surveys to identify the most suitable location for an alternate road to lower Puna makai of Highway 130. Tribune-Herald.

DOFAW Seeks Input on Restoration of Honuaʻula State Forest Reserve. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is seeking input on a draft management plan for the Honuaʻula Forest Reserve that will guide management priorities for this area over the next 10 years. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian monk seal transported from Oahu to Kona for care. A new patient is receiving care at the world’s largest marine mammal hospital in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.


Mayor allows West Maui Community Plan ordinance to become law without signature. The mayor has asked the Planning Director to draft proposed amendments to rectify the plan’s current “legal ambiguity” and to allow for additional public input on Kahoma Village as well as revamped plans for Lahaina Town South. Maui Now.

Maui group aims to expand coqui frog eradication efforts. A group fighting invasive species on Maui wants to expand efforts to eradicate coqui frogs near a popular surfing spot before the animals spread. Associated Press. Maui News.


NOAA frees whale once entangled in 2,500 feet of marine debris. A humpback whale that was recently seen tangled in 2,500 feet of cord is now swimming freely off Kauai. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Good Fix to spay and neuter cats in Kaumakani and Anahola. Greater Good Charities’ Good Fix Program is back on Kaua‘i providing spay and neuter cat clinics islandwide. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hawaii braces for COVID surge, new fire chief for Honolulu, police chief for Maui, the Aussies are back, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Dec. 29, 2020
Lt. Gov. Josh Green administers coronavirus vacine Dec. 29, 2020 PC:Lt. Gov. Office

Hawaii COVID-19 cases are on the rise, local health experts urge vaccinations. With the omicron variant already circulating in Hawaii, another COVID-19 surge is expected, health officials warn, just as holiday gatherings get into full swing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Department marks 1-year anniversary of first COVID-19 vaccine shot. The first COVID-19 vaccine in the state was administered to Dr. Lester Morehead at Queen’s Medical Center on this day a year ago, signifying a turning point in the state’s battle against the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

House Panel Wants Answers On Rail Audit Contracts.
As the House Investigative Committee examining two audits by the Hawaii Office of the Auditor nears the end of its work, it is seeking more information on several contracts related to the Honolulu rail project. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Airports Set to Receive Nearly $50 Million to Improve Infrastructure, Safety. US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced the new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Maui Now.

Hawaii Innocence Project Receives $570,000 Grant From DOJ.
The Hawaii Innocence Project at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law has been awarded a substantial grant from the Department of Justice to fund DNA testing. Civil Beat.

Dentists Could Soon Find It Easier To Move To Hawaii Under Proposed Bill. Its sponsor says the state House measure would align Hawaii’s dental licensing law with those of 46 other states. Civil Beat.

Interim fix for USS Arizona Memorial dock pursued as $5.8 million contract for long-term replacement is awarded. The National Park Service is hoping the latest repair to a chronically-failing shoreside dock at the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center will take fewer than the 17 days it took for a fix in September. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines welcomes back first Australian travelers. A nearly full plane flew into Honolulu from Sydney on Wednesday to start the recovery of service from Australia to Hawaii after the route was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii records 5 new coronavirus-related deaths, 282 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 230 new cases on Oahu, five on Hawaii Island, 28 on Maui, 13 on Kauai, two on Molokai and four Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Sheldon ‘Kalani’ Hao selected as new Honolulu Fire Department chief. Sheldon “Kalani” Hao, the Hono­lulu Fire Department’s acting deputy fire chief, has been selected to become the department’s new fire chief. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City Finalizing Deal With Consultant To Help Select The Next Honolulu Police Chief. PSI Services LLC has been awarded a $145,777.50 contract to the relief of police commissioners who believed the process was taking too long. Civil Beat.

Defense bill directs military to offer alternatives to Red Hill. The latest iteration of Congress’ annual defense bill includes a provision that directs the military to conduct an assessment of alternatives to its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, including consideration of locations outside of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Public hearing set for order requiring Navy to drain tanks at Red Hill. A public hearing is set for Monday, in which the Navy is expected to contest the Hawaii Department of Health’s emergency order instructing it to drain the fuel from its 20 underground Red Hill fuel tanks. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit Alleges Inmate Was Killed For ‘Being A Snitch’ In The Miske Case. Suit claims James Borling-Salas gave Honolulu police information about the alleged murder-for-hire of Jonathan Fraser. Civil Beat.

A New Program To Help Homeless People On Oahu Is Off To A Slow Start. The CORE program has hired 15 people since starting operations in mid-October and has had to scale back plans to rely mostly on community health workers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Richards to seek state Senate seat. Kohala Councilman Tim Richards is planning to forego a final term on the County Council to run for the District 4 Senate seat vacated when the state Reapportionment Commission redrew the boundary lines on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

$10M boost for Big Isle airports. Big Island airports will receive $10 million in federal funds for infrastructure improvements as part of a $246 million funding package for the state. Tribune-Herald.


New Maui Police Chief Officially On Board. New Maui Police Chief, John Pelletier was sworn in during a blessing and badge pinning ceremony held this morning at the Wailuku Police Station. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Federal report details fatal 2019 Kauaʻi helicopter crash, unusual weather pattern. The National Transportation Safety Board released an investigation report Wednesday on a fatal Kauaʻi tour helicopter crash that killed seven people in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kaua‘i County Council voice concerns for drug use in public spaces.
The Kaua‘i County Council, with support of county administration, has passed a resolution acknowledging the increase of opioid drugs, including fentanyl, on Kaua‘i, and encouraged heightened enforcement within drug-free zones. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Governor cancels Veterans Day ceremony, Connors acting governor in Ige's, Green's absence, missing girl's adoptive parents charged with her murder, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
2017 Veterans Day parade in Hilo ©2021 All Hawaii News

Governor’s Veterans Day Ceremony has been canceled.
Due to the limiting factors associated with the pandemic, the State Department of Defense in conjunction with the State Office of Veteran's Services has canceled the Governor's Veterans Day Ceremony. KITV4.

Josh Green Raises Money On Mainland For Hawaii Governor’s Race. His absence leaves Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors to fill in as acting governor while Gov. David Ige is in Scotland. Civil Beat.

HTA October COVID-19 Visitor Satisfaction Study: 81% Rate Hawai‘i Trips as Excellent. Nearly all (94%) of the visitors who were polled in this latest study were fully vaccinated, with one in three travelers indicating they had postponed their trip to Hawaiʻi or waited to visit until the vaccination exemption was in place.  Maui Now.

Hawaii Sues State’s Largest Oil Refiner For Alleged Unpaid Taxes. The State of Hawaii has sued the state’s largest oil refiner, alleging the company relied on a flawed interpretation of state tax law to skirt paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes annually for an unknown number of years. The whistleblower suit against Par Hawaii could have repercussions for other companies operating in Hawaii’s foreign trade zones. Civil Beat.

Questionable Spending And Lax Oversight By Wespac Of Secretive Fisheries Fund
. Federal investigators questioned one out of every $6 the regional fishery council spent over the past decade and documented inappropriate procurement practices. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 6 new coronavirus-related deaths, 142 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 69 new cases on Oahu, 28 on Hawaii Island, 13 on Maui, 17 on Kauai one on Lanai, and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Short-term rental bill advances despite confusion.
The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would alter the rules for short-term rentals, notably increasing the minimum stay to six months from 30 days for short-term rentals without a special permit. Star-Advertiser.

Adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua arrested for murder in connection with her disappearance. Honolulu police say that the adoptive parents of 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, also known as Ariel Sellers, killed her sometime around mid-August and reported her missing a month later. Both parents were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of second-­degree murder and charged as part of an FBI and Honolulu police investigation into the child’s disappearance. Both are being held without bail. Authorities have not recovered her body, but continue to search the Kalua’s Waimanalo property. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Department of Education finds no bias in how girl’s arrest was handled. The state Department of Education has not found any evidence of bias or wrongdoing by its employees after they called police, who then arrested a 10-year-old Black girl on a campus for allegedly drawing a picture featuring a gun and death threats above the names of students. Star-Advertiser.

Stream contaminated by runoff containing high amounts of drinking alcohol. The state Health Department is now investigating the spill from a storm pipe next the the H-2 Freeway. The state Department of Transportation, which owns the pipe, told the DOH that the spill came from Paradise Beverages, which owns a warehouse across the freeway from the spill site. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

EPA fines Hawaii County for failure to complete wastewater treatment facility design by deadline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it has fined the County of Hawaii $28,500 for its failure to meet a deadline to complete the design of the Pahala Wastewater Treatment Facility. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hawaiʻi Island Coastal Vulnerability Takes Global Stage.
Hawaiʻi island was recently highlighted on the global stage at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.


MFD seeks new tanker to meet Upcountry demand. The Maui Fire Department is proposing a new fire tanker in Kula to assist with the growing number of calls Upcountry, help with response time and water resources and combat the increase in wildfires in the Kahikinui and Kaupo areas. Maui News.

Acting Gov. Connors Declares Disaster Emergency Relief Period for Maui Drought.
Acting Gov. Clare Connors has signed a proclamation that provides relief to Maui County, which has suffered under drought conditions since March 2019. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Former Kauai Councilman Pleads Guilty To Leading Meth Ring. Former Kauai County Councilman Arthur Brun pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges that he led a methamphetamine ring supplied by the United Samoan Organization, a gang that operates in and out of the Hawaii prison system. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i allows bars, gyms to choose new policies. Effective Friday, high-risk businesses — including bars, restaurants and gyms — can institute their own COVID-19 vaccination or testing policy for entry to reopen to 100% indoor capacity, according to a new county policy. Garden Island.

Kauai Homeowners Worry About ‘Black Slime’ Health Risks. Residents say they feel trapped in new homes plagued by a mysterious water problem that they fear could be making them sick. Civil Beat.