Showing posts with label Mark Zuckerberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Zuckerberg. Show all posts

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Counties grapple with concealed carry laws, union boss vote-rigging trial begins, bivalent COVID boosters unpopular as more die from virus, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Voting Is Solidly Underway In Hawaii As General Election Approaches. With a week to go before general election voting comes to an end in Hawaii, state and county elections officials report about 195,000 ballots have been returned. That’s out of more than 731,000 ballots distributed so far, a return rate of about 27%.  Civil Beat.

A More Civil Legislature? Hawaii Lawmakers May Soon Be Asked To Bolster Citizen Rights. The Legislature’s special commission aimed at fighting corruption is continuing to fine tune proposals for the upcoming session. Civil Beat.

Witness details alleged vote rigging in Ahakuelo trial. Testimony in the trial for former union boss Brian Ahakuelo highlights more details in the alleged vote rigging to raise union dues. Ahakuelo was the former business manager at IBEW Local 1260. KHON2.

Hawaiʻi Sells $800 Million Of General Obligation Bonds. Before the sale, the State says Moody’s and S&P affirmed the State’s bond ratings of Aa2 and AA+, respectively, with stable outlooks. Big Island Video News.

Matson Inc. to buy 3 vessels totaling $1 billion; profit falls. Matson Inc. demonstrated its commitment to its long-term decarbonization strategy by announcing Wednesday it had signed contracts totaling $1 billion with Philly Shipyard Inc. to build three new liquefied natural gas-powered Aloha Class containerships. Star-Advertiser.

Bivalent booster uptake low as holidays near. A total of 167,434 residents have received the new bivalent booster, representing 11.8% of the state’s total population and about 15% of the state’s eligible population — age 5 and older. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 1,017 new COVID-19 cases, 7 more deaths. The state’s average positivity rate also declined to 5.5% compared with 6.2% in the previous week. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Oahu

Honolulu lags other counties on concealed-carry gun licenses.
The Kauai Police Department will begin issuing concealed carry weapons licenses to gun owners this week, leaving Honolulu as the last county to finalize rules and process the 575 pending applications to carry a gun in public. Star-Advertiser.

City Council vacancies inspire hot races, but the transition could bring business to a halt. The Honolulu City Council said an early aloha to two members Wednesday ― and there is no shortage of candidates fighting to replace them and fill a third open seat. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council unanimously passes measure to protect historic cultural sites. In an effort to better protect historic cultural sites, the Honolulu City Council voted Wednesday to activate the Historic Preservation Commission. Star-Advertiser.

Another HPD officer involved in chase, crash asks for taxpayer-funded legal defense. Officer Joshua Nahulu is part of three civil lawsuits that stem from the Sept. 12, 2021 incident in which he and two other officers, Jake Bartolome and Erik Smith, are accused of improperly chasing a white sedan before the driver crashed in Makaha. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit Raises Stakes In Pollution Dispute Between Boat Owners and Kakaako Developer. A group of commercial boat operators located at Kewalo Basin Harbor has sued the Howard Hughes Corp. for allegedly violating state and federal laws by discharging construction debris laden with minute metal particles from the developer’s massive condo construction sites in Kakaako. Civil Beat.

Hanabusa: Rail’s Limited Passenger Service Start Date Could Be Pushed To Summer.
The opening date for limited passenger service on the Honolulu rail has steadily been pushed back in recent years. On Wednesday, the chair of the volunteer board overseeing that transit project said it might be pushed back several months further. Civil Beat.

Police arrest at least 10 ‘habitual’ offenders in Waikiki as part of crackdown on crime. Since September, when the Safe and Sound Waikiki program was launched, police have arrested 10 people near Kuhio Beach ― mostly on drug charges. Court records show those 10 people have at least 54 prior felony and misdemeanor convictions combined. Some of the offenses date back to the late 1980s. Hawaii News Now.

Passport services will be available at Kapolei Satellite City Hall. The Kapolei Satellite City Hall will begin accepting U.S. passport applications on Dec. 5. The expansion comes after Ala Moana Satellite City Hall began offering the services in August. Hawaii Public Radio.

Ahead of rainy season, large Oahu encampment in flood zone draws concern. With forecasters predicting a wetter-than-normal winter, Waipahu residents are raising concerns about an encampment in their community that’s near a canal. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki’s largest resort Hilton Hawaiian Village to get bigger. Hilton Hawaiian Village is in the early stages of the permitting process for a new 36-floor Ala Moana Boulevard Tower that will add approximately 515 rooms to what is already Waikiki’s largest resort property and has the most rooms of any Hilton in the world. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

After much debate, gun bill advances. After hours of considering, approving and rejecting more than half a dozen amendments, the County Council voted Wednesday in favor of a bill prohibiting concealed firearms in certain places. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Council kills property tax relief. A measure that would have provided property tax relief for properties not currently under assessment caps was soundly defeated Wednesday by a County Council majority. West Hawaii Today.

Man cited after his dog is seen harassing Hawaiian monk seal. State officials say a 52-year-old man has been cited by multiple agencies after his dog was seen harassing an endangered Hawaiian monk seal last month at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Kauai Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Radiologic at a standstill: ‘Technical difficulties’ prompt company to suspend key services. Hawaii Radiologic Associates has been experiencing what it refers to as “technical difficulties” that have caused temporary disruptions to its computer systems, phone lines and website. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hawaii Care Choices shutting down in-patient care facility. After a decade of service, Pohai Malama Care Center, a 12-bed inpatient hospice facility owned and operated by Hawaii Care Choices, will cease operations starting Nov. 18. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Massive Effort To Manage Hawaii’s Nearshore Waters Just Launched On Maui. The process is beginning six years after Gov. David Ige first announced the initiative to manage 30% of the state’s nearshore waters by 2030. Civil Beat.

Iconic Kula Lodge sold to 5 Palms owner, Simon Vojdani. The iconic Kula Lodge & Restaurant and Kula Marketplace are now under new ownership and management by Simon Vojdani. Vojdani is the owner of 5 Palms Restaurant, which was previously situated on Keawakapu Beach in South Maui for 27 years. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County Council lays groundwork for electric vehicle infrastructure.
In a 5-2 vote Wednesday, the council agreed to pass Bill No. 2877, which requires that new parking lots with more than 100 spaces install EV charging systems in 5 percent of their stalls. Garden Island.

Kauai construction company dropping lawsuit against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's company.  A Kauai construction company is dropping its lawsuit against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company for not receiving payment of more than $130,000 for work it had completed on the billionaire tech titan’s North Shore Kauai property. KITV4.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Hawaii economy could hit setback, military families sue over Red Hill tainted water, construction company sues Zuckerberg over nonpayment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki trolley @2022 All Hawaii News
Setback forecast for Hawaii’s economic recovery. High inflation, and rising interest rates intended to curb inflation, will likely sap some local economic growth this year and next year to prolong Hawaii’s rebound from a downturn triggered by COVID-­ 19 two years ago, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

New law expected to bring $250 million to Hawaii airports. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration announced Hawaii’s first-year award Wednesday from the Airport Infrastructure Grant program, one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Star-Advertiser.

A New Hawaii Abortion Guide Seeks To Address Gaps In Care. Advocates hope the guide will help clear up confusion over access to abortions in the islands — where it remains legal — after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

FDA OKs use of bivalent vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday granted emergency use authorization for the first bivalent vaccines to protect against the original strain of COVID-19 and the omicron subvariants. Doses could be shipped to Hawaii County within the next few days. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Hawaii Health Department reports 1,777 new COVID-19 infections, 12 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, continued falling, to 7.3% compared with 8.6% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Military families sue federal government over Red Hill fuel leak. Military families who say they were sickened by last year’s fuel contamination of the Navy’s drinking water system around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam are suing the federal government, seeking compensation for physical and mental suffering, medical expenses, lost income and other costs associated with the Red Hill disaster. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Navy Wastewater Bypasses Portion of Pearl Harbor Filtration System
. About 300,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater were released into the sea from the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers renew push for regulations after helicopter emergency landing at Aloha Stadium
. A helicopter made an emergency landing at the Aloha Stadium parking lot on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

This Hemp Dealer Is Fighting The State Over ‘Fundamental Fairness’. While the dispute between Pinky’s Hempire and the state might seem like just another struggle between a small business and government regulators, the matter involves bigger questions, including the extent to which government officials can make new laws with little public notice, then use the laws to shut down unwitting businesses. Civil Beat.

Ex-HPD officer files suit after being ousted for ‘toxic’ extramarital affair with coworker. A former Honolulu police officer alleges he was ousted from the HPD after he had a “consensual,” extramarital relationship with a female officer that went toxic. But Honolulu Police Department disciplinary reports say that the woman was a subordinate and that the officer — Justin Castro — forced her to continue their relationship. Hawaii News Now.

Chief’s son mistakenly arrested, attorney argues. The son of Honolulu police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan was mistakenly arrested for failing to appear at a court date he knew nothing about, his attorney argued in a motion to recall the bench warrant filed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Department finalizing rules for issuing gun-carrying permits. Nearly 400 people have applied to carry a gun in public in Honolulu since the U.S. Supreme Court left it to the states to decide the rules, and police are close to finalizing a process for issuing permits, officers told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State dishes out millions to manage mongoose problem at Windward O'ahu marsh. Spanning 830 acres in Windward O'ahu and home to several species of endangered native birds, Kawainui Marsh is the largest wetland across Hawai'i. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Customers Heed Request to Limit Use of Electricity, Preventing Need For Rolling Outages. So far, so good. That’s the word from Hawaiian Electric as it continues to ask Big Island electricity customers to reduce their electricity use, especially in the early evening hours. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s most understaffed hospital in dire need of more beds too. Officials at Hilo Medical Center say the facility is in dire need of more beds and frontline caregivers as the number of people in the community has outgrown the hospital. According to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hilo Medical Center is the most short-handed hospital in the state. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island police identify 12-year-old fatally shot at Boy Scout camp. Hawaii Island police this afternoon identified the 12-year-old boy involved in Sunday’s Boy Scout camp shooting fatality as Manuel “Manny” Carvalho. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Investor website for potential luxury development in Opihihale sparks community concerns. Preliminary work has begun on a 324-acre luxury resort development in Opihihale, South Kona, just north of Miloliʻi. Jeff Darrow, deputy planning director for Hawaiʻi County, says the department has not received any permit applications for the project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Arce appears on track for director of agriculture spot. Saying they were impressed with Molokai homesteader Rogerene “Kali” Arce, a Maui County Council committee on Tuesday unanimously recommended that she fill the first-ever county Department of Agriculture director position. Maui News.

Maui Council committee likely to discuss new high school’s highway crossing dilemma. At its meeting Sept. 1, the Maui County Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee likely will discuss the ongoing dilemma about how pedestrians and bicyclists will safely cross four-lane Piʻilani Highway to the new Kūlanihākoʻi High School in Kīhei. Maui Now.

Widespread Power Outage Left Thousands Of Trout Dead At This Maui Farm. The outage struck 94% of the company’s customers on Maui, leaving thousands of families and businesses without electricity for most of the morning. Civil Beat.

MEO steps up to help Molokaʻi students amid public school bus driver shortage. Maui Economic Opportunity on Moloka‘i has stepped in to offer transportation services to youths who could not be accommodated by the public school bus service. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kauai construction company sues Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg's company over nonpayment. A Kauai construction company is suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company for not receiving a payment of more than $130,000 for work it has completed on the billionaire tech titan’s North Shore Kauai property. KITV4.

The Kaua‘i Marathon is here! With online registration ending Aug. 31 at 12:59 p.m., Robin Jumper, the Kaua‘i Marathon coordinator, expects a “historic” crowd with more than 2,200 runners registered for the event that starts at 6 a.m., Sunday at the entrance to the Po‘ipu Shopping Village. Garden Island.

SBA Loans Available to Offset Economic Losses From Drought. Small businesses in Kaua‘i County that have lost revenue because of drought can get some help from the federal government. Kauai Now.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Natatorium renovation mulled, wrongful death lawsuit filed by Zuckerberg employee's family, $500M contract for Honolulu rail utility work, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

City preparing design documents to renovate storied Waikiki Natatorium. Will the iconic Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium ever reopen to the public? After closing down due to water quality and safety issues 43 years ago, the storied landmark now sits dilapidated with crumbling concrete and chipped paint. KITV4.

Two deputy superintendents added to lead Hawaii public school strategy and operations. The state Board of Education today approved the creation and appointments for two new deputy superintendent positions, despite concerns raised by Hawaii’s teachers union and others about worsening bureaucracy at the top of the state’s public school system. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii board receives first draft of strategic plan for 2023-2029. A first-draft outline of a new strategic plan for the University of Hawaii system calls for providing education to a bigger chunk of the islands’ population, eliminating the state’s shortages of teachers and other high- demand workers, and improving equity for Native Hawaiian students and employees among its numerous goals. Star-Advertiser.

Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct discusses legislative term limits. At a Wednesday meeting, the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct heard from several state lawmakers and the public on the legislative process in its mission to make recommendations on topics from lobbying to campaign finance laws. Hawaii Public Radio.

State water commission considers ability to act during emergency situations. Hawaiʻi has faced drought conditions and potential water shortages this summer. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Commission on Water Resource Management has been monitoring rainfall across the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Condo Fees Are Among Nation’s Highest. And They’re Squeezing The Middle Class. For many middle class home owners, maintenance fees can be almost as high as a mortgage. Civil Beat.

Oahu

New $500 Million Contract May Finally Solve Honolulu Rail’s Utility Woes. Rail officials tried to get this work done under a prior contract. They say this new deal will finally solve one of the project’s biggest obstacles. Honolulu rail officials this week awarded a nearly half-billion dollar contract that they hope will finally overcome one of the project’s biggest hurdles: relocating the maze of utility lines that run above and below Dillingham Boulevard. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Retirement ceremony foreshadows end of coal power era on Oahu. Gov. David Ige, several state lawmakers and city representatives participated in a retirement ceremony outside the AES Corp. coal-fired plant, which has been Oahu’s largest single generator of electricity for 30 years. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

More seats approved for University of Hawaii field. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved a $30 million plan that includes expanding the seating capacity of the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex to nearly 17,000 in time for the start of the 2023 football season. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

NOAA plans to relocate monk seal pup Koalani after weaning. Federal wildlife officials this afternoon announced a decision to relocate Hawaiian monk seal pup Koalani from Kaimana Beach in Waikiki to a more remote Oahu shoreline after he has weaned. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

A little tax relief for kupuna. Property taxes should take a slightly smaller bite from older property owners and those with lower-valued homes starting this time next year, thanks to a bill unanimously passed Wednesday by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Foes blast PGV plan. A public meeting about a plan to increase power production at Puna Geothermal Venture attracted nearly universal criticism from attendees Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Hele-On awarded funds for zero-emissions fleet, capital improvements
. The county will procure six fuel cell electric buses and support hydrogen charging infrastructure through the Low or No Emissions grant program. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui Seabirds Still Face Danger From Bright Lights. The case against the Grand Wailea resort is headed for trial in April unless a settlement emerges. Civil Beat.

Crucial tasks ahead for new Department of Agriculture. County hammers out duties that include promoting local food, curbing theft, developing workforce. Maui News.

Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization taking applications for executive director. The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is now accepting applications to fill the role of executive director as Lauren Armstrong, who’s headed the organization since 2016, moves on to another job. Maui News.

Kūlanihākoʻi High School is approved as new Kīhei campus name. Kūlanihākoʻi High School is now the official name of the campus currently under construction in Kīhei, Maui, following today’s approval by the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education. Maui Now.

Maui to procure 11 new buses thanks to competitive federal grant. The County of Maui will procure four battery electric buses, as well as three commuter and four microtransit-type buses, and prepare the infrastructure needed to transition its fleet to electric buses by the year 2035. Maui Now.

Kauai

Councilors hope bill incentivizes mainland investors to rent long-term. The Kaua‘i County Council passed a bill Wednesday that introducers view as a step toward equity and balance within the Kaua‘i property tax system. Garden Island.

Zuckerberg company implicated in wrongful death lawsuit. Rodney Medeiros was working a 12-hour shift as a security guard at the Kaua‘i ranch owned by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan when he died of a heart attack three years ago. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

State Tourism Officials Visit Kauai To Pitch Progress: ‘We’re Not Your Grandfather’s HTA’. Tourism, historically subject to little restraint, faces growing controls. But stressed-out residents say it’s not enough. Civil Beat.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Hawaii Supreme Court rejects redistricting challenge, candidate filing begins for legislative seats, $300M proposed for low-income housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Supreme Court ©2022 All Hawaii News

Candidate filing opens after court rejects challenge to redistricting. Candidate filing for congressional and state House of Representatives and Senate seats is now open, after the Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a legal challenge to the new map for state legislative districts. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Maui Now.

Record funding proposed for Hawaii low-income rental housing. Members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee have proposed giving $300 million to a state agency that helps developers produce affordable homes. Star-Advertiser.

Budget bill allocates $1.7M to mitigate rapid ohia death. Among proposed appropriations outlined in a state House budget bill is nearly $2 million to help combat rapid ohia death throughout Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Two years of persistent catalytic converter thefts prompt legislative bills.
Bills before state legislators aimed at cracking down on catalytic converter thefts would require anyone selling one to provide a receipt as proof of ownership. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Regents seek public’s input on University of Hawaii’s future.
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents at a special meeting Friday will weigh how the university should grow in its various roles: Indigenous-serving institution, provider of online education, supplier of the state’s workforce, and more. Star-Advertiser.

State To Pay $250,000 To Cover Lawyers’ Fees In Lawsuit Over Covid-19 In Hawaii Prisons. A federal judge ruled the corrections system failed to follow its own protocols for coping with the pandemic, which has now been blamed for 10 inmate deaths. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi National Guard concludes COVID-19 support mission.
The Hawai‘i National Guard’s Joint Task Force has transitioned its remaining COVID-19 responsibilities such as vaccinations, testing, COVID-19 mapping, and unemployment office temperature screenings back to the state as of March 15, 2022. Maui Now.

Health risks, ‘mask shaming’ feared when Hawaii public schools drop indoor mask requirement. Now that Gov. David Ige has declared the sunset of the general statewide indoor mask mandate at 11:59 p.m. March 25, how and when the public schools will follow suit is a topic of vigorous discussion in parts of social media and some advocacy and parent groups. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Community Health Centers To Split $23 Million In Federal Funding.
The newest round of funding follows over $40 million in federal dollars distributed to Hawaii’s 14 health centers during the pandemic. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i reports 1,092 Covid cases, 14 new deaths over the last week.
In its weekly update, the state Department of Health reported that there were 608 coronavirus cases on O‘ahu, 107 on the Big Island, 160 on Kaua‘i, 122 on Maui, one on Lāna‘i, three on Moloka‘i, and 91 diagnosed out of state. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Honolulu Prosecutor Opens Independent Probe Into Police Involvement In Makaha Crash. The three officers accused of causing the crash are facing felony charges, the interim HPD chief said. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Plan to stop rail construction at South Street puts several Kakaako properties in limbo. The rail system paid about $12 million for properties it condemned near Kona and Pensacola streets ― land which they now may not need. Hawaii News Now.

Head of Honolulu transportation services on ending rail short of Ala Moana. City Transportation Services Director and HART Board Member Roger Morton says they’ve tested and modeled the plan, which calls for buses to continue service to major destinations in the area. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bill regulating Oahu commercial activity passes
. The Honolulu City Council approved a proposal to regulate commercial activities at beach parks on the east side of Oahu on Wednesday, March 16. Bill 38 will go to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi for signature. KHON2.

Lawmakers call for more clarity on Navy’s timeline for emptying Red Hill tanks. Some lawmakers are expressing concern that the Navy won’t begin draining fuel from the Red Hill tanks before possible mandatory water restrictions this summer. Hawaii News Now.

City halfway to green goal of planting trees. The City and County of Honolulu is half way toward its ambitious goal of planting 100,000 more trees. Four years ago, the city embarked on a plan to plant those trees by 2025. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

South Kona town could be renamed.
The town name Captain Cook could be no more under a resolution being considered by state lawmakers. House Concurrent Resolution 27 requests the U.S. Census Bureau re-designate the Census-designated place known as Captain Cook on Hawaii Island as Ka‘awaloa. It further requests the County of Hawaii remove all references to Captain Cook as a place name. West Hawaii Today.

Kanuha receives Press Club’s ‘Torch of Light’ award; San Buenaventura, others, get ‘Lava Tube’ dishonor. The Big Island Press Club awards its annual meritorious Torch of Light Award to state Sen. Dru Mamo Kanuha, a Democrat representing Kona and Ka‘u, and the Lava Tube dishonor award to a group of 10 state senators, including Sen. Joy San Buenaventura, a Democrat representing Puna and Ka‘u. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Victorino Outlines Priorities of Safety, Economy, Housing, Green Infrastructure in State of the County Address. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino delivered his State of the County address in hybrid fashion Wednesday evening from the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. His address included a mix of video and live remarks. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Court upholds approval of Paeahu Solar agreement. Finding that the state Public Utilities Commission properly evaluated a Maui community group’s allegations of harm, the state Supreme Court has upheld the commission’s approval of a power purchase agreement between Maui Electric Co. and Paeahu Solar. Maui News.

Mexican Consulate returns to MEO in Wailuku to process documents. After two years of postponement due to the pandemic, the Mexican Consulate will return to Maui Economic Opportunity to process documents, such as passports and birth certificates, by appointment from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 26 and 27 in Wailuku. Maui Now.

The Deer Population Is Devastating Maui. Hunters Want To Help. For decades, axis deer have threatened everything from ranching to watersheds. Hunters can limit the destruction while feeding their families but accessing the land has proven difficult. Civil Beat.

Kauai

$10M Chan, Zuckerberg donation for Kaua‘i medical program. Using a $10 million commitment gift from Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine will fund a new Kaua‘i Medical Training Track. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hawaii Legislature plans $18 minimum wage, $600M to clear Hawaiian Homes backlog as 2022 session begins, Kahele criticizes state coronavirus response, issues his own 10-point plan, state short long-term care beds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy house republivans
Hawaii House 2022 opening day PC:House GOP

Hawaii House leaders vow to clear Hawaiian Home Lands backlog, raise minimum wage and decommission Red Hill. Leaders in the state House of Representatives set a high bar Wednesday on the Opening Day of the new legislative session by proposing $600 million to help clear the backlog of Native Hawaiians waiting to get into livable homes, raising Hawaii’s $10.10 an hour minimum wage to $18 and demanding the Department of Defense remove its fuel and tanks at Red Hill and decommission the system. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Senate sets agenda in semi-virtual session. During the Opening Day floor session, Senate President Ron Kouchi reiterated and elaborated on previously stated legislative priorities for members to address this year, including ways to improve affordable housing, education, local food production, mental health care as well as alleviate homelessness and address the minimum wage. Star-Advertiser.

Opening remark
s from the state Senate and House for the 2022 legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Tourism Officials Are Seeking ‘Mindful, Respectful And High-Value Travelers’. The state tourism authority is asking the Legislature for funding to rebrand Hawaii and attract visitors who might volunteer to plant trees, clean beaches and care for taro patches. Civil Beat.

Mark Zuckerberg donates $50M to University of Hawaii to study impact of climate change on ocean. The University of Hawaii today announced a $50 million gift over seven years from billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, for research about the impact of climate change on the ocean. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Substitute Teachers Are In High Demand But Short Supply In Hawaii. As of Jan. 11, the Department of Education system had 3,922 substitutes, down from 4,738 in the 2019-20 school year. Civil Beat.

Staffing shortages leave scores of Hawaii hospital patients ‘waitlisted’ for long-term care beds. Health officials say there are approximately 150 “waitlisted” patients in hospitals across the state. That means the person needs to be in a nursing home or some type of skilled nursing facility but that there isn’t an available bed. Hawaii News Now.

In rare rebuke of state’s COVID response, Kahele offers 10-point plan to rein in surge. In a video and news release timed for the Legislature’s opening Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele issued a 10-point plan that he said will curb the ongoing COVID surge by encouraging more people to get boosted and by improving safety in the schools and workplace. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 3,929 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 184,767. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 3,026 new cases on Oahu, 240 on Hawaii Island, 397 on Maui, 198 on Kauai, 20 on Molokai, 17 on Lanai and 31 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi may add booster to Safe Access O‘ahu plan. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi stopped short of announcing any policy changes Wednesday during a press conference with Hawaii’s hospital leaders, but implored residents to get tested and boosted amid the recent COVID-19 surge in omicron cases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Personal injury firms prepare to sue Navy for water contamination. Former Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster has paired up with a mainland firm to seek compensation for Navy water users, marking the latest legal action taken in response to the Navy’s Red Hill water contamination saga. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

New HPD Website Streamlines Gun Registration on Oahu. Second amendment advocates will no longer have to make multiple trips to register a gun with the Honolulu Police Department. KITV4.

Cyberattacks’ impact lingers at Hawaii businesses. A month after cybercriminals shut down a third-party, cloud-based timekeeping system used by employees of The Queen’s Health Systems, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, city Emergency Medical Services workers and thousands of businesses and organizations nationwide, some supervisors continue to use manual record-keeping to track work hours and leave time. Star-Advertiser.

The state is partnering with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to provide $50 million to help homeowners. The Oahu housing assistance fund will offer up to $30,000 per eligible homeowner to help with mortgage, utilities, taxes and association fees. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Wastewater tops Roth’s legislative priority list. A measure privatizing or creating public-private partnerships to handle wastewater projects is Mayor Mitch Roth’s top priority for the 2022 legislative session that started Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Kupuna relish return of senior activities. Kamana Senior Center has officially welcomed kupuna back to classes after 21 months of inactivity. Tribune-Herald.

Parents plead with Big Island school sports league to lift ban on spectators. Hawaii County parents are pleading with Big Island Interscholastic Federation officials to change its ban on fans at school sports games. The rule went into effect on Jan. 4 due to the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Pandemic still central to lawmakers’ priorities. Legislative session kicks off today with focus on housing, infrastructure, economy, other issues. From improving infrastructure to boosting health care training on Maui as well as addressing the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Maui County’s state legislators will have lots to handle this legislative session. Maui News.

Council aims to get handle on Maui downhill bike industry. Decades-old concerns over Maui downhill bicycling have been resurfacing in recent months, and many hope Maui County Council deliberations on the topic will help pave a new, safer path forward. Maui Now.

Workforce housing lottery for Hale Kaiola in South Maui set for March 4. The lottery will determine which successful applicants will secure one of the new housing units at the project site, which is planned for construction at the corner of Kaiola Place and ʻOhukai Road, a few blocks mauka from Mai Poina ‘Oe Ia’u and Kalepolepo Beach Park. Maui Now.

Submarine, ship, jet and balloon-type object off Maui, part of Naval exercise
. Maui Now began receiving reports from witnesses on Tuesday morning, of a ship with some type of floating object above it, about one mile offshore of Hoʻokipa, Maui. Maui Now.

Kauai

Responders pull 2,000 feet of debris from entangled whale, but some remains. Federal and state responders have removed 2,000 feet of heavy-gauge line from an adult humpback whale first sighted off Brennecke’s Beach last Sunday. Garden Island.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Kahele contracts COVID as Hawaii cases hit new record, Big Island council redistricting completed, Zuckerberg buys Kauai land, reservoir, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
U.S. Rep Kai Kahele ©2021 All Hawaii News

Kahele tests positive for COVID, says he’s experiencing mild symptoms.  Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele has tested positive for COVID-19. Kahele, D-Hawaii, tweeted the diagnosis Sunday morning. Kahele’s infection is considered a breakthrough case as he is fully vaccinated and also received a booster. Hawaii News Now.

White House staffers who visited Hawaii test positive for COVID-19. A group of White House staffers who visited Hawaii last week have tested positive for COVID-19. The staffers were part of Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks’s entourage, who was on Oahu to visit the Red Hill Fuel storage facility last Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Amid skyrocketing COVID case counts, new debate on restrictions emerges. The record number of new COVID cases has prompted some medical experts to call for new restrictions. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Lawmakers Plan To Revive Old Bills For Future Of Food And Farming. As the focus on local food production continues, lawmakers and lobbyists want to make farming and ranching easier in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

A Community Is Trying To Save Hawaiian Burials From Eroding Into The Sea. Climate change is threatening iwi kupuna from mauka to makai. Experts say the tools exist to come up with a solution but it will require political will. Civil Beat.

Seismic hazard study gauges Hawaii’s earthquake vulnerability. The updated Seismic Hazard Model for the State of Hawaii, published Wednesday in the science journal Earthquake Spectra, indicates the entire island chain remains vulnerable to damage from an earthquake. Star-Advertiser.

Research Institute Faces Challenges Bridging Criminal Justice Data Gaps. The Hawaii Criminal Justice Research Institute is still working to combine data from police, jails, courts and other agencies to determine if improvements should be made to the system. Civil Beat.

Some face coverings might not be enough against omicron. COVID infections continue to rise across the state, and new daily case records continue to be reported. KHON2.

Hawaii sets new COVID infection record with Sunday’s count of 2,205 cases. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 1,841 new cases on Oahu, 118 on Hawaii Island, 132 on Maui, 68 on Kauai, 17 on Molokai, one on Lanai and 28 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

COVID clusters reported at 2 Honolulu nightclubs and a Hilton Hawaiian Village event. State health officials are investigating three clusters of COVID cases stemming from large gatherings in Honolulu over the past two weeks. Health officials are looking into events at The District Nightclub and The Republik on both Dec. 10 and 11, and one on Dec. 11 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village involving the Adult Foster Homecare Association of Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Queen’s Medical Center Punchbowl, West Oahu implements No Visitor Policy as COVID cases rise. To prevent in-person contact, officials said those who wish to visit a patient can consider other options like calling or video chatting. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii company could play role in removal of Red Hill fuel amid water contamination. State officials have been discussing the possibility of using facilities maintained by fuel refinery and distribution company Par Hawaii to store some of it. Star-Advertiser.

Navy apologizes after official says Red Hill contamination isn’t a crisis. The Navy is apologizing for downplaying the seriousness of Oahu’s tainted water crisis. Deputy Assistant Navy Secretary James Balocki drew heat for saying the tainted water issue at Red Hill was not a crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Extending lifeguards’ hours needs faster rollout, chief says.
Ocean Safety personnel currently working extended hours are still working a 40-hour week, Titchen said, with an alternate work schedule of four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Map is pau: New County Council boundaries completed by Redistricting Commission. After seemingly endless meetings where tiny population clusters were moved block by tedious block, spirited public input and a dozen drafts later, a final map of County Council districts has been approved that will stand for the next 10 years. West Hawaii Today.

‘A Vision for Punaluʻu’: Black Sand Beach Developer Vows Community-Led Project for Neglected Area. Norman Quon, project director for the Punalu’u, said that the property owner, Eva Liu, is committed to working with the community in shaping the plans to reinvigorate 434 acres around the area known as Black Sand Beach on the southern end of the island. Big Island Now.

HPD updates community on animal control program, services offered. Jan. 1 will mark six months of the Hawaii Police Department’s hands-on management of animal control services on the Big Island — the same date a new law goes into effect requiring dog and cat owners to microchip their animals. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui County closes on $10.5M purchase of 500 Acres in Central Maui. Maui County has closed on a $10.5 million purchase with A&B Properties of approximately 500 acres known as Waiʻale South and Waiʻale North, according to an announcement by Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now.

New workforce homes in Kīhei now taking applications starting at $390,000. Hale Kaiola is Maui’s first neighborhood processed under the 2.97 incentive program and is currently finalizing the permitting process and is set to break ground in January of 2022.  Maui Now.
 
Kauai

Facebook founder buys more Kauai land, including Ka Loko Reservoir. A more than century-old former sugar plantation reservoir on Kauai that unleashed a deadly flood 15 years ago is now part of an enlarged domain of billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Star-Advertiser.

Ho‘oponopono Plastic Program collects to upcycle plastics.
A Kaua‘i-based ocean-conservation group is ready to expand its commercial-plastic-collection initiative, but needs help getting to the next level. Garden Island.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Honolulu rail deficit less than feared, Honolulu advances hotel tax, Hawaii County advances pesticide ban, Bezos gives $2.5M for Maui homeless project, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC:HART
Honolulu rail construction PC:HART

Honolulu rail deficit estimate cut to $1.97B. The projected $3.5 billion deficit for the city’s troubled rail project is far less than feared — $1.97 billion, rail officials said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Electric vehicles are all over Hawaii roads. So why aren’t there more charging stations? In the past year, there was a nearly 32% increase in the number of passenger electric vehicles in Hawaii, according to the state. But there’s a big disconnect when it comes to charging those vehicles up. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Pacific Health ranks second in nation for cost-efficiency. Hawaii Pacific Health ranks second in the country for cost-efficiency among health care systems, according to Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that advocates for making health care more effective and affordable. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 8 new coronavirus-related deaths, 142 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 94 new cases on Oahu, 15 on Hawaii Island, 11 on Maui, 13 on Kauai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

City Council committee OK’s Oahu hotel tax proposal. A measure that would establish a 3% city hotel tax advanced to final reading during a Honolulu City Council Budget Committee meeting Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Vacation Rental Bill Could Starve Windward Businesses That Cater To Tourists. Already suffering from Covid-19’s blow to tourism and the continuing shut-down of travel from Japan, small businesses in Kailua are bracing for the impact of a bill to crack down on illegal short-term rentals. Civil Beat.

Reasons behind Honolulu's building permit backlog. Building permit applications have been piling up on Oahu, adding to project wait time for thousands of residents. The Department of Planning and Permitting has been hit with high turnover and has an overall vacancy rate of 25%. KITV4.

Honolulu Fire Commission Restarts Search For Department Chief.
A new commissioner could deliver a tie-breaking vote sometime in 2022. Civil Beat.

HPD Says It Will Take A Fresh Look At Its Vehicle Pursuit Policy. Interim Chief Rade Vanic told the Honolulu Police Commission that the department will gather data on vehicle pursuits before deciding on any changes. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

State: Aloha Stadium redevelopment will provide nearly $1.5B economic boost. Construction to build a new Aloha Stadium ― which will begin in early 2023 ― is expected to add 12,660 construction jobs and more than $595 million in construction wages alone. Hawaii News Now.

No opioid epidemic talk at Honolulu ex-prosecutor’s brother’s trial. There will be no mention of the “opioid epidemic” at a trial against the pain physician brother of a former Hawaii prosecutor imprisoned in a corruption case that also took down her former police chief husband. Associated Press.

Oahu grand jury indicts adoptive parents in Isabella Kalua murder case. An Oahu grand jury on Wednesday indicted Lehua Kalua, 44, and Isaac “Sonny” Kalua III, 52, on charges of second-­degree murder, abuse and related charges in the death of their adopted daughter, Isabella “Ariel” Kalua. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Herbicide ban advances.
A County Council panel on Wednesday advanced a measure to ban the use of glyphosate-based herbicides at county Parks and Recreation facilities. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly 100 apply for Phase 2 of buyout program for lava-inundated properties. As of the end of last week, 90 people had applied for the second phase of the county’s Voluntary Housing Buyout Program, said Disaster Recovery Officer Douglas Le at a Wednesday meeting of the County Council’s Government Operations, Relations and Economic Development Committee. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Bezos Day One Fund Gifts $2.5 Million to Family Life Center in Kahului
, Maui. Family Life Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization serving the homeless population on the islands of Maui, Molokaʻi and on Kauaʻi, has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day One Families Fund—the largest grant in Family Life Center’s history. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Alakoko “Menehune” Fishpond saved
; Chan, Zuckerberg make $4 million donation. The 102-acre Alakoko “Menehune” Fishpond has successfully been purchased by nonprofits The Trust for Public Land and Malama Hule‘ia for cultural and environmental stewardship in perpetuity. Garden Island.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Hawaii scores highly for coastal protection, Honolulu mulls massive law enforcement, first responder campus, Zuckerberg donates $4.9M to Kauai Habitat for Humanity, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii shoreline ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii gets a ‘B’ for coastal protection in Surfrider Foundation’s national report. The Surfrider Foundation’s 2021 State of the Beach Report gives Hawaii a grade of “B,” moving up from the “C” it received last year and ranking better than 67% of the coastal states surveyed, the national nonprofit environmental group announced last week. Star-Advertiser.

Future USS Daniel Inouye to Pass by Hawaiian Islands on its Way to Homeport on Oʻahu. The future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) is scheduled to arrive at its new homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam on Thursday, Nov. 18, following a two-day voyage around the Hawaiian Islands. Big Island Now.

More French visitors expected in Hawaii. With travel restrictions still in place by the Japanese government, some believe it's the French that could soon provide an economic boost to the Aloha state. KITV4.

Attorney: Lawsuit over alarming spread of COVID in Hawaii prisons prompted change. Civil rights attorneys said a recent settlement of a lawsuit over the spread of COVID in the state’s prison system is starting to pay off. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii libraries seek upgrade in security following coronavirus pandemic crime wave. Hawaii’s 51-branch public library system is looking to beef up security following a rough patch of vandalism and violent confrontations including an attempted kidnapping. Star-Advertiser.

Gary Gill Returns To Politics In Bid For State House.
The former Honolulu City Council chair is seeking to fill the seat held by Sylvia Luke. Civil Beat.

Troubled United Public Workers Union Holds A Pivotal Election. Amid an ongoing federal investigation, members of one of the most influential unions in Hawaii are electing a new state director. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Strike Averted After Workers, Company Reach Agreement. The national health care company Kaiser Permanente concluded contract negotiations with unions representing nearly 50,000 employees nationally, including more than 1,800 employees in Hawaii. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Says 93% Of Those Who Died Of Covid Through September Weren’t Vaccinated. Newly released data on breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths shows they’re especially rare for people younger than 60. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Hawaii records 1 new coronavirus-related death, 81 additional infections. The  new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 42 new cases on Oahu, eight on Hawaii Island, 16 on Maui, six on Kauai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Dream campus envisioned for 19 government agencies on Oahu. The First Responder Technology Campus is being planned to be built on 243 acres of former agriculture land in Mililani. The complex will be an operations and training base. It is envisioned to include office space, classrooms, an auditorium, lodging for visitors and apartments for employees. The project could begin next year and take 15 years to complete. Star-Advertiser.

Why Isn’t Affordable Housing In Kakaako More Affordable? The trendy Honolulu neighborhood is a designated special “community development district.” But critics say it has done little to ease the island’s affordable housing crisis. Civil Beat.

Fewer visitors to Oahu in 2020 did not cause significant drop in electricity, water and sewer consumption. Based on the Oahu numbers, state Chief Economist Eugene Tian extrapolated that if tourism were completely shut down in the state, statewide electricity sales in terms of dollars would decrease by only 14.7%, while water charges would only decrease by 10.7%. Star-Advertiser.

Condominium owners face steep costs to comply with fire safety measures
. A bill under consideration by the Honolulu City Council would extend the deadline for condominiums to install fire sprinklers to 2033 — three years beyond the current deadline established in response to the deadly 2017 Marco Polo fire. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Radio telescopes could be built on Big Island. Three additional radio telescopes could be built on the Big Island as part of a nationwide telescope array. Tribune-Herald.

Stanford Carr slated to build workforce housing at Waikoloa. Developer Stanford Carr has been selected to partner with Waikoloa Land Co. to build the workforce housing component of a residential and timeshare project coming before the Leeward Planning Commission next week. West Hawaii Today.

County approves master plan for Hilo mixed-use development. The development, on 171.5 acres of land between Komohana and Mohouli streets, has been on the drawing board since 2009. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

ACLU sues Maui County over homeless encampment sweep
, claims violation of constitutional rights. Maui officials said concerns regarding health, safety, access, and wildlife in the Kanahā Beach area led to the action. Hawaii Public Radio.

State’s largest solar project gets green light. Kuihelani Solar would cover nearly 450 acres in Central Maui. Noting the reduction in fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and electricity costs, the Maui Planning Commission gave the state’s largest solar photovoltaic project the green light for development in Central Maui. Maui News.

Endangered ‘Akikiki Birds to Travel from Kaua’i to Maui to Join Breeding Program.
The interisland transfer of Halehaha’s remaining ‘akikiki is intended to be a temporary reprieve while biologists work to restore the birds’ forest habitat. Maui Now.

Kauai

DOH raises alarms after at least 36 COVID cases linked to Kauai church. Officials are urging the congregation of King’s Chapel in Nawiliwili to participate in virtual services and to avoid in-person church activities until the cluster is contained. The state said anyone who attended the church’s Halloween “Trunk or Treat” event or youth group activities are encouraged to get tested for COVID. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Kauaʻi to use old irrigation system to store electric power. Kauaʻi’s electric utility plans to use an irrigation system dating to sugar plantation days to help store solar power for use at night. Officials say the project will provide about one-quarter of Kauaʻi’s energy needs and allow the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative to obtain 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2025. Associated Press.

$40 million restoration of a Kauai bridge completed after three years. Drivers going through Kauai’s historic Hanapepe Town will be routed onto the new Hanapepe River Bridge starting around noon Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Chan, Zuckerberg donate $4.85M to Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity. The Chan Zuckerberg Kaua‘i Community Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation have awarded $4.85 million in grants to the Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity to be used toward the construction of affordable housing units in Kaua‘i Habitat’s Waimea Huakai subdivision, Anahola, and the upcoming Kauhale O Waipouli project. Garden Island.

Free Marine Wildlife identification posters available at public libraries. The posters were distributed at four sites around the island were made available for families and individuals, despite the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery remaining closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.