Showing posts with label Mauna Kea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mauna Kea. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Mauna Kea gains listing on Hawaii Register of Historic Places, Obama spotted at Honolulu high school basketball game, June Jones' DUI case dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Portions of Maunakea, including summit, now part of Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places. Maunakea, the Big Island’s tallest volcanic mountain, towering 13,803 feet, now has one more layer of protection with a decision by the State Historic Preservation Review Board to list state public lands from 6,500 feet and above, including the summit, as a traditional cultural property on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places. Big Island Now.

Former President Barack Obama enjoys courtside action at Iolani Classic. The former commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, was spotted watching in the stands at the opening round of the Iolani Classic Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.


Oahu Hospitals Are Bolstering Security With High-Tech Gadgets And Additional Guards. The push to protect health care workers comes in response to an increase in violence at facilities around the county. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Officials Brace For An Onslaught Of Privately Launched Fireworks .
In the run-up to New Year’s Eve, officials are pleading with residents to take caution and not use illegal fireworks. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Court document: HPD brass ignored sex harassment, retaliation complaints against embattled major. Honolulu Police Maj. Stephen Gerona was shielded from complaints filed by rank-and-file officers, even against the recommendations of the city’s Equal Opportunity Office. Hawaii News Now.

New IHS treatment center getting mentally ill, addicted homeless off the street. The  Institute for Human Services’ ‘Imi Ola Piha Homeless Triage Center off of Dillingham Boulevard and Kaaahi Street has gotten 101 homeless people off the street since June 5. Star-Advertiser.

June Jones’ DUI case is dismissed. The University of Hawaii’s winningest football coach won in court Tuesday, beating a June 30 DUI charge, and got his driver’s license back. Star-Advertiser.

Parking controversy grows in Lanikai as residents put rocks on city land to block illegal parkers. Tensions are growing in Lanikai over parking concerns as residents take matters into their own hands by using rocks to block access. Hawaii News Now.

A Feral Feline Sanctuary For Oahu? Land prices and zoning laws make replicating the Lanai Cat Sanctuary a heavy lift for a local nonprofit. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Repairs to former Hilo Memorial could start next year. Renovations to the former Hilo Memorial Hospital should begin next year thanks to a $13 million federal grant. Tribune-Herald.

Electrical Line Relocation Proposed In Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.  The National Park and HELCO is requesting public input on a proposed electrical transmission line relocation within the park.  Big Island Video News.


Council to hold special council meeting Friday on financing disaster-relief efforts. The Maui County Council will hold a special council meeting Friday at 9 a.m. to consider bills and resolutions related to monetary allocations for disaster-relief efforts. Maui Now.

Maui Senator: Lahaina Recovery Requires That ‘The Whole State Chips In’. Angus McKelvey lays out the proposals he’ll bring to the Legislature next session after a wildfire devastated his district. Civil Beat.


Fire chiefs support local nonprofits on Kaua‘i. When the Hawai‘i Fire Chiefs Association met for its 44th annual Training &Business Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa from Nov. 15 through 19, the body set up accommodations where the meeting attendees could contribute to several local nonprofits. Garden Island.

Authorities seek inmate erroneously released from Kaua‘i Correctional Center. State Sheriff’s deputies are actively searching for 44-year-old Jesse Kaliko Rivera who was erroneously released from Kaua‘i Circuit Court Tuesday. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Veterans Day honors those who serve, Green names Rep. Hashimoto for state Senate, Honolulu gay bar alleges death threat from liquor control board, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State House lawmaker transfers to Senate. Gov. Josh Green picked Rep. Troy Hashimoto (D, Wailuku- Waikapu) to fill an empty seat in the Senate following the recent resignation of Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran (D, Wailuku-Kahului-Waihee). Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Electric Has Ample Cash For Now But Few Answers To Key Questions. An earnings call with investors highlighted uncertainties surrounding Hawaii's electric utility and its parent following the Maui wildfires. Civil Beat.

The Power Was Out Before The Fires Started. Then Hawaiian Electric Flipped The Switch
. In congressional testimony, Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Shelee Kimura confirmed what some already suspected — that the utility re-energized its lines just before an early morning fire. Civil Beat.

‘The era of complacency is over’: Wildfire planning agency swamped by requests for help. A Hawaii wildfire management nonprofit says only a few communities in the state have prepared for wildfires and now more than 100 are lining up to get protected. The small organization was practically ignored before Maui’s wildfire disaster. Hawaii News Now.

State working group calls for improvements to food reserves and disaster response. A state working group wants Hawaiʻi to improve its food reserves, support backyard farming and fill in the gaps in supply distribution to bolster its disaster response. Hawaii Public Radio.


Military Members File Lawsuit Over Red Hill Water Contamination. Active service members are challenging a rule that insulates the government from liability for their injuries. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Gay Bar Steps Up Dispute With Liquor Commission. Scarlet Honolulu and Gay Island Guide cited an alleged death threat in requesting a temporary restraining order. The commission's counsel denied the allegation. Civil Beat.

HPD probe launched into handling of officer-involved crash that left motorcyclist injured.  Records reveal a Honolulu police officer arrested for driving under the influence and crashing into a utility pole seven years ago recently slammed his subsidized vehicle into the back of a motorcyclist, seriously injuring the rider. Hawaii News Now.

COVID relief funds mishandled, Honolulu auditor says. Honolulu exposed $387 million in federal COVID-19 relief money it received in 2020 to fraud, waste and abuse as it dispensed business and household relief funding during the pandemic, the Office of the City Auditor says. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea eyed for registers of historic places. At a Thursday meeting of the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority board, Ku‘upua Kiyuna, legal specialist for nonprofit Huliauapa‘a, told the board her organization has filed nominations for a portion of Maunakea, including the mountain’s summit, to be listed as a “traditional cultural property and district” on the National Register of Historic Places and the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. Tribune-Herald.

Bridge Stabilization Near Honoliʻi Beach Park Set To Begin. A bridge along the Honoliʻi Stream will undergo stabilization work next week, and officials warn of some changes to traffic patterns around Honoliʻi Beach Park. Big Island Video News.


Search For Lahaina’s Missing Spurs Creation Of Cold Case Unit. Two members of a task force specializing in forensic analysis will be assigned to the new detail that will reexamine dozens of unsolved cases. Civil Beat.

State to buy former Kihei hotel to house fire evacuees. A state agency received board approval Thursday to buy the former 229-room Maui Sun Hotel as part of a plan to turn the property into apartments for people who lost homes in the Aug. 8 disaster, which destroyed most of Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

Groundbreaking, blessing held for 223-unit Hale O Piʻikea affordable housing in Kīhei. Situated in the southeast portion of the Kīhei Downtown Project, the development aims to address the pressing need for affordable housing. The project will provide 223 affordable rental housing units for individuals, kūpuna, and families whose incomes fall at or below 60% of the area median income. Maui Now.

Upcountry Maui Is Entering The Next Phase Of Fire Recovery.
But Anxiety Persists. Kula residents readily acknowledge their losses are nowhere near the level experienced by Lahaina wildfire survivors but they share many of the same frustrations. Civil Beat.

Worsening water shortage in Upcountry Maui puts Kula Hospital at risk. A dire warning for Upcountry Maui residents -- cut water use by 20% or put Kula Hospital and 80 long term care patients at risk. Hawaii News Now.


Nonprofit details ‘youth mental health crisis’ on Kaua‘i. The head of a community initiative for youths detailed how high schoolers and middle schoolers on the island are “really struggling” with issues, including poor mental health, substance abuse and loneliness, in a presentation to Kaua‘i County Council members this week. Garden Island.

More than 70 volunteers renovate U.S. VETS Barber’s Point.
Home Depot volunteers picked up some gloves and tools at U.S. VETS Barber’s Point to renovate its facilities in honor of Veteran’s Day. KHON2.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Green sets 100% green energy goal, tourists less likely to come back, hanged man tied to Miske crime syndicate investigation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green wants new ideas to expand Hawaii’s future.  Gov. Josh Green on Monday provided the keynote address for a three-day conference on sustainability at Chaminade University and pledged to generate billions of dollars from philanthropy and outside investment to make Hawaii the first state to become fully reliant on clean energy, among other initiatives to make life in Hawaii easier. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii losing appeal for repeat visitors. While overall satisfaction among Hawaii visitors is high, fewer visitors from North America say they’re “very likely” to return in the next five years, according to the results of a state-commissioned survey. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Fleet commander tapped as the Navy’s top officer. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has recommended the Oahu-based commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Adm. Samuel Paparo, to serve as the Navy’s top officer, according to senior Pentagon officials.  Star-Advertiser.


City tries novel approach to crack down on illegal game rooms: Going after landlords
. Neighbors said they hope the threat of losing their properties will force some landowners to be more selective about who they rent to. Hawaii News Now.

Brother of murdered man connected to crime boss case found dead in sinkhole. A bizarre death investigation has a Kapolei woman wondering if her family was victimized again because of their connection to the high-profile federal prosecution of  Michael Miske. Hawaii News Now.

Navy claims success in removing fuel contamination around Red Hill tank farm.  The Navy says it has made dramatic progress cleaning out its contaminated well at Red Hill and is cutting back on the millions of gallons of water being dumped down Halawa Stream. Hawaii News Now.

City to accept first 2,000 new applications for rent, utility relief program. A key COVID-19 relief program for Oahu renters will temporarily reopen for applications on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City reviewing bid to remove Haiku Stairs on Oahu.  Honolulu is evaluating a local contractor’s bid to use helicopters to hoist and remove all of the once-legally accessible steel steps of the Haiku Stairs from a sheer ridgeline high above Kaneohe and the H-3 freeway. Star-Advertiser.

Condo Sales Start This Year for Latest Office-to-Residence Conversion. The transformation of the Davies Pacific Center will create mostly one-bed apartments, while leaving a few floors of offices. Hawaii Business magazine.

Hawaii Island

Questions persist in Maunakea handover.  Authority over Maunakea will begin shifting from the University of Hawaii to a state agency in less than a month, but what that necessarily means is unclear. Tribune-Herald.

Green releases $15 million for Hilo harbor project, road widening.  The Department of Transportation's Harbors Division is working to acquire almost 10 acres of privately owned land near the harbor entrance with the aim of “creating more space in our cargo terminals and alleviating congestion on Kalanianaole Avenue. Tribune-Herald.

Mayor Roth to hold second Hawaiʻi County town hall meeting June 13 in North Kona. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth will hold a town hall Tuesday night at Old Kona Airport Beach Park Pavilion to answer questions and concerns from residents — and to provide updates on county business and projects. Big Island Now.


Mayor signs $1.07 billion budget into law; includes funds for affordable housing.  Mayor Richard Bissen signed into law a $1.07 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget that provides for a decrease in tax rates for owner-occupied homes assessed at $3 million or less, increased funding for affordable housing and $184 million in capital projects and infrastructure for Maui County. Maui Now.

Businesses feel crunch as Hawai‘i Gas talks continue
.  Maui businesses and local residents who rely on gasoline utilities are starting to feel the impacts as Hawai’i Gas Co. workers continue to strike across the state.  Maui News.


Climate Action Forum set for Wednesday, June 14. The Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum will present an update on solid waste management on Wednesday, June 14, at 6 p.m. Garden Island.

Monday, May 22, 2023

'Lone Ranger' Senator Sam Slom dies, Legislature criticized for spending binge, Mauna Kea permafrost diminishing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Former longtime Hawaii lawmaker Sam Slom dies at age 81. Former Republican state Sen. Sam Slom, 81, who was sometimes the only GOP member in the state Senate during his 20-year tenure, died in an Oahu hospital Sunday at noon following an illness, according to fellow Republican Rep. Gene Ward. Star-Advertiser.

Legislature criticized for ‘wild spending binge’. Hawaii lawmakers took special liberty this year to appropriate local taxpayer revenue far in excess of what the state Constitution and a related statute hold as typically advisable. Star-Advertiser.

Civil Beat Is Seeking Public Records From The FBI In Lawmaker Bribery Cases. The U.S. Justice Department is refusing to release case files on privacy grounds. Honolulu Civil Beat has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the federal agency’s refusal to release records involving two Hawaii lawmakers who are in prison for accepting bribes. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Local Film Industry Has Long Taken A Back Seat To Hollywood. New Money Might Help. Attempts to change Hawaii's film incentives sparked a feud between Senate leaders and the manager of the Hawaii film office. Civil Beat.

Funding allows Hawaii Tourism Authority to cover procurements. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is slated to make three major awards today, covering procurement to manage the brands and market Hawaii to the United States and Canada, and to offer support services for destination stewardship. Star-Advertiser.

Board of Education OKs next phase of department's plan to help students. The state Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved a plan on how the department will carry out the vision of 258 public schools for the next six years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Army leaders stress alliances, logistics at Waikiki conference. As Army leaders and other military officials gathered in Honolulu last week for the Association of the U.S. Army’s Land Forces of the Pacific symposium at the Sheraton Waikiki, mobility and logistics in the vast Pacific region took center stage in many conversations. The annual conference, which returned in-person last year, attracted 14 chiefs of Army from around the world. Star-Advertiser.

Health risks from COVID are not over, Hawaii doctor says. With the end of the federal public health emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, there have been major changes to funding for tools such as testing, along with an end in case reporting requirements — and a slide in vaccinations and masking. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians Are Overrepresented In Prisons. Cultural Education Could Help. Windward Community College is one of the only higher education institutions in Hawaii offering culturally focused classes in prison.  Civil Beat.

Governor traveling to Seattle for meetings with officials working to solve homelessness. While there, Green will meet with government officials and others working to solve homelessness, housing and health care issues in Washington state.  Kauai Now.


Honolulu’s Handi-Van shortage worsens.
Honolulu’s transportation department has had to cut back its order of new TheHandi-Vans, desperately needed to shuttle residents with disabilities to medical appointments, grocery stores and other destinations, after agreeing to pay the local dealer substantially more than its bid price for each vehicle. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu crime numbers drop in 2022, HPD says.  Honolulu Police Department statistics for 2022 show declines in seven of the eight major violent and property offense categories. The only category to show an increase was murder, which rose to 25 last year compared to 21 in 2021.  Star-Advertiser.

50th State Fair is back for the summer at Aloha Stadium. The carnival kicks off May 26 and runs through July 9 at Aloha Stadium. Attractions include food booths, E.K Fernandez rides, and an entertainment tent filled with a talented lineup. Hawaii News Now.

Aulani reef fish contributing to science. At Disney’s Aulani Resort &Spa at Koolina, the colorful reef fish in Oahu’s only human-made snorkeling lagoon are doing more than just swimming about looking pretty for the hotel’s guests. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Rare tropical permafrost near Mauna Kea’s summit diminishing, researchers find. Researchers have discovered that rare tropical permafrost near the summit of Mauna Kea is gradually receding. The frozen soil patches, a scientific anomaly in this tropical paradise, show signs of shrinking over time, raising questions about the underlying causes. Hawaii News Now.

Police chief talks trust during EHCC panel discussion. Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz told about 50 who attended a panel discussion Saturday at East Hawaii Cultural Center “trust is the currency” that leads to better relations between the community and police. Tribune-Herald.

Boy Scouts admits prior shooting cases, attorneys say. Attorneys for the family of a Big Island Boy Scout killed in an accidental shooting during a “Troop Shoot” and “Family Fun Day” at a camp firing range in August are pressing for reports of other recent Boy Scout-related shooting incidents nationwide. Star-Advertiser.

Repairs On Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Well Completed. Officials say normal water usage from the water spigots may resume, and the standpipe facility for commercial water haulers will reopen on Monday. Big Island Video News.


Water rate hikes possible; new rate for hotels. Maui County water customers — including residents, farmers, businesses and hotels — could see increases to their water bills in the coming months as the county seeks to up funding for operations and projects.  Maui News.

Remaining OB providers try to fill the gap in care. After Maui Lani Physicians and Surgeons announced earlier this year that the clinic will no longer be taking any new pregnancy cases, Malama I Ke Ola Health Center and Kaiser Permanente Maui became the remaining two options on island for full maternity services and deliveries.  Maui News.

Maui’s unemployment rate dips to 2.8% in April 2023. Maui’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.8% in April of 2023, down from 3.4% in March. Maui Now.


Hawai‘i Coffee Association conference coming to Kaua‘i. The statewide Hawaiʻi Coffee Association is perking with its upcoming annual conference June 15-17 at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort & Spa in Līhu‘e. Kauai Now.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

AG nominee Lopez endorsed by committee, indicted ex-prosecutor can keep her lawyer, DLNR orders Waikoloa cat feeding stations closed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Committee endorses Hawaii attorney general nominee. A Senate committee on Wednesday voted to recommend that Anne Lopez become Hawaii’s permanent attorney general after she pledged to brainstorm ideas to legalize recreational marijuana and come up with constitutional ways to allow more local residents to buy homes, among other issues important to committee members. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

New Department of Health director starting out with a 24% staff vacancy rate. Hawaiʻi's new health director, Dr. Kenneth Fink, is the former Med-QUEST director for the state and most recently served as vice president of Medicare and Medicaid Programs at HMSA. Hawaii Public Radio.

Noise-detecting camera bill heads back to Senate. Senate Bill 588 would create a pilot program to use noise detection traffic cameras in urban areas, in each participating county.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Government wants 30-month sentence for ex-union officer. The 64-year-old former executive officer of the Hawaii Longshore Division should spend the next 30 months in federal prison and pay a $150,000 fine after he was found guilty of falsifying records and embezzlement that cost his union $95,000, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 959 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths. The metrics show a leveling off after two consecutive weeks of increases in daily average cases and positivity rates. Star-Advertiser.


Indicted Honolulu Official Can Keep Her Lawyer, Judge Rules. Donna Leong, Honolulu’s former corporation counsel, is fighting federal charges that she conspired with two others to improperly grant a $250,000 severance payment to former police chief Louis Kealoha.  Civil Beat.

Early discussions on how to fix Honolulu's permitting backlog begin. One proposal would codify a program allowing industry professionals to review and certify plans. Currently, the department allows third-party reviewers to certify plans, which is done by using administrative rules. Hawaii Public Radio.

Federal grand jury conducting criminal probe into Red Hill fuel spills.
A number of military and civilian officials have been subpoenaed in recent months to testify about the 2021 spills, which contaminated the drinking water of more than 90,000 military personnel and civilians. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu inflation shrinks to 3.3%. Honolulu consumers may be finding prices more affordable as inflation continues to ease under the weight of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive campaign to increase interest rates. Star-Advertiser.

More arrests being made in Waikiki to get habitual criminals off the street, but many are still violating geographic restrictions. Over the past six months, Honolulu police have made over 700 arrests in Waikiki, but residents say there's still much more that needs to be done. KITV4.

Oahu Inmate Kills Himself After Jail Staff Fails To Put Him On Suicide Watch. Jimuel Gatioan hanged himself at OCCC despite warnings by a prosecutor and a defense lawyer that he was suicidal, court records show. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mauna Kea Authority Nominees Receive Thumbs Up From Senate Committee. The appointees include Richard Matsuda, Gary Kalehua Krug, Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Paul Horner, Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, John Komeiji, Joshua Lanakila Mangauil, and Pomaikalani Bertelmann. Civil Beat.

State Orders End To Cat-Feeding Stations At Waikoloa Shopping Center.
DLNR has directed the removal of cat-feeding stations located at a Hawai‘i Island shopping center, following complaints that the endangered Hawai‘i state bird, the nēnē (Hawaiian goose), are being negatively impacted by the consumption of cat food and close contact with feral cats. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


DOH looks into cases of sickened students at school. The state Department of Health is in the midst of an investigation at Maui Preparatory Academy to try to determine what may have been causing some fourth-grade students to experience symptoms, including nausea and headaches, in recent months. Maui News.

ʻĪao Valley State Monument remains closed, reopening postponed until further notice. The closure went into effect on Aug. 1, 2022 to allow crews to complete the final phase of a slope stabilization project and parking lot improvements. It was initially slated to reopen on Jan. 15, 2023, but the closure was extended until April 15, 2023 to allow for continued slope stabilization work.  Maui Now.

Study warns of Molokini islet overuse. A new study of the marine life at Molokini islet suggests the popular snorkeling destination off Maui is being overused and in need of additional management to improve not only ecosystem health but also the visitor experience. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Maui cheeseburger eatery ordered to close because it doesn’t have hot water. The state has temporarily ordered the Lahaina location of Cheeseburger in Paradise to close because the eatery does not have hot water. Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i council chair plans to fund tax breaks with reserves. Under a plan proposed by Chairman Mel Rapoza, the county would allocate 27 percent of the previous year’s general fund revenues toward the reserve fund instead of the 30 percent that it traditionally puts aside. Garden Island.

This Nonprofit Helps Kaua‘i’s Farmers Start Up and Grow. Mālama Kaua‘i’s network increased sales by almost 6% in a year, with one farmer reaching six figures. Hawaii Business magazine.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Green touts progress in first 100 days, Honolulu council sets gun-free zones, UPW union members to vote on agreement with Maui Health, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

First 100 days will lead to bigger solutions, Green says. Gov. Josh Green believes the progress his administration has made in his first 100 days of office will lead to solutions to a wide range of problematic issues including help for struggling families, homelessness and climate change by the end of his first term. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers seek to increase the penalty for high-profile bribery cases.
House Bill 126 would change political bribery from a class B felony to a class A felony. That would double the maximum prison sentence to 20 years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Past-due rent of DHHL nominee is a character issue, Fevella says.  State Sen. Kurt Fevella, a member of the Senate committee scheduled to consider today the confirmation of Gov. Josh Green’s latest choice to run the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, blasted nominee Kali Watson but stopped short of saying how he will vote. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

House budget bill crosses over, priorities include housing and renewable energy. The House approved its version of the state's $18 billion  budget Wednesday, prioritizing health, safety and education. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

Process to indict violent offenders needs Gov.’s signature. Six months after a Hawaii Supreme Court decision invalidated the use of preliminary hearings to indict serious offenders, the legislature pushed a bill through that would reinstate the process. KHON2.

New policy could reduce high cost of evictions. House Bill 1439 would reinstate policies under a COVID-era pilot program called Act 57, which required landlords to go through a third-party mediation session before filing to evict a tenant. It would also provide up to $5,000 in emergency rent relief funding through the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority. Garden Island.

Judge wants plan to protect humpback whales from fishery. A U.S. judge this week ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the law when it failed to develop a plan to prevent West Coast commercial sablefish fishermen from harming humpback whales. Associated Press.

Looking back and ahead: Hawaii learns to live with COVID. Three years on since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Hawaii shores, many have resumed living without restrictions, but the state is still reeling from its impacts — and residents are still dying from the disease. Star-Advertiser.

449 new COVID-19 cases and 8 more deaths. The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 449 new COVID-19 infections over the past week, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 381,057. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Honolulu City Council OKs bill designating gun-free places.  Firearms should be banned on Oahu in 13 “sensitive places,” including schools, hospitals and parks, the Honolulu City Council decided Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Enforcement of beach closure hours starts Friday in Waikiki. Enforcement starts Friday for the newest Waikiki Beach early morning closure period, which went into effect earlier this month at the Royal Hawaiian Beach to address a range of problems associated with overnight campers. Star-Advertiser.

City plan to restrict commercial activities at parks hits opposition. The city wants to restrict commercial activities to all city parks. But Bill 19 also repeals the ban on tour buses at Windward Oahu beaches ― and that’s got some residents concerned. Hawaii News Now.

Joint Task Force to begin an environmental assessment for defueling Red Hill.  The DOD's Joint Task Force Red Hill will begin the environmental assessment process for defueling the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility this month. Hawaii Public Radio.

New warning sirens will be tested across Oahu.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency will test new or upgraded warning sirens this week at six locations on Oahu. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

High court decides two cases involving Maunakea. On the same day, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled largely against two Hilo residents but in support of a group of Native Hawaiian residents in two unrelated but similar cases surrounding the jurisdiction of the mauna. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii lawmaker stresses importance of prevention, detection after battling kidney disease. During this National Kidney Month, state leaders and health advocates are raising awareness about what many call a silent epidemic. State Rep. Mark Nakashima knows that firsthand. Hawaii News Now.


Latest agreement between UPW and Maui Health goes to vote. The Maui Health and United Public Workers bargaining teams reached an agreement following lengthy talks on Tuesday, March 14. Maui Now.

State declines to fund half of $10M beach restoration
. BLNR chair: Mission is to protect public trust, not private property. Maui News.


From Kaua‘i to Ukraine: Reflecting on a month at war. Dr. Allon Amitai arrived in Kyiv, Ukraine, in early February — hoping to deliver a lecture and reclaim a stolen ambulance. Garden Island.

Humane society needs community to be able to accept animals
. The Kaua‘i Humane Society contracts with the County of Kaua‘i to perform numerous services for the community that includes, but are not limited to, caring for homeless, sick or injured animals. Garden Island.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Legislature mulls minimum wage, clean elections, gambling junket tax, other bills; state ponders Mauna Kea chemical spill, Maui school must build pedestrian overpass, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bill for local minimum wages introduced in state Legislature. A bill that would allow counties in Hawaiʻi to set local minimum wages by ordinance, as long as those wages are higher than the state minimum wage, has been introduced at the state Legislature. Maui Now. KITV4.

‘Clean elections’ bill gains support.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed unanimously a bill to establish a comprehensive public financing system for political candidates running for state and county offices who agree to abide by campaign fundraising and expenditure guidelines. Tribune-Herald.

Love to gamble? Lawmakers want to tax those junkets to the 9th Island. That quick junket to the Ninth Island — or any other gambling location — could cost you a lot more under a proposal moving in the state Legislature. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

New bill proposes an outright ban to riding in truck beds.
Should the law prohibit people from riding in the back of pickup trucks? A new bill moving through the Legislature raises safety concerns around the issue, as traffic fatalities continue to rise. KHON2.

Blinding headlights to be regulated by new bill. To improve road safety, a bill to require proper headlight beam height is being proposed.  KHON2.

Hawaii Legislature Proposes More Aid For Kupuna Housing.
Lawmakers want to create a new rental subsidy program targeted at those 62 years and older. Civil Beat.

Various criminal acts would be subject to fines instead of arrests
. A bill aimed at curbing overcrowding in Hawaii’s jails has cleared its first legislative hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

Bill looks to install photovoltaic panels over school playgrounds. Not only would the move shield children from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, installing the solar arrays would also help offset electricity costs for the department, according to House Bill 896. West Hawaii Today.

Why Blind Students Struggle To Get Braille Textbooks On Time. Legislators are considering a bill that would force public schools to provide timely instructional material. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Is Short Medical Workers.
Are Interstate Compacts The Solution?. A string of bills allowing the state to join different industry compacts will be heard in the Senate on Friday, with lawmakers hoping that their passage will expand medical access. Civil Beat.


Council committee advances DPP director nominee. The Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Planning and the Economy voted unanimously Thursday to advance Dawn Takeuchi Apuna toward leading the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Waiahole Valley residents on Oahu fear mass eviction. A rural Windward Oahu community where physical standoffs occurred five decades ago between a private landlord and tenants is once again the scene of intense discord over rent, though this time the landlord is the state. Star-Advertiser.

Application process opens for ‘affordable’ units in Kuilei Place. Situated on a 3.15-acre site currently occupied by low-rise rentals near the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Mahiai Street, the project will receive upward of $12.3 million in exemptions and waivers for city permitting, plan reviews, fire, storm drain and public works fees. Star-Advertiser.

Legislators take another run at lifting residential ban on Kakaʻako Makai. Lawmakers are considering a bill to allow the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to build housing units in Kakaʻako, makai of Ala Moana Boulevard. However, a 17-year-old ban on residential development in the area is still in place. Hawaii Public Radio.

Autopsy: South African rugby player killed by Honolulu police had CTE. A Black former professional rugby player from South Africa shot by police months after moving to Hawaii suffered from a degenerative brain disease often found in American football players and other athletes subjected to repeated head trauma, autopsy results show. Associated Press.

Sea Life Park Facelift Moves Ahead. The Honolulu City Council is moving toward approval of a major facelift and refurbishment of a popular marine life entertainment center on a spectacular land parcel on eastern Oahu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

State mulls next steps following incident at Maunakea telescope. The scope and impact of a chemical leak last month at a Maunakea observatory remain unclear, according to University of Hawaii officials. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii preschool at center of contentious dispute with state closes its doors. An unlicensed preschool in Hilo ordered to close last fall, partly over lead concerns, is now shut down for good. Staff at Kalamapii Playschool are moving out after the facility’s lease was terminated. Hawaii News Now.

Final EA On Miloliʻi Beach Park Project Published. The Miloliʻi Beach Park Accessibility Improvement Project will bring the pavilion and other park amenities into ADA compliance. Big Island Video News.

Two Big Island resorts among top 15 in country by U.S. News & World Report. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island was ranked No. 6 on the latest “Best Hotels in the USA” list by U.S. News & World Report.  Big Island Now.


New Maui High School: Opening Date Uncertain After DOE Agrees To Build Overpass. The construction project will likely take years to complete, further delaying the school's opening. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

‘Welcome to Paia, Do Not Feed the Hippies’ sign doesn’t reflect the town, residents say
. While some got a laugh out of a new Pāʻia road sign that mocks hippies, longtime area residents said it’s derogatory and divisive during a time when the historic town needs help. Maui Now.


Affordable housing nonprofit buys Hoku Foods building in Kapa‘a.  The affordable housing nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living has bought the Hoku Building in Kapa‘a, which features 14 apartments and Hoku Foods Natural Market. Garden Island.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay set to open Wednesday.  After nearly three years of renovations, the former St. Regis Princeville Resort is reopening under a new luxury hotel brand focused on sustainability and local ties. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Senate panel grills Hawaiian Homes leaders over spending priorities, Green finds lack of legislative support for tax-cut plan, attorney general won't re-prosecute Mauna Kea protesters, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

New Hawaiian Home Lands leader grilled over priorities to spend $600M.  Members of the Ways and Means Committee and Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Tuesday gave a sometimes scathing reaction to an agency budget presentation from new DHHL Director Ikaika Anderson flanked with support from longtime agency staff. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. 

DOE slow to assess schools’ vulnerabilities to violence. Even though school shootings and mass shootings nationwide have hit historic levels — with a record-high 51 school shootings that killed or injured 140 people in 2022 — fewer than half of Hawaii’s 258 public school campuses have been evaluated for vulnerabilities to targeted violence, and department officials say it will take three more years for them to finish. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Candidate Green promised dramatic tax reform. Now Gov. Green is seeking compromise. As a candidate, Gov. Josh Green repeatedly promised a dramatic tax reform ― eliminating the 4.5% excise tax on food and drugs. But after lawmakers have said that was probably unrealistic, he’s floating potential compromises. Hawaii News Now.

 ‘Where’s The Hammer?’ Hawaii Prosecutors Dodged Public Discipline For 40 Years Despite Misconduct. Prosecutors sometimes cross the line. But for a host of reasons, the Hawaii Supreme Court does not sanction them. Civil Beat.

Feds Collected $2 Million From Criminal, Civil Debtors Last Year.
Hawaii’s U.S. Attorney’s office secured over $2 million owed in criminal and civil cases last year, U.S. Attorney Clare Connors announced on Tuesday. An additional $7.5 million was collected from the owners of the defunct Oahu Sugar Company due to historical pesticide contamination. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Applicants Sought For Elections Commission. Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald is looking for qualified people to fill a seat on the state Elections Commission. The unexpired term of William Dean from the County of Hawaii will expire on June 30, 2024. Civil Beat.


‘The Eddie’ a no-go as conditions change. 
Organizers of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational canceled today’s event due to changes in wind and swell conditions on Oahu’s North Shore. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu prosecuting attorney on balancing crime enforcement and outreach. Identifying crime and prosecuting criminals is only one part in working to make an area safer, according to Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Hospital Giant Reaches Tentative Deal With Nurses. Nurses at Straub Medical Center got a New Year’s gift this week in the form of a tentative agreement that union leaders say includes provisions that will make working easier for caregivers and provide better treatment for patients. But it remains to be seen whether the concessions will be enough to sway the 400-member union. Civil Beat.

Kakaako shoppers, businesses grapple with traffic ‘madness’ as road repairs continue. Businesses and consumers say the city’s sinkhole repairs in Kakaako and other road repair projects are turning the area into a hard-to-navigate maze. Hawaii News Now.

Red Hill moms demand congressional hearing on Navy’s fuel-tainted water. Two moms who were sickened during the Red Hill fuel-tainted water crisis more than a year ago are on Capitol Hill, demanding a congressional hearing on potential long-term health impacts. Hawaii News Now.

Death Penalty Phase Begins For Hawaii Prisoner In Arizona. Miti Maugaotega Jr. was convicted of murdering a fellow inmate in the Arizona prison where they were both being held. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Attorney general declines to re-prosecute 38 Mauna Kea activists. State Attorney General Anne Lopez is declining to re-prosecute the people — primarily Native Hawaiian activists — who were charged in 2019 for obstructing Mauna Kea Access Road while protesting the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Hilo siren taken offline after 2 false alarms. Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno confirmed Tuesday that one faulty siren — near the intersection of Kanoelehua Avenue and Banyan Drive, across from Ken’s House of Pancakes — was the cause of both incidents. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Affordable housing complex on schedule. Construction of the Hale Na Koa ‘O Hanakahi housing project began in November after years of planning, and will eventually offer 92 single-bedroom units of affordable housing for Big Island seniors on Kawili Street across from the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus. Tribune-Herald.

‘Perfect storm’ hits Kona coffee: Crop faces a ‘devastating’ drop in production, price hike. The combination of drought, coffee leaf rust fungus and the continued presence of the coffee berry borer — a beetle that infests and destroys coffee cherries on the tree — has created what the president of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association described as “a perfect storm” that resulted in a significant drop in coffee production. Tribune-Herald.


One of priciest home sales in Maui history, Mākena mansion sells for $32.76M. The 7,400-square-foot home known as “Mākena Modern” at 4572 Mākena Road was the highest listed property sale recorded on Maui, according to listing agent Chelsea Dimin of Compass.  Maui Now.

Training underway for humpback whale disentanglements. A team of highly trained state and federal individuals met up in December in waters off of Maui to fine tune their skills in humpback whale disentanglements.  Maui Now.


Kaua‘i democratic party accepting applications for Jimmy Tokioka’s statehouse seat. The Democratic Party of Kaua‘i announced Monday night that it is accepting applications for the role vacated by longtime state Rep. Jimmy Tokioka, who recently accepted a job as state Department of Transportation Airports Division deputy director in the administration of new Gov. Josh Green. Garden Island.

Opponents Of West Kauai Energy Project Want More Environmental Scrutiny. The solar-charged hydro power concept would be the first of its kind in world. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Mountains topped with snow make a winter wonderland, federal money flows to Red Hill, Honolulu rail, teachers unsure how to take bonus holiday leave, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

It’s a Winter Wonderland on Big Island’s Maunakea; but roads are unsafe. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship expects the road to the summit will remain closed for at least the next couple of days.  Big Island Video News.

Video shows snow atop Haleakalā; Summit remains closed to the public. An accumulation of snow was observed along the roadsides near the summit of Haleakalā Tuesday.  Maui Now.

Feds Ramp Up Efforts To Save Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds In A Race Against Time. Federal wildlife officials aim to direct some $14 million from the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law toward the urgent, ongoing effort to save 12 native Hawaiian forest bird species battered by avian malaria and headed toward extinction. Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green’s offer of 2 extra days off confuses Hawaii teachers.
While Gov. Josh Green has gifted state employees with two extra days of paid time off work for the holidays, Hawaii’s 12,600 public school teachers are still unsure how they’ll benefit since contractually they are already on vacation during the schools’ winter break. Star-Advertiser.

Good news for your budget: Economists predict a rapid drop in inflation for Hawaii next year. Carl Bonham, of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, said the global war on recession is already having traction in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii hotels offering local deals during slow holiday season.  Typically, Christmas to New Year’s is oversold at Hawaii hotels with occupancy above 100% and sky-high room rates. This year Hawaii’s festive season, especially on Oahu, is not delivering, with a few hotels even reporting occupancy as low as 40% in the days leading up to Christmas. Star-Advertiser.


Congress set to give another $1 billion for Red Hill.  Congress is poised to allocate another $1 billion to shutting down the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility. The funding is expected to cover major repairs to the facility’s pipelines and other infrastructure that will facilitate the safe draining of approximately 104 million gallons of fuel from aging underground tanks, as well as remediating the soil and groundwater that’s been polluted by past fuel spills. Star-Advertiser.

Schatz Snags Another $64 Million For Honolulu Rail Project. Hawaii’s senior senator, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, says he’s secured more money for the beleaguered project, which is years behind schedule and massively over budget. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Graveyard Shift: Honolulu Pays Police $1 Million In Overtime To Guard Morgue Trailers. The city is paying up to five times the cost of private security but says it’s worth it. Civil Beat.

Oʻahu's free COVID testing program ends Dec. 30.  For nearly two years, the City and County of Honolulu, in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaiʻi, operated a testing site at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. Then came other sites, such as at Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu nonprofit aims to build $25M ‘resilient’ hurricane community shelter. Oahu’s storm shelters, which are mostly Hawaii schools, are not built to withstand a powerful hurricane. Hawaii News Now.

HPU researching types of limu to clean up effluent from fish ponds. Hawai‘i Pacific University is using a federal grant for research on seaweed — or limu — that could potentially lead to commercial-scale cultivation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Kudos for KOA: Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport takes No. 2 spot in analysis of 100 busiest airports.  Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole was ranked by Forbes Advisor as the second-best airport for holiday travel in the nation, the financial media outlet announced last week. West Hawaii Today.

Delay sought in affordable housing trial. A co-defendant in a federal criminal case involving alleged fraudulent use of Hawaii County affordable housing credits is seeking a postponement of the trial. Tribune-Herald.


Maui nearshore water initiative seeks ocean advocates for new team.  The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources has launched a first-of-its-kind community effort to manage Maui’s marine resources. DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources is looking for about 20 Maui residents to join its navigation team. Hawaii Public Radio.

Plane crash victim loved adventures and travel.
A nurse aboard a Hawaii Life Flight plane that went missing off Maui was remembered as funny and passionate about her job, as a private search was underway for the medical transport aircraft. Maui News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Kaua‘i will break ground on 400 new affordable housing units in 2023.
  Over the course of 2023, the County of Kaua‘i and its private development partners expect to break ground on 400 new affordable apartments and homes that will eventually house more than 1,000 people. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Navy wants to keep Red Hill infrastructure in place, Honolulu council mulls Waikiki noise levels, Maui County employees awarded COVID hazard pay, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Navy Times
Navy wants to find alternative uses for Red Hill as part of its closure plan. The Navy wants to keep its Red Hill fuel facility, including the 20 cavernous fuel tanks, surge tanks and pipelines, in the ground after it permanently retires the facility from fueling operations, according to a plan it submitted Tuesday to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Corrections By The Numbers: Incarceration Declined In 2020, And So Did Crime Rates. Data made public recently by the state Department of Public Safety shows Hawaii reduced its inmate populations in 2020 by more than most people realized at the time, and state crime statistics show Honolulu’s crime rates actually dropped that year. Civil Beat.

Struggles Of Micronesian Students Point To ‘Significant Issues’ In Hawaii School System. Many Micronesian students – especially in high school – have been struggling for years, but the pandemic widened existing achievement gaps.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Health Department issues nearly $110K in fines for air pollution violations. The Hawaii Department of Health has fined six entities, including several major companies and the U.S. military nearly $110,000 for air pollution control permit violations in the state. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Environmentalists, engineers urge local leaders to prepare for coastal erosion. A group of environmentalists, engineers and academics have urged state leaders and community members to take steps in addressing coastal erosion. The foundation, UH Sea Grant, and engineering firm SSFM International formed the North Shore Coastal Resilience Working Group to address the future of coastal management. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

City acquires university dorms and classrooms to create affordable housing. The city has acquired a building that Hawaii Pacific University currently uses for dorms and classrooms in hopes of adding another 100 units to its 1,500-unit affordable housing portfolio. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Report: Consultant, Rail Engineer At Odds Over Station Cracking. Those investigating the cracks have disagreed about their severity, but the final report still isn’t out. Civil Beat.

Waikiki Health Employees Fired After Protesting Bathroom Limits Get Back Wages
. The community health center offered jobs back to three employees who were fired a week after complaining about losing access to a unisex bathroom. Civil Beat.

Gap Parks raise interest. Parks over the freeways, it is an idea that’s floating around and could be implemented on Oahu. They’re called Cap Parks.  KHON2.

City Council looks into street speaker noise ordinance for Waikiki. The streets of Waikiki could soon get quieter, if a bill before the Honolulu City Council passes. The measure would restrict the use of speakers on the streets. KITV4.

Hanauma Bay begins accepting JCB payments for reservations. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will accept the Japan Credit Bureau, or JCB, credit card for reservations starting Tuesday, Nov. 1. And starting Wednesday, JCB cards will be accepted for in-person admission payments. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii’s high court hears arguments tied to Mauna Kea. The justices heard arguments on the question of whether, in this case, it is the government that must prove its rules are reasonable and do not unduly limit the rights conferred by the state Constitution, or whether the burden is on the challenger to prove the opposite. Star-Advertiser.

Police Commission holding special meeting to discuss police chief vacancy.
The Hawai‘i County Police Commission has scheduled a special meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday to continue discussing the applicants for police chief. The meeting will be held online via Zoom. Big Island Now.

Gun carry permits granted; police raise concerns over training. With 19 licenses to carry a concealed firearm issued and another 58 pending approval in Hawaii County, some Hawaii Island police officers are concerned they haven’t received proper training on encountering permit holders. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Bill aims to provide tool to revitalize downtown Hilo. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Hawaii County Council’s Finance Committee, Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung introduced Bill 230, a recreation of a bill he introduced in 2020 that would have allowed member businesses in a downtown Hilo Business Improvement District to finance upgrades to the area’s infrastructure and other services. Tribune-Herald.

Council members urge state to help solve traffic and road woes. The Hawaii County Council is urging the Legislature to take steps to improve ailing roadway infrastructure on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.


Maui resort agrees to reduce bright lights to protect Hawaii seabird. The Grand Wailea resort on Maui has reached an agreement with several conservation groups to reduce its bright lights to protect endangered Hawaiian petrels, resolving a lawsuit filed earlier this year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

In contentious race for Maui mayor, water is a key issue — with few solutions. The general election is one week away and the candidates for Maui County mayor are vowing to improve the island’s water system. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County employees entitled to temporary hazard pay for working during pandemic. Employees who worked during Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation period from March 4, 2020, to March 25, 2022, can get up to 25% of their base salary. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui venison could soon stock local grocery stores. Efforts to manage the axis deer population in Maui County are working, and their plans to use the meat to feed the community and create economic opportunities are moving in the right direction. KHON2.


Army trains at Barking Sands. The window of opportunity was small, but the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Mana, or Barking Sands, figured prominently Tuesday during the Kaua‘i segment of the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center large-scale training exercise, referred to as JPMRC 23-01. Garden Island.

They’re ‘holding space’ at a popular Kauai beach to protest commercialization on the sand. On Kauai, there are growing concerns that residents are getting pushed out of a popular surfing and beach spot. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i jobless rate falls to 4 percent. Employers ramped up hiring in the final days of summer and into early fall on Kaua‘i, in turn helping send the unemployment rate for September to its lowest level in three years. Garden Island.

Blessing commemorates completion of Waimea rockfall mitigation project. The Department of Public Works held a blessing on Tuesday to commemorate the completion of the $1.6-million Waimea Rockfall Mitigation Project. Kauai Now.