Showing posts with label Mayor Derek Kawakami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mayor Derek Kawakami. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Hawaii tackles nursing shortage, Kahele must return $48k in campaign contributions, Honolulu rail delayed again, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s shortage of health care workers worsens. The shortage of health care workers has dramatically worsened over the past three years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, with job vacancies jumping 76% — from 2,200 job openings in 2019 to 3,873 this year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

FEC says Kahele congressional campaign must return $48K. The Federal Election Commission says U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele’s congressional committee must refund more than $48,000 to its political donors. That’s because the contributors donated for the November 2022 general election, which Kahele didn’t run in. Hawaii News Now.

Tokuda Says She’s Ready To Take On A Divided Washington. The newly elected Hawaii congresswoman will be in the minority party for the first time in her career. Civil Beat.

Interest Rates are Up, So Number of New Mortgages is Down.
The total of home loans issued in Hawai‘i through the end of October dropped 38% from the same period last year. Hawaii Business Magazine.

State sees spike in road fatalities compared to last year. All four counties in Hawaii have seen an increase in fatal road accidents compared to the same time last year, according to state transportation officials, who are warning of a spike in traffic deaths heading into November. Maui News.


‘Hammerhead’ crack fixes in limbo, delaying Oahu’s rail service. Eight of 21 cracked rail “hammerheads” along the city’s rail route appear to require more extensive — but undetermined — repairs, likely delaying Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation’s transfer of the transit system to the city for paid passenger service deeper into 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Change underway to tackle Oahu building permit backlog. An initial overhaul stage is underway to reduce a chronic building permit application backlog on Oahu at the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Riders say the Handi-Van is failing them. And the city agrees. The Handi-Van is a federally-required service for the disabled citizens who can’t ride traditional buses. Hawaii News Now.

Researchers use drones to understand how waves are shifting Waikiki beach. One study, based on weekly drone surveys between 2018 to 2020, found the sand appears to move from one end of the beach to the other — not to and from offshore, as previously believed.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill to help reduce backlog of building permit applications deferred. A bill that would temporarily suspend the requirement that the Department of Public Works review plans submitted for building permit applications was met with mixed reactions Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Water Department contingency plans cleared by auditor. The Department of Water Supply has successfully addressed three issues identified in a 2020 audit that found the department lacked sufficient contingency plans to ensure the public had dependable access to water when equipment breaks down, the county auditor told the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Lawsuit: Hawaii County, cops culpable in shooting death. Trial has been set in a civil lawsuit brought against Hawaii County, two Hawaii Police Department officers, and the man who allegedly shot and killed a 59-year-old Volcano resident in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Grant Helps Hawaiʻi Island Fruit Producers, Food Basket. USDA funds will help the Olohana Foundation collaborate with local fruit producers to create new products, which will be dispersed into the local food system via The Food Basket. Big Island Video News.


Zoning change for Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute’s proposed marine conservation center. The Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will discuss a proposed resolution and bill for a zoning change for construction of a marine conservation and research center by the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute in Mā‘alaea, Maui. Maui Now.

Mauka-to-makai efforts aim to protect critical Maui reef. Groups work to carry out restoration projects in along the coastline. Maui News. KITV4.

Maui summer update of destination management action plan now available. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority published the Maui Summer 2022 progress report that provides updates on the progress toward fulfilling the Maui Destination Management Action Plan that is part of the Maui Nui action plan. Maui Now.

At a Maui school, a tradition revived offers new opportunities for the future. Lahainaluna High School is reviving its agriculture program to help grow Maui’s next generation of farmers. Hawaii News Now.


Recount confirms County Council outcome. An automatically triggered recount conducted Thursday evening confirmed the previously reported results of the Kaua‘i County Council race. Garden Island.

Kauai mayor gears up for second-term priorities after re-election. Mayor Derek Kawakami has been Kauai’s mayor for four years and just won another four with last week’s re-election. KHON2.

Lihu‘e runway project gets Kaua‘i planning commission approval. The Lihu‘e Airport runway has been out of compliance with federal law since 2006. Garden Island.

Meth runner for ex-Kauai Council member gets 3-year term
. A 41-year-old Kauai man who agreed to run drugs and collect money for a drug trafficking organization headed by a former Kauai County Council member and supplied by Samoan gang members, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison. Star-Advertiser.

Kauaʻi putting together reentry transition packs for those leaving prison. The transition back into everyday life after being incarcerated can be difficult. For some, finding a place to stay or a ride to meet with a probation officer can be a barrier to successful reintegration. Hawaii Public Radio.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

It's Gov. Green, Hawaii favors Democrats in state and congressional races, Maui ousts its mayor, more top midterm election news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii voters pick Democrat Josh Green to be next governor. A new era in Hawaii politics and leadership begins in December when Josh Green is sworn in as the state’s ninth governor following his sweeping win Tuesday night over three-time Republican candidate James “Duke” Aiona. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Newcomer Tokuda joins Hawaii’s congressional team. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Ed Case kept their seats Tuesday and will be joined by newcomer Jill Tokuda, who prevailed in the race for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Galuteria returns to politics with at-large OHA seat. A former state senator and onetime chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii completed his return to politics Tuesday by finishing first among six candidates vying for three at-large seats on the Board of Trustees at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Voter Turnout Plunged In 2022 Election. Many voters waited in long lines to vote in person on Election Day but turnout still only reached 41%, according to results as of late Tuesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii voters turn out last-minute to cast ballots. Voters turned up in force at major voter service centers in Hawaii on Election Day, either to drop off ballots or vote in person. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Election night keeps staff, volunteers busy at the state's counting center. The State Capitol served as the counting center for Tuesday night's elections. This is the final stop for the ballots. Here, the ballots are counted and then locked up again for safety. KITV4.


Incumbents Har, Eli trailing in close races. Three incumbent state lawmakers are on a path to being knocked out of Hawaii’s Legislature by voters, based on largely complete general election results. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council chair keeps post; 3 new members elected. Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters has kept his seat, but the Council will see three new faces following Tuesday’s general election. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Oahu voters pass 3 charter amendments; 4th likely to fail. Oahu voters in Tuesday’s general election approved three amendments to Honolulu’s City Charter — changing the future makeup of the Planning Commission, bolstering the Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund, and incorporating the Office of Council Services. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Voters Lined Up In A Last-Minute Crush At City Hall. Old-school voters gnashed their teeth at election changes and wondered why there are only two in-person polling places on the island. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Richards becomes senator for North Hawaii: Democrats sweep Big Island seats. Democrat Tim Richards easily skated past Republican Nicholas M. Tancheff for the open District 4 seat in the state Senate, leading Tancheff by 6,363 votes with all mailed ballots — 41.3% of registered voters — counted Tuesday night. West Hawaii Today. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Kahaloa wins new House district. Hawaii Island earned an eighth seat in the state House of Representatives this election year, and the first candidate to fill it is Democrat Kirstin A.K. Kahaloa, who vanquished her Republican opponent, Jonathan P. Kennealy, with 66.6% of the votes, based on mail ballots representing 41.3% of registered voters. West Hawaii Today. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Voters Elect New Council Member, Adopt 3 Charter Amendments. Voters overwhelmingly passed charter amendments to expand the ethics board, strengthen the auditor’s office and create a youth commission. Civil Beat. Big Island Now.

Kagiwada squeaks by Kusch for Hilo council seat.
Jenn Kagiwada edged Matthias Kusch by 276 votes in a hotly contested District 2 County Council race between two political first-timers in Tuesday night’s general election. Tribune-Herald.


Incumbent Maui Mayor Victorino is defeated. Challenger Richard Bissen convincingly beat incumbent Michael Victorino in the hotly contested race for Maui County mayor. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Bissen takes early lead in mayor’s race; Hokama and Johnson locked in tight Lanai race. The first round of results also showed a tight race for the Lanai residency seat on the Maui County Council, with former Council Member Riki Hokama leading incumbent Council Member Gabe Johnson with 13,428 votes to 12,933 votes.  Maui News.


Derek Kawakami Cruises To Another Term As Mayor. Voters overwhelmingly reelected Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami to a second four-year term in the county’s top executive seat in the general election on Tuesday, according to preliminary results. Civil Beat. Garden Island. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i council race preliminary results: Bulosan in. In the county council race, voters mainly favored the status quo. Of the seven candidates leading in the first printout of results, six are either incumbents or former county council members. Garden Island.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Grim forecast for coral reefs, congressional ethics office calls for Kahele investigation, attorney general seeks to stop auction of Queen Liliuokalani articles, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii news all rights reserved
Hawaii coral reef ©2022 All Hawaii News
Half of all coral reefs could face permanent effects of climate change. Half of the world’s coral reefs could no longer be suitable for marine life by 2035. That’s according to the latest University of Hawaiʻi research looking into the worst-case scenarios of climate change on reef ecosystems. Hawaii Public Radio.Kauai Now.

Congressional Ethics Watchdog Calls For Ethics Investigation Into Kahele. No details were released about the allegations the Hawaii congressman might be facing, but his proxy voting record and ties to Hawaiian Airlines have drawn scrutiny. The Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent watchdog charged with investigating allegations of misconduct against House members and their staff, has called for an official inquiry into U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. Civil Beat.

Governor Candidates On The Environment: Sharp Contrasts And A Little Overlap. Republican Duke Aiona emphasizes lower energy costs, while Democrat Josh Green stresses renewable and sustainable sources. Civil Beat.

Jill Tokuda Looks Like A Shoo-In For Congress. What Would She Do? The question is whether the former state senator, a Democrat, can be effective, especially as a first-term lawmaker in a House that’s expected to be in GOP control. Civil Beat.

State moves to block auction of items related to overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The state Department of the Attorney General has put the British auction house Bonhams on notice. At issue are items dating back to the Hawaiian monarchy overthrow that the state maintains belong to Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Why Hawaii’s Language Access Office Is Having Trouble ‘Fulfilling Its Mission’ The state auditor says OLA “remains a partially formed organization” some 16 years after its establishment. Advocates say that’s keeping non-English speakers from getting much-needed services. Civil Beat.

Menstrual product distribution still uneven in Hawaii schools.
Full statewide implementation of the “menstrual equity” state legislation is turning out to be a more complex and delicate undertaking than even some lawmakers and education officials expected. Star-Advertiser.

GET medical exemption sought: Group says move would make state ‘a more attractive place for doctors’. In an effort to make health care more affordable and alleviate the state’s physician shortage, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii launched a petition urging the Hawaii Legislature to exempt medical services from the state’s general excise tax, or GET. Tribune-Herald.

As RSV cases rise, more people are hospitalized compared to COVID surges
. Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus — also known as RSV — are increasing in Hawaiʻi and 32 other states. There are other respiratory illnesses spreading as well, including rhinovirus and coronavirus. Hawaii Public Radio.

A deficit of mental health: Pandemic isn’t solely to blame, experts say; politics also a factor. Some  health care providers in Hawaii think the reason for the increase isn’t just the pandemic, citing a variety of symptoms such as stress, political conflict, work staffing shortages, insurance issues and because there’s less of a stigma for those who seek mental health services. Tribune-Herald.


Robberies, weapon crimes rise on Oahu as other major categories fall. Weapon violations, robberies and assaults are on the rise in Honolulu while other major crime categories have fallen off, compared with 2021, according to Hono­lulu police statistics obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Star-Advertiser.

Power struggle festers over Aloha Stadium redevelopment. Mike McCartney, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, claims that his agency is now in charge of redeveloping Aloha Stadium following more than a decade of work by the Stadium Authority, private consultants, state lawmakers and the state Department of Accounting and General Services. Star-Advertiser.

State wants to drop permit rules for employees of Waikiki ocean activity companies.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is looking to repeal rules that require surf instructors, outrigger canoe captains and other individuals who operate in Waikiki waters to obtain a state permit certifying they have the necessary skills and training, citing liability concerns and lack of “resources or expertise to continue conducting the testing and approval process.” Star-Advertiser.

Oahu voters to decide how to use city land conservation fund.
Proposed City Charter amendment No. 3 on the general election ballot asks if 5% of the fund should be expended to operate and maintain those acquired lands. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Ballot Proposal Would Make City Council Services Office A Permanent Agency. The office that performs many legislative duties for the council, including researching and drafting bills and resolutions, may finally get equal status with other agencies. Civil Beat.

Lawyer For Mitsunaga Firm Pleads Not Guilty To Bribing Kaneshiro. A lawyer for an engineering firm whose CEO is accused of bribing Honolulu’s prosecuting attorney pleaded not guilty on Friday to participating in the alleged scheme. Civil Beat.

Navy officials said repairs to a broken 36-inch water main at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam are still at least a week out. Iroquois Point Elementary to remain closed as repairs continue to military water system. Main breaks to the Navy’s water system Friday has left about 90,000 customers under a boil water advisory. Some customers have low water pressure while others have no water at all. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Plan to house the homeless living outside Waianae Boat Harbor. The Pu'uhonua O Wai'anae Farm Village is continuing their fight to end homelessness on Oahu. Village leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony on a project for the dozens of houseless people who called the Waianae Boat Harbor home for years. They will rehome approximately 250 people living in tents – many who are kupuna, and working families with children. KITV4.

Homelessness on public recreation land on Oʻahu an ongoing problem with few solutions. Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources say there’s a long list of challenges and few solutions when it comes to homeless individuals who have taken up residence at O‘ahu’s Sand Island State Recreation Area. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Garden Island.

LGBTQ+ tourism is thriving in Hawaii.
The National Gay Flag Football League’s Gay Bowl XXII Hawaii 2022 Flag Football Tournament, the largest LGBTQ+ event ever held in Honolulu, helped this year’s Honolulu Pride parade surpass the 2019 event, which was the state’s largest parade that year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Issues Message On Mauna Loa Activity. The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense said it is closely monitoring the situation, in coordination with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Estate, family seek answers in killing of Boy Scout. Court documents filed on behalf of the estate of the 11-year-old Boy Scout who was killed Aug. 28 when a firearm accidentally was discharged said the gun was an “AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle.” Tribune-Herald.

Ready, set, vote! Ballots are expected to be mailed Wednesday and arrive in Big Island mailboxes shortly after that as the nation counts down to the Nov. 8 general election. West Hawaii Today.

‘The Most Important Decision’: Hawaii Police Commission Ponders Criteria For New Chief. With the hiring process set to begin Oct. 24, the police union is urging the commission to use the opportunity to pursue more ambitious goals. Civil Beat.

Bill would increase solar water heater tax credit. A bill increasing the tax credit for eligible homeowners who install a solar water heater will be heard Tuesday by the County Council Finance Committee. Bill 227 would increase the tax credit from $300 to $400 for owners of single-family dwellings, ohanas, farm dwellings and duplexes. West Hawaii Today.

Hāpuna Beach Park And Cabins Closed. A major water break has been reported at Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area, and the park & cabin area are closed. Big Island Video News.


Sparks fly in contentious debate as Maui mayoral candidates vie for votes. In a debate Saturday night organized by Akaku Maui Community Media, incumbent Mayor Mike Victorino defended his record while retired Judge Richard Bissen accused Victorino of being a passive mayor. Hawaii News Now.

Bissen gets Carpenter’s Union endorsement; Victorino endorsed by HSTA; Kama Talk Story. Campaign updates from Maui County. Maui Now.

County to launch energy cost-savings program. Project to install more efficient lighting, sinks and other equipment. Maui County is embarking on a multimillion-dollar project with an international company in hopes of realizing $73 million in energy and water conservation cost during the first phase. Maui News. Hawaii News Now.

Dockless vehicles and parking ambassador program to be discussed in committee. The Maui Council’s Infrastructure and Transportation Committee on Monday will discuss a bill prohibiting a commercial system of short-term rentals of dockless vehicles, and a separate bill authorizing the implementation of a parking ambassador program.  Maui Now.

Pulelehua developer to prioritize affordable units in first phase of West Maui project. Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that the Maui County Council is in receipt of Bill 152, that will help to subsidize shovel-ready development of 100 affordable units in Pulelehua, planned for West Maui. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i mayoral candidates answer questions on drug treatment center, housing, evictions. The Garden Island spoke to mayoral candidates Derek Kawakami and Michael Roven Poai last week on some of the major issues facing the county. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i council candidates make their closing statements. The Garden Island asked the 14 County Council candidates to submit closing statements ahead of the mailing of ballots on Oct. 19. Twelve responded. Garden Island.

What are the Kaua‘i county ballot proposals? Along with picking their elected representatives, voters will have the chance to decide on the fate of four ballot proposals this election season. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Hawaiian sea cucumbers being cultivated for export and fishpond restoration on Kauaʻi.
Kaua‘i Sea Farm, a commercial aquaculture business at the ancient Nomilo fishpond in Kalāheo. has partnered with the O‘ahu nonprofit Pacific American Foundation to cultivate loli as a high-value export product. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Hawaii Safe Travels to end, mask mandate remains; Roth proposes 13.1% budget hike, Maui plastic foodware ban begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Ige to end Safe Travels but remains firm on indoor mask mandate.
Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program and other COVID-19 restrictions will end when the current pandemic-related emergency proclamation expires March 25. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii’s Economy Is Rebounding Faster Than Expected. Mainland visitor arrivals in 2021 came close to meeting Hawaii’s banner year in 2019, when the state hosted more than 10 million visitors. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

‘Stand for Hawaii’: Hawaii GOP rallies to kick off 2022 election season. Members of Hawaii’s Republican Party gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday morning to rally and kickoff the 2022 election year. New and returning candidates shared their beliefs and hopes for the republican party in Hawaii, which is a deep blue state. Hawaii News Now.

Plan To Commit $600 Million To Hawaiian Home Lands Development Advances. After receiving hundreds of testimonies in favor of the measure, a key lawmaker says she will review possible  amendments and act on the bill on Thursday. Civil Beat.

Bill Calls For Direct Aid To Families For Learning Expenses. Many families could use financial assistance to help defray the cost of extra educational support during the pandemic, according to a local nonprofit. Civil Beat.

Bill aims to combat feral chicken nuisance.
A bill to establish a five-year pilot program to combat feral chickens throughout the islands is moving through the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

‘Grab And Go’: How Officials Seized A Fifth Grader To Live With A Father She Barely Knew.
The case provides a rare glimpse of Hawaii officials’ immense power to remove children from their households, even without a court order. Civil Beat.

Public Libraries to Reopen Wednesdays. The Hawai‘i State Public Library System announced in a news release that public library branches will reopen on Wednesdays beginning March 2. The Wednesday closures were instituted in August 2021 because of the high infection rates of the Delta and Omicron variants. Big Island Now.

Honolulu biotech firm gets emergency clearance for COVID-19 tests. FDA approves emergency use for first rapid COVID-19 test developed in Hawaiʻi. Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO of Oceanit, says the company began working on a saliva spit test but switched to a shallow nasal swab for easier use. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV4.

Hawaii reports 118 COVID cases. The Hawaii Department of Health reports 118 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, March 1. There are 74 coronavirus cases on Oahu, 15 on the Big Island, nine on Kauai, 19 on Maui and one diagnosed out of state. KHON2.


Hundreds of misdemeanor cases are dismissed due to Hawaii Supreme Court ruling.  Hundreds of misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor cases on Oahu have been dismissed or thrown out since December due to a Hawaii Supreme Court decision. Now, the Office of the Public Defender is asking the Court to dismiss the case in which a teenager reported being sexually assaulted at Ala Moana Center. KITV4.

Navy says detections of carcinogen in Oahu water were result of lab error. A dozen samples collected from the Navy’s drinking water system in January that detected BCEE, a chemical that can increase the risk of cancer, were reported in error by a lab, according to the Navy, which said the results have now been reclassified as non-detects. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

State rejects Navy’s way to evaluate Red Hill.
The state Department of Health on Monday said the Navy is not in compliance with its Dec. 6 emergency order requiring it to empty its Red Hill fuel facility after determining the contractor hired by the Navy to do an assessment of the work was not in a “position to act independently.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department lifts ‘do not drink’ water advisory for Ford Island, Hale Moku and Hokulani. Residents of Ford Island, Hale Moku and Hokulani can resume drinking and cooking with their tap water, according to the Hawaii Department of Health, which lifted its drinking water advisory for those zones on the Navy’s water system Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

‘Waste of taxpayer money’: Some lawmakers oppose protecting coastal properties. Following the collapse of a beachfront property into the ocean on the North Shore, some lawmakers said the state should not protect the homes, but rather have them removed from the beach. Hawaii News Now.

Bill addresses concerns over visitor impacts at Sharks Cove and Pupukea tidepools. A bill arising from concerns about surging numbers of visitors to the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District on Oahu’s North Shore will be heard today by the state Senate Ways and Means Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth proposes $689.9M spending plan, a 13.1% increase.
Buoyed by rising property values from a robust real estate market, the annual budget proposed Tuesday by Mayor Mitch Roth comes in at $689.9 million, a 13.1% increase over the previous year. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Power Plant Is Under Scrutiny By Hawaii Utilities Regulators.
The Hu Honua Bioenergy plant has bogged down in complex regulatory and legal fights over the electricity costs and environmental concerns. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii County to hold hearing to discuss closure of Waipio Valley Access Road. A virtual meeting will be open to the public on March 9 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Getting back to ‘normal’: With COVID restrictions lifted, some East Hawaii businesses move quickly to restore capacity. With gathering sizes no longer limited on the Big Island, businesses are eager to return to normalcy but still face staffing woes. Tribune-Herald.


Mauiʻs plastic disposable foodware ban is now in effect. The ban was supposed to take effect in the new year, but implementation was postponed for two months amid COVID-related supply chain delays. Maui Now. KHON2.

Hale Makua moves forward with plans for rehab center.
Latest details for proposed $64.2M, 76,200-square-foot facility in Kahului have been released. Maui News.


Kawakami Announces Kauai Mayoral Reelection Bid. The county’s voters will elect a mayor in November following the nonpartisan August primary. Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Hanalei River Bridge to see multi-million dollar repair. A project to repair and improve the Hanalei River bridge is set to be put out to bid in fall 2022 at an estimated cost of between $5 million and $10 million. Garden Island.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Hawaii hits 16.7% COVID positivity rate, Ige postpones public meeting requirement, Maui requires booster for indoor dining, bars, gyms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Fewer hospitalizations expected during Omicron surge, but experts remain concerned. Hospitalizations are rising again and are expected to peak in late January but not at levels seen during the Delta surge. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 3,178 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 118,820. The state’s 7-day average positivity rate is 16.7% The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,495 new cases on Oahu, 238 on Hawaii Island, 225 on Maui, 129 on Kauai, 16 on Molokai, 14 on Lanai, and 61 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Not ready yet: Public participation in meetings to continue remotely. A new law setting stricter rules for governmental bodies holding remote meetings, including a requirement to provide a physical location for the public to testify, is supposed to go into effect Saturday, but Gov. David Ige has delayed that part of the new law in an emergency proclamation effective through Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now.

Decision by Hawaii Supreme Court leads to dismissal of dozens of cases
. A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling asserting that criminal complaints may be dismissed if they do not follow a procedural law requiring a signed affidavit or official declaration from the complaining party is resulting in the dismissal of dozens of misdemeanor cases. Star-Advertiser.

Minimum wage increase in Hawaii gaining momentum. State House Speaker Scott Saiki said he plans to introduce a bill to boost Hawaii’s minimum wage from $10.10 an hour to eventually $18 an hour. Star-Advertiser.

It Is Now Illegal To Kill Or Capture Sharks In Hawaiʻi. As of January 1, it is illegal to knowingly capture, entangle, or kill any species of shark in State marine waters. Big Island Video News.

Climate change plays factor in fewer humpback whale sightings in Hawaii, scientists find. As Hawaii’s 2021-2022 humpback whale season gets underway, scientists say they hope to see population numbers continue to recover after an estimated 50% plunge in 2015-2016. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s role in TV commercial raises questions for elected officials participating in advertisements. Honolulu Councilman Augie Tulba’s starring role in a commercial for a rental car company is raising questions about the rules for elected officials in advertisements. Star-Advertiser.

Planning Costs Climb For New Oahu Jail As Debate Drags On Over Its Scope. If lawmakers agree, the total sum committed to planning may be $35 million for a lockup the governor believes might eventually cost $1 billion. Civil Beat.

Wages For Many On Oahu Fail To Keep Pace With Soaring Prices. Costs for volatile items like food and gas are expected to level off or decrease, but not for a while, leaving many to struggle. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Marines, law enforcement to drill on raids.
Marines and local law enforcement personnel begin training today at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for raiding operations on both land and sea. The exercise is scheduled to last until Jan. 13. Star-Advertiser.

The first class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of residents affected by Navy’s tainted water crisis. Attorneys Terry Revere and Michael Green filed the suit on behalf of all residents of military housing affected by the petroleum contamination — that affected 93,000 people on the Pearl Harbor water system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor’s Stance On Navy Water Crisis: No Comment. The mayor praised the head of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply but wouldn’t echo his calls to drain the Red Hill fuel tanks. Civil Beat.

Contractors play key role in Red Hill fuel storage operations. As the Navy continues to wrestle with the consequences of the contamination of its water system from its underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, the complexity of its fueling operations comes under increasing scrutiny — particularly when it comes to maintenance work at the aging fuel farm. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

‘Just hop on the bus’: Council bill would make bus rides free thanks to grants. Bus rides may be free for the next two years if a bill being discussed by the Hawaii County Council passes. Tribune-Herald.

Another blow for Honua Ola. The state’s Consumer Advocate has filed a document with the Public Utilities Commission saying “due to remaining questions and concerns, it is unable to recommend approval” of Honua Ola Bioenergy, the nearly completed biomass power plant in Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.

Taking to the skies: Homeless camps mapped for outreach, Point In Time Count. Flying in a helicopter in the skies over North Kona, Linda Thomas-Vandervoort was able to assess West Hawaii’s homeless population from a different angle. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County: Covid Booster Will Be Required For Indoor Dining, Bars And Gy
ms. As omicron spreads, Maui County will require people eligible for booster shots to get them to be considered fully vaccinated. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Boil water advisory remains in effect for residents on Maui. Due to the possible trace of E-coli bacteria in the tap water waterline maintenance continues to flush waterlines in the affected areas. KITV4.


Kaua‘i County Council look at infrastructure, housing as policy goals for next year.
The next Kaua‘i County Council meeting isn’t until Jan. 12, but councilmembers are continuing to work toward county issues behind the scenes. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Mayor Kawakami sets 2022 goals. Mayor Derek Kawakami is optimistic going into 2022. Garden Island.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spring breakers hit Hawaii beaches, Blangiardi highlights housing, 65k vaccines for 400k people in Phase 1C, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii News Now
Visitors crowd Waikiki over the weekend PC:Hawaii News Now

Hawaii logs its highest three days of tourist arrivals in a year. Some 21,433 trans-Pacific travelers and 4,968 interisland travelers were screened by Safe Travels Hawaii on Saturday, Hawaii’s highest single day since coronavirus-related fears and government restrictions caused travel to plummet. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii’s Rush To Vaccinate Has Led To A Patchwork System With Little Policing. The state acknowledges that the hospitals and clinics that vaccinate people have sometimes bent the rules to the breaking point, by inoculating someone outside the current phase, for instance, but say they have little recourse. Civil Beat.

Hawaii health officials prioritizing certain people over others in Phase 1C for COVID-19 vaccine. Hawaii health officials decided over the weekend to prioritize hotel, restaurant and bar workers for COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to those with specific high-risk medical conditions and residents 65 and older. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Looking for a COVID vaccine appointment? Persistence (and patience) recommended. The state expanded vaccine eligibility to roughly 400,000 more residents on Monday, but getting an appointment for a jab make take persistence ― and patience. Hawaii News Now.

State House resolution opposes $1.9B Hawaii radar. A resolution introduced in the state Legislature calls for the Missile Defense Agency to “resist” siting a $1.9 billion defensive radar in Hawaii because it is a “prime example of wasteful Pentagon spending” during a time of unprecedented need for public services in health, education and welfare.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Adopts Most Extreme Open Records Limits Amid Pandemic. Hawaii has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate of any state in the nation. It's also a pandemic standout for a more dubious reason: instituting the most extreme restrictions on the public's access to official records. Associated Press.

Education and union leaders agree to bring more kids back to Hawaii public schools. Education, health and union leaders announced today they have signed off on guidelines to bring more students back to campus at Hawaii’s public schools, especially at the elementary level. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

The economic hardships of the pandemic in Hawaii haven’t been equally distributed. While Hawaii’s economic recovery seems to be beginning, a financial comeback will take much longer for the state’s lower wage and service workers, experts say. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment call center understaffed, overwhelmed. The state’s understaffed unemployment insurance call center that’s designed to handle 2,000 calls a day at the Hawai‘i Convention Center was getting more than 200,000 calls every day just two weeks ago but is still overwhelmed by 40,000 calls each day. Star-Advertiser.

Federal stimulus act bolsters Hawaii unemployment benefits. Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, said Monday that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed Thursday by President Joe Biden will extend the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs for an additional 25 weeks, until Sept. 4 and Sept. 6, respectively. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

Bill would expand DA BUX food program. A state Senate bill that would eliminate a daily cap on a dollar-for-dollar match for supplemental nutrition assistance program beneficiaries under DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program has cleared its first House hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

Isle jobless rate 10.2%, nation’s worst, in January. Hawaii’s unemployment rate climbed back into double digits in January to retain the dubious honor of having the highest figure in the country. Star-Advertiser.

Flags will fly at half-staff across Hawaii on Tuesday to honor the life of the late politician and community servant William Bains-Jordan. Through his career in politics, he served as the first state representative of ʻAiea. Hawaii News Now.

March 15, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 46 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Monday, including 22 on O‘ahu, 15 on Maui, seven on Hawai‘i Island, and two in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed out of state. Maui Now.


Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi highlights affordable housing, homelessness
crisis in State of the City address. The city’s Office of Housing has been changed to reflect that focus, and is now the Office of Housing and Homelessness. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Budget Realities Undermine Blangiardi’s Vision For Honolulu. The mayor presented his agenda in his State of the City address Monday. City Council members have raised concerns about a lack of funding for essential services. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Restaurant Association among other organizations to submit application to City for 2 year extension to plastic ban. The City and County of Honolulu will begin enforcing the ban in two weeks. KHON2.

Kakaako Makai tower opponents to rally again. In 2006 the state Legislature prohibited all housing development there, and in 2012 the state gave 30 acres to the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs in exchange for $200 million in ceded-land back revenue the state owed Native Hawaiians. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Press Club announces annual Torch of Light, Lava Tube awards for 2020. The Big Island Press Club awards its annual meritorious Torch of Light Award for 2020 to James Hustace and the Waimea Community Association and the Lava Tube dishonor award to Hawaii Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

$500K Releases For Kohala Hospital Improvements. Governor David Ige on Monday released State Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds totaling $500,000 to finance the construction of centralized administrative offices at Kohala Hospital on the Big Island. Big Island Now.

University of the Nations Kona looking to expand: Updated master plan proposes 62-acre addition. The University of the Nations Kona may soon be more than doubling in size. West Hawaii Today.


Inventory hits new low for Maui homes. Meanwhile, median sales prices for single-family homes remained high at $895,000 — a 19.8 percent spike year over year.  Maui News.

Pacific Whale Foundation Retrieves Ghost Nets in Maui Waters. Ghost nets — fishing nets or gear that have been abandoned, lost or discarded by fishing vessels — are an increasingly serious threat to whales and dolphins around the globe. Maui Now.


Kawakami gives State of the County address. Mayor Derek Kawakami, reflecting on over a year of the pandemic, highlighted the county’s efforts to embrace adversity, Monday, in his third State of the County address. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

‘My Words Have Caused People Pain’: Kauai Police Chief Apologizes For Anti-Asian Remarks. Chief Todd Raybuck has done a good job by most accounts and some local leaders say losing him would be a setback for the island. But others including the police union see it differently. Civil Beat. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Airport facial recognition draws concerns, Maui lawmaker cited for sitting on beach, container ship loses its load, Oahu to bring back karaoke, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC: Sen. Kai Kahele
Young Brothers cargo ship in Hilo Harbor PC:Sen. Kai Kahele
At least 21 shipping containers fall off Young Brothers barge. At least 21 containers fell off a Young Brothers barge en route to Hilo Harbor on Monday morning, but the cause has yet to be confirmed. Tribune-Herald.

Multiple containers fall overboard in waters off Hilo. Improper loading and possible overloading of an interisland freight barge and employing practices to avoid paying overtime may have played a role in at least 21 shipping containers going overboard early Monday morning off the Hilo coast, alleges state Sen. Kai Kahele (D, Hilo), who is calling for a Senate investigation into the incident. Star-Advertiser.

Shipping Containers Fall Overboard Near Hilo Harbor. 21 shipping containers were counted as having toppled into the water on Monday, according to a U.S. Coast Guard update. 12 were still missing as of the early afternoon. Big Island Video News.

21 Shipping Containers Fall Overboard Near Hilo. Nine of the 40-foot (12-meter) shipping containers were located and 12 remained missing, the Coast Guard said. Hawaii Public Radio.

Authorities now say at least 21 shipping containers fell off barge in Big Island waters. The Coast Guard says at least 21 shipping containers fell from a Young Brothers barge off the Big Island early Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Young Brothers Cargo Containers Slip Off Barge Into Hilo Bay. At least 21 cargo containers slipped off of a Young Brothers barge and into the waters surrounding Hilo Bay on Monday morning. Big Island Now.


Plan for opening trans-Pacific travel to come this week. Gov. David Ige is expected to announce the state’s adoption of a COVID-19 testing protocol that would allow some travelers to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine soon. Star-Advertiser.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green provides clarity on COVID-19 confusion. Many are looking for some clarity surrounding COVID-19, as questions arise about a potential second wave, wearing face masks, and testing for the virus. KITV4.


ACLU raises concern over facial recognition equipment set to be used at airports. As the state tests out thermal screening and facial recognition equipment at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport this week. The American Civil Liberties Union is again raising concerns. KITV4.

Facial ID software draws concerns from ACLU. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii has “serious concerns” about the state’s planned use of facial recognition software in airport terminals to fight the spread of COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.


Lawmakers poised to tackle COVID-19. After a three-month, COVID-19-induced suspension of this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers rolled up their sleeves and reconvened Monday hoping to adopt a plan to use federal funds to help Hawaii residents and businesses cope with the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Lawmakers Return To Spend Federal Aid, Plug Budget Hole. State lawmakers return to the Capitol today for what is expected to be the final three weeks of this year’s legislative session. Their main focus will be allocation $618 million in federal pandemic assistance. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers work to fix $413M shortfall. State lawmakers are back in session Monday with a daunting task. They’re looking to fix a budget shortfall of more than $400 million. KHON2.

Lawmakers reconvene to appropriate virus relief funds. Hawaii lawmakers on Monday reconvened their 2020 legislative session to flesh out details for how they plan to spend more than $600 million in federal coronavirus relief funds. Hawaii Public Radio.

House Lawmakers Call for Robust Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing. Representative John M. Mizuno, Chair of the House Health Committee, and Representative Rida Cabanilla, a registered nurse, are asking all nursing homes to comply with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and have COVID-19 testing for all their residents. Maui Now.

Social service workers rally at state Capitol. As the state Legislature reconvened Monday, social service workers rallied at the Capitol asking lawmakers to allocate $362 million of the federal coronavirus relief funds to “vulnerable” families, who need food, housing assistance, health care, child care, domestic violence assistance, kupuna wellness checks and more. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii state senators pay tribute to fallen colleague Breene Harimoto. State senators reconvening for the first time in three months devoted much of their floor session today to speaking about their colleague, Breene Harimoto, who died last Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Star-Advertiser.

Negotiations Begin On Hawaii Police Misconduct Bill. The Legislature couldn’t come to an agreement on House Bill 285 in 2019 but public pressure has forced lawmakers to reconsider it again this session. Civil Beat.


Survey of public school teachers finds many saw low student participation in distance learning. The state Education Department recently surveyed Hawaii teachers in hopes of illuminating how many public school students actually participated in remote learning after campuses closed in March. Hawaii News Now.

Teachers Report Difficulties In Reaching Students, Remote Learning During School Closures. The survey went out to all Department of Education teachers and students, with a parent survey now in progress. Civil Beat.

Distance learning survey results to be used in planning next year. The Department of Education released its results of a recent distance-learning survey. KHON2.


Interviews with Union Leaders: Randy Perreira, President, Hawai‘i American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Hawaii Business magazine.

Federal census of isle homeless is rescheduled for September. The once-every-decade federal census of Hawaii’s homeless population — which has been pushed to late September because of the COVID-19 pandemic — has the potential to affect Hawaii’s share of $800 billion in federal spending over the next 10 years, according to federal officials. Star-Advertiser.

Solar applications skyrocket as Hawaii residents seek savings on electricity. With electric bills going up due to people staying home and working from home, it appears more are looking toward other alternatives. According to HECO, applications for solar power in Hawaii are up 40% in 2020. KHON2.


Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus cases; statewide total now at 816. Hawaii recorded four new coronavirus cases today, as the statewide total of infections since the start of the outbreak rose to 816, state Department of Health officials said in their daily midday count. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — JUNE 22: 4 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. All the new cases were on Oahu. Civil Beat.


Mayor Caldwell sends request to Governor Ige proposing guidelines for allowing live music to return to restaurants, bars. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has sent a request to Governor David Ige that would allow live music in restaurants and bars on O'ahu. KITV4.

Honolulu karaoke lounges to soon allow singing indoors. The Honolulu mayor is making changes to bar and restaurant COVID-19 guidelines, currently singing is not allowed inside businesses, making it a tough reopening for karaoke establishments, but a new order sent to the governor makes adjustments to the rule. KHON2.

Medical workers and their families inaugurate Waikiki Aquarium’s careful reopening. Monday was the first day of the aquarium’s “soft” reopening, which it was celebrating with a weeklong “Mahalo Medic” program, providing free and exclusive admission to Hawaii medical professionals. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii at Manoa to boost study of life sciences with new facility. The Life Sciences Building just completed at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will unite researchers, professors and students across disciplines in a thriving field where Hawaii has a natural edge, administrators say. Star-Advertiser.

Royal Hawaiian Groin to be finished in July. After helping keep sand on the Waikiki shoreline throughout 93 years of seasonal waves, currents and tides, storms and rising seas, the Royal Hawaiian Groin, a rock-and-concrete jetty that extends out into the blue-green waters of Waikiki before gently curving toward Diamond Head, is now in the midst of its own sea change. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Filling a need: Nonprofit steps up to cover sanitation at Kiholo Bay. Hui Aloha Kiholo is working to make a crappy situation better. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly $1 Million in Community Development Block Grants Coming to Big Island. Nearly $1 million in block grant funding is on its way to the Big Island, and the county is asking the public for proposals for its distribution. Big Island Now.

Extraordinary Tenure Ends For USGS HVO Leader. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-in-Charge Tina Neal is returning to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Big Island Video News.


Lawmaker, candidate cited for emergency rule violations. State House Rep. Tina Wildberger said she and her husband were “actively stretching in the sand” and “socially distanced” when they were issued citations last month for violating Gov. David Ige’s stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 crisis. Maui News.

Sinenci proposes county Ag Department. Maui County Council Member Shane Sinenci has proposed a charter amendment that would create a county Department of Agriculture. Maui News.

Micro Business Loan Program Receives Additional $750,000. Mayor Michael Victorino announced today the extension of the Micro Business Loan Program with an additional $750,000 of funding from the County of Maui. Maui Now.

Maui Bus Wifi Trial Project in Hāna. The Maui Bus will be launching a Wifi Bus on Wednesday for a two-week trial period in East Maui. Maui Now.

Maui’s Wailea Blue Course to Close Until Further Notice. The Wailea Golf Club will continue to maintain the Blue Course and intends to reopen it when the economy improves. Maui Now.
Mauians train to aid during pandemic. UH-DOH program equipping health workers, residents to trace, do outreach. Maui News.


Coronavirus Has Offered Kauai’s Mayor A Political Breakout Moment. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami’s decisive handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — and the Garden Isle’s relatively low disease infection count — has won him praise locally and statewide. Civil Beat.

Kauai Mayor on pandemic: “We had to do some unique, out-of-the-box creative solutions to address our challenges”. The island of Kauai boasts more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island, something officials kept in mind when making decisions to keep the “garden isle” free of the coronavirus. KHON2.

Could New Kauai Proposal Be A Model For Bringing Back Tourism?. The plan to test travelers twice with a six-day quarantine in a designated hotel would apply to returning residents as well. Civil Beat.

A Ray of Light. Local Kapa‘a business owner Jeni Kaohelaulii considered creative ways to revive Old Kapa‘a Town, which appeared boarded up and bleak during the COVID-19 lockdown. Garden Island.


Lanai Cat Sanctuary hopes to reopen soon since closing in March. Cat lovers across the country can’t wait until a home for feral cats reopens on Lanai. Star-Advertiser.