Showing posts with label Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2022

Farmers and ranchers optimistic about newly elected lawmakers, suspect killed by police after 10-hour standoff at Waikiki hotel, lava flow no immediate threat to Big Island highway, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Farmers And Ranchers Buoyed By New Contingent Of Food-Focused Politicians. A cohort of farming legislators looks to bolster Hawaii’s food systems and build on momentum from 2022. Civil Beat.

Report highlights domino effect of low wages, high costs of living in Hawaiʻi .  The number of working households that are unable to meet their needs despite employment has grown by more than 66% since 2018, according to a new report from the Aloha United Way and Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation. Hawaii Public Radio.

Office Of Hawaiian Affairs Trustees Take Office.  Nine Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ trustees were inducted at an investiture ceremony held Thursday morning at Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu.  Big Island Video News.

$600M spending plan finalized for Hawaiian Home Lands. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has sent the Legislature a finalized plan to spend $600 million that lawmakers appropriated earlier this year largely to facilitate DHHL beneficiary homeownership. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Japanese, U.S. officials urge peace at memorial event. Japanese and American officials gathered Thursday on Ford Island for the annual Japan-U.S. Joint Memorial Ceremony where they reflected on the devastation of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the fighting that followed and how to prevent it from ever happening again.  Star-Advertiser.

 ‘Ticking Ecological Time Bombs’: Thousands Of Sunken Ships From WWII Are Rusting At The Bottom Of The Pacific. Earthquakes, storm surges and other natural disasters could mean environmental catastrophe if oil and other hazardous material spill out. Civil Beat.

US House passes ocean bills to protect reefs, marine animals and ecosystems. The US House passed a package of oceans bills included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act that would help conserve coral reefs, protect marine mammals and enable better understanding of marine ecosystems.  Maui Now.


Suspect Shot & Killed by HPD Following Barricade at Waikiki Hotel. Honolulu Police confirmed the suspect was shot multiple times and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died later from the gunshot wounds.  The 10 hour stand off ended after midnight early Friday morning. KITV4. Hawaii News Now.

Shooting range closure prevents dozens of DPS officers from renewing gun certifications. The sudden closure of Oahu’s only public shooting range is preventing dozens of state Department of Public Safety personnel from being able to renew their firearms certifications. Hawaii News Now.

Report: ‘Forever chemicals’ spilled at Red Hill were also released at Kalaeloa Airport
. Activists say they’re worried about state firefighters, construction workers and others who may have been exposed to the toxic chemicals that have now been linked to increased risk of cancer. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Lava slows its roll on Mauna Loa. Developments in the Mauna Loa lava flow have given Daniel K. Inouye Highway a temporary reprieve, at a minimum, and might even signal the beginning of the end to an eruption entering its 10th day. Or maybe not. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Hawaii News Now.

Three men from Kazakhstan cited for entering closed area on Mauna Loa. Three Kazakhstani visitors were cited Wednesday after being observed by three different law enforcement agencies trespassing within the closed area of the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.  KHON2.

BLNR looks to protect paku‘iku‘i in W. Hawaii waters.  The Board of Land and Natural Resources is mulling a rule that would prohibit the taking of Paku‘iku‘i, also called the Achilles tang, anywhere in West Hawaii waters for at least two years. Tribune-Herald.


Big Spending By Carpenters Super PAC Could Shift The Balance Of Maui’s Council. The super PAC Be Change Now saw six of its seven county candidates win office in November. Almost all county council candidates supported by super PAC Be Change Now were successful in the general election, changing the makeup of the councils in every county and setting up a potential leadership shakeup on Maui. Civil Beat.

Maui Mayor-elect Richard Bissen seeks resumes statewide to serve administration.  Maui County Mayor-elect, Richard Bissen is seeking individuals who wish to serve their community in the position of County Department Directors and Deputy Directors.  Maui Now.

52% of Maui County homes live below ALICE threshold. Maui County has seen the largest increase in poverty in the state since 2018, according to a recent report that noted a growing trend in Hawaii families slipping below both the basic cost of living and federal poverty lines. Maui News.


New officers highlight KPD’s week.  The graduation of the 97th Police Recruit Class on Wednesday at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center capped a week of events at the Kaua‘i Police Department. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Hawaii businesses offer freebies for vets, audit slams Office of Hawaiian Affairs, 100 more join lawsuit against military over Red Hill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

These Hawaii spots offering freebies for veterans. Friday, November 11 is Veterans Day and many businesses across the country are offering free items or nice discounts for veterans, active duty and retired military people. KHON2.

OHA Vows Accountability After Audit Finds Evidence Of ‘Fraud, Waste And Abuse’. A financial investigation released Thursday found 22 instances of questionable spending worth more than $7.3 million made by former top officials at the Office of Hawaiians Affairs. The findings were a follow-up to a 2019 report that initially flagged 38 transactions made from 2012 to 2016. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

County Ethics Watchdogs Need More Money To Do The Job Right, State Panel Says. The Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct says the grants will beef up bare-bones budgets that now exist in all counties except Honolulu, which spends more on its ethics board. Civil Beat.

Green’s proposed visitor fee might be popular with residents, but lawmakers appear cool on the idea.
One of the marquee elements of Gov.-KITV4.Josh Green’s agenda is a flat fee on all visitors to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for everything from erosion to parks. But it could already be in trouble at the Legislature ― a challenge that could be a test of his lobbying skills. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. David Ige reflects on wins and losses as his final inning comes to a close. Gov. David Ige is rounding third base and heading toward home as his last day in office approaches. Hawaii Public Radio. KHON2.

Voter Turnout For Hawaii General Election Plateaus At 48%. It’s the lowest general election turnout in the state’s history. Civil Beat.

On Election Day, this new tool helped speed up Hawaii’s delivery of voting results. New technology used on Election Day helped deliver voting results from more remote areas within minutes. The state Elections Office launched the Remote Rally system for the first time Tuesday and said it worked. Hawaii News Now.

Adult Learners Thought This Program Was A Path To College. They Were Wrong. Hawaii schools continued to operate a popular alternative diploma program from 2014 to 2019, despite it not meeting federal standards. Now some of those graduates are unable to access financial aid. Civil Beat.

The state Board of Education is appointed. It used to be elected. Is one way better? The governor nominates members, and the state Senate either confirms or rejects them. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii agency picks 4 planned mid-income affordable-housing projects to subsidize. Four planned affordable-housing projects received state financing help Thursday under a new program to produce rental apartments for middle-income residents. Star-Advertiser.

New state funding will help expand nursing classes, but it’s a fraction of what’s needed. At a news conference last month, Gov. David Ige released $1.75 million to combat a severe faculty shortage at nursing schools across the state. Hawaii News Now.

In effort to expand healthcare services, VA opens first telehealth station in Hawaii. There are more than 55,000 registered veterans living in Hawaii but not all of them live near a VA clinic. This can make getting access to healthcare challenging but a new program by the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System is designed to bring healthcare services directly to vets. Hawaii News Now.

State Health Department warns of early rise of RSV rates. Health officials are warning of an early rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus and influenza in Hawaii, similar to trends observed across the U.S. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Kauai Now. KHON2.


Over 100 new plaintiffs join Red Hill lawsuit against federal government. More than 100 military family members and civilians who were on the Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam drinking water system when it was contaminated with jet fuel in 2021 have joined a lawsuit suing the federal government, alleging military officials provided inadequate medical care in the days and months following the emergency. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Former TV anchor defeats incumbent in state Senate race. Former TV news anchor Brenton Awa pulled off a come-from-behind win in the race for the state Senate seat that represents Kunia, the North Shore and parts of Windward Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

North Shore property owner offers to take down concrete barrier poured on Sunset Beach. A North Shore property owner who poured concrete on the berm behind his Ke Nui Road home has been granted more time by the city to remove the barrier. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

State clears the way for Meadow Gold expansion. An expansion of the state’s only dairy processing facility could be completed within two years. Meadow Gold Dairies Hawaii is seeking to double the size of its premises in Hilo, a move that could enable more dairy producers in the state. Tribune-Herald.

New Rules For Kahaluʻu Bay Surf Schools. The Hawaiʻi BLNR on Thursday voted to limit the number of companies and students participating in surf instruction in a specific area of Kahaluʻu Bay. Big Island Video News.

There when you need it: Waikoloa Loan Closet provides medical equipment for the community. Realtor Phyllis Klicker had closed on a home sale in Waikoloa Village and discovered the previous owner had left behind a cache of medical equipment. Not wanting to take it to the landfill, she decided to open the Waikoloa Loan Closet, making the equipment available free of charge to anyone in need.West Hawaii Today.


Temporary Wednesday closures implemented to address permit backlog. The Plans Review Section of the Zoning Administration and Enforcement Division will be closed to the public temporarily on Wednesdays beginning Nov. 16, 2022. Maui Now.

Maui police chief explains new tactics.
Joining KHON2 from the Valley Isle is Maui Police Dept. Chief John Pelletier, covering the island’s approach to concealed-carry permits, and the evolution of 21-century policing for Maui County. KHON2.

Man testifies about Maui beating he says was hate crime. A white man who says he was a victim of a hate crime when two Native Hawaiian men assaulted him while he was fixing up a home he purchased in their remote Maui village testified Wednesday that his attackers were racially motivated, even though he conceded that no racist comments can be heard in video taken during the 2014 beating. Associated Press.

Day 3: West Maui fire scorches 2,100 acres, burns mauka brush between Kahoma & Launiupoko. Firefighters continue efforts to contain a stubborn fire in West Maui has burned 2,100 acres since it was first reported on Tuesday. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i county council race shifts; Cowden and DeCosta in, Kagawa out. Late voting favored incumbent council members Felicia Cowden and Billy DeCosta, who passed former council member Ross Kagawa to slot into the sixth and seventh spots, respectively. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Community College names Margaret Sanchez as interim chancellor. Under Sanchez’s leadership, Kauaʻi CC received more than $3.5 million in grants in support of its mission, including enabling the college to be a Native Hawaiian Indigenous-serving institution. Kauai Now.

Kauai Animal Shelter Buys 10 Acres With Plans To Grow. The Kauai Humane Society now owns the Lihue parcel where it has operated for more than two decades. Civil Beat.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Counties grapple with gun laws, former Honolulu chief plans examiner to plead guilty to accepting bribes, Aiona lags in campaign funds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev via Unsplash
PC: Andrey Zvyagintsev via Unsplash
Honolulu police receive feedback on gun-carrying rules. More than 50 testifiers showed up at the first-floor conference room of the Honolulu Police Department’s Alapai headquarters at 10 a.m. Tuesday to weigh in on proposed rules that would govern the issuance of licenses allowing people to carry guns in public. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Council panel sees firearm bill as too restrictive: Committee seeks to whittle down list of prohibited places. Hawaii County’s first shot at drafting an open or concealed carry gun law was deemed too restrictive Tuesday by a majority of County Council members after dozens of testifiers weighed in, the vast majority opposing the measure on constitutional grounds. West Hawaii Today.

Latest Campaign Finance Report Shows Duke Aiona Is Struggling To Raise Cash. Democrat Lt. Gov. Josh Green raised more money since mid-August for his campaign for governor than the Republican nominee has raised all year. Civil Beat.

OHA report casts critical eye on Hawaiian nonprofit’s management of public funds. The OHA report found that 37 out of 50 grants its auditors randomly selected didn’t fully comply with OHA’s documentation requirements. One former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee said the report raises questions about favoritism. Hawaii News Now.

COVID-19 wastewater report shows drop in cases. The Hawaii Department of Health’ s inaugural wastewater surveillance report for COVID-19 compares the concentration levels of coronavirus in wastewater with clinical COVID cases, using data provided by Biobot Analytics of Cambridge, Mass., as part of a national wastewater surveillance program. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. KHON2. KITV4.

With fentanyl overdoses on the rise, head of drug task force pushes for Narcan in all Hawaii classrooms. Hawaii Keiki Nurses ― the only ones who carry it ― mostly work at campuses on Oahu. There are 54 of the professionals statewide; meanwhile, Hawaii has 295 public schools. Hawaii News Now.


Former Honolulu Chief Building Examiner Will Plead Guilty To Bribery. Former chief building examiner Wayne Inouye previously pleaded not guilty to charges of accepting bribes while working in the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting. Between 2012 and 2017, federal prosecutors say Inouye accepted over $100,000 from customers in exchange for expediting permits through the city’s notoriously slow bureaucracy. Civil Beat.

Intrusive drones posing a threat, Honolulu Fire Department says. Lately when the Honolulu Fire Department has responded to rescues and fires, it has encountered an increase in unwelcome flying objects: “rogue drones.” Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Why Tour Groups Are Barred From Stopping At Some Honolulu Beaches But Not Others
. The City Council is considering halting commercial activity at Kokololio Beach. Residents and tour companies say beach-by-beach bans push the problem down the road and don’t solve the overall problem. Civil Beat.

A Sunset Beach property owner is cited for dumping concrete on the public beach. A Sunset Beach homeowner appears to have dropped large amounts of concrete onto the world-famous beach fronting his property, sparking outrage on social media and eliciting calls for better enforcement of Hawaii’s coastal protection laws. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Internal Memo Reveals List Of Experts Concerned About Honolulu Rail Track Layout
. Multiple experts across the different groups responsible for Honolulu’s transit tracks have strong misgivings about their unusual crossing design, echoing the concerns that a former project consultant raised this summer, according to a newly released internal city memo. Civil Beat.

City leaders introduce ‘anti-bullying bill’ to create safe spaces for Oahu youth. Council member Augie Tulba first introduced “Bill 52″ Tuesday to prohibit bullying on city property and in city programs, such as Summer Fun. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

City takes ownership of Leahi Avenue after community urging. The city has officially taken ownership of Leahi Avenue from a private owner after there was community pushback due to parking fees and food truck activity. Star-Advertiser.

Candidates Face Big Funding Disparities In Some Honolulu Council Races. Campaign finance reports reveal which donors are fueling campaigns and where candidates are focusing their efforts before voting begins later this month.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Sees Increase In Hele-On Passenger Trips. The increase in ridership is a result of free fares and the implementation of the 2018 Transit and Multi-Modal Transportation Master Plan, officials say. Big Island Video News.

Solid waste facilities to be closed during Ironman. The return of the Ironman World Championship to the Big Island this week is necessitating the closure of the county’s solid waste facilities because of road closures associated with the triathlon. Big Island Now.

Animal Control Services criticized. Dozens of people turned out Tuesday to voice their frustrations with Hawaii County’s Animal Control Services, only for a planned discussion about those operations to be postponed. Tribune-Herald.

On the wish list: $2M sought for Waikoloa park expansion. Bill 219, introduced by Kohala Councilman Tim Richards, would allocate $2 million for the project that includes improvements to existing infrastructure as well as adding pickleball and tennis courts to the capital budget. West Hawaii Today.


New analysis: What’s the real cost of Maui’s proposed Charter amendments? A newly released financial impact analysis of proposed Maui Charter amendments shows the county would face $2 million in additional annual financial impacts for an amendment proposal related to the creation of a separate Housing Department dedicated to affordable housing. Maui Now.

Maui Voters To Decide If Planning Commission Should Be More Representative. If approved, the amendment to the County Charter would require the commission to have one member from each residency area on the island as represented on the County Council. Currently the charter does not require regional representation on the commission. Civil Beat.

Charging stations planned for county amid EV push. Maui County is set to receive four electric vehicle charging stations in the next five years as the state pushes to meet a zero emissions clean energy economy by 2045. Maui News.

Final EA published for water tank in Waikapū to serve DHHL Puʻunani Homestead. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has published a final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact for a 500,000-gallon concrete water storage tank and related improvements in Waikapū, Maui. Maui Now.

Director of Maui County’s new Department of Agriculture sworn in. Rogerene “Kali” Arce was sworn in today as the director of Maui County’s newly established Department of Agriculture. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Voting explainer: Kauaʻi County charter amendment ballot questions. Kauaʻi County residents will face four ballot amendment questions on this year's general election ballot. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2033. This is 12 years ahead of the state mandate requiring utilities shift to 100 percent renewable power by 2045. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

EPA urges caution on Thirty Meter Telescope, Honolulu mulls tax breaks for businesses on rail line, taxpayers may fund abandoned vehicle removal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Consider TMT changes to lessen impact on Native Hawaiians, EPA urges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging the National Science Foundation to consider alternative construction sites for the Thirty Meter Telescope — and possibly a smaller version of the proposed observatory — in its upcoming environmental review of the controversial project. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Handling of OHA funds leads to questions over CNHA’s bid for tourism contract. Allegations that the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement mismanaged a $1.6 million Office of Hawaiian Affairs contract have surfaced as the dispute over a much larger Hawaii Tourism Authority contract heads beyond the four-month mark. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Gov. Ige Rules Out Special Legislative Session To Fix Court’s Grand Jury Ruling. Gov. David Ige issued a statement Wednesday saying that he would not call the Hawaii Legislature into special session to draft a new law to reverse a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that limits prosecutors’ choices when indicting serious criminals. Civil Beat.

Latest Fed rate hike may also increase jitters in Hawaii’s real estate market. The rise in interest rates is just one of the forces on Hawaii’s real estate market. That rise has pushed some buyers to act more quickly to get an affordable mortgage, while sellers are rethinking their asking price. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Wanted: A bunch of mahimahi stomachs. To fishermen in Hawaii, Pacific mahimahi stomachs hold no particular value and are discarded. But to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists researching mahimahi diet, each stomach tells a unique story and provides an opportunity to help the fish and its environment. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii reports 14 COVID deaths, over 1,100 cases in past week. Hawaii News Now.


Council considers property tax exemptions for businesses along rail line. The Honolulu City Council is considering a measure that would give businesses along the rail line incentives such as expedited permitting and tax exemptions for up to 30 years. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu inching closer to creating historic preservation commission. “Honolulu is the only county in the state that does not have a preservation commission and one of the only major cities in the country without a commission,” councilmember Esther Kiaʻāina said Tuesday. Hawaii Public Radio.

Private financing not needed to build new stadium, Ige says. Gov. David Ige said Wednesday that the $350 million the state Legislature provided during the 2022 session is enough money to build a new Aloha Stadium. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2. KITV4.

Former principal sues Department of Education over threat case. A former principal of Stevenson Middle School has filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court against the state Department of Education, alleging that officials failed to adequately protect her amid violent threats and sexual harassment from an unknown person or people, and retaliated against her for questioning the department’s response. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Has Many Vacant Positions Open On Boards And Commissions. Honolulu officials are looking to fill several positions on city panels, including the new advisory Economic Revitalization Commission, according to a Wednesday news release. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Bill that would cover cost of removing abandoned vehicles passes first reading. A bill that would allow private property owners to remove free of charge abandoned or derelict vehicles from their land moved one step closer to fruition Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Volcano skate park repairs in the works.
The Volcano community is taking steps to repair and reopen Hawaii County’s only wooden skate park. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting Set For Upolu Well Project In North Kohala. A meeting will take place on Thursday, September 29 at the Kohala Village Hub Barn in order provide an Upolu Well project overview and solicit community input. Big Island Video News.

Signs Stolen: Nene Crossing, Tsunami Route, Scenic Byways. Police say the unique Hawaiʻi signs are being removed along Mamalahoa Highway in the areas of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the district of Kaʻū. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Maui Planning Department seeks applicants to fill 22% vacancy
. The Maui County Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui Now.

Several vacancies in Planning Department delaying permit processing. A 22 percent vacancy rate has contributed to delays in permit processing in Maui County, which is why the Department of Planning is seeking applicants to fill six newly funded positions and 12 vacant positions, ranging from clerical to planner and supervisory positions. Maui News.


Facing litigation, Kaua‘i County returns drug treatment facility to Grove Farm. The Kaua‘i County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to deed the facility back to its previous owners, ending the county leadership role in the long struggle to get the center off the ground, which has been marred by struggles finding an operator, legal troubles and a global pandemic. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Woman escapes fine in monk seal encounter, big raises for veteran teachers, new charges in affordable housing credit scam, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Swimmer attacked by monk seal won’t be fined. State officials Monday said they will not fine a woman whose close encounter with an endangered Hawaiian monk seal mother left her with injuries Sunday morning in Waikiki. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Feds ask judge to dismiss lawsuit questioning validity of dolphin swim ban. Federal officials have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit contesting the validity of a rule banning swimming with Hawaiian spinner dolphins. West Hawaii Today.

High inflation is top issue for Hawaii voters. More than two-thirds of Hawaii voters have altered their household spending due to high inflation, and half want a state gas tax suspension, new Hawaii Poll results suggest. Star-Advertiser.

Majority of Hawaii voters think homelessness has increased. A majority of Hawaii voters participating in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll indicate they have seen no improvement in homelessness in the islands, with 67% saying the problem has gotten worse over the past 12 months. Star-Advertiser.

Diversifying The Economy: Governor Contenders Would Boost Ag, Small Business. Vicky Cayetano wants a permanent 50% excise tax cut for small businesses, while Josh Green is proposing new government subsidies to support Hawaii agriculture. Civil Beat.

Top candidates for governor differ on specifics, but agree housing crisis must be addressed. The leading Democratic candidates for governor agree the housing crisis — with its low inventory and burdensome regulations — isn’t solvable overnight. But they do support some immediate measures and all support some form of a housing emergency declaration. Hawaii News Now.

Newcomers Are Leading In Campaign Donations For OHA Elections. Will It Matter? A prominent Thirty Meter Telescope supporter and attorney emerged as the leader in the field in campaign donations for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees race. But political observers say incumbents have the advantage of name recognition so traditionally have not needed to raise as much. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teacher salary change in Hawaii sparks ‘unretirements’. Salaries are being raised by $7,700 to $26,000 for those thousands of educators for whom salary “step movements” occasionally have been held back by the state in economically lean years.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

UH receives record $505M in extramural funding. The University of Hawaii has topped half a billion dollars in outside funding for the first time in its history, officials announced Thursday. The 10-campus system hit a record $505 million in fiscal year 2022, which ended June 30. Hawaii News Now.

Ige travels to Idaho to attend governors’ conference, lead roundtable discussion. Issues such as land use, rural healthcare, wildfire events, cyber security, transportation and droughts will be discussed at the event. Hawaii News Now.

Ige’s about-face on air tour bill creates challenges for industry. The measure, which became law as Act 311 upon Ige’s signature July 12, also establishes the Air, Noise and Safety Task Force. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Will Create A New Office Dealing With Trauma. The Office of Wellness and Resiliency will be temporarily housed in the governor’s office. A new state agency tasked with helping people who deal with childhood trauma and other mental health issues will soon be up and running. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hawaii Department of Health to begin taking vaccine appointments for those at high risk of catching monkeypox. The Hawaii Department of Health today announced monkeypox vaccination appointments will be available starting Wednesday for adult residents at higher risk of monkeypox infection or severe illness. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Rail project satisfies audit recommendations. The current administration overseeing the city’s troubled rail project satisfactorily addressed nine recommendations made by the city auditor dating back to 2019 to control cost overruns, delays and other issues, according to a report released Monday. Star-Advertiser.

To help reduce backlog, Ala Moana Satellite City Hall to offer passport services. For the first time, passport applications can be processed at Ala Moana Satellite City Hall. It’s part of a pilot program to help reduce application backlog. The new service will begin in August and will only be available by appointment-only. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Housing case broadens: Two Hilo attorneys, Pahoa businessman charged. Federal court documents outlining charges against two Hilo attorneys and a Pahoa businessman claim the trio, and a county official who has already pleaded to wrongdoing, fraudulently obtained almost $11 million in land and affordable housing credits over a six-year-plus period — without building any affordable housing. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Inaba seeks audit of housing credits at issue in federal probe. Amid a growing corruption scandal, North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba believes the county’s use of affordable housing credits deserves a deeper look, and he’s sponsored a resolution asking the county auditor to do just that. West Hawaii Today.

Land board OK’s updates to Maunakea plan. A Hawaiian activist on Friday said she plans to seek a contested case hearing after the Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve updates to the University of Hawaii’s Maunakea management plan. Tribune-Herald.

NELHA Innovation Center, Visitor Center Posts Final EA. A new Innovation Center for NELHA, and Hale Wawaloli Visitor Center for the Hawaiʻi Ocean Science and Technology Park, are planned for the Kona shoreline. Big Island Video News.


Negotiations begin with new developer of Lānaʻi Solar project. Hawaiian Electric has selected a new developer, DG Development & Acquisition, LLC, to build and maintain Lānaʻi Solar, the largest utility-scale renewable energy project on Lāna‘i and the island’s first to offer the shared solar program. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


With ballot boxes set up, Kaua‘i voters can make their primary election decisions. With ballots mailed out Friday and drop boxes set up throughout the island Monday, Kaua‘i residents can now make election choices that will shape policy on the most-important issues of the day, from housing to COVID-19. Garden Island.

Input sought on Mahelona new master plan. Last Thursday, a crowd of approximately 50 people who live in the surrounding area attended a special meeting organized by state Rep. Nadine Nakamura at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital’s auditorium to discuss the new master plan for the 34-acre Mahelona campus. Garden Island.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Seized Russian yacht docks in Honolulu, Ige signs LGBTQ bills, Maui mayor approves record $1.1B budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Russian yacht, seized in Fiji by U.S., docks at Honolulu Harbor. A superyacht seized last week in Fiji by U.S. federal agents — as part of an effort by Western governments to confiscate Russian assets and punish oligarchs for their country’s invasion of Ukraine — arrived Thursday morning in Honolulu Harbor. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Gov. David Ige signs LGBTQ rights bills into law. The bills address a range of issues — from insurance coverage for gender affirming treatments to jury participation for the LGBTQ community. One formally establishes the Hawaii LGBTQ+ Commission. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii jobless rate ticks up to 4.2% as labor force grows. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism reported Thursday that Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2% in May, up from 4.1% in April. Star-Advertiser.

Anticipated Revenue Windfall Raises The Stakes In OHA Elections. Six seats on OHA’s board of trustees, which oversees more than $600 million in trust funds, are up for grabs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s red-flag law took effect in 2020. Hawaii’s red-flag or “extreme risk” law took effect on Jan. 1, 2020. But since then, there’s only been one request for a gun violence protective order. Advocates say the problem is not many people know what it is ― and how it works. Hawaii News Now.

Public Forum On Hawaiʻi Broadband Access Set. The University of Hawaiʻi is inviting the public to an online forum on June 23 to discuss creating more broadband access opportunities. Big Island Video News.

Despite Hawaiʻi's clean energy strides, oil keeps its grip on the islands. While Hawaiʻi has made strides to transition its electrical grid to renewable energy, the economy still overwhelmingly relies on fossil fuels. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hokule‘a and Hikianalia return from Tahiti. The voyaging canoes Hokule‘a and Hikianalia docked at Sand Island at 6:45 p.m. Thursday upon their return from their 2,500-mile voyage from Tahiti. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.


Honolulu police investigate 2 SHOPO leaders after internal union fight raises extortion allegations. The top two officials of the police officers union have been placed on restrictive duty after Honolulu police opened a misdemeanor extortion case in connection with allegations outlined in a civil suit filed by an ousted union official who says he was falsely accused of double-dipping travel funds and blackmailed with the threat of a theft complaint. Star-Advertiser.

Son of new Honolulu police chief charged in bicycle thefts. The 36-year-old son of newly sworn-in Honolulu Police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan has been charged with second-degree burglary related to the alleged theft of two bicycles in 2021. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Mixed reactions over hotel proposed for Honolulu's Chinatown. If approved, the 4-star, 240-room hotel outfitted with a rooftop restaurant and pool -- would be located in Chinatown. Ikenakea Development touts its $127 million project as a vision for revitalizing a deteriorating district, and an opportunity to provide 100 full-time local jobs. KITV4.

University of Hawaii is awarded $25 million to create hybrid reef. The University of Hawaii will be awarded up to $25 million by the Department of Defense to design and build a hybrid coral reef that aims to protect the coastline from the growing impacts of flooding, erosion and storms. The part-man-made, part-natural reef structure will be installed at a yet-to-be-determined site on the coast of Oahu in a project funded by the DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Broken waterline at Dillingham Airfield is leaking millions of gallons ― every single month.
As the state grapples with an ongoing water crisis, a broken waterline at Dillingham Airfield is leaking millions of gallons every month. State leaders say problems with the system date back nearly two decades. Hawaii News Now.

Closure of Wahiawa nursing facility leaves worrisome long-term care gap. The looming shutdown of the only skilled nursing facility in Wahiawa has advocates raising more alarms about Hawaii’s long-term care crisis. Hawaii News Now.

58th Annual Hawaii State Farm Fair coming to Kaneohe in July. The 58th Hawaii State Farm Fair will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, at the Kualoa Ranch in Kaneohe. The Fair is sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau, in partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture and Hawaii State 4-H Livestock Council. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

CDC categorizes Hawaii County as a high-level community for COVID-19 risks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today moved Hawaii County from a yellow, medium-level community to an orange, high-level community for COVID-19 impacts. Hawaii County now joins Kauai, Honolulu, and Maui counties, which are also categorized as orange, high-risk COVID communities. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Increased homeowner exemption clears committee. A bigger break in taxes for homeowners and kupuna is all but assured next year, following a unanimous committee vote Tuesday on a bill and assurances from the administration that it supports the measure. West Hawaii Today.

Portuguese center one step closer to fruition.
Today marks an important milestone for the organizers of the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Cultural and Educational Center — they will be inking signatures on a construction contract for the long-envisioned facility at the corner of Komohana and Ponahawai streets in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor signs record high $1.07 billion budget, saying it will rebuild Maui County
. Saying that the county will go from surviving — to rebuilding and revitalizing — Mayor Michael Victorino today signed into law the record-high $1.07 billion budget for the new fiscal year.  Maui Now.

Proposal paves way for more public parking at coveted South Maui beach.
After years of sparring over beach parking at popular Keawakapu in South Maui, a new bill is paving the way for additional public parking on nearby state land. Maui Now.

South Maui Residents Want A Community Plan With Sharper Teeth. An update to South Maui’s community plan has been a long time coming. Residents charting the region’s future complain that past plans have been too flimsy. Civil Beat.

Newly renovated community center, DMVL in Pukalani opens with blessing. Work on the Hannibal Tavares Community Center included replacement of deteriorated wood, structural repairs, asphalt shingle roofing and gutter replacement, and repainting of the center’s interior and exterior. Maui Now.


Judicial Nominee Faces Accusations Of Witness Tampering. But defense lawyers say attorney Gregory Meyers followed standard procedure when he delivered a witness statement to Kauai County prosecutors and described the complaint as “frivolous.” Civil Beat.

Panel to talk about Coco Palms. The discussion will include the location’s ancient context, Coco Palms’ history, and current plans for the property. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Legislature mulls rental car impact fee, opposes putting $1B in rainy day fund, Kauai military crash victims identified, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Climate change impact fee on rental cars proposed. A plan to charge tourists a special rental car fee to offset their effect on climate change has been met with technical and philosophical pushback, along with support to have visitors pay more to help the environment. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers rain on Gov. David Ige’s plan for $1 billion ‘rainy day’ fund.
Hawaii lawmakers this week zeroed out the proposed $1 billion emergency savings account appropriation in a Senate bill introduced on behalf of Ige, and deferred an identical House companion bill. Star-Advertiser.

Restorative Justice Group Calls For Sweeping Reform Of Women’s Prison System. A group of prominent women is pushing for a complete overhaul of Hawaii’s women’s prison system through a slew of bills under consideration by the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Bills Would Limit Rental Application Fees.
Only one member of a household may be charged a $25 fee under measures moving through the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Measure that would settle OHA's share of public land trust revenue heads to final Senate vote. Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering a bill to settle unresolved issues over exactly how much public land trust revenue the state must direct toward the betterment of Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Constitutional Changes And Legal Challenges Loom As Redistricting Commission Wraps Up Work. State lawmakers want to change the way the commission counts military personnel and college students. Civil Beat.

3 former Hawaii defense contractors plead not guilty in illegal campaign scheme. Martin Kao, 48, Clifford Chen, 48, and Lawrence “Kahele” Lum Kee, 52, of Martin Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Navatek LLC, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to make conduit and government contractor contributions, and making government contractor contributions to support U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) who ran for reelection in 2020 and won. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

Former OHA trustee Oswald ‘Oz’ Stender remembered for his dedication to the Native Hawaiian community, dies at 90. Oswald “Oz” Stender, who rose above the turmoil of the Bishop Estate’s “Broken Trust” scandal and went on to serve 14 years as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, died Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DOE sets rules for Hawaii graduation ceremonies.
The state Department of Education has released its gathering rules for this year’s graduation and transition ceremonies. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Feb. 23, 2022 COVID-19 update: 134 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The  count includes two cases on Maui, 12 on Hawaiʻi Island, 10 on Kauaʻi, one on Molokaʻi, 0 on Lānaʻi, and 18 out of state.  There are 91 new COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Maui Now.


Council unanimously passes bill mandating permits for large underground storage tanks
, in response to Red Hill. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday unanimously backed a measure that requires a city permit to operate an underground storage tank system that can hold more than 100,000 gallons of any regulated substance. It also requires the permit seeker to secure approval from the state health director. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers want the state to take over Lake Wilson, but it would come at a steep price. Some state lawmakers want the state to take over Wahiawa’s Lake Wilson and the surrounding irrigation system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Settles Four Law Enforcement Lawsuits.
The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved legal payouts totaling millions of dollars to settle lawsuits filed against the Honolulu Police Department and Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Kenneth Silva Appointed To Honolulu Police Commission.
Former fire chief will fill the lone vacancy on the seven-member police commission. Civil Beat.

City: Efforts to tackle crime in Chinatown are working, but there’s more work to do.
The city administration says efforts such as cracking down on criminal activity has improved Chinatown during the past year. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council advances homeless funding bill. Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung, jogging Wednesday morning prior to the County Council meeting, came upon a large “Aloha, Welcome to Kona” sign. West Hawaii Today.

Council members question funding requests for waste management equipment
. Requests for hundreds of thousands of dollars for equipment for the county Department of Environmental Management led to frustration at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Tribune-Herald.

County’s Honuʻapo Lands in Kaʻū to Reopen.
Because the area is cooling and new safety measures put in place, Hawaiʻi County will reopen some of its public lands in Kaʻū that have been closed since October. Big Island Now.


1,150-unit Honua‘ula project heads to mediation. The Honua’ula master-planned community of more than 1,000 housing units and mixed-use development faces yet another challenge as it heads into mediation and may end up in a contested case hearing. Maui News.

Maui Is Getting Ready To Move Part Of A Major Highway Due To Climate Change.
The Honoapiilani Highway is the main artery in and out of West Maui and keeping it open is considered crucial for public safety, commerce, tourism and other transportation needs. Civil Beat.

Temporary closure of Lahainaluna boy’s dorm comes amid investigation into misconduct allegations. A temporary closure of the boys’ dormitory at Lahainaluna High School went into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and will continue for nearly a month through March 20, 2022, the state Department of Education has confirmed. Maui Now.


Victims of Kauai helicopter crash identified.
Matthew Haider, 43, Erika Tevez-Valdez, 42, Daniel Maurice, 64, and Patrick Rader, 55, were killed in Tuesday’s deadly helicopter crash on Kauai. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Search for state schools superintendent stalls, 10-year-old handcuffed, arrested in school tiff, Sunshine Law changes surface, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Department of Education
Acting Superintendent Keith Hayashi PC: DOE

Hawaii’s Search For A New School Chief Will Take Longer Than Expected. The state Board of Education plans to use local grant money to hire the National Association of State Boards of Education to help facilitate the search. Civil Beat.

Sinking test scores show pandemic impact on Hawaii students.
Learning across public schools in Hawaii plummeted during the pandemic. New test scores and screenings show huge losses in math and reading. KHON2.

OHA Has Lots Of Job Openings Amid A Controversial Restructuring. Meanwhile, some staffers have criticized a reorganization they say contributed to departures from the office. Civil Beat.

Trick-or-treating gets a green light this year as COVID-19 cases fall. Outdoor trick-or-treating has been greenlighted by federal and state health officials this year, a sign that life is starting to get back to normal after soaring COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer spurred heightened restrictions. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

A Key Part Of Hawaii’s Nursing Workforce Is Shrinking Fast.
Even before the pandemic, licensed practical nurses, who do much of the work at long-term care facilities, were calling it quits. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 117 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 54 new cases on Oahu, 29 on Hawaii Island, 13 each on Maui and Kauai, and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


ACLU urges reform after girl, 10, arrested at Waipahu school.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and a Honolulu attorney are calling for $500,000 in damages and new state policies managing how police and public school employees handle situations with students after the mother of a 10-year-old Black girl living with disabilities alleged officers used “excessive force” to handcuff, interrogate and arrest her daughter following a complaint from another parent. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

HPD faces new pressure to restrict powers of commander accused of harassment, retaliation.
Major Stephen Gerona is the subject of multiple officer complaints for alleged harassment, sexual harassment, retaliation and for creating a hostile work environment. Hawaii News Now.

Investigation Recovers $97K in Back Wages for 137 Restaurant Workers. GU Industrial & Business Corp. has operated Golden Coin restaurants and bake shops offering Filipino specialties and other food products since 1985. Based in Waipahu – home to the company’s headquarters, a banquet facility, and meat and poultry processing and bakery facilities – GU Industrial & Business Corp operates Golden Coin locations in ʻEwa Beach, Honolulu, Kalihi, Wahiawa and Wailuku. Maui Now.

Hundreds of burned cars removed from illegal junkyard on state farmland. It took several years to illegally stockpile an estimated 1,000 junked cars on state farm land in Poamoho. But it took about a week for private company working with the state to haul away the burned out vehicles. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A ‘common sense’ Halloween: Mayor says no county-specific rules on tap for Oct. 31. Mayor Mitch Roth said Monday that he will not issue any county-specific rules for Halloween, instead encouraging families to simply “use common sense” to avoid spreading COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

Sunshine Law changes in the works. There’s little detail, but County Council members will be asked Wednesday to approve a resolution asking the county to support changes to the Sunshine Law, the state law governing public meetings and public notice to the meetings. West Hawaii Today.

$58.7M customs facility complete at Kona International Airport.
Construction of a permanent Federal Inspection Services facility to allow for continued international arrivals beyond this year at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole has been completed under budget and ahead of schedule. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaiian Electric to usher in more renewable energy options. On Friday, Hawaiian Electric filed a request for proposal to acquire new renewable energy projects, beginning the third phase of a greater renewable energy procurement project that will, when completed, generate up to 203 megawatts of clean power on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kona restaurant gets red placard for roach infestation. A Kailua-Kona restaurant was ordered to close after an inspector found roaches infesting the kitchen and food areas, evidence of active rodent infestation and other hazards, the state Department of Health said Monday. A red placard was issued to Kamana Indian Cuisine Restaurant in the Waterfront Row Shopping Center. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Maui Mayor Victorino says he learned of COVID-19 exposure via social media. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino tested negative for COVID-19 last weekend after meeting days earlier with three unvaccinated county residents, two of whom came down with the virus, his office said today. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Plans stall for Hawaii’s first eco-friendly cemetery on Maui.
A setback in an effort to create Hawaii’s first eco-friendly cemetery isn’t stopping Reverend Bodhi Be. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Small Farmers Can Apply for Grants Up to $25,000.
The $1.5 million Maui County-funded program is open to operating farms on less than 12 acres possessing a county business or state general excise license as of July 1, 2021, with preference given to women and Native Hawaiian farmers. Maui Now.


Kauai’s Special Election For Prosecutor Gets A Second Candidate. Shaylene Iseri filed nomination papers this week to campaign in a special election for county prosecutor, a seat vacated last month by Justin Kollar who had held the job for nearly a decade. Civil Beat.

County seeks nonprofit to manage North Shore Watershed Flood Mitigation sub-grants. The county is seeking a nonprofit organization to manage the distribution of over $7 million in sub-grants in funding that’s a result of the historic 2018 April floods. Garden Island.