Showing posts with label Pacific Missile Range. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pacific Missile Range. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2024

FEMA spending millions on empty buildings for Maui fire survivors, AG Lopez acting governor, government wraps up case in Kaneshiro bribery trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Attorney General Anne Lopez serving as acting governor.  Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke served as acting governor from the evening of May 4 through Tuesday evening when Hawaii Attorney General Anne E. Lopez is serving as acting governor from the evening of May 7 until Gov. Josh Green’s return May 9.  Green has been in California since May 4 to attend the Milken Institute Global Conference. Maui News.

Deadline effectively set for Justice Department to decide on Alaska-Hawaiian deal. The DOJ said it would decide within 90 days of the two airlines declaring substantial compliance with the DOJ's second and presumably final document request.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Campaign Spending Commission Fines Kaniela Ing Another $18,000.  The Campaign Spending Commission fined former state Rep. Kaniela Ing $18,000 Wednesday for failing to make records available to the commission and falsifying nearly two dozen campaign finance reports during his time as a state representative from 2012 to 2018.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.


‘Follow the money’ witness wraps up government’s case in Kaneshiro trial. After 22 days of testimony, the government rested its case in the federal bribery trial against ex-city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and his co-defendants. Hawaii News Now.

Will Honolulu reach its goal to drop emissions by 45% in the next year?  Ben Sullivan, the deputy director for the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, said that Honolulu is on track to achieve closer to a 15% reduction, which is well below the stated goal. Hawaii Public Radio.

City outlines wildfire preparations on Oahu.
In the wake of the deadly Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, the City and County of Honolulu says it’s begun efforts to better respond to future wildfire threats on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Federal witnesses defend Navy’s Red Hill response.
Government witnesses are taking the stand this week to defend the Navy’s response to the Red Hill water crisis and sow doubts about the severity of the contamination as a federal mass tort lawsuit on behalf of affected families continues. Star-Advertiser.

Residential development planned for former St. Francis School campus. The 11.2 acre campus on the east side of Manoa Valley is already zoned for residential use. The Avalon Group purchased it for $23.5 million and wants to turn it into Aria Lane Manoa, with 76 single-family homes and 26 townhomes. Prices haven’t been set yet. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Growing Demand Puts Pressure On Honolulu’s Sports Fields.
Sports leagues are proliferating while the number of fields remains stagnant. One solution: Letting leagues play on school fields during off-hours. Civil Beat.

Plans to redo Paradise Cove at Ko Olina revived.
  New development partners are advancing a previously delayed plan to revitalize one of Hawaii’s oldest and most popular tourist attractions, Paradise Cove Luau. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Public clashes with Army over PTA lease.  During a public comment meeting at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo on Wednesday, Big Islanders continued to urge the U.S. Army to abandon the Pohakuloa Training Area instead of extending its lease of state land. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  KITV4.

Visitor spending on Hawaii Island leaps to $854.2 million in the first quarter.
Visitor spending on Hawaii Island leaped to $854.2 million in the first quarter from $741.1 million in the first quarter of 2023 and from $646.4 in the first quarter of 2019, according to a monthly report from the state of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism. Tribune-Herald.


FEMA Is Still Spending Millions On Hundreds Of Empty Housing Units For Maui Fire Survivors
. The agency has found available housing but is struggling to get people to move in. On Friday, it ends its support for the emergency hotel program. Civil Beat.

County issues RFP for After-Action Report of Maui Emergency Management Agency’s coordination of the Aug. 8 wildfire. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen announced the County of Maui has issued a Request for Proposals to conduct an After-Action Report assessing the coordination of Maui County Emergency Management Agency’s response to the Maui Wildfires that occurred in August 2023. Maui Now.

Residents invited to offer feedback on draft South Maui Community Plan at May 14 meeting. The Maui Planning Commission will review the latest draft for the South Maui Community Plan during a public meeting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Testimony will be accepted. Maui Now.

New Maui Ethics Board Member Instructed Not To Participate Due To Legal Dispute. The short-handed panel desperately needs more members, but a lawsuit is pending over the county's selection process. Civil Beat.


US Navy, NASA seek continued use of lands at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kōkeʻe park. The U.S. Navy and NASA want to continue using more than 8,000 acres of state land on Kaua‘i after existing real estate agreements expire in 2027 and 2030. Kauai Now.

Visitor spending tops $700 million in first quarter on Kaua‘i. Total visitor spending surged to $719.4 million in the three-month period ended March 31, compared with $660.9 million in the three-month period ended March 31, 2023, and $481.9 million in the three-month period ended March 31, 2019. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Mask mandate to end March 25, House approves minimum wage, Mauna Kea bills, NTSB releases report on deadly Kauai military crash, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii to end mask mandate March 25. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate will sunset along with the state’s current emergency proclamation for the COVID-19 pandemic at 11:59 p.m. March 25. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Masks still required indoors at Hawaii public schools, but optional outdoors starting Wednesday. Hawaii public schools will continue to require protective masks indoors for now, but outdoor use becomes optional effective today, state schools interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi has announced. Star- Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. KITV4.

House Approves Minimum Wage, Mauna Kea Bills After Emotional Floor Debate. As the Legislature nears the halfway mark for this year’s session, measures to provide $600 million for Native Hawaiian housing and increase the capital gains tax also advance. Civil Beat.

Dozens rally at state Capitol calling for raise in minimum wage to $18 an hour. Dozens took to the state Capitol building on Tuesday calling on the government to increase Hawaii’s minimum wage to $18 over the next four years. The state Senate has advanced a bill for a series of wage hikes to increase pay from the current $10.10 an hour. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Native Hawaiians rally as University of Hawaii updates Mauna Kea plans. As the University of Hawaii seeks to update a plan that guides its ongoing management of Mauna Kea, Native Hawaiians who rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol were urged to support a measure that would remove UH from its role on the mountain in favor of a new stewardship authority. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Average Gas Prices In Hawaii, US Highest Ever. It comes as President Biden announces a U.S. ban on Russian oil and gas imports. Civil Beat.

New rules for medical cannabis broaden Hawaii’s edible menu. The previously limited menu of edible products at Hawaii’s medical cannabis dispensaries has been expanded under new Department of Health rules allowing the sale of gummies, chocolates, beverages, brownies, cookies and other items. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi reports 63 Covid Cases. There are 51 coronavirus cases on Oʻahu, six on Hawaiʻi Island, one on Kauaʻi and five on Maui. That brings the state total to 237,518. No new fatalities were reported. The state death toll remains at 1,354. Hawaii News Now.


Rail park-and-ride facility’s costs soar ... but so does support for the project.
Half a billion dollars. That’s the cost for the the rail system’s park-and -ride facility and related structures at the Pearl Highlands station ― costs rail officials are now trying to rein in. Hawaii News Now.

Half The Areas Impacted By Fuel Contamination Are Now Deemed Safe. Residents who get the all-clear will have to leave their hotel rooms and return home. Civil Beat.

Homeless from out-of-state increases in isles. Throughout the pandemic the number of homeless coming here from the mainland dropped significantly. But now as restrictions are being lifted, there's been a spike in homeless arrivals. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Feeling the impact: Gas prices climbing, electric bills could increase by up to 20%.
In an effort to keep fuel, food, energy and other associated costs down, Mayor Mitch Roth asked residents to help by using as little fuel as possible. West Hawaii Today.

Dog law headed for reform: Moving testimony about attacks fuels unanimous vote. The bill would create within the county statutes a tiered system of penalties for the offense of “negligent failure to control a dangerous dog” that would impose more severe penalties based on the severity of the injuries caused. Tribune-Herald.

Meadow Gold receives final environmental approval for expansion
. A planned expansion of Meadow Gold Dairies’ Hilo processing plant has cleared a significant hurdle. Tribune-Herald.

The Big Island Mayor’s Decision To Close Waipio Valley Road Rankles Residents
. Some say the risk from rockfall is minimal, and that it’s really just about further restricting access. The public can weigh in at a meeting Wednesday. Civil  Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Waikōloa Timeshare, Affordable Housing Project Drives Ahead. A subcommittee of the Hawai‘i County Council moved forward on Tuesday with a plan by a Waikōloa developer to repurpose one of its two golf courses into hundreds of timeshares, multi-family units and lots for single-family homes. Big Island Now.


State Supreme Court rules in favor of taro farmers. Court says permits to divert water from East Maui were ‘not authorized. Maui News.

Maui County switching to automated online planning and permitting processing. Maui County is transitioning to a new, web-based software designed to provide greater public transparency and improved customer service for planning and permit processing. Maui Now.

Project for 53 luxury homes in Mākena clears hurdle after mixed testimony.
After debates on whether adding 53 luxury homes in a hotel area would help or hurt Maui’s housing crisis, Maui Planning Commission cleared a key hurdle today for the project planned on 28 acres in Mākena. Maui Now.

Good Luck Finding A Place To Rent If You Own A Pet — Especially On Maui. The No. 1 reason dogs and cats are surrendered to the Maui Humane Society is a lack of pet-friendly housing. Civil Beat.


Woman charged with illegally acting as Russian agent lobbied Kauai politicians. The woman who spearheaded a 2019 lobbying effort to retain the Russian name of a historic Kauai fort was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday with illegally acting as an agent of the Russian government in the U.S. Star-Advertiser.

NTSB releases preliminary PMRF helicopter crash report. The helicopter that crashed at the U.S. Pacific Missile Range Facility, killing all four on board last month, was on a mission to retrieve a training torpedo, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Four dead in military contractor helicopter crash off Kauai, former Big Island councilman sentenced to 46 months for embezzlement, bribery, Hirono tours Red Hill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

A helicopter crash Tuesday at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai killed four civilian contractors. A PMRF spokesman said the Sikorsky S-61N helicopter, one of two contracted by the facility, crashed at about 10 a.m. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Senate panel passes ban on fundraisers during session.
The Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban lawmaker fundraisers during the legislative session, one of several measures aimed at addressing corruption after two former legislators pleaded guilty in connection with a bribery scandal. Associated Press. KITV4.

Heidi Haunani Tsuneyoshi running for governor as Republican.
First-term Honolulu Councilwoman Heidi Haunani Tsuneyoshi — a frequent critic of the city’s troubled rail project who represents parts of Central Oahu, the North Shore and the Windward side — announced Tuesday that she is running for governor as a Republican. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Want To Run For Office? Filings Begin March 1.
The Hawaii Office of Elections’ candidate deadline is June 7. Civil Beat.

Navy expects 27 countries to attend RIMPAC this summer. A Navy news release said 42 ships, five submarines, more than 170 aircraft and nearly 25,000 personnel are expected to participate in RIMPAC in waters off Hawaii and San Diego. Star-Advertiser.

Last defendant sentenced in scheme to defraud Hawaii housing programs. The last participant in a scheme that defrauded local housing programs of more than $100,000 was sentenced in Hawaii’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday. The scheme ran from approximately April 2015 to August 2017 and involved four people, all of whom have now been sentenced for their participation, including IHS housing specialist Leopoldo Bitte, Jr. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

There Are Widespread Reports of Sex Trafficking, So Why No Convictions? Although state agencies have received hundreds of reports of sex trafficking in Hawaii in recent years, state prosecutors have failed to convict a single person of the crime since legislators formally outlawed the practice in 2016, a review of state and local records found. Civil Beat.

Double the time: Lawmakers consider stiffer penalty for some drunken drivers in fatal crashes. A measure that would impose a stiffer penalty on a person convicted of first-degree negligent homicide while driving under the influence of an intoxicant passed its only committee hearing Friday. West Hawaii Today.

The Nature Conservancy announces new Conservation Director. The Nature Conservancy, Hawai‘i and Palmyra has named Trevor Taylor as Director of Conservation. Maui Now.

Queen’s, Kaiser Permanente ease visitor restrictions amidst declining COVID-19 cases. Both The Queen’s Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii have eased visiting guidelines as daily coronavirus cases and positivity rates in the state continue to decline. Star-Advertiser.

Feb. 22, 2022 COVID-19 update: 150 new infections in Hawaiʻi. Todayʻs count includes 10 cases on Maui, 26 on Hawaiʻi Island, 14 on Kauaʻi, 0 on Molokaʻi, three on Lānaʻi, and one out of state.  There are 96 new COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Maui Now.


Oahu's COVID-19 restrictions coming to an end on March 5, Blangiardi says.
The days of carrying a COVID-19 vaccination card or negative test result to go out on the town will soon be over -- Safe Access Oahu will sunset on March 5. KITV4.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono calls for closing the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility through the state permitting process.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono defended her decision Tuesday not to sign onto a congressional bill that would mandate the permanent shutdown of the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility, telling reporters that she was focused instead on a state permitting process that could accomplish the same goal, but faster. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

Commission considers adjustment to property tax exemptions. The Oahu Real Property Tax Advisory Commission is considering changes to the city’s property tax rates and exemptions — notably, for historic homes, for-profit child care centers and primary residences. Star-Advertiser.

Council chair: Media access to emergency scanners a matter of public safety. City Council Chair Tommy Waters wants to restore the news media’s ability to listen in when first responders are called to emergencies. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Higa sentenced to 46 months in prison. Former County Councilman and Na Leo TV CEO Stacy Higa was sentenced Tuesday to 46 months in prison for embezzling from AmeriCorps and also for offering a bribe in return for federal coronavirus relief funds. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Council bill would require EV charging stations for new parking lots. A Hawaii County Council member hopes to legally require developers to include electric vehicle charging stations in new parking lots. Tribune-Herald.

HPD looking for recruits for ‘rewarding career’. Starting salary for a police officer is $65,652 a year, with benefits including paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, military leave, health insurance, group life insurance, a uniform and equipment stipend, automobile subsidy and retirement. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Major 670-acre housing project in Wailea aims to move ahead; groups intervene. A long-debated master planned community proposed for 670 acres in Wailea called Honuaʻula sought the next phase of county approval today — but two groups are challenging it. Maui Now.

Final assessment for Honokowai project released. Plan calls for hundreds of residential homesteads, multifamily residential units. The state Department of Hawaiian Homelands has published its final environmental assessment for its Honokowai Homestead Community Master Plan, which will include hundreds of residential homesteads, multifamily residential units and subsistence agricultural homestead lots on nearly 800 acres in West Maui. Maui News.

A plan to beautify a shoreline parcel on Maui has hit yet another obstacle. A lot near Kahului Harbor is finally cleared of homeless and ready for food trucks thanks to a local nonprofit organization. But it’s got a pretty foul neighbor — a sewage discharge station. Hawaii News Now.


Waitlists, affordability obstacles in Hawai‘i housing crisis
. Hawai‘i leaders met Tuesday to address the public about the state’s on-going housing crisis, recommending a multi-pronged approach to address rising home costs. Garden Island.

Princeville resort part of state’s ‘regenerative tourism’ push. The Cliffs at Princeville resort is donating a portion of guests’ bills to local conservation efforts through a new partnership with the hotel-booking website Kind Traveler. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Honolulu police officers cleared in shooting of 16-year-old, 500 health-care workers deployed to Hawaii, teachers union seeks safer classrooms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pool photo Civil Beat
Honolulu police officers in court Civil Beat pool photo

3 Honolulu Police officers cleared in fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.
Three Honolulu police officers who opened fire on a 16-year-old crime spree suspect and his crew after he ignored their orders to surrender and led them on a daredevil chase at rush hour are free of criminal charges after an Oahu District Court judge dismissed the argument that the trio committed murder and attempted murder. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Labor Department scraps plan to reopen state unemployment offices, citing COVID-19 spread. Hawaii labor officials on Wednesday canceled a planned Sept. 7 reopening of unemployment offices statewide for in-person service, citing drastically elevated COVID-19 infection risks. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. West Hawaii Today. Maui Now.

Hawaii teachers’ union formally demands to enter into negotiations with DOE over working conditions. The union representing more than 13,000 teachers across Hawaii today formally demanded to enter into negotiations with the state Department of Education in regard to working conditions and the safety of employees and students amid the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

State mulls changes to Safe Travels program to keep out breakthrough COVID cases. State leaders are discussing the possibility of bringing back the pretravel COVID testing requirement for trans-Pacific passengers as a way to help keep out positive cases, which can be asymptomatic. KITV4.

State explores health pass to verify vaccination. As some lawmakers discuss the possibility of vaccine mandates to enter certain businesses the state is working on a way to verify people are vaccinated. KITV4.

More than 500 mainland staff will be deployed to Hawaii hospitals to help COVID-19 patients. The Hawaii Department of Health today announced that more than 500 experienced health care professionals from out of state will be deployed to 19 hospitals statewide in coming weeks to help with the ongoing coronavirus surge. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Most Hawaii Hospitals Delay Non-Emergency Procedures As Pandemic Worsens. Non-Covid patients are casualties of swelling coronavirus hospitalizations. Civil Beat.

Straub intensive care facilities full; child hospitalizations increasing in Hawaii. The intensive care facilities at Straub Hospital in downtown Honolulu are operating beyond their capacity as COVID-19 cases surge, requiring staff for the first time to execute disaster plans put in place early in the pandemic in order to handle all of the patients. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 647 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 431 new cases on Oahu, 96 on Maui, 87 on Hawaii island, 26 on Kauai, one on Molokai, and six Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTARY: Here's How Hawaii's Top 2022 Political Races Are Shaking Out
. The Democratic field for governor appears to be settling while the race for lieutenant governor remains wide open. And who knows what's up with the Republicans. Civil Beat.


Former Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine is target of ethics complaint. An ethics investigation, a charge of discrimination from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a financial dispute all center around former Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine, alleging that she used city resources for her 2018 unsuccessful bid for mayor, disclosed personal medical history of a former employee and did not properly pay that same staffer. Star-Advertiser.

4 charged with using fake vaccination cards
. State prosecutors recently charged two visiting families, one from California and the other from Florida, for allegedly using falsified COVID-19 vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement reached over a Kapolei company’s alleged hazardous waste violations. Under the settlement, IES Downstream, LLC agreed to pay over $708,000 in civil fines. They are also obligated to send some 289,000 pounds of hazardous waste to a permitted waste treatment, storage and disposal facility on the mainland. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Roth asks Ige to reinstate trans-Pacific pretravel testing, even for those who are vaccinated. Mayor Mitch Roth has urged Gov. David Ige to immediately reinstate pretravel testing requirements for all trans-Pacific passengers, regardless of residency or vaccination status, as the county struggles amid an ongoing surge of COVID-19. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Fire chief appeal sent to state Labor Relations Board. The county Merit Appeals Board voted Monday to send a complaint over the selection of the fire chief to the state Labor Relations Board to determine if the county board has jurisdiction. West Hawaii Today.

Big changes for Hele-on: Bus routes will be added, altered under ‘hub-and-spoke model’. Early next month, the county will begin a broad restructuring of the island’s bus system in an effort to make mass transit easier to use. Tribune-Herald.

Settlement in ‘lava bomb’ lawsuit. A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit regarding a “lava bomb” that tore through the roof of a lava tour boat and injured numerous passengers near Kapoho on July 16, 2018. Tribune-Herald.


Larger homes would be net-zero energy under new bill. Knowing that housing development and construction operations are among the biggest contributors to climate change, Maui County officials are proposing to require that new one- or two-family residential buildings over 5,000 square feet be zero net energy homes. Maui News.

Maui Charter Commission Seeks Community Input at Aug. 19 Meeting. At its Aug. 19 meeting, the Maui Charter Commission is seeking community input and insights regarding proposed Charter amendments that will be considered for placement on the ballot in November 2022.  Maui Now.

Maui hospital feels weight of record COVID-19 cases
. Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island’s only acute-care facility, was treating 40 COVID-19 patients on Sunday, 39 COVID-19 patients on Monday and 31 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Maui News.


Council authorizes steps to take over Kilauea property for affordable housing. The Kaua‘i County Council has authorized the first steps in condemnation by eminent domain of a 23.5-acre lot in Kilauea for an affordable housing project. Garden Island.

State has funds for Ke‘e Beach lifeguards. The County Council will discuss renewed state funding of the Ke‘e Beach lifeguard tower at today’s meeting. Garden Island.

Fast-moving Hawaii Marines coordinate strikes on target ship off Kauai. A group of Hawaii-based artillery Marines working under camouflage netting at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai as part of an “expeditionary advanced base” exercise sensed, located, identified and struck a target ship 60 nautical miles off the coast Sunday using two Naval Strike Missiles. Star-Advertiser.

Friday, July 23, 2021

COVID cases spike, lead in 93 school drinking fixtures, missile tests planned off Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Spike in COVID infections driven by delta variant, social gatherings and the unvaccinated, officials say. An alarming spike in the daily coronavirus case count in Hawaii to 243 on Thursday was driven by the highly transmissible delta variant as well community spread mostly by unvaccinated individuals, health officials said. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Spike in COVID-19 cases raises concerns about in-person schooling. School is less than a week and a half away, and many parents still aren’t sure exactly what to expect. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases is causing some to reevaluate whether they want their child to return to in-person classes. KHON2.

Tests find lead in 93 drinking water fixtures at Hawaii public schools.
Elevated concentrations of lead were found in 93 public school faucets and drinking fountains in testing across Hawaii over the past several months. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Mayors discuss potential strategy moving forward amid spike in coronavirus cases in Hawaii. With the rise in cases comes the ongoing challenge of getting more people vaccinated. KHON2.

July 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 243 Cases, 3 Deaths. The confirmed cases included: 135 on O‘ahu (+11 probable); 52 on Hawai‘i Island (-2 probable); 10 on Maui (+4 probable); eight on Kaua‘i; and 25 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


Jill Biden To Visit Vaccine Clinic In Waipahu Sunday. The first lady will travel to Honolulu on her return from the Tokyo Olympics. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Despite COVID surge, Blangiardi says he has no plans to bring back tougher restrictions. Despite the recent surge in COVID cases, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said there are no plans to tighten restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Calls for more COVID vaccinations are failing to get through.
On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi warned unvaccinated Oahu residents they are likely to become infected and get “very sick,” especially from the more virulent delta variant. Star-Advertiser.

Emergency Calls Are Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels On Oahu. Here’s How EMS Is Coping. The return of tourists has brought an increase in medical emergencies and ocean and hiking rescues. Civil Beat.

HART’s Expecting Fewer Riders — Even Absent The Pandemic. The most recent rail ridership estimates are down almost 18%, largely based on a pre-pandemic drop in bus ridership. Civil Beat.

The Problem With Honolulu’s Single-Use Plastic Ban At Restaurants. Restaurants across Oahu are more than three months into a phaseout of single-use plastics, but there’s still nowhere on the island that can compost most of the single-use compostable utensils, cups, and takeout containers that businesses are supposed to offer in place of plastic. Civil Beat.

State inspectors trap skunk at Honolulu Harbor 1st spotted aboard ship from San Diego. A live skunk was captured at Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday after being spotted in the area the day before. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Court to hear arguments over use of police during TMT protests. The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear arguments next month over whether the county overstepped its bounds by requesting neighbor islands’ police forces to assist in responding to the 2019 Thirty Meter Telescope protest. Tribune-Herald.

Council Planning Committee delays subdivision vote. Owners of a 4-acre North Kona parcel will have to wait a little longer before they’ll know whether the County Council will give them permission to rezone it from agriculture to urban and subdivide it into six residential lots. West Hawaii Today.

Pālamanui Campus Reserve Proposed In Kona. The State DLNR and the University of Hawaiʻi want to collaboratively steward and manage the 706 acres of lowland dry forest. Big Island Video News.


Bill would regulate pesticide use on Maui County property. A bill that would reduce and manage pesticides and fertilizers used on county property passed out of a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday. Maui News.

Council mulls tax tiers for hotels and resorts. A Maui County Council committee is considering a bill that would create property tax rate tiers for hotels and resorts, potentially setting the groundwork for higher taxes for pricier properties. Maui News.

Study Finds Lead in Water from 37 Fixtures at 12 Maui County Public Schools. In Maui County, 37 fixtures at 12 public schools, and two fixtures at a single childcare facility, were identified as having levels above the 15 parts per billion threshold for lead concentration in water. Maui Now.

Maui County Hotels Occupancy Climbs to 79% for June, Near Pre-Pandemic Level. The strong recovery for Maui County hotels continues with occupancy for June 2021 climbing to 79.2 percent, which is only 1.4 percentage points less than it was in June 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the abrupt closure of most of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry. Maui Now.


Pacific Missile Range Facility 2 tests to be held on Kauai. The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai is expected to soon see two big missile defense tests as the United States seeks to counter a rapidly arming China. Star-Advertiser.

KIUC renewables, reliability rose in 2020 despite revenue hit. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative chalked up a string of accomplishments in 2020 despite a pandemic-related drop in revenue, according to President and CEO David Bissell, who spoke at the 19th annual KIUC membership meeting held online Wednesday. Garden Island.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Barking Sands eyed for $1.98B ballistic missile system, resolution urges media restrictions on reporting suspects, whistleblower says FAA gave Southwest preferential treatment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Pacific Missile Range Facility ©2020 All Hawaii News
Kauai military site named as possible site for $1.9B ballistic missile radar. The Missile Defense Agency is now also eyeing Kauai as a potential site for its planned $1.9 billion high powered ballistic missile radar. Hawaii News Now.

PMRF eyed for missile defense system. The U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility is being considered as a new location of a ballistic missile defense radar that would take up between 50 and 80 acres at Barking Sands. Garden Island.

Kauai, not just Oahu, now being considered for $1.9B defense radar. The Missile Defense Agency confirmed it is looking at the possibility of siting a $1.9 billion Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai instead of at one of several spots on Oahu that had been considered since 2018. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii lawmakers urge news outlets to use ‘no-notoriety’ approach. State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro of Oahu has introduced a pair of resolutions “encouraging the media, law enforcement, and information officers to adopt a no-notoriety approach to reporting on mass shooters and the perpetrators of other mass crimes.” Tribune-Herald.

Plenty Of Warning Signs But Few Treatment Options In Police Killer Case. Neighbors were well aware of Jerry Hanel’s bizarre behavior, but it’s hard to force unwilling people to get mental health treatment. Civil Beat.

Woman staying with Cain, Hanel Sunday says tragedy at Diamond Head was preventable. Sunday’s tragedy at Diamond Head that saw the deaths of two Honolulu Police Officers was the result of city and state agencies neglecting a warning about Jerry Hanel’s violence according to an acquaintance. KHON2.

Hawaii Eyes Closing Gun Loopholes, Bolstering Mental Health. Hawaii already has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, but the fatal shooting of two Honolulu police officers by a man his lawyer and neighbors believe had psychiatric problems has added new urgency to efforts to close gun control loopholes and bolster mental health care treatment. Associated Press.


Democratic Party of Hawaii announces list of candidates appearing on ballot. Democratic Party of Hawai'i Interim Chair Kate Stanley announced the list of candidates who will appear on the ballot of Hawai‘i’s Party-run Presidential Primary. KITV4.

A dozen Democrats sign up for mail-in Hawaii party voting. A dozen candidates who are seeking the Democratic nomination for president have signed up and paid the filing fee to compete locally for delegates in what will be the Hawaii party’s first-ever mail-in balloting this spring to decide who will win the support of state Democratic Party members. Star-Advertiser.


FAA gave Southwest Airlines special treatment for Hawaii flights, whistleblower alleges. Southwest Airlines received special treatment from the Federal Aviation Administration in expediting the approval process to begin Hawaii service last year, according to a whistleblower complaint. Star-Advertiser.

Whistleblower: FAA Improperly Rushed Southwest Approvals To Fly To Hawaii. FAA managers engaged in “abuse of authority” last year to help Southwest expedite service to the islands, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. Civil Beat.

Southwest responds after reports it got preferential treatment from the FAA to fly to Hawaii. Southwest Airlines says it followed all the rules to receive approval to fly to Hawaii. KHON2.


Tour Helicopter Crashes — And Flights — Have Escalated In Recent Years. In Hawaii, 2019 was the deadliest year for tour helicopters in nearly two decades, with 10 people dying in two crashes, a Civil Beat review of federal records shows. Civil Beat.

Report: Fundamentals of Hawaii’s economy would need to change to ease cost of living. In a recent write-up, the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii notes that residents are unlikely to get much relief from the price of paradise ― barring changes to the fundamental factors that drive high costs in the islands and modest incomes. Hawaii News Now.

Little relief from Hawaii’s high cost of living. Executive summary. University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization.

Volunteers gather for point-in-time count to get better sense of Hawaii’s homeless population. The point-in-time is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January that helps to determine the funding and resources that are committed to combating homelessness in our community. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii officials urge doctors to be on alert as deadly coronavirus spreads from China. A deadly new virus from China has spread to the U.S., prompting federal officials to expand screenings for the illness at major airports across the country. Hawaii News Now.

No Coronavirus Cases Reported In Hawaii But Officials Advise Flu Shots. Hawaii health officials are advising residents to get flu shots to help in the detection of cases of coronavirus that has affected over 400 people in China and killed nine. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOH urges vigilance, not panic as deadly coronavirus spreads. State health officials are urging Hawaii residents to be vigilant but not to panic after a deadly new virus from China reached the U.S. West Coast in recent days. West Hawaii Today.

Health Department issues China virus medical advisory. The state Health Department sent out a detailed medical advisory for health care providers Tuesday to be on the alert for patients who traveled from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and may have pneumonia contracted from the novel coronavirus. Maui News.

State health department believes there's a small chance Coronavirus will be Hawaii bound. It's sill advising the community to be prepared. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Health Officials Offer Guidance on Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in China. The Hawai‘i Department of Health is providing guidance to healthcare providers in the state for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China, which already includes more than 300 confirmed infections and several deaths in China. Maui Now.


Hawaii Doctors Hopeful Over-The-Counter Drug Can Fight Rat Lungworm Disease. The Hilo Medical Center is recommending people take pinworm medicine as a precautionary measure if they accidentally eat slugs or snails. Civil Beat.


Street where violent rampage happened reopens, but a sense of normal is likely years away. Three days after a man’s deadly rampage in the Diamond Head area, dozens of displaced residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Power restored, roads reopened in Diamond Head neighborhood. A neighborhood in the Diamond Head area continues to repair itself after a tragic event struck on January 19. KHON2.

'Shell shock’: As residents return to Diamond Head, coping with memories among challenges. Three days after triple-murder suspect Jerry Hanel torched his neighborhood in a hail of gunfire, resident Gisela King returned to the home where she was stabbed. Hawaii News Now.

Outpouring of support for grieving HPD. The names of Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama were added Wednesday to the Honolulu Police Department’s “Roll of Honor” plaque at the main police headquarters, joining 48 other officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Star-Advertiser.

Residents on Hibiscus Drive allowed to return to homes. Raymond Teruya Sr. had the widest smile Wednesday as he returned to his family’s Diamond Head home after police pulled down most of the crime scene tape that has surrounded Hibiscus Drive since Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Landlord was quirky, caring. Lois Kiehl Cain was a quirky former belly- dancing University of Hawaii librarian who had a soft spot for taking in strangers to her home on Hibiscus Drive where they lived rent free, including defecting Russian fishermen, a family escaping Asia’s economic downturn and the man suspected of killing her and two Honolulu police officers on Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Concerns discussed at Kaneohe cemetery expansion hearing. Supporters and opponents of a controversial Kaneohe cemetery expansion plan sounded off in about equal numbers Wednesday to start a quasi-judicial state hearing over whether forested conservation land can be developed with 30,000 new burial sites for Hawaiian Memorial Park. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

HELCO seeks OK to rebuild transmission lines to PGV. A public hearing regarding Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s application to construct portions of overhead transmission lines that will reconnect Puna Geothermal Venture to the HELCO grid will be held next week in Pahoa. Tribune-Herald.

County set to put limit on one load of refuse a day. The county will soon limit the amount of waste residents can dispose at county transfer stations in a single day. Tribune-Herald.

Bus depot land buy paused. The County Council put the brakes Wednesday on a fast-tracked land buy for a bus depot, for at least two more weeks while more information is gathered. West Hawaii Today.


Court: County cannot redefine ‘real property’. Code changed to allow wind turbines to be included in tax assessments. The Hawaii Supreme Court said Tuesday that Maui County did not have the power to include wind turbines as “real property” when it taxed major wind farms on Maui. Maui News.

Judge’s ruling shuts down vacation rental in Paia. Unpermitted Nalu Kai Lodge had $2.7M in fines, penalties. Maui News.


Council amends TVR bill 2767. The Kauai County Council on Wednesday approved amendments to a bill that would increase property taxes for certain vacation-rental owners. Garden Island.

Recycling biz rising. James Higginbotham has been operating Kauai Community Recycling Service for 17 years, the last 10 at 962 Kipuni Way in the Arzadon Industrial Center next to Gather Federal Credit Union. Garden Island.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hawaii state bird no longer endangered, OHA audit finds $7.8M possible fraud, Honolulu B&B tax hiked, mixed results in Kauai sonar study, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Nene in Hawaii wetlands ©2019 All Hawaii News
Nene Downlisted From “Endangered” To “Threatened”. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt traveled to Oʻahu on Sunday to announce that the nene can safely be "downlisted" under the Endangered Species Act. Big Island Video News.

Nene’s status to be downgraded from endangered to threatened. Hawaii’s state bird is no longer on the edge of extinction. West Hawaii Today.

Feds: Nene Is Still Threatened But Not Endangered. The Interior Department has reduced the level of protection for Hawaii’s state bird. Civil Beat.

The Nene species is on the road to recovery. Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene, is on the road to recovery. That’s according to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. KHON2.

Hawaiian nene taken off endangered species list. 52 years ago, there were only 50 Hawaiian nene birds in the state and had to be declared endangered species. There are now 3,000 birds in Hawaii thanks to an intensive breeding program. KITV.


OHA investigation identifies $7.8M of possible fraud. An independent financial review of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has identified transactions worth $7.8 million as potentially fraudulent, wasteful and abusive. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Trustees Differ Over New Audit’s Analysis. Colette Machado says it confirms the office is moving in the “right direction” but Kelii Akina sees fraud and abuse. Civil Beat.


Lawsuit: DOE Retaliated When Staffer Reported Misuse Of Federal Funds. Carol Young says her troubles began when she blew the whistle on faulty payments to a DOE office worker. Civil Beat.

New Solicitor General Named. Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry has been named the new Solicitor General for the State of Hawaiʻi. Maui Now.

Health officials urge travelers to stay away from Samoa as measles death toll rises to 70. At least 70 people have died from the infectious virus in Samoa, while nine cases have been reported in American Samoa. Hawaii News Now.


Council approves B&B property tax increase. Owners of bed-and- breakfast vacation rentals will likely pay more in property taxes starting next year after the Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved a bill creating a new B&B tax category. Star-Advertiser.

How The Gas Company Plans To Fight A Bill Banning Gas Water Heaters. Hawaii Gas, the 115-year-old supplier of natural gas for Hawaii now at a crossroads amid the state’s shift from fossil fuels, is considering creating a separate community organization as part of a campaign to fight a Honolulu City Council bill. Civil Beat.

Nonplastic foodware might cause problems — or not. A bill banning the use of nearly all plastic plates, forks, knives and other food service items on Oahu was passed Wednesday by the Honolulu City Council, but there’s sharp disagreement about whether there will be enough nonplastic replacement goods available at a reasonable price when the prohibition takes full effect in 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Wahiawa has struggled since the collapse of the pineapple industry. But new projects, some supported by political leaders, are giving city leaders new hope. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

County throwing away more, recycling less. Hawaii County’s rate of recycling or otherwise diverting garbage from the landfill has dropped 48% in the past decade, according to a comprehensive report released Friday by a commission that meets once a decade to evaluate solid waste practices. West Hawaii Today.

Fujino named interim chief judge of Third Circuit. In addition to his criminal and civil court caseload, drug court and veterans court, Kona Circuit Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino is taking on a whole lot more. West Hawaii Today.

Study of Hilo Bay breakwater expected to begin in early 2020. A state and federal study to determine whether the Hilo Bay breakwater should be modified likely will begin early next year. Tribune-Herald.

Demonstration project seeks to reduce reliance on Christmas conifer imports. After five years of growing, an ongoing project to establish a Christmas tree farming industry on the Big Island is closer than ever to completion. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County bill wants police to tow cars from drunken drivers. It's a bill some lawmakers hope could save lives. KITV.

Inventory for single-family homes in Maui falls to new low. Maui County’s inventory for single-family homes dropped to a new low in November, with 442 properties available for sale in active status at the end of the month, according to the Realtors Association of Maui monthly report. Maui News.

DMVL is set to move into new service center in late 2020. The bottom floor of the new two-story Maui County Service Center — which will include the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing — in Alexander & Baldwin’s Maui Business Park II is set to be operational by the end of 2020, a county spokesman said. Maui News.


Mixed results in sonar study. Scientists studying sonar’s effect on marine mammals near the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands have released another report in an ongoing study for the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, and it’s showing the same kind of mixed results they’ve been documenting since 2011. Garden Island.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sanders out-raising Gabbard in her home state, HART employees questioned in federal probe, Mauna Kea roadblock protest costs taxpayers, Kauai advances guest house bill, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photos
Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard campaign photos
It’s Gabbard’s Home Turf, But Sanders Is Raising More Money From Hawaii Donors. The Hawaii congresswoman is second and President Donald Trump comes in third, but many of his contributions are too small to be tallied. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers’ Financial Disclosures Don’t Always Paint A Complete Picture. Sen. Russell Ruderman, who owns health foods stores, was the only lawmaker to report more than $1 million in outside income last year. Several of his colleagues reported no income beyond their legislative salaries. Civil Beat.

Hawaii's CBD Industry Grows As State Opts To Educate Before It Imposes Fines. It's illegal in Hawaii to manufacture, distribute or sell products containing cannibidiol or CBD but that hasn't stopped businesses from setting up shop in the islands. Civil Beat.

Want To Serve On Hawaii’s Land Board? The governor is recruiting for the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.


HART employees to be questioned in federal probe. The agency overseeing construction of the city’s $9.2 billion rail system already was slammed with three federal subpoenas for records, and now several employees have been served subpoenas and asked to meet with federal investigators about possible wrongdoing and irregularities. Star-Advertiser.

Council Chair’s Proposal To Kill HART Dies Its Own Early Death. The proposed resolution would have allowed voters to decide whether to end HART, but it didn’t clear its first reading. Civil Beat.

HART budgeting to fix cracks found in West Oahu rail stations. Honolulu’s embattled rail project is already in need of repairs, and it isn’t even fully operable yet. The rail authority says it’s setting aside $10 million to fix cracks discovered at canopy arms at its West Oahu rail stations. Hawaii News Now.


City Council once again looking at banning styrofoam containers and plastic utensils. The City Council is looking at banning single-use plastic utensils and bags. The bill passed its first reading Wednesday. If adopted, the ban could take affect as early as January. KHON2.


Efforts re-launched to impeach Kaneshiro after e-signatures denied. If the impeachment is accomplished by December 31, the vacancy is filled by special election. KITV.

Katherine Kealoha will not get a new trial for now. U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright on Wednesday decided not to hear a motion for a new trial before Kealoha is sentenced in October for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Star-Advertiser.

Kealoha Suit Against City, Ethics Commission Cost Over $355K. The invoice represents only some of the city’s Kealoha-related legal costs. Civil Beat.


Financial impacts of short term rental law. While inventory goes up, prices could be going down. KITV.

Kailua woman on a fixed income fears new vacation rental rules will have a domino effect. For the past several years, Fabienne Melchior has rented the top floor of her Kailua home to tourists, charging $160 a day. Hawaii News Now.


Police hunting for arsonist. An arsonist, who is believed to have set three Waikiki hotel fires in three days, is still on the loose and police are asking the public’s assistance to help find a “person of interest,” whose image was captured on surveillance video taken at the scene of the crimes. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Authorities Seek 'Person of Interest' In Arsons At 3 Waikiki Hotels. Associated Press.


Another Hawaiian monk seal accidentally hooked by a fisherman has been rescued, treated and released, according to federal wildlife officials. Star-Advertiser.

Local fisherman reports accidental monk seal hooking, saves the endangered animal. Once he cut the line, he called the Hawaiian monk seal response team. KITV.

Hawaii Island

More complete numbers coming for TMT-related costs. The Hawaii County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday discussed a possible financial report of the county’s expenses relating to the ongoing standoff on Maunakea, but meaningful numbers will not be available until later this month. Tribune-Herald.

Law enforcement costs associated with TMT conflict are mounting. The costs of assigning law enforcement to a protest at the base of Mauna Kea are mounting, leaving some concerned about how taxpayers will cover the tab. Hawaii News Now.

Mauna Kea Observatory’s New Instrument Stuck In Hilo. The East Asian Observatory had hoped to install its new Namakanui instrument on Mauna Kea by now, but the conflict over the Thirty Meter Telescope has altered that plan. Big Island Video News.

Frustration mounts for Mauna Kea telescopes. The existing 13 telescopes atop Mauna Kea remain shuttered and unable to function as the Thirty Meter Telescope protest continues into its fourth week at the base of the mountain. Star-Advertiser.


Eruption recovery manager faces questions and criticism from council members. An interim strategy to help the county recover after the 2018 Kilauea volcano eruption is still being developed, but the recovery process has frustrated and concerned some county leaders and community members. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Council Losing Patience With Lava Recovery Process. Puna councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz said she is tired of the process, tired of the system, and tired of the apologies. Big Island Video News.

Council advances changes to Kona CDP. The County Council on Wednesday tightened government oversight before unanimously moving to a final reading a package of changes that some community members say will weaken the Kona Community Development Plan. West Hawaii Today.


All proceeds from former sugar land sale invested. Alexander & Baldwin’s second quarter report last week contained information on a couple of Maui projects, including the sale of the final 22 units in the 170-unit Kamalani workforce development in Kihei and the near completion of the first phase of the Hookele Shopping Center in the Maui Business Park. Maui News.

Panel: More money, more problems with wage hikes. Economic experts discuss living wage at chamber installation. Maui News.

Arson Investigation Launched, $20K Damage at Wailuku Parole Facility. Maui Now.


Bill revising ‘guest house’ definition advances. Homeowners and landlords are one step closer to being allowed to contain kitchens in their guest houses. Garden Island.

PMRF Change of Command set for Friday. Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, will hold a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the hangar bay on base. Garden Island.

Capt. Vincent Johnson leaves as commander of PMRF. Sitting on the shady Shenanigan’s patio days before the change of command at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Capt. Vincent Johnson said he’s not ready to say goodbye to the island he’s grown to love. Garden Island.