Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russia. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Voters want legislative term limits, alleged Russian spies lived quietly on Oahu, health care access dismal, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Legislature gets low marks for handling of corruption. The state Legislature gets an abysmally low rating for policing internal corruption in a poll of registered Hawaii voters who also overwhelmingly support lawmaker term limits and more funding for regulatory commissions focused on ethics and campaign spending. Star-Advertiser.

Education: Governor Candidates Say More Money Is Needed To Fix Hawaii’s Schools. Both Josh Green and Vicky Cayetano say teacher pay increases are key to improving the system. The candidates also floated ideas such as housing stipends and a new literacy program. Civil Beat.

Hawaii police officers get a raise and bonus under new union contract. Police officers across the state are getting a pay raise. The new contract was issued by the arbitrator on Tuesday. They'll get a pay raise amounting to 15.76% in their base wage. KITV4.

Does US Sen. Brian Schatz Have ‘A Job For Life?’ Hawaii’s senior senator is on the ballot this year but faces little competition. Some say it’s because he made all the right moves. Civil Beat.

They lived quiet lives in Hawaii for years. The US alleges they were actually Russian spies. A couple living quietly in Kapolei for years were actually Russian spies, federal agents with the state Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service allege. Walter Glenn Primose, also known as Bobby Edward Fort, and Gwynn Darle Morrison, aka Julie Lyn Montague, were arrested in a raid Friday morning. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Former Kaneohe Marine associated with neo-Nazi group plotted attacks, feds say. Prosecutors allege that while serving at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, Cpl. Matthew Bel­anger was secretly conspiring to commit mass murder and sexual assault to “decrease the number of minority residents” in the United States as part of his membership in a far-right neo-Nazi group called Rape­krieg. Star-Advertiser.

Molokaʻi, Honolulu Airports to receive $34M to improve infrastructure and safety. Moloka‘i Airport and the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oʻahu will receive nearly $34 million in combined funding from the US Department of Transportation to improve their runways and taxiways. Maui Now.

Health care access in Hawaii bleak, report finds. Community First, a nonprofit based in Hilo, released the “Access to Care” report Tuesday — a snapshot based on online survey results from nearly 3,300 Hawaii residents, along with input from more than 300 health care providers statewide in April and May. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

New diversity director of Queen’s Health System seeks to better serve Hawaiʻi’s diverse communities. Hepua Hermosura, a licensed clinical psychologist, will lead Queen’s initiatives to better serve and support Hawaiʻi’s diverse communities. She said that means ensuring all identities across race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation are represented in decision making. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

Public support for stadium replacement plan is shaky. Hawaii lawmakers and Gov. David Ige recently recommitted to replacing Aloha Stadium at its Halawa site, but voters electing the state’s next governor in November appear widely split over the bogged-down, roughly $400 million plan. Star-Advertiser.

HART: Cracking Could Require Building More Piers Under West Oahu Stations. The city and its consultants should release their findings on the potentially significant cracking problem in six to eight weeks. Civil Beat.

City council members concerned over manufacturer price gouging ahead of plastic, polystyrene foam container ban. As the city prepares to enforce the final phase of ordinance 19-30, banning plastic and polystyrene foam food containers from eateries and businesses, Honolulu city council members raised several concerns at a briefing Tuesday. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Department details concerns about Navy’s defueling plan in rejection letter. The Hawaii Department of Health has rejected the Navy’s plan to defuel its Red Hill fuel facility, laying out a list of shortcomings in a letter to Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett, commander of Navy Region Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

A Navy Captain Was Faulted For His Red Hill Response. But He’s Still Working There. A Navy captain who was relieved of command over “leadership and oversight failures” after the catastrophic fuel leak at the Red Hill facility in November is still working on petroleum operations at the storage complex, according to the Navy. Civil Beat.

Honolulu City Council considering suspending bus fares to increase ridership. To increase TheBus ridership, the Honolulu City Council is considering suspending public transportation fares for HOLO card users from Aug. 22 to 26. Star-Advertiser.

Librarian: Homeless encampments at Oahu public libraries bring ‘compassion fatigue’. State library officials said Tuesday they’re working with the Sheriffs Department to keep homeless camps off their properties. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island


Telecommunications outage in West Hawaii resolved. The hours-long telecommunications outage that impacted much of West Hawaii was caused by the accidental severing of a fiber optic cable by a construction company working in a remote area near Waikoloa Village, according to Hawaiian Telcom. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now.

Maui


Here Are Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Voting In Maui County. Still not registered to vote? Not sure whether you can vote by mail or in-person? Civil Beat.

Molokai residents Lynn DeCoite and Walter Ritte face off for second straight election. After losing by just 94 votes in 2020, longtime Hawaiian activist and community organizer Walter Ritte again is taking on incumbent Lynn Pualani De­Coite in the Aug. 13 Democratic primary — except challenging De­Coite for her Senate seat this time. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Kaua‘i Police Department Deputy Chief Olsen resigns amid union criticism. Kaua‘i Police Department Deputy Chief Stan Olsen announced last week that he would be resigning from the Kaua‘i Police Department effective Aug. 26, citing personal reasons. Olsen became the subject of State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers criticism after airport security discovered a loaded, department-issued handgun in his carry-on bag at Lihu‘e Airport in April. 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.

Oahu

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.

Maui

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.

Kauai

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.


Monday, May 2, 2022

Minimum wage hike, income tax rebate, tourism funding, coffee labeling, flavored vape ban on the table as Legislature enters final week, military tracks Russian vessel off Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved

Bill to raise Hawaiʻi's minimum wage to $18 by 2028 passes out of conference committee. The bill that left committee raises the state’s current $10.10 base pay to $18 in January 2028, two years behind what passed out of the House earlier in April. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Hawaii lawmakers approve payments of up to $300 for taxpayers, their dependents.
Under a rare rebate program approved by lawmakers Friday, taxpayers earning less than $100,000 annually and their dependents could each receive a $300 payment. Those earning more than $100,000 could get a rebate of $100. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers keep tourism agency funding alive. Lawmakers kept the Hawaii Tourism Authority alive by amending House Bill 1147, originally a capital improvements bill, just after Friday’s deadline for fiscal bills. Star-Advertiser.

Coffee labeling study ‘still a win’. Funding for an independent study of the economic impact of potential changes to Hawaii’s coffee labeling requirements is set for a vote by the state House and Senate. West Hawaii Today.

Flavored Vape Ban Looms in Hawaii. A bill that would ban flavored vape products aims to protect children, but those in the industry say it would kill their business. KITV4.

In wake of 6-year-old’s horrific death, lawmakers approve bill aimed at bolstering child welfare system.
State lawmakers have approved a measure aimed at significantly strengthening Hawaii’s child welfare system — including by expanding investigative powers — following the death of 6-year-old Isabella Kalua, whose foster parents have been charged with her murder. Hawaii News Now.

Military tracks Russian vessel near Hawaii. The United States military is tracking a Russian vessel near Hawaii’s waters, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. KHON2.

Waters, Tokuda File FEC Paperwork For US House Race.
While Kai Kahele has not officially announced that he is leaving Congress to run for governor, efforts to replace him in Washington, D.C., are building. Civil Beat.

Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sees neighbor island path to governorship. Former Mayor Kirk Caldwell calls himself “the underdog” in the three-way race for governor in the August Democratic primary but sees a path to victory through the neighbor islands, despite his unpopularity after serving two terms and eight years at Honolulu Hale. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Education Board Narrows Down Finalists For Superintendent Position. The search for a new public school chief in Hawaii is one step closer. The state Board of Education unveiled on its website Friday the three finalists for the superintendent position at the Department of Education. Civil Beat.

Local students face strict COVID rules for year-end events. Hawaiʻi public schools are enforcing pandemic restrictions that go beyond recommendations from state and federal health officials. Hawaii Public Radio.

State to pay $6.7 million in personal injury claims. The deaths of three people and injuries sustained by others in eight separate incidents are expected to cost the state $6.7 million this year. Star-Advertiser.

This Mental Health Team Hopes To Help Hawaii’s Farmers Help Themselves. Professor Thao Le discusses the experiences of researchers at the University of Hawaii who have been canvassing the ranching and farming community to find the state of its mental health. Civil Beat.

Oahu

North Shore beachfront homes threatened by erosion continue to sell. Beginning today those selling coastal properties will also have to disclose the risks of sea level rise under a new mandatory disclosure law passed by the Legislature.  Star-Advertiser.

How Honolulu’s Push For More Housing Sparks Opposition From Rival Interests. Housing is an abstract goal, but the concrete reality usually sparks opposition from advocates for farmland or the environment or those simply worried about urban woes. Civil Beat.

Despite indictment in federal probe, BWS board member declines to step down. More than four months after being arrested and charged in connection with the ongoing Kealoha corruption probe, Max Sword hasn’t stepped down from the Board of Water Supply’s board of directors ― and has no plans to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki community on alert after violent attacks. Waikiki is on edge after three violent attacks in three weeks, the most recent befalling a visitor in the heart of the state’s top tourism district. Star-Advertiser.

Lack of progress in Waikiki crime cases highlights challenges. Community frustration is mounting over law enforcement’s handling of two recent high-profile Waikiki violent crimes, which highlight the system’s challenges in holding criminals accountable. Star-Advertiser.

Daily Ridership Would Drop By Thousands If The Honolulu Rail Line Ends At Civic Center
. An average of 119,600 people were originally expected to board the trains each weekday, but that will drop to 84,000 daily riders with the shorter route. Civil Beat.

Ala Moana Boulevard pedestrian bridge construction to begin. A $17.8 million project to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako is scheduled to begin today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi still considering restoring access to first responder radio.
More than two months after the city removed first responder radio traffic from public radio waves, the city administration is still deciding whether to restore access to communications that Honolulu police officials argue must be concealed to help preserve public security and safety. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Gas taxes go unspent: Council to reappropriate excess funds. Hawaii County’s fuel tax revenues have been coming in higher than expected, and in some cases, faster than the county can spend them. Even as the County Council is set to vote Wednesday on Resolution 363 giving drivers a break by knocking 10 cents a gallon off the current rate, a council committee Tuesday will vote on a bill to reappropriate $2.5 million left unspent between 2016 and 2020. West Hawaii Today.

A new shooting range for Big Island? Bill would establish group to research locations, designs. A long-awaited public shooting facility could be coming to Hawaii County. Tribune-Herald.

Battle over renaming Hilo High Gym continues. A concurrent resolution in the state Legislature “urging” the School Community Council to rename the gym after coaches Albert and Lawrence Manliguis was deferred last week by the Senate Committee on Education. Tribune-Herald.

2,400 acres in Kohala gifted to Hawaii Community Foundation as part of stewardship center. Micah Kane, CEO and President of the Hawaii Community Foundation, said the focus of the research center in Kohala is to develop sustainability solutions for energy, water, and food. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

Nearly $1.07B county budget proposal advances. Budget committee chairperson says funds needed for pandemic-deferred county projects.  Hoping to tackle projects delayed by the pandemic, a Maui County Council committee is proposing a nearly $1.07 billion county budget for fiscal year 2023, just slightly higher than the almost $1.05 billion “record-setting” budget proposed by Mayor Michael Victorino in March. Maui News.

$41M homestead project envisions centers for culture, food, education. A $41 million project that would build space for education, community events, business and culture is being proposed under the Keokea Homestead Farm Lots Association’s master plan. Maui News.

Costs estimated at $500K to renovate vacant Molokai home into fire station. A $300,000 three-bedroom home purchased by Maui County in Ualapue will serve as the new fire station on Molokai’s East End. Maui News.

UH campuses host graduation ceremonies; UH Maui College slated for May 14. An in-person ceremony will be held on campus, with no spectator limit. Multiple satellite photo booths and lei stations will be made available throughout the parking lot. There will also be a livestream of the ceremony. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kalalau camping permits available for residents. Beginning Tuesday, May 3, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks will issue a limited number of overnight permits for camping in Kalalau Valley in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, for Kaua‘i residents only. Garden Island.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Offshore windfarm bill clears Senate, Tupola dinged for improper spending of city funds, Russian intrigue thickens on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii ews all rights reserved
Wind turbines on Hawaii coast ©2022 All Hawaii News

Offshore Wind Energy Bill Sails Through Hawaii Senate. The House will now weigh in on how far floating wind farms must be from shore. Civil Beat.

Bill Would Let Hawaii Home-Schoolers Compete In Sports. Hawaii is one of 20 states that bans home-schooled students from competing in interscholastic sports. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Senate passes bill protecting access to abortion; House considers legislation next. Advocates of the bill say it will preserve and reinforce Hawaiʻi’s position as a stalwart supporter of abortion access at a time when the US Supreme Court could soon overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. Maui Now.

Lawmaker Calls For Investigations Of State Ag Park Program.
Rep. John Mizuno says the experience of a farm couple raises questions about whether the Department of Agriculture is adequately managing parks meant for small producers. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi Updates Agricultural Land Use Baseline Study. The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture has released an update to the 2020 Agricultural Land Use Baseline Study. Big Island Video News.

DLNR to hold final public meeting to discuss plan to protect Hawaii’s sacred sites. The Department of Land and Natural Resources will be hosting its final public meeting to discuss its statewide historic preservation plan. Hawaii News Now.

In classrooms across the state, students are helping Hawaii track COVID variants. At Iolani School and in other classrooms around the state, students are tracking COVID variants by studying patient samples of the virus that come from the state. Hawaii News Now.

Health Department shifts to weekly COVID-19 data reports. The Hawaii Department of Health announced Wednesday that it’s switching to a weekly posting of coronavirus cases and other data — discontinuing daily postings — as it transitions to the next phase of the pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Oahu

Honolulu ethics rules improper spending for City Council member Andria Tupola.
The Honolulu Ethics Commission issued a formal opinion Wednesday that City Council member Andria Tupola improperly used city funds to buy materials for COVID-19 community events put on by her former private employer. Star-Advertiser.

Luella Costales, a former Honolulu police commissioner, to fill vacancy left by former House Rep. Ty Cullen. Luella Costales, a community leader who currently is serving as a community and resource manager for the nonprofit Oahu Economic Development Board, has been appointed to fill the state House of Representatives vacancy left by former Rep. Ty Cullen. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu gets $21M from FTA for TheBus and HandiVan services.
Honolulu's Department of Transportation Services announced Tuesday it was awarded a federal relief grant to maintain essential services impacted by the pandemic. Hawaii Public Radio.

North Shore home collapse exposes lack of planning on coastal management
. While the spectacle of the home collapsed onto one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches last week was a stunning sight, attracting onlookers who peered through the windows as surfers paddled in and out of the nearby surf breaks, it was largely anticipated. Star-Advertiser.

Another $150M in federal funding secured for Red Hill, Sen. Brian Schatz says. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said today he has secured an additional $150 million in federal funding to defuel, permanently close and clean up the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island


Bill to fund homeless programs passes. The Hawaii County Council passed a bill that would earmark a portion of tax revenues on luxury homes for homeless programs and housing. Tribune-Herald.

Council committee advances $149.5 million bond issue. County Council members Wednesday were enthusiastic about a $149.5 million bond authorization, saying the money could help the county secure “once in a generation” federal dollars for badly needed projects. West Hawaii Today.

Council passes resolution condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The County Council Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine and offering support for the Ukrainian people. West Hawaii Today.

Grand plan for Hilo hospital: Two-phase effort would expand ICU, add new Family Birthing Center. Hilo Medical Center is one step closer to an expansion of its intensive care unit from 11 to 18 beds, according to Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Tribune-Herald.

Small snag in lava buyout program. The county’s program to buy back properties destroyed, damaged or isolated by the 2018 Kilauea eruption has not been significantly delayed by a missing agreement with the state. Tribune-Herald.

There's only one highway from Puna to Hilo. A lawmaker wants to explore alternate routes. Rep. Gregor Ilagan, who represents Puna, said residents in his district have seen their 20-minute drives to and from Hilo double or even triple in recent years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui

Maui’s Helene Kau appointed Director at Department of Water Supply. Mayor Michael Victorino announced today his appointment of Helene Kau as director of the Department of Water Supply. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Maui County Council. Maui Now.

$128 million luxury home project gets initial approval. Saying that developers “did their due diligence,” the Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday greenlighted a 53-unit high-end condominium project that some residents said would create construction jobs but others described as “luxury homes for off-island investors.” Maui News.

Kauai

Council passes CC&R bill in surprise unanimous vote. Legislation intended to mitigate the Kaua‘i housing crisis is headed to the mayor’s desk for approval, after Kaua‘i County Council members unanimously voted to adopt Bill No. 2834 on final reading Wednesday. Garden Island.

Secret Agent’s Indictment Amplifies Demand To Rename Kauai’s Russian Fort
. Advocates of changing the fort’s name to reflect its Hawaiian heritage are confident the state will do so but no official decision has been made yet. Civil Beat.

Felicia Cowden clarifies Branson ties, allegations. In a statement to The Garden Island, Cowden, who was elected in December 2018, objected to the accuracy of reports connecting her to Branson. 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.

Oahu


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.

Maui

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.

Kauai

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.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Blinken outlines Hawaii's strategic importance, corruption a big issue in state Legislature, affordable housing plan not so affordable, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press availability with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi following their meeting in Honolulu, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. PC:Kevin Lamarque/Pool Reuters

Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Hawaii. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts Saturday in Hawaii to discuss the threat posed by nuclear-armed North Korea after Pyongyang began the year with a series of missile tests. Associated Press. Civil Beat.

Why Russia has its eye on Hawaii. While American policymakers have been vocal about wanting to keep an eye on China’s growing presence in the Pacific, over the last year it’s been Russia’s military operating most overtly near Hawaii — the nerve center for American military operations in the region. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate Wants To Beef Up Corruption Fighting Unit. Lawmakers are also considering reopening the State Capitol. Hawaii lawmakers want to create two new divisions in the state Attorney General’s Office that would be responsible for investigating fraud and political corruption as well as sex trafficking. Civil Beat.

Legislation would help victims exit sex trade with $2,000 per month. Victims of sex trafficking in Hawaii would receive $2,000 a month to leave the life in what proponents call the first pilot project of its kind through a bill in the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Gambling measure moves forward: HB 1962 would fund revenue, health study on possible DHHL casino. A bill that would require the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to study potential revenue generation as well as public health and safety concerns arising from “limited casino gaming” on DHHL lands is moving through the state Legislature. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmaker introduces bill to legalize online sports gambling in Hawaii.
Sports gambling is sweeping the nation. It’s now legal in some form in 31 states and the District of Columbia after becoming federally legal in 2018. Hawaii and Utah now remain the only two states that outlaw all gambling. KHON2.

‘The fireworks problem is a multifaceted problem’: State measures include increased fines, permit costs. Five of seven fireworks bills introduced by the state House of Representatives this session cleared their initial committee hurdle, with amendments, while two were shelved. Tribune-Herald.

Should Hawaii Counties Be Allowed To Require Fire Sprinklers In New Homes? It’s illegal for counties to require fire sprinklers in single-family homes and duplexes in Hawaii. A new draft law would change that. Civil Beat.

Electric, zero-emission vehicle bills in Legislature. Several bills have been introduced in the state Legislature this year to stimulate the adoption of electric and zero-emission vehicles and the development of electric and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. Tribune-Herald.

Widespread corruption begins with small, illegal behavior.
Unethical and criminal behavior from people in positions of trust in most cases begins simply enough. Star-Advertiser.

New stain at Hawaii Legislature could be its worst.
If Hawaii’s state Capitol had a hall of shame for legislators, J. Kalani English and Ty J.K. Cullen could be its headliners with the biggest fallen stars. Star-Advertiser.

Legislative committee pursuing investigation against state Rep. Sharon Har. A special House committee has decided to continue investigating whether state representative Sharon Har should face legislative sanctions for her drunken driving arrest nearly a year ago. KITV4.

Hawaii residents share their struggles with long COVID-19. The Queen’s Medical Center and the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine are collaborating on a study to determine why some people in Hawaii develop chronic symptoms, part of a national initiative funded by Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery, or RECOVER. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 532 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count includes 287 new cases on Oahu, 64 on Hawaii Island, 82 on Maui, 62 on Kauai, three on Molokai, six on Lanai and 28 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Proposal for Hawaii to build and sell leasehold condos judged unfeasible.
A big, unconventional idea to end Oahu’s affordable-housing shortage at no long-term public expense has been diminished at the Legislature after three years of effort. Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill’s Firefighting System Was Damaged Long Before Contamination Crisis. The system would deploy water automatically in case of a fire at the Navy’s fuel facility, but firefighting foam would have to be turned on manually, a spokeswoman said. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Roth considering charging tourists to visit beach parks, zoo. Charging tourists to visit county beach parks and the zoo is being considered as a potential way to help pay for facilities, Mayor Mitch Roth said. West Hawaii Today.

Isle transition to electric vehicles slow. The Big Island has a long way to go before all its vehicles are fully electric. Tribune-Herald.

Acting HR Director Leopoldino named to permanent post
. Acting Human Resources Director Waylen Leopoldino was awarded the permanent position on Friday, eight months after he assumed the acting role when the former director retired. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park plans restoration of summit facilities. Nearly four years after earthquakes from the 2018 Kilauea eruption crippled buildings and roads at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the National Park Serv­ice is proposing a multimillion-dollar plan to rebuild the park’s summit region. Star-Advertiser.

Maui

Commission mulls pay hike for police chief.
Maui County Salary Commission members questioned whether any salary increases for county department heads, including the police chief, would take away money from other programs, as the commission continues reviewing salaries for county directors and deputies. Maui News.

MEO to start drug, suicide, bullying prevention with youth on Molokaʻi
. Kāohi mirrors MEO Youth Services’ evidence-based prevention curriculum on Maui, and is expected to get underway soon when a program coordinator is on board. Maui Now.

Kauai

CC&R bill continues through Kaua‘i County Council. County lawmakers are pushing legislation that would prevent new housing developments from locking out lower-income families through strict covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), which often exceed the county’s own zoning ordinances. Garden Island.

Kauaʻi taro farmers spearhead a measure to streamline the water lease process for loʻi kalo. Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering streamlining the process for taro farmers looking to secure freshwater for their crops — a complex and time-consuming task that often requires a lawyer. Hawaii Public Radio.



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ige may veto 28 bills, Green pushes for COVID travel clarity, Russian warships come within 30 miles of Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige talks about veto list Monday PC:Governor's Office

Gov. David Ige to veto budget, teacher bonuses. Gov. David Ige announced Monday his intention to veto up to 28 bills passed by the legislature this year, including the state budget, teacher bonuses and a requirement to disclose the name of public schools with COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Local-option TAT among 28 bills Ige may veto.
Gov. David Ige has included on his list of 28 legislative measures for possible veto a bill taking away the counties’ share of the tax on hotel rooms and short-term rentals. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser.

Green wants COVID rules for U.S. visitors updated before July 4 to avoid ‘chaos’. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green is urging the state to commit to dropping its COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated mainland visitors ahead of the Fourth of July weekend to avoid “chaos at the airports.” Star-Advertiser.

North American travelers lift state’s hotel occupancy. Travel demand from North American travelers is bolstering Hawaii’s travel industry, but the absence of international travelers is still hampering recovery for some members. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Domestic business improves for Hawaiian Airlines, but international travel still grounded. During a livestreamed interview Monday, Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said the number of people traveling to Hawaii is returning to normal and has, in some cases, even surpassed pre-pandemic rates. Tribune-Herald.

Advocates Concerned About Hawai‘i's Decline in Child Well-Being Ranking. Hawaiʻi children are falling behind—that's according to the latest Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a report highlighting the well-being of children across the country. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Child sex trafficking appears to be on the rise in Hawaii. The demand for support services for children involved in sex trafficking or those in danger of exploitation has quadrupled during the pandemic. KITV4.

Military: Russian ships came within 30 nautical miles of Hawaii during exercise. Russian naval exercise ends as spy ship remains in Hawaii area. A Russian naval and air exercise off Hawaii that Moscow said was its largest drills in the Pacific since the end of the Cold War and involved surface ships, anti-submarine aircraft and long-range bombers, has ended, but a Russian spy ship remains in the Hawaii operating area, according to a variety of sources. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Daily Virus Average Drops to Lowest Total This Year
. The state’s two-week average is 39 new cases daily, with a test positivity rate of 1.1%. Big Island Now.

June 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 14 Cases; State Vaccination Rate Now 57%. The confirmed cases included: two on Hawai‘i Island (-1 probable); 11 on O‘ahu (+1 probable); Kaua‘i (-1 probable); and two in a Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

State slaps TheBus with big fine for not properly training workers on COVID cleaning sprays. The state Occupational Safety and Health branch has fined TheBus more than $26,000 for not properly training workers who used coronavirus cleaning sprays. Hawaii News Now.

New beach could come to Waikiki as part of improvement and maintenance proposal. Behind the Halekulani Hotel and Sheraton Waikiki there could be a new beach coming in a few years. It’s all a part of the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s proposed Waikiki beach improvement and maintenance program. KHON2.

Meeting to address plan for Makaha Beach bridges. Following public opposition to replacing two eroded, 1937 wooden bridges on Farrington Highway at Makaha Beach with concrete bridges, and adding a temporary bypass road across the beach closer to the sea, the Hawaii Department of Transportation has modified its plan. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Veterans Bid Emotional Farewell To Coast Guard Ship Getting ‘New Life’ In Vietnam. The ship’s public decommissioning ceremony was called off due to COVID-19 last year, but it made a port call in Honolulu last week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Staff, inmates describe deplorable conditions in Hilo jail. Staff and inmates at a Hilo jail that has been jolted by a major COVID outbreak have described harrowing conditions inside the facility, including cramped conditions that reek of human waste and a complete breakdown of safety protocols in statements taken as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit filed against the state and Hawaii Department of Public Safety alleging a gross failure to protect inmates from the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Waipiʻo Valley To Close To Non-Residents July 4th Weekend. Guards will be positioned at the top of the road throughout the weekend to ensure compliance, a County news release stated. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. KITV4.

Brown Water Advisory Issued For Kona Shoreline. The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff following recent heavy rains in the area. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Tourists Are Back In Force On Hana Highway. Why Not Charge Them? It would be a simple solution to help reduce neighbor-island traffic — and make life better for the locals there, a UH economist says. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Hotels Doing Better in May 2021 than May 2019 in Two Categories. Maui County hotels have rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic to the point that revenue per available room in May 2021 was at $314, 19% higher than at same time in 2019 — and the average daily rate was at $467, 35.3% higher than in May 2019, according to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s latest report on hotel performance. Maui Now.

Kauai

Waimea 400 parcel discussion continues. The County of Kaua‘i Planning Department hosted its second Waimea 400 Master Plan conceptual alternatives community meeting virtually Thursday. Garden Island.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

F-22 fighters respond to Russian Navy activity near Hawaii, Honolulu police officers charged in killing 16-year-old, travel surges with loosened COVID requirements, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

F-22 Raptors U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Ben Bloker

Russian Navy west of Hawaii prompted F-22 fighter launch from Hickam, report says. The Russian Navy is edging closer to Hawaii with a big exercise 300 to 500 miles west of the Aloha State — prompting the Air Force to scramble three missile-armed F-22 fighters on Sunday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

French Warplanes To Train With US Military In Hawaii As Allies Solidify Ties. France’s new commander in the Pacific toured Hawaii last month as relations between China and Europe sour. Civil Beat.

Loosened intercounty restrictions give boost to travel. Hawaii ended restrictions on intercounty travel between the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday and extended the quarantine exemption to domestic travelers who were fully vaccinated with at least one shot in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

First day of the coronavirus vaccine pass goes smoothly for Hawaii travelers
, pre-screening saves time. Tuesday, June 15, marked the start of the vaccine exemption that allows travelers vaccinated in Hawaii to bypass quarantine after returning from the mainland. KHON2.

Do We Want More Local Food Or Cheaper Power? Two Hawaii Priorities Conflict. Renewable energy companies say Honolulu’s plan to designate 12% of Oahu as “Important Agricultural Lands” could hinder the state’s ability to meet its clean energy goals. Civil Beat. 

Health officials report 37 new COVID-19 cases statewide. Today’s reported cases include 20 on O‘ahu, 8 on Hawai‘i Island, 3 on Kaua‘i, 2 on Maui and 4 residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

3 Honolulu Police Department officers are charged in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy. In an unprecedented and historic move for Hawaii law enforcement, Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm moved past an Oahu grand jury decision and brought murder and attempted murder charges against three Honolulu police officers in connection with the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Micronesian suspect. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Security footage shows exchange before police shoot Lindani Myeni. The video captures Lindani Sanele Myeni entering the home at 91 Coelho Way in Nuuanu and then leaving while apologizing to the couple who called police. Star-Advertiser. KITV4. Civil Beat.

City hopes to efficiently distribute federal funds for homelessness by deadline. Oahu has about $24 million in federal COVID-19 funds to spend on homelessness outreach and housing — of which $10 million is going to a new program called Oahu Housing Now. Star-Advertiser.

Kaimukī Residents Concerned 'Monster Home' Construction Taking Place; DPP Director Reviewing Plans. Honolulu's Director of Planning and Permitting is reviewing a controversial residential construction case on Oʻahu. It involves the demolition of structures on a 19,000 square foot lot, and the construction of what neighbors fear will be a monster home. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Police Release Body Cam Footage Of Hilo Shooting. Video from the Body Worn Camera of the officer that was involved in the fatal shooting of Ryan Santos on the evening of June 13 was released on Tuesday. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now. KITV4. Tribune-Herald.

Council panel advances new building code: Codes for new and existing residences get stamp of approval. In what appeared to be the smoothest discussion and vote on building code amendments in more than a decade, a County Council panel Tuesday unanimously advanced changes bringing the county up to the 2018 code for new and existing residential buildings. West Hawaii Today.

Borce wraps up three-year stint at PTA. After three years at the helm, Lt. Col. Loreto “JR” V. Borce Jr. on Tuesday passed the baton — or, more accurately, presented the colors — of Pohakuloa Training Area to Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin. Tribune-Herald.

A Chinese national is facing a federal charge for allegedly laundering millions of fraud proceeds used by a co-conspirator to purchase and flip real estate for profit in West Hawaii. From 2010 through October 2018, Claypool developed and then sold those properties located in Waikoloa, Puuanahulu, Kukio and Kailua-Kona, for more than $11.4 million and later transferred the proceeds to investments accounts at brokerage firm Edward Jones, authorities say. West Hawaii Today.

Halau, kumu hula prepare for Merrie Monarch Festival with modifications. The Merrie Monarch Festival is slated for June 24 – 26 after being put on pause due to the pandemic. KHON2.

Maui

Maui Film Industry Reels Up in 2021:
John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Guy Fieri, HBO, Hallmark and More. Maui Film Commissioner Tracy Bennett, the State Film Commissioner and Mayor Michael Victorino worked to bring major productions back to Maui County after the lockdown over a year ago, approving filming with restrictions in August. Maui Now.

10-Year Review of Maui County Charter Underway
, Public Input Sought. Once a decade the Mayor and the Council appoint a Commission of 11 citizens to conduct a year-long review of Maui County’s governing document, the Maui County Charter. Maui Now.

Public Hearing For County Facility Concessions, June 23. The public is invited to provide input on proposed rules for concession operations during an online public hearing set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the Department of Parks and Recreation announced. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i condo prices skyrocket over five years. Condominium sales have increased over 55% over the past five years, Kaua‘i Realtors say. Garden Island.

Hawai‘i first lady promotes literacy. Hawai‘i First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige visited Kaua‘i to promote literacy, primarily the ‘Ohana Readers Kaua‘i, and the Hawai‘i State Public Library System’s Tails and Tales Summer Reading Program. Garden Island.