Showing posts with label University of Hawaii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label University of Hawaii. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Mizuno's wife/office manager named to his House seat, Kona airport runway springs 3rd crack, removal of 600k tons of ash begins at Lahaina, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

May Mizuno succeeds her husband as new state House representative.  Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday appointed Joje “May” Mizuno to succeed her husband as the new District 29 state representative for Kamehameha Heights-Kalihi Valley. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawaii Lawmakers Say They’re Ready To Bring Back A Fire Marshal’s Office. Politicians have heeded firefighters' calls in light of the Aug. 8 wildfires, submitting draft bills to establish a fire marshal after the position was disbanded decades ago. Civil Beat.

State falling short on carbon reduction goal. A new report from the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office paints a stark picture of Hawaiʻi's progress to cut out fossil fuels. Hawaii Public Radio. On the current path, the state will achieve about a 54% reduction in carbon emissions by 2045, well short of the 100% reduction needed for carbon neutrality. Hawaii Public Radio.

New law requires more transparency for use of force by police. A law requiring all police agencies statewide to maintain publicly available written policies regarding minimum standards on the use of force went into effect Jan. 1. Tribune-Herald.

Here's what state lawmakers are prioritizing for education this legislative session.  This year, education proposals in the Hawaiʻi Legislature will focus on pressing issues like the recovery of Lahaina schools and wildfire prevention. Hawaii Public Radio.

College degrees greatly boost lifetime earnings, UH report finds. While University of Hawaii tuition has become more affordable over the past 10 years when adjusted for inflation, and the financial benefits of a degree remain strong, college enrollment rates among Hawaii public school graduates have declined since the COVID-19 pandemic, with about 500 fewer entering higher education each year, a new report says.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

Mississippi Publisher Looks To Buy Struggling Star-Advertiser And Other Hawaii Papers. Media mogul David Black, who merged Honolulu's two daily newspapers, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada.  Civil Beat.


UH signs deal to develop new satellite technology. Under a new agreement, the University of Hawaii at Manoa hopes to promote greater research and development of new satellite-­based technologies to better study Earth from space. Star-Advertiser.

Public invited to meet 3 finalists vying for JABSOM dean position.
Three finalists are in the running for the position of dean of the University of Hawaiʻi’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Hawaii Public Radio. Star-Advertiser.

HECO gathers community input for power plant upgrade proposal.  Hawaiian Electric wants to replace some of its oldest generators with new technology, but the cost to customers is still unclear. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Military begins removal of ‘residual’ fuel at Red Hill. The military began removing “residual” fuel from the Navy’s underground Red Hill Fuel Farm on Monday, marking the beginning of the next phase of the facility’s closure. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters find fallen hiker at Lanipo after rescuing her dog. Honolulu firefighters on Monday rescued a hiker who had fallen more than 170 feet below a trail above Kaimuki after finding her dog alone on a mountain slope. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Third crack appears on Kona Airport runway. Hawaii Officials Blame Age And Weather For Cracks On Kona Runway. The airport, which shut down for several hours, is scheduled for $120 million in upgrades this summer. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  West Hawaii Today.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hikers rescued from Mauna Loa cited for not having backcountry permit. Officials from the National Park Service said two hikers who were rescued Monday morning from Mauna Loa after getting lost during severe winter weather that had closed the summit. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Theft of mail reported in parts of Hilo. Hilo residents are advised to secure their mailboxes after a spate of mail thefts around the north edge of town. Tribune-Herald.


600,000 tons of ash, debris to be hauled from Lahaina.  The Lahaina wildfire debris removal project began Tuesday with preparation work in anticipation of hauling away an estimated 600,000 tons of ash and waste over the next year. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Renters Face ‘Increasingly Hostile Housing Market’ Despite Eviction Moratorium. Housing advocates say landlords are being tempted to oust renters in favor of more lucrative rent subsidies for fire survivors amid high demand. Civil Beat.

Recovery Of Maui Schools Is A Priority For The New Legislative Session. A temporary campus replacing a Lahaina elementary school destroyed in the August wildfires is set to open in April, officials said. Civil Beat.


Biodiesel refinery expands operations to Kaua‘i. A biodiesel refinery is expanding its operations to Kaua‘i as part of a project to produce renewable biofuel from multiple locally grown oilseed cover crops. Kauai Now.

Visitor, 30, dies after fall from Kauai hiking trail. A 30-year-old visitor died Sunday after a fall from the Hanakapiai Falls Trail in Haena, according to Kauai County officials. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.  Kauai Now.

Friday, November 17, 2023

UH enrollment ticks up, state worst for early lung cancer diagnosis, $360k stolen from Kamehameha Schools campus, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UH enrollment sees uptick, community colleges lead the way. The University of Hawaii says enrollment at its 10 campuses is up 1.2% for this fall semester compared to the fall semester of last year — the largest increase in enrollment since 2010. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii Mayors Discuss Housing Crisis At Native Hawaiian Convention. Hawaii’s four county mayors took the stage Thursday at the 22nd Native Hawaiian Convention, taking place on Maui, for a panel to discuss their approaches to Hawaii’s housing crisis. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

House Committee Briefed On Opioid Settlement Funds.
A Hawaiʻi State House committee briefing was held at the Capitol on Wednesday, to provide lawmakers with an update on various initiatives to be supported by opioid lawsuit settlement funds.  Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Elections Commission Selects New Chair. The nine-member commission that advises Hawaii’s chief election officer on matters relating to elections has new leadership. Michael Curtis will replace Scotty Anderson early next month. Civil Beat.

Agriculture Department to discuss rules for invasive species. Concerns over how to control damaging invasive species, including little fire ants, continue to intensify as the state Department of Agriculture discusses rules for the pests. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.

Hawaiʻi among worst states for early lung cancer diagnosis, treatment. In the American Lung Association's newest “State of Lung Cancer” report, the state was ranked as the worst in the nation for diagnosing lung cancer early, when the survival rate is greater. Just over 20% of cases are diagnosed early, compared to nearly 27% nationally. Star-Advertiser.


HART board approves eminent domain filing for Kalihi property. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board of directors Thursday approved filing an eminent domain against one family’s industrially zoned property in Kalihi. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium redevelopment draws competitors. At least three viable teams will compete to develop, build, operate and maintain a new Aloha Stadium and construct real estate in the adjoining New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, state officials said Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

The Fate Of The North Shore’s Airfield Is Once Again Up In The Air. State transportation officials warn they will have to close Dillingham Airfield if negotiations with the Army, which owns the land, are unsuccessful. Civil Beat.

After nearly 2 decades, state fixes numerous leaking pipes at Dillingham Airfield. Since finishing the repairs at the end of October, the airfield has gone from using about 100,000 gallons a day to 57,000 gallons. That means they’re saving about 1.3 million gallons of water per month. Hawaii News Now.

Civilians at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam say big rent hikes may price them off-base. Hickam Communities provides on-base housing to nearly 2,000 active duty military personnel at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. There are also more than 400 civilian residents, and some of them feel like they’re living their own version of being priced out of paradise. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Council takes first step to award $17.3M to seven affordable housing projects.
Millions of dollars aimed at expanding the availability and affordability of housing on the Big Island are one step closer to being put into action after the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday approved the first reading of a measure awarding more than $17.3 million to seven housing projects. Big Island Now.

County Council passes bill easing requirements for PV systems
. Homeowners will be able to install solar power systems more easily under a new bill passed Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Council Wildfire Resolution Amended After Volunteer Firefighter Concerns. At Wednesday’s Hawaii County Council meeting held in Kona, a resolution was passed strongly urging the mayor to increase funding and capacity for the Hawaiʻi Fire Department to proactively mitigate potential wildfire impacts. Big Island Video News.

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii campus reports large internal theft to police
. Kamehameha Schools Hawaii filed a police report Thursday alleging a former employee stole more than $360,000 from the Keaau campus. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.  KITV4.


Legislators Call For Additional Safety Measures For Lahaina Schools.
The DOE said they would not make emergency response plans available to the public at this time. Civil Beat.

Work to drain underground parking garage in Lahaina begins, along with MPD search
. The  US Environmental Protection Agency started work to drain an underground parking garage located on Front Street in Lahaina that has remained flooded since the fire of Aug. 8.  Maui Now.

8.6 acres at Hāmoa, Maui forever protected for cultural preservation, stewardship. Ke Ao Hāliʻi, a Hāna-based nonprofit community organization, in partnership with the County of Maui, State of Hawaiʻi, and Hawai‘i Land Trust, has completed the purchase of 8.6 acres of Hāmoa lands for permanent cultural preservation and stewardship. Maui Now.

KWC Management Closes Acquisition of Montage Kapalua Bay. Located at the edge of Namalu Bay, Montage Kapalua Bay is situated on 24 acres. The cliffside resort welcomes travelers with 146 residential-style, multi-bedroom suites, four restaurants, a children’s program, Paintbox, and a spa, as well as a collection of privately owned residences. Maui Now.


Food banks holding distribution events. The two food banks on the island of Kauai will be holding food distribution events over the next couple of days. Garden Island.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

State lawmakers lay out wildfire prevention roadmap, one more Maui fire victim identified, evidence released in advance of HPD crash trial, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lawmakers Propose ‘Bold Action’ To Address Wildfire Risk. The Aug. 8 Maui fires have created “one of the largest public policy challenges that Hawaii has ever faced,” state lawmakers said Wednesday in laying out details in six preliminary reports aimed at providing a roadmap for the 2024 Legislature to follow in addressing shortcomings in the state’s wildfire prevention and management efforts. Civil Beat.

Wildfire named Hawaii’s top hazard in new report. The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency released the recently updated State Hazard Mitigation Plan on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Recent laser incidents on Kauai, Maui prompt FBI warning. Pilots are reporting several laser-pointing incidents while landing at airports on Kauai and Maui, prompting warnings by the FBI and police that those responsible face federal prosecution.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

UH Foundation launches $1 billion fundraising drive.  The University of Hawaii Foundation on Wednesday launched the public phase of an ambitious $1 billion fundraising campaign aimed at support for students, UH research, Native Hawaiian stewardship, sustainability, Hawaii’s workforce, community engagement and innovation and entrepreneurship. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Family celebrates as Hawaii woman stuck in Gaza gains her freedom. Family members of Ramona Okumura were celebrating Wednesday after the 71-year-old aid worker originally from Hawaii was whisked out of war-torn Gaza to safety in Egypt. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Tribune-Herald.  KHON2.


Prosecutors detail evidence ahead of trial against 4 HPD officers in near-fatal crash. The city Prosecutor’s Office has revealed some of the evidence they plan to show the jury in the upcoming trial for four Honolulu police officers. Officers Joshua Nahulu is charged with collision involving serious bodily injury. Officers Erik Smith, Jake Bartolome and Robert Lewis are charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Confirms New Member Of Police Commission. Jeannine Souki replaces Shannon Alivado, who stepped down in October. Civil Beat.

Two New Liquor Commissioners Confirmed By Honolulu Council. The Honolulu City Council confirmed two new liquor commissioners on Wednesday, updating the membership of a body that has been a subject of controversy in recent years.  Civil Beat.

Helicopters continue dropping water on Mililani Mauka wildfire. A wildfire in Central Oʻahu has grown to cover more than a square mile in a remote mountainous area and has burned native koa and ʻōhiʻa trees, officials said.  Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Jewish temple in Nuuanu beefs up security. The largest Jewish temple in Hawaii is trying to raise $50,000 to pay for armed guards and enhanced security in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Lab-Grown Corals Help Restore Damaged Reef In Hanauma Bay
. The project demonstrated how it may be possible to restore larger areas much more quickly than would happen naturally. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi County Council passes resolution to strengthen island's fire department. The Hawaiʻi County Council passed a resolution urging Mayor Mitch Roth to increase the capacity of and funding for the Hawaiʻi Fire Department. Hawaii Public Radio.

Council takes step toward more South Kohala affordable housing. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing the director of finance to negotiate a 68-year lease with Pacific Housing Assistance Corporation/Kamakoa Nui Limited Partnership to develop Na Hale Makoa in Waikoloa Village. Tribune-Herald.

Kalaoa Solar Project meeting on Nov. 13, open to public. The public is invited to attend an informational meeting about the Kalaoa Solar Project, a proposed 40-acre renewable energy facility on state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property in Kalaoa. West Hawaii Today.

Car dealership to occupy property currently housing Millie’s Deli, New Saigon restaurant. A plan by a Hilo car dealership to relocate to a new location blindsided business owners who say they weren’t told that the building they sublease was being sold. Tribune-Herald.


Maui police identify Lahaina man, 76, as latest fire fatality. Lee Rogo, 76, was publicly identified after his family was notified. Of the 99 confirmed fatalities, 98 have been publicly identified after notification of next of kin. One victim has not been identified. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Native Hawaiians and commercial boat operators clash over Lahaina Harbor, Mala Wharf future. The Maui Arts and Cultural Center was packed on Wednesday with people who are passionate about protecting West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

W. Maui hotel occupancy still mostly residents.
Occupancy rates down but room revenue, daily rates highest in state. Maui News.

Developers: Rising mortgage rates threaten Maui’s wildfire recovery. Prominent Maui developer Everett Dowling is responding by making big changes to one project that was already in the pipeline towards construction.  To keep the project alive while Maui is desperate for new housing, Dowling’s company is proposing dropping the plan from 54 buildings with homes for sale to a simpler, six-building layout with 202 rentals. Hawaii News Now.

Chefs Anticipate Even More Demand To Feed Maui Months After Wildfires. Farm owners and feeding operations are preparing to be in it for the long haul. Civil Beat.


Celebrate Arbor Day on Kaua‘i with tree giveaway, more on Nov. 4. The Kauaʻi Landscape Industry Association will host a tree giveaway, educational booths and keiki planting zone at the Kukui Grove Center in Līhuʻe this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Kauai Now.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Lassner to retire as UH president, new COVID vaccine not yet available to many, Maui mayor creates Lahaina Advisory Team, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

UH President David Lassner Will Retire Next Year. He has run the University of Hawaii since 2013, an institution he first began working at in 1977. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Maui Activists Urge Return Of DLNR Water Official To Former Job. A meeting of Hawaii’s Commission on Water Resource Management was dominated Tuesday by calls to reinstate a senior water official who was reassigned amid criticism over decisions made during the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.

Insurance lag results in wait for COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines became available following a steady upward trend in U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations since summer. Star-Advertiser.

Dems To NOAA: Hold Wespac Accountable For Misspending Nearly $1 Million. Members of Congress sent a letter seeking accountability for the fishery council's "transgressions." Civil Beat.


Navy ‘recklessly destroyed’ Red Hill evidence, lawyers allege. Attorneys representing families sickened by the 2021 Red Hill water crisis introduced a motion in Honolulu’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday that alleges that Navy officials “recklessly destroyed” text and phone rec­ords between two key officials. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Affordable rental project and 2 preschools break ground. Oo sticks, wielded by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and an assortment of bankers, developers and other local officials, broke ground Tuesday on a $199 million affordable rental project offering two on-site preschools in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

With school in session, Skyline sees a positive bump in ridership. Officials are seeing about a 14% increase in demand that they say is fueled partly by students. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County looks to the future: General Plan 2045 envisions next 25 years, seeks to balance growth with sustainability.  Public comments on the plan, a 25-year blueprint for the long-term growth and sustainable development of Hawaii Island, are being accepted until Nov. 20 through Konveio, an interactive online platform. Tribune-Herald.

Two Big Island nonprofits will receive a share of more than $42 million in grants awarded by the US Department of Agriculture through the Inflation Reduction Act to nine organizations for planting and maintaining trees, combat extreme heat, and improve access to green space in communities throughout the state. West Hawaii Today.

Small amounts of chemical TCP found in Mt. View water source. Trace amounts of a potentially carcinogenic chemical have been detected in a Mountain View water source, according to the state Department of Health. Tribune-Herald.


Maui mayor announces: Lahaina Advisory Team, community meetings, creation of Office of Recovery.  Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen has formed a 5-member Lahaina Advisory Team comprised of Lahaina residents that will meet with him weekly to ensure the County makes decisions based on the needs and desires of the community.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Council begins talks on recovery plan after fires. Committee seeks public input, will hold another meeting in West Maui Sept. 27.  It was the first time the committee took up the resolution that aims to develop a comprehensive recovery and resiliency plan in response to Maui’s wildfires in Lahaina and Kula on Aug. 8. Maui News.

Amid calls for accountability, Maui’s mayor steers clear of spotlight and avoids news conferences. A month and a half after a wall of flames tore through Lahaina town, killing at least 97 people and erasing the town, scores of key questions linger. Despite that, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen hasn’t publicly answered questions at a news briefing since Aug. 29. Hawaii News Now.

Criticism building against Lahaina's Oct. 8 reopening to tourists. Thousands of Maui residents are expressing their opposition to Gov. Josh Green's decision to reopen Lahaina to tourists on Oct. 8.  KITV4.

‘The Wildfire Litigation Industry’ Takes On Hawaiian Electric.
The outcome of numerous lawsuits will affect victims, shareholders and, potentially, 470,000 customers statewide. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

 Harrowing Eyewitness Accounts Cast Doubt On Official Lahaina Fire Narrative. Those who fled the fire by car tell of being blocked or funneled into narrow gridlocked streets. The county has not said when it will release a detailed report on what happened. Civil Beat.

Firefighters contained early fire, left for short break and returned to find flames anew.  Five firefighters who fought the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire left the scene that day after nearly eight hours containing the blaze so Maui Electric Co. workers could repair downed utility poles and power lines, one of the firefighters and a Maui County attorney said.  Civil Beat.

They face ‘unimaginable challenges’ but a new reason for hope:
A full ride at UH for a year. UH will offer full scholarships to every Lahainaluna High senior for one academic year. UH President David Lassner made the announcement in a class assembly at the school’s temporary location at Kulanihakoi High School in Kihei. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i household hazardous waste collection set for Sept. 23 and 24.
Among the items that will be accepted are automotive products, lead-acid batteries, lawn and garden products, oil-based paints, thinners and stains, fluorescent lights, batteries and more. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Saiki seeks criminal penalties for unscrupulous fundraising, some Lahaina fire victims asked to leave hotels for tourists, college students improve Skyline ridership numbers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Unscrupulous fundraising for Maui relief under heavy scrutiny. Citing the immediacy of fundraising for Maui relief efforts, House Speaker Scott Saiki asked Gov. Josh Green on Monday to issue an emergency proclamation “to prohibit and criminalize fundraising under false pretenses” and for an attorney general audit of funds.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

HTA pursues tourism recovery plan for Maui, state. The Hawaii Tourism Authority board is seeking a contractor to develop a Tourism Recovery Plan that supports Maui and the state in rebuilding the economy following the devastating Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed Lahaina town. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Here are some of the changes in Gov. Green's latest emergency housing proclamation. The changes now exclude the area affected by the Lāhainā wildfire, restore cultural and environmental protections, and reinstate the open meetings through the Sunshine Law. The new proclamation also prioritizes state and county affordable housing projects, which aim to create thousands of new low-income and workforce housing units statewide. Hawaii Public Radio.

UH fundraising dips, but still tops $100M mark. Money raised by the University of Hawaii Foundation to benefit UH students, programs and research amounted to $103.6 million for the 2022-2023 fiscal year — a decrease of more than one-third compared with the previous year. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawai‘i’s four-year universities earn high marks for grad rates, more. The University of Hawaiʻi’s three 4-year universities were highly ranked in the U.S. News and World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings released Monday. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.


Skyline ridership up since fall classes started at LCC, UH West Oahu. There has been an increase in ridership on the Skyline rail system since Aug. 21, according to the Department of Transportation Services (DTS). That was the day the University of Hawaii and all of its campuses started classes. KITV4.

Amendments made to parking limits bill. 
A City Council committee has approved amendments to a proposed measure to make permanent a years-long program to restrict parking in Kalihi Valley — including a proposed fee structure with fixed, annual permit fees. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Bill seeks to ease rules for home solar systems. Installing a home solar system could become cheaper under a new bill that will be discussed by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

State ups security around derelict hotel
. Gov. Josh Green has signed a second emergency proclamation regarding the former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel, and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has established 24-hour security following recent break-ins at the dilapidated resort. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-HeraldBig Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.


Ahead of tourism reboot in West Maui, some Lahaina fire victims are told they’ll have to move. Some Lahaina residents who lost their homes are being forced to move from temporary housing as hotels prepare to welcome visitors back to West Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Five additional Lahaina wildfire victims were identified; a total of 74 people have been named. The Maui Police Department released the names of five more victims from the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire on Sunday. Maui Now.

Maui Residents ‘Want Hope’ As Council Develops Wildfire Recovery Plan. Members held the first in a series of meetings to gather public input on what actions the county should take. Civil Beat.

Their homes and businesses were destroyed in Lahaina, but mortgage payments are still due. Almost six weeks after the devastating wildfire, mortgage payments are coming due — even for some whose homes or businesses no longer exist. Advocates are urging banks to give their customers a bigger break. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Falck pledges to maintain current services in county. Advance life support services will be maintained for Maui County’s ambulances and Falck, a global healthcare and emergency services company, says if anything they will try “to improve it.”  Maui News.

Lahaina Residents Can Return To Their Burned Properties Soon. But Is The Air Safe? Some health experts say the state and county should be more cautious in their approach. Civil Beat.

State Water Code suspension lifted as debate continues over rights in West Maui.  The Commission on Water Resource Management will receive an update from staff on the status of water resources in West Maui at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. The meeting begins at 9 a.m.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Lahaina banyan tree sprouting new leaves. New growth sprouting from the 150- year-old banyan tree in Lahaina offers signs of hope for its revival more than a month after fire singed its leaves. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.  Hawaii News Now.


4,200 pounds of marine debris airlifted from Kaua‘i’s shores by helicopter. Surfrider Kaua‘i announced its 12-week annual Operation Airlift program has concluded, as volunteers partnered with Jack Harter Helicopters and Timbers Kaua‘i Ocean Club to fly 2 tons of marine debris out of some of the island’s hardest-to-reach shores. Garden Island.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Patsy Mink quarter design unveiled, corrupt union boss gets more than 11 years, dog attack likely killed monk seal pup, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

US Mint Releases Design For Patsy Mink Quarter. The United States Mint on Thursday announced designs for the third year of the American Women Quarters Program. Mink, who died in 2002, was the first woman of color to serve in Congress and championed gender and racial equality, affordable child care and environmental protection. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Former Hawaii union boss is sentenced to federal prison.  The former business manager of a Hawaii labor union who was convicted of rigging a vote to raise dues and taking members’ money to pay for his family’s extravagant lifestyle was sentenced Thursday morning to more than 11 years in federal prison. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii’s Clean Energy Transition Faces Steep Hurdles, Study Finds. Aggressive action must be taken by all sectors of the state’s economy if Hawaii wants to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 as mandated by state law, according to a new study commissioned by Hawaiian Electric. Civil Beat.

‘They’re working us to death’: Hotel workers calling for change. Hawaii’s hotel industry could face another strike during the 2024 summer unless things change according to the union that represents thousands of hotel workers. KHON2.

State unemployment rate sinks to 3.0%. Hawaii’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.0% in June, its lowest level in more than three years, and is expected to keep heading lower as the state’s economy strengthens. Star-Advertiser.

Matson sees pickup in trade, but forecasts a big drop in earnings. Matson Inc. said shipping demand picked up in the second quarter from the first three months of the year, and expects business to improve through 2023. Star-Advertiser.

UH Got Nearly $516M In Extramural Research Funding. Here’s What That Means. The University of Hawaii set a new record in grants received from the federal government, industry and nonprofit groups. Civil Beat.

Visitor snorkeling deaths continue to rise. According to preliminary state health data, from 2013 to 2022, there were nearly 800 fatal ocean drownings, with 54% being visitors compared to residents. Nearly 30% of those fatalities were due to snorkeling, while 21% were swimming. KHON2.


HART board calls for more financial information on Honolulu rail.  Just three weeks after the opening of the first segment of Skyline, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board is pressing its executive director for more financial information on ongoing construction of the city’s rail project and questioning why the board was not fully made aware of a $99.1 million lawsuit filed earlier this month by a contractor. Star-Advertiser.

City director reports drop in Honolulu building permit backlog.  During a special meeting Wednesday of the Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Planning and the Economy, DPP Director Dawn Takeuchi Apuna told the panel that her current staff had managed to knock down the backlog of 3,600 applications awaiting pre-screening by nearly 70%. Star-Advertiser.

Neighborhood Board Election Outcome Reversed After Rematch. The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board incumbent who asked for a re-vote after a series of computer glitches has won the repeat election, and the Honolulu City Council is asking for a written report on what went wrong with the original vote. Civil Beat.

City starts installation of new smart parking meters. New smart parking meters are now going up on Honolulu’s sidewalks, with the first 300 already installed in the Chinatown area. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu Condo Board Members Feel ‘Muzzled’ By Management Companies. Hired to manage properties, the companies frequently tell board members to not talk to contractors or others outside board meetings. Civil Beat.

Honolulu officials hope for new liquor commission administrator by end of summer.  City and County of Honolulu officials say progress is being made within the liquor commission. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monk seal pup’s death likely caused by dog attack, officials say. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today said it had determined that monk seal RS48, or Ho‘omau Lehua, likely died from a dog attack, based on necropsy and histopathology results. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Lack of clarity plagues Mauna Kea transition.  Act 255 called for a transition period in which the previous manager, the University of Hawaii, would share duties with the new one, the Maunakea Stewardship Oversight Authority, over a five-year time frame that started July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Federal lawsuit claims Hilo attorney maliciously prosecuted, defamed by Roth and Waltjen.
A Hilo attorney has filed a federal lawsuit against Hawaii County, Mayor Mitch Roth, county Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen and Deputy Prosecutors Kate Perazich and Sylvia Wan. Tribune-Herald.

County mulling management, use of tiny structures.  The county is looking for a new non-profit to manage Ka Lamaku, the tiny homes located at the entrance of Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona that have served as an emergency shelter since 2020. The shelter closed on June 30 when service provider HOPE Services Hawaii’s contract to manage the emergency shelter expired. West Hawaii Today.


Electrical upgrades might seem like a simple job — anywhere other than Kalaupapa. Reliable electricity is critical to daily life and operations in Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi and the current electrical system is aged and failing. It was first installed in 1969. Hawaii Public Radio.

An island sold for a dollar? A little over a decade ago, tech billionaire Larry Ellison made headlines when he acquired Lānaʻi for $300 million. How Lānaʻi came under private ownership for the first time.  Before James Dole transformed Lānaʻi into one of the world's largest pineapple plantations, another man set his sights on the island. In 1909, businessman William Irwin bought nearly the entire island of Lānaʻi for $1.  Hawaii Public Radio.


Volunteers make an impact at Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank. With the start of school looming in less than two weeks, a group of 20 volunteers from Starbucks and Mason Taylor of Southern California made an impact on the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank’s (KIFB) school preparations on Thursday. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Some restaurants add 10% 'supply chain' surcharge, Hawaii law school treats Supreme Court justices to luxurious trips, Waikiki church told to quit feeding homeless, nepotism law goes into effect, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Some Hawaii restaurants now adding 10% Supply Chain fee. Some restaurants are now adding a 10% charge to your check, calling it a Supply Chain Adjustment. In some cases, customers don’t know about it until they get the check. KHON2.

UH law school not alone in offering luxury trips to Supreme Court justices. Supreme Court justices and donors mingle at campus visits. For decades, the University of Hawaii law school has marketed its Jurist-In-Residence program to the Supreme Court as an all-expenses-paid getaway, with the upside of considerable “down time” in paradise. Associated Press.

Anti-nepotism law takes effect in Hawaii.  A new law took effect Tuesday prohibiting nepotism across state government — particularly for the 60,000 employees in the executive branch — but notably exempts the state Legislature and Judiciary. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Hawaii ahead of the pack in installation of EV fast chargers. Hawaii is the first out of the gate to award a contract for federally funded fast chargers to be deployed across the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii ranks 2nd in the nation for fatal crashes involving distracted driving. A new analysis shows Hawaii has the second highest rate of fatal crashes involving distracted drivers in the nation, just behind New Mexico. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Department of Public Safety names new corrections deputy director.  Sanna Munoz, who had served as the domestic violence unit probation supervisor for the state Judiciary Adult Client Services Branch in the Third Circuit, will serve in her new role starting Aug. 1. Star-Advertiser.

As trash continues to pile, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi officials discuss landfill siting options.   Landfill siting on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi hit roadblocks with Act 73, which created buffer zones and limitations on potential new sites. Hawaii Public Radio.

Struggles continue despite more positive outlook on COVID-19 pandemic. Results from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization’s third public-health report, released today, reflect a more positive outlook on the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.


Facing ‘heavy-handed’ city pressure, Waikiki church will stop its daily free meal service.  A Waikiki church that’s been serving free meals to the needy for more than five decades says it will end its daily lunch line at the end of the week. Hawaii News Now.

Navy Awards Red Hill Contract To Company Just Raided By Feds .
The Navy said on Tuesday that it has officially parted ways with a contractor the military blames for spilling firefighting chemicals at Red Hill last year.  Civil Beat.

City suspends another reviewer who cleared ‘monster home’ plans. The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting has suspended the registration of another third-party reviewer who approved plans for “monster house” projects that are not in compliance with city ordinances. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Tells Tow Company To Stop Charging $900 Fees. The City and County of Honolulu has told its towing contractor to temporarily stop charging an additional tow fee while it investigates all the instances it has been applied this year. Civil Beat.

Care facility nurses announce 7-day strike amid ‘shameful’ wage dispute. Nurses and nurses aides at Oahu Care Facility in McCully-Moiliili have announced a seven-day strike amid an ongoing wage dispute. Hawaii News Now.

DHHL holds groundbreaking ceremony for East Kapolei housing developments.  The first phase of development will consist of 127 single-family residential lots across 24 acres. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Kimo Alameda to announce 2024 run for Hawai‘i County mayor.  Kimo Alameda, who has been lead of the Hawai‘i Island Fentanyl Task Force and vice president of business development for Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center since 2022, is stepping away from those roles to pursue a bid to become the next mayor of Hawai‘i County in 2024. Big Island Now.

New pilot program aims to encourage pono behavior.  A partnership between the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii County and the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau announced two conjoined programs that will employ local stewards to educate visitors to Richardson and Lehia beach parks in Keaukaha. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hawai’i County unveils first hybrid hydrogen- and electric-powered bus.  When Hawai’i County officials unveiled the Big Island’s first hybrid hydrogen and electric bus, people were pleased by the soft sound, clean air and lack of nauseous gases. Big Island Now.

Hilo resiliency hub clears final EA.  The Keaukaha Pana‘ewa Farmers Association plans to build a “resiliency and agricultural innovation hub” on Railroad Avenue on the same state-owned 10-acre parcel where the Pana‘ewa Farmers Market is held every Saturday. Tribune-Herald.


What to do with a gas tax with so many EVs on the road? Maui eyes a ‘road usage charge’.  Maui County Councilmembers discussed a new state charge on Tuesday that could also be implemented on the county level. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DesJardins sworn in as first deputy corporation counsel.  Mimi DesJardins, a former judge and longtime attorney who ran a solo law practice for 20 years, was sworn in June 30 as first deputy corporation counsel for Maui County. Maui News.

New youth shelter in Wailuku will offer mentorship and temporary housing. Hale Pono teen shelter is located in Wailuku and will offer 13 beds for youth ages 12 to 17.  Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Maui Brewing Company in Lahaina closed due to roach, rodent infestation.  The restaurant, located at 4405 Honoapiilani Highway, received a red placard on Monday by the DOH Maui Food Safety Branch.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KITV4.


Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative to hold annual membership meeting on July 20.  Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative members are invited to attend the cooperative’s annual meeting on July 20 at the Kauaʻi Philippine Cultural Center in Puhi. Kauai Now.

Almarza named Kaua‘i United Way executive director.  Lori L. Almarza is the Kaua‘i United Way executive director, announced the board of directors of Kaua‘i United Way on July 5. Garden Island.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Hawaii leaders decry affirmative action ruling, DOE wasted millions on solar AC, Honolulu Skyline rail opens today, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii leaders blast ruling against affirmative action. Three Hawaii congressional delegation members assailed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down affirmative action policies at two major American colleges, with Sen. Mazie Hirono blasting the ruling as “shortsighted and detached from reality.” Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Investigation finds DOE wasted millions on solar-powered AC systems. A Hawaii News Now investigation has found that the state Department of Education wasted millions of dollars on solar-powered air conditioning systems that either had to be disconnected or aren’t doing an adequate job of cooling classrooms. During the past six years, the DOE has installed solar-powered AC systems in 880 classrooms at a cost of $122 million — or more than $138,000 per classroom. Hawaii News Now.

Governor to veto pilot program overseeing where public art can be showcased. A pilot program that would have allowed publicly-owned art to be showcased in private spaces is slated for veto by Gov. Josh Green. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii visitor arrivals recover to 94.6% of pre-pandemic levels. Some 801,569 visitors came to the Hawaiian islands in May, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. May arrivals represented an increase of 3.2% from arrivals in May 2022.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s domestic arrivals soften as demand subsides.  The wild exuberance and pent-up demand for tourism that turned 2022 into the peak year for U.S. arrivals to the state has softened. Star-Advertiser.

Prominent Native Hawaiian Defense Contractor Is Part Of New Federal Criminal Probe. Federal authorities executed a search warrant earlier this week at the Honolulu offices of Dawson, a conglomerate of Native Hawaiian-owned companies that receive tens of millions of dollars in government contracts, mostly from the Department of Defense.  Civil Beat.

In symbolic move, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima sign historic sister park agreement. It’s a historic agreement between two places that were devastated by World War II some eight decades ago — forever connected through pain and healing through reconciliation and cooperation. Hawaii News Now.

11 new COVID-related deaths, 535 new infections recorded in Hawaii, DOH reports. The Hawaii State Department of Health  reported 11 new deaths related to COVID-19 and 535 new infections over the last seven days in Hawaii. The total number of deaths stands at 1,938. KITV4.


Honolulu rail officials worry about ‘being overwhelmed’ by crowds as system opens.
Honolulu rail leaders are bracing for large crowds as Skyline opens Friday at 2 p.m., with free rides through July 4. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.

Liquor Commissioners Commit To Improving Agency’s Outdated Systems And Poor Morale
. Some Honolulu businesses have received more than one inspection a month and others none at all, the commission heard. Civil Beat.

Waiahole Valley lease arbitration deadline extended
. Gov. Josh Green announced Thursday that Waiahole Valley residents with state land leases for house lots will have two additional weeks to avert arbitration over rent increases. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

BWS detects low levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in Pearl City Shaft.   The Board of Water Supply has detected low levels of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” in the Pearl City Shaft, officials said Wednesday. The Pearl City Shaft serves an area that spans from Lehua Community Park to Pearl City District Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Report takes deep dive into housing in Hawaii. While Hawaii residents face the highest housing costs in the nation, the Big Island is described as “an outlier in terms of home prices.” Tribune-Herald.

Phase One Of Waipiʻo Valley Road Rockfall Mitigation Completed.  The Hawaiʻi County Public Works Engineering Division on Thursday announced the completion of the rockfall mitigation work, which covered 750 feet down the slope of the Waipiʻo Valley Road. Big Island Video News.

July public meeting scheduled for the Four Mile Creek Bridge.  The bridge, located at the south end of Kilauea Avenue in Hilo, carries hundreds of vehicles per day traveling to and from Highway 11.  Tribune-Herald.


Report: Maui hotels saw fewer visitors, less revenue in May.  Last month, the county’s occupancy rate was 63.3 percent, down 4.1 percentage points versus 2022 when occupancy was at 67.4 percent, and down 12.9 percentage points versus pre-pandemic May 2019, when occupancy was at 76.3 percent, according to the Hawai’i Hotel Performance Report published by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority last week.  Maui News.

Trace levels of herbicide found at Haleakala water system. The Hawaii Department of Health said it recently detected low levels of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid during routine sampling at the Haleakala National Park drinking water system. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


July 3 is deadline for ag dedication petitions. The county Department of Finance Real Property Assessment office reminds the public that the deadline for filing new Agricultural Dedication Petitions is July 1. However, because July 1 falls on a weekend, applicants will be able to submit their petitions on or before July 3, 2023, to be considered for the upcoming 2024 assessment. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i to get dedicated kupuna watchdog.  After nearly 50 years, Hawai‘i’s long-term care ombudsman program will finally deploy full-time staff to the neighbor islands, a move that officials hope will aid significantly in the state’s attempts to combat elder abuse. Garden Island.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Hawaii Republicans unveil legislative priorities, state Supreme Court mulls Maui election protest, council members, nonprofit leader submitted to fill Kauai House seat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s cost of living is top issue of GOP caucus. Hawaii’s Republican caucus wants the state Legislature to focus on improving the cost of living, increasing homeownership, personal rights, government reform, crime and rehabilitation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

2 Hawaii Senate Republicans tangled in power struggle.  Republicans added two House seats and doubled their Senate seats from one to two to start the legislative session, but an opening day power struggle between the two GOP senators raises questions about the party’s ability to challenge Democratic control of the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian activist who disrupted legislative opening session faces misdemeanor charge. The man who shouted at lawmakers and first responders during the opening session of the state Legislature on Tuesday is Samson Souza — a known Native Hawaiian activist in West Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i Tax Fairness Coalition protest at State Capitol in favor of new tax on ultra-wealthy. The Hawaii Tax Fairness Coalition is calling on lawmakers to pass wealth taxes, and they came out in a peaceful protest Thursday at the Hawaii State Capitol to call for tax justice.  KITV4.
Standardized testing and community college costs to join education priorities this session. Last year, legislators took a crack at raising teacher salaries, funding classroom improvements and expanding pre-K accessibility — yet many advocates are saying more needs to be done this session. Hawaii Public Radio.

New UH tuition schedule freezes tuition for 2 of next 4 academic years.
  The University of Hawaii Board of Regents has voted on a new four-year tuition schedule for the university system which increases tuition for some of the main campuses after a temporary tuition freeze. Star-Advertiser.

Traffic violators owe Hawaii taxpayers tens of millions in unpaid fines, records show.  An investigation revealed the debts have been sitting for years without efforts by law enforcement to collect. Meanwhile, many who owe money just keep driving — and putting others on the road at risk. Hawaii News Now.


New city policy bans prosecutors from attending parole hearings.  Honolulu prosecutors are no longer attending or attempting to influence parole hearings by detailing the crime committed by an inmate. Further, they’re limited to providing the Hawaii Paroling Authority with information relevant to a behavior inside a correctional facility. Star-Advertiser.

Officials warn of more traffic during Honolulu rail work.  For years to come in Iwilei and Kalihi, expect traffic to snarl more than usual and construction noise day and night as the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and its contractor work to relocate utility infrastructure above and below two major thoroughfares in the build-out of the city’s nearly $10 billion rail system. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. Josh Green Wants ‘A Better Proposal’ For New Oahu Jail. The facility would replace the aging and crowded Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi, but critics say criminal justice reform should be the priority. Civil Beat.

New transitional ‘kauhale’ village for the homeless planned for urban core. Plans are moving forward to put in another village aimed at housing the homeless in Oahu’s urban core. The site currently being considered is located off Middle Street near the Keehi Transfer Station. Hawaii News Now.

Marines, HPD and federal agents hold raid exercises on Oahu. Under cover of darkness on Tuesday night, members of the Honolulu Police Department’s SWAT team, federal agents and members of the Marine Corps’ Okinawa- based Maritime Raid Force quietly made their way into Aloha Stadium as part of an urban combat training exercise. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Propane shortage hits island. A late shipment of propane to a Big Island supplier resulted in several dispensers posting “no propane” signs this week and the fueling of rumors that residents wouldn’t be able to refill their tanks for weeks. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Cultural Artwork Stolen From Volcano House.  A Hawaiian cultural artwork was stolen from the Volcano House lobby in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park this past Friday, and park officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying two individual suspects. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hospital that serves as a lifeline for West Hawaii is requesting $20 million from state lawmakers.  The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) went before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday to talk funding. KITV4.

‘If you live here, give back’: Old Kona Airport Park pavilions get facelift. The beach pavilions at Old Kona Airport Park are getting a facelift this week thanks to the donation of time and materials by three local companies. West Hawaii Today.


State’s highest court considers call for new election in key Maui Council race. The fight over a Maui County Council race continued Thursday. The Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the battle for the Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu-seat. Hawaii News Now.

Council to consider bills on residential zoning and Kula Agricultural Park.  The Maui County Council will meet on Jan. 27, one week later than originally planned, to allow more time for the possibility of filling the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū residency seat.  Maui Now.

US Rep. Jill Tokuda visits Maui on inaugural District II Congressional Work Period. “Heightened urgency” surrounds issues of affordability, housing, ag, sustainability. Maui Now.

Desiree Sides appointed to oversee Baldwin-Kekaulike-Kūlanihāko‘i-Maui complex area. The Hawai‘i State Board of Education today approved the Department’s recommendation to appoint four complex area superintendents to oversee the schools in respective areas. Maui Now.

It’s Horrendous’: The Deaths Of 2 Doctors Deepen The Void In Rural Health Care Access. Nearly half of Molokai's population lost their primary care physician in a state that has long struggled to attract and retain medical professionals. Civil Beat.


Council Members, Nonprofit Director Nominated To Fill Kauai House Seat. Kauai Democrats are submitting the names of Kauai County Councilman Luke Evslin and former County Councilman Mason Chock to Gov. Josh Green as possible replacements for former state Rep. James Tokioka, according to an official familiar with the party process. Civil Beat. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i County Council talks fireworks enforcement. Kaua‘i neighborhoods were lit up on New Year’s Eve with a massive display of amateur fireworks, both legal and illegal. Garden Island.