Showing posts with label aquarium trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aquarium trade. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Governor's new homelessness emergency comes with rules; tourist fee, general excise tax plans scaled back; judge ends aquarium fishing ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The state's homelessness proclamation isn't new, but now has a few 'rules'.  This isn't the first time a Hawaiʻi governor has issued an emergency proclamation on homelessness. However, Gov. Green's coordinator says this could be the first with cultural and environmental limitations. Hawaii Public Radio.

Green pledges new approach to state government. Gov. Josh Green added new details to a range of ideas including how to add more tourist fees to access state parks and trails while renewing his promise that his administration will be transparent and “nimble.” Star-Advertiser.

Governor’s ‘green fee’ plan scaled back to target park, trail and beach users. In bills introduced to the Legislature by his office, the governor’s proposal is now for what could be called a “paradise passport,” targeting only people who visit “a state-owned park, beach, forest, trail, or other state-owned recreational natural areas.” Hawaii News Now.

Tax breaks urged for ALICE families: Gov. Green pivots from GET reform efforts. Removing the general excise tax on food and medicine might not be the best way to help struggling Hawaii residents, Gov. Josh Green said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers Want More Information Made Public On Inmate Deaths In State Prisons And Jails. House and Senate measures would require corrections officials to announce each prisoner death on a website, and include information on what caused each fatality. Civil Beat.

Upping the ante: State lawmakers introduce several gambling bills. A raft of gambling-related bills have been introduced in the state Legislature and have passed first readings on their respective chamber’s floors. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii arrivals hit 9.25M in spite of Japan drop-off. Hawaii ended 2022 with less than 90% of the visitor arrivals that it had in the pre-pandemic 2019, mostly because of the drop in international visitors, especially from Japan, which is historically Hawaii’s top international market. Star-Advertiser.

Feds award Hawaii Title I schools $73 million. Hawaii’s Title I public schools, which serve a disproportionate number of students living in poverty, will get $73 million in added federal funding for the 2023-2024 school year — an increase of $15 million over 2022. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers Hope Hawaii Lawmakers Fund Cancer Research This Year. A new study would seek to get to the bottom of why Native Hawaiians, Filipinos and Pacific Islanders face high rates of many cancers. Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi researchers' work could change life expectancy of mesothelioma patients. Michele Carbone and Haining Yang, both doctors leading a team of UH researchers, received several grants for the project — including a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio.

Jim Leahey was the golden voice of Hawaii sports. Leahey, who was considered the “voice of University of Hawaii sports” during a six-decade broadcasting career, died on Monday morning at The Queen’s Medical Center. He was 80. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Maui Now.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.


New Hawaii Governor Plans A Tougher Stance On Red Hill. Environmental advocates want the Green administration to demand more from the Navy. Civil Beat.

Former police chief prevails in defamation suit brought by ex-SHOPO president. A jury on Monday sided with former Police Chief Susan Ballard in a defamation suit. The suit was brought by Tenari Maafala, who stepped down as president of the police union in 2018. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Under pilot, some repeat law-breakers in Chinatown are being given a choice: Jail or treatment. Under a pilot project, treatment is approved by the court before a judge ever rules on the case. The idea is to get homeless drug addicts into residential drug treatment programs right after they’re arrested. Hawaii News Now.

A new development offers affordable land for small farms on the North Shore. Developer Peter Savio is launching a new agricultural project called “Orchard Plantation,” which provides 155 acres of Waialua orchard land. Hawaii News Now.

Avalon Group buys Downtown Honolulu building; to convert part of it into housing. Avalon Group said Monday that its newly-acquired 378,000-square-foot Davies Pacific Center office building along Bishop Street will be converted to a mixed-use development with up to 120,000-square-feet of office and retail uses and the balance will be converted into up to 400 workforce and market-rate residential units. KITV4.

Marine biologists near end of 5-year study on health of Hanauma Bay. The University of Hawai‘i Institute for Marine Biology is winding up a five-year visitor capacity study on Hanauma Bay on Oʻahu. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Ban on West Hawaii aquarium fish collecting ends. An Oahu Circuit Court judge lifted an injunction Monday that effectively ends a five-year ban on aquarium fish collection in the waters of West Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Pōhakuloa Training Area receives funding to protect and restore native plants and species.
The U.S. Army Garrison-Hawai‘i, Pōhakuloa Training Area, located between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the Saddle Road region, will receive $1.3 million for its Nāpu‘u Natural Resource Protection: Mitigating Rare Plant Impacts project. Big Island Now.


County council fails to override Victorino’s vetoes. Former mayor had nixed bills on housing resale rules, cultural overlay map. With a new majority on the Maui County Council, members failed to override two vetoes by former Mayor Michael Victorino, who prior to the end of his term opposed a bill relating to deed restrictions and the resale of workforce housing and another measure to establish a cultural overlay map for the county. Maui News.

‘A Sleepover For County Council’: Marathon Maui Meeting Raises Concerns About Public Participation. In the wake of a tumultuous, 18-hour long meeting in which residents said they felt “disenfranchised” and held “hostage” while waiting to have a say in their local government’s decision-making process, the new Maui County Council chair says she’s planning to change up the rules to make it easier to testify.  Civil Beat.

Kanahā Pond on Maui to get predator-proof fencing to protect nesting habitats. Pono Pacific Land Management was recently awarded a contract by the state to install 8,000 linear feet of an anticipated 14,785-foot predator-proof fence at Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary on Maui. Maui Now.

3 days of downpours bring 23.61″ of rain to Puʻu Aliʻi, Molokaʻi, up to 15″ to parts of Maui. Crews on Maui continued to assess flooding and saturation from three days of heavy rainfall. Maui Now. Maui News.


Dead sperm whale removed from Kaua’i beach; buried at undisclosed location.
  A disappearing act of colossal proportions has taken place at on the East Side of Kaua‘i, after county, state and federal personnel worked through the weekend to remove a 120,000-pound sperm whale from Lydgate Beach Park — and bury it at an undisclosed location. Kauai Now. Star-Advertiser.

Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua‘i receives funding for invasive species. Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands is set to receive funding for detection and management of high-impact aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Kauai Now.

County property taxes due soon. County Department of Finance officials said in a press release that the second installment of real property taxes for the 2022-23 tax year is due on Feb. 20. Garden Island.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Abortion travelers protected in Ige executive order, Russian hackers target Hawaii airport websites, state to add recycled plastic to asphalt, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige’s executive order adds abortion protections. Out-of-state residents who obtain abortions in Hawaii, as well as anyone who assists them, are provided with greater protections from civil and criminal penalties that their home states may try to impose under an executive order issued by Gov. David Ige on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Associated Press. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Whoever Wins, Hawaii’s Gubernatorial Candidates Offer A New Style Of Communication. Outgoing Gov. David Ige sometimes stumbled with his messaging, leading to criticism over his handling of the pandemic and the Legislature. His reputation as a a quiet problem solver who does not crave the spotlight came to the fore amid the coronavirus pandemic, leading to complaints about conflicting messages and miscommunications as his administration struggled to control the situation. Civil Beat.

Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard officially no longer a Democrat. Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — who seemingly long ago was considered a rising, progressive political star — burned her final bridge with Democrats in Hawaii and around the country by announcing she was leaving the party and asking other Democrats to join her. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. KHON2. KITV4.

Pro-Russia hackers target Hawaii airport websites, state officials say. The Hawaii Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Enterprise Technology Services are responding to a hacking incident on the websites of Hawaii airports that is “possibly linked to similar incidents across the country” carried out by the Russia-based hacker group Killnet, officials said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. KHON2.

State receives over $305M to improve transportation infrastructure. Officials said the money will give transportation leaders the flexibility to determine how to allocate funds to improve transportation infrastructure. The funds will go towards rebuilding roads, bridges and tunnels, tackling carbon emission reduction, as well as other safety improvements. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Department of Transportation testing asphalt mixes designed to improve pavement, environment. The Hawaii Department of Transportation began paving a road in Ewa Beach with a mix of plastic and asphalt Tuesday in a test that, if successful, could lead to more sustainable roadways and less trash in the islands. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Researchers call for deeper look into the harmful effects of sunscreen. UH Manoa researchers said coral reefs around the world are threatened by five stressors including sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, tropical storms, land use and human population. Hawaii News Now.


Voting explainer: Honolulu charter amendment ballot questions. Voters on Oʻahu will consider four charter amendment proposals about how city money and revenues are spent, as well as how to position the city for better decision-making in the future. Hawaii Public Radio.

Aiona and Green differ on 2 major unfinished projects: Aloha Stadium and Honolulu rail. Gov. David Ige has thrown the stadium redevelopment a curve by turning against the idea of having a partnership with private developers of an adjoining entertainment district. But the men out to replace him have other ideas. Hawaii News Now.

Public opening nears for Ewa Beach lagoon, surfing wave pool. A 52-acre recreational lagoon and shoreside commercial development featuring a surfing wave pool and restaurants in Ewa Beach is slated to open for initial public use early next year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

3 Hawaiian Electric workers suffer burns while working on underground power line. Three Hawaiian Electric Co. employees suffered first- and second-degree burns while working on an underground power line near Pensacola Street Tuesday morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

The Miske Files: Accused Murderer, Crime Boss And … Used Car Dealer? Alleged kingpin Michael Miske owned a business that bought used cars at auction, providing income, a way to launder drug money and rewards for criminal associates, prosecutors say. Civil Beat.

Honolulu to expand free COVID testing to all Hawaii residents at airport lab. Starting this Saturday, all Hawaii residents — not just Oahu residents with a valid ID — will be able to receive a free PCR or rapid antigen test at the City’s Mobile Lab. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

EIS for aquarium fish collecting approved. The agency charged with protecting the state’s natural resources has approved an environmental impact statement allowing the harvesting of tropical fish for the aquarium industry despite ongoing litigation over the issue. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News.

Beach parks to close for archeological preservation, ADA work. Laaloa Beach Park and Magic Sands Beach Park will close starting Oct. 31 for up to eight months for an array of improvements. West Hawaii Today.

Work On Waikōloa Intersection Safety Improvements Begins October 17. Motorists can expect delays, one lane traffic, and flaggers will be directing traffic, officials say. Work is set to take place from October to December 2022. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

KCCF seeks cupping competition entries.
Submissions for the 2022 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition Coffee are due by 4 p.m. Oct. 31. All coffee entered into the competition must be 100% Kona coffee grown in the district of Kona. West Hawaii Today.

East Hawaii lacked rain in September. The last month of the dry season was emphatically so for the windward Big Island, and the National Weather Service’s only official rain gauge to measure rainfall in double-digits in September was in Kona’s coffee belt, which experiences its rainy season in the summer. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Voters To Decide On A Measure To Boost Access To Government Records. Fees and charges have in the past priced citizens out of accessing their government’s records. One of the measures that will be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election asks if the County Charter — the document that serves as Maui County’s constitution — should be changed to make it so county employees must try to help citizens find the best way to ask for government records and keep any fees for producing those documents as low as possible. Civil Beat.

Long-debated bill to protect birds from lighting passes. Measure restricts certain outdoor lighting to keep wildlife from getting disoriented. Surviving a late request to be sent back to a Maui County Council committee for a second time, an outdoor lighting bill that was hotly debated for months passed second and final reading on Monday. Maui News.

Input sought for management of Kamehamenui Forest Reserve on Maui. The Trust for Public Land purchased 3,433 acres of property in upland Kula from the Shizuka Asakawa Revocable Trust in July 2020 and conveyed the property to the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife in 2020. Now the department is developing a management plan and is inviting the public to attend a public scoping meeting to gather input and ideas, and address any questions or concerns. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui council approves resolution to acquire 45 acres of A&B lands. Mayor Michael Victorino expressed appreciation to the Maui County Council for approving resolutions accepting the dedication of 45 acres of land from A&B Properties for parks and open space.  The acquisition was finalized at the councilʻs meeting that adjourned on Monday. Maui Now.

Water system planned for future Waikapu homestead community. Pu‘unani Homestead Subdivision would eventually have 161 residential lots. Maui News.


Coco Palms ownership open to sale. The current owners of Coco Palms said Tuesday that they are willing to entertain offers to purchase the site of the dilapidated hotel. Garden Island.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Redistricting and politics, Land Board rejects aquarium industry plan, Honolulu marathon slated to return, more news from all the Hawaiian islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii tropical fish ©2021 All Hawaii News

Redrawing Hawaii’s Election Districts: ‘People Are Going To Be Pissed’. Years ago the political lines were redrawn in ways that clobbered Republicans. Today, the question is which Democrats will take the hit. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Tourism Authority contract award to top marketing agency prompts scrutiny. The Hawaii Tourism Authority recently awarded a $9.4 million sole-source contract to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, even as the marketing agency nears the end of a separate contract worth $105 million to promote Hawaii to U.S. travelers and will have to compete to keep the more lucrative deal. Star-Advertiser.

Remote Work Is Here To Stay.
You Can Thank The Pandemic For That. During last week’s Annual Conference of the Hawaii Economic Association, the chief executive of one of Hawaii’s largest architecture firms shared a story illustrating something that once might have been anathema to senior managers: It’s not necessary for employees to work at the office to be productive. Civil Beat.

Flu and pneumonia deaths in Hawaii over the past 12 months exceed pandemic’s local COVID fatalities. As COVID-19 continues to dictate public life and government policy in Hawaii, influenza and pneumonia have quietly killed at least 859 people over the past 12 months, exceeding the coronavirus death toll for the entire pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths
, 218 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 121 new cases on Oahu, 16 on Maui, 34 on Hawaii island, 28 on Kauai, one on Molokai and 18 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu eases COVID-19 rules for organized gatherings, football, other events. Starting Oct. 13, outdoor venues for sports and concerts may have up to 1,000 attendees or up to 50% of their full capacity — whichever is smaller. Associated Press. KHON2.

Land Board rejects environmental impact statement for Oahu aquarium pet trade.
After hours of testimony, the state Land Board voted Friday to reject the Oahu aquarium fishing industry’s final environmental impact statement. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Marathon Plans to Return Dec. 12, 2021. Despite gathering restrictions on Oahu, Honolulu Marathon organizers are "Cautiously Optimistic" that they are able to hold upcoming race. KITV4.

Views clash over Oahu’s impending shift from coal to clean energy. Less than a year from now, Hawaiian Electric is slated to retire the island’s largest and dirtiest power plant as part of a historic ongoing transition to more renewable clean energy. Star-Advertiser.

City to reopen overnight camping at Bellows beach following months-long closure. The city Department of Parks and Recreations began accepting permit applications for overnight campers at Bellows Field Beach Park on Friday. The campsite had been closed since April to protect sea turtles during nesting season. Hawaii News Now.

Polo Beach Park parking lot to undergo renovations.
The Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday that the Polo Beach Park parking lot is scheduled to undergo renovations, including, repaving. KITV4.

NTSB to begin efforts to remove sunken cargo plane that crashed in waters off Oahu. The National Transportation Safety Board held a briefing on Saturday, detailing its plans to recover a Boeing 737 cargo jet that crashed into waters off Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Construction of Thirty Meter Telescope delayed at least 2 years. The developers of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope are now saying that construction of the $2.4 billion cutting-edge observatory isn’t likely to start for at least a couple of years. Star-Advertiser.

Council approves new fire captains, firefighters.
Fire stations in Ocean View and Laupahoehoe will soon have captains to supervise operations, thanks to a $3.5 million federal grant adding nine new positions to the department. West Hawaii Today.

‘A very strong seller’s market’: More than 300 single-family homes bought in Puna in Q3. According to multiple listing service data, 774 homes were sold on the island between July and September, with each of those months an improvement from the previous year. The average sale price for the quarter was $805,000, while the median sales price in September was $499,000. Tribune-Herald.

Gate sparks debate: Property owners seek to secure their community. Good fences may make good neighbors, as the poet famously says. But gates, apparently not so much. The county Department of Public Works has revoked a building permit for a gate across Kaiolu Street where it meets Alii Drive, saying owners of all 14 lots in the small subdivision did not approve the application. West Hawaii Today.

Affordable housing development EA finds no significant impact.
A final environmental assessment released Friday has a finding of no significant impact for a proposed affordable housing project of up to 90 units for seniors and families in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

6.2-magnitude quake centered off Hawaii Island rattles state; no tsunami threat. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was likely the result of “bending of the oceanic plate” from the weight of the Hawaiian Island chain. The tremor did not have an impact on the ongoing Kilauea eruption. Hawaii News Now.


Mayor: Maui rules will be eased soon. On the heels of Honolulu announcing it will relax certain COVID-19 restrictions due to reduced case counts and other health data, Mayor Michael Victorino on Friday afternoon said looser rules are in the works for Maui County and details will be rolled out early next week. Maui News.

5-Month Improvement Project for Polo Beach Parking Lot Begins Oct. 18. Beach access and the comfort station will remain open throughout the parking lot project, located at the corner of Kaukahi Street and Makena Road. Maui Now.

Residents want county to manage popular beach parking lot. Private company trying to close lot, calling police on beachgoers, some tell state.Residents want Maui County to manage the gravel lot on state land near the Days Inn by Wyndham Maui Oceanfront. Maui News.

Construction for Kapaʻa Streets Project to Begin Next Week
. In addition to the five-way intersection of Kawaihau Road, Hau‘a‘ala Road, and Mailihuna Road, safety improvements include new concrete sidewalks fronting Kapa‘a Elementary School, Kapa‘a High School and St. Catherine School, new bus shelters, and flashing beacons at crosswalks. Maui Now.

Over 400 jobs at Maui resort are in jeopardy as property is set to be sold to new owner. As a Maui resort is set to be sold to a new owner, over 400 workers may lose their jobs come December. The Royal Lahaina Resort notified the county and state this week that the property will change owners — and as a result 420 resort workers will be terminated. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.


Household hazmat pickups coming sometime this winter. Homeowners with unwanted hazardous material must wait until sometime in early 2022 if they want their waste disposed of by the county, which will not hold a pickup this year. Garden Island.

Update on island’s coffee pests is online Wednesday. The state Department of Agriculture and University of Hawai‘i personnel will update Kaua‘i residents on the status of coffee berry borer and coffee leaf rust during an online “mini-conference” on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. Garden Island.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Federal judge requires pandemic protocols in Hawaii prisons and jails, Jill Biden to visit the state, conservation and Hawaiian groups sue over aquarium collecting rule, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hilo jail  ©2021 All Hawaii News

Federal Judge Rules Prison System Has Failed To Protect Inmates From COVID-19. Prison officials must immediately provide sanitary living conditions and take appropriate measures to protect inmates. Civil Beat.

Jill Biden to hold events in Hawaii, bookending trip to Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony. Biden is expected to hold official events in Alaska and Hawaii on the way to and from Japan. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Federal legislation seeks to lower blood quantum for Hawaiian homestead successors. New federal legislation introduced by Hawaii Congressman Kai Kahele would pave the way for more Hawaiians to succeed family members’ homestead leases. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.

Centennial Commemorations Reflect on Origins, Urgency in Fulfilling the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. DHHL plans to develop 1,500 homestead lots in the next five years. At that pace, it will take another 95 years to address the Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist—which currently includes nearly 29,000 Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

State lawmakers to begin investigation on Agribusiness Development Corporation. State lawmakers investigating the Agribusiness Development Corporation will have their first meeting Wednesday to establish the rules of its probe. Hawaii News Now.

Trial date set for Hawaii lawmaker arrested for drunk driving. Following a Zoom court appearance Tuesday, state Rep. Sharon Har received her trial date in connection with a drunk driving arrest in February. The judge said Har’s trial will begin on August 10. Hawaii News Now.
Hawaii Restaurants Got $414 Million In Pandemic Aid. More than 1,100 of Hawaii’s restaurants, bars and bakeries received $414 million through a federal grant program aimed at offsetting revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to newly released data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Civil Beat.

Hawaii missile defense system gets $75M from House Appropriations Committee in FY 2022. The Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii — which the Pentagon zeroed out two years in a row in its funding requests — is back with $75 million approved by the House Appropriations Committee today in the fiscal year 2022 defense funding bill. Star-Advertiser.

Distance learning still up in the air
leaving public school teachers worried about additional challenges this school year. On Thursday, the Hawaii Board of Education will vote on whether or not distance learning will be offered this school year. KHON2.

Can Hawaiʻi's Public Schools and Universities Reach Their Green Energy Goals by 2035? In 2015 the state passed legislation requiring the two organizations to produce as much energy as they consume. As of 2020, the DOE was able to produce 18.5% of its energy through solar power. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Outgoing Hawaii DOE Superintendent To Launch Equity-Focused Company. Christina Kishimoto, who has led the Hawaii Department of Education for the past four years, will be starting a company called Voice for Equity and its focus will be on “preparing women as policy leaders,” she said. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

COVID-19 delta variant spreading across Hawaii, Health Department says. The delta variant of COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across Hawaii, according to a recent Department of Health report, with 53 additional cases detected since June. Star-Advertiser.

Delta variant now accounts for 40% of all new COVID infections in Hawaii. Health officials are monitoring a worrisome increase in new COVID infections and hospitalizations in Hawaii, saying almost all the cases are unvaccinated people. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii sees 61 new coronavirus cases,
bringing statewide total to 38,605. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 41 new cases on Oahu, one on Maui, seven on Hawaii Island, four on Kauai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Judge to hear motion to dismiss case against 3 officers charged in teen’s fatal shooting.
The motion to dismiss will be argued on July 20 ― ahead of the preliminary hearing for Officers Geoffrey Thom, Zachary Ah Nee, and Christopher Fredeluces. Hawaii News Now.

Federal appeals court allows third trial for federal agent Christopher Deedy. There could be a third trial for federal agent Christopher Deedy after a federal appeals court gave the ok on Tuesday, July 13. KHON2.

Psychological evaluation of Honolulu police chief candidates deters consultant applicants. Only two consulting firms bid to help the Honolulu Police Commission sift through 24 applicants to find finalists for commissioners and the public to consider because they have to determine candidates’ psychological makeup after having no role in the recruitment process. Star-Advertiser.

Church group cited for building tiny homes for Waianae homeless. A citation by the city's Department of Planning and Permitting has put the project on hold. City planning and permitting department cited the farm, owned by Hawaii Cedar Church in Kalihi, after receiving several complaints about the group not obtaining a building permit. KITV4.

Maunawili Falls Trail closes for two years on July 15. Wednesday, July 14 is the last day to hike Maunawili Falls Trail before it closes for at least two years on Thursday, July 15.  KHON2.

Family of Marco Polo fire victims launching pet safety project. The project will provide free pet fire safety information and free stickers that pet owners can place on their windows or doors to alert first responders that there are pets inside the home. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii’s Board of Land and Natural Resources hit with aquarium fishing lawsuit. A hui of cultural practitioners and conservation groups has filed a lawsuit against the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources to invalidate an environmental review asking to reopen the aquarium fishing industry in West Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today. Hawaii News Now.

Maunakea VIS reopens Thursday. The Maunakea Visitor Information Station will reopen Thursday after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

‘A great tribute’: NG-16 Cygnus spacecraft after NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka
. Kona’s own homegrown hero, the late astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is being honored by having a spacecraft named after him. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County seeks to build affordable homes as median prices soar over $1M. The median sales price for a single-family home in Maui County reached an all-time high of $1,117,500 last month. Because of this, Hawaiian Community Assets has come up with a plan to build 5,000 affordable homes for Maui County residents in the next five years. Hawaii News Now.

Community Groups Flag Concerns on Further Corrections Needed at Nā Wai ‘Ehā. Maui community groups Hui o Nā Wai ‘Ehā and Maui Tomorrow Foundation, who started legal action 17 years ago to restore Nā Wai ‘Ehā stream flows diverted by plantations for 150 years, are expressing concerns about key parts of a commission decision they are hoping can be clarified or improved. Maui Now.

North Carolina Visitor Arrested on Maui for Alleged Travel Quarantine Violation. Police say Kenneth Smith, 57, was arrested on Monday, July 12, 2021 upon arrival from Seattle, Washington. According to police reports, Smith did not have a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test from an approved facility and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.


Commission defers glamping bill. Starwood Capital Group, which in part owns the Makai Golf Course in Princeville and the forthcoming 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, proposed a luxury glamping development in Princeville on the course last summer, and has faced harsh community resistance. Garden Island.

Group prepares for county pavilion reopenings.
Residents are celebrating the recent reopening of some county park pavilions, describing the development as a much-needed step toward normalcy in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Higher taxes on horizon, court halts aquarium industry, proms canceled, surgeon general seeks charges dismissed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
School of fish in Hawaii ©2021 All Hawaii News

Gov. David Ige ponders higher fuel and wealth taxes. Linda Chu Takayama, chief of staff for Gov. David Ige, informed the House Finance Committee on Tuesday that these two types of taxes are possibilities to increase state revenue and partly offset a decline driven by coronavirus pandemic impacts. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmaker expects National Guard to help with security in Honolulu for Joe Biden inauguration. State House Speaker Scott Saiki expects the Hawaii National Guard to be called up — and says they should be armed — to help law enforcement deter any violent Donald Trump protesters in Honolulu leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration next week. Star-Advertiser.


Court Ruling Halts All Existing Hawaii Commercial Aquarium Fishing Licenses. The latest order compels state officials to cancel all existing commercial aquarium licenses because they lack the proper reviews, environmental advocates say. Civil Beat.

Court: Illegal aquarium-fish collection must stop now. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources improperly sidestepped a court order invalidating commercial marine licenses used for aquarium-fish collection, the state’s environmental court ruled Tuesday. Garden Island.


Hawaii businesses could see their unemployment insurance triple if leaders don’t rewrite a certain state law. The state owes the federal government approximately $700 million after it took out a loan to shore-up unemployment funds last year. Under current state law, businesses have to pay off the loan. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Vector Control Branch Faces Budget Cuts (Again).
The job losses could have serious effects on public health if another disease outbreak occurs. Civil Beat.

Newly Created Caucus Within State Legislature to Address Progressive Ideals.
The Progressive Caucus, made up of 16 State representatives and senators, will be pushing an agenda that works to develop and empower public leaders to improve the economic and social conditions in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Now.

Judge to hear motion to dismiss charge against surgeon general. A judge is set to address a motion requesting to dismiss a charge against U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, whom police cited in late August for allegedly violating an emergency order at an Oahu park. Star-Advertiser.

Isle vaccine rollout lagging. State officials are pointing fingers at one another over concerns of a lagging rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Hawaii and a lack of coordination in ramping up large-scale immunization clinics to keep the disease under control. Star-Advertiser.

Kaiser Permanente Outlines Member Vaccination Rollout Procedure. Kaiser Permanente today sent information to its members on how it plans to roll out vaccinations on different islands this week, and procedures in place for scheduling appointments. Maui Now.

The DOE Plans To Use Private Tutors To Help Struggling Students Catch Up. Hawaii’s Department of Education requested private tutoring proposals in October to address “unprecedented issues related to student learning” due to the pandemic. Civil Beat.


DOE cancels all proms, large gatherings for remainder of the school year. The DOE says it will announce plans for limited in-person commencement ceremonies by the end of February. Schools are already being encouraged to think of alternative ceremony formats, including drive-by and online festivities. Hawaii News Now.

DOE cancels all large school events, causes more hurdles for businesses. The Department of Education  officially canceled all large school functions for the rest of the school year. KHON2.

Public school proms canceled...again! The Department of Education cancels large in-person social school gatherings through June 1st. KITV4.


How Single Mothers In Hawaii Are Weathering The Pandemic. Single mothers in Hawaii are coping with virtual learning coupled with expensive child care and a lack of remote jobs. Civil Beat.

No ‘twindemic’ as cases of flu remain scarce. Fears of a “twindemic” — an annual flu season combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — have not been realized. Tribune-Herald.

HAWAII VIRUS TRACKER — Jan. 12: 114 New COVID-19 Cases. Hawaii health officials reported 114 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Tuesday, including 83 on Oahu, 21 on Maui, four on the Big Island and six state residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Alm says his top priority is restoring public’s trust in city Prosecutor’s Office. City Prosecutor Steve Alm said his top priority during his first 100 days in office will be to restore trust in his office. Alm takes over at the Prosecutor’s Office in the wake of years-long corruption scandals. Hawaii News Now.

Kealoha files top of Honolulu Prosecutor's to-do list. New Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm says restoring trust in his department is at the top of his 100-day plan. KITV4.

HPD to discuss $100,000 purchase of robot with Honolulu City Council.
The first Honolulu City Council meeting of the year will include a discussion on recent purchases made by the Honolulu Police Department (HPD), which includes a robotic dog with a six-figure price tag. KHON2.

TheBus, Handi-van drivers call for hazard pay, but OTS says it’s a long shot. So far, Oahu Transportation Services says 42 staff members, including 25 drivers, have contracted COVID — although most are said to be from exposures outside of work. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit alleges businesses are victims of a massive city sewer fee ‘ripoff’. The city would not comment directly on the lawsuit but said that in general sewer fees for businesses are not based on current usage but on usage between 2010 and 2012. Hawaii News Now.

City allows walk-in entry to Hanauma Bay again. After implementing a no walk-in policy over the weekend, the city says it will allow walk-ins again starting Wednesday, Jan. 13. KHON2.

Reversing course, city will once again allow walk-in entry at Hanauma Bay. The city is changing their mind on new rules at Hanauma Bay. They previously announced walk-up entry to the bay wouldn’t be allowed, but that is changing starting Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

City crews to repair a Waikiki rock wall, promenade impacted by erosion. Crews are fixing a damaged concrete wall near Queen’s Surf Beach, where king tides took out a lifeguard tower last summer. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hilo Youth Challenge Academy To Close. Major General Kenneth Hara made the announcement Tuesday, as he presented the Hawaiʻi Department of Defense budget during a joint State Senate Committee meeting. Big Island Video News.

Cut red tape, but safety first: New Environmental Management director balks at Alii Drive sewer plan. Hawaii County residents who have expressed concern that Mayor Mitch Roth would push a pro-development agenda when he took office may have been reassured last week when his Environmental Management director — who still awaits council confirmation — delayed what seemed a formality accepting a sewer line because he thinks it could be a public health hazard. West Hawaii Today.

Local Algae May Prove Key to Slashing Livestock Methane Emissions. A tiny lab situated on the Kona Coast could hold the key to naturally reducing massive methane emissions from livestock around the world. Big Island Now.


As COVID-19 Cases Surge on Maui, County Leaders Balance Public Health vs. Devastated Economy.
As COVID-19 surges on Maui, with an average of 30 new cases per day over the past two weeks, County leadership has experienced an even tougher balancing act between protecting public health and not doing more harm to an already devastated economy. Maui Now.

Mayor Victorino asks to limit capacity at big box stores. Due to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino submitted another proposed emergency rule to Governor David Ige Tuesday. KITV4.

Hundreds turn out for vaccine drive.
State Department of Health officials were “swamped” at their COVID-19 vaccination site Monday in Kahului, with about 400 more patients than expected due to confusion over the online reservation system. Maui News.

Single-family home prices just shy of record. Median price hits $865,000 in December. Maui County single-family home prices in December came just shy of the all-time record set in October as demand stayed strong despite a surge in COVID-19 cases and a typically slow month, according to the latest report from the Realtors Association of Maui.  Maui News.


Less than 4% of CARES funds remaining. The County of Kaua‘i has expended 96.1% of its COVID-19-relief funds, and still has some more time to exhaust the more than $28 million allotted by the state. Garden Island.

Planning Commission moves forward on Ag land use bill. A bill to amend the county’s zoning ordinances related to commercial uses on agriculturally zoned land has moved through the Planning Commission and is headed back to the County Council. Garden Island.

COVID-19 vaccines for kupuna start Friday. Kupuna, or the elderly ages 75 years and older, need an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations that start Friday at Wilcox Medical Center, states an announcement from Hawai‘i Pacific Health. Garden Island.

Committee confirms KIUC board candidates.
Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s Nominating Committee has confirmed three candidates for its 2021 Board of Directors election on March 13. Garden Island.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Travel quarantines to be reduced to 10 days, state preps for COVID-19 vaccine, Hawaiian Airlines plans new U.S. routes, state certifies Biden win, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

coppyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Flying to Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii Will Reduce Traveler Quarantine To 10 Days. Gov. David Ige is expected to issue an order with the lowered quarantine requirement next week but it’s unclear when it will take effect. Civil Beat.

Arriving air passengers in Hawaii without COVID-19 test to face 10-day quarantine. With Hawaii leading the nation in fewest new COVID-19 cases, Gov. David Ige plans to reduce the number of days that arriving passengers with no test results will have to remain in mandatory quarantine, to 10 days from the current 14. Star-Advertiser.

Officials: Quarantines will be reduced to 10 days. The mandatory quarantine for trans-Pacific travelers to Hawaii who arrive without a negative COVID-19 test will be reduced to 10 days in the near future, state officials said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

State officials confirm Governor Ige preparing to reduce quarantine restrictions for travelers. State officials confirmed Governor David Ige is preparing to reduce quarantine restrictions for travelers from 14 days to 10 days. KITV4.


Hawaiian Airlines to debut 3 new routes next year. The state’s largest carrier, which like all airlines has had to reduce service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tuesday it will launch nonstop service next year to Orlando, Fla.; Ontario, Calif.; and Austin, Texas. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines makes strategic decisions for 2021 with new non-stop routes. Hoping business is better next spring, Hawaiian Airlines plans to serve three new destinations across the U.S. mainland. On March 11, the airline will begin twice-weekly service between Honolulu and Orlando, Florida. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines expands routes, what this could mean for 2021 air travel. Starting in March, Hawaiian Airlines will begin service from Honolulu to Orlando, Florida and Ontario, California. Then in April, the company will launch flights between Honolulu and Austin, Texas. There will also be a non-stop flight added from Maui to Long Beach, California. KHON2.


Vaccines could come to Hawaii as soon as mid-December, says Lt. Gov. Josh Green. Lt. Gov. Josh Green says the first people that will be offered the vaccine in Hawaii will be health care workers and kupuna, who live in long term care facilities and seem to have the highest mortality rate locally. KHON2.

Hawaii Preparing to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Next Monday. Healthcare Association of Hawaii President and CEO Hilton Raethel tells KITV4 the state is preparing to receive shipments of the Pfizer vaccine next Monday. KITV4.

State expects to receive 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month. Hawaii is expecting to receive 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month for health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i hospitals prepare for COVID-19 vaccine. Hawai‘i’s hospitals and health-care systems, in coordination with the state Department of Health, are gearing up to ensure that they are prepared for the arrival and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Garden Island.


33 Hawaiʻi Nursing Homes Receiving $600,000 in Federal Funding for COVID-19 Protection. Thirty-three nursing homes across Hawai‘i will divide $582,015 in new federal funding as part of an incentive program to reward nursing homes for maintaining COVID-19 infection and mortality rates that were lower than the communities they served. Maui Now.

Changes To Hawaii’s Sunshine Law Could Improve Access To Public Meetings. The new proposal from the state Office of Information Practices gives boards more options, including ways to meet remotely. Civil Beat.


Biden Presidential Win In Hawaii Officially Certified. Biden, the former vice president, defeated President Donald Trump, a Republican, 63% to 34%. Civil Beat.

Hawaii certifies Biden’s win of state’s presidential vote. President-elect Joe Biden won 63.1% of Hawaii’s vote, compared to President Donald Trump’s 34%, according to the final summary report from the state Office of Elections. Hawaii has four electors in the Electoral College, which is due to meet Monday. Associated Press.

Hawaii's election office has officially certified 2020 presidential election results.


First-quarter grades reveal Hawaii public school students’ struggles in adapting to learning during the pandemic. A first look at how Hawaii’s public school students are faring academically during the pandemic shows roughly 1 in 10 secondary students received a failing grade in English or math during the first quarter. Star-Advertiser.

Why 1 In 6 Hawaii Residents Struggle To Read. The state rolled out a new plan to address literacy in Hawaii schools and among Hawaii adults last month that’s full of broad recommendations. Civil Beat.


State Puts New Limits On Aquarium Fishing, But Existing Licenses Valid Until They Expire. The new terms and conditions reflect a court ruling in state environmental court last month. Civil Beat.

DLNR adds new court ordered requirements for commercial fishing licenses. The update is part of a First Circuit Court ruling made on Nov. 27 which bans commercial aquarium fishing pending a final environmental review. KHON2.

New Requirements Added To Hawaiʻi Commercial Marine Licenses. The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources has added court-ordered requirements to reflect a full statewide ban on commercial aquarium fishing. Big Island Video News.


Despite pandemic shutdown, Hawaii’s film industry execs optimistic about future.  COVID-19 restrictions sidelined 89% of the industry’s technical workforce. Despite the grim numbers, the industry remains positive as the state will always be an ideal film location and it’s projected the state will see an increase in local productions. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii National Guard's COVID-19 Funding Extended, What Comes Next? On average, about 800 national guard members work each day throughout the state, assisting with tasks from contact tracing to the safe travels program to COVID-19 testing. Hawaii Public Radio.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 8: 53 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 53 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Tuesday, including 39 on Oahu, three on Molokai, six on Maui and five on the Big Island. Civil Beat.


4 Honolulu officers face criminal probe linked to COVID-19 enforcement overtime. Four Honolulu Police officers are being investigated for suspected theft and other crimes linked to an overtime probe. The department alleges that the officers got paid for overtime hours that they did not work. Hawaii News Now.

HPD commanders ask for investigation into spending of CARES Act money. In an anonymous letter, a group of Honolulu Police Department commanders asked the Honolulu Police Commission to investigate mismanaged CARES Act funding and planning by Police Chief Susan Ballard’s office during the COVID-19 outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

HPD chief defends department following accusations of ‘fiscal misconduct’. Police Chief Susan Ballard took to social media Tuesday to respond to accusations the department mismanaged millions of dollars of federal CARES funds. Hawaii News Now.

In scathing report, city auditor rips Honolulu Department of Prosecuting Attorney for its lack of controls. Few steps have been made to improve policies, procedures and controls at the Honolulu Department of Prosecuting Attorney despite the recent, high-profile controversy that led to the conviction of one of its top lawyers. That’s the conclusion of a scathing 50-page report issued by the Office of the City Auditor over the weekend. Star-Advertiser.


City says it's still awaiting approval on an alternative to state's mandatory quarantine for those who did not receive a negative test result pre-travel. Tier Three allows more businesses to reopen, but it requires a seven-day average positivity of 2.5% for at least two weeks and a seven-day average case count of below 50. KITV4.

Defense Bill Calls For Red Hill Safety Reviews Every Five Years. The 2021 iteration of the National Defense Appropriations Act requires the Navy to conduct regular reviews of technology to contain potential leaks. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Zoo’s former front entrance in Waikiki to undergo $2M in renovations
. A $2 million restoration of the former entrance to the Honolulu Zoo will get underway in the coming weeks, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today. Star-Advertiser.

2nd Olive Garden set to open at Ka Makana Ali‘i, Ala Moana location begins take-out orders. A second Olive Garden restaurant is making its way to Ka Makana Ali’i Mall. The eatery is expected to open to the public in the summer of 2021 next to the AT&T and Macy’s stores. KHON2.

The 2021 Sony Open in Hawaii tees off the week of Jan. 11, and will be the first Sony played under pandemic protocols. No spectators will be allowed at Waialae Country Club. Hawaii News Now.

Star-Advertiser joining Report for America effort
. Report for America places journalists into local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities, and is an initiative of the nonprofit media organization, The GroundTruth Project. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

HMC ready for vaccine: Hospital could begin vaccinations as early as next week. Hilo Medical Center could begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to some front-line employees as early as next week, should emergency use of the immunization be approved. Tribune-Herald.

Where the money went: Council members disburse $900,000 in CARES funds. Hawaii County Council members focused on food and social and educational programs in divvying up $100,000 in coronavirus relief funds each of the nine members received last summer for projects in their communities. West Hawaii Today.

More than $6.5 million spent at Big Island eateries, thanks to restaurant cards. The state’s restaurant card program comes to an end next week, after residents used it to spend more than $6.5 million at Big Island restaurants alone over two months. Tribune-Herald.


Hospital to hold vaccine drill. Maui Memorial Medical Center will hold a drill Thursday to prepare for the process of distributing and managing the COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in Hawaii’s hospitals, a spokeswoman for Maui Health said Monday. Maui News.

Sexual assault medical exam room remodeled.  A remodeled medical examination room will offer a more peaceful setting for children and adults, as a program moves forward with more nurses trained to do forensic examinations of sexual assault victims, officials say. Maui News.

Florida Man with No Lodging or Pre-Flight COVID Test Arrested for Quarantine Violation on Maui. A Florida man was arrested and charged with a Rules and Orders violation related to quarantine after arriving on Maui without a valid place of lodging or a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test, police said. Maui Now.


Kouchi announces release of CIP funds. State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi recently announced the release of $4,775,000 in funding for capital improvement projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

State Gives Nearly $5M For Kauai School, Bridge Repairs. Nearly $5 million in state funding is headed to Kauai for repairs and improvements to the Wailua River Bridge, Kapaa High School, Kilauea Elementary School and the road to Kokee State Park. Civil Beat.

Asbestos treatment at Kapa‘a, Lihu‘e fire stations. Portions of the floors of the Kapa‘a fire station were being held together by duct tape, Kaua‘i Fire Department Chief Steven Goble reported to the Fire Commission Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Honolulu ex-police chief, deputy prosecutor sentenced in corruption scandal, House committee seeks looser travel rules, HPD chief vows to discipline CARES OT abusers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii News Now
File footage of Katherine and Louis Kealoha PC:Hawaii News Now

Honolulu’s former law enforcement power couple learned their punishments in federal court Monday: seven years in federal prison for disgraced Police Chief Louis Kealoha and 13 years for his estranged wife, former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. The Kealohas and two Honolulu Police Department officers were convicted in June 2019 following an elaborate but botched effort for the Kealohas to steal the proceeds from a reverse mortgage on the home belonging to her grandmother Florence M. Puana and then framing her uncle, Gerard Puana, now age 60, when mother and son began figuring out the scheme. Star-Advertiser.

Former HPD Police Chief And Prosecutor Wife Sentenced To Prison.
Katherine Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha, are at the center of a years long investigation into public corruption. Civil Beat.

Calling their corruption ‘shocking,’ judge goes above guidelines in sentencing Kealohas. Saying that Katherine Kealoha had “perverted justice over and over and over again,” a federal judge on Monday sentenced the former high-ranking deputy city prosecutor to 13 years behind bars ― going above the sentencing guidelines of 10 years. Hours later, her husband ― ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha ― was sentenced to seven years in prison, two more than was recommended. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine gets 13 years, Louis gets 7, in Kealoha federal sentencing. Katherine and Louis Kealoha learned their fate on Monday, finally sentenced for their federal convictions last year. Katherine was sentenced to 13 years. Louis got seven years. Restitution of more than $450,000 is owed to various victims of their schemes. KHON2.

Ex-Police Chief Gets 7 Years, Wife Katherine Sentenced To 13 Years In Corruption Case. A federal judge today sentenced former Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to 13 years in prison for masterminding an elaborate scheme that defrauded her grandmother, led to her uncle's false arrest and plundered the trust funds for two children. Her husband, ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha, received 7 years in prison for his part in the scheme. Hawaii Public Radio.

A once powerful Oahu couple will soon be known simply as two federal inmates, Louis and Katherine Kealoha are finally sentenced. In addition to the sentences, the Kealohas were also ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in restitution to the numerous victims. Judge Seabright ordered 75% of Louis' $9,720 monthly police pension to go toward his restitution. KITV4.

Ex-Honolulu prosecutor, police chief get prison for corruption. A U.S. judge sentenced a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor to 13 years in prison Monday and her retired police chief husband to seven years, saying she stole money from her own grandmother and then used his law enforcement power to frame her uncle for a crime he didn’t commit — all to maintain the couple’s lavish lifestyle. Associated Press.

Judge Exceeds Guidelines in Sentencing Kealohas For Corruption. Two central figures in perhaps the most prominent corruption case in Hawai‘i history were sentenced Monday, as one of the final chapters in the years-long saga was written without sympathy by a federal judge. Big Island Now.

Letter from deceased victim says Kealoha’s ‘ruthless scheme’ was a final blow. Before she died in February at the age of 100, Florence Puana wrote a stinging letter describing the financial and emotional toll Katherine Kealoha’s crimes had on her family. Hawaii News Now.


Gov. David Ige says nearly 300 people have entered the state and later been informed of a positive COVID-19 test. Gov. David Ige said since the Safe Travels program began, nearly 300 people have entered the state and then been informed of a positive COVID-19 test.  Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Safe Travels is working.
Days after approving a request from Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami that will permit Kauai to temporarily opt out of the state’s Safe Travels program, Gov. David Ige said that the pre-travel testing initiative is working in Hawaii’s other counties. Tribune-Herald.

House COVID Committee Pushes Back Against New Quarantine Rule For Hawaii Travelers. A new report from the high-profile committee says the state’s pre-travel test program has been working fine and asks the governor to back off a stricter 14-day quarantine. Civil Beat.

Business leaders, legislators urge governor to rethink new restrictions on pre-travel testing program.  Health and business leaders across Hawaii are proposing a modification to one of Gov. David Ige’s new rules governing trans-Pacific travel during the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Post-arrivals test urged to shorten quarantine for travelers. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness is recommending allowing travelers who arrive with pending COVID-19 results the chance to shorten their quarantine by taking a rapid post-arrival test. Star-Advertiser.

State House committee proposes changes to Safe Travels program. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 has sent the state a proposal that could, once again, change the Safe Travels program. KHON2.

House Committee Proposes To Modify Safe Travels Hawaiʻi Program. A white paper was written by the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, defending the efficacy of the pre-travel testing program before it was altered by the Governor. Big Island Video News.

COVID committee suggests Safe Travels modification. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness has submitted a proposal to modify the state’s Safe Travels program which involves offering rapid post-arrival tests to travelers awaiting pre-travel testing results. Garden Island.


Gov. David Ige Appoints New Public Safety Director. Max Otani, a retired corrections official and member of the Hawaii Paroling Authority, will take over as head of the state Department of Public Safety starting Tuesday, Gov. David Ige’s office announced. Civil Beat.

Gov Appoints Hilo Native to Public Safety Director. Max Otani was appointed by Gov. David Ige to serve as the director of the Department of Public Safety, effective Dec. 1, 2020. Big Island Now.

Governor names long-time paroling authority staffer as Public Safety director. Gov. David Ige has appointed the state’s former Deputy Director for Corrections as the new Director of Public Safety, replacing Nolan Espinda, who retired earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Critical Funding Fight Looms As Public Safety Boards Remain Cash-Strapped. State public safety boards have been shortchanged since they were put in place. But lawmakers suggest there may be little help in sight. Civil Beat.


Hawaiian Telcom to buy firm’s fiber assets for $50M. Hawaiian Telcom has signed a definitive purchase agreement to buy interisland submarine and middle-mile terrestrial fiber infrastructure assets currently owned by the bankruptcy estate of Paniolo Cable Co. for $50 million. Star-Advertiser.

Coast Guard completes drone ship exercise in Hawaii as Navy prepares unmanned asset test. The Coast Guard in Hawaii recently wrapped up a 30-day demonstration and evaluation of two ship drone versions to better patrol the vastness of the Pacific as the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, also in the drone hunt, plans a “fleet battle problem” exercise early next year using unmanned systems “on the sea, above the sea and under the sea". Star-Advertiser.

Ige, others reiterate need for National Guard assistance. To help in the continued fight against COVID-19, state officials are working to secure federal funding to extend the deployment of the Hawaii National Guard. Tribune-Herald.

Why The Navy Is Becoming A Powerful Force For Clean Energy. As the pandemic highlights fragile supply chains, the Navy is working with Hawaii to harness the sun and other natural elements for power. Civil Beat.


Aquarium fishing: Environmental review required, court rules. The state Monday said it will no longer renew or issue new commercial marine licenses for aquarium fishing without a required environmental review, effective immediately, following a recent state Circuit Court ruling. Star-Advertiser.

New Court Ruling Further Restricts Commercial Aquarium Fishing In Hawaii. More than half a million aquarium fish have been collected despite a 2017 state Supreme Court ruling. Civil Beat.

Court ruling closes loophole for commercial aquarium collection. The state says it is taking immediate steps to comply with a court order shutting a loophole that allowed for continued commercial aquarium fish collection despite a 2017 high court ruling that halted the practice pending environmental review. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i Court Rules Commercial Aquarium Collection Without Environmental Review is Illegal. he state’s environmental court ruled Friday that the continued extraction of aquarium fish from Hawaiʻi’s reefs without first reviewing the environmental and cultural impacts, is illegal. Maui Now.

More pets left behind during pandemic. Although there has been an increase in demand for the adoption of pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an uptick in the number of animals being surrendered to shelters, according to several Hawaii nonprofits and shelters. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 30: 85 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 85 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Monday, including 66 on Oahu, four on the Big Island, 10 in Maui County including one on Molokai, and one on Kauai.  Four Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Police Department acknowledges excessive overtime. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Monday that HPD takes responsibility for actions by officers who violated the department’s overtime policy, and she confirmed that multiple investigations are taking place as a result of the abuse. Star-Advertiser.

Chief: Officers who abused overtime while responding to COVID calls will be disciplined. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says officers and supervisors who abused overtime privileges during COVID-19 enforcement efforts will be disciplined. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Police Chief addresses COVID-19 enforcement team violating overtime. According to Ballard, multiple investigations have been opened and violators will be disciplined. KITV4.


More Tales Of Crime And Violence As 2 More Caught Up In Miske Murder Case. Court records reveal two more men who are cooperating with federal authorities in the case against a Honolulu businessman charged with running a criminal enterprise. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolls out food card for disadvantaged families, individuals. A new city-issued debit card would provide 4,000-plus disadvantaged families and individuals with $500 to spend on groceries and other household necessities in the coming weeks, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Distributing $500 Grocery Gift Cards. Thousands of Oahu households will receive assistance with food and other necessities from city CARES Act funds. Civil Beat.

City to mail out $500 gift cards for groceries, necessities to thousands of Oahu families. The city will distribute $500 gift cards to thousands of Oahu families experiencing hardship because of the pandemic. The gift cards, which will be mailed out starting Dec. 7, can only be used for groceries and other necessities. Alcohol, tobacco, bus passes and gift cards can’t be purchased. Hawaii News Now.

Direct cash going to Honolulu households affected by COVID-19. Honolulu households that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting help in the form of $500 cash cards. KHON2.


Kapiolani nurses plan picket over expiring contract situation. More than 700 nurses from Kapiolani Medical Center are planning to picket on Wednesday over the status of their contracts, which were set to expire on Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Kapiolani nurses, sans contract, claim unsafe working conditions. Nurses and respiratory therapists on the front lines at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children are now working without a contract and say they are worried about patient care and unsafe conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Starting Wednesday, all trans-Pacific travelers who took a pre-boarding COVID-19 test also will be given a rapid-result antigen test upon arrival at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, Mayor Harry Kim said Monday. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island COVID-19 case count nears 1,600. Hawaii County Civil Defense has reported a total of 49 coronavirus-related fatalities on Hawaii Island. The state has yet to confirm 15 of the deaths reported to date on Hawaii Island and has not responded to repeated requests for information on pending cases. West Hawaii Today.

County announces free COVID-19 testing schedule. Free COVID-19 drive-through testing will be provided at a handful of sites this week, Hawaii County announced Monday. West Hawaii Today.

Wastewater Flows Into Reed’s Bay Following Monday Spill.
The County Wastewater Division said the spill resulted from a sewer force main break caused by employees of Goodfellow Brothers, Inc., who were repairing the sidewalk over the Banyan SPS force main Monday. While excavating to prepare the foundation, workers accidentally punched a hole in the force main, which is 10 inches in diameter. Big Island Now.

Sewage Spill Reported Near Ice Pond Area Of Reeds Bay. An unknown amount of sewage entered the waters of Reed's Bay near Ice Pond shortly after noon on Monday, officials report. Big Island Video News.


Memorial Checkpoint Comes as Maui Police Deal with 400 Percent Increase in Habitual Drunk Driving. The Maui Police Department is seeking a change in behavior within the community in an effort to prevent further drunk driving fatalities in Maui County. Maui Now.

Kīhei Charter School Transitioning from Distance Learning to Blended Learning Model. The Kīhei Charter School is transitioning from all distance learning to a blended learning model in a steady safe process that gradually adds grades to the reopening of the school campus, Head of School Michael Stubbs announced in a news release. Maui Now.


Kawakami defends opt-out. As Kaua‘i temporarily opts-out of the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, Mayor Derek Kawakami offered some insight into his reasoning. Garden Island.

2 more travel-related cases. The state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office reported two new travel-related cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Both cases participated in the Safe Travels program and reportedly boarded their flight after receiving positive pre-travel test results. Garden Island.