Showing posts with label assisted suicide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label assisted suicide. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2023

Hawaii scores low in Kids Count report, ag grants go looking for farmers, Teamsters strike closing restaurants, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii is 44th in nation for keiki economic well-being. Hawaii’s astronomical costs for child care and preschool are a major reason the economic well-being of keiki here has worsened comparatively, pushing the state down from 35th place to a dismal 44th among the 50 states on that measure in the latest annual Kids Count Data Book report. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Farmers Could Use Some Help Landing Grants That Would Boost Farm Operations.
Nonprofits have stepped in to help with grant writing but the state agriculture department has been slow to take advantage of available pots of money. Civil Beat.

Green signs bill to improve aid-in-dying law.  As of June 1, it is easier for terminally ill patients to obtain prescription medication to end their suffering.  Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Has Been ‘Sweeping’ Homeless From Public Lands For More Than 100 Years. The term "homeless sweep" doesn't appear in Hawaii newspapers until the early 2000s, but officials have been ordering large-scale homeless enforcements since at least 1901. Civil Beat.

Hawaii unemployment fund experiencing ‘painful’ growth. Hawaii’s unemployment insurance fund is more than two-thirds of the way back up to adequacy after depletion during COVID-19’s economic shock in 2020, but the recovery is causing pain at an inopportune time for businesses paying into the fund. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii insurers could face more scrutiny over executive pay.  State lawmakers say they may seek a legislative fix to ensure the state’s nonprofit health insurers, which enjoy generous tax breaks, disclose the compensation of their top executives and board members following a decision by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in April that effectively allows some insurers to keep the information secret. Star-Advertiser.

Talks resume in Hawaii Gas Teamsters strike, but no deal reached. Contract negotiations between Hawaii Gas and unionized employees on strike have resumed, but the two sides don’t appear any closer to reaching an agreement. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

$2 million insurance coverage added for island coral reefs. With the Central Pacific hurricane season underway, an insurance policy covering up to $2 million in damage to Hawaii’s coral reefs is now in effect. Star-Advertiser.

Cleaning Up: The Aftermath Of A Honolulu Union’s Embezzlement Scandal. Members of IBEW 1260 had to pick up the pieces after former business manager Brian Ahakuelo and his wife were convicted. Civil Beat.


4 Honolulu councilmembers plan to vote against pay raises.  On July 1, the new Honolulu city council budget will go into effect. Including, a 64% pay raise for council members, unless eight of them vote no to the pay raises.  KHON2.

Honolulu Council treads lightly on salary, outside employment talks. The Honolulu City Council will continue discussions on whether members can hold outside employment after killing a bill this month. Hawaii Public Radio.

In the governor’s backyard, 8 homeless patients settle in at medical respite tiny village. Pulama Ola village opened on May 31st, and is now home to eight homeless patients who were recently discharged from local hospitals. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Chinatown Lions Club collaborates with Mayor Blangiardi to beautify downtown parks. Dozens of people, including Mayor Rick Blangiardi and city administrators, joined Honolulu-Chinatown Lions Club in cleaning up Smith-Beretania Park and Doctor Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park. Hawaii News Now.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden considers limiting visitors and charging fees.  Nestled beneath the Koʻolau mountain range on Oʻahu, Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden was a once-hidden gem. But social media has heightened awareness about the garden’s natural wonders. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Community Development Authority tasked with slew of projects. The Hawaii Community Development Authority was created nearly 50 years ago with a broad-purpose name despite having a singular initial focus: improving one community, Kakaako. Star-Advertiser.

Former mayor documents COVID-era frustrations, alliances in book. Interviews with 25 Hawaii leaders reveal early concerns that the islands could become overrun with COVID-19 while others hoped the Pacific Ocean would provide a natural “border” to keep the virus out, according to a new book by former Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his longtime deputy managing director Georgette Takushi Deemer. Star-Advertiser.

Water disruption forces closure of popular Diamond Head State Monument on Oʻahu. 
The popular Diamond Head State Monument on O‘ahu was cleared at mid-day Sunday after the park’s water system had to be shut down.  Maui Now. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Planning commissions talk shoreline setbacks.  A joint meeting of the Windward and Leeward Planning commissions on June 2 concluded their discussion of several proposed revisions to the county’s planning rules, which would, among other things, require that all new developments be located at least 40 feet inland from a shoreline, twice as far as is currently permitted. Tribune-Herald.

Council members debate establishment of sustainability office.  Formation of a proposed new Hawaii County agency has stalled following lengthy debates among members of the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Land board action paves way for conservation of 642 acres in N. Kohala. Hundreds of acres of land in North Kohala have been re-dedicated to conservation by a nonprofit that purchased the land last year. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

As tourists flock to eruption, agencies urge respect. Even as lava fountains from the erupting Kilauea Volcano continue reaching heights of up to 30 feet, Hawaii tourism officials urged visitors to be respectful when flocking to Hawaii island to get a glimpse of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Star-Advertiser.


Tax could fund projects, but some worry about cost. Maui County could have seen around $283 million in added income if it had followed other counties four years ago in adding its own surcharge to the state’s general excise tax, according to tax officials’ estimates.  Maui News.

Maui County finance director to serve on national AI committee. Maui County Finance Director Scott Teruya has been appointed to a national exploratory committee that will look into how artificial intelligence could potentially help local government.  Maui News.

Maui Residents Fight To Save Kihei’s Last Wetlands. County officials continue to approve new building permits close to shore despite rising seas. Civil Beat.

Damaged Lahaina playground closes.
The Lahaina Recreation Center playground has been closed until further notice due to safety concerns over the damaged playground surface, the Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday. Maui News.


Kawakami leads Kaua‘i delegation in visit to Philippines. A Kaua‘i delegation’s weeklong venture to the Philippines was deemed a success on both the business development and diplomatic fronts, as the group reforged its partnership with the country. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i visitors spent heavily in April.
A robust tourism industry is on pace to surpass $2 billion in visitor spending this year, in large part to a stellar start to the 2023 season on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

House and Senate agree on state budget, Honolulu council members set to receive 64% raise, bill expands medically assisted suicide, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

House And Senate Agree On State Budget, But Tax Cuts Still Aren’t Finalized. The new budget includes $170 million to build teacher housing across Hawaii, and $280 million to subsidize rental housing. Negotiators from Hawaii’s House and Senate agreed late Tuesday on a state budget for the next two years, a step that clears the way for finalizing dozens of other bills in a race toward a critical deadline on Friday. Civil Beat.

Time is running out for proposed visitor impact fee legislation. If Hawaiʻi lawmakers agree on a visitor impact fee for access to its state parks and trails, it’d be the first in the nation to do so statewide. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Medically Assisted Suicide Program Is Poised To Be Expanded. Patients may soon have shorter waiting periods and more provider options. For years, advocates have argued that patients face too many obstacles to take advantage of Hawaii’s law allowing medically assisted suicide. The procedure will likely become more accessible after a bill got a boost on Tuesday to bypass the Legislature’s chaotic conference committee stage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers may repeal Cold War-era speech restrictions. A Cold War-era law in Hawaii that allows authorities to impose sweeping restrictions on press freedoms and electronic communications during a state of emergency could soon be repealed by lawmakers over concerns about its constitutionality and potential misuse. Associated Press.

Committee Agrees On Expanded Coffee Labeling Bill. The Hawaiʻi House and Senate in conference committee on Tuesday agreed to an expanded coffee labeling bill, that includes ready-to-drink coffee beverages and prohibits the use of the term “All Hawaiian” for coffee that isn’t produced entirely from beans grown and processed in Hawaiʻi. Big Island Video News.

Former Head Of Charter School Commission To Pay $5,000 For Ethics Violations. Sione Thompson agreed to the payment as part of a settlement with the Hawaii State Ethics Commission over multiple violations between 2018 and 2020. Thompson signed off on multiple state contracts with three nonprofit organizations without disclosing that he also served on the boards of those organizations, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission said in a release Tuesday.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Russian Spy Intrigue Fizzles As Hawaii Stolen ID trial nears. A judge has ruled that photographs showing the defendants wearing foreign uniforms aren't relevant to the charges. U.S. prosecutors who introduced Russian spy intrigue into the case of a couple accused of living for decades in Hawaii under identities stolen from dead babies are now saying they don’t want jurors to hear about photographs showing them wearing foreign uniforms. Associated Press.

FBI report: Fraud losses hit record high as scammers target people of all ages. There’s been a sharp spike in losses reported by kupuna who have been victimized by scammers.  Nearly 400 Hawaii residents 60 years of age or older reported being scammed out of more than $16.3 million. Hawaii News Now.

Youth climate justice case gets pushback from HDOT. The 14 youth plaintiffs suing the Hawaii Department of Transportation to take action against emission pollution are standing their ground in their quest for climate justice, even as the DOT requests a budget increase of $1 million to fight this lawsuit. KITV4.

State acquires $26M from Biden to fund coastal climate change initiatives. The U.S. Department of Commerce is slated to give $26 million to eight climate change resiliency projects in Hawaiʻi. It’s part of the Biden Administration’s Climate-Ready Coasts initiative, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Hawaii Public Radio.

Agribusiness agency suffers loss with leader James ‘Jimmy’ Nakatani’s death. A state agency set up to foster diversified farming on fallow former plantation agriculture lands has lost its longtime leader, James “Jimmy” Nakatani, who died Sunday. Star-Advertiser.


Despite hefty opposition, commission approves 64% pay hike for city councilmembers. The Honolulu Salary Commission heard passionate opposition Tuesday to raises for city officials and councilmembers, but ultimately voted to approve the pay hikes in a 5-to-1 vote. Under the plan, city councilmembers would get a 64% raise ― from $68,904 a year to $113,304. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu undergoes 2 department leadership changes. Dawn Szewczyk stepped down as head of the Department of Facility Maintenance last week for a job in the private sector.  Additionally, Scott Hayashi has requested to step down from his position as the director of the Department of Land Management. Hawaii Public Radio.

Property tax ideas address credits and exemptions. The Honolulu City Council has established a special subcommittee to investigate certain matters relating to real property taxation issues. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers urge relocation of Marines’ Puuloa Firing Range. Community concerns over the Marine Corps’ Ewa Beach Puuloa Range Training Facility escalated Tuesday when the state House passed a nonbinding resolution urging the relocation of the firing range due to noise, safety and possible lead exposure to nearby homes, the shoreline and sea. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

EPA Not At Fault For Red Hill Crisis, Inspector General Says. In a report released on Tuesday, the EPA inspector general noted that the Navy was subject to a regulatory agreement with the EPA and the state health department at the time of the contamination. Civil Beat.

Navy pledges $6M to update Kalaeola electrical grid. The Navy said Monday that it’s committing $6 million to modernize the power grid supplying Kalaeloa and will work in partnership with Hawaiian Electric. Star-Advertiser.

Army Corps Rolls Out Its New Ala Wai Flood Control Plan. Federal engineers pushed the reset button after rising costs sunk their earlier plan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing new plans for heightened flood control in one of Hawaii’s most populous and economically important areas – the Ala Wai watershed – after the Corps scrapped its previous, contentious plan when the costs more than doubled. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Resiliency hub eyed for Hilo: Keaukaha facility would promote ag, bolster food security. The Pana‘ewa Farmers Market could be expanded under a proposed plan for a resiliency hub on Railroad Avenue in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Community Meeting Set For Old Hilo Hospital Master Plan. A community meeting will be held on May 15 to gather input and recommendations for the development of a master plan for the old Hilo Memorial Hospital site at 34 Rainbow Drive. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii's most overcrowded jail releases some inmates. The Hawaii Community Correctional Center is situated in the heart of downtown Hilo and is designed to hold 206 inmates, but is currently over capacity at 295 inmates, making it the most overcrowded jail in the state. KHON2.

DLNR chair meets with advocates for feral cats.  Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Dawn Chang met Tuesday with the principals of ABayKitties, the organization that has provided cat food at a trio of feeding stations at the Queens’ Marketplace shopping center. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Firing called for Prince Kūhiō Plaza GM who stopped legendary Hawaiian entertainers for safety reasons. During the recent Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, legendary musician Melveen Leed and kumu hula Iwalani Walsh Tseu were at a craft fair at the Prince Kūhiō Plaza giving an impromptu performance when the general manager asked them via a vendor to stop performing because of “safety concerns.” Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Puna Kai Shopping Center listed again for sale. The Puna Kai Shopping Center is once again listed for sale after a previous online listing was supposedly posted in error. Tribune-Herald.


Bullying, drug and alcohol use down among county teens. A recent survey that studied risk behaviors among Hawaii youth highlighted several areas of improvement during the COVID-19 pandemic, including declining reports of bullying in Maui County as well as use of drugs and alcohol, but mental health remains a concern statewide. Maui News.


Point In Time Count shows homelessness increasing on Kaua‘i. The Homeless Point In Time Count, released last week by Bridging the Gap, showed a 10 percent increase in one-day homelessness on island from January 2022 to January 2023, following a 5 percent increase in the prior year. Garden Island.

PAL Kaua‘i: Two units available at Kauhale O Kapa’a. The studios offer a full bathroom with a tub and a kitchenette that opens up into the living space in the heart of  Old Kapa’a town.  Kauai Now.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Congressman Kahele shuns Washington for Hawaii, House-Senate Mauna Kea showdown looms, Maui officials get 5% raises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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U.S. Rep Kai Kahele ©2022 All Hawaii News

Has US Rep. Kai Kahele Given Up On Washington? The Hawaii congressman, who hasn’t been to the nation’s capital since January, has been having other members cast his votes for months. Civil Beat.

Working in Legislature gives Sylvia Luke a leg up in lieutenant governor’s race. State Rep. Sylvia Luke has a clear advantage over the four other candidates running for lieutenant governor as the only one currently serving in elected office and, especially, as chairwoman of the powerful House Finance Committee. Star-Advertiser.

Big state budget proposal moves forward with anticipated record surplus. The state Senate is ready to vote on a draft budget that increases spending — thanks to higher than expected revenues that have resulted in a big surplus. Lawmakers said a lot of the anticipated record surplus will go toward restoring critical programs and services, many of which were stalled during the COVID lockdown. But some watchdog groups are cautioning against boosting the budget too quickly. Hawaii News Now.

State budget proposal has significant allocations for child welfare programs. The state Senate Ways and Means Committee approved a version of Gov. David Ige’s proposed fiscal year 2022-2023 operating budget on Thursday. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui News.

Patients Are Dying Before They Can Get Help To Kill Themselves. Advocates hope House Bill 1823 will lower barriers to medically assisted suicide by making it easier for  doctors to prescribe medications and lowering wait times. Civil Beat.

A group of chemicals found in nonstick cookware and firefighting foam could soon be banned from some products in Hawaii as a growing body of research shows they’re polluting the environment and suspected of causing health problems, including cancer. Hawaii House Bill 1644 would prohibit the manufacture and sale of certain items that contain PFAS: wraps and liners, plates, food boats and pizza boxes. Civil Beat.

For the first time in more than two years
, The Pride of America Cruise ship has relaunched their inter-island sailings. Hawaii DOT officials say for the initial trips, the Norwegian Cruise liner will only be at 50% capacity, which is just over 1,000 passengers and crewmembers aboard. Hawaii News Now.


Hot, dry summer could bring mandatory water restrictions on Oahu. If conditions continue to trend drier going into the hotter summer months, water customers from the Aiea-Halawa area to Hawaii Kai could face mandatory water restrictions and the potential for periods of low water pressure and water outages due to the problems linked to the Red Hill crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reaffirms pledge to defuel Red Hill. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated Thursday the Defense Department’s pledge to defuel the Red Hill fuel storage facility, but did not give a timeline for doing so. Hawaii Public Radio.

Students, staff at schools affected by Red Hill fuel leak remain wary of tap water. The caution tape finally has been stripped off nearly all the sink faucets and drinking fountains at Red Hill Elementary School, now that the fuel contamination warnings have been lifted. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu developers face fallout from the Navy’s Red Hill water crisis. The potential water shortage facing urban Honolulu is already threatening to hold up hundreds of units of affordable housing, new residential and commercial projects in Kakaako and a major environmental upgrade to a sewage treatment plant, among other planned developments — a predicament that could have far-reaching effects on the island’s economy. Star-Advertiser.

Upstart company wants to establish garbage-to-energy power plant to rival Oahu’s power facility. An upstart Hawaii company aims to establish a second garbage-to-energy power plant on Oahu using technology proclaimed as superior to the city’s long-running H-POWER facility. Star-Advertiser.

City: New modular complex could be model for future affordable housing projects. The complex is made out of modular units built in Canada. Two years ago, the City Council urged leaders to consider this kind of construction to speed up the process. Hawaii News Now.

Why More Apartment Buildings May Not Be The Answer To Oahu’s High Housing Costs. A Canadian asset management company is stepping into a void with more than 1,000 apartments built or planned for Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Sticker shock: Businesses beg for property tax relief. Hawaii Island business groups, facing steep increases in property values, are clamoring for relief from taxes set forth in a record high $689.9 million budget proposed by Mayor Mitch Roth. West Hawaii Today.

State House and Senate on a collision course over future of astronomy on Mauna Kea. Change to Maunakea bill gives joint authority to UH, new state entity. After a Friday meeting of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, House Bill 2024, which is intended to transfer authority of the Maunakea summit lands to a newly formed state entity, passed with additional amendments that allow the University of Hawaii to retain control of astronomy on the Big Island. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Army seeks input on PTA lease. The U.S. Army is requesting public feedback on a draft environmental impact statement that will determine whether part of the Pohakuloa Training Area will remain under Army management. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Waipio Valley Road Closure Prompts Community Organizing, Legal Action. The road closure, which took many by surprise, has provoked emotional divisions among diverse groups of people who use the valley. Civil Beat.


Panel awards pay raises to mayor, council. Five percent salary increase to take effect July 1. Reversing a decision four months ago to defer pay raises for the mayor and County Council, the Maui County Salary Commission voted Friday to give 5 percent salary increases to the elected officials. Maui News.

Two longtime West Maui politicians aim to change course. Cochran shifts from county to state politics, McKelvey pulls papers for state Senate. Two longtime West Maui politicians are looking to head in a new direction, with one venturing from county to state politics and the other hoping to move from the state House to the state Senate. Maui News.

Hula advocates urge full support for Maui’s proposed Hālau of ʻOiwi Art. Many of the more than 50 people who testified during a budget committee meeting on Friday voiced support for funding of Hālau of ʻŌiwi Art, a center dedicated to the study, practice, celebration and perpetuation of hula and various ‘ōiwi arts connected to hula. Maui Now.

Maui County seeking applications for Recycling Grant Program. The Maui County Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division is soliciting grant applications for the recycling grant program for fiscal year 2023. Maui Now.

Health officials shut down Lahaina restaurant after seeing cockroaches, a cat and a rat. The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch has issued a red “closed” placard and shut down a restaurant in Lahaina due to pests, food debris, grease accumulation and more. Hawaii Public Radio.


Slight bump in homelessness.
The Point-in-Time Count, conducted by Bridging the Gap, a coalition of agencies working to end homelessness on the neighbor islands, showed that there were 444 homeless individuals on island — a 5% increase over the 424 in 2020. Garden Island.

Kamokila future is up in the air as eviction looms. With an eviction deadline approaching, the future of the Kamokila Hawaiian Village in Wailua is hanging in the balance. Garden Island.

Monday, July 1, 2019

New state and county laws kick in on crosswalks, polystyrene, Waikiki mayor's conference draws big names, Maui mayor and council spar over budget, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki shoppers on crosswalk ©2019 All Hawaii News
New crosswalk law takes effect today. A slate of new laws takes effect today on the first day of the new state fiscal year, including one that might startle some pedestrians: Senate Bill 693 makes it quite clear you can be fined for entering a crosswalk once the pedestrian countdown timer has started running. Star-Advertiser.

Improvements Made To Hawaii Capitol Website. They include the addition of Session Laws of Hawaii going back to statehood. Civil Beat.

DOE seeking feedback on public education for the next decade. The State Department of Education proposed a new 10 year strategic plan for the state's public school system called the 2030 Promise. KITV.

Hawaii inmate data tracking system review costs near $1.4M, takes 4 years. After paying a company close to $1.4 million over four years to evaluate its data needs and recommend a replacement for its software system for tracking and managing information on inmates, Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety has yet to replace the system. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Names New Budget And Finance Director. Neal Miyahira worked at the Department of Taxation as deputy director. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Medical Aid In Dying Law Eased Patient’s Anxiety. Steve Johnson was the second person to die under the state’s new assisted suicide law. The state reports eight patients so far have received prescriptions for lethal drugs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Hospital Dispute Could Prove Costly For Patients. Kaiser recently filed a federal lawsuit against Queen’s after the two sides failed to negotiate a payment rate for emergency services.  Civil Beat.

Feds may take lead on future missile alerts. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s attempt to give the federal government responsibility for alerting the public of a missile threat was passed by the U.S. Senate as part of a $750 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 that focuses on evolving threats from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. Star-Advertiser.

Second Lady Pence, Caroline Kennedy among notable speakers at national mayor conference. When the United States Conference of Mayors last met in Honolulu in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was the featured speaker. Today, it was Caroline Kennedy’s turn. Hawaii News Now.

Gabbard says missile alert mistake motivated her to run for presidency. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said Sunday that Hawaii’s 2018 false missile alert motivated her to run for president in 2020. Star-Advertiser.

Gabbard addresses mayors conference, says foreign policy affects cities. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made her first trip back to the islands since appearing in the first Democratic presidential candidates debate last Wednesday, addressing the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Waikiki. Hawaii News Now.


Kealoha verdicts highlight need for ethical leaders in law enforcement. The felony convictions of the retired police chief, his once high-ranking prosecutor wife and two officers picked by the chief for a secretive squad he supervised exposed gaps in the oversight of the law enforcement system but mostly are a reflection of dishonest individuals holding positions of power, according to attorneys, former judges and others. Star-Advertiser.

Katherine Kealoha Is Sent To Jail Until Sentencing. A federal judge revoked her bail Friday after she was found guilty of federal conspiracy and obstruction charges. Civil Beat.

Owner-built houses at Waianae subdivision nearly finished. On a hillside in Waianae with picturesque views of Pokai Bay, a dozen families have expelled a lot of sweat building their own homes for more than a year. Star-Advertiser.

Navatek II fails to sell at auction. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources impounded the vessel in March after owner Miraclei LLC, a trust that includes Shane Lawler, maxed out the Navatek II’s temporary permit at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Inside island’s hydrogen future: Researchers at Rogers’ Puu Waawaa ranch explore top energy solutions. Tucked among the old-time paniolo ranches in North Kona is a cutting-edge ranch of a different kind. West Hawaii Today.

‘Vision Zero’ program aims to reduce traffic fatalities. Gov. David Ige passed a bill this week codifying a policy to eliminate traffic fatalities statewide through better traffic engineering and emergency response strategies. Star-Advertiser.

The Big Island’s ban on polystyrene — or Styrofoam — food containers goes into effect on Monday. That means all food service vendors — meaning restaurants, food trucks, farmer’s markets — as well as supermarkets will no longer be able to serve takeout or plate lunches in single-use containers made from polystyrene foam. Hawaii News Now.

Group from Micronesia explores possibilities of aquaculture. Fisheries officers from Kosrae, Micronesia, recently toured the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center to learn more about aquaculture efforts in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

UH-Hilo, Navy using oysters to boost water quality. On a recent sunny morning at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center in Keaukaha, research manager Daniel Wilkie showed off a spat of small but growing oysters, each not much bigger than a pebble. Tribune-Herald.

As Mauna Kea Conflict Looms, Both Sides Dispute Information. State officials and opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope project went back and forth Friday, disputing each other’s information regarding the response to the situation on Mauna Kea. Big Island Video News.


Mayor gets council’s budget details at last minute. There still could be issues with information provided, according to administration officials. Maui News.

Potential Water Outages in Waikapu, Kehalani Mauka & Upper Wailuku Heights. The Department of Water Supply continues to experience very high consumption in the Waikapu/Wailuku area and Department of Water Supply water tanks are being depleted. Maui Now.


Kauai police investigate alleged cheating, cover-up in ranks. Police on Kauai investigated allegations officers were involved in cheating on a proficiency test and covering it up, a report said. Associated Press.

Last native lowland bog ‘thriving’. A flesh-eating plant stretches sticky fuchsia tentacles into the balmy air of Kauai’s Kanaele Bog. Garden Island.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Hawaii wins 3 of 10 TripAdvisor top spots, ballot issues plague Honolulu election, pay raises for state, Kauai, volcano alert lowered, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii luau dancers 2019 All Hawaii News
Hawaii makes TripAdvisor top 10 Travelers' Choice Destinations in the U.S. Three Hawaii islands were named among the top destinations in the country to travel to. According to TripAdvisor, Maui was the second top choice, followed by Oahu at third, and the Big Island as 10. KHON2.

HDOT audit finds discrepancies. The Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Highways Division in fiscal year 2018 did not review capital improvement projects in a timely manner, incorrectly classified federal expenditures and violated cash management requirements by drawing funds from a federal agency prior to paying a subcontractor, according to a report issued by the Hawaii State Auditor’s Office. Garden Island.

Our Care, Our Choice Act Part 2: Some patients are pushing to get the law changed. The assisted suicide bill passed in the Legislature and became law, in order for patients to get their life-ending prescription they need to request it from their doctor on three separate occasions. KITV.

State commission proposes pay raises for elected officials. Some leading lawmakers are supporting new recommendations by the state Salary Commission that would grant all members of the Legislature raises of 10 percent in 2021 and would further boost lawmakers’ salaries in additional steps over the following three years. Star-Advertiser.

Recruitment begins today for Conservation and Resource Enforcement Officers to fill vacancies across the state.  The positions do not require any previous law enforcement experience, however, there are limited spaces available. Maui Now.

Public Safety admits less-lethal options are on hand — but not for use in the field. The state has purchased at least 35 less lethal guns and eight pepperball guns in the last two years. But none of the less lethal options are available for use by deputies on patrol. Hawaii News Now.

Amid growing concerns that a new crisis is brewing between China and Taiwan, independence-leaning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is in Honolulu for an always controversial yet short visit. Star-Advertiser.


Residents report more ballot abnormalities in hotly contested City Council race. The special election for east Honolulu’s City Council seat is causing confusion after several ballots were mailed to people who no longer live in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Rocky start to Special Election mail-in ballots raises eyebrows with some voters. Residents we spoke to are concerned because if extra ballots were to be in the hands of the wrong person, there might be an opportunity for some to vote twice. KHON2.

'Gross incompetence or worse’: Rail purchase of reinforced steel questioned. The federal grand jury that’s investigating the rail project is looking into how the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation spent millions of dollars to buy reinforced steel. Hawaii News Now.

Some West Oahu residents push for a bypass road to help ease traffic troubles. The alternate route would also be a lifeline in times of accidents or emergencies. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

We’re another day older and deeper in debt. The lyrics to the song made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford continue to hold true today, as Hawaii County finds its debt load continuing to creep upward. West Hawaii Today.

Kilauea volcano is now the quietest it has been in about four decades. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory lowered the volcano’s alert level Tuesday from “advisory” to “normal,” noting it has returned to a noneruptive, background state following last year’s lower East Rift Zone eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Today, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officially lowered the Kilauea Volcano Alert Level for ground-based hazards from ADVISORY to NORMAL, and the Aviation Color Code from YELLOW to GREEN. Big Island Video News.

Project leaders review draft EIS for wastewater treatment plant with public. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Pacific fights back against commission’s findings. A Kealakekua charter school is demanding the state commission that oversees charter schools rescind a vote kicking off a process that could close the school. West Hawaii Today.


Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino proposed Monday a $781 million no-frills budget for the next fiscal year, which includes property tax, trash pickup and water rate increases; additional property tax money for affordable housing; and opening the Central Maui Landfill one Sunday per month, but it contains no new major capital improvement initiatives. Maui News.

Maui Car Rental Facility, Electric Train on Schedule to Open May 15. A major project at Maui’s Kahului Airport in less than two months from completion. Maui Now.

New Paia Elementary building up for environmental review. Structure would be located at the front of the school next to the cafeteria. Maui News.


The county’s top officials might be getting a raise. Kauai County Councilmembers today will consider a proposal to increase their own salaries along those of 30 county executives, including the mayor, the managing director, the police and fire chiefs. Garden Island.

A federal jury on Friday awarded over $700,000 in damages to a Kauai resident who sued Wilcox Memorial Hospital after an incident in which hospital employees injected the man against his will with a high-dose cocktail of strong antipsychotic drugs that left him incapacitated for months after the incident. Garden Island.

Kauai Family Demands New Policies, Protections for Kuleana Landowners. In the wake of a closely watched kuleana land auction of part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's estate last week, one faction of the family caught up in the property dispute is calling for change. Hawaii Public Radio.

Coco Palms resort for sale again. Coco Palms, featured in the 1961 Elvis Presley movie “Blue Hawaii,” has been closed since Hurricane Iniki slammed into Kauai in 1992, causing extensive damage to the property. Star-Advertiser.

Coco Palms Resort is up for sale again. The property is owned by Coco Palm Hui LLC, who had planned to re-open the resort after it closed due to damages caused by Hurricane Iniki. KHON2.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Nude photos link Big Island firefighter to Honolulu deputy prosecutor's phone, lobbyist first to get medical aid in dying prescription, Honolulu Council in disarray, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Jesse Ebersole, Katherine Kealoha
Feds recover nude photos on Kealoha’s phone. When Hawaii County firefighter Jesse Ebersole pleaded guilty last July to lying about his relationship with former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, the federal prosecutor said investigators found Ebersole’s name on some of Kealoha’s credit card charges and had records of phone conversations between the two. Star-Advertiser.

Evidence of affair between Katherine Kealoha and firefighter included sexually explicit photos. The affair between ex-police chief Louis Kealoha’s wife and a Big Island firefighter was already one of the more salacious aspects of the ongoing case against the Kealohas. Hawaii News Now.


He Fought For Hawaii’s Aid In Dying Law. Now He Wants To Use it. Prominent Honolulu lobbyist John Radcliffe, whose colon cancer has spread, became the first state resident Wednesday to start the application process. Civil Beat.

John Radcliffe became the first Hawaii patient with terminal cancer to request a lethal prescription to end his life under the state’s new medical- aid-in-dying law. Star-Advertiser.

Cancer patient John Radcliffe poised to be come first to use medical aid-in-dying law. KHON2.

Terminal cancer patient and medical aid-in-dying advocate John Radcliffe, today went on record as Hawaii’s first individual to request a prescription for aid-in-dying medication under a new law that took effect on Jan. 1. Maui Now.

It’s now law, but ‘Death With Dignity' still faces opposition while supporters push for acceptance. The day after Hawaii’s ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act' went into effect, supporters of the controversial medical aid in dying law said they’re making progress in getting hospitals to honor patients’ end of life decisions. Hawaii News Now.

Medical-aid-in-dying law gets a web page. State DOH sets up site to answer questions, provide required forms. Maui News.


Masagatani, Aila Retained To Lead Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Governor David Ige on Wednesday announced that he is reappointing the director and deputy at Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Big Island Video News.

A Hawaii delegation recently returned from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland. Despite President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, Hawaii and 16 other states committed to abide it. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Attorney General is opposing a change that a 92-year-old Native Hawaiian princess has made to her trust to ensure her wife receives $40 million and all her personal property. Associated Press.

The state is looking for information on how to operate housing programs over the next 20 years. To gather data, the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation will be calling homeowners and conducting phone surveys for the Hawaii Housing Planning Study. Hawaii News Now.

Southwest Airlines has moved one step closer to starting its long-promised service from the Mainland to Hawaii. Pacific Business News.


Council delays picking leaders, assignments and schedule. The turmoil is caused by legal challenges against the election of Trevor Ozawa, who won re-election to the Council District 4 seat by beating former state Rep. Tommy Waters by 22 votes. Star-Advertiser.

Most of Honolulu’s city council has been sworn in, but one seat is still open (technically). That's because the Hawaii Supreme Court is still reviewing Trevor Ozawa's 22-vote victory over opponent Tommy Waters. Hawaii News Now.

City Council meeting in recess, Supreme Court issues another order. District 4, from Hawaii Kai to Ala Moana Beach Park, will have to wait longer for a City Council representative. The Supreme Court issued another order Wednesday that gives election challengers more time. KHON2.


Honolulu Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga wants to crack down on people who abandon their cars on Oahu, but city officials say her proposed solution wouldn’t work. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police and prosecutors declined to press charges against Bobby Curran following the local sports broadcaster’s Dec. 27 arrest for allegedly assaulting his 15-year-old son. Star-Advertiser.

The Ritz-Carlton’s ocean-facing skyscrapers are glaring bright all night, every night. For more than two years, the residents of the Four Paddle condominiums on Kuhio Avenue have been blinded by the light. Civil Beat.

One project that will get more attention in the new year in Honolulu is a plan to build a bridge over the Ala Wai canal. The proposal would include room for pedestrians and for cyclists, but not for cars. Hawaii Public Radio.

It was business as usual for most federally funded tourist attractions in Hawaii Wednesday despite the partial government shutdown continuing for the 12th day. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The Leilani Estates Community Association plans to drop its lawsuit against Hawaii County over control of Leilani Avenue. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island residents have the opportunity to participate in a series of training courses later this month to assist the county in responding to emergencies, in case 2019 proves as turbulent as 2018. Tribune-Herald.

Public access lacking – Kaupulehu project coming to County Council. It’s taken 20 years to get this far, but full build-out of the 1,079-acre Kaupulehu project in North Kona may need 20 more. West Hawaii Today.


During the first half of fiscal year 2019, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development issued more than $9 million in grant funds to various local organizations. Maui Now.

Kapalua Golf's Plantation Course on Maui, which regularly ranks as one of the best golf courses in the world, will temporarily close on Feb. 11 to undergo a multimillion-dollar enhancement project aimed at revitalizing the 27-year-old sports facility. Pacific Business News.


Recent rains didn’t damage or delay the rebuilding project on Kahiliholo Road and the project is on schedule, according to county officials. Garden Island.

State officials are gearing up to extend trial pig hunting on Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) after a six-month trial hunt yielded 13 harvests, and more archers are signing up. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hawaii tourism depends on vacation rentals, Honolulu council leadership questioned in election dispute, new laws in effect, Molokai mule trail closed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii beach scene ©2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Addicted To Airbnb: Hawaii’s Tourism Economy Depends On Illegal Vacation Rentals. While calls for a crackdown on short-term rentals grow louder, their rapid expansion accounts for a big chunk of the recent growth in the state’s largest industry. Civil Beat.

When the final numbers roll in for 2018, it's likely to be another record year for visitor arrivals to Hawaii. But as people consider what that sector may look like in 2019 and beyond, there may be a developing niche: medical tourism. Hawaii Public Radio.

Medical aid in dying law takes effect. For the first time, certain terminally ill patients in Hawaii will have the right to end their lives, but it won’t be easy. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Medical Aid In Dying Law Now In Effect, Guidance Issued. Big Island Video News.

Fake service dogs, foam food containers and equal pay: These laws took effect Jan. 1. Hawaii News Now.

New laws address pay gap, sexual assault. Beginning today, employers are prohibited from asking prospective hires about their salary and wage history under a new law that seeks to help bridge the gap between how much men and women earn. Star-Advertiser.

Employers in Hawaii no longer will be allowed to inquire about prospective employees’ salary histories thanks to a law passed in July. Tribune-Herald.

Some road shoulders to open for motorcycles. In the new year, motorcyclists in Hawaii might have their travel time reduced by a law that will designate the shoulders of some roads as traversable by motorcycle. Tribune-Herald.

Lawmakers: After a noisy start to the new year, it’s time to crack down on illegal aerials. Hawaii News Now.

Commentary: No, Killing A Special Fund Doesn’t Kill People. Some state agencies need to understand that the money in these funds isn’t “their” money. It comes from taxpayers. Civil Beat.


Three topics sure to grab headlines in 2019 are the city’s rail project as construction moves through the congested downtown corridor; the housing crisis as policy makers wrestle with vacation rental laws and monster home rules; and the federal investigations involving Honolulu’s former police chief, his ex-prosecutor wife and the city prosecutor.  Star-Advertiser.

Council leadership remains in question. City Council members and their aides on Monday were trying to figure out ways to deal with the possibility that Councilman Trevor Ozawa may not be sworn in for a new term on Wednesday, the same day he had been expected to be voted Council chairman by his colleagues. Star-Advertiser.

On the eve of inauguration day for the Honolulu City Council, there's a big question mark hanging over the District 4 seat. The Supreme Court is weighing in after an opponent filed a challenge. With that Supreme Court decision pending, and the race not certified, Councilman Trevor Ozawa may not be sworn into office. KHON2.

Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa may miss being sworn in to another term on Wednesday along with his colleagues if the Hawaii Supreme Court is still undecided on a legal challenge to his election win. Civil Beat.


The state attorney general is opposing a change made to Abigail Kawananakoa’s trust that ensures her wife will receive $40 million and all of her personal property. Star-Advertiser.

Community leaders in Leeward Oahu are voicing opposition to the Palehua Wind project proposed for the Waianae range above their homes. Star-Advertiser.

Watch your water bills. That's the warning from some Pearl City residents who caught the Board of Water Supply billing them for more water than they used. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

The owner of the Hilo Farmers Market submitted plans last month for permanent canopies over the open-air market in an attempt to comply with the county’s fire, building and zoning codes. Tribune-Herald.

The long-discussed East Hawaii Organics Facility will be constructed on the north side of the W.H. Shipman Business Park in Keaau, and will have no significant impact according to the final environmental assessment document published for the project. Big Island Video News.

A discharge of about 66,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater was discharged into the ocean this weekend at the county’s Kulaimano wastewater treatment plant in Pepeekeo. Tribune-Herald.

The Vog Is Gone — For The First Time In Decades. Kilauea didn’t just stop spewing lava. It ceased emissions that have been constant since 1983. Civil Beat.


Since securing support from her colleagues, Council Member Kelly King has been the de facto chair of the incoming Maui County Council, making decisions on the inauguration ceremony, proposing committees and even moving into the chair’s office on Monday. Maui News.

A year of climate and political change 2018. Storms of all persuasions, even an actual firestorm, descended upon the county. Maui News.

Unlike past government shutdowns, Haleakala National Park is still open. Access to most areas continues, services limited. Maui News.

Maui County’s purchase of 262 acres of A&B agriculture land in the lower Pulehu/Omaopio area of Kula has closed escrow, according to information released today by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. Maui Now.

Maui County purchases 262 acres from Alexander & Baldwin. Maui County closed on a $6 million purchase of 262 acres of Alexander & Baldwin’s agriculture land in the lower Pulehu/Omapio area on Monday. Pacific Business News.


Reopening the Road to Haena. This past April, Kuhio Highway on Kauai’s North Shore was devastated by heavy flooding. Road repairs are now nearing completion. Hawaii Public Radio.

Though the U.S. Navy recently announced it was moving forward with testing and training in the Hawaii-Southern California training area, the public still has a chance to weigh in on some other pending training. Garden Island.


A steep trail to the remote Kalaupapa settlement in Hawaii has been closed indefinitely after a landslide took out a bridge along one of the switchbacks. Associated Press.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Assisted dying law kicks in Jan. 1, Honolulu rail costs climb, legislators pan Ige homeless plan, audit clears Mauna Kea management, Hanabusa, Gabbard look to future, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2018 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hawaii dawn ©2018 All Hawaii News
Preparing For Hawaii’s New Medical Aid In Dying Law. The state estimates around 40 people will use the new law to seek medical assistance to end their lives next year. Civil Beat.

Health care industry prepares for ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act’ New law that takes effect Jan. 1 will allow terminal patients to end their lives. Maui News.

University of Hawaii economists are forecasting that the state’s expansion has more room to run, but their outlook for the Asia-Pacific region is less rosy in the wake of the U.S.-Chinese trade war and a weakening global environment. Star-Advertiser.

Ige Releases $17.3 Million For ‘Ohana Zones’ On Oahu And Big Island. Counties and nonprofits will use the money to build permanent housing for the homeless and create more shelter space. Civil Beat.

Legislators pan governor’s $17M plan for homeless ‘ohana zones’. Just ahead of a deadline, the governor on Friday announced plans to spend millions of dollars on so-called “ohana zones” for Oahu and Big Island homeless residents. But legislators who set aside $30 million for the special zones say the governor isn’t doing enough. Hawaii News Now.

Timeshare visitors to Hawaii decreased in the third quarter, and occupancy was flat, according to the Hawaii Timeshare Quarterly Report released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Star-Advertiser.

Tulsi Gabbard’s birthplace could create political fodder in national campaign. Gabbard needed only one of her parents to be a U.S. citizen to gain automatic citizenship. But the question, if she’s to run for president, is not whether she is a citizen, but whether she’s a “natural-­born citizen,” the definition of which is a matter of legal debate. Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa reflects on time in Congress, talks future in politics. During both of Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa’s stints in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been the minority party. As she wraps up her time in Washington, there’s one key lesson learned: relationships matter. KITV.

Seven of the 76 confirmed cases of large whale entanglements documented along U.S. coasts in 2017 were in Hawaii waters, and all seven involved humpback whales, according to a recent report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as whale season in the state gets underway. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Chuukese Patients In Hawaii Often Face Discrimination. Micronesian patients face language and cultural barriers when seeking medical care, and are far less likely to have insurance coverage. Civil Beat.

Hawaii cuts price for state's affordable housing portfolio by $40M. Pacific Business News.


Oahu voters resoundingly rejected a proposed charter amendment that would have made it easier for the Honolulu rail authority to conduct its business, and one member of the rail board says the election loss was a sign that there is “no public trust in our organization.” Star-Advertiser.

The Cost Of Honolulu Rail’s Westside Stations Keeps Going Up. HART had boasted of savings from its decision to build the nine stations three at a time. But those savings have disappeared. Civil Beat.

Civil Beat Law Center Files To Unseal Secret Kealoha Court Documents. Even if the documents refer to Katherine Kealoha’s medical condition, other information should be made public, the center says. Civil Beat.

Defense attorneys question cases prosecuted by deputies facing federal corruption probe. The attorney for convicted murderer Dae Han Moon sent a letter to the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, requesting information about the federal public corruption investigation that has widened to include the prosecutor’s office. Hawaii News Now.

HECO customers see big spike on their bills. Some residential electric customers on Oahu got sticker shock when they opened their power bills over the last few months. A few even claim their bills doubled or tripled between October and December. Hawaii News Now.

An owner of a Canadian thrill-ride company wants to build an aerial tramway and a zip line in the hills above Waialua as part of an “agribusiness” on land zoned for agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

Affordable Home/Studio Rentals. For Artists. In Kaka'ako. Wha?! Hawaii Public Radio.

Hanauma Bay reopens after bacteria levels in the water return to normal levels. KHON2.

Kamehameha Schools plans to build a community learning center in Nanakuli next year, with educational programs focused on teens and young adults. Star-Advertiser.

Two Windward churches that began hosting monthly fairs this year to attract homeless people in their communities have seen dramatically different results, underscoring the complexities of addressing island homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A financial audit to be presented to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents found no irregularities in how the various entities involved in use and management of Maunakea lands account for their revenue and expenses. Tribune-Herald.

A proposed ballot measure reducing the county land fund from a minimum of 2 percent of property tax revenues to a minimum of 1 percent was advanced Friday by the Charter Commission, over objections from fund supporters. West Hawaii Today.

HELCO Proposes Rate Increase Of 3.4%. The power utility says grid modernization, storm resilience, and renewable energy work are driving costs up. Big Island Video News.

HPM could be first to take advantage of redevelopment bill. Tribune-Herald.

HI-SEAS 2.0: Mauna Loa dome to get re-purposed for moon simulations. A small dome on the slopes of Mauna Loa used for the past five years as a NASA-funded Mars simulation is being given a new mission. Tribune-Herald.

Group offers $10,000 for Ireland case DNA testing. A retired judge and his group has offered $10,000 to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to have genetic genealogical research performed on DNA left on a key piece of evidence in the Dana Ireland murder case. Tribune-Herald.

Round the clock security ends at HOPE Services campus in Kona. West Hawaii Today.


Two hotly debated bills for a community plan amendment and parking lot project at the north end of Keawakapu Beach have passed the first of two readings, and now the measures are en route to a public hearing before final action by the Maui County Council. Maui News.

A county-state land exchange paving the way for Maui County to build a new bus hub near Sears in Kahului passed on first reading Thursday. Maui News.


Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami reflects on first two weeks in office. It's been 2 weeks since Derek Kawakami took on the role of Mayor of Kauai. Kawakami succeed Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who reached his term limit. KHON2.

The county is seeking volunteers to assist with an annual count of the area’s homeless population in January. Garden Island.

Mauna Kea Trask, who served as county attorney from December 2014 to November 2018, has joined a new firm on Kauai. Garden Island.