Showing posts with label bribery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bribery. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Senate committee saves arts funding, lawmaker who led same-sex marriage opposition apologizes, Kaneshiro bribery trial begins, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Senate committee defers measure that would have slashed arts funding. A Senate committee on Tuesday killed a bill that would have drastically overhauled how a state arts agency receives funding from the percent-for-art law that requires 1% of construction or renovation costs from state buildings to go to the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, an agency that runs the public museum and arts programs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Teacher Harassment Bill Dies In Senate Committee.  The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday deferred a bill that would have strengthened protections against the harassment of school workers after the Hawaii Department of Education proposed creating a code of conduct for families instead. Civil Beat.

Bill To Fund Geothermal Energy Exploration Advances. SB 2518 SD2 HD1 would appropriate funds for the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office “to conduct a statewide environmental assessment for, and subsequently administer, a geothermal resources characterization program under the direction of the Hawaiʻi Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center at the University of Hawaiʻi.”  Big Island Video News.

Bill Allows Ag Officials To Enter Leased Property For Invasive Species. A bill that would allow Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture officials to enter leased property to address invasive species is moving through the State Legislature. Big Island Video News.

After change of heart, lawmaker who led charge against same-sex marriage apologizes
. A well-known Hawaii lawmaker who spent his career fighting to stop same-sex marriage has issued a public apology, saying his views have evolved. State Sen. Mike Gabbard was one of the leaders who passed the constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage in 1998. Hawaii News Now.

Emergency Aeromedical Services Cost-Sharing Bill Advances In House. Officials say the effort will address a pivotal step towards addressing a critical gap in Hawaiʻi's healthcare delivery system.  Big Island Video News.

Spring break tourists flocking to Hawaii, but hotel occupancy remains below pre-COVID levels. The tourism industry is lowering expectations for spring break. Hotels have seen a boost in occupancy — between 70% to 80% — but that’s still below the 90% mark that was typical for spring break before the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

1 of the few remaining survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor has died at 102. Richard C. “Dick” Higgins, one of the few remaining survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, has died, a family member said Wednesday. He was 102. Hawaii News Now.


Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga federal bribery trial begins. Political donor Dennis Mitsunaga, his associates and family members contributed $48,250 in campaign funds to then-­Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro as Kaneshiro’s office pursued a criminal case against a fired Mitsunaga employee who later sued the company for discrimination, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Wednesday on the opening day of the federal bribery trial of Kaneshiro, Mitsunaga and four of Mitsunaga’s employees. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  KHON2.

HPD opens officer-involved manslaughter investigation. The Honolulu Police Department has opened a manslaughter investigation involving two officers after a 77-year-old man died from injuries suffered during a late-December arrest for an alleged moped theft. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Oahu’s long-term urban growth plan advances.
The Honolulu Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt changes meant to revise, repeal and update aspects of the city’s primary urban center development plan encompassing almost 448,700 people and over 177,380 housing units, on an island that’s home to nearly 990,000 residents. Star-Advertiser.

Nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center working without contracts due to ongoing negotiations. Nurses have been working without a contract since Dec. 1 and held a one-week strike in January. KHON2. Star-Advertiser.

Company fined for breaking rules while filming at Kaiwi. State conservation officials have cited Bumper Productions LLC for violating park rules and causing damage while taping “Rescue:HI Surf,” a reality series, at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline last month.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Extends Comment Period On Summit Plan. The comment period on the Kilauea Summit Area and Corridor Management Plan will now be open for the entire month of March. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Council committee hears more on eminent domain proposal for landfill expansion. After hearing impassioned pleas Tuesday from Lahaina wildfire survivors for quick action on a proposed eminent domain condemnation, Maui County Council members struggled to pin down the property owner on what it would take, or cost, for the county to acquire the nearly 20-acre quarry for final disposal of toxic ash and debris. Maui Now.

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center to Close in Kahului. The Small Business Administration announced it will close its Kahului Disaster Loan Outreach Center located at the Kahului Public Library at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. Maui Now.

A New Delay For These Lahaina Fire Survivors Could Scramble Plans To Leave FEMA Hotels Behind. Mario Siatris and U‘i Kahue-Cabanting have lined up a trailer as a creative temporary housing solution while they wait to rebuild Mario's home. But assembly delays threaten to complicate its overseas shipment date. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiians aim to bring cultural sensitivity to Maui wildfire cleanup. Along with this cultural liaison work, several indigenous groups are providing cultural monitors to work alongside the cleanup crews through an $18.7 million contract with the Corps, an effort local residents advocated for after the fires.  Hawaii Public Radio.

These volunteers are rebuilding Lahaina’s watershed, one native plant at a time. After the Maui wildfire disaster last August, the restoration of water and native plants has become a top priority. Hawaii News Now.


Judge orders luxury Kauaʻi vacation condo project to pause construction.
Last week, a judge ordered a 10-day work stoppage for the Kauanoe O Kōloa project, a 279-unit development that has received backlash from members of the Native Hawaiian community. Hawaii Public Radio.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Ala Wai pedestrian bridge debated, Honolulu architect convicted of bribery still licensed, working permits, 11-year-old boy among latest Lahaina fire victims identified, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Some Residents Question The Steep Cost For The Ala Wai Pedestrian Bridge. Federal funding would cover much of the $63 million cost, but critics have other concerns as well. The proposed pedestrian bridge that would provide a new route over the Ala Wai canal is attracting lively debate over its function, aesthetics and cost.  Civil Beat.

Maui Fire Lawsuits: Rampant Grass Growth Is As ‘Inherently Dangerous’ As Radioactive Waste. The lawsuits are invoking a legal doctrine historically applied to wild animals, nuclear waste and explosives. Civil Beat.

Red Cross invites immigrants, regardless of citizenship, to use its services. Some immigrants who have been affected by the Lāhainā fires last month may be hesitant about seeking disaster relief assistance. The latest U.S. Census Bureau data show that about 32% of Lahaina’s population is “foreign-born." Hawaii Public Radio.

Groups claim Hawaiʻi's midwifery law violates UN human rights standards. The Center for Reproductive Rights and other health and justice organizations that collaborated on the report will present additional information to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland next month. Hawaii Public Radio.

Majority of Native Hawaiians don't live in Hawaiʻi, according to US Census report. Of the more than 680,000 Native Hawaiians in the U.S., 55% of the population is currently living outside Hawaiʻi.  Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now.

Technical troubles knock KITV4 local newscasts off the air for days. KITV4 Island News has not had an on-air local newscast for several days, reportedly due to technical difficulties. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Architect Is Headed To Prison For Bribery But Still Has His License. Bill Wong still has active permit applications even as he waits for his prison term to begin. More than two years after Wong admitted to bribing county permitting workers with over $100,000, and two months since he was sentenced, Wong still holds a state of Hawaii architecture license. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, or DCCA, has yet to take any formal action against him.  Civil Beat.

An Ex-Cop Who Went To Jail On Felony Drugs Charges Is Getting His Record Wiped Clean. Alan Ahn, who was a bit player in the Kealoha scandal, says he deserves the chance to restore his reputation without the stigma of a criminal history. Civil Beat.

COVID among reasons nine EMS ambulances closed this weekend. An unusually high number of City ambulances were closed during Sunday’s midnight shift, nine out of 21 ambulances were offline due to low staffing. The Honolulu Emergency Services Director Dr. Jim Ireland said sick leave due to COVID-19 was among the reasons. KHON2.

Rents Could Double For Some Ewa Beach Tenants In Affordable Housing Complex
. Section 8 tenants of Villages of Moe'e Ku fear they could be forced from their homes if proposed rent increases go through. Civil Beat.

Wildfire concerns grow on Oahu after deadly Aug. 8 Maui fires. Like Lahaina, the west side of Oahu is at high risk for wildfires. The Waianae coastline and valleys are hot spots due to a high number of ignitions per square mile, dry conditions and an abundance of invasive grass fuels. Star-Advertiser.

HFD: Cigarette lighter caused fire at old Stadium Bowl-O-Drome. The Honolulu Fire Department has determined that a fire that broke out at the former Stadium Bowl-O-Drome Saturday was intentionally set making it the property’s second arson in under a month. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Toppled Waikiki Gandhi statue prompts concern amid acts of vandalism. The statue of spiritual and political leader Mahatma Gandhi that stood in Waikiki was found toppled on the morning of Aug. 8, but there are differing views on what may have happened to it.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Judge to hear petitions by defendants in Dana Ireland killing. Two of three Native Hawaiian men convicted of the 1991 Christmas Eve abduction, rape and killing of Dana Ireland in lower Puna will have their day in court on Oct. 23. Tribune-herald.

Ka‘u residents call for preservation, limited development of Great Crack and Ala Wai‘i parcels. At an open house event Saturday in Pahala, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park personnel solicited community feedback about potential future uses of a pair of parcels that the park recently took over stewardship for: the 1,951-acre Great Crack property and the adjacent 2,750-acre Ala Wai‘i property. Tribune-Herald.

Funds released to develop agricultural water resource for North Kohala. Capital improvement project funds of $1.5 million were released by Governor Josh Green for the development of the ‘Upolu Well and will fund improvements to the water well to support agriculture in North Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Fern Forest to be battleground for yellow Himalayan raspberry. Fern Forest subdivision in Puna will become the newest front in a war against an aggressive invasive plant spreading around the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

Kaumana Cave Closed After Partial Collapse. County officials say the collapse appears to be in the area near the entrance to the cave and no injuries have been reported. Big Island Video News.


Lahaina boy, five others identified as among 97 fatalities. The six people were identified after their families were notified. They were Michael Morinho, 61; Ediomede Pavian Castillo, 35; Alfred Rawlings, 84; Maria Victoria Recolizado, 51; Justin Recolizado, 11; and Terri Thomas, 62. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Maui Now. KHON. KITV4.

Hawaii economists say Lahaina locals could be priced out of rebuilt town without zoning changes. Residents who survived the wildfire that leveled the Maui town of Lahaina might not be able to afford to live there after it is rebuilt unless officials alter the zoning laws and make other changes, economists warned Friday. Associated Press.

Federal government to cover full costs of fire debris removal. The federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs for debris removal following the Aug. 8 wildfire in Lahaina that destroyed more than 2,200 structures, the White House announced. Maui News.

State preps thousands of PPE kits as some Lahaina residents prepare to go into the burn zone. Residents going into the burn zone Monday will be given a bag from the Department of Health that includes things like gloves, goggles, even PPE that covers the entire body. Hawaii News Now.

Launiupoko Beach Park reopens for public use in time for the weekend. Eight staff in the Parks department lost their homes to the fire, but worked to ensure the beach park could reopen so families could enjoy it over the weekend. Maui Now.

5 Lahaina residents selected to help Maui mayor with wildfire recovery efforts. The Lahaina Advisory Team includes: Hokulea crewmember and waterman Archie Kalepa, who turned his home into a distribution hub. Lahainaluna High wrestling coach Kim Ball, who’s also the founder and president of Hi-Tech Maui, Inc. U.S. Army veteran Rick Nava, who served on the West Maui Taxpayers Association and the Maui Chamber of Commerce. Kaliko Store, a training and cultural advisor for Hyatt Resorts. Laurie DeGama, owner of No Ka Oi Deli in Lahaina and president of the Lahainaluna PTSA. Hawaii News Now.

Surviving Lahaina artifacts remain at risk. Most of Lahaina’s surviving historical and cultural artifacts remain buried under ash and debris a month and a half after a horrific wildfire ravaged the center of the historic town. Star-Advertiser.


Deadline nears to apply for real property tax relief, exemptions. If you are a primary resident of the island and not already receiving a home exemption or related tax credit, you could be eligible to file a claim to reduce the real property taxes on your home. The deadline to apply for 2024 real property tax relief and exemptions is Oct. 2. Kauai Now.

Opening night for Kaua‘i High School gym.
Kapa‘a High School junior varsity girls volleyball coach Mai’lika Napoleon said the look of disbelief and astonishment on their faces was indescribable when they first walked into the newly minted Kaua‘i High School gym on Friday. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Hurricane Jova intensifies to Cat 5, Hawaii House organizes committees on Maui wildfires, Honolulu plans examiner sentenced for taking bribes, COVID death toll passes 2k mark, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Jova intensifies into category 5 hurricane in East Pacific. Jova rapidly intensified today and was a category 5 hurricane as of 5 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. However, forecasters said its impact on land will be minor, and will likely weaken into a post-tropical remnant low well before reaching the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.  KITV4.

Hawaii judge could become only Native Hawaiian woman on federal bench. Shanlyn A.S. Park, a longtime attorney and state court judge, has been nominated to serve as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Park, a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, has been a state court judge on the First Circuit Court on Oahu since 2021. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s COVID-related deaths surpass 2,000.  Metrics for COVID, meanwhile, show a decline in the seven-day average of daily cases to 129, down from 170 the previous week, according to DOH. The statewide average positivity fell to 12%, down from about 15% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island. KITV4.

Hawaii House To Explore Legislative Action On Wildfires. The Hawaii House of Representatives is setting up six interim working groups to make recommendations regarding the wildfires that devastated Lahaina last month. The legislative proposals will be taken up in the new session that begins in January. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Hit to Hawaii economy from Maui fire pegged at $1.9 billion through 2024.
The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism expects that Hawaii’s economy will lose about $600 million in previously expected growth this year and about twice as much next year. Star-Advertiser.

AI model finds climate change directly intensified rainfall, droughts.
An international team, including University of Hawai‘i at Manoa researchers, found that human-produced climate change has caused significant variations in day-to-day rainfall fluctuations, exacerbating heavy rainfall and drought events and increasing their severity. Garden Island. Kauai Now.


Ex-city employee gets 10 months for taking bribes. A former city building plans examiner was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for accepting more than $28,000 in bribes to fast-track projects through the permitting process. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Council advances bill with $25K ‘monster home’ penalty.  The Honolulu City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the first reading of Bill 52 — forwarded first by the city Department of Planning and Permitting, then formally introduced by Council Chair Tommy Waters on Aug. 31 — that is focused solely on levying higher fines. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Restricted Parking Zone Bill Hits Another Detou
r. The Honolulu City Council voted 5-4 Wednesday to defer a decision on whether to expand restricted parking zones that began as a pilot program in Kalihi to other neighborhoods on Oahu. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Kunia woman accused of stealing pandemic benefits.  A 54-year-old Kunia woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday after she was charged in a 12-count federal indictment with taking more than $50,000 from a pandemic unemployment insurance program using other people’s identities. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu home prices stay close to flat. Sales of previously owned homes on Oahu remained depressed in August while prices didn’t change much amid higher mortgage interest rates, an industry report released Wednesday shows. Star-Advertiser.

Nadine Kam, Hawaii’s preeminent food writer, dies at 63. Nadine Kam, followed by readers of both the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Star-Advertiser for her spirited coverage of the local restaurant industry, fashion and music, died Tuesday night in Waipahu after a battle with cancer. She was 63. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council resolution seeks to spur action on high cost of home insurance in Lava Zones 1 and 2. When Florida insurer Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Co. announced in July that it will leave the Hawaii home and condo insurance market at the end of August 2024, hundreds of the provider’s Puna customers found themselves between a rock an a hard place. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii County announces 24th annual Queen Lili‘uokalani Festival. The County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation announces the He Hali‘a Aloha No Lili‘uokalani Festival to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Hilo’s Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens. Tribune-Herald.


In visit to Maui, HUD deputy secretary promises to make sure residents ‘hold onto their land’.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is pledging to make sure Lahaina residents are able to “hold onto their land” as they navigate losing their homes to the Aug. 8 wildfire.  HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman is on the ground and plans to meet with Gov. Josh Green and wildfire victims who have lost their homes and are worried about what will happen to everything they have built and worked for.  Hawaii News Now.

Maui County launches Maui Recovers website
. Maui Emergency Management Agency’s interim administrator Darryl Oliveira announced Wednesday the county’s long-awaited Maui Recovers website, which includes updates on re-entry into Lahaina. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

The state is trying to contact 500 displaced Lahaina public school students. The number of displaced Lahaina public school students who still haven’t been reached by the state or enrolled in new schools is now down to slightly more than 500, and authorities will continue to work by phone and on foot until each one is contacted, a top state education official said Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Free bus service to start for Lahaina students needing to get to temporary schools. The state Department of Education will start free bus services on Thursday for Lahaina students impacted by the Aug. 8 wildfire and need to get to their temporary schools in Central and South Maui. Hawaii News Now.

State’s vehicle replacement program has no details; more an effort to ensure supply. The news release announcing the program said interested individuals can contact national companies Hertz, Avis-Budget or Enterprise about rental cars for purchase — or “reach out to any local Maui automobile dealership for more details.”But those rental car companies and Maui dealerships reached on Wednesday said they did not know anything about a vehicle replacement program.  Maui Now.

Some Lahaina stores slowly reopen. As Maui County lifted restrictions on the Lahaina Gateway shopping center this week, business remained slow at Maui’s largest open-air mall as residents continue to grapple with the aftermath of the deadly fire that burned down most of the town last month. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Some Historic Lahaina Buildings Could Rise From The Ashes. The town's historic preservation group is considering plans to reconstruct some buildings that partially survived the Aug. 8 fire. Civil Beat.


Kōkeʻe brush fire extinguished.
The Kaua‘i Fire Department reports that the brush fire on Waimea Canyon Drive in Kōkeʻe has been extinguished and crews have cleared the scene. Waimea Canyon Drive is now open. Kauai Now.

Hanalei Beach parking lots close for temporary repairs.
County parking lots at Hanalei Bay will be temporarily closed Wednesday and Thursday for repairs. Kauai Now.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Hurricane Dora passing well south of Hawaii, another Honolulu architect charged with attempting to bribe city permitting staff, back-to-school bolstered with teachers from Philippines, preschool classrooms, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Red flag, high wind warnings issued for all islands as Hurricane Dora passes south of state. The National Weather Service has issued severe weather alerts Monday morning as Hurricane Dora passes south of the state, bringing damaging winds with gusts up to 65 mph and critical fire conditions. Hawaii News Now.

Green condemns Alaska mayor’s plan to give homeless people tickets to warmer cities. There’s growing pushback among Hawaii’s elected leaders to an Alaska mayor’s plan to ship homeless people to warmer cities — including, conceivably, in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

FAA proposes new safeguards for Hawaii air tours. The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing new procedures that aim to prevent Hawaii air tour operators from flying too low and into bad weather.  Star-Advertiser.

Troubling Trajectory Of Hawaii Newspapers Has ‘Deep Implications’ For Democracy. Ongoing cutbacks at local publications mean there are fewer watchdogs for the public's interest. Civil Beat.

Union balks over ‘hazard pay’ survey distributed to thousands of government employees. Thousands of state government union members have received a survey seeking information about their hours from 2020 to 2022 — the height of the pandemic. The survey, sent to roughly 8,300 Hawaii Government Employees Association members, seeks to garner information on “temporary hazard pay.” Hawaii News Now.

Emergency declaration prohibits price gouging, lawyer says. Gov. Josh Green’s recent declaration of a statewide housing emergency might have an unintended consequence of making things other than housing cheaper for Hawaii consumers, according to a Maui attorney who contends that the governor’s July 17 proclamation automatically made it illegal to raise retail and wholesale prices on any commodity, including groceries and gas. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii hotel investment tops $2B since 2019. Hawaii hotels statewide have completed more than $2 billion in improvements since 2019, with at least another half-billion in renovations and from-the-ground-up new hotel builds in the pipeline. Star-Advertiser.

First 11 preschool classrooms launch Ready Keiki initiative. It's taken mor than two decades for the state to finally make major progress on its universal preschool access, with classrooms opening this week: seven on Oahu, two on Maui and one each on Hawaii island and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Former health director tapped to lead state CPR initiative at public schools. Former Hawai‘i health director Dr. Elizabeth "Libby" Char may return to the state government. But this time, as an outside consultant tasked with developing a Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) program at public high schools. Hawaii Public Radio.

As generative AI booms, students dive in and educators lag behind.  No sweeping bans on AI are being considered by the state Department of Education or the University of Hawaii, as the islands’ public schools resume classes starting Monday, and UH and most private schools follow suit this month. Instead, both state agencies as well as many of Hawaii’s leading private schools are favoring finding ways to teach about and work with AI. Star-Advertiser.


Honolulu Architect, 89, Charged With Attempted Bribery Of Permitting Worker.
The case is the first of its kind to be filed since 2021 when the feds busted six people in a yearslong bribery scheme at DPP.  Civil Beat.

Veterans have until Aug. 9 to file for retroactive benefits for toxin exposure-related conditions. Veteran Affairs’ Hawaii Division is hosting a face-to-face event to help veterans register and answer questions today at the Garden Lanai Ballroom of the Ala Moana Hotel from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

Waikiki residents rally for passage of law banning early trash pickups.
Some Waikiki residents who are fed up with the loud sounds generated by early-­morning garbage trucks in their neighborhood made some noise for their own cause Sunday at a rally to end pickups before 6 a.m. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii affordable housing demand is sky high, but not at one tower. At the Sky Ala Moana towers rising in Oahu’s urban core, market-priced condominiums are sold out at prices from $568,800 to $1.3 million, yet only 14 of 84 units priced from about $270,000 to $515,000 under a city affordable-housing program have sold over the past nine months. Star-Advertiser.

State, HPU stalled in dispute over Aloha Tower Marketplace repairs.  A dispute between the state and Hawaii Pacific University remains unresolved over several million dollars in repairs to piers around Aloha Tower Marketplace, which HPU owns and where it houses and teaches some of its students. Star-Advertiser.

Feral Pigs Are Increasingly Running Wild In Some Oahu Neighborhoods. Pig hunters are becoming the de facto first responders for residents who feel threatened by growing herds. Civil Beat.

Paalaa Kai Bakery in Waialua shut down for health violations. The state State Department of Health has issued a red “closed” placard to Paalaa Kai Bakery, immediately shutting down the Waialua eatery. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

State takes first steps toward demolition of Uncle Billy’s.  Initial work began Friday in an effort to demolish the dilapidated and unsafe former Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel. Tribune-Herald.

Council: Expand mail delivery in Puna. In a nonbinding resolution discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of the council, Puna Councilman Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder urged the U.S. Postal Service to improve its facilities throughout Puna, which he said currently has woefully insufficient access to mail services. Tribune-Herald.

‘Higher-risk’ runaways found: FBI sweep locates 5 keiki; police say they were not victims of sex trafficking. Five runaway children on Hawaii Island were recovered as part of Operation Cross Country, a nationwide FBI-led sweep targeting sex traffickers and missing children. Tribune-Herald.


State hopes historic building won’t delay Kahului Civic Center. Lawmakers push agencies to iron out historic preservation, get started on building 300 housing units. Maui News.

Kahului business closed due to rodents. Port Town Texaco in Kahului has been shut down after the Hawai’i Department of Health’s Maui Food Safety Branch ordered it to close after a rodent infestation was found during a complaint inspection on Thursday, the DOH said Friday afternoon.  Maui News.


Kaua‘i schools welcome 11 new teachers from the Philippines. Students in the Department of Education public schools report to class starting Monday.  Garden Island.

Kaua‘i’s craft breweries to double from 2 to 4 in 2023 – with a fifth in the works. The number of Kaua‘i-based craft breweries will double this year, with the recent opening of Nā Pali Brewing Company in Wailuā and the planned opening in November of Mucho Aloha in Kōloa.Another brewery – Hawai‘i Standard Time – is also in the works on Kress Street in Līhu‘e, although its owners have yet to name an opening date.  Kauai Now.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Judge to consider guns on beaches, insurance company to leave Hawaii, light sentence for Honolulu architect who helped FBI expose corrupt building inspectors, Ellison's Lanai explored, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Judge to consider whether Hawaii can ban firearms on its beaches.  The state’s latest gun control measure landed in court because of a lawsuit by three Maui residents who want to carry guns on beaches and other places deemed sensitive by the law, which took effect this month and involves a misdemeanor offense. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Feds To Boost State Efforts To Take On Affordable Housing Shortfall. State officials say the State plans to take advantage of a new $85 million funding opportunity under HUD that will help communities "address restrictive zoning, land use, and regulatory policies." Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald.

Quiet on set: Hollywood strikes leave Hawaii crew members behind. The Hollywood strike that has united writers and actors for the first time in 60 years also has left hundreds of crew members in Hawaii without paychecks as work on Hawaii-based television shows and movies has been suspended. Star-Advertiser.

Universal Homeowners Insurance Company Is Pulling Out Of Hawaii. Roughly 1,500 polices will be affected by Universal Property & Casualty’s departure from the homeowners, condominium and renters insurance market in Hawaii, according to a state news release Thursday. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Thousands enrolled in HECO pilot that institutes different rates for peak, non-peak hours.
The “Shift and Save Rate” pilot program will enroll about 15000 residential homes and 1,700 business customers on Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island who were selected at random. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

New classrooms opening this fall seen as big step toward achieving universal preschool. The state plans to open 11 new free public preschool classrooms this fall as part of the Ready Keiki initiative. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii-Japan summit rebuilds relationships, forges new ones. Gov. Josh Green and Hawaii’s four county mayors attended the event, where they welcomed governors and mayors of six prefectures and 16 cities and towns from Japan with state and city sister relationships. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Visitor arrivals in June continue recovery. S
ome 889,274 visitors came to Hawaii in June, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.  Star-Advertiser.


Architect who helped FBI build case against corrupt building inspectors gets leniency in federal court. An architect who gave tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to workers at the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting was sentenced on Thursday to one year and a day in prison and a $5,000 fine. In the face of painful permitting delays, Bill Wong said he gave in to the pressure to "pay to play." Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

City awarded $25M toward Ala Wai pedestrian bridge. The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services has been awarded $25 million in federal funding toward construction of the planned Ala Wai pedestrian bridge, the city announced Thursday. The June arrivals were a 5.5% increase from the June 2022 total. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

 Red Hill’s Fuel Director Raised An Alarm Before Pipes Leaked. The Navy Removed Her. Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Bencs reported problems with Red Hill’s infrastructure and leadership culture just months before fuel leaks contaminated the drinking water. Civil Beat.

City cites lack of funding for delay in building Makakilo bypass.  Those in favor of the city constructing the Makakilo Bypass Road claim it’s a matter of safety. But the city said the reason it isn’t happening boils down to funding. KHON2.

Half A Million Dollars Buys 6 Months Of Security Guards For Waikiki. While crime on the tourist strip is trending down the city says more resources are still needed. Civil Beat.

Kaneohe care homes must pay $287K for overtime violations.  The owners and operators of two residential care homes in Kaneohe must pay $287,279 in overtime wages and damages to 23 caregivers after a federal court ruling, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island’s New Climate Change Office Will ‘Create A Unified Front’. The office will work toward reducing emissions, promoting renewable energy and efficiency, and fortifying infrastructure against climate change impacts. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Why were oral arguments challenging permit of Thirty Meter Telescope deferred? Nobody will say.  The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, which announced the postponement on July 21, provided no reason why the arguments would not be heard at the July 28 regular Land Board meeting. It also would not say how long the arguments will be stalled. Big Island Now.


Maui's 900-acre Olowalu Reef to receive slice of large federal funding.  Over $180,000 will go toward restoring the over 900-acre Olowalu Reef, which has been identified as one of the most essential reefs around Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Housing to benefit from proposed wastewater project. A proposed wastewater facility in Central Maui is set to benefit a number of current and future housing projects, including the Waikapu Country Town development of more than 1,500 units and the master-planned Kehalani community. Maui News.

A look inside life on an island owned by Larry Ellison, the fourth richest person in the world. Imagine trying to make ends meet while living on an island owned by one of the richest people in the world. That’s the reality for some residents on Lānaʻi, who say the power dynamics of land control can get… complicated.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Maui Brewing Company in Lahaina reopens after health inspection. The state Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch has allowed Maui Brewing Company to reopen in Lahaina after shuting it down due to a cockroach and rodent infestation. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i Liquor Department offers free Narcan kits to licensees.  The Kaua‘i Department of Liquor Control is offering free Naloxone, also known as Narcan, to all of its liquor licensees. Kauai Now.

Play Streets coming to Laukona Park. The Play Streets Kaua‘i planning team announced the arrival of and accessibility to the popular Play Streets free program at Laukona Park in Hanama‘ulu on Aug. 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. Garden Island.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Ex-building inspector gets 5 years for taking bribes, Legislature dumps millions on department unsure how to spend it, Tripler to pay $29.5M in medical malpractice case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Last-Minute Budget Scrum At The Capitol May Cause An Odd Problem: Too Much Cash. Hundreds of millions of dollars were dumped on the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which now has one year to spend most of it. The mysterious and much-criticized budget process used by House and Senate leaders in the final days of session this spring may have poured more money into the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism than the department can readily handle. Civil Beat

NOAA to release outlook for 2023 hurricane season in Central Pacific. NOAA will outline its outlook on Thursday for the 2023 Central Pacific hurricane season, which kicks off June 1. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tackles Climate Change With a Human Rights Focus.
In Hawaii, residents have a right to a healthy climate – but in a novel lawsuit, a group of young people say the state needs to do more to protect it. US News & World Report.

How will Hawaii reach its clean energy goals? ‘We just have to be committed.' According to Hawaiian Electric, 32% of electricity generated on Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County was from renewable resources last year. Hawaii Island generated 48%, Maui County generated 36%, and Oahu generated 28%. Kauai County has its own co-op, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. KIUC led the state, achieving more than 60% last year. Hawaii News Now.

Courts rule another deadly weapon can be carried in public.  It’s now legal for people to possess yet another dangerous weapon on the street. According to a court ruling Tuesday, May 23, people can now carry a billy club or baton in public. KHON2.

Bank invests $4M in nonprofit to bolster Native Hawaiian homeownership. American Savings Bank has invested $4.3 million in the nonprofit Hawaiʻi Community Lending to help offset costs to put more people on Hawaiian home lands. Hawaii Public Radio.


Former Honolulu building inspector gets 5 years in bribery scheme. The city’s former chief building inspector was sentenced to five years in federal prison and fined $100,000 for taking $103,000 in bribes from a Honolulu architect and contractors to pre-screen and fast-track approval of permits. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Hawaii News Now.

64% of Honolulu homes vulnerable to hurricanes. Home to nearly a million people, Oahu and its infrastructure remains vulnerable to hurricane impacts.  KHON2.

FEMA unveils disaster-resistant broadcast studio in Hawaii. FEMA unveiled a brand new emergency broadcast radio studio that sits on the grounds of Kahauiki village near Keehi Lagoon. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu medical calls up 20% since pre-COVID. As the pandemic wanes, Honolulu Emergency Serv­ices Department Director Dr. Jim Ireland says medical calls on Oahu have spiked over 20% compared to the pre-COVID-19 years. Star-Advertiser.

Tripler Army Medical Center to pay $29.5M in malpractice case. Hawaii’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday awarded $29.5 million to a local military family in the largest medical malpractice judgment against Tripler Army Medical Center for a 2016 incident involving their then-month-old child. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Environmental watchdog claims pipe at Kailua treatment facility is leaking sewage. The facility has been the subject of complaints for several years after water with high bacterial counts was released several times over the years into Kailua Bay. Hawaii News Now.

Lawsuit: HPD Officer Violated Policy When He Shot A Man In A Car. The department had updated its use-of-force policy to prevent officers from shooting at people in cars. Civil Beat.

Residents get opportunity to speak directly with military officials defueling Red Hill. Red Hill open house might seem like an oxymoron to some. But for the hundred or so community members who went out to Keʻehi Lagoon Memorial Park, it did mean direct access to military personnel like never before to understand this chapter of Red Hill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Medical respite kauhale readied for opening. It took a large village Wednesday to complete a small village for homeless people in urban Honolulu with medical respite needs. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Public meeting set regarding PGV expansion. Puna residents will be able to provide in-person feedback next week regarding a planned upgrade of Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Homeless Encampment Swept At Hale Hālāwai In Kona.
The County carried out the enforcement operation to address unsafe conditions at the Kailua Village beach park. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Input sought for old hospital site: 20 acres surrounding Hilo facility could be developed by the county. Part of the former Hilo Memorial Hospital is being renovated, and Hawaii County is collecting feedback about the future development of 20 acres surrounding the facility. Tribune-Herald.


County council approves budget on first reading. 
Waikapu residents may be closer to getting a land buffer between them and Wailuku and a small new medical clinic on Molokai may quickly get some needed funding as Maui County Council members unanimously approved the county’s fiscal year 2024 budget on first reading Tuesday.  Maui News.

Groundbreaking of infrastructure for planned Puʻunani subdivision provides hope for Maui DHHL waitlist beneficiaries. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands conducts a groundbreaking ceremony today, marking the start of a $17 million capital improvement project to install infrastructure for the planned Puʻunani subdivision in Waikapū.  Maui Now.

Outrigger Hospitality Group to acquire Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel on Maui. The transaction is expected to close on July 26, at which time the property will be rebranded as OUTRIGGER Kā‘anapali Beach Resort.  Maui Now.

Officers Raid Maui Antique Shop For Allegedly Selling Illegal Ivory. State lawmakers barred the sale of most ivory years ago in hopes of preventing poaching across the globe. Civil Beat. Maui Now.


Kaua‘i home, condo sales sink in April. A total of 22 home sales closed in April, down from 60 in April 2022, according to monthly data pooled from multiple sources by Hawai‘i Realtors in Honolulu. That marked a decrease of 63.33 percent. Garden Island.

Mālama Kauaʻi’s FEED Orchard Grants to increase fruit production, food access.  Mālama Kauaʻi will distribute 18 FEED Orchard Grant Awards to increase fruit production for food access markets this summer.  Kauai Now.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Preschool program ahead of schedule, under budget, tax collections take downturn, 5th Honolulu pleads guilty to taking bribes to expedite building permits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

‘Just the beginning’: State ahead of schedule, under budget on ambitious Ready Keiki preschool program. The state on Wednesday signed the first 11 contracts for Ready Keiki preschool program at a cost of about half previous estimates. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii tax collections turned red in April. The state Council on Revenues at a Monday meeting projected that Hawaii tax collections for the fiscal year ending June 30 will slip 1%. Star-Advertiser.

State takes closer tax look at cash-based businesses. Some businesses may not report all their sales or income to the State Tax Department. That can be a problem for ones that deal mainly with cash. KITV4.

Hawaii housing units increase as population declines, census data reports. Hawaii’s housing shortage eased somewhat with the addition of 6,071 housing units from 2020 to 2022, with help from the state’s declining population, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Star-Advertiser.

Governor lists accomplishments, wish list at in-person town hall. 
Nearly six months into his term, Gov. Josh Green wanted to use his first in-person town hall appearance to highlight the progress that’s been made since he took office. Hawaii News Now.


Ex-city official pleads guilty to taking cash bribes. Jocelyn Godoy, the fifth city employee who took cash bribes to move plans through the city Department of Planning and Permitting entered a plea of guilty Wednesday as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council revisits proposal to tax houses that sit empty on Oʻahu. Members of the Honolulu City Council’s recently assembled real property taxation working group met Tuesday to talk over proposals that could affect more than 130,000 island households. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu City Council to offer 50% property tax break to businesses impacted by rail construction. The rail is preparing to welcome riders for the grand opening of the first phase of the project in June, but construction along Dillingham Blvd. further down the line is still years from completion. KHON2.

Oʻahu Business Recovery Grant portal closes following short-lived reopening. The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaiʻi and the City and County of Honolulu reopened the Oʻahu Business Recovery Grant portal on Monday, and closed it shortly after.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Despite accelerated timeline, military’s Red Hill plan doesn’t account for up to 400,000 gallons of fuel. The Department of Defense has released an ambitious timeline for defueling the underground Red Hill facility, saying that crews will begin emptying the tanks in October. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

A Rough-And-Tumble Oahu Park Is Finally Getting Some Love As Rail Opening Looms. Community input is helping resuscitate Makalapa Neighborhood Park. Civil Beat.

Kaneohe Bay Pollution Is Prompting Congressional Attention. Hawaii delegation wants to get money to upgrade a failing wastewater treatment plant. Marine Corps Base Hawaii needs to upgrade its aging wastewater treatment plant after being fined nearly $250,000 last year for discharging high levels of fecal bacteria into the popular bay. Civil Beat.

Humane Society to open second Oahu location. The Hawaiian Humane Society is opening its second facility — the Kosasa Family Campus at Ho‘opili — on Saturday in Ewa Beach with a grand opening celebration. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council kicks ag bills down the road. The future of a property tax break for farm owners is uncertain after Hawaii County Council members discussed Wednesday whether to scrap a bill that would overhaul the process. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County Council gives favorable recommendation to new sustainability office.  A bill that would create a new cabinet-level Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience moved a step forward Tuesday with a favorable recommendation by the Hawaiʻi County Council’s Governmental Operations and External Affairs Committee. Big Island Now.

Hawaii County Police Department implements year-round recruitment for Police Officers. The decision to accept applications throughout the year aims to make it more convenient for aspiring police officers to join the force. Hawaii News Now.

Waipiʻo Valley Road Rockfall Work Set For May 22. County officials estimate Waipiʻo Valley Road will be temporarily closed from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday for approximately six weeks, as crews work to address potential rockfall hazards in the area. Big Island Video News.


Input sought on plan that calls for fewer air tours at Haleakala. The draft air tour management plan would authorize up to 2,412 air tours per year on a defined route within the air tour management plan planning area. On average, there were 4,824 air tours per year reported at Haleakala National Park from 2017 to 2019. Maui News.

Three new doctors join Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi on Maui, Oʻahu. Jennifer Villa, MD, joins the behavioral health department at Kaiser Permanente Maui Lani Medical Office. Maui Now.


Seabird restoration project begins at critical Kaua‘i cultural site. Several governmental, cultural and conservationist groups have teamed up to restore seabird populations at Nu‘alolo Kai, one of Kaua‘i’s most significant cultural and historic sites. Garden Island.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sunlight: The best disinfectant. Legislative session ends with much more to do to stem corruption

With bribery and corruption indictments and prison terms for two of their own still burning bright in their memories, the Hawaii Legislature this year held the torch of government openness and accountability high. 
Then they dropped that torch in the ditch in favor of power plays and business as usual.

The 2023 legislative session started with great optimism, and indeed, some open government bills passed. But unfortunately, they didn't include the ones that would have made the most difference opening government to the people and stemming corruption.

Apparently, it takes more than the major embarrassment of federal government intervention for the power players to give up a little of that might in favor of laws limiting outside influence into their own secure seats in a one-party, no-term-limits legislative body that promotes arrogance and downright bullying over accountability, and secrecy over openness and the public's right to know.

Thus, we have a blue-ribbon committee that saw many of its 31 proposals killed in those last, behind the scenes, days of the Legislature as conference committees and money-committee power players quietly killed bills meant to make everyone more comfortable with the state's elected representatives and senators who are charged by the constitution with acting in the best interest of the state, not themselves.

Call me a cynic, but I suspected this would happen.

Because of legislative actions and inaction:

  • Members of the public seeking access to their public records can continue to be stymied by reluctant bureaucrats charging exorbitant fees.
  • Lawmakers can continue to collect campaign contributions during the legislative session from the very people and groups pushing for laws to benefit themselves.
  • State and county contractors and their families can continue filling campaign coffers while they hold active contracts and grants.
  • The governor and county mayors continue to have the power to unilaterally suspend electronic media transmission during a state of emergency.
  • Candidates backed by big-money special interests will still have great advantage over candidates financed by the public.

Granted, there were a few wins for open government as well.

  • Lawmakers lowered the monetary threshold for noncandidate committees to report contributions, increased penalties for super PACs violating campaign spending laws and added an additional filing period for campaign finance reports.
  • The state attorney general and county corporation counsels will be required to produce voter guides containing candidate statements and descriptions of ballot measures.
  • Legislators will be required to disclose names of lobbyists they have relationships with. Lobbyists will be required to undergo training and face further gift restrictions around legislative sessions.
  • Nepotism laws were strengthened for state employees, but not for the Legislature.

Daniel Foley, a former associate justice on the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals who chaired the Commission to Improve Standards of Conduct, remained upbeat, even as some of the important bills died.

"Mahalo for supporting transparency and accountability in government, much was accomplished," Foley posted on a public Facebook page of a good government group. "There will always be more to do."

The good works to open government and stem corruption in the state may not come from the Legislature, but we can look to the federal government with optimism about the next steps. According to a recent Civil Beat article, the U.S. Attorney's Office isn't resting on its laurels.

"Federal prosecutors are looking at a much deeper problem within the State Capitol, including other lawmakers who appear to be willing to take money to sway legislation and other individuals who have no hesitation to pay them to do it," Editor and General Manager Patti Epler said in a May 5 post.

We can only hope.

Nancy Cook Lauer, who’s covered state and local governments for 30 years in Hawaii and Florida, is the publisher of All Hawaii News (


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

HECO launches electric grid plans, Oahu school may be named after Obama, ex-lawmaker seeks reduced sentence in bribery case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Electric seeks public comment on draft Integrated Grid Plan. The draft plan for its island grids was filed with the Public Utilities Commission, outlining steps the company will take in the coming years to ensure its system will achieve net zero carbon emissions and use 100% local, renewable resources. Maui Now.

Ex-Hawaii lawmaker in bribery case seeks 15-month sentence. Ty J.K. Cullen, the former vice chair of the state House Committee on Finance who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a wastewater executive is asking a judge to sentence him to 15 months in federal prison, citing his yearlong “substantial assistance” with the U.S. Department of Justice’s public-corruption investigation. Star-Advertiser.

First wave of pre-K classes planned to open ahead of schedule.  Eleven free preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds are scheduled to open a year ahead of schedule in August to help low-income families across the islands, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

Efforts to fund public after-school programs cut short by lawmakers
. Despite overwhelming support at the Legislature this session, the Senate Ways and Means Committee deferred House Bill 69 on Thursday. It was the last surviving measure that would have provided additional funding to public after-school programs.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Sick and tired of that road racket? Bills to muffle mufflers advance at state Capitol. Lawmakers say they are getting a lot of noise about noise this year ― and are responding with new technology and police tactics. Hawaii News Now.

Spiraling housing prices spark worry about Hawaii’s future. Currently, housing construction is not keeping up with demand. Only 1,000 to 2,000 new housing units are being built in Hawaii each year. Those numbers are dwarfed by the 50,000 new units a 2019 state-commissioned study estimated would be needed by 2025. Associated Press.

Visitors to Hawaii would be charged $50 to visit state parks, other areas. Senate Bill 304 would require nonresidents aged 15 or older to obtain an environmental license to visit state parks or other “natural areas on state land.”  Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority launches new site to share Destination Management progress. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority has launched a new website, “Holomua,” an online platform for sharing collective updates and progress on each of its community-based Destination Management Action Plans. Big Island Now Big Island Video News.


In ‘hard to compete’ labor market, city to test flexible work schedules and telework options. The city is launching a pilot program in an effort to entice more workers and fill thousands of vacancies Among the options being promoted: Telework and flexible schedules for many employees. Hawaii News Now.

Rain causes leaks, disruptions at Hawai‘i Convention Center.  Heavy rain that caused pockets of flash flooding in the southern and eastern areas of Oahu on Sunday soaked through the Hawai‘i Convention Center roof, affecting the Kawaii Kon event and removing another five meeting rooms from service. Star-Advertiser.

In heavy rains, an upstream dumping problem triggers a trashy situation on exclusive Kahala Beach. Shopping carts, clothes, and other debris littered Kahala Beach on Monday following heavy rains over the weekend. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Rail Cost On The Rise As Electric Hookups To Customers Along The Line Are Factored In. More than $700 million in contracts were awarded to relocate utilities in the urban area, but that did not include transformers or electrical lines to homes and businesses. Civil Beat.

City readies for opening of Kapolei to stadium rail segment. The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services is gearing up to take over the coming rail line this year — handling ridership, fares and bolstering the system’s security. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Senate considers name change for local elementary school. The Senate Committee on Education heard testimony from those both in support of and against the name change of Noelani Elementary School to President Barack Obama Noelani Elementary School. KITV4.

Booze Battle Heats Up As Judge Slaps Liquor Commission Critic With Court Order. Controversies surrounding the beleaguered Honolulu Liquor Commission have taken an unusual turn, with a commission investigations supervisor obtaining a temporary restraining order against a critic who the supervisor says has bombarded the agency with public records requests.  Civil Beat.

Mayor confirms Waipahu District Park pool reopening date. Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced in a town hall meeting on March 30 that the pool is scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday, May 1. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Army official addresses PTA, concerns about China in the Pacific. Maj. Gen. Joe Ryan, commanding general for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, provided updates about the Pohakuloa Training Area on Monday at an event held by the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi County IT Director Moves To Civil Defense Position. Information Technology Director Scott Uehara has accepted a position within the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, where he will focus on emergency communications systems. Big Island Video News.

False active shooter call prompts lockdown of 3 Hawaii schools. Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate School and Waiakea Elementary School were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure due to the seriousness of the call. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now. Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County finalists named for UH Board of Regents seat. The finalists for the Hawaii County seat are Michael Miyahira, Kona Moran, Alapaki Nahale-a and Steven Pavao. Tribune-Herald.


Bill seeks a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park due to increased visitors. The state House Finance Committee will hear a bill this week that requests a carrying capacity study for Mākena State Park, also known as Oneloa Beach. Maui Now.

Finding of No Significant Impact for Puʻunēnē Ave. road widening and improvement project
. The project aims to increase roadway safety and capacity by adding two additional vehicle lanes and shared shoulders.  Maui Now.

Protectors of ancestral remains rail against planned expansion of Maui luxury resort. The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, has been wanting to expand for years. But protectors of ancestral bones, or iwi kupuna, say enough already. Hawaii News Now.


Kaua‘i Fire Department seeking $450k to reduce drownings. If secured, the funds would pay for an additional 12 full-time lifeguards, and would allow the department to safeguard all monitored beaches 10 hours a day, seven days a week, through a new “Dawn to Dusk” program. Garden Island.

Understanding alcohol use disorders is key to prevention. A proclamation by Mayor Derek Kawakami states the importance of learning about the behavioral and physical signs of alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect, and sexual assault, and in working to reduce the incidence of these public health crises from taking place on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.