Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2024

Counties could get authority to phase out vacation rentals, Legislature safeguards $1.5B rainy day fund, bill proposes feral cats for womenʻs prison, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Bill advances that gives counties power to phase out short-term rental units. A bill that seeks to give the counties the power to control short-term rentals — even phase them out— is still alive after crossing over from the Senate to the House where two House committees moved the measure forward. Star-Advertiser.

With cloudy state finances, Hawaii’s ‘rainy day’ fund held for future rainy day.
  Hawaii lawmakers have recently considered cutting every state agency’s budget along with various special funds and capital improvement projects to pay for stunning costs related to the Maui wildfire disaster, without touching the record $1.5 billion in its Emergency and Budget Reserve Fund. Star-Advertiser.

Alcohol bill’s clout remains in doubt. Proponents of Senate Bill 2384 — which crossed over from the Senate to the House — hope a lower blood alcohol content will force a change in attitude for people who want to have more than one drink and still choose to drive. Star-Advertiser.

Speed-limit enforcement bills face rough routes.
Proposed legislation this year to ticket speeders on Hawaii highways using fixed cameras has been redirected and still faces a possible roadblock ahead. Star-Advertiser.

DFI orders Sigue Corp. to stop transmitting money in Hawaii. The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions issued a cease-and-desist order to Sigue Friday. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii seeks answers to state’s lithium-ion battery conundrum. As Hawaii strives toward its clean energy goals, there is growing concern over the waste stream of lithium-ion batteries that come with renewable energy technology. Star-Advertiser.

Commission leader Ed Noh seeks to improve awareness of public charter schools. That Ed Noh grew up in California and got his start in school leadership in Seattle ironically works in his favor in some ways now that championing the charter-school cause is a big part of his job as the first permanent executive director of the Hawaii Public Charter School Commission in four years. Star-Advertiser.

How Far Is Too Far? Parents Push The Limits Of Harassment In Hawaii Schools
. As parent frustration and aggression escalates in schools, the Hawaii Department of Education grapples with how to keep employees safe while respecting families' rights. Civil Beat.

Placing Stray Cats In Hawaii Women’s Prison Could Have ‘Transformative Effect’.
A legislative proposal would provide inmates at the Women’s Community Correctional Center with the opportunity to care for vulnerable kittens. Civil Beat.


Central Oahu loses its only ER with no timeline on when it will reopen.  While the closure of the Wahiawa General Hospital ER is said to be temporary, officials have yet to provide a timeline for when emergency services... will resume. The news comes just days after Wahiawa General also shuttered its crumbling inpatient unit. Hawaii News Now.

Upgrade At Kailua Wastewater Plant Is Expected To Curb Bacteria And Limit Beach Closures.
A disinfection system using ultraviolet light as a disinfectant will likely curb high levels of bacteria from the Kailua wastewater treatment plant, resulting in fewer beach closures by the end of 2025, according to an official with the City and County of Honolulu.  Civil Beat.

Navy publishes preliminary water quality assessment report. The Navy last week released a new report on its preliminary plumbing assessment following multiple complaints of air and water quality issues from residents on its water system. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Top official from China’s Fujian province in Hawaii for goodwill visit. City Councilmember Calvin Say and State representative Sean Quinlan joined dozens of business leaders for a welcome reception hosted by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at Jade Dynasty at Ala Moana Center. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County bill would require waste facilities be open at least 2 days a week. While the proposal is nonspecific and applies to “any facility used for the disposal, collection and transfer of household solid waste” on the island, Puna Councilwoman Ashley Kierkiewicz said it is intended to be a direct boon to users of the Kalapana Transfer Station, which she said currently is the only one in the county that operates only one day a week. Tribune-Herald.

Progress made on Waimea food processing plant.
Farmers in Waimea are one step closer to having a refurbished food processing facility after the partial demolition of the Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant. West Hawaii Today.

Losing North Kohala’s Irrigation System Was ‘Catastrophic.’ Will It Ever Be Fixed?. The Kohala Ditch was built in the early 1900s to water sugarcane fields, then it fed ranches and small farmers' operations. But it has languished since breaking in 2021. Civil Beat.

Dredging of boat harbor on track, but work not expected to start before July.
Lawmakers and boaters hope for smooth sailing at the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo as a long-awaited dredging project inches closer toward beginning. Tribune-Herald.


Maui Mayor: ‘The State Of Our County Is Heartbroken’ But Recovery Will Happen.
Bissen laid out his plans to address the housing crisis seven months after the Aug. 8 fires killed at least 101 people and destroyed much of Lahaina and parts of Kula. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Associated Press.

State ramps up efforts to move displaced Maui residents out of hotel shelters. The state has a new plan to move displaced Maui residents sheltering in hotels to more permanent housing. The goal is to have all families in more permanent housing by May. Hawaii Public Radio.

Catholic Charities USA will continue aiding Maui recovery. Kerry Alys Robinson, Catholic Charities USA president and CEO, said her two-day visit to Maui last week filled her with deep sorrow for what people lost in the disastrous August wildfires as well as gratitude for those helping with their recovery, and she promised to continue raising funds to aid the effort. Star-Advertiser.

Maui County Wants To Take Private Land For Fire Debris Dump Site, But Owner Wants To Build The Landfill. Mayor Richard Bissen planned to meet with the property owners Monday to discuss ways to possibly avoid eminent domain proceedings. Civil Beat.

Kahului Harbor undergoes $5 million spring cleaning. A dredging crew contracted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers is expected to remove about 130,000 cubic yards of sediment from Kahului Harbor as part of a $5 million project that is currently underway. Maui News.


New ocean safety information greets airport visitors. Kaua‘i Ocean Safety Bureau personnel, including Chief Kalani Vierra, Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association and the Department of Transportation, Airports Division capitalized on the traffic slowdown to install upgraded ocean safety information at the two baggage claims area at Lihu‘e Airport on Friday. Garden Island.

Clearing and maintenance work scheduled for Kaiākea fire station. The necessary work will allow various County of Kaua‘i crews to cut and maintain vegetation and remove debris on the property. Kauai Now.

Friday, March 8, 2024

House passes $11.3B state budget that devotes $1B to Maui wildfire losses, DOE steps up construction projects to encumber funding, last known Pearl Harbor attack survivor laid to rest, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

$11.3B state budget advances with a focus on Maui recovery.  Finance Chair Rep. Kyle Yamashita explained that the committee tried to balance funding both Maui recovery and important state functions, with about $1 billion going to Maui wildfire costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Details on the proposed state budget, HB1800, can be found here.

DOE Says It Can Step Up Spending To Save Construction Projects. The Department of Education is planning to significantly increase its spending on construction in the next three and a half months in an effort to reduce the amount of funding it is set to lose at the end of June because of delays in getting projects off the ground. Civil Beat.

Hawaii students’ learning loss from COVID may cut wages 3.7% lifetime. The learning loss that Hawaii students suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lower their lifetime earnings by an average of 3.7%, spurring a 1.2% loss in Hawaii’s gross domestic product, or $31.3 billion in present value, according to a new report by the Hoover Institution of Stanford University released Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Feds seized more than $6 million in Hawaii in ’23
. The U.S. Department of Justice more than tripled the amount of money collected through criminal and civil actions by adding $6.64 million to government coffers in fiscal year 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Changes To Hawaii’s Home Battery Program Could Hinder Its Clean Energy Transition. A revision in how much homeowners are paid for the electricity they send to the grid could keep them from participating at all. Civil Beat.

Catastrophes are driving up condo insurance rates in Hawaii and nationwide. A ripple effect across the country is showing up in the condo fees for nearly 200,000 Hawaii residents, and experts say catastrophes are driving up their insurance rates. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Human Services Director Stepping Down In May.  Cathy Betts, director of the Hawaii Department of Human Services is leaving her post to become executive director of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s last Pearl Harbor survivor laid to rest. Sterling Robert Cale, 102, the last known Pearl Harbor attack survivor living in Hawaii was laid to rest Thursday alongside his late wife at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe. Star-Advertiser.

Deaths of young dolphin, humpback calf highlight importance of responsible boating in Hawaiʻi waters. Within the span of just a few weeks in February, a Hawaiian spinner dolphin yearling and humpback whale calf stranded dead in Hawaiʻi, both suffering injuries consistent with being struck by a vessel. Big Island Now.


University of Hawaii housing repair plans axed, records show
. University of Hawaii officials trying to learn how the Hale Noelani student housing complex ended up shuttered for seven years have discovered that although some top UH leaders have said they regret being unaware too long of its closure, preliminary work and permit applications actually were initiated and later canceled by the student-housing program in the past few years. Star-Advertiser.

 Honolulu City Council checks on improvements to building permit process.
Inadequate staffing, onerous regulations, manual procedures, and outdated technology. On Thursday, the Honolulu City Council focused on the city's backlog problem at the Department of Planning and Permitting. KITV4.

Navy Says Indications Of Petroleum In Pearl Harbor Water May Be ‘False Positives’. More than two years after fuel contaminated Pearl Harbor’s drinking water, residents remain at odds with the Navy about whether the water is clean. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Malfunction sends eastbound Skyline train in the wrong direction. More than 30 passengers heading into town suddenly found themselves going backward. The City’s Transportation Services Director Roger Morton said this was the programmed response for the rail system. KHON2. KITV4.

Bill to bolster native fish hatchery would help keiki 'bring the ʻanae back to Waiʻanae'
. Hawaiʻi lawmakers have advanced a measure to bolster a native fish hatchery program in Waiʻanae that would produce pua, or juvenile mullet, for fishponds and stock enhancement. Hawaii Public Radio

State-run health care center opens in Iwilei.
Located in an industrial area of downtown Honolulu where homeless people live in tents or shacklike structures erected on city sidewalks, the stand-alone Behavioral Health Crisis Center  at 806 Iwilei Road will provide short-term “compassionate mental health care," according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

No decision on Punalu‘u Village. Dozens testified before the Windward Planning Commission, which met to decide whether to grant a special management area permit to developer Black Sand Beach LLC. The permit would allow Black Sand Beach to build a roughly 225-unit “residential and commercial community,” called Punalu‘u Village, on a 147-acre parcel. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Downtown Hilo roadwork nears completion. Excavation and reconstruction of sections of Kilauea Avenue and Keawe Street in downtown Hilo are set to be complete at the end of next week.  Tribune-Herald.

Snow Covers Hawaiʻi Summits As Winter Weather Advisory Continues. Rangers reported the road to the summit of Maunakea was closed at the mid-level Visitor Information Station, due to snow and icy roads causing hazardous driving conditions. Big Island Video News.


Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority discusses Maui marketing plan amid lower visitor numbers. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is mapping out its marketing plan to deal with softening visitor numbers since the wildfires. That includes a campaign to welcome visitors back to the Valley Isle — Mākaukau Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

Attorneys claim new evidence in search for spark that set off Lahaina inferno. Maui attorneys representing wildfire survivors are sharing new details of how they believe the fire started last August. One of the attorneys is a victim himself. Hawaii News Now.

Maui releases trove of emails offering new insight into wildfire response. After six months of submitting records requests, HNN Investigates finally obtained hundreds of emails belonging to the former head of Maui County’s Emergency Management Agency Herman Andaya during a key period. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Office of Recovery announces interim housing projects for Lahaina wildfire survivors.
Mayor Richard Bissen and officials from the County’s Office of Recovery announced temporary modular home group housing projects being planned in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Hawaiʻi and private developers to provide an estimated 4,000 interim housing units for wildfire survivors. Maui Now.

Preliminary data shows impacts of wildfire on Lahaina coastal waters. Preliminary data on coastal water quality monitoring in West Maui was presented Wednesday at a public speaker series featuring Andrea Kealoha, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Maui Now.


Hanalei nonprofit wants to transform former church into housing for teachers, lifeguards. A nonprofit organization has taken possession of the Church of Latter Day Saints ward in Hanalei – and it has big plans for the three-quarter-acre plot on the North Shore of Kaua‘i. Kauai Now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Green ups budget more than $1B in response to Maui fire disaster, metal detectors added to state Capitol, Zuckerberg plans underground shelter at new Kauai home, Benioff donates 282 acres for affordable housing, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Governor wants to add more than $1 billion to budget. Green: New Budget Helps Maui But Doesn’t Neglect Housing, Mental Health. The governor revives the idea of a 'green fee' levied on tourists that would help offset the impact of climate change. The recovery from the Aug. 8 Maui wildfire will cost state government about $500 million in the year ahead. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Governor's full 167-page Budget in Brief can be found here.

Hawaii’s Business Records Agency Makes It Hard To Find Information On People. The agency used to do the search itself for free if you knew to call and ask. Now, you have to pay $1,000 a month for a subscription to look up a person's name on the public database. Civil Beat.

BLNR approves new rules for catching and selling nearshore reef fish.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week unanimously voted to accept changes that regulate the fishing of manini, kole, kala and uhu in Hawaiʻi. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii congressman calls for moratorium on ‘destructive’ deep sea mining. U.S. Rep. Ed Case, a Democrat representing Hawaii's 1st Congressional District,  has introduced legislation calling for a ban on deep sea mining in U.S. and international waters. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii tourism industry expects soft holiday season
. Hawaii travel sellers say tourism across the Hawaiian Islands, which was softening even before the devastating Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, is not likely to set any holiday records. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority awards contract for Island Visitor Education and Brand Management Support Services. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, which is working among communities to manage tourism in a sustainable manner, has awarded a contract for island-based visitor education and brand management support services for Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. Maui Now.

State Capitol ups its security.
The next time you visit, be prepared to have to go through metal detectors. The new system was installed Monday afternoon at three entrances — two at the rotunda elevators and one at the chamber level. KHON2.


HPD chief says he’s ‘not aware of all the facts’ in alleged mishandling of crash involving officer. Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan appeared on a local live radio show. The case centers around Honolulu Police Cpl. Vasai Isala Jr. Hawaii News Now.

New initiative is launched to save coconut trees from invasive beetles. The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and its nonprofit, Elepaio Social Services, held a blessing Monday morning at their new coconut nursery as they introduced a new initiative to save coconut tree species from the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle. Star-Advertiser.

Hale Vietnam fined again for stiffing workers on overtime, tips. The owners of a Vietnamese restaurant in Kaimuki were fined by the U.S. Department of Labor for the second time in eight years after they kept a portion of employees’ tips and failed to pay overtime wages totaling nearly $60,000. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Proposed registry of property owners aims to curb squatting. Owners residing outside of the county would need to designate an agent who lives or maintains a permanent office on the island and submit the agent’s information instead. Tribune-Herald.

Hawai‘i County names interim administrator to newly created office.
Hawaiʻi County has selected Bethany Morrison as the Interim Administrator of the newly established Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity, and Resilience. Big Island Now.

Benioffs donate 282 acres to Hawaii Island nonprofit. The Hawaii Island Community Development Corp., a Hilo-based nonprofit organization, announced Monday that it has received a major land and cash donation for affordable housing at Ouli in North Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Waikoloa Maneuver Area Cleanup Reaches Milestone. A final Record of Decision for Munitions Response Site Sector 15, or Pu‘ukapu, marking the end of response actions at the 11,200-acre former defense site. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


SBA to open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center Dec. 19 at the Kahului Library. Even though the federal deadline to apply for wildfire damage or losses has passed, Hawaiʻi residents and businesses have been granted a 45-day grace period, until Thursday, Jan. 25, to submit SBA loan applications for physical property damage caused by the wildfires. Maui Now.


Mark Zuckerberg’s Hawaii compound includes a 5,000 sq. ft. underground shelter. Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg is spending a reported $270 million building the ultimate home in Hawaii. Zuckerberg’s super compound sits on 1,400 acres of land on the Koolau Ranch on Kauai, complete with top-notch security and a 5,000-square-foot underground shelter that’s packed with its own food and energy supplies. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. KHON2.

Update: Aliomanu Road work postponed until further notice; new start date to be announced. The Department of Public Works and its contractor Earthworks Pacific, Inc., announced that road work on Aliomanu Road will be postponed until further notice.  Kauai Now.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

State budget surplus plummets, Hawaiian Airlines stock soars, military ending live-fire training in Makua Valley, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Remember Last Year’s State Budget Surplus? Well, Wave Goodbye. New state data provided to bond investors shows the general fund surplus for the end of this fiscal year has plummeted from a projected $3.9 billion to just $600 million. When Gov. Josh Green unveils his proposed state supplemental budget later this month he will set the stage for what may be a lackluster election year session of the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Review of Governor Josh Green's first year in office. Tuesday, December 5th marks one year since Governor Josh Green came into office. Over the past year, he has had a lot on his plate. KITV4.

Three individuals identified in search to fill the House District 10 vacancy for Maui. They are Timothy Scott Lara, entrepreneur, and community leader; Leslee D. Matthews, social worker and attorney; and Tyson K. Miyake, former chief of staff to former Mayor Victorino. Maui Now.

Hawaiian Airlines stock soars 193% after buyout news.
Shares of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. closed Monday at $14.22, up from $4.86 Friday before leaders of the two companies announced the acquisition deal Sunday. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed Hawaiian-Alaska merger tests Biden administration’s resolve.
The Biden administration has taken a tough stance against mergers, and it is certain to take a close look at Alaska Air Group’s proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Hawaiian Airlines. Associated Press. KHON2.

Experts: Alaska buyout of Hawaiian Air was best possible outcome but questions remain. The end of local ownership for Hawaiian Airlines continues to send shock waves across the state and airline industry, but many see the $2 billion buyout by Alaska Airlines as a chance to preserve the Hawaiian Air brand while perhaps improving service. Hawaii News Now.


US military affirms it will end live-fire training in Mākua Valley. The U.S. military has confirmed that it will permanently end live-fire training in Mākua Valley on Oʻahu, a major win for Native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists after decades of activism. Associated Press.

Navy plane ‘pulverized’ coral in Kaneohe Bay, state divers say.
State divers plan to continue surveying the damage to the coral reef around Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the front landing gear of a Navy plane “sort of pulverized the coral,” and anchors from a boom installed to contain fuel leakage also left scars. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

State, feds offer city $75M to reopen Halawa Shaft. The Halawa Shaft, one of Oahu’s major sources of fresh drinking water, was permanently shut down following massive leaks of jet fuel at the Navy’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage in 2021. Star-Advertiser.

The New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District will take decades to complete. One official said the stadium should be done in about five years, but the rest of the project will take many more to complete. KHON2.

Mechanical issues reportedly force emergency hard landing. A 77-year-old man was taken in serious condition to a hospital Monday after the pilot of a small plane apparently performed an emergency landing at a construction site in Kapolei. Star-Advertiser.

How A Hawaii Kai Community Ended Up Owing $38,000 In Delinquent Property Taxes. Residents in a section of Hawaii Kai are trying to get the city to take over their private road after the development companies dissolved and left them to cover almost $40,000 in delinquent property taxes.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Roth signs bill to streamline construction permitting process on Hawaiʻi Island. The new law simplifies and standardizes application timelines, extensions and expirations. They now align with updated construction code standards mandated by the state. Hawaii Public Radio.

Study: Hilo had 20.2% decline in brick-and-mortar retailers from 2011 to 2021. Hilo ranked No. 16 in the study among “small metros” and 19th in “all metros,” with the number of retail stores plummeting from 657 in 2011 to 574 in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Magnitude-5.1 Earthquake Shakes Hawaiʻi Island. The earthquake was located in the Hilina region on the southern flank of Kīlauea volcano, and did not generate a tsunami. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KHON2. KITV4.

Two humpback whales in Kona waters instantly identified using app with artificial intelligence. With the app Happywhale, Capt. Andrew Aggergaard and naturalist Olivia Miller were thrilled to be able to identify the two adults by photographing their flukes and letting the app’s artificial intelligence match them to those in its global digital database of more than 70,000 whales.  Big Island Now.


Lahaina Fire Came Amid Record String of Natural Disasters In 2023.
After a record-breaking year for natural disasters in America, Lahaina will be vying for recovery assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency amid growing geopolitical threats and within a bitterly partisan political climate. Civil Beat.

With key deadline approaching, FEMA seeks long-term housing for Maui evacuees. Federal, state and county officials are working with thousands of victims — and next Monday is the deadline for those impacted to apply for assistance with FEMA. Hawaii News Now.

State DHS launches million-dollar rental assistance program for Maui wildfire survivors. 
Maui wildfire survivors who are ineligible for FEMA assistance are now candidates for a new state rental assistance program. KITV4.

UH researching Maui wildfire impacts on agriculture, health with federal grants. In the wake of the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire on Maui, researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi have launched projects that focus on agriculture’s monitoring and response to disasters, and analyzing the possible effects of chromium on West Maui agricultural lands.  Maui Now.

Total visitor arrivals, spending declined for 3rd straight month in October compared to 2022. Both visitor arrivals and visitor spending declined for the third straight month compared to 2022, as Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry continued to feel the impact of the August Lahaina wildfires, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Maui Now.


Evslin addresses plans for ‘housing crisis’ after becoming chair of House Committee on Housing. Following the recent announcement that Kaua‘i state Rep. Luke Evslin was appointed to chair the House Committee on Housing, Evslin spoke of his efforts to address the state’s housing shortage. Garden Island.

Department of Water to conduct water service line inspections beginning January. The Department of Water will be conducting water service line inspections at meter boxes island-wide starting in January to identify pipe materials delivering water to residential homes and businesses and ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule Revision drinking water rules. Kauai Now.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Green names business leader to head Board of Education, Honolulu council members mum on their huge pay hikes, Kauai tour operators irked by boat limits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green Selects Business Leader To Head BOE.  Gov. Josh Green has named Warren Haruki, a former CEO of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., as the next chair of the state Board of Education.  Civil Beat.

‘This is crazy’: Analysis finds billions in schools construction money unspent. More than $2 billion in school construction is going unspent and nearly half of that money is set to lapse next year. Hawaii News Now.

State senator calls for audit of Hawaii Film Office. The director of the state Department of Economic Development, Business and Tourism said he is looking into Sen. Kurt Fevella's accusations of the state’s film office. Hawaii Public Radio.

Gov. Green signs laws limiting places to carry guns; mandating active shooting training at schools.  On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green signed laws that prohibit firearms at a variety of places — including hospitals, beaches, stadiums, movie theaters and bars that serve alcohol — and mandates active shooting training at all public and charter schools in the state. Kauai Now.

'House the Hawaiians': DHHL leader's plan to buy land with $600M budget. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands says it's on track to use one-third of its $600 million budget by the end of this fiscal year. That could provide housing opportunities for 2,000 beneficiaries. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii gas and union workers resume contract negotiations amid strike. Progress has been made in contract negotiations with Hawaii Gas for hundreds of union workers. Hawaii News Now.

2020 census data details Hawaii households. With high housing costs and a strong sense of ohana, Hawaii once again leads the nation in multigenerational households, with 9% of the state’s 490,267 households comprising three or more generations, according to the census data released May 25. Star-Advertiser.


Only 3 of 9 Council members comment on pay hikes.  Less than a month remains before the Honolulu City Council sees a more than 64% pay boost and Mayor Rick Blangiardi and top city executives receive a nearly 12.6% salary increase. Star-Advertiser.

Louis Kealoha Asks Judge For ‘Mercy’ In Letter From Prison. Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha says he is throwing himself “at the mercy” of a judge who will decide whether he’s on the hook to pay $500,000 in a civil lawsuit. Civil Beat.

$50M state budget item at center of transparency debate. An effort to fund initial construction of an elaborate state, county and federal first-­responder agency campus on Oahu survived a contentious and somewhat opaque legislative budgetary practice this year. Star-Advertiser.

TSA deploys new technology at Honolulu airport
. The Transportation Security Administration has been investing in new technology to screen travelers and their personal property in the security checkpoints at Hawaii airports with the goal of enhancing security and improving screening efficiency, which comes in handy as the traditional summer rush of travelers begins. Star-Advertiser.

OCCC selects new warden. The state Department of Public Safety has announced the selection of John Schell as the new warden for the Oahu Community Correctional Center. Star-Advertiser.

‘Plan is to fix what’s there,’ says Dillingham Ranch’s new owner. Historic Dillingham Ranch, the Mokuleia property where local business tycoon Walter F. Dillingham established his home more than a century ago, was sold this spring for $36.5 million to the Nolan family, which has ties to Hawaii and intends to keep it in agriculture. Star-Advertiser.

‘Bait And Switch’? These West Oahu Residents Say They’re Victims Of A Big Developer. A lawsuit filed by Hoopili residents says power lines that were supposed to be buried are now towering above the subdivision. Civil Beat.

Solving Honolulu’s Bike Commute, One Sketchy Intersection At A Time. From "leading intervals" to "bike boxes," the city's avid cyclists have plenty of ideas to make the streets more accessible. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Tempers flare at PGV meeting. Decades of frustration boiled over Thursday during a public meeting about a planned expansion of Puna Geothermal Venture. Tribune-Herald.

16 New Treatment Beds Opened For Substance Recovery. Big Island Substance Abuse Council announced two separate homes, with eight treatment beds each, have opened on Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Video News.

Dismantling of CSO mirror to ease move; decommissioning to be complete by end of summer. The decommissioning of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Maunakea will no longer require several road closures. Tribune-Herald.

This ‘Retired’ Big Island Attorney Is Still A Fierce Advocate For The Little Guy. Will Rosdil came out of retirement to take on the case of a man who lost his home to foreclosure. He's still at it. Civil Beat.


Maui County’s $1.07 billion budget will be up for second and final reading before the Maui County Council at its meeting Tuesday, Council Chairwoman Alice Lee announced.  Maui News.

Sand replenishment project for Kaanapali Beach in limbo. Hotels and condos along Maui’s famous Kaanapali Beach are divided over whether to move forward with a controversial $10 million beach restoration project nearly three months after the board that oversees the state Department of Land and Natural Resources pulled its support for shouldering half its costs. Star-Advertiser.

County breaks ground on new water source project in West Maui.  The Maui County Department of Water Supply project will develop the Kahana Well, which is currently an exploratory well, and other improvements, such as constructing a well pump, control tank, chlorination system housing, electrical upgrades, access road and other work. Maui News.


Tour Boat Companies Say Bill To Beat Overtourism Would Sink Their Business. Roughly 25 sightseeing boat tour companies have permits to operate out of Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor, the gateway to the 17-mile Na Pali Coast.  Civil Beat. Garden Island.

Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project fights to save the aikikiki from extinction. The birds are quickly vanishing, likely due to avian malaria. And if not taken out by malaria, Aikikiki are prey to rats. Hawaii News Now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

School safety a priority in new budget request, Honolulu delays landfill decision again, trust in government down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Buses, School Safety And Student Lunches All On The Agenda For Legislative Education Committees. Advocates hope that with a near $2 billion surplus and an influx of new faces, the Legislature will open its purse strings for Hawaii’s public education system. Civil Beat.

Hawaii state pension fund starts fiscal year with small loss.
It was another turbulent quarter for financial markets, but the state’s largest public pension fund weathered the wild ride with minimal damage. As inflation surged and the Russia-Ukraine war intensified, the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System pension fund’s investments dipped just 1.4% in the first three months of its new fiscal year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Senate committee releases public briefings schedule for state budget.  The purpose of these briefings is to provide the space for state and county agencies to present their budget requests to the Ways and Means committee prior to the start of the 2023 legislative session.  Big Island Now.

Survey: Visitor satisfaction in Hawaiʻi continues upward trend, rivals pre-pandemic levels. Overall satisfaction among visitors from Hawai‘i’s primary North American markets has continued its upward trend since the beginning of the year to rival pre-pandemic levels, state officials said. Maui Now. Big Island Now.

Honoring lives lost to COVID-19 in Hawaii.  As the pandemic stretches beyond its third year, Americans continue to die from a virus that has turned the world upside-down, shaken up the economy and kept people apart. Star-Advertiser.


Blangiardi to ask for more rent, utility help for Oahu residents. Mayor Rick Blangiardi plans to ask the City Council for an additional $33 million through federal funding to help Oahu renters with financial help to cover their rent and utility costs in the first three months of 2023 to help keep them housed. Star-Advertiser.

City Delays Landfill Decision, Again.  Facing a year-end deadline for a decision on a controversial landfill, city officials announced Friday that they had decided to seek a two-year extension on the timeline while they look for a replacement location. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Judge: City could be held liable for Kealohas’ crimes, potentially costing millions. A federal judge ruled that the City and County of Honolulu could be held liable for the crimes committed by former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his estranged wife former Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. Hawaii News Now.

Trust in Honolulu government is down, survey finds.
In January 2021 the National Community Survey found that trust in city government had fallen to 17% from a high of 30% in 2014. Star-Advertiser.

Problems frustrate people relying on Oahu’s TheHandi-Van.  The vans take 5,000 users on almost 78,000 rides each month, according to DTS data. The service has 207 paratransit vehicles in various conditions. Star-Advertiser.

Navy requests 'closure-in-place' plan for Red Hill underground fuel tanks.  An independent contractor has recommended a closure in place for the Navy Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, an estimated $119 million project that'd take about three years once the facility is defueled. Hawaii Public Radio. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Takes Another Shot At Lifting Residential Ban In Kakaako Makai. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has spent at least $7 million in the last decade on what have so far been fruitless attempts to redevelop 30 acres in Kakaako Makai received as part of a land settlement with the state in 2012. Civil Beat.

Officials study repairs for Hawai‘i Convention Center. For years water has been penetrating the center’s rooftop terrace deck, causing water intrusion into other parts of the building where there are now cracks, rust and calcium leaching from the concrete. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii esports program scoops top prize. The esports program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is continuing its meteoric rise by being named the best collegiate esports program of the year at the recent Esports Awards in Las Vegas. Star-Advertiser.

Leeward Community College Has Big Plans For Training A New Generation Of Food Innovators. Leeward Community College is aiming to make its newest facility, the Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center, a hub for local food innovation that will embolden young people to try their hand at food entrepreneurship. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

New police chief talks Big Island issues.  When Honolulu Police Maj. Benjamin Moszkowicz is sworn in on Jan. 17 as chief of the Hawaii Police Department, he’ll be Big Island’s first top cop who wasn’t born in Hawaii and the second who didn't come up through the county police department ranks. Tribune-Herald.

CDP action committees revived: County seeks Kona and Puna members in particular. Some 18 months after the county called a halt to filling citizen boards that advise the government on planning and design because the administration wanted to take a hard look at how the boards can best be used, the county has filled some of the regional boards but is actively searching for volunteers for the Kona and Puna boards in particular. West Hawaii Today.

County fights civil rights charges: Man claims he as wearing an ankle monitor when accused of Puna kidnapping, rape. A Waimea man currently serving time for attacking a Waikoloa man with a knife is suing the county and two police officers in federal court for arresting him on charges he kidnapped, tortured and raped a Puna woman while he was allegedly wearing a pretrial ankle monitor he claims demonstrated his innocence. West Hawaii Today.

Hospitals get new CEO: Clayton McGhan to oversee operations in Kona and Kohala.  Clayton McGhan, who has been the interim CEO since May when former CEO Jim Lee’s contract was not renewed, was appointed permanently into the position following a Dec. 9 vote by the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. West Hawaii Regional Board of Directors. West Hawaii Today.

Plan would move four endangered bird species to Big Island. Critically endangered forest birds on Maui and Kauai could find new homes on the Big Island, according to a plan by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council sets meeting Jan. 2 to decide chair, committees and other items.  Maui County Council will hold an organizational meeting to establish its officers and standing committees, adopt procedural rules and appoint staff for the 2023-2025 term at 2 p.m. Jan. 2. Maui Now.

Maui MPO releases draft Transportation Improvement Program Revision No. 8. The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization, Policy Board released draft Revision No. 8 to its federal fiscal years 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program for public comment. The draft may be reviewed online at: Maui Now.

Maui Has A New Plan To Prevent Desecration Of Significant Cultural Sites. After more than a dozen meetings, hours of emotional public testimony and back and forth with a number of local departments, Maui County is now on its way to becoming the first in the state to create an interactive map, or “cultural overlay” in the county’s jargon, to allow anyone to search the historical and cultural legacy of a property. Civil Beat.

Honokōwai Beach project by resort group aims to restore shoreline after severe erosion.  A group of hotel landowners is saying it’s a race against time to restore and preserve Honokōwai Beach in West Maui, a popular spot for beachgoers, shoreline fisherman, spear fishers, divers, snorkelers, swimmers, surfers and paddlers. Maui Now. KITV4.

State plans to expand Maui captive bird facility to cost $5M. The state is looking to expand its captive bird facility on Maui in a move to support a federally funded campaign to save critically endangered Hawaiian forest birds. Star-Advertiser.

Maui food truck issued red placard due to cockroach infestation. The state Department of Health’s Maui Food Safety Branch announced Saturday it had posted a red “closed” placard “to protect public health” at the Thai Mee Up Kula 2 food truck due to a cockroach infestation. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.


Moody’s assigns Aa2 issuer rating to county.  The County of Kaua‘i’s finances are in good shape as it navigates its way through a post-pandemic era rocked by sky-high inflation and rising interest rates. Garden Island.

Japanese visitors traveling under the signing of the Sister State Agreement.  Preparations to greet the first group of Japanese traveling under the signing of the Sister State Agreement between Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hawai‘i are in full swing by members of the Kaua‘i Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai, and the community. Garden Island.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Green's first budget targets health care, administration looks at housing crisis, $17M for Native Hawaii broadband project, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Green’s First Budget Proposal Focuses On Hawaii’s Health Care System.  State Spending in Gov. Josh Green’s first year is expected to increase about $666 million over the current fiscal year, which ends in June. General fund expenditures of $9.1 billion this fiscal year are estimated to rise to more than $9.8 billion in the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Kauai Now.  Hawaii News Now. Maui Now.

The FB 2023-25 Executive Biennium Budget. Budget in Brief. Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance.

Full budget documents can be found here.

Here’s How The Green Administration Plans To Tackle Hawaii’s Housing Shortage. Converting vacation rentals into homes, targeting areas with infrastructure already in place for new construction, and collaborating with counties and private business are some of the options on the table. Civil Beat.

New Hawaii housing director focuses on easing affordable-housing process.
The state’s new chief housing coordinator, Nani Medeiros, has a poster-size graphic on her office wall that represents the many thoughts she has about how to add more affordable housing across the islands by working with the counties to eliminate unnecessary regulations, offering incentives to builders, updating outdated state rules and getting incoming state directors to think about how their disparate departments can contribute to the goals. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian communities to get $17M to expand broadband. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will receive nearly $17.3 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to expand high-speed internet access in Native Hawaiian communities, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Monday in a news release. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.  Maui Now.  KHON2.

The state plans to manage nearshore waters — and local fishermen want a 'seat at the table' .  The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has a plan to manage more than a quarter of Hawaiʻi's nearshore waters — but some local fishermen fear it will add more restrictions to gathering rights. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi Emergency Management holding virtual workshop for hazard mitigation plan. The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency is holding a virtual workshop on Dec. 20, asking members of the public to help it build a safer Hawai‘i. Kauai Now.

Winter storm batters state with heavy rains and strong winds. Heavy rains and strong winds battered parts of the state Monday as a powerful winter storm moved over the islands, triggering power outages, bringing down trees and closing roads. Hawaii News Now.


Hawaii delegation demands federal probe into Red Hill leaks. Hawaii’s congressional delegation today called for an independent investigation into the release of toxic fire suppressant chemicals at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility, writing in a letter to Gene Dodaro, the comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office, that “the recent events in Hawaii demonstrate the need for a thorough audit to ensure that Hawaii’s people, land, water and ocean are all protected.” Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Trace levels of PFOS detected in water system near Waipio. The Hawaii Department of Health today said trace levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid – or PFOS — were recently detected in water samples collected from the Kipapa Acres water system in Central Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Businessman wants Hawaii residents to help name his beef. Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot, owner of Honolulu Meat Co. LLC, whose humble beginnings in northern Idaho include milking cows and sleeping in an attic, offered to change the name printed on his retail beef business from Kua ‘Aina and Kua ‘Aina Ranches. He’s holding a community contest to rename the firm. Star-Advertiser.

Storm damage closes city facilities, public pool.  Crews are beginning to clean up after a winter storm barreled over the state. The city said it got about 38 calls for downed trees or branches. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Green wants $50M for HMC: Hospital expansion among new governor’s top funding requests. Gov. Josh Green is seeking $50 million for the expansion of Hilo Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit and Medical Surgical Unit. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Hilo man arrested after illegal planting of coconut palms in East Hawai‘i recreation area. A Hilo man was arrested on Sunday after attempting to plant 165 keiki coconut palms in the middle of the Wailoa River State Recreation Area. This is the fourth time over the past nine years Gene Tamashiro has been cited or arrested for leading the planting of the so-called “Kanaka Garden.” Big Island Now. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


Business Owners Sue Maui County After Racking up $1.2 Million In Fines. Paia Gelato’s 15-year permitting saga is an example of broader challenges facing the planning department. Civil Beat.

Hazardous conditions along Hāna Highway, travel restricted to local traffic. Continuing stormy conditions throughout Maui County have resulted in unsafe driving conditions along Hāna Highway.  Maui Now.


Surf is up: Dangerously large breaking waves of 30 to 40 feet for Kaua’i and Ni’ihau. The very strong breaking waves and powerful currents can impact coastal properties, infrastructure and vulnerable coastal roadways.  Kauai Now.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Conference committee proposes record $8.7B state budget, minimum wage hike still undecided, Hawaii transitioning from pandemic emergency, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers Lay Out A Record-Setting $8.7 Billion State Budget.
House and Senate negotiators also gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a $6 billion construction budget that funds new schools on Maui and Oahu. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Friday deadline looms for Hawaii lawmakers to raise minimum wage. Supporters rallied in events across the islands to urge lawmakers to agree on a final version by Friday. If they do not agree on terms, the measure will be killed. The sticking point has been how much the raises will be and how fast they will be implemented. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Cash Bail Reform. A measure to let people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors go free without bail will be put to a final vote in the House and Senate next week. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers adopt resolution apologizing for ban on Hawaiian language in schools. The state Legislature has adopted a resolution that apologizes to Native Hawaiians for a law that effectively banned the use of the Hawaiian language in schools. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Diminishes the Power of Non-Compete Clauses. An employment attorney says the ruling, which follows a national trend, should persuade business owners and employers to review non-compete agreements.  Hawaii Business Magazine.

Mounting speculation about a Kahele run for governor triggers ‘grand chess game’. Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele isn’t talking about it, but there’s growing anticipation that he’ll run for governor ― and he hasn’t denied it. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii transitioning from COVID-19 emergency, but pandemic continues. Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that the state’s response to COVID-19 is transitioning from an emergency mode to public health management. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawai‘i records 11 new coronavirus-related deaths, 3,370 new infections. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, jumped to 9.1%, up from 7.1% last week. It is the sixth week in a row that DOH has recorded an increase in the positivity rate. Star-Advertiser.


$96 million federal grant to replace Mokapu Elementary. The state is receiving a $96 million federal grant to help replace Mokapu Elementary School because of “capacity and facility condition deficiencies,” Marine Corps Base Hawaii announced this week. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutor declines to charge HPD corporal following domestic violence arrest in Kaneohe
. Cpl. Roland Masao Kam, 49, was arrested April 17 on suspicion of misdemeanor abuse of a family or household member, second- degree unlawful imprisonment and interference with reporting an emergency or crime, according to the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Officers Involved In Makaha Crash Want Public-Paid Attorneys. A contested case hearing will be held to determine if two HPD officers accused of causing a serious crash will get a city-funded legal defense. Civil Beat.

One less candidate in the running for the next Honolulu police chief. The next step will be three days of testing, which starts on May 9. The commission expects to pick the next chief by June. KITV4.

Inside The ‘Frantic’ Push To Shorten Rail And Keep Its Federal Funding. Project officials stress that they’re still fully committed to getting rail to Ala Moana, but it’s still not clear financially how that would happen. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Meeting about PTA lease extension draws mostly opponents. The U.S. Army found few supporters at a Monday public discussion about whether part of the Pohakuloa Training Area should remain under Army control. Tribune-Herald.

Thirty Meter Telescope Project Names New Executive Director. Robert P. Kirshner succeeds Edward C. Stone as executive director of TIO, or TMT International Observatory LLC. Big Island Video News.


Panel pulls requirement for N. Kīhei affordable housing project so it can move ahead. Saying that a much-needed affordable housing project in North Kīhei shouldn’t be held up over county roadway requirements, Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday morning voted to pull the condition, allowing Hale Kaiola to move full-steam ahead. Maui Now. Maui News.

Maui hospital system still reliant on funds from government. Maui Memorial Medical Center and its health care affiliates in Kula and on Lanai continue to struggle financially six years after the state turned over the cash-strapped hospital system to Kaiser Permanente in a bid to save the state tens of millions of dollars annually. Star-Advertiser.

‘We Cannot Afford To Be Careless’: Lahaina Residents Want More Water Oversight. Locals are asking state regulators to do more to protect the supply of water for future generations. Civil Beat.


State grants $230M for Kaua‘i capital projects. The state budget that was approved Wednesday by a conference committee made up of representatives from both houses appropriated a historic $230 million for capital improvement projects on Kaua‘i. Garden Island.

New Wainiha center design addresses community concerns
. Planners unveiled the Wainiha Community Resilience Center’s final design Wednesday, reviewing changes made since preliminaries were presented to the public two years ago. Garden Island.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Legislature mulls rental car impact fee, opposes putting $1B in rainy day fund, Kauai military crash victims identified, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Climate change impact fee on rental cars proposed. A plan to charge tourists a special rental car fee to offset their effect on climate change has been met with technical and philosophical pushback, along with support to have visitors pay more to help the environment. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers rain on Gov. David Ige’s plan for $1 billion ‘rainy day’ fund.
Hawaii lawmakers this week zeroed out the proposed $1 billion emergency savings account appropriation in a Senate bill introduced on behalf of Ige, and deferred an identical House companion bill. Star-Advertiser.

Restorative Justice Group Calls For Sweeping Reform Of Women’s Prison System. A group of prominent women is pushing for a complete overhaul of Hawaii’s women’s prison system through a slew of bills under consideration by the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Bills Would Limit Rental Application Fees.
Only one member of a household may be charged a $25 fee under measures moving through the Legislature. Civil Beat.

Measure that would settle OHA's share of public land trust revenue heads to final Senate vote. Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering a bill to settle unresolved issues over exactly how much public land trust revenue the state must direct toward the betterment of Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.

Constitutional Changes And Legal Challenges Loom As Redistricting Commission Wraps Up Work. State lawmakers want to change the way the commission counts military personnel and college students. Civil Beat.

3 former Hawaii defense contractors plead not guilty in illegal campaign scheme. Martin Kao, 48, Clifford Chen, 48, and Lawrence “Kahele” Lum Kee, 52, of Martin Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Navatek LLC, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to make conduit and government contractor contributions, and making government contractor contributions to support U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) who ran for reelection in 2020 and won. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press.

Former OHA trustee Oswald ‘Oz’ Stender remembered for his dedication to the Native Hawaiian community, dies at 90. Oswald “Oz” Stender, who rose above the turmoil of the Bishop Estate’s “Broken Trust” scandal and went on to serve 14 years as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, died Wednesday. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

DOE sets rules for Hawaii graduation ceremonies.
The state Department of Education has released its gathering rules for this year’s graduation and transition ceremonies. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Feb. 23, 2022 COVID-19 update: 134 new infections in Hawaiʻi. The  count includes two cases on Maui, 12 on Hawaiʻi Island, 10 on Kauaʻi, one on Molokaʻi, 0 on Lānaʻi, and 18 out of state.  There are 91 new COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu. Maui Now.


Council unanimously passes bill mandating permits for large underground storage tanks
, in response to Red Hill. The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday unanimously backed a measure that requires a city permit to operate an underground storage tank system that can hold more than 100,000 gallons of any regulated substance. It also requires the permit seeker to secure approval from the state health director. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers want the state to take over Lake Wilson, but it would come at a steep price. Some state lawmakers want the state to take over Wahiawa’s Lake Wilson and the surrounding irrigation system. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Settles Four Law Enforcement Lawsuits.
The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday approved legal payouts totaling millions of dollars to settle lawsuits filed against the Honolulu Police Department and Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Kenneth Silva Appointed To Honolulu Police Commission.
Former fire chief will fill the lone vacancy on the seven-member police commission. Civil Beat.

City: Efforts to tackle crime in Chinatown are working, but there’s more work to do.
The city administration says efforts such as cracking down on criminal activity has improved Chinatown during the past year. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Council advances homeless funding bill. Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung, jogging Wednesday morning prior to the County Council meeting, came upon a large “Aloha, Welcome to Kona” sign. West Hawaii Today.

Council members question funding requests for waste management equipment
. Requests for hundreds of thousands of dollars for equipment for the county Department of Environmental Management led to frustration at Wednesday’s County Council meeting. Tribune-Herald.

County’s Honuʻapo Lands in Kaʻū to Reopen.
Because the area is cooling and new safety measures put in place, Hawaiʻi County will reopen some of its public lands in Kaʻū that have been closed since October. Big Island Now.


1,150-unit Honua‘ula project heads to mediation. The Honua’ula master-planned community of more than 1,000 housing units and mixed-use development faces yet another challenge as it heads into mediation and may end up in a contested case hearing. Maui News.

Maui Is Getting Ready To Move Part Of A Major Highway Due To Climate Change.
The Honoapiilani Highway is the main artery in and out of West Maui and keeping it open is considered crucial for public safety, commerce, tourism and other transportation needs. Civil Beat.

Temporary closure of Lahainaluna boy’s dorm comes amid investigation into misconduct allegations. A temporary closure of the boys’ dormitory at Lahainaluna High School went into effect on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and will continue for nearly a month through March 20, 2022, the state Department of Education has confirmed. Maui Now.


Victims of Kauai helicopter crash identified.
Matthew Haider, 43, Erika Tevez-Valdez, 42, Daniel Maurice, 64, and Patrick Rader, 55, were killed in Tuesday’s deadly helicopter crash on Kauai. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.