Showing posts with label budgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budgets. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Green almost certain to sign major income tax cut bill, former foster children win $1.8M abuse settlement, Japan coast guard trainees visit the state, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green Is Poised To Sign A Big Income Tax Cut. But Can Hawaii Really Afford It? Gov. Josh Green seems certain to sign into law the whopping state income tax cut of 2024, a bill that is expected to reduce the state tax burden for a median-income Hawaii family by nearly $20,000 over the next seven years. Civil Beat.

Japanese coast guard ship, trainees visit Hawaii. Trainees from Japan’s Coast Guard Academy are in Hawaii as part of a training cruise that is taking them across the Pacific. Star-Advertiser.

A Working Group That Emerged From A Tragedy Sets Out To Reform Child Welfare Services. A working group formed to help reform Hawaii’s troubled child welfare system has drafted dozens of recommendations for reform, and the group is about to launch a series of hearings to solicit comments on those ideas. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Opioid Settlement Fund Is Growing And, After Delays, Starting To Be Spent. The appointment of a full-time project coordinator to manage Hawaii’s opioid settlement trust fund has set the process of allocating money to the counties for drug treatment efforts on a faster track, according to a member of the settlement advisory committee who previously described the pace of spending as “painfully slow.” Civil Beat.

AMR continues ground ambulance service on Maui and Kauaʻi following protest. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Injury Prevention Systems Branch has issued two Notices of Award to International Life Support, Inc., doing business as American Medical Response (AMR). Maui Now.

Nearly 8 years after his death, new book highlights late US Rep. Mark Takai's contributions. (Video) Hawaii News Now.


State pays $1.8M to settle former Waimanalo foster kids’ lawsuit. Three former foster children, now adults, of George Kipapa and his late wife, Jolyn Kipapa, agreed to a $1.8 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging abuses they suffered as foster children over 18 years. Star-Advertiser.

Over 40,000 attend Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony. A crowd of over 40,000 people gathered for the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i ceremony as 6,000 lanterns were set afloat in remembrance of loved ones at Ala Moana Regional Park on Memorial Day. The ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the event with the theme “Many Rivers, One Ocean.” Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

A source of koa for canoe-builders.
A 1,200-acre koa forest in Ka‘u is almost ready to be harvested for the first time in nearly two decades. Tribune-Herald.

Demolition of historic Jaggar Museum begins.  Demolition began this month at the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, ending a six-year period of disuse after the facility was critically damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Tribune-Herald.


DLNR cites 3 men for fishing violations in ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Area Reserve.
Officers recovered a total of 78 different fish from the men at the reserve in southwestern Maui — a nursery and refuge for some of Hawaii’s most important, unique resources. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Interest form open to help Lahaina homeowners rebuild. The three-year program will assist up to 500 owner-occupant Lahaina homeowners prevent foreclosure and qualify for financing to rebuild their homes. Maui Now.


Home sales leap, median price retreats on Kaua‘i in April. Home sales jumped more than 60 percent in the first full month of spring, as the Kaua‘i housing market continued to rebound from a rough outing in 2023. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i resort, nonprofit cohosting free World Oceans Day event – musicians, vendors still have time to join. Kaua‘i ocean conservation nonprofit Ho‘omalu Ke Kai will install its first beach cleanup station – made of upcycled marine debris – at its biggest World Oceans Day celebration to date, on June 8. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Legislature balks at tapping into $1B carryover funds in budget crisis, Senate rejects Nahale-a for second Regents term, more than 36k could have marijuana possession records expunged, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi's reserve funds are there for emergencies. Why are senators afraid to use them? State senators have been reluctant to approve funds to fill a shortfall in the major disaster fund of more than $400 million.  At the center of this conflict is $1 billion from carryover funds, or leftover projected revenue, that has not been assigned anywhere. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate rejects Nahale-a for second UH regent term.  A deeply divided state Senate voted 13-12 on Tuesday to deny University of Hawaii Board of Regents Interim Chair Alapaki Nahale-a a second five-year term on the board, as critics cited what they saw as his lapses in accountability and leadership on such crucial issues as the worsening disrepair of some Manoa campus housing.  Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News.

Last-ditch effort afoot to kill housing bill aimed at boosting density in residential areas.
The current language in SB3202 says it will “allow for at least two additional dwelling units, which shall be considered accessory to any dwelling unit or residential unit duly permitted by ordinance.” Hawaii News Now.

Thousands In Hawaii With Arrest Records For Marijuana Posession Could Have Them Expunged. Over 36,000 people in Hawaii arrested for possessing less than 3 grams of marijuana before that offense was decriminalized in 2019 could have all or part of their criminal records expunged at no cost if legislation to amend the state’s criminal statutes succeeds. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers consider bill allowing telehealth access for those seeking gender-affirming care.
A bill at the legislature is creating serious controversy. House Bill 2079 aims to expand telehealth access to people seeking gender-affirming health services. But some believe the bill is a violation of parental rights. KITV4.

Commentary: Hawaii May Finally Move In The Right Direction On Parental Rights In Child Welfare Cases. Two bills already approved by their respective houses aim to correct a longtime shortcoming, though it remains to be seen if it's the right approach. Civil Beat.

Commercial real estate investment from foreign and out-of-state sources is lagging. Investment in Hawaiʻi fell for the second year in a row, according to Colliers International, which tracks money changing hands in real estate. Hawaii Public Radio.

Nearly $400 Million In Federal Earmarks For Hawaiʻi Non-Profits Listed
. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz says he has secured $394 million in new congressional directed spending to boost local non-profits. Big Island Video News.


State House tees up bill to kill Aloha Stadium redevelopment. The state House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to scuttle the redevelopment project in favor of building a less costly stadium on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. Star-Advertiser.

HPD officer accused of ignoring plea for help before woman’s brutal murder is fired. There are new developments in the case of a woman brutally beaten to death two years ago on the steps of the Kapolei Police Station. Hawaii News Now.

Navy to extend testing of its water system. The Navy announced this week that it will continue monitoring its Oahu water system, which serves 93,000 people, for the next year after a surge in complaints about water and air quality in homes on the military waterline. Star-Advertiser.

City Council considers new Ocean Safety Department. During the City Council’s Committee on Budget meeting Tuesday, the way forward — to stand up, staff, fund and perhaps have public oversight over a larger sector — caused uncertainty among Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s ​administration as well as the Council. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

The clock is ticking for Maunakea authority. The transition of control over the summit of Maunakea has been slow going over the past year, but could speed up soon. Tribune-Herald.

Hilo Medical Center to be renamed, marking Benioffs’ $50M charitable investment. A $50 million investment in Hilo Medical Center by Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, will be used to launch a family birthing center and help the hospital complete its expansion of the intensive care unit. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

A bit more free parking for the public in Kailua-Kona: Council resolution paves the way for 14 more stalls. The Hawaii County Council Committee on Legislative Approvals and Acquisitions on Tuesday passed resolution 442 authorizing the acceptance of a quitclaim of a “remnant road reserve” from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. West Hawaii Today.

Testifiers on Hawai‘i County Council resolution promoting world peace demanded inclusion of Gaza cease-fire. A resolution affirming the Hawai‘i County Council’s commitment to seek and promote peace, diplomacy and civil discourse while demonstrating the values of understanding, cooperation and peaceful co-existence with aloha created some civil — and at one point uncivil — discourse Tuesday. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Temporary Housing Construction Protected As Green Revises Wildfire Proclamation Again. Gov. Josh Green signed the 10th emergency order to address the aftermath of the Maui wildfires with amendments focused on affordable housing for displaced families. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Mayor Richard T. Bissen, Jr. will present State of the County Address March 15 at Castle Theater. Mayor Bissen will speak on the County’s response and recovery efforts after the devastating August 2023 wildfires, as well as plans to address critical housing needs, economic recovery and the rebuilding of Lahaina town. Maui News.

County Auditor: Department of Finance was ill-prepared to begin collecting millions in TAT payments. Maui County’s Department of Finance was under-staffed and ill-prepared to collect transient accommodations tax money beginning in November 2021 when a state law allowing the county to tap millions of visitor-generated revenue went into effect, according to a report by the Office of the County Auditor. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hirono to take Boys & Girls Club of Maui CEO to State of the Union. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono will take Boys &Girls Clubs of Maui CEO Kelly Maluo-Pearson as her guest for President Joe Biden’s 2024 State of the Union address, she announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The State Is Close To Buying This Old Hotel For Maui Fire Survivors And Longterm Affordable Housing. Council approval is needed for the mayor to complete agreements with the state before the closing can occur on the $38 million property with 175 furnished guest rooms. Civil Beat.


Kaua‘i home sales, prices rebound. A dormant housing market awoke from its slumber to start the new year, as home sales and prices rebounded with eye-opening gains in January. Garden Island.

Learn more about homeownership on Hawaiian Home Lands during weekend workshop. Hawai‘i Community Lending, a nonprofit mortgage lender, will host the Pilina Kaiāulu Workshop in Kapa’a from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Kauai Now.

Friday, March 1, 2024

'Stop the bleeding': Senate panel balks at paying Maui fire victim's rising costs, De Fries confirmed as Maunakea authority director, tourism arrivals and spending down, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Lawmakers: ‘Stop The Bleeding’ Of State Cash To Pay For Maui Fire Victims.  Hawaii state senators are demanding to know how much and how long the state will have to pay for hotel rooms for Maui residents who were displaced by the Lahaina wildfire, and what impact the escalating fire response costs will have on the state budget. Civil Beat.  Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2

UH Regents Interim Chair Vows To Fight For His Job. In spite of a Senate panel’s rejection, Alapaki Nahale-a wants to push ahead with his nomination “for our university and our state.” Civil Beat.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii visitor arrivals and spending down. In January some 763,480 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands, down 3.6% from January 2023, according to DBEDT. Likewise, total visitor spending, without taking inflation into account, declined to $1.81 billion, a drop of 4.5% from January 2023. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

DOH adds more security measures to State Hospital. The Nov. 13 murder of State Hospital nurse Justin Bautista has prompted a serious look at security at the facility. KHON2.

Public Can Weigh In On Making Papahanaumokuakea A Marine National Sanctuary. The move aims to better protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and enhance the national monument that's been in place there since 2006. Civil Beat.


Honolulu leaders focusing on several issues in Climate Adaptation Plan. A new climate adaptation strategy was recently released.  Wednesday the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed (9-0) Resolution 24-016 which adopts the climate ready plan. KITV4.

New ocean safety sector under city consideration. A plan to break up the city Emergency Services Department was formally announced in March 2023 during Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s 2023 State of the City address.  Star-Advertiser.

Avalon Group purchases former Fort Street Mall Walmart property. Avalon Group, a Honolulu-based real estate development, sales and consulting company, purchased the former Walmart property at South King and Bethel streets in downtown Honolulu, it announced Thursday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Autopsy results in homeless youth’s death put spotlight on dearth of treatment beds. In a distressing update, the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office has released the official cause of death for Acacia Brown, the 21-year-old who was found dead last summer in some bushes near a homeless encampment in Kailua. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

John De Fries’ selection criticized: Former HTA chief voted in as first Maunakea authority director. After more than a year, the state body that will take over management of the Maunakea summit region has a new director, though not without controversy. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Decommissioning of Maunakea’s 2nd telescope begins in March.
Hoku Ke‘a decommissioning to begin this month. The Hoku Ke‘a Observatory — which has been unused for more than a decade after the teaching telescope that it was meant to house was found to be faulty — will be demolished over the next five months, with the process to begin at an unspecified date in March. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.


County Council passes Bill 21 on first reading to expedite permits for wildfire rebuilding. Bill 21 would broaden emergency repair provisions of Maui County’s current building code and clarify repair and approval procedures for issuing emergency building permits. Maui Now.

East Maui Water Authority Chooses Water Resource Expert As Board’s First Chair.
Former Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, who had opposed the authority's creation, was unsuccessful in his bid for the leadership role. Civil Beat.

State unveils first federally funded EV station on Maui.
The state’s first federally funded EV charging station is now open at the Kahului Park & Ride on Maui. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.  Maui Now.


NFL players judging this year’s Kaua‘i Poke Fest
; ticket sales will go to Maui Strong Fund. This year’s celebrity judges will include Kaua‘i-born Nick and Nate Herbig, Pittsburgh Steelers professional athletes and brothers. Kauai Now.

Monday, November 13, 2023

$176.6M in state projects redirected to Maui, first chief data officer hired, Hawaii has biggest jump in unvaccinated children, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Projects Statewide Will Go To Maui Fire Response Instead. A state budget memo highlights trade-offs the public will make to support the state's response to the Aug. 8 fires. Some $172.6 million previously appropriated for numerous public purposes such as Hawaii Convention Center roof repairs, state parks renovations and agricultural warehouses will instead be used for Maui wildfire responses, according to a memo from Gov. Josh Green to his department heads. Civil Beat.

Specific project transfers in Gov. Josh Green's budget revisions outlined here.

Some Parts Of HECO’s New Wildfire Strategy Were Already In Play. The utility has been replacing copper wires with aluminum ones for years. Civil Beat.

State of Hawaiʻi Enterprise Technology Services names new chief data officer. Rebecca Cai has been named to the critical role of chief data officer for the State of Hawai‘i Office of Enterprise Technology Services. Cai most recently served as the Chief Data Officer for New York State’s Office of Information Technology Services and has 24 years of digital, data, analytics, and decision intelligence experience in the private sector. Maui Now.

U.S. child vaccination exemptions hit record; Hawaii sees biggest jump. In the last decade, the percentage of kindergarteners with medical exemptions has held steady, at about 0.2%. But the percentage with nonmedical exemptions has inched up, lifting the overall exemption rate from 1.6% in the 2011-2012 school year to 3% last year. Hawaii saw the largest jump, with the exemption rate rising to 6.4%, nearly double the year before. Associated Press.

More than 800 enroll in program aimed at physician retention. Hundreds of doctors statewide have applied for a state program to defray their student loans as part of a plan to alleviate Hawaii’s doctor shortage. Tribune-Herald.

Pacific Gateway Center designated as Immigrant Resource Center for Maui, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu. Pacific Gateway Center has been designated as the Immigrant Resource Center for the counties of Maui, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu, in partnership with Parents & Children Together.  Maui Now.


Professional self-certification law aims to cut DPP permit delays. The City is taking steps to resolve long delays in the building permit process, a temporary professional self-certification law for certain developments was recently passed as a way to speed up the permit application time, but some in the building industry see it as a last resort.  KHON2.

‘High Likelihood’ Of More Delays In Critically Important Honolulu Rail Work. Relocating utilities along Dillingham Boulevard has been a complex problem from the start.  Civil Beat.

Opponents Of Shark’s Cove Development Plan Are Pitching An Emergency Services Center Instead.
Some residents hope that the city's plans for a new emergency services center on Oahuʻs North Shore can align with their goal to stop a commercial development there. Civil Beat.

Mililani Mauka blaze signals troubling change for Hawaii wildfires. A wildfire burning in a remote Hawaii rainforest is underscoring a new reality for the normally lush island state just a few months after devastating wildfires leveled Lahaina and killed at least 99 people. Associated Press.

Service members sue government over Red Hill water crisis. A group of military serv­ice members has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over their exposure to jet fuel-tainted water in 2021 during the Red Hill water crisis on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Mayor’s Waipi‘o Valley Road Emergency Rules Extended.
All pedestrians, uncovered vehicles, and horseback access to the Waipiʻo Valley Road remains prohibited, with limited exceptions. Big Island Video News.

Drought conditions intensify on Big Island
; water haulers are backlogged with orders. Severe drought now covers more than half the state and more than 85% of the Big Island and Maui. Tribune-Herald.

Community to discuss draft EA for North Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor. The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation is hosting a public meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss the draft Environmental Assessment for the North Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor improvements project on Hawaiʻi Island. Big Island Now.

Officials determine Kaumana Caves safe to reopen.
A popular lava tube in Hilo is safe to reopen after a rockfall, according to county officials and geologists. Tribune-Herald.


Maui wildfire relief fund receives over 1,000 applications. Nonprofit Maui Economic Opportunity has received over 1,000 applications for its Maui Relief TANF program, the organization said in a news release Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

County set to open two more residential zones in Lahaina. Restrictions will be lifted from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for Zones 8C and 9C, which include Aki Street, Hauola Place, Kaili Place, Kamamalu Street, Keone Street, Kopili Street, Kuhua Street, Lahainaluna Road, Puiki Place, Kale Street, Mela Street and Paeohi Street. Maui News.

West Maui tourism restart brings broader business recovery.
Arrivals to Maui plummeted 57% to 94,221 visitors in September, while spending plunged 52.6% to $203.2 million, according to preliminary data from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Star-Advertiser.

Good Samaritans abound in Maui fire relief work. About 10 miles from Lahaina’s burned core, rotating volunteers operating out of a field camp in Kapalua over the past few months have been providing spiritual, emotional and physical help for evacuees of Maui’s deadly Aug. 8 wildfires. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.


Legislators get firsthand look at projects on Kaua‘i.
Members of the House Finance Committee and the Kauai legislative team recently visited the Garden Island to view firsthand several projects and programs, which are supported by the Hawai‘i Legislature. Garden Island.

Kauai Estate To Close 3 Illegal Cesspools. Kukuiolono Park Trust Estate,
which operates Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course in Kalaheo, has agreed to close its three large cesspools as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA said.  Civil Beat.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Luke exceeds budget with staff raises, Green aids 3rd medical victim in less than a month, tax break for Oahu homeowners, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke Has Already Overspent Her Budget — On Staff Raises. The overage comes as Luke, the former longtime House Finance chair, is poised to more than double her office budget to more than $2.3 million for the next fiscal year. Civil Beat.

Gov. Green comes to aid of passenger ejected from pickup bed.  Gov. Josh Green, a medical doctor, treated another victim of a traffic accident today when a 25-year-old Kauai man was ejected from the back of a pick-up truck and suffered an apparent concussion while traveling in front of Green’s vehicle.  It was the third time the governor has come to a victim's aid since May. Star-Advertiser.

It’s a first for the state. The transportation department’s “Freeway Service Patrol” is now sponsored by GEICO. It’s a first for the state. The transportation department’s “Freeway Service Patrol” is now sponsored by GEICO. KHON2.

Luke: Despite progress, domestic violence survivors still grapple with stigma, lack of support. Hawaii has made progress in addressing domestic violence and broadening support to survivors, but there’s most work to be done, Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke told advocates Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gas strike forcing several businesses to close. The ongoing Hawaii Gas strike is beginning to take its toll on local businesses that are being forced to close because of interrupted service. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Officials warn of Hawaii wildfire risks with extended drought. Drought conditions are expected to kick in later this summer and last longer than usual, extending the high fire risk, according to National Weather Service forecaster Derek Wroe. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.  Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.


Council approves $350 rebate for owner-occupants and say they’re just getting started. The $3.4 billion budget passed by the Honolulu Council on Wednesday night included a $54 million tax break for owner-occupant property owners. Hawaii News Now.

Electronic filings of building permits to be required. Beginning July 1, the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting will require all building permits needing plans and all building permit applications for commercial projects to be submitted only through its electronic plan review system. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Rail: Trains, Tracks And Base Yard To Be Officially Turned Over To The City.
The transfer of billions of dollars in assets clears the way for the Department of Transportation Services to open the Honolulu rail system to the public on June 30.  Civil Beat. KITV4.

Honolulu Conspiracy Trial Pushed To October 2024. Ex-city attorney Donna Long, former managing director Roy Amemiya and former Honolulu Police Commission chair Max Sword stand accused of improperly executing a retirement payout to disgraced police chief Louis Kealoha in 2017.  Civil Beat.

After nearly 5 years of repairs, Pearl City public pool finally reopens. The Pearl City District Park pool reopened for public use Thursday after being closed for nearly five years due to numerous improvements. Hawaii News Now.

King Kamehameha Day celebrations kick off today. The holiday celebrates the legacy of King Kameha­meha I, who is known for unifying the Hawaiian Islands under a single governance in 1810. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now

Hawaii Island

State judge rules officer accused of harassment can’t carry firearms. A state judge has ruled that a Hawaii County police officer who pulled a gun on a Big Island man in a police station parking lot cannot carry firearms. Hawaii News Now.

Kilauea advisories lowered as eruption resumes, wind vortex forms. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists lowered Kilauea’s alert level from warning to watch and aviation advisory code from red to orange. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Kona Community Hospital moves forward on supplemental wastewater treatment facility. According to the DEA, KCH is proposing a redundant wastewater treatment system with a capacity of 50,000 gallons-per-day (gpd) to supplement its existing 50,000-gpd system, which requires a shutdown to perform critical repair and maintenance.  West Hawaii Today.

Weekend events in Hilo, Kona to honor King Kamehameha I. The event will start with the ceremonial ho‘okupu and lei draping beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday at the statue on Kamehameha Avenue. Tribune-Herald.


Committee to discuss general excise tax and Central Maui’s wastewater facilities. Maui County Council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development committee will meet June 9 at 9 a.m. to discuss the county’s new authority on general excise tax. Maui Now.

Shoreline advocates block machines at Kā’anapali Beach, seek community input on dune restoration. The groups want the state to issue a stop work order, expressing concern saying cumulative impacts of multiple resorts “stockpiling sand” in front of hotels covers up encroaching dirt fill and vegetation that they say is causing the steep erosion scarp.  Maui Now.

Maui County Is Trying To Bring Relief To Farmers And Ranchers During Times Of Drought. Amid forecasts of less available water, officials want to ensure food producers have enough for their crops and livestock. Civil Beat.

Long-awaited farmland on horizon for lessees. More than 30 years ago, 58 native Hawaiian beneficiaries were selected by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for leases on Molokai and have been waiting to occupy their agricultural lots ever since. Maui News.

Maui County waitlist reopening for Section 8 rent subsidy program. The County of Maui is reopening its waitlist for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program that provides rental assistance to eligible low-income households with federal funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Maui Now.


Green signs law for community-based concessions in state parks. This Revamped State Park On Kauai Is A Case Study For Beating Overtourism, Officials Say. New crowd control and parking enforcement measures at Haena could help bring special places back into balance statewide. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Hawaii News Now.

Road closures for King Kamehameha Day Parade on June 10. The King Kamehameha Day Parade will be held in downtown Lihu‘e on Saturday. The parade starts at 9:30 a.m.  Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Hawaii bans unlicensed vaping imports, reward offered for identification of monk seal killer, Oahu median home price again tops $1M, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii law bans import of e-cigarettes, e-liquids. It is now illegal to import electronic smoking devices and e-liquids into the islands after Gov. Josh Green signed a bill into law Tuesday as part of a years-long and continuing effort to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine.  Star-Advertiser. Tribune-HeraldBig Island Video News. Hawaii News Now

Hawaii lawmakers take steps to prevent fentanyl deaths. The deaths of two men from Hawaii following a suspected fentanyl overdose involving five people in a Waikiki hotel room over the weekend has spurred Hawaii lawmakers, including Gov. Josh Green, to move forward on measures designed to prevent deaths from the potent synthetic opioid. Civil Beat.  KITV4. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Attorney General prevails in federal challenge to hemp regulations. The U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi entered judgment in favor of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the Director of Health in a lawsuit challenging the Department’s regulations prohibiting the sale of Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC products processed from hemp. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

Gov. Green signs 22 bills into state law. The bills cover a myriad of issues, including raising salaries and pay for benefits of Hawaiʻi’s public employees. Big Island Now.

NOAA offers reward to help find Hawaiian monk seal killer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to a successful prosecution of those responsible. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Report: High levels of bacteria detected at multiple Hawaii beaches. The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force released its latest clean water report that identified three Hawaii waterways as priority beaches with high bacteria rates. Hawaii News Now.

State’s Embattled Ag Corporation Has Chance For A Reset As It Seeks New Leadership
. The Agribusiness Development Corp. is taking steps to fill the leadership vacuum left by the sudden death of executive director James Nakatani in April. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Council to review mayor’s proposed $3.41B budget.  The Honolulu City Council is expected today to review and consider approval of Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s proposed $3.41 billion executive operating budget and a nearly $1.1 billion capital improvement plan for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Star-Advertiser.

Amid outrage over proposed 64% raise, council to consider measure that would ban outside income
. The controversial 64% raise for City Council members is still slated to take effect without a vote in about three weeks. But a related plan ― to ban outside income ― is on the agenda at Wednesday’s council meeting. Hawaii News Now.

Computer Glitches Are Causing Concerns Over The Integrity Of Oahu’s Neighborhood Board Elections.
Questions are flying about the results of the recent Honolulu Neighborhood Board elections, with some people complaining they were unable to vote online because of computer glitches amid surprisingly low voter participation in areas known for high levels of civic engagement. Civil Beat.

Environmental risks will persist after Red Hill tanks are drained. Ever since thousands of gallons of jet fuel spewed from a pipeline at Red Hill in November 2021 and made its way into the Navy’s drinking water system, sickening military families, environmentalists and water officials have had their sights set on ensuring that the fuel in the facility’s massive underground tanks that sit just 100 feet above an aquifer is permanently removed. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu median home price tops $1M again amid high rates. Single-family resales fetched $1,109,000 in May, up 10.9% from $999,995 in April and down just 3.9% from the record $1,153,500 in the year-earlier period, according to data released Tuesday from the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Big Island EV charging plan withdrawn after criticism. A proposal to require some Big Island gas stations to install electric vehicle charging stations was roundly rejected Tuesday after criticism from gas station owners. Tribune-Herald.

Managing director defends sweep of homeless at Kona park. Hawaii County on Tuesday responded to the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii regarding concerns raised in a letter that demanded the county stop evicting people from homeless encampments without first providing adequate shelter. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

Group to sue over Kailua-Kona sewage discharges.  A group of citizens intends to file a civil suit against Hawaii County over the discharge of sewage into a popular local harbor in Kailua-Kona. Tribune-Herald.


Sheriff recruitment open on Maui. Deputy sheriff recruitment is now open through June 12 on Maui and Oahu, the state Department of Law Enforcement announced Monday.  Maui News.

Woman sent to prison for embezzling $59K to feed addiction.
A Wailuku woman who embezzled at least $59,000 from her former employer to support her opioid addiction was sentenced in federal court on Oahu last week to one year and one day in prison. Maui News.


Solid Waste Division leaders to provide Kekaha Landfill update. Local environmental groups will tackle Kaua‘i’s ongoing landfill crisis with guest speakers from the Kaua‘i County Solid Waste Division on June 14, at this month’s Kaua‘i Climate Action Forum. Kauai Now.

Domestic arrivals dropping. The number of people getting off domestic flights at Lihu‘e Airport dropped 7.5 percent in May, as passenger counts fell further behind the record-setting pace of 2022. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Monday, April 3, 2023

Hawaii leads nation in preventing COVID deaths, Green signs transparency bills, committee approves Chang to lead DLNR, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Open government laws aim to restore public trust. Seven bills requiring greater transparency from lawmakers and state boards were signed into law Friday by Gov. Josh Green. Star-Advertiser. Maui News. Big Island Video News. Kauai Now.

Hawaii ranks first in preventing COVID deaths.
Hawaii had the lowest death rate in the nation, at 147 per 100,000, when age and underlying illnesses were taken into account, four times less than states such as Arizona, which had the highest, at 581 per 100,000, according to a study recently published in The Lancet. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii's Longest-Serving State Lawmaker Talks About The True Power Of Legislators. Sen. Les Ihara believes rank-and-file lawmakers could be asserting themselves in committees and on the floor. Civil Beat.

Here's What Hawaii Can Learn From Other States On Publicly Funded Elections. The system needs to be legally sound, properly regulated and substantially funded so candidates can compete with private money. Civil Beat.

Dawn Chang endorsed to head Department of Land and Natural Resources.  The Committee on Water and Land voted 5-0 to recommend that the 25-member Senate confirm Dawn Chang as DLNR’s director and chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now

Senate earmarks housing projects and tax relief in two-year $38B budget. The state Senate Ways and Means Committee has built out portions of the state’s biennium budget for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. Hawaii Public Radio.

Subsidy program would help mid-income Hawaii residents buy homes. Households earning 80% to 120% of a county’s median income could qualify for subsidies of about $100,000 toward the purchase of a new home, under a pilot program that would be established by a bill advancing at the Legislature. Star-Advertiser.

GET bill: One last hurdle. The House Committee on Finance is the last hurdle for two key bills that could determine the future of health care in Hawaii. Senate Bill 1035 would exempt medical providers from the state’s general excise tax, or GET, for treating patients with Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE. Senate Bill 397, would increase Medicaid reimbursement rates and match them to Medicare rates. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii may soon ban thousands of everyday items containing toxic chemicals. State lawmakers are considering a ban on intentionally added polyfluoroalkyl or “forever chemicals,” that make up an array of items from certain cosmetics to water-resistant clothing, food packaging and more. KHON2.

Hawaii’s fireworks measures fizzle out. Bills increasing fines, limiting consumer fireworks, providing technology to search shipping containers and allowing county police departments to track explosions all failed to cross over to their opposite chambers for further consideration. Star-Advertiser.

 ‘Nobody Gets To Run A State For 50 Years Anymore’: Hawaii Political Life After Dan Inouye. Ten years after the political giant's death, power is more fragmented — but politics has become more inclusive. Civil Beat.

Outlook for Hawaii tourism from Japan not so ‘golden’. This year’s Golden Week, which runs April 29-May 5, is expected to be the best one since the pandemic started in 2020. However, it isn’t shaping up to be that “golden,” and a more significant pickup of Japanese arrivals to Hawaii is not forecast to occur until summer or beyond. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii working on Regenerative Tourism.
The Local2030 Islands Network kicked off its inaugural conference on Sunday at the Hawaii Convention Center. KITV4.

President Lassner fighting for $24M for University of Hawaii budget.
University of Hawaii President David Lassner is fighting to maintain $24 million in state funding for UH that disappears July 1, while facing “antipathy” from three state senators, including the chairs of the Senate’s finance and higher education committees. The money, part of a restoration of cuts made during the COVID-19 years, will disappear unless it’s specifically added to the next fiscal year budget. Star-Advertiser.

University of Hawaii Board of Regents candidates announced.
The Candidate Advisory Council has presented the list of candidates to Gov. Josh Green to fill one Honolulu County seat, one Maui County seat and one Hawaii County seat for five-year appointments.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Hospitals Are Struggling To Meet The Needs Of The Chronically Homeless. Emergency rooms are on the front line of caring for Hawaii's most medically vulnerable homeless people, yet they lack many of the resources needed to have a lasting impact. Civil Beat.


Honolulu City Council questions Blangiardi's budget and tax credit proposal. The Honolulu City Council is plunging into what looks like a turbulent budget season amid a potentially acrimonious debate over sky-high assessments for property taxes. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Mayor Signs Bill That Bans Guns In ‘Sensitive Places,’ Including Schools And Hospitals. Under the new law, concealed-carry weapons won’t be allowed at a hefty list of “sensitive places.” Civil Beat.

$100M for first responder campus project flatlining. A controversial and costly state plan to build a vast campus for state, county and federal first responders in Mililani may have hit a funding snag for a second straight year. Star-Advertiser.

Shidler donates $5M more to University of Hawaii business school. Jay H. Shidler, the Honolulu businessman who has donated more than $230 million in cash, land leases and in-kind donations to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has given an additional $5 million to the business school. Star-Advertiser.

Ex-state official joins Honolulu housing, homeless office. Denise Iseri-Matsubara, a former state housing official, has been hired to lead the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Homelessness as its executive director. Star-Advertiser.

Navy seeks public ideas about repurposing Red Hill. The Navy has launched an online survey Opens in a new tab to solicit public ideas about repurposing the Red Hill underground fuel facility once its tanks are drained and it’s closed for fueling operations. Star-Advertiser.

Aloha Stadium plan shift may extend timeline for completion. State planners, under the new administration of Gov. Josh Green, had hoped to send out requests for proposals by the end of January for the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District. Star-Advertiser.

Waimanalo Health Center using grant to expand services. The Hawaii Dental Service Foundation has given the Waimanalo Health Center a $500,000 grant to expand its services with a new clinic in Kaneohe and to renovate its existing offices in Waimanalo. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth vetoes Planning Commision zoning bill. Bill 194, introduced last summer by North Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba, would replace the current practice of administrative time extensions approved by the Planning Department, and require the council in a public forum to make that decision. West Hawaii Today.

Kona Community Hospital at risk of closure due to outdated utilities. Hospital leaders have been attending 2023 State Legislature sessions to bring attention to their urgent needs and advocate for approximately $17 million over the next two years to address the cooling and ventilating system problems as well as install campus-wide lighting and security cameras. Big Island Now.

Puna roads restoration project delayed; EA assessment still not complete. Hawaii County is urging patience as a long-awaited eruption recovery project in lower Puna is delayed yet again. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Swath of Hawaii Island rife with old munitions prompts push for special construction protocols. Eight decades after the military battered parts of Hawaii Island with grenades, mortars, and bombs, lost munitions remain scattered across several communities ― all with the potential to explode. Hawaii News Now.

Spinner dolphin harassment investigated using recent rule.  In October 2021, a new federal regulation went into effect requiring people to keep 50 yards from Hawaiian spinner dolphins in an effort to better protect them from human disturbance. Star-Advertiser.


Departments scheduled to discuss budget plans throughout April. Decision-making meetings on the county budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2023 are planned for later in the month. Maui Now. Maui News.

Clinic to end OB care, shrinking Maui options. Saying that continuing obstetric care would be unsustainable moving forward, Maui Lani Physicians and Surgeons will no longer be taking any new pregnancy cases.  Maui News.

On Lanai, impacts of strike spill over to other services. Situation highlights struggle that comes with island’s limited health worker pool. Maui News.

Gas leak at Maui Prep prompts concerns from parents. The state Department of Health has launched an investigation after being notified by “multiple sources” of the situation, according to Maui District Health officer Dr. Lorrin Pang. Star-Advertiser.


New Kaua‘i Representative Luke Evslin adapts to state politics. It’s been a whirlwind month for the newest member of the state House of Representatives, Luke Evslin, who has been learning the ropes of state politics since his mid-session appointment to the Legislature. Garden Island.

Visitor spending soars on Kaua‘i in February. Tourists proved willing to dig deep into their bank accounts while visiting Kaua‘i in February, as spending surged more than $50 million over the same period last year. Garden Island.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Hawaii may have to return $412M in COVID funding, political parties get notice of disqualification, humpback whale count concludes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Humpback Whale Counts For 2023 Season Completed. A total of 997 humpback whales were spotted from the Big Island, Kaua’i, Maui and O’ahu during specific time periods. 345 volunteers gathered data from the shores of Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i islands during the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count and from Maui during the Great Whale Count by Pacific Whale Foundation, the second of three coordinated whale counts between the two organizations in 2023.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.  Kauai Now.

Hawaii government spending could trigger COVID aid payback.
The state Department of Budget and Finance is advising the Legislature that $675 million in spending appropriations last year should be delayed in order to avoid triggering a requirement to return $412 million in coronavirus pandemic aid to the federal government. Star-Advertiser.

Over 20 bills to improve government transparency take shape in state House. The bills were part of a package to improve transparency and accountability in state and county government in the wake of unveiled corruption throughout state and county government. Hawaii Public Radio.

Three political ‘third parties’ get notice of disqualification. The States’ Office of Elections released a notice with the intention to disqualify the Aloha Aina Party, Green Party of Hawaii and Constitution Party of Hawaii for falling short in the percentage of votes required by the state to remain active. KHON2.

Studied To Death? Some Say Hawaii Doesn’t Need More Data Before Acting On Overtourism. As Hawaii tourism rebounds three years after being effectively shut down during the pandemic, political, community and business leaders are reprising a question central to policy discussions about the state’s most prominent industry: How many tourists is too many?  Civil Beat.

Bills aim to add ‘tiny home’ sites for homeless.  Bills are moving through the House and Senate that would expand Gov. Josh Green’s vision of creating more communities of tiny homes across the state to house the homeless and provide them with social services to reduce the islands’ homeless population. Star-Advertiser.


Mayor Rick Blangiardi offers 5-point homeless plan for Oahu. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s administration has offered its plan to deal with the needs of the nearly 4,000 homeless people living on Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Contract for Red Hill facility alternatives is an enigma. The company awarded a half-million-dollar, no-bid “public outreach” contract to solicit ideas from the community about possible alternative uses of the Navy’s Red Hill facility once it’s closed for fueling operations is being tight-lipped about how it plans to conduct community outreach. Star-Advertiser.

Waimanalo Road Safety Upgrades Raise Local Concerns About A Community’s Identity. The DOT is installing medians and widening sections of Kalanianaole Highway amid safety concerns, with six pedestrians killed in 10 years. As Oahu’s population balloons and the number of tourists grows, the island’s low-capacity coastal roads that are often the only thoroughfares for rural communities have become increasingly crowded, prompting calls for the state to better manage traffic.  Civil Beat.

Oʻahu's junk vehicle program sees 65% decrease in roadside refuse. According to the city's Department of Customer Services, the program handled roughly 1,600 cars a year prior to 2020. But over the last three years, there has been a steady decline — resulting in the program handling 567 vehicles in 2022, which is a 65% decline. Hawaii Public Radio.

At a cost of $40M, large new wave pool on Oahu nearing completion. A standing wave pool being built in Ewa Beach is set to open next month, but not everyone is giving it a warm welcome. Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers unreceptive to moratorium on Waiahole Valley rent increases. A legislative committee has declined to support a five-year block on the state raising ground-lease rents for about 100 residential and farm tenants in Waiahole Valley, where tension exists over potential evictions. Star-Advertiser.

Waiawa residents advised of possible contamination from training site. Residents of Pearl City’s Waiawa Road area are demanding answers — and assistance — after learning that the National Guard and the state Department of Health are investigating the possibility that toxic chemicals from fire suppressant used years ago by firefighters at the Hawaii National Guard’s Waiawa Unit Training and Equipment Site may have seeped into their groundwater. Star-Advertiser.

Thousands gather to bid a fond farewell to Aloha Stadium. A new Aloha Stadium is scheduled to replace the old one at the same site in Halawa in 2027, according to the most recent estimate by state planners. The stands have been closed to the public since December 2020 due to high maintenance costs and lack of revenue amid COVID-19 restrictions. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News News. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

County outlines plan of action: Steps being taken in response to housing credits audit.  A spokesman for Mayor Mitch Roth said the mayor and the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development are working to correct deficiencies pointed out in an audit of its affordable housing credits program. Tribune-Herald.

Business owners voice concerns over proposed district. While testifiers acknowledged that downtown Hilo is in sore need of improvement, many were critical that the bill would put the onus of solving the town’s problems onto business and property owners instead of county administration. Tribune-Herald.

Public Invited To Give Input On New Library, Transit Hub In Pāhoa. There will be a number of opportunities for the public to give input on the future location of a new library and transit hub planned for Pāhoa. Big Island Video News.

‘We are running out of time’. Thousands of grams of pure fentanyl and over 15,000 pills containing the illicit drug have been recovered in West Hawaii over the past 15 months, police officers told County Council members this week. West Hawaii Today.


Work in watershed aims to curb ocean pollution downstream. Final Pohakea Watershed Plan gets green light. A watershed management plan that addresses the land, gulches and gullies that run from the West Maui Mountains to Maalaea Bay received final approval this week to support the next steps in protecting and restoring water quality in the area. Maui News.

State will bill owner $460K for cost of salvaging yacht from Honolua Bay.  The state has selected a contractor to remove the 94-foot-long yacht that remains grounded at Honolua Bay and will bill the owner for the $460,000 salvage cost. Maui News.

Defueling of luxury yacht on Maui complete, salvage work to begin.  The defueling of the grounded yacht on Maui was completed today, and the task of salvaging the vessel will begin Sunday. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.  Maui Now.


Can hydropower leave its plantation legacy behind on Kauaʻi?  The Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative is pursuing a multi-year lease for a new hydropower plant on the Waimea River, called the West Kauaʻi Energy Project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaua‘i home sales tumble in January.  A confluence of reluctant homebuyers and soft inventory levels led to a rough start to the new year for the County of Kaua‘i housing market. Garden Island.

Hundreds of parking tickets issued in Ha‘ena amid increased enforcement efforts. Last year, the Kaua‘i Police Department handed out more parking tickets on the North Shore alone than they issued on the entire island the year prior. Garden Island.