Showing posts with label building permits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label building permits. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

DOE returns $465M in school construction funding, Maui council advances housing tax breaks, Honolulu building permit delays worsen, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The DOE Is Giving Up $465M In School Construction Funds. Lawmakers who managed to get projects funded for their neighborhood schools are upset, and want to know why the money won't be spent as they intended. The state Department of Education plans to surrender $465 million that lawmakers had earmarked for school construction projects across the state, a move that will delay and possibly jeopardize funding for new classrooms, play courts and athletic facilities. Civil Beat.

Search for next UH president becoming a battle for control. The search for the next University of Hawaii president is turning into the latest battleground for control of the massive state public university system, with some state lawmakers exerting heavy pressure to try to influence the selection and pushing to have current President David Lassner vacate the post earlier than his expected departure at the end of 2024, according to several officials close to the process. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi received a 'D' grade in high school financial literacy — and that's an improvement. While Hawaiʻi lags behind most states in teaching financial literacy, it is beginning to see improvement compared to previous years. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Governor Mulls New Insurance Program As Extreme Weather Raises Risk Factors.
Natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and increasingly wildfires are contributing to an economic landscape where insurers may feel the risk is too great to do business here, Gov. Josh Green said Tuesday.  Civil Beat.

Gov. Josh Green marks first year in office. In an address on Tuesday marking his first year in office, Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green touted a litany of actions taken by his administration, including dealing with the devastation suffered in the deadly Maui wildfires. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Assaults, other aggressive behaviors reported almost daily on Hawaii State Hospital campus. While officials say an employee’s fatal stabbing on the campus last month is the first murder to ever happen on the grounds of state facility, data obtained through public records requests show there have been nearly 1,500 reported incidents of assaults or other aggressive behavior on the campus over the last five years. Hawaii News Now.

Alaska Airlines explores possibility of returning service to Hawaii’s rural communities. The Alaska Airlines buyout of Hawaiian Airlines could potentially restore flights to smaller communities left with fewer options after the pandemic, but it won’t happen anytime soon. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

 Honolulu’s Building Permit Delays: A ‘Nightmare’ Decades In The Making. Construction industry professionals say it’s taking longer than ever to get a permit in Honolulu. The delays disrupt lives and put a drag on the economy.  Civil Beat.

Judge dismisses lawsuit to save Haiku Stairs. A lawsuit by the Friends of Haiku Stairs to block the removal of the once-legally accessible steel steps built along a sheer ridge line above Kaneohe has been denied. On Tuesday, 1st Circuit Judge John M. Tonaki granted summary judgment on the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit outright. Star-Advertiser.

Man with 164 citations charged in hit-and-run death of McKinley student.
The 46-year-old man who had no driver’s license and 164 citations when he was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run incident that killed a McKinley High School student Feb. 15 was charged Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Vending machine at nightclub allegedly sold cocaine and ecstasy.
Two men are facing federal charges for allegedly selling cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and other drugs out of vending machines in a Honolulu after- hours club and in a fake health and wellness store. Star-Advertiser.

From illegal game rooms to police staffing concerns, HPD tries to calm fears about continued violence in West Oahu. Over the past six months, there have been at least half a dozen violent incidents in West Oahu. Due to the spike in these incidents, West Oahu families met with lawmakers and law enforcers Tuesday night in hopes of working together to reduce violent crimes. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Officials say there is no emergency after Navy sirens inadvertently activated.
The sirens do not belong to the state or city, but to the U.S. Navy, which informed state and city officials that its giant voice system was inadvertently activated Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Japanese entrants at marathon expected to nearly double this year. The tourist entrants have mostly come from Japan. Around 9,000 to 10,000 are expected to toe the starting line near Aloha Tower for Sunday’s 51st annual 26.2-mile race, Honolulu Marathon president Jim Barahal said Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council approves homeless funding. Allocation of nearly $10 million for homeless service providers came one step closer to reality Tuesday as the County Council’s Legislative Approvals and Acquisitions Committee unanimously advanced a resolution to a full council hearing. West Hawaii Today.

HPD vice detective arrested, charged with perjury, falsifying affidavit. According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Hilo Circuit Court, Detective William Brown  then assigned to East Hawaii Vice Section, made a false statement to the grand jury on March 15 in the case of Julissa Herrera, who was indicted on charges of first-, second- and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, plus possession of drug paraphernalia. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

Presentation about Waiakea Peninsula draws mostly criticism. The Hawaii Community Development Authority and Department of Land and Natural Resources hosted an open house at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel to discuss and hear public feedback regarding how the Waiakea and Banyan Drive areas should be managed. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Bill Prohibits Overnight Parking Fronting Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Bill 105 prohibits parking between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for portions of Aliʻi Drive along Pāhoehoe Beach Park. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui Council Moves Swiftly On Tax Breaks To Provide Long-Term Rentals For Fire Survivors. Mayor Richard Bissen hopes the owners of vacation rentals agree to take part in the "shared sacrifice" of the recovery. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui council to consider bill to establish criteria for ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program. The Maui council will consider a bill Dec. 15 to establish criteria for the ʻOhana Assistance Pilot Program, which offers grants of up to $100,000 to build an accessory dwelling or second farm dwelling for residents’ long-term occupancy. Maui Now.

Maui Fire Department Purchases Show The Fire’s Heavy Toll On Resources. Maui’s fire department estimates it has spent $2.7 million to replace damaged gear and replenish its inventory of equipment and firefighting materials four months after the wildfires. Civil Beat.

Kauai

State removing last remnants of the defunct Hawaii Superferry. The Department of Transportation is looking for a contractor to remove the existing Superferry ramp at Pier 1 at Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai.  KITV4.

Island home sales slump. A dreary cycle for the island housing market continued in the first month of fall, as sales of single-family homes slumped more than 13 percent to begin the final quarter of the year. Garden Island.

Contractors Association of Kaua‘i installs new officers. The Contractors Association of Kaua‘i (CAK) announced its new slate of officers through the installation of the new leadership during the CAK 66th annual meeting that was held under inclement weather at Puakea Golf Course on Thursday. Garden Island.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Hawaii tackles nursing shortage, Kahele must return $48k in campaign contributions, Honolulu rail delayed again, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s shortage of health care workers worsens. The shortage of health care workers has dramatically worsened over the past three years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, with job vacancies jumping 76% — from 2,200 job openings in 2019 to 3,873 this year. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KHON2.

FEC says Kahele congressional campaign must return $48K. The Federal Election Commission says U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele’s congressional committee must refund more than $48,000 to its political donors. That’s because the contributors donated for the November 2022 general election, which Kahele didn’t run in. Hawaii News Now.

Tokuda Says She’s Ready To Take On A Divided Washington. The newly elected Hawaii congresswoman will be in the minority party for the first time in her career. Civil Beat.

Interest Rates are Up, So Number of New Mortgages is Down.
The total of home loans issued in Hawai‘i through the end of October dropped 38% from the same period last year. Hawaii Business Magazine.

State sees spike in road fatalities compared to last year. All four counties in Hawaii have seen an increase in fatal road accidents compared to the same time last year, according to state transportation officials, who are warning of a spike in traffic deaths heading into November. Maui News.

Oahu

‘Hammerhead’ crack fixes in limbo, delaying Oahu’s rail service. Eight of 21 cracked rail “hammerheads” along the city’s rail route appear to require more extensive — but undetermined — repairs, likely delaying Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation’s transfer of the transit system to the city for paid passenger service deeper into 2023. Star-Advertiser.

Change underway to tackle Oahu building permit backlog. An initial overhaul stage is underway to reduce a chronic building permit application backlog on Oahu at the city’s troubled Department of Planning and Permitting. Star-Advertiser.

Riders say the Handi-Van is failing them. And the city agrees. The Handi-Van is a federally-required service for the disabled citizens who can’t ride traditional buses. Hawaii News Now.

Researchers use drones to understand how waves are shifting Waikiki beach. One study, based on weekly drone surveys between 2018 to 2020, found the sand appears to move from one end of the beach to the other — not to and from offshore, as previously believed.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill to help reduce backlog of building permit applications deferred. A bill that would temporarily suspend the requirement that the Department of Public Works review plans submitted for building permit applications was met with mixed reactions Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Water Department contingency plans cleared by auditor. The Department of Water Supply has successfully addressed three issues identified in a 2020 audit that found the department lacked sufficient contingency plans to ensure the public had dependable access to water when equipment breaks down, the county auditor told the County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Lawsuit: Hawaii County, cops culpable in shooting death. Trial has been set in a civil lawsuit brought against Hawaii County, two Hawaii Police Department officers, and the man who allegedly shot and killed a 59-year-old Volcano resident in 2021. Tribune-Herald.

Grant Helps Hawaiʻi Island Fruit Producers, Food Basket. USDA funds will help the Olohana Foundation collaborate with local fruit producers to create new products, which will be dispersed into the local food system via The Food Basket. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Zoning change for Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute’s proposed marine conservation center. The Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will discuss a proposed resolution and bill for a zoning change for construction of a marine conservation and research center by the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute in Mā‘alaea, Maui. Maui Now.

Mauka-to-makai efforts aim to protect critical Maui reef. Groups work to carry out restoration projects in along the coastline. Maui News. KITV4.

Maui summer update of destination management action plan now available. The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority published the Maui Summer 2022 progress report that provides updates on the progress toward fulfilling the Maui Destination Management Action Plan that is part of the Maui Nui action plan. Maui Now.

At a Maui school, a tradition revived offers new opportunities for the future. Lahainaluna High School is reviving its agriculture program to help grow Maui’s next generation of farmers. Hawaii News Now.

Kauai

Recount confirms County Council outcome. An automatically triggered recount conducted Thursday evening confirmed the previously reported results of the Kaua‘i County Council race. Garden Island.

Kauai mayor gears up for second-term priorities after re-election. Mayor Derek Kawakami has been Kauai’s mayor for four years and just won another four with last week’s re-election. KHON2.

Lihu‘e runway project gets Kaua‘i planning commission approval. The Lihu‘e Airport runway has been out of compliance with federal law since 2006. Garden Island.

Meth runner for ex-Kauai Council member gets 3-year term
. A 41-year-old Kauai man who agreed to run drugs and collect money for a drug trafficking organization headed by a former Kauai County Council member and supplied by Samoan gang members, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison. Star-Advertiser.

Kauaʻi putting together reentry transition packs for those leaving prison. The transition back into everyday life after being incarcerated can be difficult. For some, finding a place to stay or a ride to meet with a probation officer can be a barrier to successful reintegration. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Lawmaker: Recreational cannabis tax revenue outweighed by management cost, state mulls tech waste recycling, lawsuit filed over Oahu prison sex assaults, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Management costs of recreational cannabis outweigh tax revenue, says Hawaii legislator. Projections of $50 million in state tax revenue on a recreational cannabis industry would make it hard to create a new oversight department or increase adequate staffing to test and otherwise regulate the industry, let alone fund education and health programs, state Rep. Ryan Yamane, chairman of the House Health, Human Services Committee, said. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii is about to launch one of the nation’s most ambitious tech waste recycling programs. Hawaii is implementing one of the most ambitious electronic waste recycling plans in the country, but some Hawaii retailers are afraid it will mean higher prices and less selection. Hawaii News Now.

Neighbor islands create a central portal for hotel tax payments. County transient accommodation taxes went into effect last year. The process of collecting the tax fell into the hands of each individual county. Hawaii Public Radio.

Geolocation data provides new perspectives on destination management of popular Hawaii sites. Tourist visitation outpaced resident visitation in only 10 of the top 30 points of interest statewide for both visitors and residents in September, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s inter­active data tool, the Symphony Dashboards. Star-Advertiser.

State Grants Promised To Hawaii Nonprofits Likely To Be In Limbo For Weeks. Many nonprofits are scrambling to provide services while they wait for the state to fix a problem in the law allocating millions of dollars. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Certain Home Repairs Should Bypass Honolulu Permitting Department, Councilwoman Says. Property owners who want to make repairs to existing elements of their homes would be exempt from Honolulu’s permitting process under a bill proposed by Honolulu City Council Member Andria Tupola. Civil Beat.

 Experts: Chick-fil-A citation for unpermitted work highlights ongoing trend. As the newly-opened Chick-fil-A Ala Moana Center location faces a fine for unpermitted construction work, some say it's been a trend for years. Industry experts report many businesses have started work without a building permit because it's faster and cheaper. KITV4.

Lawsuit: Working Cameras Needed To Monitor Sexual Assaults At Women’s Prison. A group of current and former female inmates is asking a federal judge to require that cameras be installed in all of the control stations at the women’s prison in Kailua after the inmates say they were sexually assaulted by corrections officers in the stations. Civil Beat.

City Council District 6 candidates focus on housing and crime. Housing and crime dominate the Nov. 8 Honolulu City Council District 6 race, with both candidates, Traci Toguchi and Tyler Dos Santos-­Tam, choosing to focus on those issues. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore Group Confronts Growing Threats Of Erosion, Sea Level Rise. Members of the hui say that planning against Hawaii’s encroaching shorelines has been “piecemeal” and “reactionary” so far. Civil Beat. KHON2. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu freight company buys former Love’s Bakery headquarters. One of Hawaii’s leading transportation service companies announced that it has purchased the former Love’s Bakery headquarters. Honolulu Freight Service said it will centralize its main Hawaii operations at the building located on Middle Street. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

Radio Station KNDI Entertains And Informs Non-English Speakers. The Filipino-owned station broadcasts in 13 languages. But after 60 years of programming, it faces the challenge of attracting a new generation of listeners. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Victims of affordable housing scheme start lining up. Hawaii County has declared itself a victim of an employee who pleaded guilty to stealing affordable housing credits, and its attorneys are asking the court to return property currently under forfeiture by the federal government. West Hawaii Today.

Another Meeting On Mauna Loa Volcanic Unrest Set For Kona. Emergency officials and scientists will host another “Status Update and Community Discussion” this weekend on the current Mauna Loa volcano unrest, this time in Kona. Big Island Video News.

Pilot, passenger statements describe Big Island copter crash. The National Transportation Safety Board on Monday released various documents related to the crash, which injured all six people on board, but the agency has yet to release a probable cause for why the helicopter suddenly made “violent and uncommanded yaw and pitch changes.” Associated Press.

In ongoing dispute, state seeks more proof lead at Hawaii preschool has been dealt with.
Both the state and the head of Kalamapii Play School returned to court Monday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Pāhala Public & School Library to reopen Nov. 1 after repairs from earthquake damage. The library at 96-3150 Pikake St. had been closed temporarily due to damage caused by the Oct. 14 earthquakes on Mauna Loa’s flanks. Big Island Now.

DLNR to spend $1M to plan demolition of Uncle Billy’s. The Department of Land and Natural Resources. The DLNR announced Monday afternoon that it would use the funds to finance plans and designs for the demolition of the derelict building, which is on state leasehold land. Tribune-Herald.
 
Firebreak project to protect palila OK’d by land board. A proposed firebreak expansion project on Maunakea to protect the critically endangered palila has been approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Lahaina’s Halloween is back, but on smaller scale due to Maui police officer shortage
. After being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lahaina Halloween festivities are back this year, but with no adult party on Front Street due to the 25% shortage of Maui police officers. Maui Now.

‘Showcase’ put on for crew. Lahainaluna students organize event for USS Daniel Inouye. Lahainaluna High School students were able to “showcase their talents” Saturday evening as they performed and hosted a dinner for the crew of the USS Daniel Inouye, the new guided missile destroyer, which anchored in Lahaina this past week. Maui News.

Kauai

Effort to stop redevelopment at former Coco Palms continues. A community-led effort to thwart plans to build a 350-room hotel on the former Coco Palms Resort property on Kauai took a hit after the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week voted to renew permits on land where development would take place. Star-Advertiser.

Kaua‘i federal worker admits to government theft. A Kaua‘i federal worker pleaded guilty on Monday to making about $35,000 in unauthorized purchases on his government credit card over the course of several years. Garden Island.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Uncertainty over tourism plan as contract expires, student shun school, DLNR confiscates boats and lay net, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2022 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Beach scene ©2022 All Hawaii News
Uncertainty builds as U.S. tourism contract end nears for Hawaii. Hawaii visitor industry members are growing increasingly concerned that the Hawaii Tourism Authority will not have a well- defined plan to provide branding and marketing services for the domestic market after Wednesday when a U.S. tourism contract extension expires. Star-Advertiser.

Pandemic leads to shrinking enrollment at Hawaii schools. An unexpected “disappearance” of thousands of students from school enrollment in Hawaii during the COVID-19 pandemic has some education officials concerned that parents might have withdrawn their children without following procedures mandated by state law, technically making them truant. Star-Advertiser.

Missing school: Chronic absenteeism spikes across state. The state Department of Education reported chronic absenteeism, or students missing 15 or more days of school, more than doubled for the state during the 2021-22 school year. Tribune-Herald.

Prosecutors and lawmakers split on need for immediate fix to felony charging law. The Hawaii State Judiciary is increasing grand jury panels in each county to deal with an influx of cases in the wake of a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that preliminary hearings before a judge do not suffice for bringing charges in cases involving serious felonies, including murder. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

‘You Need A Warrant!’: Hawaii’s Dubious Practice Of Taking Children Without A Court Order.
More than 80% of children taken into protective custody in Hawaii are removed from their families without a judge’s approval. That’s not how it works in many other jurisdictions. Civil Beat.

New report shows crime rates up in Hawaii, but low compared to mainland
. Violent crime is up in major cities across the country, including Honolulu, according to a new report by the Major Cities Chiefs Association. KITV4.

Islands’ population decline still tilts toward Las Vegas. Hawaiʻi has been one of several states that has had a declining population in recent years. When it comes to people leaving the islands, Honolulu has been hardest hit, with a recent net loss of tax filers. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi Telescopes Watching Monday’s Asteroid Collision. University of Hawaiʻi astronomers will track the impact of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, using telescopes on Maunakea and Haleakalā. Big Island Video News.

Oahu

EPA report reveals long list of violations at Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility. New federal records reveal a long list of violations by the Navy at the Red Hill fuel facility in the aftermath of the drinking water crisis. The violations include the lack of a spill response plan for Red Hill’s pipeline system and the failure to operate that system in line with good engineering practice. Hawaii News Now.

Department of Planning and Permitting hopes new technology will cut time for permit applications. The city has closed its solicitation period for vendors to bid on installing a new automated system that is expected to shorten the Department of Planning and Permitting’s permit approval process by almost three months. Star-Advertiser.

Raised crosswalk installations scheduled to extend into Kailua and Kaneohe.
The Department of Transportation is extending raised crosswalks onto the windward side of Oahu. Construction will begin Monday, September 26th in Kailua and Kaneohe. KITV4.

Hawaii conservation officers confiscate 2 boats, illegal lay net from man in Kaneohe Bay. State officers confiscated more than 1,000 feet of lay net and two small boats from a man near the Ahu o Laka sandbar in Kaneohe Bay. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Police Department working to fill 69 sworn positions.
More than 14% of the Hawaii Police Department’s budgeted sworn positions were unfilled as of mid-September. West Hawaii Today.

Instructors Asking for Feedback on Maunakea Teaching Telescope Plan. Draft EA predicts no impact for teaching telescope. The assessment, which was published Friday in the state’s Environmental Notice, outlines UH’s plan to erect a telescope at the midlevel facility on Maunakea within an 18-foot-diameter dome on a platform connected to an existing building. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Future Puna Wastewater Service EISPN Notice Issued. The County of Hawai‘i does not provide any wastewater collection and treatment facilities in the Puna area, but plans are being made to change that. Big Island Video News.

12 months of fury: Current eruption of Kilauea began a year ago this week. Scientists and residents alike on Thursday will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the current volcanic eruption of Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Popular Maui beachwalk, trees fall into ocean, triggering calls for managed retreat. Popular Kāʻanapali Beach was a far cry from paradise on Friday. A concrete section of Kāʻanapali Beachwalk was crumbling into the ocean, tall coconut trees crashed in the high surf and a stretch of walkway pooled with minor flooding and debris.   Maui Now.

War Memorial Stadium, track to close for seven months for repairs. The War Memorial Football Stadium and Satoki Yamamoto Track and Field Facility in Wailuku will be closed from Oct. 2 through May 4 while it undergoes repair projects, the county Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday. Maui News.

A ‘School Within A School’ Is Building Community And Food Security In Hana. It’s not uncommon for schools to have gardens, but what’s taking place at Hana School is of an entirely different scale. Civil Beat.

Cost, location of school crossing options weighed. Residents support shuttling students to campus as one temporary solution. Maui News.

Kauai

State seeks hefty fine against owners of Kauai dam, claiming years of inaction on safety threats. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking to fine the owners of a Kauai dam at least $5,000 a day, alleging the potential collapse of the dam could endanger lives. Hawaii News Now.

County Announces Auction of Used Equipment, Supplies at Department of Water. The county will conduct a sealed bid auction of items no longer being used by the Department of Water. Kauai Now.

Not forgetting the 100th Infantry Battalion.
The West Kaua‘i Club 100, named for veterans of the U.S. Army’s famed 100th Infantry Battalion, presented the 47th 100th Infantry Battalion Memorial Service Sunday at Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery. Garden Island.


Thursday, September 8, 2022

COVID testing company gives big to Hawaii Democrats, Honolulu permitting chief resigns, Maui police chief cleared, Kauai council gives itself 15% raise, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Why Is Nomi Health Donating To Key Democrats In Blue State Hawaii After Giving Big To GOP? The Utah-based company contributed to the campaigns of six Democrats in Hawaii, including Josh Green and Sylvia Luke, the Democratic nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. USA Today.

Former defense contractor pleads guilty to PPP fraud. A former Hawaii defense contractor changed his plea to guilty in federal court Wednesday, admitting he defrauded banks of more than $22.8 million intended to help businesses struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. Martin Kao, 49, the former head of Martin Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Navatek LLC, is charged with bank fraud and money laundering. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Marines welcome new commander of Pacific forces. Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder handed the reins of Marine Corps Forces, Pacific to Lt. Gen. William Jurney in a Wednesday morning ceremony at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Star-Advertiser.

Abrupt closure of air ambulance company leaves many in shock. The parent company of LifeSave KuPono shut down the air ambulance service Wednesday, leaving just one air ambulance company serving the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines dropping employee vaccination mandate.
Hawaiian Airlines is removing COVID-19 vaccinations as a requirement for employment effective Oct. 1 and dispensing with other elements of its COVID-19 safety policy. Star-Advertiser.

Researchers emphasize importance of wastewater surveillance to monitor COVID.
After delays in Hawaii’s wastewater monitoring program, DOH officials said they have started processing some wastewater samples to monitor COVID. Hawaii News Now.

New COVID booster shots available as Hawaii case counts decline. Several pharmacies have already started taking appointments for the boosters, while some community health centers are preparing to do so in the coming days. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii will begin offering the bivalent COVID-19 boosters at its facilities Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Department reports 1,215 new COVID-19 infections, 11 coronavirus-related deaths this past week. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, continued dropping to 6.4% compared to 7.3% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Director Of Honolulu’s Troubled Permitting Office Resigns. Mayor Rick Blangiardi appointed Dean Uchida with hopes of streamlining permitting, but delays have gotten significantly worse. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Pentagon speeds up timeline for defueling Red Hill by several months. The U.S. Department of Defense has sped up its timeline for draining the Navy’s underground Red Hill fuel tanks by about five months and now expects that the work can be completed by July 2024. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Honolulu taxi industry wants more control over meter rates. Dale Evans, CEO of Charley's Taxi, has asked the City and County of Honolulu to repeal the ordinance that controls taxi fares — which she says is threatening her business. Hawaii Public Radio.

Another Key Player In The Miske Conspiracy Case Has Made A Deal With Prosecutors. Lance Lee Bermudez is the sixth of the original 10 co-defendants to flip by agreeing to testify against the accused crime boss. Civil Beat.

Thursday parade and festivities to honor Honolulu Little League World Series champions. The city of Honolulu will come together Thursday to honor the Little League World Series Champions -- with a midday parade and festivities on beginning at noon. KITV4. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Affordable housing scandal: Council seeks accounting; defendants fire their lawyers. Hilo attorneys Paul Joseph Sulla Jr. and Gary Charles Zamber, in a Sept. 1 status conference with federal Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield, asked that their attorneys be terminated so they can represent themselves. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo Bayfront Trails project gets next installment. While the first phase of the project — which connected Mooheau Park, Pauahi Street, the Bayfront canoe hale, and the Bayfront soccer fields — was completed in 2016, work on a second phase to connect Kilauea Avenue to the soccer fields trail built in Phase 1 didn’t begin until earlier this year. Tribune-Herald.

County Works to Set Replacement Schedule for e-Waste Collection Events. While the county’s e-Waste Collection Program remains suspended, county officials say they are working to set a replacement schedule of electronics recycling collection events for the remainder of the calendar year with the reduced state funding available. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Maui Police Commission Finds Complaints Against New Chief ‘Not Substantiated’. Outside investigators were hired to look into several complaints made against John Pelletier, who has hired a coach to address his management style. Civil Beat.

Maui Council committee to consider Energy Conservation Code amendments. Councilmember Kelly Takaya King announced that the Climate, Action, Resilience and Environment Committee, which she chairs, will consider a county-specific version of Hawaiʻi State Energy Conservation Code. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kaua‘i county council approves 15% raises for mayor, department heads, council members. In a procedure unique among Hawai‘i counties, Kaua‘i County council members unanimously voted Wednesday to approve raises that will likely affect some of their own salaries. Garden Island.

Laukona Park improvements pau. The county’s Department of Parks &Recreation and Cushnie Construction hosted a small group of dignitaries, community supporters and friends to the new pavilion Wednesday, after Sean Chung officiated at the blessing of the Laukona Park Improvements Project in Hanama‘ulu. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Hawaii tax hikes target tourists, second homes; Oahu permitting chief to curb bribery schemes; widow sues police over shooting, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

 

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Magic island sunset on Oahu ©2021 All Hawaii News

New Taxes, Tourism Funding Cuts Among Bills Pushed Through As Legislature Winds Down.
House and Senate lawmakers gave preliminary approval Thursday to a measure that would allow the counties to levy their own tax of up to 3% on hotel rooms and vacation rental units, a move that one lawmaker said would “incentivize” the counties to crack down on illegal vacation rentals. Lawmakers also tentatively agreed Thursday to a significant boost in the state conveyance tax that would be imposed on sales of the most expensive non-owner occupied homes in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Budget cuts slated for Hawaii Tourism Authority as lawmakers look to reorganize department. After much back and forth, lawmakers agreed on a bill that would cut HTA’s budget from $79 million to $60 million. KHON2.

Cruise ship industry poised for comeback, but are they safe? A year after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shut down cruise ships because of COVID, officials say the industry is ready to resume with strict guidelines to control the virus. Hawaii News Now.

Vacation rental occupancy in March tops hotels again. Vacation rental occupancy statewide topped Hawaii hotels in March, continuing a six-month trend that emerged in October after Safe Travels Hawaii allowed some visitors to bypass the state’s COVID-­related travel quarantine. Star-Advertiser.

How Hawaii Squandered Its Food Security — And What It Will Take To Get It Back. Hawaii’s reliance on food imports began in the 1960s. To achieve self-sufficiency again, experts say it will take old values and new tools. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers prepare for when Hawaii eviction moratorium ends. An eviction moratorium is in place that is stopping landlords from evicting tenants for not paying rent during the pandemic. It ends on Tuesday, June 8, unless it is extended. KHON2.

April 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 101 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Thursday, including 76 on O‘ahu, nine on Maui, nine on Hawai‘i Island, two on Kaua‘i, and five in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.

Oahu

Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting takes steps to curb corruption. The Department of Planning and Permitting is taking steps to reckon with the conditions within the department that led to federal charges against five former and current employees for accepting bribes to perform city services. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

With Its New Climate Plan, The City Aims To Curb Oahu’s Growing Carbon Pollution
. Cars and trucks are the main culprit driving more greenhouse gas emissions on Oahu in recent years, the new plan states. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Widow of man shot dead by Honolulu police in Nuuanu files lawsuit.
The widow of Lindani Myeni, who was shot and killed by police at a home in Nuuanu on April 14 during an alleged burglary, has filed a lawsuit against the city and three police officers for the wrongful death of her husband. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Oahu Island Burial Council claims Ige is retaliating against its longtime leader. The group claimed Ige did not grant Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu another term because she spoke out publicly in January about alleged mismanagement at the State Historic Preservation Division. Hawaii News Now.

Waikīkī Beach Undergoes Sand Replenishment for Second Time in a Decade. A planned beach maintenance and sand replenishment project at Waikīkī Beach enters its final stage in the heart of Hawai‘i’s major tourism district. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

City hopes to buy neglected property near Pearl Harbor bike path and turn it into a park. The city hopes to transform a private property along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path into a new park, but the owner said they’re not offering what the lot is worth. Hawaii News Now.

A pier, staircase on public land trigger dispute with private homeowners. Two wealthy Oahu homeowners face fines for doing unauthorized construction work on oceanfront state land to improve long-standing amenities for their residences. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council hires auditor: Spokane auditor Tyler Benner chosen to lead county office. The Hawaii County Council has chosen as its next county auditor an admitted introvert who owns property on the Big Island over a retiree with 30 years of experience. West Hawaii Today.

Supreme Court hears arguments in Honua Ola’s appeal of PUC ruling.
The state Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments in Honua Ola Bioenergy’s appeal requesting the high court order the Public Utilities Commission to vacate its July 9, 2020, decision that nullified an amended power-purchase agreement the Pepeekeo power plant had with Hawaiian Electric Co. Tribune-Herald.

Island Naturals plans new flagship store near Wailoa park. Island Naturals founder Russell Ruderman said Thursday he wants to build a retail center that will be at least 67,000-square-feet near Wailoa State Recreation Area that will include a new store location, space for several other businesses, and possibly office space. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

4-year college degree won’t be required for next chief. While the Maui Police Commission will seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree or other higher education in selecting the next police chief, a four-year college degree won’t be a requirement to apply for the job. Maui News.

Despite pause in efforts, conservation groups press on.
While a pause in human activity during the pandemic gave the environment some relief, it also took a toll on local conservation groups who halted projects and scaled back volunteers as the virus spread across the world last year. Maui News.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green Tours Maui Hospital Vaccination Clinic. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green toured the Maui Memorial Medical Center today as part of an island visit that also included discussion with Intensive Care Unit nurses who care for COVID patients, and a visit with Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now.

DOH: California variant is the ‘predominant strain’ on Maui
. Epidemiologist says 85% of samples analyzed in March were variants. Maui News.

Kauai

Council urges broadband equity. Wednesday, the County Council made a commitment, through a resolution, urging the development of broadband infrastructure in support of closing the digital divide during the COVID-19 recovery period. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i has 2nd COVID-19-related fatality.
Thursday, the county announced its second COVID-19-related fatality, claiming the life of an elderly female Kaua‘i resident who was hospitalized on O‘ahu, according to the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office. Garden Island.

Construction today at Kalena Park. The scope of the work includes installation of signs and concrete barriers and removal of fencing, by contractor KickAss Concrete. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness, HUD funds to buy out lava victims, Westboro Baptist Church to picket Maui high school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Homeless in Honolulu ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hawaii drops to No. 2 in homelessness as trends improve, officials say. Hawaii no longer holds the ignominious title as the country’s leading state in per capita homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Is No Longer No. 1 For Homelessness. New York Is Worse. Civil Beat.

Get Ready For An Economic Slowdown, State Economist Says. It’s not a recession yet but government should consider picking up some of the private sector’s slack as the construction industry wanes. Civil Beat.

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Rep. Chris Lee to seek Windward Senate seat. State Rep. Chris Lee has become the first prominent politician to announce plans to run for the soon-to-be- vacated state Senate seat held by Laura Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo- Kailua), creating a fourth vacancy on the Windward side. Star-Advertiser.

Chris Lee Leaving House Seat For State Senate Run. The lawmaker is seeking the Kailua to Hawaii Kai seat being vacated by Laura Thielen. Civil Beat.

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Fighters and other aircraft will train over Hawaii for the Hawaii Air National Guard’s exercises. A dozen or more fighter jets are expected to roar off the reef runway at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport twice a day for the latest iteration of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s “Sentry Aloha” fighter exercise. Star-Advertiser.

OHA Returned $2M Of Ceded Land Revenue In 2019. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has previously pushed to have a cap on their ceded land revenues raised. Civil Beat.

Pushing to halt all aquarium fishing. Some conservation groups and Native Hawaiians are concerned the state isn’t following court orders for the environmental review of aquarium fishing and permit issuance in Hawaii. Garden Island.

Medicare Trims Payments To 8 Hawaii Hospitals. Medicare docks hospitals on an annual basis for too many patients returning to the hospital within a month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s largest health insurance company, has agreed to pay $180,000 and provide injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Tuesday. Tribune-Herald.

Assistant Superintendent Retires From DOE. Another assistant superintendent in the Hawaii Department of Education has left, marking the third departure from the core leadership team within a span of six months. Civil Beat.

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Hawaiian Telcom announced Tuesday that its chief of staff, and former broadcast journalist, Su Shin has been promoted to president and general manager effective Feb. 10. She replaces John Komeiji, who resigned as president and general manager. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Telcom names new president and general manager. Hawaiian Telcom today announced that Su Shin, its Chief of Staff, has been promoted to President and General Manager effective February 10, 2020. KHON2.

Oahu

Audit: Honolulu Can’t Meet Building Industry Demands For Permits. Low pay, insufficient training and high turnover contribute to a permitting department that can’t keep up, the auditor found. Civil Beat.

City officials say new audit findings show help is needed at the Department of Planning and Permitting. A new audit found the department isn't keeping up with the demands of the building industry. KITV4.

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Oahu Grapples With Where To Place Its Next Landfill As It Confronts Its Waste Dilemma. About 30 trucks roll down Farrington Highway on the west side of Oahu every day to dump waste at the City and County of Honolulu's only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch. Hawaii Public Radio.

Auditor: Handi-Van Software – And Perhaps Its Operator – Need An Overhaul. The Honolulu auditor’s latest update on Handi-Van performance finds some progress, but the busy paratransit service still needs a lot of improvement. Civil Beat.

City issues 260 citations for illegal short term vacation rentals across the island. Despite the crackdown, hundreds of short term vacation rentals are still operating on the Windward side of O'ahu. KITV4.

Vacation Rentals Are Still Thriving In Kailua. Critics warned that a bill to crack down on illegal vacation rentals would doom Kailua’s economy. But months later, the town still bustles with tourists and hundreds of vacation rentals. Civil Beat.

1 year later, city touts success of Punawai Rest Stop for homeless. One year after it first opened its doors, city officials say the Punawai Rest Stop for homeless on Kuwili Street is a big success. Hawaii News Now.

Punawai Rest Stop homeless program recognizes one year anniversary. The city’s Punawai Rest Stop is a homeless program that is working. KHON2.

Hawaii Island


Property buyouts mulled: County will use HUD funds to purchase land from those wanting to leave areas impacted by eruption. Tribune-Herald.

Contract awarded for road and trail repairs in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced Tuesday that it has awarded a $3.3 million contract to a construction company to repair roads and trails that were damaged during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. Tribune-Herald.

Eruption-Damaged Road Repairs In HVNP Set To Begin. Repairs to roads and paved trails in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park that were damaged during Kilauea Volcano’s 2018 eruption and summit collapse are set to begin in February. Big Island Video News.

Making housing affordable: Council panel advances resolution to reach solution. Government officials agree Hawaii County needs to construct more affordable housing, and there’s also agreement on the steps that can be taken to do it. But how to pay for it is open to debate. West Hawaii Today.

Audit sought for subdivision, zoning statutes. A Hawaii County Council committee voted in support of an audit that would be the first step in rewriting two chapters of the county code. Tribune-Herald.

Council members give thumbs down to Kim nominee. A Hawaii County Council committee voted against recommending a nominee to the Leeward Planning Commission Tuesday after a vetting process failed to discover a disciplinary complaint against him. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

In election year, search for new county clerk underway. New Maui County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee hopes to have candidates lined up for the Maui County clerk and deputy clerk positions — the county’s top two elections officials — in about two weeks. Maui News.

Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket at Maui High on Friday. Maui Baptist churches are denouncing and disassociating themselves from the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a widely recognized hate group that has announced plans to protest at Maui High School on Friday. Maui News.

Public Meetings to Discuss Hana Highway Bridge Updates. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation will host a series of public meetings to discuss a project to improve six of the historic bridges along the Hāna Highway (Route 360), located between Huelo and Hana town. Maui Now.


Kauai

Cat kills Hawaiian petrel. A cat has been terrorizing Hawaiian petrel burrows in the mountains of the Hono NaPali Natural Area Reserve, and its latest kill was a chick involved in a scientific tracking project. Garden Island.

Molokai

Power slowly being restored to Molokai after island-wide outage. Most on Molokai were without electricity for much of the day Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hawaii feeling the shutdown strain, sole GOP state senator affirmed by Supreme Court, Gabbard criticizing Democratic colleagues, bacteria closes Oahu beaches, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2019 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Honolulu International Airport ©2019 All Hawaii News
Shutdown strain could lead to longer airport lines. Working without pay for weeks. While the battle over the partial government shutdown takes place in Washington D-C, it's putting a strain on people here in Hawaii. KITV.

Impact in Hawaii likely to worsen as shutdown continue. The number of federal civilian employees in Hawaii that are either furloughed or working without pay 20 days after the government partially shut down has been tallied at some 2,741, according to website governing.com, which focuses on state and local government. Star-Advertiser.

Day 19: Federal workers in Hawaii take on side jobs, loans as shutdown drags on. Hawaii News Now.

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The State’s General Fund forecast for the current fiscal year was lowered less than one percentage point today, meaning there’s less money to spend in the upcoming legislative session. Hawaii Public Radio.

The Hawaii Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a challenge filed by defeated state Senate candidate Matt LoPresti, clearing the way for Kurt Fevella to be the state’s only Republican senator. Star-Advertiser.

Minimum Wage And Marijuana: What To Expect In The 2019 Hawaii Legislature. Lawmakers will tackle familiar issues like public school funding. They’re also likely to raise the minimum wage and might even legalize recreational marijuana. Civil Beat.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took aim at Democratic colleagues, including U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, accusing them of religious bigotry in their questioning of Brian Buescher, a nominee to the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, in an opinion piece published by The Hill yesterday. Star-Advertiser.

Childhood sexual abuse, drug use, violence and fractured families are among the common threads in the victim stories told to researchers examining the scope of sex trafficking in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

High bacteria levels at various beaches lead to closure of a popular spot. Due to the elevated levels, a city spokesperson said Hanauma Bay would be closed on Thursday. The upper viewing area, parking lot, and visitor center will remain open. Hawaii News Now.

Hanauma Bay will be closed Thursday after testing showed elevated levels of bacteria in the water. It's one of six separate areas of Oahu where high bacteria levels were found. KHON2.

Honolulu Police Chief increases patrol staff for the next few years. KHON2.

An erased crosswalk renews calls for safer roads after elderly man’s death. It was Oahu’s first traffic fatality of the year. Hawaii News Now.

"Put the crosswalk back on Hawaii Kai Drive," residents urge the city after a man dies in the area. KHON2.

The tail section of a crashed Hawker Hunter fighter jet -- with its engine and "black box" -- was recovered in about 265 feet of water Monday off Kewalo Basin, the Coast Guard said. Star-Advertiser.

Non-Profits Contribute Funds, Staff to Keep Pearl Harbor Open During Shutdown. Hawaii Public Radio.

The International Market Place — more than two years after opening a glitzy $500 million shopping complex in the heart of Waikiki — is redesigning its Kalakaua Avenue entrance to improve the flow of customers. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island


Despite perennial complaints about the cumbersome process of getting building permits, the head of that county division was elevated Wednesday to director of the Department of Public Works. West Hawaii Today.

David Yamamoto, a long-time County engineer, was confirmed as the new Director of Public Works by the Hawaii County Council during a meeting in Hilo on Wednesday. Big Island Video News.

A pair of bills that appropriate millions of federal dollars to recover from 2018’s disasters passed their first readings by the County Council on Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

A priority list of Kilauea Volcano eruption recovery projects was provided to the Hawaii County Council today, as a bill to appropriate an early round of Federal Emergency Management Agency funds passed first reading. Big Island Video News.

Big Island officials are asking state lawmakers for $155 million to fund repairs and losses due to the Kilauea eruption. That’s on top of more than half a billion dollars in federal funding sought by the county and Big Island residents. Hawaii News Now.

When the new legislative session opens next week Hawaii County will ask the state for $155 million dollars to help with the Kilauea eruption recovery. KITV.

County Council members Wednesday held their noses and advanced a sewer rate hike few seemed to like, sending it to the council for two more votes. West Hawaii Today.

Federal class-action suit claims Lloyd’s, underwriters, defrauded Puna homeowners. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii County Department of Water Supply employees at a public meeting in Holualoa Wednesday evening fielded inquiries on a new 16-inch transmission line set to span 5,240 feet of Mamalahoa Highway between Water Pipe Road and Kamila Place. West Hawaii Today.

Other Spaceport Plans Crashed — Will This One Fly? The site of a proposed launch pad in Puna has not been revealed, but a preliminary possibility is described as “east or northeast of the macadamia nut farm.” Civil Beat.

Maui

The Maui Planning Commission has approved a settlement agreement between Maui County and the Kapalua Resort Association, which dismantled a rock wall on its property without permits in June 2017. Maui News.

The state Health Department said this morning it has ordered Maui Land & Pineapple Co. to pay a penalty of $230,000 for 15 wastewater effluent violations from the Haliimaile waste stabilization ponds on the Valley Isle. The company must also build a new wastewater treatment plant. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii State Department of Health issued a Notice of Violation and Order against the Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. for 15 alleged wastewater effluent violations from the Haliimaile waste stabilization ponds on Maui. The company has been ordered to pay a penalty of $230,000 and construct a new wastewater treatment plant. Maui Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple fined for wastewater violations. KHON2.

Department of Taxation special agents and state Deputy Sheriffs arrested today a former tax preparer in Lahaina for tax violations. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

On Kauai, election officials are preparing for a big experiment: All mail-in voting. Last year, Governor David Ige signed a law that allows Kauai County to distribute mail-in ballots to all registered voters for the 2020 primary and general elections. Hawaii News Now.

Knee-deep in keawe and spiders, about 15 sailors at the Pacific Missile Range Facility were on the hunt for albatross nests Wednesday morning, under the guidance of the base’s natural resource team and members of federal and state wildlife and land management agencies. Garden Island.

The opening of Kuhio Highway on the North Shore remains uncertain. In an update on emergency repairs to the road damaged in the April flooding, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said Wednesday there have been “unavoidable extensions in the project schedule.” Garden Island.