Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Food production a Senate priority, Saiki supports public election financing bills, lawmakers mull HECO lawsuit bailout bills, judge recuses himself in Kaneshiro corruption case, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State lawmakers dish out their food and agriculture priorities for the legislative session. Agriculture and food security have been a priority since the start of the legislative session last week. They were a large part of Senate President Ron Kouchi’s opening remarks. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOE's Farm to School program moves forward with growing support from state leaders. 
The goal of the state Department of Education program is to use local agriculture to feed students. Hawaii Public Radio.

Saiki supports bills for full public financing of political campaigns.  House Speaker Scott Saiki has thrown his support behind an effort for full public financing for political candidates starting in 2028, which proponents say would reduce the temptation for political corruption and perhaps lead to a new generation of younger elected officials who aren’t beholden to special interests and corporations. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii Lawmakers Are Considering Ways To Help HECO Pay Maui Fire Costs. Hawaiian Electric says proposed legislation is not intended to shift any lawsuit settlements to consumers. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers weigh big funding asks to tackle wildfire, climate change mitigation. Recovery from the the Maui wildfires is a priority, but so is climate change and lawmakers grilled the state attorney general Wednesday about a lawsuit filed by children. Hawaii News Now.

‘Abusive’ Lawsuits, Early Child Care Lead Hawaii Women’s Caucus Package Of Bills. The bipartisan group of legislators finds joining forces helps get measures passed at the Legislature.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Many 'emergency hire' teachers brought in to fight Hawaii's teacher shortage
. Gov. Josh Green is requesting more than $125 million in the state budget for public education. Green said his administration has helped reduce the state's teacher shortage by more than 50% in the past year. KITV4.


Judge Backs Out Of Honolulu Corruption Case At Last Minute. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright filed a one-sentence order on Wednesday morning declaring his recusal from the case against former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and local businessman Dennis Mitsunaga. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Council approves federal agreement to fund rail. A critical hurdle to getting a long-awaited injection of cash for Honolulu’s lumbering rail project was crossed Wednesday when the Honolulu City Council signed off on its end of an agreement for federal funding. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Businesses Hurt By Rail Construction Could Get Relief But Hurdles Remain. The City Council approved an effort to jump-start an existing fund, but it's unclear where the money will come from. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Testimony shifts to alleged kidnapping in Miske trial.
A former employee of Michael J. Miske’s businesses testified Wednesday that his boss used violence to get his way and helped him coordinate the kidnapping of an accountant. Star-Advertiser. KHON2KITV4.

Honolulu emergency agency leaders revive official who collapsed at City Council hearing.
Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director Jim Ireland, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Sheldon Hao, and Honolulu Police Department Deputy Chief Rade Vanic and Acting Major Mikel Kunishima were attending the hearing when a 60-year-old testifier identified as Hawaii Community Development Authority Chairperson Brian Lee “became unresponsive,” according to a news release. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Turkish Coffee Or Universal Khaki? Another Honolulu Condo Dispute Goes To Court. The lawsuit alleges the condo board has resurrected old dispute to retaliate against owner. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Dozens express strong opposition to County Council’s short-term rental measure.
A proposal to rewrite how Hawaii County regulates short-term vacation rentals led to hours of backlash from residents accusing the County Council of overreach. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Big Island Council Rejects $1 Million From State To Plan A Lower Puna Traffic Relief Route. Council members voted 6-2 to decline the state funding after hearing hours of emotional testimony from residents on Hawaiian Home Lands in Panaewa and Keaukaha.  Civil Beat. Big Island Now.  KITV4.

State to get $74.6M to fix Nanue, Hakalau bridges.
Hawaii will receive $74.6 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the rehabilitation of the Nanue and Hakalau bridges on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.


Last-Minute Bill Introduced To Support Long-Term Maui Wildfire Exposure Study. Hawaii lawmakers are being asked to pony up funds to support a comprehensive study of residents affected by the Aug. 8 fires. Civil Beat.

State legislature introduces Maui County Council’s proposal for paid family leave
. Maui County Councilmember Gabe Johnson announced the introduction of state legislation seeking to mandate access to paid family leave for state and county employees. Maui Now.

Staffing shortage results in delay of management plan for Maui north shore parcels. The department had anticipated beginning the area’s management plan in early 2024 with the help of a consultant; however, due to unexpected staffing changes over the last month, the project start date will be postponed to later this year.  Maui Now.


PETA condemns Zuckerberg’s ‘cockamamie cattle project’ on Kauai. Animal rights group PETA has launched a national empathy campaign following Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he started a cattle-raising operation on his Kauai property. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kawakami outlined top Kaua‘i priorities to Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation during visit to Washington D.C. Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami traveled last week to Washington, D.C., to participate in the U.S. Conference of Mayors 92nd Winter Meeting. Kauai Now.

Kaua‘i Economic Development Board breaks ground on renovation project. The high tech workforce development program involves classes and certification of areas, including digital animation, Native Hawaiian storytelling, Unreal Engine Training, a CID Creative Lab or music ideation program and Game Dev HQ. Garden Island.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Mizuno's wife/office manager named to his House seat, Kona airport runway springs 3rd crack, removal of 600k tons of ash begins at Lahaina, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

May Mizuno succeeds her husband as new state House representative.  Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday appointed Joje “May” Mizuno to succeed her husband as the new District 29 state representative for Kamehameha Heights-Kalihi Valley. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. KITV4.

Hawaii Lawmakers Say They’re Ready To Bring Back A Fire Marshal’s Office. Politicians have heeded firefighters' calls in light of the Aug. 8 wildfires, submitting draft bills to establish a fire marshal after the position was disbanded decades ago. Civil Beat.

State falling short on carbon reduction goal. A new report from the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office paints a stark picture of Hawaiʻi's progress to cut out fossil fuels. Hawaii Public Radio. On the current path, the state will achieve about a 54% reduction in carbon emissions by 2045, well short of the 100% reduction needed for carbon neutrality. Hawaii Public Radio.

New law requires more transparency for use of force by police. A law requiring all police agencies statewide to maintain publicly available written policies regarding minimum standards on the use of force went into effect Jan. 1. Tribune-Herald.

Here's what state lawmakers are prioritizing for education this legislative session.  This year, education proposals in the Hawaiʻi Legislature will focus on pressing issues like the recovery of Lahaina schools and wildfire prevention. Hawaii Public Radio.

College degrees greatly boost lifetime earnings, UH report finds. While University of Hawaii tuition has become more affordable over the past 10 years when adjusted for inflation, and the financial benefits of a degree remain strong, college enrollment rates among Hawaii public school graduates have declined since the COVID-19 pandemic, with about 500 fewer entering higher education each year, a new report says.  Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

Mississippi Publisher Looks To Buy Struggling Star-Advertiser And Other Hawaii Papers. Media mogul David Black, who merged Honolulu's two daily newspapers, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada.  Civil Beat.


UH signs deal to develop new satellite technology. Under a new agreement, the University of Hawaii at Manoa hopes to promote greater research and development of new satellite-­based technologies to better study Earth from space. Star-Advertiser.

Public invited to meet 3 finalists vying for JABSOM dean position.
Three finalists are in the running for the position of dean of the University of Hawaiʻi’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Hawaii Public Radio. Star-Advertiser.

HECO gathers community input for power plant upgrade proposal.  Hawaiian Electric wants to replace some of its oldest generators with new technology, but the cost to customers is still unclear. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Military begins removal of ‘residual’ fuel at Red Hill. The military began removing “residual” fuel from the Navy’s underground Red Hill Fuel Farm on Monday, marking the beginning of the next phase of the facility’s closure. Star-Advertiser.

Firefighters find fallen hiker at Lanipo after rescuing her dog. Honolulu firefighters on Monday rescued a hiker who had fallen more than 170 feet below a trail above Kaimuki after finding her dog alone on a mountain slope. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Third crack appears on Kona Airport runway. Hawaii Officials Blame Age And Weather For Cracks On Kona Runway. The airport, which shut down for several hours, is scheduled for $120 million in upgrades this summer. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  West Hawaii Today.  Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Hikers rescued from Mauna Loa cited for not having backcountry permit. Officials from the National Park Service said two hikers who were rescued Monday morning from Mauna Loa after getting lost during severe winter weather that had closed the summit. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Theft of mail reported in parts of Hilo. Hilo residents are advised to secure their mailboxes after a spate of mail thefts around the north edge of town. Tribune-Herald.


600,000 tons of ash, debris to be hauled from Lahaina.  The Lahaina wildfire debris removal project began Tuesday with preparation work in anticipation of hauling away an estimated 600,000 tons of ash and waste over the next year. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Renters Face ‘Increasingly Hostile Housing Market’ Despite Eviction Moratorium. Housing advocates say landlords are being tempted to oust renters in favor of more lucrative rent subsidies for fire survivors amid high demand. Civil Beat.

Recovery Of Maui Schools Is A Priority For The New Legislative Session. A temporary campus replacing a Lahaina elementary school destroyed in the August wildfires is set to open in April, officials said. Civil Beat.


Biodiesel refinery expands operations to Kaua‘i. A biodiesel refinery is expanding its operations to Kaua‘i as part of a project to produce renewable biofuel from multiple locally grown oilseed cover crops. Kauai Now.

Visitor, 30, dies after fall from Kauai hiking trail. A 30-year-old visitor died Sunday after a fall from the Hanakapiai Falls Trail in Haena, according to Kauai County officials. Star-Advertiser. Garden Island.  Kauai Now.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Public election financing bill revived, Green seeks $2.2M to fight climate change lawsuit, Zuckerberg plans to raise beef on mac nuts and beer at Kauai ranch, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Full Public Financing Of Elections Is Being Revived At Hawaii Legislature. State Sen. Karl Rhoads will resurrect a bill that would establish a comprehensive campaign financing system intended help attract a more diverse pool of political candidates. Civil Beat. West Hawaii Today.

University of Hawaii Budget Request Faces Backlash From Senators. Senators and University of Hawaii leaders clashed over funding for student housing during a budget hearing Wednesday, even as both groups recognized an urgent need to address a years-long facilities problem.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii News Now.

Firm fighting climate lawsuit accused of aggressive tactics. Gov. Josh Green’s administration is requesting an additional $2.25 million to fight the climate lawsuit brought by 14 Hawaii youths claiming that the state Department of Transportation has violated their constitutional rights “to live healthful lives in Hawai‘i now and into the future.”  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi Senate majority announces legislative priorities for 2024, including fires recovery support. With the 32nd State Legislature set to begin on Jan. 17, the Hawaiʻi Senate Majority said in a press release on Wednesday it is focused on addressing a range of issues, with a key focus on supporting ongoing disaster recovery efforts following the devastating Maui wildfires. Maui Now. Garden Island.

Feds Announce $2.6 Million In Grants To Fortify Hawaii’s Food Supply Chain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will focus on small- and medium-sized producers. Civil Beat.


Oahu’s Rolling Blackouts Stemmed From A Series Of Unfortunate Events. They occurred as the island grows more dependent on solar energy. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Kapi’olani and its unionize nurses prepare for weeklong strike.
Unionized nurses at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women &Children said they will go on a weeklong strike later this month, and management assured the public that they have a plan to maintain the hospital’s quality of care. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Battle for heiress’s estate comes to an end. The prolonged and contentious battle over the estate of the late Abigail Kawananakoa has come to an amicable end with the spouse of the late Campbell Estate heiress walking away with at least $40 million and the heiress’ foundation charity for Native Hawaiians expected to clear at least $100 million. Star-Advertiser.

‘Rescue tubes’ installed at local beaches, city says. A Wednesday morning news conference to announce the installation of 20 bright yellow foam flotation devices called “rescue tubes” on city-owned beaches was briefly interrupted with a real-time ocean rescue. Star-Advertiser.

Settlement talks continue in sex assault case against former Saint Louis School football stars.
The attorneys for Saint Louis School, two former high school football stars and a woman suing them for sex assault have not come to settlement terms — despite three days of mediation. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Bill to fund study of Puna alternate route postponed.
  A study investigating possibilities for a new roadway into Puna has been put off a little longer after questions about how to protect Hawaiian homestead land. Tribune-Herald.

$3.2 Million Released For Wailoa Small Boat Harbor Improvements. $3.2 million in state funds has been released by Hawaiʻi Governor Josh Green for improvements at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor. The money will go toward design and construction costs. Big Island Video News.

Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo to reopen next week.
  Kaʻūmana Caves in Hilo, which have been closed since Sept. 23, 2023, because of a rock fall and partial collapse, will reopen to the public Jan. 16. Big Island Now. Big Island Video News.


Heavy Rain Washed Fire-Related Contaminants Into The Ocean Off Lahaina.
A massive brown plume has scientists worried despite protective measures aimed at preventing toxic runoff. Civil Beat.

'I’m not homeless, I’m from here': Unsheltered Maui fire survivors navigate alternative living. Volunteers from A Cup of Cold Water are continuing to accept donations to fill the growing need. John Hirashima said the organization is now serving about 40 people in Kīhei, 80 to 100 in Central Maui, and 60 to 80 in West Maui. Hawaii Public Radio.

County to host Right-of-Entry workshops for owners who lost properties in Maui fires. Workshops will feature presentations by County of Maui and US Army Corps of Engineers officials, along with community experts, who will offer crucial information about the fire debris cleanup process, options available for residential and commercial property owners and an opportunity to ask questions.  Maui Now.


Facebook founder says he’s working on a ‘delicious’ new project on Kauai.
Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a cattle-raising project on Kauai in an official Facebook post on Wednesday.  Zuckerberg’s plan is to feed the cows exclusively macadamia meal and beer. This plan would require him to plant many macadamia trees. Hawaii News Now.

Above-average rainfall recorded on Kaua‘i despite persistent drought conditions in December statewide.
In December, windward gauges had near to above-average rainfall, while most of the leeward gages had below-average rainfall.  Kauai Now.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Almost half of Emergency Management Agency positions vacant, Inouye's son to run for state Legislature, raises in store for public schools executives, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency Struggles To Fill Many Key Jobs. About 45% of HIEMA's civil service jobs are vacant, forcing the agency to use temporary and exempt employees to fill in. Civil Beat.

Hawaii public school executives’ maximum salaries raised to $192K to $206K.  Seven months after angry public testimony helped to compel the state Department of Education to scale back a proposal to raise salaries of officials at the top levels of Hawaii’s public school system, the state Board of Education has approved salary increases of 4.6% to 6% for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for 21 out of 25 of its “subordinate superintendents.”  Star-Advertiser.

Inouye’s son making first run at House seat against La Chica. The son of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye plans to make his first foray into politics at the age of 59 by challenging fellow, first-time Democratic state Rep. Trish La Chica for the House seat representing Waipio-Mililani in 2024. Star-Advertiser.

Late state Sen. Sam Slom to be celebrated at Capitol. Friends, family and legislative colleagues have planned the only public “celebration of life” for state Sen. Sam Slom, who died in May at the age of 81 after serving 20 years in the Senate. Star-Advertiser.

State Central Committee of Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi votes to oust chairperson Jung. The State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i on Sunday voted to remove Chairperson Dennis Jung and begin the process to elect new party leadership. Maui Now.

Hawaii Ethics Commission Steps Up Training Of Government Employees. Since a new law requiring state legislators and employees to complete live or online ethics training classes every four years went into effect Jan. 1, the number of people taking the course has increased significantly as compared to 2021. Civil Beat.

50,000 acres of state farmland set to move under Department of Agriculture management
. About 50,000 acres of Hawaiʻi farmland managed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources are set to be transferred to the Department of Agriculture. The move is two decades in the making. Hawaii Public Radio.


Waikiki climate change study underway, city says. The city Department of Planning and Permitting says it’s kicked off a nearly $400,000 pilot project to study the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on Oahu’s prime tourist zone. Star-Advertiser.

Cesspool Conversions: Honolulu Seeks To Connect More Homes To Main Sewer System. A proposal to install sewer lines for a section of Ewa Beach is shaping up as a litmus test for the effort as homeowners say they need more help covering the costs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to be first to offer Filipino History Culture course in public school curriculum. Waipahu and Farrington high Schools will be the first in the nation to offer a student created Filipino Studies class in a public school curriculum. Hawaii News Now.

Teaching Kids To Read In Hawaii Is Going Back To Basics. Makakilo Elementary is one of about 80 schools in the state to receive funding from a roughly $50 million federal grant awarded in 2019 to improve literacy among the country’s youngest readers. Civil Beat.

Tour helicopter makes ‘precautionary landing’ on small island near Honolulu‘s airport. Honolulu Ocean Safety responded to a helicopter that had made a “precautionary landing” on a small island near the Honolulu Airport Saturday morning. Honolulu EMS officials say the incident happened just after 10:00 a.m. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

County delays Waikoloa siren installation. HI-EMA Communications Director Adam Weintraub Weintraub acknowledged that Waikoloa Village is a particularly at-risk community — the village only has one way in or out for about 7,000 residents — he added that HI-EMA, responding to personnel shortages, has prioritized installing emergency sirens for coastal communities that currently do not have redundant sirens in case of tsunami. Tribune-Herald.

County hopes water study will shed light on Hilo Bay contaminants. After the bay was found to not meet state water standards in 2009, county, state and federal agencies have investigated various methods for improving it. Tribune-Herald.

Surf schools to find out Nov. 17 if they can operate at Kahalu‘u Beach Park. After years of public meetings, draft rules with numerous amendments and jurisdictional disputes, surf schools wanting to operate at Kahalu‘u Beach Park will find out on Nov. 17 if they are awarded one of four coveted spots determined by a lottery. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Inmate Serving Two Life Sentences Dies In An Arizona Prison. Richard Keokeo Taylor Jr., 51,  a Big Island man who spent nearly 28 years in prison for the robbery of a downtown Hilo Pizza Hut in 1995 has died at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. Civil Beat.


State Land Board OKs Olowalu For Ash And Debris Disposal From Maui Fires. The site would be monitored for 30 years for any leakage of contamination into the groundwater and ocean. Civil Beat. Maui News.  Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Deadlines near to receive FEMA wildfire disaster aid. On Friday, federal officials reported that more than $236.8 million already has been approved for 6,505 Maui households affected by the high winds and wildfires. Star-Advertiser.

Immigrants on Maui hesitant to apply for disaster assistance. The deadline is approaching for Maui residents impacted by the August fires to apply for FEMA assistance, but there is some concern that many in the Latino community have not yet applied. KHON2.

Maui’s struggling small businesses driven by the spirit of aloha. Dreams shattered. Shops burned to the ground. Irreplaceable losses. These are the realities that small business owners in Lahaina are dealing with as the three-month mark of the devastating Aug. 8 fires draws near.  Star-Advertiser.

Gift drive, celebration aim to lift spirits of young Maui fire survivors. Kanani Oury aunched “Makana no na Keiki” — an online Christmas gift drive and in-person holiday event for children directly affected by the Maui wildfires — to spark joy for that community, but she aches for the stories pouring into her email inbox from families asking for presents for their kids. Star-Advertiser.

Dispute shuts down a major community hub in West Maui. There is one thing that both sides agree on -- that state Rep. Elle Cochran started the hub in the Kelawea Mauka subdivision of Lahaina. But volunteer managers asked her to leave -- and when she didn’t, they decided to dismantle the hub. Hawaii News Now.


Next tool for saving Kaua’i forest birds from extinction introduced. A dozen researchers and technicians on Thursday began releasing incompatible male mosquitoes to try and stop the near-certain extinction of at least four species of Native Hawaiian honeycreepers. Kauai Now.

Coco Palms debate continues as demolition nears.
As the developer of the Coco Palms Resort reported being just weeks away from commencing demolition of the deteriorated site and constructing a 350-room resort, county officials and members of the public continued to debate the possibility of halting the project in two separate meetings this week. Garden Island.

2-mile-long fence on Kauai ready to protect seabirds.  Pono Pacific Land Management LLC built the $1.7 million fence along the perimeter of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai’s north shore. Star-Advertiser.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Green links Lahaina fires to climate change at UN summit, super PAC uses Maui fires as fundraising tool, HART claims $580M surplus at rail's end, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Green links Lāhainā fires to climate change during UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit. Hawai’i Gov. Josh Green spoke Sunday at the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York, delivering a message about the destructive impact that climate change is having in the state.  Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

This Hawaii Super PAC Says It’s Raising Money For Wildfire Victims — And Political Candidates Too. A progressive political organization is taking advantage of the Maui wildfires to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that may go to support political candidates instead of direct help for victims of the Aug. 8 fires. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Has Been Facing A Housing Crisis For Generations. Politicians have been pledging to address a shortage of housing in the islands for decades, but the root causes of the crisis run deep. Civil Beat.

Hispanics Are The Fastest Growing Demographic In Hawaii. They Need More Services To Keep Pace. More translators, interpreters and other services are critical for residents and visitors who have been moving here in increasing numbers. Civil Beat.

Electric Seagliders Could Come To Hawaii As Soon As 2026. But Mokulele Airlines' new parent company says interisland travelers will start to see improvements in service much sooner than that. Civil Beat.

Health officials tout new COVID shot. The new COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out are a move away from the booster-shot models in use up to this point. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.


HART says $580M surplus awaits at rail’s end. A cash surplus of over a half-billion dollars will likely be available once the city’s Skyline rail system ends at the Civic Center in Kakaako early next dec­ade, according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

HART Board Defers Proposed New Rules. AG Anne Lopez warned the new rules as written would impose 'impermissible' restrictions on the free speech rights of some board members. Civil Beat.

Public votes on Red Hill oversight committee
, includes two well-known Native Hawaiian activists. 10 people were selected on Saturday to be part of an oversight group for the de-fueling of the Navy’s Red Hill Facility scheduled for mid-October.  Hawaii News Now.

Payment for parking resumes after city installs new smart parking meters. All 2,200 of the city’s new smart parking meters are now in place, and Honolulu Police Department plans to start enforcement Monday. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu sugar mill housing camp slated for redevelopment. The remnants of a worker housing camp for the last sugar plantation to close on Oahu could become a new subdivision for primarily low-income households reflecting the character of the rural community in Waialua where some century-old homes still stand. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

USGS: Kilauea eruption ends as volcano alert lowered to advisory.  After a week of spewing lava, the eruption at the Kilauea summit within the Halemaumau crater has ended, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

County creates new wildfire working group.
Hawaii County has established a multiagency working group to develop strategies and responses to wildfires and other threats around the island. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

EPA grant to fund program to reduce disposable foodware. Hawaii County will receive $1.5 million in a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a reusable foodware and refillable water bottle system in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

New Kona affordable housing to be discussed.
The public is invited to an informational meeting Monday where the proposed Kuakini Heights Affordable Housing Project details will be presented. West Hawaii Today.

County pool woes continue: Lack of lifeguards leads to unpredictable hours at many of the facilities. Residents continue to raise concerns about the lack of transparency pertaining to Hawaii County’s swimming pools. Tribune-Herald.

Old Hilo hospital renovations slated for next year. The old hospital building, currently leased to HOPE Services Hawaii and the Big Island Substance Abuse Council, is in need of substantial restoration work after decades of degradation. Tribune-Herald.


Maui County Council considers bill on post-fire cleanup options.
The Maui County Council is considering a bill that would give residents and businesses the option to have the government remove fire debris from their properties for free.  Maui News.

Maui police identify two more victims of Lahaina fire; bringing total to 69. The Maui Police Department released the names of two more victims from the Aug. 8 Lahaina fire on Sunday: Janet St. Clair, 75, and Douglas Matsuda-Boucher, 65, both of Lahaina. Maui Now. KHON2.

Scientists scramble to better understand scope of toxic sludge in Lahaina Harbor. Experts are worried about a slew of contaminants in the water, including fuel, dioxins, PCBs and forever chemicals — and all that sludge will eventually need to be dredged out. Hawaii News Now.

After Lahaina fire, seniors behind in receiving tech updates, study finds. Most of the victims of the Lahaina wildfire were ages 65 and older — a demographic that struggles with technology — while Maui County sent cellphone text alerts as the fire all but obliterated Lahaina, killing at least 97 people. Star-Advertiser.

Maui nonprofit expected to meet $6.5M goal in 2 weeks.
The funds will go toward the first phase of a two-part campaign to help residents of Hawaiian ancestry impacted by the wildfires.  Star-Advertiser.

Hundreds of millions in private funding headed to Maui fire survivors. Upward of $200 million has been raised by five of the top sources of private donations and their affiliates for Maui wildfire victims, with charitable funds coming from hundreds of thousands of donors in Hawaii and across the globe. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i’s streams, rivers remain polluted despite drought conditions. Not even low rainfall can stop Kaua‘i’s rivers and streams from contamination. But Kaua‘i’s continued drought conditions have kept surf sites incredibly clean, limiting the potential for pollutants to creep into the offshore waters. Garden Island.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Pukas exposed in statewide warning systems, Rep. Case misses Speaker McCarthy's Lahaina tour due to COVID, Legislature spreads more wealth off Oahu, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

State Climate Commission releases reports on clean transportation choices for Hawaiʻi. In Hawai’i, 70% of personal trips are under five miles and account for 15% of vehicle miles traveled – this means that many trips are ripe for new modes if they are safe and accessible. The Hawaiʻi State Climate Commission has released three new reports detailing clean transportation investments that promote walking, biking, rolling and transit across the state as an integral component to help address climate change.  Kauai Now.

Analysis Shows Hawaii House Spread Project Money To The Neighbor Islands. Most of the state’s money for capital improvement projects for schools, airports, harbors, hospitals and more is not going to Oahu, a Civil Beat review of appropriations approved this past session shows. Civil Beat.

State unemployment modernization project lags as Maui claims mount.
Maui’s initial unemployment and disaster unemployment assistance claims have soared to more than 15,000, and the state’s multimillion-dollar project to strengthen the unemployment insurance safety net and prepare it for the next economic downturn is back at the starting block. Star-Advertiser.

Deficiencies abound with Hawaii’s disaster warning sirens
. They typically blare once a month and help ensure Hawaii’s population will be safe during life-threatening emergencies, but the state’s outdoor warning siren system has a long history of serious — and in some cases deadly — ineffectiveness. Star-Advertiser.

House Speaker McCarthy tours Lahaina with delegation.
After touring fire-ravaged Lahaina with a bipartisan congressional delegation Saturday, U.S. House Speaker Kevin Mc­Carthy pushed back on claims that climate change contributed to the Aug. 8 disaster that killed at least 115 and destroyed more than 2,200 structures, most of them homes. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

U.S. Rep. Ed Case says he has contracted COVID-19 and did not attend Saturday's tour of Lahaina with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Congress members. Star-Advertiser.

State’s independent investigators haven’t ruled out criminal wrongdoing in Lahaina wildfire disaster. Interviews are being conducted as part of an independent investigation into the Lahaina wildfire that will look at possible causes, government missteps and even whether there is any criminal wrongdoing that the state should pursue. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Replaces Maui And Kauai Ambulance Company With One That Has A Questionable Record. Paramedics and EMTs say the Hawaii Department of Health has lowered care standards for Maui and Kauai. Civil Beat. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

New Lawsuits Attack Hawaii Governor’s Broad Plan To Build More Housing. Critics say Hawaii's housing crisis isn't what the Legislature had in mind when it gave the governor "sole power" to decide when an emergency exists. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Mayor Orders Review Of Wildfire Risk On Oahu. Honolulu's managing director will assess existing fire studies to determine risks as well as firefighting and other emergency response capabilities. Civil Beat.

City, HPD Face Lawsuit Over 2021 Killing Of Kakaako Man. Brandon Ventura's father says his son needed a crisis negotiator not a SWAT team after he called 911 to say he was going to kill himself. Civil Beat.

Authorities confirm another brutal murder at OCCC, but won’t say if anyone was charged. Authorities are investigating another murder at OCCC, but have refused to reveal details into the brutal killing — which left a mentally ill man awaiting trial dead. Hawaii News Now.

New Kahe Point Beach Park lifeguard tower is saving lives, data shows.  The Honolulu Ocean Safety department said since the tower’s Aug. 3 installation, lifeguards have performed seven rescues. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Proposal would prohibit disposal of certain recyclables into landfill. In order to extend the usable life of the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill, a Hawaii County commission is drafting a bill that would prohibit disposing of recyclable materials at that facility. Tribune-Herald.

Work on Hilo affordable housing project not likely to begin until 2025. Hale Ola O Mohouli is a planned housing project that would build 90 units on a state-owned 9-acre lot on Mohouli Street, adjacent to the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood. Tribune-Herald.

Public input sought for Great Crack, Ala Wai‘i. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is seeking community input about the potential future use and stewardship of the remote Great Crack and Ala Wai‘i areas. Tribune-Herald.


Former Maui Mayor Asked For West Maui Wildfire Money 2 Years Ago But Dropped The Request. The Maui mayor's office prepared an application for a fire mitigation grant for West Maui, but gave up on the effort last year after FEMA objected to the county proposal. Civil Beat.

Evacuation alert shows limits of cellphone warning system.  As fire was billowing through residential neighborhoods in Lahaina on Aug. 8, emergency managers for Maui County sent out an evacuation alert that would blare on the cellphones of anyone near the blaze. New York Times.

An Instagram Fundraiser Brought In $2.6 Million For Maui Fire Victims. Now It’s In This Woman’s Hands. Tiare Lawrence, a Native Hawaiian organizer and activist from Maui, will help dole out the money, some of which she says will be used to purchase land and build a memorial park. Civil Beat.

Maui police request public help to file unaccounted for missing person report. As of Monday, MPD had 110 missing person reports relating to the Lahaina wildfire, 41 of which are actively being investigated and are considered open. Maui Now.

West Maui students not enrolled or contacted reduced to 1,208. The number of displaced West Maui public school students who still have not enrolled in new schools or been contacted by state officials is 1,208, down from the 2,025 first reported late last month. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i’s rivers, streams polluted despite dry season. Every month, Surfrider Kaua‘i’s Blue Water Task Force analyzes samples of streams, rivers and surf spots across the island to check for the enterococcus bacterium, a federally recognized indicator of fecal presence in water. Garden Island.

These Kauaʻi businesses have bounced back from their COVID-era downturns. Mark Perriello is president and CEO of the Kauaʻi Chamber of Commerce. He said membership in the chamber declined 25% through the pandemic.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Friday, August 11, 2023

State and federal officials tour Lahaina as death toll rises to 55, more than 1,000 unaccounted for, wildfire took local emergency leaders by surprise, emergency proclamation bans price gouging, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Death toll from Lahaina wildfire rises to 55; governor says town is ‘gone’.  Maui County confirmed two additional fatalities from the catastrophic Lahaina wildfire on Thursday night, bringing the death toll to 55. Also on Thursday, Gov. Josh Green toured the devastation in the historic town. Speaking to reporters, he said Lahaina was “gone” and estimated over 1,000 buildings had been destroyed. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Maui’s Top Emergency Officials Were Off Island As Wildfires Hit Lahaina. Local leaders say they were caught by surprise because the scale of Tuesday's fire was unprecedented. But the warning has been sounded for years. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

Maui Crews Search For Survivors Of ‘Likely The Largest Natural Disaster’ In Hawaii. Officials estimated that some 1,000 were unaccounted for, 1,700 buildings burned and 2,000 people were in shelters as the Lahaina wildfire continued to burn. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Hawaii Public RadioAssociated Press.  Maui Now.

Biden declares federal disaster on Maui, Hawai‘i Island. President Joe Biden approved on Thursday morning Governor Josh Green’s request for a federal disaster declaration in Hawai‘i, ordering federal aid to assist recovery efforts on Maui and opening funds to individuals affected by the recent wildfires that have killed at least 53 people. Garden Island.

Gov. Josh Green issues fourth Emergency Proclamation relating to wildfires. Shortly after arriving back in the state, Governor Josh Green issued a fourth emergency proclamation relating to the ongoing emergency due to the wildfire disasters in Maui and Hawaiʻi counties. Big Island Now.

As scope of Maui disaster widens, state puts new rules in place to prevent price gouging. A price freeze has been enacted by Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection to prevent prices of necessities from skyrocketing as a result of the deadly wildfires. The state said merchants must sell items at “pre-emergency prices” through Aug. 31. Hawaii News Now.

Flash drought, invasive grasses, winds, hurricane and climate change fuel Maui’s devastating fires. Hawaii went from lush to bone dry and thus more fire-prone in a matter of just a few weeks — a key factor in a dangerous mix of conditions appear to have combined to make the wildfires blazing a path of destruction in Hawaii particularly damaging. Associated Press.

Why Hawai‘i’s Wildfires Are Growing Bigger and More Intense. The unfolding disaster on Maui is a sign of things to come as invasive grasses spread across the landscape and extreme rain-drought cycles intensify their fuel loads. Here's the science behind Hawai‘i’s wildfires, and the experts who are fighting to stop them. Hawaii Business magazine.

Help Maui Fire Victims: Here’s How You Can Donate. Thousands sought shelter in evacuation centers after at least 271 buildings burned, leveling much of Lahaina town. Here's how you can help. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.  West Hawaii Today.  Hawaii News Now.

DOH says Hawaii has experienced steady uptick in COVID-19 cases. The health department in a news release Thursday said COVID-19 cases have grown since June of this year, and on Oahu and on Maui County hospital admission levels increased from the “low” to “medium” level. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.


City’s Bonds Sale To Fund Rail, City Improvements. The City and County of Honolulu has sold $271 million worth of general obligation bonds to help fund the rail project and other city improvements.  Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Maunakea observatories’ decommissioning is imminent.  During a Thursday meeting of the Board of the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority, Greg Chun, director of the University of Hawaii’s Center for Maunakea Stewardship, said work to remove the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory will begin within a few weeks, and the dismantling of the University of Hawaii’s teaching observatory Hoku Kea will begin in a few months. Tribune-Herald.


Rebuilding Lahaina Will Be A Huge And Costly Undertaking. Gov. Josh Green says he is considering calling a special legislative session to help get money out to the Maui community. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Loss of cultural landmarks in Lahaina deeply affects community, Hawaiʻi historians. Lahaina became the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the early 1800s. Hawaii Public Radio.

DOE: 4 West Maui public schools to remain closed for at least another week. The state Education Department announced that four West Maui public schools will remain closed for at least another week. Hawaii News Now.

Power outage shutters hotels outside Lahaina. Almost half the hotel rooms on Maui are shut down for at least two weeks because of power outages related to wildfires that destroyed two Lahaina hotels, razed a historic commercial power center and continue to take a staggering human toll. Star-Advertiser.

County of Maui to air daily public updates on Maui radio stations. 
Starting Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, radio stations on Maui will air County of Maui updates on the Lahaina wildfire incident at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Maui Now.

Miscommunication led to nosedive on Maui flight.  The National Transportation Safety Board found that miscommunication between United Airlines Flight 1722’s captain and copilot precipitated the aircraft’s plunge of 1,352 feet just one minute after departure from Kahului Airport on its way to San Francisco in 2022. Star-Advertiser.


Kaua‘i officials react to Hawai‘i wildfires. County of Kaua‘i officials reacted to the large wildfires that tore through Maui and Hawaii Island on Wednesday, with the chief of the Kaua‘i Fire Department asking the public to remain vigilant to help avoid a similar situation on the island. Garden Island.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Hawaii schools not prepared to prevent violence, Green talks sustainability in UN keynote address, group sues over state plan to release bioengineered mosquitoes to save rare birds, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s public schools lag in violence prevention, experts say.  Hawaii’s public schools are lagging behind severely on student monitoring to prevent school shootings, with only one out of the state’s 295 public and public charter schools operating a “behavioral intervention threat-assessment team” that meets national best practices, some local and national experts said this week. Star-Advertiser.

5 More Bills Become Law Without Governor’s Signature. 
The 5 new laws "are more beneficial than objectionable," the Office of the Governor says, and reflect strong stakeholder support. Big Island Video News.

Green highlights Hawaii’s sustainability plans in keynote address at UN meeting.  Gov. Josh Green delivered a keynote address in New York on Wednesday as he headed up a panel focusing on sustainable development at the United Nations. Hawaii News Now.

Review finds work still needed to reach Hawaiʻi’s 2030 sustainability goals. According to the state’s second Voluntary Local Review, the islands are on track to meet targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency, but not for clean transportation, with a goal of reducing petroleum usage to 165 million gallons per year. The most recent data shows 472 gallons per year were used. Big Island Now.

Plan to save native birds by targeting mosquitoes faces new legal challenge.
After years of planning and studies, DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife is ramping up its program to reduce mosquitoes that harm native bird species. But now, a non-profit is asking a judge to halt the process. Hawaii News Now.

Report examines ‘long COVID’ in Hawaii. Reports of “long COVID-19” are rising throughout Hawaii, especially among Native Hawaiians and Filipinos, according to a new report from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, or UHERO. Tribune-Herald.


Council votes to require overdose drug for Oahu bars.  Honolulu will mandate that about 850 bars, nightclubs and restaurants serving alcohol in the city be required to have naloxone nasal spray on hand to counteract opioid-­related overdoses. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KITV4.

Honolulu City Council Delays And Defers Liquor Commission Nominations.  Two nominees don't currently meet state residency requirements. Civil Beat.

Court Rules In Favor Of Hawaii Charter School In ‘Strip Search’ Lawsuit. A circuit court judge sided with Kapolei Charter School and its director Wanda Villareal who claimed a 2019 search of three students accused of smoking cannabis and vaping on a field trip was lawful. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.   Star-Advertiser.

HPD recruit hospitalized in serious condition after accidentally shooting himself. A Honolulu Police Department recruit accidentally shot himself at the academy on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Prominent Honolulu Condo Directors Pay $600,000 To Settle Retaliation Claim. The case pitted a retired Army colonel against executives with leading developers MacNaughton and the Kobayashi Group.The directors of a landmark Honolulu condominium have agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a fellow director who alleged he faced retaliation for raising concerns about the condo board. Civil Beat.

Residents say affordable housing is still out of reach. Hawaii’s housing crisis drummed up emotions during the Wednesday, July 12 Honolulu City Council Meeting. Many residents testified on plans for affordable housing and said those developments are still far beyond their reach.  KHON2.

Workers strike at Oahu nursing home
. Staff at Oahu Care Facility, a Honolulu nursing home, went on strike Wednesday to demand higher wages and better working conditions. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Female Inmate’s Case Raises Concern About Prolonged Pretrial Detainment At Hilo Jail. Henrietta Stone, 65, has been locked up since 2017 while the court determines if she is mentally fit. A woman accused in the death of her 9-year-old granddaughter has been held in the Hilo jail for six years without trial while her mental condition is evaluated, the second case of its kind to surface publicly in recent weeks. Civil Beat.

Wetter-than-normal trend continues for S. Kona, but in East Hawaii, June was abnormally dry.  The Kona coffee belt experiences its rainy season when most of the rest of the state experiences its dry season, starting in May and extending into the summertime. Tribune-Herald.

Rare sighting of a humpback whale off Kona. While Hawai‘i’s waters are home to a variety of whale species year round, including short-fin pilot whales and false killer whales, the more photographed humpback whales are almost never seen in Hawaiian waters this time of year.  Big Island Now. KHON2.


EV chargers coming to Maui under federal program. The Puunene Park and Ride is poised to be one of the first in the state to receive electric vehicle chargers through the multibillion-dollar National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, which is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Maui News.

Maui County reopens Alelele Point access with limited hours.  The road has been closed since May 10 due to safety concerns from rockfall. It connects the communities of Kīpahulu and Kaupō. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui News.

Hawaiʻi Land Trust awarded $803,700 grant for Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge.  The funds will be used at the 277-acre Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge on Maui.  It will also fund restoration of taro fields and the fishpond at Kapoho, which is located within the refuge.  Maui Now.


Only five ‘akikiki left on Kaua‘i and their chances of survival are slim.
Only five of the native Hawaiian honeycreeper species, ʻakikiki, are left in the wild and chances of saving them are growing increasingly dire by the day, according to state officials.  Kauai Now. KHON2.

‘Stop it now’: Residents call for stricter review of $200M luxury development planned for Poipu. Kauai activists have been trying to stop a $200 million luxury condo development in Kiahuna for years. Separately, another home is being built nearby just feet from a heiau. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, July 7, 2023

New state laws address highway safety, driver's licenses, shoreline protection; Honolulu rail CEO wants tax extended, Kauai managing director moves to Schatz' office, beers created from rice, ti root, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi Roadway Safety Bills Signed Into Law. Seven bills relating to roadway safety in Hawaiʻi were signed into law by Governor Josh Green on Thursday, during a ceremony on Oʻahu. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

A new law makes driver license renewal easier.
You will eventually be able to renew your driver’s license online or by mail. It was a bill that Governor Josh Green, M.D. signed into law on Thursday, July 6. KHON2.

Increased fines, drones to protect Hawaii shorelines . Governor signs measures to boost coastal management, enforcement.  Gov. Josh Green signed a handful of bills Thursday related to coastal protection. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

In fight against erosion, new legal weapon targets homeowners who go rogue. As ocean levels rise, new rules give the state more power to keep people from breaking the law to protect their properties from erosion. Hawaii News Now.

Preschool educators stipend program finally launches.  Despite a two-year wait to fully launch Hawaii’s first public stipend program for early-childhood educators, state officials are hopeful that it will make big strides toward solving a chronic and severe shortage of teachers and caregivers for keiki ages 0 to 5. Star-Advertiser.

DOE spent $168M on bell and alarm system, but more than half of schools still don’t have it. More than half of Hawaii’s 255 public schools rely on aging bell, alarm and P.A. systems due to delays in installing promised high-tech upgrades. Hawaii News Now.

Civil rights attorney to file class action against Hawaii education, health departments. A Honolulu attorney says he's a few weeks away from filing a class action lawsuit against the state over special education services. KITV4.

President’s commission meeting in Hawaii OKs broad set of recommendations. For the first time, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders convened for its quarterly meeting outside of Washington, D.C. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiians discuss housing challenges with U.S. HUD Secretary.  The visit served as an opportunity for HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda and HUD Regional Administrator Jason Pu to listen to the struggles, successes and valuable feedback shared by the community.  Big Island Now.

Hawaii, Honolulu score $4M for climate action plans. The funding — $1 million to Honolulu and $3 million to the state — was announced Thursday in Honolulu by Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. Star-Advertiser.

83,000 Hawaii homes dispose of sewage in cesspools. Hawaii has 83,000 cesspools — more than any other state — and about 20% are less than 0.6 mile from shore. Six years ago, Hawaii mandated the removal of all cesspools by 2050. Associated Press.


Honolulu City Council trio needed to reject 64% pay raises in writing. In the days leading up to the controversial start of the salary increases for Hono­lulu’s top elected and appointed officials, Council members Augie Tulba, Andria Tupola and Radiant Cordero were each required to submit a memorandum to the city stating their rejection to the expected $44,400 pay bump — to $113,304 from $68,904. Star-Advertiser.

Businessman Accused Of Bribing Honolulu Prosecutor Points Finger At Feds. 
If convicted of bribing former prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, the 79-year-old Dennis Mitsunaga could go to prison for the rest of his life.  Civil Beat.

Rail CEO looks to extend the system — by extending rail surcharge.
Mostly with money from the half percent general excise tax, HART has spent about $5 billion so far to get the first 11 miles up and running, construct most of the way from Pearl Harbor to Middle Street and begin utility work on the final segment to Kakaako. Hawaii News Now.

Rail Contractor Sues HART Over Construction Delays.
Contractor STG is seeking more than $99 million in damages, and says HART "has only itself to blame." The contractor hired to build the 5-mile airport segment of the Honolulu rail line is suing the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, alleging HART’s failure to address problems with the relocation of utilities along the line has caused expensive construction delays. Civil Beat.

Rail ridership falls as paid service begins.  The first day of paid rail ridership saw a drop in interest, as expected, with only 1,245 passengers boarding Skyline trains. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

State agrees to purchase and maintain Wahiawā Irrigation System, Lake Wilson.  Gov. Josh Green signed a bill Wednesday that requires his office to negotiate the purchase of Wahiawā Dam, Lake Wilson, and its associated spillways and irrigation ditches.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaiwi coast scenic area on Oahu could become state park.  Hawaii might have a new state park by this time in 2024 covering about 340 acres of mostly natural coastal land in East Oahu. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu housing market cooled off in June.  The median price for single-family home resales stabilized in June but remained above seven figures at $1,050,000. That was down 4.5% from $1.1 million a year ago and off 5.3% from $1,109,000 in May, according to data released Thursday from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County Council approves creation of Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience. The Hawai‘i County Council on Wednesday approved the creation of a cabinet-level Office of Sustainability, Climate, Equity and Resilience — and a new section of county code to govern it — that will lead the County’s efforts to ensure the island can withstand the effects of climate change. Big Island Now.

Council rejects plan for downtown Hilo. A proposal to create a Business Improvement District to revitalize downtown Hilo has been decisively killed after pushback from area business owners. Tribune-Herald.

Big Island Wants To Use Opioid Settlement Money To Open Its First Detox Facility. Hawaii County will receive $489,000 in opioid settlement funds this year and just over $100,000 annually thereafter through 2038, Mayor Mitch Roth announced Thursday.  Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.  Big Island Now.  Hawaii News Now.

How ‘ōkolehao, an alcoholic spirit made of tī root, could change the liquor industry. Hawaiʻi's first-ever alcoholic spirit made from the root of the tī plant may soon get a boost in popularity from a Big Island brewery.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Keaukaha speed limit change advances. A proposal to reduce the speed limit on Kalanianaole Street is closer to reality after passing a Hawaii County Council committee Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.


For the second month in a row, visitor arrivals slowed. In May, there were 240,407 visitors to Maui, down 2.8 percent compared to May 2022 when there were 247,280 visitors, and down 4.5 percent versus May 2019 when there were 251,665 visitors, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Maui News.

Can’t Afford To Junk Your Car? Maui Will Tow And Recycle It For Free. Officials estimate 2,500 vehicles are abandoned each year in the county. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Kamehameha Schools acquires thousands of acres at Kaupō Ranch and Hāmākualoa, Maui. Kamehameha Schools announced today its acquisition of more than 4,500 acres of land from Kaupō Ranch Ltd. on southeastern Maui for approximately $21 million.  Maui Now.


Matsuyama named Kauaʻi County’s managing director, replacing Dahilig who joins U.S. Sen. Schatz’ office.  Kauaʻi native Reiko Matsuyama has been appointed as the new managing director of the County of Kaua‘i by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. Kauai Now.

And so we wait': Kauaʻi doctor underscores dialysis needs on island.  The capacity of dialysis treatment on Kauaʻi is critical, according to a local doctor. Dr. Raymond Petrillo, Kauaʻi’s sole kidney doctor, operates his private practice, Island Kidney Care, in Lihuʻe and Waimea.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Rice beer on tap on Rice Street. Rice grower Jerry Ornellas said when the first batch of Jerry’s Rice Beer — the name assigned to the rice-based beer by the Kaua‘i Beer Company — went online on Monday, it was the first time in more than 60 years that Kaua‘i-grown rice was used commercially. Garden Island.