Showing posts with label corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corruption. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Honolulu homeless increase almost 12%, pay to play regulation a tough sell, Zuckerberg settles wrongful death lawsuit, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

The Number Of People Living On The Streets Of Oahu Has Nearly Doubled In The Last Decade. The Point in Time count — a federally mandated effort to identify the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January — located 4,494 homeless people on Oahu this year, a roughly 12% increase from 2023. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.  KITV4.

Hawaii Ethics Commission Grapples With Pay-To-Play Issues. The Hawaii State Ethics Commission is trying to figure out how to wrangle two groups of people who are proving particularly challenging: high-level state employees who are politically active and legislators who have outside jobs with companies that have government business.  The commission acknowledged that it's tough to oversee lawmakers who resist most accountability measures. Civil Beat.

2 bills aimed at preventing drownings in Hawaii become law.
Gov. Josh Green signed Senate Bill 2841 to make every May 15 Water Safety Day for the state, and in tandem Wednesday signed a separate bill to raise money for water safety programs and efforts by authorizing the sale of special Hawaii license plates honoring legendary Hawaiian waterman Duke Kaha­na­moku. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Hawaii Wants Home Cooks To Play A Bigger Role In Growing The State’s Food System. New legislation awaiting the governor's signature would help businesses operate out of home kitchens. Civil Beat.
 
“Sentinel Landscape” Designation Around Hawaiʻi Military Installations Announced. U.S. Representative Ed Case (D, Hawaiʻi) announced a new partnership on Wednesday in support of a “Sentinel Landscape” designation for two million acres of land near military installations in Hawaiʻi.  Big Island Video News.

Green signs emergency proclamation, pledges National Guard support as kona low nears. The governor has signed an emergency proclamation and pledged an all-of-government response to a kona low system nearing the islands that forecasters warn could bring record rains, flash flooding and thunderstorms. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.  KITV4.

Oahu

Honolulu planning panel considers next step on landfill alternative. The Honolulu Planning Commission continues to wrestle with the city’s request for an extension to find an alternate site for the 34-year-old Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill in Kapolei which is scheduled to close in 2028. Star-Advertiser.

Families on the Navy water system say there is new contamination in their tap water.
They say samples they sent to labs have come back with traces of forever chemicals known as PFAS. Hawaii Public Radio.

Elevated bacterial detected from sample taken at Kailua wastewater treatment plant. The city says this week’s downpours likely caused elevated bacteria in treated wastewater discharged about 5,000 feet from shore. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council bill authorizes County to limit bike tours from select public roads. What began as an effort to reduce bike traffic on specific West Hawaii roads has become a proposed series of regulations upon bike tour operators throughout the Big Island. Tribune-Herald.

County grants lease extension of Kanoelehua Industrial Area property. After years of bureaucratic wrangling, a Hilo lessee of state land has finally secured a 30-year lease extension for property in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area. Tribune-Herald.

County puts up $200K to mitigate invasive insect. Hawaii County will invest in additional biosecurity measures at a West Hawaii waste facility to prevent the spread of a devastating invasive beetle. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Police Chief Gets Glowing Job Review From Commission. Chief John Pelletier is credited with implementing a five-year strategic plan, something the department lacked when he joined the force in 2021. Civil Beat.

Maui Planning Commission weighs in on Ledcor South Maui’s draft EIS. Maui Planning Commission members finished hearing public comments and then added their own Tuesday to a draft environmental impact statement for Ledcor South Maui’s plans to build as many as 975 homes. Maui Now.

Health declines seen in survivors of Maui wildfires, UH study finds
. Nearly half of those affected by the Maui wildfires in August suffered a decline in health, according to a study that aims to track the well-being and social conditions of those exposed to the disaster. Star-Advertiser.

Construction to begin at Lahaina housing site. Heavy construction is set to begin at the Kilohana temporary housing site in Lahaina later this week and will last approximately six months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

Project aims to restore landscape, mitigate deer damage and reduce erosion above Kihei.
A collaboration aiming to protect against erosion, reduce flood risk, mitigate axis deer damage, and improve water quality is being implemented in an 11-acre area mauka of Kihei as part of The Hapapa Watershed Axis Deer Damage Mitigation Project, according to the Maui Soil & Water Conservation District. Maui News.

Kauai


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg settles wrongful death case in Hawaii. In the wrongful death lawsuit in Hawaii involving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the attorneys for both Zuckerberg and the plaintiff, the family of Rodney Medeiros, who worked part-time as a security guard at Zuckerberg’s ranch on Kauai’s North Shore, agreed to dismiss the case. KITV4.

UH farmer training program holding open house on Kauaʻi.
A University of Hawai’i beginner farmer training program is hosting an open house at its Kauaʻi site on June 1 and is encouraging interested participants to register. Kauai Now.




Friday, May 3, 2024

Green creates climate advisory team, Bissen touts plan to eliminate 7k vacation rentals on Maui, Mitsunaga corruption trial witness describes thousands in 'straw man' campaign contributions, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Governor announces Climate Advisory Team to develop climate resilience policy, forms team to address disasters and climate change.  Gov. Josh Green announced Thursday that he is forming a Climate Advisory Team to spearhead policy efforts that include securing funding to mitigate disaster risks and impacts from climate change as well as tackling still-pending issues stemming from the Aug. 8 Maui wildfires. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KHON2.

Controversial urban development bill narrowly passes final floor vote. Senate Bill 3202 would allow two accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, to be built on residential properties.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Senate and House pass bills to improve language access in Hawaiʻi .
The bills came after advocates have been raising concerns about the need for more language interpreters in the event of natural disasters. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers Want State To Make Public The Names Of Companies That Sell Infested Plants. The agriculture department will likely receive $20 million for biosecurity this year. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.  KITV4.

Legislature passes bill supporting value-added production across Hawaiʻi
. In a landmark move aimed at bolstering economic resilience and promoting local industries, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature has successfully passed HB2144 HD1 SD2 CD1, a bill focused on expanding value-added production throughout the Aloha State.  Maui Now.

Coffee labeling bill passes.  A bill over 30 years in the making has cleared legislative hurdles and is being sent to Gov. Josh Green for his signature. The bill, introduced by Rep. Nicole Lowen, came on the heels of Act 222 in 2022 which required an independent study to assess the economic impact of Hawaii’s coffee labeling laws on local coffee farmers and the industry. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Defendant In Honolulu Corruption Case Gave Politicians Thousands In Illegal Straw Donations, Niece Says.  Terri Ann Otani, who worked for Mitsunaga & Associates Inc.,  is now on trial for participating in a scheme to bribe former Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro with campaign donations so he would pursue a case against a former Mitsunaga firm employee. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Council eyes $27M for city worker hazard pay. The Honolulu City Council plans to earmark $27 million in federal funds to repay eligible, unionized city workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Attorney blasts HPD’s investigation of alleged Jan. 1 beating.
An attorney for the father and son allegedly hit with a Honolulu police van and beaten by  Opens in a new tabup to 12 officers during an islandwide New Year’s Day manhunt for an attempted murder suspect Opens in a new tab said HPD has not identified or interviewed any of the officers involved. Star-Advertiser.

Waianae coast residents air crime concerns at mayor's town hall.
Hundreds of Waianae Coast residents jammed Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s latest town hall meeting, with crime on the top of their minds. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu ranks 29th on clean energy progress among US cities. The nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy parsed through municipal energy policies and programs to create the 2024 City Clean Energy Scorecard.  Hawaii Public Radio.

New Hawaii Charter School Wants To Prep Kids For A Future Where AI Is ‘Central In Our Lives’. The opening of Kulia Academy in Kalihi comes at a time when many other schools in the state are grappling with how to incorporate artificial intelligence into classroom lessons and address possible misuse of the technology. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Windward Planning Commission gives short-term rental bill ‘thumbs-down’.  The Windward Planning Commission gave Hawaiʻi County Council Chair Heather Kimball’s short-term rental bill a thumbs-down on May 2 by sending an unfavorable recommendation to the County Council.  Multiple members of the commission viewed the bill as “government overreach.”  Big Island Now.

2024 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Cancelled Due To Low Participation. The planned 62nd annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in Kona has been cancelled, organizers announced this week, due to low world-wide participation. Big Island Video News.

More than 1,600 earthquakes recorded on Kīlauea since late April.
USGS Issues Statement On Kīlauea Volcano As Unrest Increases. Kīlauea was not erupting as of 12:15 a.m. Friday morning, but a sharp increase in seismicity on the upper East Rift Zone overnight prompted an information statement from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Hilo Macy’s store safe for now despite more downsizing by the retailer. The Macy’s store in Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza will remain open for the foreseeable future, according to spokesperson for the national retailer. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Bissen quick to offer bill to regulate Maui vacation rentals. Maui Mayor Richard Bissen wasted no time in proposing a county bill that would phase out 2,200 vacation rentals in West Maui apartment districts by July 1, 2025 — and eventually all 7,000 units in apartment districts across Maui. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.  Maui News.  Maui Now.  KHON2.

Gov. Green approves $385.4M emergency appropriations for Maui wildfire relief.
Gov. Josh Green signed Senate Bill 582 into law on Thursday, allocating $385.4 million in emergency appropriations to support relief efforts on Maui, following the Aug. 8, 2023 wildfires.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Environmental Groups Sue Maui Resort Over Endangered Seabird Injuries. Despite a settlement reached two years ago, Hawaiian petrels continue to be harmed by bright lights at Grand Wailea in violation of federal law, plaintiffs allege. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Kauai

Haʻena residents challenge AT&T cell tower plans. Kaua’i County Council members held a briefing on AT&T’s plan to place a 5G cell tower on a house lot in Ha’ena during a committee meeting on Wednesday, May 1, as community residents filled the chambers to speak out against the proposed construction. Kauai Now.

Embattled Kauai police chief accused of ‘punishing’ officers who found his lost service gun. A month after embattled KPD Chief Todd Raybuck lost his loaded service weapon, the two officers who found it are formally accusing him of retaliation. Hawaii News Now.

Big drop in passenger count at Lihu‘e Airport. The number of people getting off domestic passenger flights at Lihu‘e Airport dropped to its lowest level for the first full month of spring since the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge officially opens on Kaua‘i. Kauai’s new self-guided refuge completes the trifecta for Kauai’s wildlife refuges on the island — Hanalei, Huleia, and Kilauea Point — all managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation. Garden Island.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pay to Play persists at state Capitol, Gov. Green outlines path to renewable energy goal, Maui fire chief unveils wildfire after-action report, Navy nixes Oahu landfill site, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Inside the Late-Night Parties Where Hawaii Politicians Raked In Money.  For the better part of a decade, some of Hawaii’s most powerful people huddled together at late-night parties in a cramped second-floor office where lobbyists and executives seeking government contracts lined up to drop cash and checks into a metal lockbox. Wesley Yonamine, the host and a high-ranking airport official, would, together with the politicians, pop open the box and dole out campaign contributions according to a list of pledges obtained before each event. Civil Beat.

Here's how measures pass a final hurdle before reaching the governor. The 2024 Hawaiʻi legislative session is in the home stretch, also known as conference committee. From April 15 to 26, legislators from both chambers will meet in conference committee to hash out their differences and discuss the exact wording for a final bill. Hawaii Public Radio.

Latest UH Board Of Regents Nominee Approved By Senate Committee — And Its Influential Chair. Sen. Donna Kim was pleased that Michael Miyahira shares her views on Senate oversight of the University of Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Will ratepayers will be on the hook for HECO's wildfire costs? Several utilities, including Hawaiian Electric, have eyed ratepayer-backed bonds as a possible avenue to recoup some of those costs. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers urge investigation, following power blackouts on Big Island and O‘ahu. In light of multiple power outages on the Big Island and O‘ahu this past weekend, three state senators sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission expressing concern about the recent power blackouts. Big Island Now.

Land board defers decision on appraisal of lands leased by US Army
. U.S. Army leases on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island expire in five years, and the Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering a land exchange as an alternative to new leases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Governor Josh Green outlines diverse energy strategies for Hawaii's renewable goals. Governor Josh Green outlined alternate energy ideas to help the state reach its renewable energy goal: Using 100% renewable energy by 2045. KITV4.

Oahu

Proposals For Reforming Honolulu’s Pay Raise Process Split On The Question Of Who Should Decide. Seven charter amendments are currently being considered by council members, and the big question is who should get the final say on salary proposals. Civil Beat.

Another Miske Associate Turned Government Witness Takes The Stand. Will Jurors Trust Him? Observers say witnesses who've flipped on alleged racketeering boss Michael Miske can be hard for jurors to trust because of their own criminal backgrounds and incentives to lie. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Navy nixes possible city landfill site. The Navy will not allow the City and County of Hono­lulu to locate a new landfill on Waipio Peninsula near Joint Base Pearl Harbor­-Hickam, the city announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.  KITV4.

Not Just Red Hill: Hundreds Of Military Fuel Depots Threaten Environment And Public Health. A new federal report, ordered after the Red Hill crisis, uncovered oversight weaknesses at hundreds of the military's fuel storage sites. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Navy removes toxic firefighting foam from Red Hill facility. The Navy as of Monday had removed just over 1,000 gallons of aqueous film forming foam concentrate — a toxic fire suppressant containing “forever chemicals” — from its AFFF system at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

Threatening note shutters 2 Oahu private schools
. A note threatening gun violence at Damien Memorial School in Kalihi and Maryknoll School in Makiki prompted lockdowns and cancellation of classes and events Tuesday. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Homeless sweep spanning over 1 mile to shut down West Oahu Beach park for a week. Councilmember Andria Tupola says she requested the cleanup after two years of outreach.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani invests over $17M in Hawaii Island mansion.
Ohtani reportedly just bought a property at the Mauna Kea Resort on Hawaii Island. The property is expected to be worth $17.3 million as Ohtani becomes the face of the resort line as part of its marketing strategy. Hawaii News Now.

Glenwood Recycling and Transfer Station to reopen Friday. Glenwood Recycling and Transfer Station will revert to its normal schedule of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. Volcano Recycling and Transfer Station will revert to its normal schedule of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Saturday (closed Friday, April 19). Big Island Now.

Nene gosling found dead in popular Hilo park. Patrons of Lili‘uokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo were disheartened recently to learn about the death of a nene gosling in the park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Be Prepared: Maui Fire After-Action Report Details Need For More Equipment And Better Management. The independent report makes 111 recommendations that could guide Maui and other isolated communities to prevent another Lahaina tragedy. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Associated Press. Maui Now.

Maui High announces $10M endowment from alum. Maui High School announced Tuesday it will receive a $10 million endowment from an alum who prefers to remain anonymous. Star-Advertiser. Maui News.

Kauai


Damage assessments, clean-up continue on Kaua‘i; farmers, ranchers advised to document damages. The Kaua‘i Emergency Operations Center remains partially activated after last week’s flooding events, as county and state officials continue to address various recovery efforts islandwide. Kauai Now.

Niumalu Bridge closed until further notice due to flood damage. The Niumalu Bridge in Nāwiliwili on the East Side of Kaua‘i is closed until further notice due to damage from the recent flood event, county officials reported Tuesday evening. Kauai Now.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oahu

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

Maui

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

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

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

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

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

Kauai

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

Monday, January 15, 2024

Hawaii creates recreational fishing license, new ocean fee; Legislature sets session priorities, feral chickens targeted, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

New Fishing Rules Approved By Hawaiʻi Land Board. New recreational and commercial fishing rules have been approved by the Hawaiʻi Board of Land and Natural Resources, which include the establishment of a non-resident recreational fishing license and a license for commercial marine vessels. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.  KHON2.

New ocean stewardship fund established: $1 will be charged for each customer of commercial vessels, tours. A bill passed into law in 2021 establishing an ocean stewardship special fund became effective Jan. 1. All operators of commercial vessels, water craft, or water sports equipment that are required to have a commercial operator permit are now mandated to charge a $1 user fee from each customer for the fund. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii lawmakers eye help for Maui, housing and ethics ahead of 2024 session. The rebuilding of Lahaina from the tragic Maui wildfires and shortage of homes for thousands of survivors have put into sharper focus the need in Hawaii for affordable housing to help keep local residents from moving to the mainland — issues that will weigh heavily as state lawmakers convene Wednesday for the opening of the 2024 legislative session. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press.  Hawaii News Now.

Ginoza, Devens Sworn In As Hawaii Associate Justices. Lisa M. Ginoza and Vladimir P. Devens are officially associate justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court. Civil Beat. 

Ryan Kanaka‘ole Named Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources First Deputy. Governor Josh Green on Friday announced his nomination of Ryan Kanaka‘ole, who is currently a Deputy Attorney General, to fill the DLNR position that is being vacated by Laura Kaʻakua, who is moving to the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation. Big Island Video News.

Feral chicken legislation again to be reviewed. The state Legislature once again will consider bills to tackle a feral chicken problem that continues to generate complaints while some people continue to feed them. Star-Advertiser.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs faces large staffing shortage ahead of 2024 legislative session. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is facing a large staff shortage going into this legislative session with nearly one-third of its positions currently unfilled, according to its new CEO Stacy Ferreira. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian homestead leaders gather at 36th annual convention. The convention  covered an array of topics including Act 80, which would lower the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement for successorship of Hawaiian home lands to one thirty- second, as well as conversations over the spending of funds allocated under Act 279, and the various challenges around reducing the 29,000-person waitlist. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Board of Water Supply rejects $75M offer to reopen Halawa Shaft. The BWS says the Nov. 29 proposal by the state Department of Health, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to tap into a portion of the $400 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for money to reopen the Halawa Shaft is premature. Star-Advertiser.

City Council pushes for public access to first responder radio transmissions.
The island-wide police chase of an armed suspect on Oʻahu on New Year’s Day has prompted calls to the City and County of Honolulu to give the public more access to first responders’ radio communications. Hawaii Public Radio.

Residents left scrambling after West Oahu affordable housing complex announces closure
. Scores of Leeward Oahu residents who were once homeless are worried they’ll soon be living on the streets again after they say the management of  Ulu Ke Kukui in Maili announced its closure. Hawaii News Now.

City conducts hearing on proposed amendments to Affordable Housing Requirement Rules
.  The Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting held a public hearing to discuss affordable housing requirements on Friday. KITV4.

Three long-delayed Oahu public housing redevelopment projects took big steps forward last week and could produce 554 new homes in 2026 and 911 more in 2028. Star-Advertiser.

Sunset Beach homeowners fined about $1M for unauthorized work. The homeowners, whose properties both on Ke Nui Road front Sunset Beach, were fined by the Board of Land and Natural Resources Friday on the recommendation of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Jury pool whittled down as public corruption trial for ex-city prosecutor nears
. Keith Kaneshiro, Dennis Mitsunaga, Terri Otani, Aaron Fujii, Chad McDonald and attorney Sheri Tanaka are charged with multiple counts, including conspiracy to defraud the government and conspiracy against rights of citizens. Hawaii News Now.

Miske’s Daughter-In-Law Agrees To ‘Fully Cooperate’ In Last-Minute Plea Deal. Delia Fabro-Miske's agreement with prosecutors leaves only two defendants in the federal trial as jury selection continues. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Alameda officially launches campaign to oust Roth.  More than 100 community members crowded the sidewalk in front of the King Kamehameha statue in Hilo on Saturday to support Kimo Alameda and his candidacy for Hawaii County mayor. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Big Island traffic fatalities plummet in 2023. Big Island roads saw a significant decrease in traffic fatalities in 2023 compared to 2022, from 34 official traffic deaths to 16, a 53% drop. Tribune-Herald.

2023 drier than normal for much of the island. December brought rainfall to most of the windward Big Island, but most of the gauges islandwide registered less than the average amount of precipitation for the final month of the year. Tribune-Herald.

Fixes slated for Wailoa boat harbor: $3.2M allocated for the project.
The harbor, which is one of the only functioning boat launches in East Hawaii after the blockage of the Pohoiki Boat Ramp during the 2018 Kilauea eruption, has not been dredged for years, leading to a buildup of sediment in the mouth of the harbor. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Maui Council OKs Olowalu As Dump Site For Lahaina Wildfire Waste. The Maui County Council voted 6-2 on Friday to approve the Olowalu site to temporarily store an estimated 400,000 tons of debris and toxic ash from the Aug. 8 wildfire in Lahaina.  Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Maui Has A Bunch Of Community Plans But A Patchy Record Of Following Them. A fresh community plan for South Maui is outlining a vision for some of the last areas available for growth in Kihei. Civil Beat.

Significant finds made at Lahaina’s historic sites.  Numerous artifacts have been recovered by  Lahaina Restoration Foundation, which serves as steward for 14 historic sites in Lahaina. Star-Advertiser.

Kīpahulu to become third community-based subsistence fishing area. The remote Kīpahulu area on the southeast side of Maui will become the third Community-Based Subsistence Fishing (CBSFA) area in Hawai‘i, following previous designations of Hā‘ena on Kaua‘i and Miloli‘i on Hawai‘i Island. Maui Now.

Maui Has An Axis Deer Problem. So The State Has Put A Price On Their Tails. Landowners will get paid for killing the deer as part of a new animal control program run by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Civil Beat.

Sudden Deluge Does Little To Move The Needle On Maui Drought
. The disruptive storm forced many roads and schools to close. But it wasn't enough to erase Maui's persistent drought. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Man wanted in connection with assault on Kaua‘i police officer turns himself in. Kaua‘i police say 24-year-old Travis Bonachita of Kōloa, who was wanted in connection with an assault on a police officer, was taken into custody. Kauai Now.

Serving the houseless at Martin Luther King gathering. The Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple will be hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. birthday gathering on Monday from 1 to 4 p.m. Garden Island.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Special prosecutor in public corruption cases appears before grand jury, Land Board Tuesday to hear Thirty Meter Telescope dispute, 11-year old stabbed at Oahu elementary school, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Appearance of special prosecutor spurs talk of expanding corruption probe.  The special prosecutor assigned to weed out public corruption in Honolulu eight years ago is back before a federal grand jury, spurring talk about more charges.Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat has been before the panel several times recently. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Advances Plans To Distribute $149 Million For Broadband Access. The public is invited to weigh in on which areas lack high-speed service. Those areas will be the top priority for funding. Civil Beat.

Maui Democrats Select 3 Possible Candidates For Senate Vacancy.  On Monday members of the Maui County Committee’s Senate District 5 selection body sent three names to Gov. Josh Green:  Troy N. Hashimoto, Jason Alexander Economou and  Justin V.E. Hughey. Civil Beat.

Oahu

1 Student Hospitalized, Another Detained After Apparent School Stabbing. A Makaha Elementary student was taken into policy custody on Monday afternoon after allegedly stabbing an 11-year-old boy who was taken to the hospital in serious condition.  Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. KHON2. KITV4.

Rally, hearing set over Ala Wai harbor parking. A public rally will be held today to protest what many believe is a state-level action to do away with free recreational parking at the popular, state-controlled Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Waipahu residents struggle with landlord issues amid retaliation concerns. A fear of retaliation from landlords is just one of the problems causing tensions among low-income renters in Waipahu. Hawaii News Now.

More than 200 EBT accounts compromised by thieves. Hawaii families counting on food stamps, also known as SNAP benefits, have been victimized by hackers who emptied their accounts. The state said more than 200 accounts have been compromised. All of them on Oahu. KHON2. KITV4.  Hawaii News Now.

Home prices end declines as slowdown in sales eases on Oahu. The velocity of a roughly two-year slowdown for Oahu home sales eased in October, and the median price paid for single-family houses ticked up to break a 10-month string of year-over- year declines. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

BLNR to reevaluate contested case about Maunakea TMT permit conditions.  The permit allowing the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea is under review by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. At issue is whether the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo met a condition that required TMT construction to begin within two years of the permit being granted.  Hawaii Public Radio.

Puna retail center sold to Hawai‘i-based private investor. CBRE has arranged the sale of Pāhoa Marketplace, a multi-tenant retail center in Puna, to a Hawaii-based private investor for $8.3 million. Big Island Now.

‘Running smoothly’: 92-unit senior housing complex on schedule to open next summer.
Work on the Hale Na Koa ‘O Hanakahi housing project began last November on a 5.6-acre lot on Kawili Street across from the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus, and will offer 92 single-bedroom units of affordable housing for Big Island seniors, with a preference toward veterans and their spouses. Tribune-Herald.

New search underway for ordnance in West Hawaii. Currently, the Corps is conducting preliminary scans of three parcels in Kohala extending from Kawaihae Harbor to Waimea, and south along the shoreline around Hapuna Beach and Puako. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Gov. Green extends Emergency Proclamation on Wildfires. Gov. Josh Green on Monday signed the Eighth Emergency Proclamation on Wildfires to continue state support for the recovery of the people of Maui. Maui Now.

Insurance claims from Maui wildfires soar above $1 billion. A breakdown of the first insurance data for the Maui wildfires shows more than 6,079 residential property and personal motor vehicle claims totaling more than $1.35 billion have been filed for losses in West Maui and Upcountry Maui. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

It Will Be Years Before Clean Water Is Restored In Lahaina. Rebuilding the water system is likely to cost tens of millions of dollars and could be a limiting factor in rebuilding the town. Civil Beat.

Native Hawaiian Company Gets $53.7M Contract For Temporary Lahaina School. The campus will be used by students and staff from King Kamehameha III Elementary, which was destroyed in the fire. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Kaua‘i County issues violation notice to HPM Building Supply site for operating illegally.  The notice of violation was issued on Oct. 23 after the Planning Department concluded the HPM “truss manufacturing facility is not a generally permitted use within the Agriculture Zoning District (and) operation of a truss manufacturing facility within the Agriculture Zoning District without the proper zoning permit(s) constitutes a violation.” Kauai Now.

Forensic nurses honored by County of Kaua‘i. Chelise Ka‘aihue and Ceisha Judd represent two of Kaua‘i’s five forensic nurses who operate with the Kaua‘i Police Department. Garden Island.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Lawsuit dropped after Green revises housing proclamation, Maui releases 2018 wildfire after-action report, Hawaii County officials in line for raises, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. Josh Green revamps housing proclamation. Gov. Josh Green on Tuesday issued a third emergency proclamation to stimulate development of affordable housing, satisfying plaintiffs who withdrew a lawsuit they had filed over concerns that Green’s proclamation removed safeguards on protecting the environment, cultural resources and government transparency. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

 Hawaii Bribery Scandal Casts A Shadow Over Lahaina’s Ruins. For years, a local businessman paid off officials in exchange for lucrative contracts. The system he exploited has been left largely unchanged. An examination of one of the state’s largest bribery cases reveals a county procurement system that may be ill-equipped to handle the millions of dollars it will spend following the devastating wildfires on Maui.  Civil Beat.

DHHL proposes 10 legislative measures to reduce its housing waitlist. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is considering legislation to reduce its waitlist, which currently includes more than 28,000 Native Hawaiian beneficiaries. Proposals boast everything from general excise tax exemptions for DHHL developments to allowing in-house historic preservation reviews of homeland projects. Hawaii Public Radio.

33 states, including Hawaii, sue Meta over alleged harm to kids’ mental health. Dozens of U.S. states, including Hawaii, California and New York, are suing Meta Platforms Inc. for harming young people and contributing to the youth mental health crisis by knowingly and deliberately designing features on Instagram and Facebook that addict children to its platforms. Associated Press. Civil Beat.

Researchers coring into ancient reefs off Hawaii seek to mend fences after uproar. UK-based researchers taking samples of the ocean floor off Hawaii Island don’t appear to be breaking any rules, but they are drawing criticism. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Impaired-driving arrests on Oahu top 1,500. As of Oct. 3 there were 1,574 arrests for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, compared with 1,587 at the same time in 2022, HPD reported. Star-Advertiser.

Relief in the works for businesses affected by Dillingham rail construction.
Rail construction keeps hurting businesses in Kalihi, but the city is still trying to figure out how to provide them with financial aid. Hawaii News Now.

Trial begins for Hawaii couple accused of stealing dead babies’ identities. According to prosecutors, Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison are the real names of the couple who have been fraudulently living for decades under stolen identities Bobby Fort and Julie Montague. Associated Press.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii County officials could be next to receive pay raises. The Hawaii County Salary Commission has not adjusted pay for executive, elected or appointed officials since March 2018. Meanwhile, employees covered by collective bargaining have received raises over the years. KHON2.

Army set to conduct large-scale exercise.
Tropic Lightning Soldiers from the Army’s 25th Infantry Division will participate in the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center, an Army training operation to be held on the Big Island and Oahu primarily from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10. Tribune-Herald.

Ex-assistant police chief charged with numerous offenses. Mitchell Kanehailua Jr., 57, of Hilo was arrested Sunday morning and charged Monday evening with violating a restraining order, first-degree attempted burglary, third-degree assault and third-degree attempted assault. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

North Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor Breakwater Improvements Planned. The Hawaiʻi DLNR is seeking to improve the small boat harbor's damaged main breakwater to better withstand winter swells. Big Island Video News.

Maui

Panel is urged to restore West Maui stream flows.
Some 200 people packed Tuesday’s meeting of the state Commission on Water Resource Management on Maui, many of them urging the restoration of stream flows in the Lahaina area. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

State House members to tour Lahaina’s Mala Wharf. Members of the state House Finance Committee plan to visit Maui’s Soil &Water Conservation District today and Lahaina’s Mala Wharf on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Maui Report On 2018 Lahaina Fire Failed To Address Issues That Reappeared Five Years Later.
Community criticism about a lack of emergency alerts, sirens and fire prevention didn't make it into the report. A report on the shortcomings of Maui County’s response to a 2018 fire failed to address many problems identified by residents at the time, according to a copy of the document released Tuesday.  Civil Beat. KITV4.

2 years ago, Maui County-funded commission sounded the alarm about wildfire risks. A 2021 report from a publicly-funded commission identifies key solutions to the wildfire risk threatening Maui, but it’s unclear if Maui County acted on the findings. Members of the commission say there was never any government follow-up. Hawaii News Now.

Oprah And Dwayne Johnson’s Relief Fund Has Paid Out $19 Million.
The People’s Fund of Maui established by Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson will disburse its second round of $1,200 payments this week. Civil Beat.

Kauai

Kaua‘i sewer credit applications accepted from Nov. 1 to Jan. 2.
  Qualified sewer customers shall be granted a monthly credit of $24 per month for 2024. Kauai Now.

Kapa‘a community celebrates $750K renovation of Boys & Girls clubhouse. The building serves 100 keiki and provides a safe place to go after school with meals they can count on, caring mentors who believe in them and meaningful life experiences empowering them to discover their great futures. Kauai Now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Coalition seeks to repeal constitutional gay marriage limits, state fund planned for Maui fire victims, fed awards $52M for Lahaina cleanup to contractor under investigation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Marriage equality advocates form coalition to change Hawaiʻi State Constitution. A new coalition of community partners has formed to repeal Section 23 of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution, which places the power to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples in the hands of the state legislature. Big Island Now.

New State Fund For Maui Fire Victims Is Taking Shape.
Gov. Josh Green is finalizing details of a Maui fire victim recovery fund that could be paid for by Hawaiian Electric, major Maui landowners and even Maui County, all of which have been named as defendants in lawsuits stemming from the Aug. 8 fire that killed at least 98 people and destroyed much of Lahaina. Civil Beat.

Hawaii company wins $52M Lahaina cleanup contract despite federal probe. A Native Hawaiian defense contractor at the center of an ongoing federal criminal investigation into potential financial and tax crimes landed a $52.5 million contract for fire debris removal in Lahaina. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

One complaint gums up distribution of historic Hawaiian Homelands waitlist settlement. The historic settlement of the Hawaiian Homelands waitlist case, which involved years of litigation, thousands of beneficiaries and hundreds of millions of dollars, has been stalled by the complaint of a single person. That’s because the complaint forced an appeal. Now the state Supreme Court may have to save the massive agreement. Hawaii News Now.

DPS training officer pleads guilty to falsifying credentials. The Department of Public Safety training officer who was accused of falsifying her academic transcripts to internal affairs investigators pleaded guilty in the Oahu Circuit Court today to criminal charges of two counts of tampering with a government record and two counts of unsworn falsification to authorities. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.  KHON2.

Oahu

 Some Honolulu Building Permit Applicants Sailed Through Despite Long Waits For Most. A Civil Beat analysis raises questions about the fairness of wide disparities in how fast permits get approved. Bribery, political influence, people skills and other factors help determine a permit application's speed. Civil Beat.

HECO Should Not Be Paid For Work On Substation, HART Chair Says. Meanwhile, the HART board is budgeting for a communications function that some members believe is needed to respond when HART or the rail board is 'attacked.' Civil Beat.

Honolulu penthouse condo sells for record $27.5M. An unnamed wealthy buyer recently paid $27.5 million for a penthouse condominium in Honolulu, eclipsing the prior peak of $22 million for the same unit at the Park Lane Ala Moana midrise when it first sold six years ago new. Star-Advertiser.

Senior housing construction begins on part of old Aiea Sugar Mill site. A big piece of a more than 20-year-old community dream to reuse part of the former Aiea Sugar Mill site on Oahu has begun to take physical shape. Star-Advertiser.

North Shore homeowners on edge as season’s first big swell rolls in.
For years, homeowners, particularly those between Rocky Point and Sunset Beach, have grappled with erosion in their own backyards, watching anxiously as powerful swells took out chunks of lawn, felled coconut palms and damaged landscaping, stairways and decks. Star-Advertiser.

Miske Co-Defendant Charged With 2 Felony Offenses Ahead Of Likely Plea Deal. At 27, Dae Han Moon is the youngest of the 12 co-defendants originally charged in the federal racketeering case. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Expert cautions County Council about its power and waste preferences. Mike Ewall, an environmental activist and founder of the Energy Justice Network, a national support organization for grassroots clean energy community groups, spoke Tuesday at a meeting of the County Council’s Communications, Reports, and Council Oversight Committee to discuss the county’s various plans to reduce waste and transition to clean energy. Tribune-Herald.

Nonprofit: Big Isle domestic violence rose in last 2 years. There has been more than a 60% increase on Hawaii Island between 2021 and 2023 in the number of participants in programs aimed at the prevention of domestic violence, according to a statewide private nonprofit organization providing those services. Tribune-Herald.

New HTA Program Expands To Punaluʻu, Kealakekua Bay. The Hawai‘i Island Community-Based Action Stewardship Program will support visitor education efforts and mitigate tourism impacts at the popular locations. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui Mayor Richard Bissen seeks to defend — and explain — his actions on the day of the Lahaina wildfire. The mayor said he was alerted to a separate fire in Lahaina that morning, but was told it had been contained. He says it wasn’t until late afternoon he realized the situation in Lahaina was much worse. Hawaii News Now.

New Maui Hale Match website trying to connect fire displaced residents with affordable places to live.
Native Hawaiian Matt Jachowski has used his skills as a software developer to create the website Maui Hale Match, which he hopes will make it easier for displaced fire survivors to connect with homeowners and landlords that have available units they can afford. Maui Now.

Maui timeshares expect 90% occupancy by Thanksgiving.  Occupancy in West Maui timeshares should reach 80% to 90% by Thanksgiving — similar to the industry’s strong recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic all but brought Hawaii’s tourism economy to a halt, officials say. Star-Advertiser.

Army Corps of Engineers will spend over $18M on cultural monitoring during Lāhainā cleanup. They have subcontracted multiple Native Hawaiian Organizations including Nā ‘Aikāne o Maui, Inc. and ‘Āina Archaeology, LLC to conduct site assessments and archeological monitoring. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kauai

Couple suing Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort after slipping on hotel stairs.
A couple is suing the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort after the then-newlywed husband slipped on stairs at the resort nearly two years ago. Garden Island.

Monday, September 25, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oahu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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

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

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

Maui

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kauai

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

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