Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts

Friday, December 15, 2023

Economic forecast a mixed bag while tourism satisfaction remains high, Native Hawaiian leaders tackle deep-sea mining, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii’s economic growth may slow in 2024. However, unless a U.S. recession materializes, moderate gains are expected to resume in 2025, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization’s fourth-quarter forecast scheduled for release today. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Visitor satisfaction in Hawai‘i remains high despite Maui wildfires, survey finds. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism recently released the results of its Third Quarter Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey for 2023, which found that at least 95% of visitors from each geographic region surveyed rated the Hawaiian Islands as “excellent” or “above average” when it comes to offering a variety of experiences. Maui Now.

Native Hawaiian leaders take a stand against the world’s ‘next gold rush’. On Thursday morning, Native Hawaiian leaders and members of the the Polynesian Voyaging Society, including Nainoa Thompson and Archie Kalepa, issued a call to action against companies extracting minerals from the deep sea floor in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii News Now.

Embattled head of training at Public Safety arrested for DUI.
The head of training for the state Public Safety Department is in trouble with the law again. HPD officers arrested Marte Martinez on suspicion of DUI about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.


HART Reaches Nearly $60 Million Settlement With Rail Contractor STG. The board overseeing Honolulu rail construction agreed Thursday to pay an additional sum of $59.9 million to one of the transit project’s largest contractors, Shimmick/Traylor/Granite Joint Venture, to settle that venture’s lawsuit over expensive construction delays plus any other remaining claims. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.

Plan For Aloha Stadium District Includes Workforce And Affordable Housing. The stadium is expected to be game-ready by 2028, but the entire development could take 30 years to complete. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.   Hawaii News Now.

State representative requests private security guards for some West Oʻahu schools.  State Rep. Darius Kila has requested private security guards to patrol after hours at several schools in his district due to recent violence. Hawaii Public Radio.

Unionized workers at Star-Advertiser picket to negotiate better contract. Unionized workers at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser held an informational picket outside the newspaper’s office on Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Matsuda named director of Keck Observatory. The W. M. Keck Observatory on Thursday announced the appointment of Rich Matsuda as its next director, effective Jan. 1. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.  Big Island Now.

FEMA Grants Notice to Proceed On Pohoiki Road, Highway 137 Restoration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted the County of Hawaiʻi a “Notice to Proceed” on the Pohoiki Road and Highway 137 Road Repair and Water Line Projects, which has been in the planning stages following the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea on the lower East Rift Zone. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Renters Fear Unintended Consequences Of Tax Breaks To Help House Maui Fire Survivors. The county incentives and federal perks are intended to ease the plight of those displaced by the disaster. But some say they're making an already tight rental market even worse. Civil Beat.

Attorney acknowledges deficiencies in Maui homeless sweeps. A Maui County attorney acknowledged Thursday to the state Supreme Court that the county lacks procedures to store items seized in homeless sweeps to allow property owners the opportunity to retrieve their belongings. Star-Advertiser.

Weekly Kula air sampling continues to show air is OK. Air monitoring and sampling in Kula will be continued by the DOH throughout the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Phase II debris removal work to ensure debris removal activities do not significantly impact air quality in the area of Kula. Maui News. Maui Now.


Cost Increases And Lawsuits Have Jeopardized West Kauai Energy Project. The local utility co-op says it has halted development of the hydroelectric portion of the project. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Economy expected to dip, federal judge says Kaneshiro corruption case to proceed, swastikas painted along H-1 as synagogue threats investigated, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Aftermath of Maui wildfires weighs down Hawaii economy. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism revised its economic growth projection upward to 1.9% for 2023, and lowered its projection for 2024 from 1.5% to 1.3.%.  Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Maui Now.

Hawaii Education Department Takes ‘Big First Step’ To Increase Local Food In Schools. Advocates are cautiously optimistic the DOE's recent request for information will result in more local ingredients included in school lunches. Civil Beat.

Hawaii corrections oversight commissioner steps down.  Ted Sakai, a  Hawaii Correctional System Oversight Commission stepped down on Dec. 4 to tend to his health. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Authorities probe threat to bomb Hawaii synagogues. Police and federal agents are asking the public to remain vigilant while they investigate antisemitic graffiti and a threat made on the third day of Hanukkah to detonate hidden explosives “inside of every Hawaii synagogue.” Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Search for a new University of Hawaiʻi president set to begin soon. The Board of Regents has approved the search for a new leader of the University of Hawaiʻi as outgoing President David Lassner prepares to retire at the end of 2024. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Electric begins contract negotiations on 15 renewable energy projects. Hawaiian Electric is looking at 15 new renewable energy projects on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Maui as the company retires older fossil-fueled plants. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Hawaiʻiʻs Millerbird no longer listed as critically endangered after successful relocation. With decades of conservation work paying off, Hawai‘i’s Millerbird that is also known as Ulūlu has been downlisted to Endangered status after being listed as Critically Endangered since 2000. Maui Now.


Prosecutors In Keith Kaneshiro Case Did Not Step Over The Line, Judge Rules. A federal judge said that the case can proceed, rejecting accusations of prosecutorial misconduct against Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat and his team. Civil Beat.

Law enforcement: Illegal fireworks sales are fueling organized crime.
In hopes of making a safer New Year’s on Oahu, the state is launching an amnesty program for unwanted illegal fireworks.  Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Honolulu Homeowners: Property Assessments Are Coming Soon. Values increased 0.3% on average across Oahu, far less than the 13.3% average increase last year. Civil Beat.

Swastikas spray-painted along the H-1 spark outrage and conversation to address hate speech
. Along the H-1 highway by the Barber’s Point exit, one of the many places that have a swastika along with the star of David graffitied onto signs. Those symbols can be seen for about 10 miles along the H-1 heading into town. Hawaii News Now.

West Oahu health center boosts security with artificial intelligence amid rising crime
. Amid the increase in violent crimes in Leeward Oahu, the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center has installed a weapons detection system in its Emergency Department.  Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Mayor Signs Bill 66 To Expedite Residential Solar Permits. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth has signed Bill 66, a measure that will “expedite the process of permitting solar electric systems, bringing about cost reductions for homeowners and bolstering the clean, green energy transition” on Hawaiʻi Island, officials say. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.


Hawaiʻi Supreme Court oral argument scheduled for lawsuit challenging Maui houseless sweeps
. The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court has scheduled an oral argument on Dec. 14, 2023, for the lawsuit against Maui County challenging a September 2021 houseless sweep at Amala Place near Kanahā Beach Park. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor’s Enhanced Security Detail Could Be Funded By Federal, Wildfire Funds. The estimated cost for overtime and travel expenses for the detail was $110,000, though the Public Safety Department said it was still tallying the bill. Civil Beat.

FEMA closing Kahului Disaster Recovery Center this Friday. The Kahului Disaster Recovery Center on Maui is closing at 6 p.m. this Friday, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Star-Advertiser.

Elevated levels of toxins found in Lahaina ash, test results show. The state Department of Health on Sunday released laboratory results showing ash from homes in Lahaina contain elevated levels of toxics including arsenic, lead, antimony, cobalt and copper.  Star-Advertiser.


Student changes on agenda for community council meeting. Lori Ann Cabebe, the Kaua‘i High School PCNC Coordinator, announced a school community council meeting on Dec. 14 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kaua‘i High School cafeteria. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i fishpond access preserved for community. Trust for Public Land, Waipā Foundation, the County of Kaua‘i and the State of Hawai‘i have announced the purchase and transfer of ownership and stewardship of a quarter-acre of land in the Waipā ahupua‘a along Kauaʻi’s north shore. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Hawaii economy avoids recession, state marks end of COVID-19 emergency, state sued over Maui mosquito release plan, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii economy still OK despite weaknesses. Positive expectations outweigh negative ones in a new Hawaii economic forecast where rising personal income and construction offset a small decline in visitor spending and higher unemployment to help the state avoid a recession in 2024. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii leaders mark end to COVID-19 emergency. State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble spoke Thursday about the ending of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency at the Department of Health.  Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Board Of Education To Consider Computer Science As A Graduation Requirement. Legislators say the move would help students get lucrative jobs in STEM fields. Computer science is on the way to becoming a new graduation requirement in Hawaii by the end of this decade as state legislators seek new ways to encourage homegrown technical skills. Civil Beat.

As fentanyl-tainted drugs proliferate, Hawaii sees record number of overdose deaths
and a disturbing trend. Narcotics claimed 320 lives last year in Hawaii, making 2022 the most deadly year on record, according to newly-released figures from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Hawaii News Now.

Governor considering permanent protections for journalists. Gov. Josh Green is considering whether to sign a bill that would bring back and make permanent protections that would keep reporters from being forced to disclose confidential information or sources in state court. Star-Advertiser.

Capitol reflecting pools receive $33.5M for ongoing repairs. The Legislature approved funding for planning, design and construction for rehabilitation of the reflecting pools around the Capitol. Critics said the project doesn’t reflect the community’s needs. KHON2.

Circulating survey that seeks input on imaginary Gabbard-Hirono contest raises eyebrows. Both Hirono and Gabbard dismissed the survey. Hawaii News Now.


Annual count of homeless records slight rise on Oahu.
The results of the Oahu Point in Time count, taken in January, tallied 4,028 homeless people, of whom 59% were unsheltered and 41% were sheltered. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii keiki summer programs scrambling to fill job openings. Officials for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation’s Summer Fun program and the YMCA of Honolulu say the staffing situation isn’t nearly as dire as a year ago, when they were ramping up after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still plenty of openings. Star-Advertiser.

Study: Nearly 90% Of Hanauma Bay Could Be Underwater By 2030.
Researchers say the nature preserve is facing significant threats from climate change. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

Red Light Safety cameras see huge reduction in red light runners.
  The Red Light Safety Cameras are working. That’s according to Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

HVO reports summit inflation, elevated earthquake activity at Kilauea. Restlessness at the summit of Kilauea volcano does not necessarily indicate an imminent eruption, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Hawaiʻi Island police officers authorized to use pickup trucks while on duty. Effective immediately, Hawaiʻi Island police officers are authorized to use pickup trucks with an open bed as subsidized police vehicles.  Big Island Now.

Puna reacts to cash shortage for full Pohiki Ramp dredge. Puna residents were ambivalent Wednesday about news the state will not dredge the entire beach blocking the Pohoiki Boat Ramp. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Hawaiʻi Unites sues DLNR over mosquito suppression plan to save native birds. A local environmental nonprofit has sued the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Land and Natural Resources over its mosquito suppression plan to reduce avian malaria at Haleakalā National Park. Hawaii Public Radio.

80-unit housing project seeks funds to stay afloat. A housing developer is seeking a $10.6 million subsidy from the county to keep an already-approved 100 percent affordable workforce project in Waikapu afloat. Maui News.

Gate To Kawakui Beach On Molokai Is Open Again — For Now.
Access was restricted by Kaluakoi Outfitters for months on the Molokai Ranch property. Civil Beat.

98th Maui Fair postponed again, community must wait another year
. While the tradition of a Maui Fair is timeless, holding the 98th Maui Fair must wait for another year, organizers announced today.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.


Kaua‘i County Council supports mosquito biocontrol to protect honeycreepers. The Kaua‘i County Council approved a resolution supporting biological control efforts to protect endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers from mosquito-borne disease. Garden Island.

Feds: Kaua‘i company owes workers $97K for overtime and travel. A Kaua‘i cleaning service has been hit with its second labor violation in less than a decade after federal investigators determined they failed to pay nearly $50,000 in workers’ overtime wages and travel expenses over a three-year period. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Department of Water’s quality reports now available. The Department of Water’s 2023 Water Quality Reports, covering the period of Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, are now available on the Department’s website at Kauai Now.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Green names Cabinet appointees, Hawaii only state with $5 gas, blue-ribbon panel has 31 anti-corruption proposals, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii Gov.-Elect Josh Green’s Cabinet Will Have Many Familiar Faces. Gov.-elect Josh Green on Thursday announced the names of 20 Cabinet-level appointees, including many who led state agencies during Gov. David Ige’s tenure. Green, who has been lieutenant governor for four years, is to be sworn in as governor at noon Monday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now. Kauai Now.

These are Josh Green’s 5 big priorities for his first 100 days in office. Green discussed what changes he plans to make in his first 100 days in office. The first is to take immediate action on Hawaii’s housing crisis. Green says if necessary he’ll use emergency powers to adjust some of the processes that are obstructing the ability to build housing. Hawaii News Now.

‘A Deep Moral Crisis’: Commission Proposes ‘Bold’ Reforms In Government. Commission members urged the public to pay close attention to what the Hawaii Legislature does with the 31 proposals intended to combat corruption, ethical issues and more. A blue-ribbon panel tasked with identifying ways to better Hawaii government is calling for sweeping reforms to restore public trust in government. The suggested reforms include enhancing investigation and prosecution of fraud, providing more openness and transparency, curbing the influence of money to lawmakers and limiting their time in office. Civil Beat.

Expectations for Hawaii’s economy stay level. The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released a new quarterly forecast for the local economy earlier this week, and anticipates no change from its previous projection for 2023 and 2024 made in August. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Garden Island.

AAA: Hawaiʻi only state with gas price averaging more than $5 a gallon. Hawaiʻi gas prices remained in a holding pattern even while all other Western states experienced weekly price dips of 20 cents or more, according to the AAA Hawaiʻi Weekend Gas Watch. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s State Board Of Education Draft Plan Includes Higher Reading and Math Goals. BOE board members highlighted a need for higher basic academic achievement for all students, and more support for minorities and English learners. Civil Beat.


Navy plan approved by health department following foam leak at Red Hill. The state Department of Health has approved a Navy Sampling and Analysis Plan following the leak of 1,100 gallons of concentrated fire suppressant into the ground at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. Star-Advertiser.

Red Hill defueling on pause while Navy cleans up toxic fire suppressant spill. Defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility remains on pause as the Navy cleans up a separate toxic spill from earlier this week. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now.

Red light camera initiative moves forward despite backlash. There will be 10 red light cameras installed at various Honolulu intersections by March as a part of the state Department of Transportation's red light safety program. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

County creates ‘Traffic Hazard Mitigation Route’ for lava viewing. Via the route, which was unveiled today, drivers can enter the Old Saddle Road directly across from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area. From there, drivers can travel the 4.5-mile stretch of road until it rejoins with the Daniel K. Inouye Highway just before Puʻuhuluhulu near the Maunakea Access Road. Tribune-Herald. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hāmākua Bridge Reopens Closed Lane In Case Lava Cuts Saddle. The second lane over Nanue Bridge at mile marker 18.5 on Hawaii Belt Road has been reopened, after a closure due to emergency repairs. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Climate scientists at Maunaloa Observatory are 'pursuing all options' to get back on site. The eight scientists and technicians who work at the Maunaloa Observatory collecting climate data are grateful to be out of harm’s way of the lava flow. They say they are anxious to return to the facility though no one knows when it will be safe to do so.  Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News.

For many Hawaiians, lava flows are a time to honor, reflect
. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for many Native Hawaiians, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds. Associated Press.


Another Former Maui County Official Has Been Charged With Accepting Bribes. Federal authorities announced Thursday that another former Maui County environmental management official has been charged with accepting bribes as part of a long-running corruption scheme involving Honolulu businessman Milton Choy. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Citing Water Crisis, Maui Makes Fodor’s List Of Places To Not Visit Next Year. The travel publication listed the island among regions “suffering from water crises.” Civil Beat.

Lanai Runway Expansion Hits A Nerve Over ‘Two-Tiered’ Travel. The upgrade would allow bigger private jets to fly to Lanai nonstop from the mainland. Lanai Airport’s existing 5,000-foot runway isn’t long enough for some heavier jets to land. Civil Beat.


Mayor Kawakami lays out priorities for next term at his inauguration. Kawakami, entering his second term as mayor, laid out the goals for the next four years of his administration: “Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure.” Garden Island.

Mayor Kawakami, Kauaʻi County Council sworn into office at inauguration ceremony. The 2022-2024 Kaua‘i County Council members include Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Council Vice Chair KipuKai Kuali‘i, Addison Bulosan, Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., Felicia Cowden, Bill DeCosta and Luke A. Evslin. Kauai Now. KHON2.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Hawaii economy could hit setback, military families sue over Red Hill tainted water, construction company sues Zuckerberg over nonpayment, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Setback forecast for Hawaii’s economic recovery. High inflation, and rising interest rates intended to curb inflation, will likely sap some local economic growth this year and next year to prolong Hawaii’s rebound from a downturn triggered by COVID-­ 19 two years ago, according to a new report. Star-Advertiser.

New law expected to bring $250 million to Hawaii airports. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration announced Hawaii’s first-year award Wednesday from the Airport Infrastructure Grant program, one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Star-Advertiser.

A New Hawaii Abortion Guide Seeks To Address Gaps In Care. Advocates hope the guide will help clear up confusion over access to abortions in the islands — where it remains legal — after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

FDA OKs use of bivalent vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday granted emergency use authorization for the first bivalent vaccines to protect against the original strain of COVID-19 and the omicron subvariants. Doses could be shipped to Hawaii County within the next few days. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Hawaii Health Department reports 1,777 new COVID-19 infections, 12 coronavirus-related deaths. The state’s average positivity rate, meanwhile, continued falling, to 7.3% compared with 8.6% reported the previous week. Star-Advertiser.


Military families sue federal government over Red Hill fuel leak. Military families who say they were sickened by last year’s fuel contamination of the Navy’s drinking water system around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam are suing the federal government, seeking compensation for physical and mental suffering, medical expenses, lost income and other costs associated with the Red Hill disaster. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Navy Wastewater Bypasses Portion of Pearl Harbor Filtration System
. About 300,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater were released into the sea from the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers renew push for regulations after helicopter emergency landing at Aloha Stadium
. A helicopter made an emergency landing at the Aloha Stadium parking lot on Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.

This Hemp Dealer Is Fighting The State Over ‘Fundamental Fairness’. While the dispute between Pinky’s Hempire and the state might seem like just another struggle between a small business and government regulators, the matter involves bigger questions, including the extent to which government officials can make new laws with little public notice, then use the laws to shut down unwitting businesses. Civil Beat.

Ex-HPD officer files suit after being ousted for ‘toxic’ extramarital affair with coworker. A former Honolulu police officer alleges he was ousted from the HPD after he had a “consensual,” extramarital relationship with a female officer that went toxic. But Honolulu Police Department disciplinary reports say that the woman was a subordinate and that the officer — Justin Castro — forced her to continue their relationship. Hawaii News Now.

Chief’s son mistakenly arrested, attorney argues. The son of Honolulu police Chief Arthur “Joe” Logan was mistakenly arrested for failing to appear at a court date he knew nothing about, his attorney argued in a motion to recall the bench warrant filed Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Police Department finalizing rules for issuing gun-carrying permits. Nearly 400 people have applied to carry a gun in public in Honolulu since the U.S. Supreme Court left it to the states to decide the rules, and police are close to finalizing a process for issuing permits, officers told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

State dishes out millions to manage mongoose problem at Windward O'ahu marsh. Spanning 830 acres in Windward O'ahu and home to several species of endangered native birds, Kawainui Marsh is the largest wetland across Hawai'i. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Big Island Customers Heed Request to Limit Use of Electricity, Preventing Need For Rolling Outages. So far, so good. That’s the word from Hawaiian Electric as it continues to ask Big Island electricity customers to reduce their electricity use, especially in the early evening hours. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s most understaffed hospital in dire need of more beds too. Officials at Hilo Medical Center say the facility is in dire need of more beds and frontline caregivers as the number of people in the community has outgrown the hospital. According to the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hilo Medical Center is the most short-handed hospital in the state. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island police identify 12-year-old fatally shot at Boy Scout camp. Hawaii Island police this afternoon identified the 12-year-old boy involved in Sunday’s Boy Scout camp shooting fatality as Manuel “Manny” Carvalho. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. KITV4.

Investor website for potential luxury development in Opihihale sparks community concerns. Preliminary work has begun on a 324-acre luxury resort development in Opihihale, South Kona, just north of Miloliʻi. Jeff Darrow, deputy planning director for Hawaiʻi County, says the department has not received any permit applications for the project. Hawaii Public Radio.


Arce appears on track for director of agriculture spot. Saying they were impressed with Molokai homesteader Rogerene “Kali” Arce, a Maui County Council committee on Tuesday unanimously recommended that she fill the first-ever county Department of Agriculture director position. Maui News.

Maui Council committee likely to discuss new high school’s highway crossing dilemma. At its meeting Sept. 1, the Maui County Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee likely will discuss the ongoing dilemma about how pedestrians and bicyclists will safely cross four-lane Piʻilani Highway to the new Kūlanihākoʻi High School in Kīhei. Maui Now.

Widespread Power Outage Left Thousands Of Trout Dead At This Maui Farm. The outage struck 94% of the company’s customers on Maui, leaving thousands of families and businesses without electricity for most of the morning. Civil Beat.

MEO steps up to help Molokaʻi students amid public school bus driver shortage. Maui Economic Opportunity on Moloka‘i has stepped in to offer transportation services to youths who could not be accommodated by the public school bus service. Maui Now.


Kauai construction company sues Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg's company over nonpayment. A Kauai construction company is suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company for not receiving a payment of more than $130,000 for work it has completed on the billionaire tech titan’s North Shore Kauai property. KITV4.

The Kaua‘i Marathon is here! With online registration ending Aug. 31 at 12:59 p.m., Robin Jumper, the Kaua‘i Marathon coordinator, expects a “historic” crowd with more than 2,200 runners registered for the event that starts at 6 a.m., Sunday at the entrance to the Po‘ipu Shopping Village. Garden Island.

SBA Loans Available to Offset Economic Losses From Drought. Small businesses in Kaua‘i County that have lost revenue because of drought can get some help from the federal government. Kauai Now.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Health experts urge caution as daily COVID cases near 1k, massive filters begin cleaning Red Hill water, less golf, more timeshares for Waikoloa, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kayakers get close to spinner dolphins off Hawaii PC:NOAA

Schatz Speaks Against Hawaiʻi Bay Closures Intended To Protect Dolphins. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) says the federal rule will "needlessly restrict locals from ocean recreation" and are "unnecessary." Big Island Video News.

State’s pension fund on a roll with 2.1% gain. Hawaii’s largest public pension fund, coming off its best performance in its 95-year history, continued its momentum by starting the new fiscal year on a positive note. Star-Advertiser.

Local economists say recovery in 2022 remains uncertain due to the new Omicron variant. The state is showing signs of recovery after the Delta variant surge, says a new report from the University of Hawaiʻi's Economic Research Organization, or UHERO. Hawaii Public Radio.

Lawmakers: Are Actors In Hawaii Productions Paying Enough In Taxes? Hawaii’s top tax official is pushing to make sure actors appearing in movies and television shows produced in Hawaii pay their fair share of state taxes, and two key lawmakers have picked up the cause, setting the stage for an examination of Hawaii’s high-profile motion picture tax incentive during the 2022 legislative session. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Schools Are Buying Less Local Food During The Pandemic. Despite new legislation requiring public schools to serve student meals with more local ingredients, advocates say they are frustrated by a regression in local food initiatives. Civil Beat.

Study: Full-Face Snorkeling Masks May Increase Risk. Duke University researchers have found that many full-face snorkeling masks do not work as advertised and in some cases may increase the risk to snorkelers.  Civil Beat.

Hawaiʻi National Guard Joint Task Force to be reestablished as COVID-19 surges. Maj. Kenneth Hara has announced that due to the current surge in COVID-19 the Hawaii National Guard Joint Task Force (HING JTF) will be reestablished. KITV4.

‘This is an emergency’: Health experts warn as Hawaii COVID cases soar. Many health officials believe Hawaii will hit 1,000 daily COVID cases soon and that large indoor gatherings and events are helping fuel the recent surge. They also believe state and county leaders need to put a limit on gatherings and other activities or cases will skyrocket even more. KHON2.

Airport COVID testing surges along with cases. COVID-19 testing has increased during the past two weeks at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport with the holidays fast approaching and a surge in infections that’s already worse than last year at this time. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 972 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 877 new cases on Oahu, 29 on Hawaii Island, 38 on Maui, 14 on Kauai, and 14 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Massive water filters arrive to process Red Hill tainted water. As the military continues to deal with the contamination of the Navy’s water system on Oahu, it’s now hauling in massive industrial-strength filters to extract water from the system, conducting large-scale flushing beginning this morning. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Contested case hearing on state’s order to suspend operations at Red Hill planned. A public hearing is scheduled for Monday over the Navy’s case to contest the state Department of Health’s emergency order to suspend operations at the Red Hill fuel storage facility in the wake of the water contamination crisis. Hawaii News Now.

Schools Supplied By Navy Water Scramble To Provide Students With Water And Food. A 2-week winter break will relieve some strain on displaced families and teaching staff but the future outlook is still cloudy. Civil Beat.

Mauka shift on Dillingham Boulevard will save Honolulu rail $166M, a new report says. Moving the rail transit line from one side of Dillingham to the other would allow the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to avoid having to relocate high-voltage power lines. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu’s 911 diversion program aspires to bring new approach to homelessness. Star-Advertiser.

DOH tracks down COVID cluster at The Republik nightclub;
attendees urged to get tested. The DOH said there were between 900 and 1,000 at the nightclub on each night. Attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Trying to please everyone: Redistricting Commission continues tinkering with council districts. Residents attending public hearings in Kona and Hilo this past week were pretty clear: They didn’t want the Kailua Village business district to be split between County Council districts, nor Waimea, nor Hawaiian Paradise Park, nor the Keaukaha and Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands property. West Hawaii Today.

State to take partial ownership of Kalanianaole Avenue; county dumps contractor. The state Department of Transportation confirmed late Friday afternoon that ownership of the portion of Kalanianaole Avenue in Hilo between Kanolelehua Avenue and Kuhio Street is slated for transfer from the county to the state in January. Tribune-Herald.

Less golf, more timeshares: Leeward Planning Commission advances Waikoloa Resort plans. Fewer holes of golf and more timeshare units could become the name of the game for Waikoloa Resort developers, following approvals Thursday by the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

Upgrades Ahead: Mass Transit Hits Full Throttle on Bus Improvements. After receiving a litany of complaints and suggestions from passengers, Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit has taken to heart what those people were saying by ushering in a new set of standards aimed at making the riding experience, not only more convenient but practical and enjoyable, too. Big Island Now.


Council overrides mayor’s veto on housing waitlist. The Maui County Council voted Friday to override Mayor Michael Victorino’s veto of a bill that would create an affordable housing waitlist overseen by the county, saying that changes needed to be made to get more people into homes. Maui News.

Virtual Meeting Set for Public Input on Formation of Maui Dept. of Agriculture. A virtual community meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, to gather public input on the formation of the new Department of Agriculture. Maui Now.

Maui County Immigrant Services Division Continues to Offer Migrant Services. Although the recent retirement of long-time staff has changed the scope of available services, the division continues to assist migrants applying for benefits who do not require legal advice, including those from the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau. Maui Now.


BLNR renews KIUC permit despite local opposition.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources renewed Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s revocable permit to divert water from Wai‘ale‘ale and Waikoko streams last week, despite opposition from local groups. Garden Island.

Like on top of OPA special primary election; general in February. As of Saturday’s election night, Rebecca “Becky” Like garnered 8,184 votes, over Shaylene Iseri, who came in with 3,645 votes in the county’s special primary election for prosecuting attorney, according to a first print-out of results. This is just the first round between Iseri and Like, who will both be on the general-election ballot in February. Garden Island.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Ige to extend COVID precautions through summer, real estate booms, tax collections soar, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige

Gov. David Ige to maintain COVID guidelines as isle businesses grow frustrated. Gov. David Ige is holding strong to his target of fully vaccinating 70% of Hawaii residents before dropping the majority of the state’s COVID-related safety restrictions, including indoor mask mandates. Ige plans to extend his emergency proclamation suspending various laws and mandating safety protocols, which is set to expire Aug. 6. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

State Tax Collections Soared Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels In The Past Year. The stunning rebound in general treasury tax revenue was driven by increased state income tax collections. The unexpected bump in tax collections last year means the Ige administration is suddenly holding about $740 million in un-budgeted cash, and lawmakers said Monday they will be watching closely to see what the administration has in mind for that money. Civil Beat.

DOE to identify schools with COVID-19 cases, but lack of testing could skew data. A new law requires the DOE release details of COVID-19 cases reported on its campuses, including the name of the school, the date the positive test result was reported, and the date the COVID-positive individual was last on campus. KITV4.

TSA prepares for unruly travelers as complaints of disruptive passengers increase. As rising COVID-19 vaccinations bring more visitors to Hawaii, the Transportation Security Administration restarted flight crew self-defense training this month after a 62% increase in unruly and aggressive passenger complaints during the first six months of 2021, including physical attacks and verbal confrontations over enhanced safety measures brought on by the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hospitalizations, ICU beds, case numbers, and positivity rate increase statewide as Delta variant spreads. The state health department has detected 53 new Delta cases statewide in two weeks. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 63 new COVID cases; no additional fatalities. Of the new infections, 28 were on Oahu, 15 on Hawaii Island, seven on Kauai, and six on Maui. There were also seven residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Real estate bidding wars driving up home prices. The median price of a single family home on Oahu is just shy of a $1 million, but realtors said the bidding war is going strong. It is not expected to ease any time soon. KHON2.

Miske Case Rocks Stagehand Union After Executive Board Member’s Guilty Plea. The ripple effects from the federal criminal prosecution of former Honolulu business owner Michael Miske Jr. are now rocking Local 665 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees after a member of its executive board admitted he took part in drug trafficking, armed robberies and at least one murder-for-hire scheme as a member of a racketeering organization that Miske controlled and directed. Civil Beat.

Honolulu police chief candidates’ names not released. The names of the 24 individuals who applied to serve as Honolulu’s 12th police chief will remain confidential after the Honolulu Police Commission denied a Honolulu Star-Advertiser public-records request for the applicants’ names, calling the disclosure a violation of privacy that would prejudice the selection process. Star-Advertiser.

Slowing pace of vaccinations prompts state, UH to consider capacity limits for UH football games. While the University of Hawaii is planning for a packed house in the stands for its first football game at the newly renovated Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex, a slowing pace of vaccinations and a rise in Delta variant cases could mean the season opens to a smaller group. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Home sales soar on isle. Big Island homes are selling almost as soon as they hit the market as the real estate industry rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

Mahukona preservation advances. A plan to preserve 644 acres of Mahukona land of historical and cultural significance has taken a big step forward with the County Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution authorizing sale negotiations. West Hawaii Today.

ʻAlalā Exhibit In Hilo Is Only One In The World. The endangered Hawaiian crow now has a home at the Panaʻewa Rainforest Zoo. The exhibit opens to the public next week. Big Island Video News. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui Median Home Price in June Was More Than $1.1M. The highest median price for a single-family home in Hawai‘i last month was in Maui County at more than $1.1 million. Kaua‘i's median was $1.1 million, O‘ahu's was $978,000 and the Big Island's was $465,000, according to data from Hawai‘i Information Service and Honolulu Board of Realtors. Associated Press. Maui News.

Maui High Performance Computing Center Names New Executive Director
. The center is part of the Applied Research Laboratory at UH and supports the US Air Force’s Maui High Performance Computing Center, one of five Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers nationwide. Maui Now.


Protesters call for reopening of county offices, meetings.
Around 11 a.m. Monday, about three dozen people arrived just outside the Lihu‘e Civic Center Mo‘ikeha Building rotunda, unable to get in due to a closed gate. Garden Island.

North Shore shuttle service seeks to curb congestion, crowding.
The end of the road is just the beginning for nonprofit organizations Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana and The Hanalei Initiative, which took over management and operation of the North Shore Shuttle from Waipa to Ha‘ena State Park last Sunday. Garden Island.

Visiting couple regret touching monk seal after video goes viral on social media. A Louisiana couple has apologized and will pay a fine after a TikTok video shows a woman touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal at a Kauai beach. Star-Advertiser.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Hawaii outdoor mask mandate lifted, economic outlook rises, University of Hawaii mulls fully open campuses, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Gov. Ige Eliminates Mask Mandate for Outdoors, Allows Ocean Sports Competitions. Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday people will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, effective immediately, as COVID-19 cases decrease and more people get vaccinated. The governor said he would maintain a requirement that people wear masks indoors. The same rules will apply regardless of whether someone is vaccinated. Associated Press. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

State Panel Forecasts Better Economic Outlook For Hawaii. Adjustments to Hawaii’s projected tax revenues could mean state government hauls in $450 million more than previously predicted. Civil Beat. Associated Press.

University of Hawaii floats plan to reopen campuses to public, end telework policy. The University of Hawaii has made tentative plans to reopen its campuses to the public Tuesday and phase out its pandemic telework policy, with all staff back on campus Aug. 3. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii teachers’ $2,200 bonuses may be in jeopardy. The governor is under pressure to veto the $2,200 bonuses that legislators voted to give every public school teacher, but hefty pay “differentials” for classroom teachers in shortage areas are on track for next year. Star-Advertiser.

Grand jury mix-up puts dozens of state felony cases at risk. A Judiciary spokesperson for the state Judiciary said 60 cases total were impacted by the mix-up and additional precautions have been taken to prevent similar situations from occurring. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii reports 23 new COVID cases; no additional fatalities. Of the new cases, 16 were on Oahu, two on Hawaii Island, one on Kauai, and one on Molokai. There were also three residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Ex-Honolulu Police Department officer, Derek Wayne Hahn, bound for prison pending appeal. A former Honolulu police lieutenant must report to prison next week to serve a 3-1/2-year sentence in Hawaii’s biggest ever corruption case after a U.S. judge denied his request to remain free while he appeals his conviction. Associated Press.

City plans to revitalize Chinatown, but business owners say crime is the biggest issue. Earlier this month, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he has a plan to fix major problems in Chinatown and efforts include beautification and security. Hawaii News Now.

Sierra Club raises new questions about Navy’s cleanup of Red Hill fuel leak. Citing data from the state Department of Health, the Sierra Club said they believe the reason for a spike in contaminants is because the leak was not properly contained. Hawaii News Now.

TheBus to modify, discontinue more than a dozen routes. The discontinued routes include Route 80A (Hawaii Kai Park and Ride Express – University) Route 80B (Upper Aina Haina Express); and Route 235 (Kahala Mall — Waialae Iki). Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

New Hawaii State Veterans Home Is Being Built On Land Designated For Affordable Housing
. Construction crews broke ground on the 120-bed residential and treatment facility last month on a long-vacant lot in Kapolei. Civil Beat.

Small Oahu Landowners Say They Were Blindsided By Ag Land Plan. The state Land Use Commission has scheduled two days of hearings beginning Wednesday to try to sort through Honolulu’s plan for designating Important Agricultural Lands. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Wanted: Good foster parents for some troubled kids. Catholic Charities Hawaii is seeking therapeutic foster parents on Hawaii Island to provide specialized foster care for emotionally and behaviorally challenged youths ages 5-19. Tribune-Herald.

Water Board creates operations superintendent position. A shortage of qualified administrators has hit home for the county Department of Water Supply, which on Tuesday was given permission to add a superintendent position to its operations division to help shoulder the load. West Hawaii Today.

Ag Theft Leads to Regulations Legitimate Producers Need to Know
. Due to the increasing reports of agricultural theft on Hawai’i Island, the Hawai’i Police Department on Tuesday, May 25, issued a reminder to the public that there are regulations set in place. Big Island Now.


Concerns persist over market-rate units in Larry Ellison project. Pulama Lana‘i is proposing 150 units with 76 affordable, 74 market-rate. A high number of market-rate units, proximity to a sewage treatment facility and lack of options to buy are among the concerns of community members for a 150-unit rental home project proposed by Pulama Lana’i. Maui News.

Maui Police Commision votes to allow former chief to retire in ‘good standing’. Despite being caught on camera fleeing the scene of an accident, former Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu is now allowed to retire in good standing. Hawaii News Now.

Virtual Climate Change Town Hall for South Maui Scheduled for June 3. The town hall is an opportunity for the public to learn about how climate change is affecting the South Maui community and the strategies to deal with those effects that could be included in the South Maui Community Plan. Maui Now.

Online Public Hearing for Proposed Firing Range Rules at Ukumehame on June 9. Proposed amendments of the Maui County Code for the use and operation of the Maui Firing Range at Ukumehame will be discussed during an online public hearing on Wednesday, June 9 at 5:30 pm. Maui Now.

Kahoolawe restoration project to benefit land and sea.
The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission has launched a 14-month campaign to restore the Hakioawa Watershed and protect the island’s windward nearshore waters and reefs. Star-Advertiser.


2 levels added to tier system. If the state hits a vaccination rate of 70%, Kaua‘i will lose its tier system and mandated restrictions, according to the county’s latest tier chart from Mayor Derek Kawakami. Garden Island. KITV4.

Solid-waste plan up for review. The latest draft of the county’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, which outlines goals and objectives for one of the county’s most pressing issues of waste disposal, is now up for public review. Garden Island.

TGI editor returning to mainland. After six years of writing for The Garden Island newspaper, including a year as editor of this publication, this is my last week at TGI. Garden Island.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Bills live, die as Legislature reaches midpoint, missile defense radar still in limbo, athletic workouts, larger groups to be allowed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News
Pounding taro root into poi ©2021 All Hawaii News

Fewer Farmers Are Growing Hawaii’s ‘Miracle Food’ Taro Despite Growing Demand. Growing, cultivating and cooking the starchy root vegetable, which is used to make poi, is hard work that’s not always profitable. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers End Efforts To Revamp Oversight Of Watchdog Agencies. House leaders have decided against pursuing most measures aimed at controlling the state auditor although investigation into that office continues. Civil Beat.

What’s Dead And Alive At The Hawaii Legislature.
As the Legislature heads to a deadline Thursday for all bills to clear their originating chamber, scores of measures have already been killed or failed to gain traction. Civil Beat.

Hawaii lawmakers advance bill to allow abortions by nurses. The decision on Thursday by the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee will advance the legislation to the full state House for consideration. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii missile defense radar is still in limbo. The Missile Defense Agency is back seeking public comment on two possible locations for a powerful ballistic missile defense radar on either the North Shore of Oahu or the west side of Kauai — both looking toward North Korea — with Congress most recently pumping $133 million into the plan. Star-Advertiser.

UHERO Forecast 'Sort Of More Optimistic,' But Is Based On Several Factors. The state's economy will be determined by two things this year: more federal relief and the vaccine rollout. That's according to the latest report from the University of Hawaii's Economic Research Organization, or UHERO, forecasting the year ahead. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii bankruptcy cases plunge again despite COVID-19.
Statewide bankruptcies in February fell below 100 for the second month in a row and plunged 32.4% from the same time a year ago, according to new data released by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

DOE guidelines allow athletic workouts, practices. Student athletic program workouts and practices can start as early as today according to state Department of Education guidelines for safely restarting released Friday. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now.

Head of Hawaii's Roman Catholic Church says J&J vaccine morally acceptable if Pfizer, Moderna not available. Church leaders believe Johnson & Johnson's version is "morally compromised" because it is produced using a cell line derived from an aborted fetus. KITV4.

COVID-19 testing expert advises Hawaii to stay vigilant as more states lift mask mandates. Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group urges Hawaii residents to keep up their vigilance and not let their guards down. KITV4.

Low COVID-19 counts key to restoring tourism
. Continued low COVID-19 case counts in Hawaii and acceleration in distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to play a key role in recovering Hawaii tourism. Star-Advertiser.

70 to 74 group to start vaccinations Monday, younger ages soon to follow. There are just over 60,000 people in the state between the ages of 70 and 74, which is set to begin vaccinations. KHON2.

March 7, 2021 COVID-19 Update: The state Department of Health reports that there were 53 additional COVID-19 cases reported in Hawai‘i on Sunday, including 25 on O‘ahu, 12 on Maui, eight on Hawai‘i Island, two on Kaua‘i and six in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed outside of the state. Maui Now.


Settlement reached in lawsuit against an HPD officer accused of abusing his power. The city has settled a lawsuit accusing a Honolulu Police officer of improperly arresting a Kaneohe teenager who got into a fight with his son. Hawaii News Now.

Federal authorities zero in on Kaneshiro campaign donors in next phase of corruption probe. A parade of Keith Kaneshiro’s campaign donors testified last week before the federal grand jury hearing evidence against the former city prosecutor. Hawaii News Now.

Rail Board Believed HART’s Former Director Misled On Costs, Records Show. Dan Grabauskas, who resigned as director in 2016, says the assertions that he misrepresented the numbers are flatly incorrect. Civil Beat.

Honolulu’s housing director has new plans to tackle homelessness. Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s point person on the intractable homeless problem is Office of Housing Director Anton Krucky, whose first inclination is an approach that moves away from routine police involvement. Star-Advertiser.

As rising seas invade Waikiki resorts, the state proposes adding more groins. A draft environmental impact statement is being prepared for a $12 million Waikiki Beach Improvement and Maintenance Program, proposed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources in partnership with the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District Association, that envisions constructing structures makai of the waterline, dredging sand and placing it on the shore. Star-Advertiser.

Ala Wai Canal bridge project moving forward. A pedestrian and bicycle bridge planned for the Ala Wai Canal will be discussed Tuesday at the Waikiki Neighborhood Board meeting, which comes two weeks before the project’s draft environmental assessment is slated for release. Star-Advertiser.

Puzzled residents want to know why a 150-seat luau is allowed but weddings are limited to 10. Confused Oahu residents are looking for clarification on the city’s tiered system of COVID restrictions after news that a luau with 150 guests was allowed to happen on Friday but weddings are still limited to no more than 10 people. Hawaii News Now.

In an effort to protect their future, youth activists call for a ban in menthol cigarettes. Hawaii youth activists gathered at the state capitol Sunday for a March Against Menthol. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Roth eases outdoor gathering rule. Mayor Mitch Roth has amended his COVID-19 emergency rule to increase the size of outdoor social gatherings from 10 people to 25, subject to approval by Gov. David Ige. Tribune-Herald.

$1.8M for travel: Federal grants prop up county travel budgets. Some county departments plan to dramatically increase their travel budgets for the new fiscal year that starts July 1, after an austere period that saw Zoom teleconferences replace the traditional off-island conventions previously attended by government officials and staff. West Hawaii Today.

Handling the gun surge: $545,760 grant to help HPD process firearms permits. Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic coupled with political turmoil could have contributed to an almost doubling in firearms permits and registration on Hawaii Island last year compared to 2019, leading to a waiting list at the Police Department of up to three months. West Hawaii Today.

Commissioner expects increase in film, TV spending. The Big Island’s film commissioner is optimistic there’ll be an uptick in spending this year from film, television and video and print advertising productions seeking county permits. Tribune-Herald.

Mamaki under attack: Ramie moth confirmed on Big Island. Another Big Island crop is under attack by an invasive species prompting the Department of Agriculture to issue a pest alert. West Hawaii Today.

New statue raises eyebrows: Bronze sculpture was erected in Liliuokalani Park last month. Hilo artist Henry Bianchini created and donated a bronze statue called Ho‘omalule ‘Upena Kiloi, or Metamorphosis of a Net Fisherman. Tribune-Herald.


Growing COVID-19 Outbreak At Maui Jail Has Inmates, Families Worried. Cases at the correctional center are rising and the state health department has identified the situation as a cluster. Civil Beat.

One Area of Maui’s Pandemic Economy Is Surprisingly Booming: Real Estate. And, it’s not just real estate in Kīhei or West Maui that is flourishing. All areas of the island have experienced high levels of sales activity this year. Maui Now.


Zuckerberg, Chan to fund relaunch of program that finds jobs for Kauai residents.
A program aimed at getting residents back to work on Kaua’i is starting up once again. In 2020, Kaua’i’s Rise to Work program found jobs for 280 workers who previously lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Adolescent center on next council agenda.
The integrated treatment and healing center was a priority for the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste and then-mayor Carvalho’s administration. Garden Island.

Students call for amending SB1147. Kaua‘i students joined a statewide effort against tobacco during the “March Against Menthol” on Rice Street fronting the Historic County Building. Garden Island.