Showing posts with label emergency preparedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emergency preparedness. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Hawaii Island

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Friday, August 18, 2023

Maui emergency chief quits, Justice Department investigates Lahaina fire; cell service, 911, sirens, electric and water failures illustrate lack of preparedness, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Maui Emergency Chief Quits Amid Scrutiny Of Lahaina Fire Response. Herman Andaya faced a mountain of criticism for his agency's decision not to activate sirens that could have saved lives. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser.  Associated Press. Maui Now.  Hawaii News Now.

U.S. Department of Justice probes cause of Lahaina fire
.  A U.S. Department of Justice fire investigation team is in Hawaii to determine the origin and cause of the Lahaina wildfire that killed more than 110 people and destroyed the 5-square-mile heart of town. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Judge pursuing legal action against Hawaii power companies after his house burns down. Retired Maui Chief Circuit Court Judge Shackley Raffetto is suing Maui Electric Co., Hawaiian Electric Co. and Hawaiian Electric Industries over the fire that reduced his house in Kula to ashes. Star-Advertiser. KITV4.

Fragile Fiber Lines In Lahaina Were Burned And Battered, Taking Out 911 And Cell Service. The utter collapse in communications during the deadly wildfire in Lahaina points to an urgent need to protect miles-long runs of above-ground fiber optic lines that form the backbone of Hawaii’s cellular phone and broadband networks.  Civil Beat.

New data reveals dozens of power grid malfunctions as Maui wildfires began. While the official cause of the Lahaina fire has not yet been determined, the focus appears to be centering around Hawaii’s largest power utility. Hawaii News Now.

Maui water pumps can work without HECO power.  Hawaiian Electric Co. executives, under widespread criticism and facing an onslaught of lawsuits, have maintained a key reason for not shutting off power early on Aug. 8 as wildfires began spreading on Maui was that electricity was needed to keep water pumps working for the firefighters battling the blazes. Star-Advertiser.

Arrivals to Maui down 80% as tourists cancel, change plans amid wildfire disaster.
Government and tourism officials have repeatedly asked visitors not to travel to West Maui for the foreseeable future as the recovery work continues. But they’ve also taken paints to say the rest of Maui remains open. Hawaii News Now.

Concerns over ‘climate gentrification’ rise after devastating Maui fires. With a housing crisis that has priced out many Native Hawaiians as well as families that have been there for decades, concerns are rising that the state could become the latest example of “climate gentrification,” when it becomes harder for local people to afford housing in safer areas after a climate-amped disaster. Associated Press.

Green’s proclamation allows vehicles other than buses to transport students.
In response to an ongoing school bus shortage, Gov. Josh Green has issued an emergency proclamation allowing vehicles other than school buses to be used to transport students. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.  KHON2.

State Ag Corporation Hires New Leader. The Agribusiness Development Corp.’s board announced on Thursday that Wendy Gady will take on the role of executive director, following a four-month search.  Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente, Hawaiʻi Health Systems reach new contract agreement. Kaiser Permanente and Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corp., after months of talks, have reached an agreement in a new 4-year contract covering service rates for Kaiser members at all of the health system’s Hawaiʻi facilities. Big Island Now.


Red Hill task force trains roving fire watch. Joint Task Force Red Hill, the organization the Pentagon set up to drain the massive fuel tanks at the Navy’s underground Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, announced Thursday that it has completed training for its roving security and fire watch team. Star-Advertiser.

Paddle Out for Lahaina planned at Kūhiō Beach in Waikīkī on Saturday. Duke Kahanamoku Ocean Festival, together with Nā Kama Kai, invites the public to come together on Saturday, Aug. 19, for family and friends affected by the Lahaina fires with a community paddle out to “Queens” surf break in Waikīkī on Oʻahu. Maui Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Design work begins for new Papa‘aloa gym. Hawaii County has hired a design consultant and is working on a contract to begin work on the new Papa‘aloa gym. Tribune-Herald.


Friends, family remember dead as list of Maui fatalities grows. The death toll from the disaster is well beyond 100, with an estimated 1,000 people still unaccounted for. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lahaina residents pick up supplies, process loss as road access reopens. Kahele Alipio and her family fled her ill-fated Lahaina Surf apartments “to wherever there was blue skies” as the fire approached and the town was choked with dark smoke on the afternoon of Aug. 8. Maui News.

Work underway to move those impacted by Maui wildfires from emergency shelters to hotel rooms. Work is underway to close all the emergency shelters on Maui, with the goal to have anyone affected by the deadly wildfires placed in hotel rooms by next week. Maui Now. Associated Press.

Lahaina Fires Leave Businesses And Livelihoods In Ruins. The Maui tourist hub hosted nearly 1,000 business establishments, most of which were burned to the ground. Civil Beat.

Maui County Waives Property Tax For Buildings Destroyed By Fire. Waivers and refunds apply only to residential buildings damaged by the wildfires. Civil Beat.

DOE works to reopen Maui schools, accommodate affected students. King Kekaulike High School, damaged during last week’s disaster on Maui, will begin a phased reopening next week, the state Department of Education said Thursday night. Star-Advertiser.

Lahaina survivors face contaminated air and water and emotional issues.  The state Health Department continues to warn Lahaina residents that the air they breath could contain toxic substances such as asbestos and arsenic after the fire burned historic wooden homes and structures dating back to the late 1800s. Star-Advertiser.


New county finance department leaders sworn in. Michelle L. Lizama was announced as the County of Kaua‘i director of finance and Chelsie A. Sakai as the deputy director of finance on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Mo‘ikeha Building, Lihu‘e Civic Center. Garden Island.